Generation Rising: A Future with Hope for the United Methodist Church


Twelve United Methodists from Generation X have teamed up to write a practical book of theology for the United Methodist Church. The authors invite the reader to join them as they “cast a vision for the future of the United Methodist Church as our generation sees it”. Each author takes a chapter to address a particular topic within the life of the church, including: discipleship, Holy Communion, preaching, evangelism, small groups, missions, race, ecology, youth ministry, young adults, ordination, and internet ministry.

Kevin Watson reminds us that community is essential to discipleship … and for Generation X, the fragmenting and isolating nature of our own world makes the need for [Christian] community all the more apparent.

The overarching theme of the book is that “the United Methodist Church can have a hopeful future ahead of it if it understands its purpose and how to live for that purpose”. Each of the authors takes this theme and addresses a particular topic from the perspective of their particular ministry setting. The diversity of authors lends richness and variety to this picture of a preferred future for The United Methodist Church.

Kevin Watson, in the chapter on small groups, reminds us that “community is essential to discipleship. … And for Generation X, the fragmenting and isolating nature of our own world makes the need for [Christian] community all the more apparent”. Watson describes the early discipleship structure of society, class and band; the transition to Sunday School; and the current opportunities for reconnecting accountable community to discipleship.

Shane Raynor, addressing internet ministry, suggests that while what we are saying and whom we are reaching in ministry will remain the same, how we are reaching them continually needs to be updated. Raynor outlines an approach to an interactive online ministry that reaches people where they are and supplements traditional ministry.

GenerationRisingBookCoverThese are just two samples of the variety of perspectives offered inGeneration Rising. Each chapter includes discussion questions that will be helpful for congregations and groups that are seeking to continue the conversation that is initiated within the pages of the book. The variety of authors and topics casts a positive vision for the denomination from “members of a generation to which the church is increasingly looking for leadership and witness” .


Andrew blogs regularly at, and you can follow him on Twitter at


About Author

Andrew Conard is the preacher at First United Methodist Church El Dorado, Kansas.

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