Gen X and the Future of the Church

Our faith has to be alive and light fires within our confused and fragile hearts or it is as meaningless as yesterday’s E-mail. We are the new church—"Generation X" label or not—and soon enough we will be the ones passing on a tradition that life is worth living, loving, and dying for. — Timothy Malone, 28

Generation X. 13th Generation. Twentysomething. Slacker. Whiner. Hopeless....Faithless?

What is radical faith for the emerging generation, and how does it manifest itself in our personal lives, in our jobs, with loved ones, in our churches, and in society? An ad hoc group of Sojourners staff members in their 20s came together to explore the spiritual-something of this new generation. We sought responses from a diverse body of twentysomethings who could offer a fresh outlook on theology, lifestyle, and vocation. Most submissions came from authors who have never written for us.

Seeking out new voices sometimes required finding unconventional conversation spots. In addition to faxes, letters, and phone calls, we discovered a niche on "Ecunet," a religious corner of the internet, where posting our invitation generated more than 200 responses. This on-line discussion gave excellent context to the forum we finally put together.

We often disagreed about what to include in the forum. Various experiences spoke more clearly to some of us than to others. But the joy of this format, we decided, was that there was space for difference. Faith manifests itself in our personal lives, in our jobs, and with our loved ones in ways as different as our genetic makeups and personality quirks.

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Sojourners Magazine November 1994
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