Computers, mass media, consumerism, and family instability have transformed our society dramatically over the past three decades. These cultural shifts undermine the stability of real, authentic community and make it more difficult to fulfill Gods call to live in love and connection to one another. Jesus calls us to reconciliation, but life today moves toward ever-more alienation.
The adults now known as Generation X had a unique firsthand experience of the cultural shifts now affecting the way the church works in the world. Growing up, Gen Xers were isolated and independent and had no common cause in terms of war or revolution, but had a common experience of life as increasingly less concrete, increasingly more detached. Because of this, Gen X Christians have a deep hunger for authentic community and the possibility of lifelong growth in grace because those things have become more and more difficult to achieve.
Generation Rising is the collaboration of twelve Gen X authors who believe passionately that the Wesleyan vision of Christian discipleship in the holy community called church is the most exciting life we can live. They offer a vision of what the United Methodist Church could be, if we will faithfully respond to the call God continues to give us, and where our very identity as disciples will never be separated from the community God calls us to join.
Contributors include: Sarah Arthur, Presian Burroughs, Jeff Conklin-Miller, Timothy R. Eberhart, Joy J. Moore, Julie O'Neal, Arnold S. Oh, Douglas Powe, Shane Raynor, Andrew Thompson, William Eric VanMeter, and Kevin M. Watson
Andrew C. Thompson is an elder in the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church who has served pastoral appointments in Tennessee, Arkansas, and North Carolina. Beginning in the fall of 2011, he will teach Wesleyan theology at Memphis Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tenn. Andrew writes Gen-X Rising, a bi-weekly column in the United Methodist Reporter that reaches over 120,000 people in its print and online editions. His widely read blog (www.genxrising.com) covers issues related to culture & faith in the UMC from a Generation X perspective.