Dr. James Emery White

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Dr. James Emery White

Three or Four City Blocks

For more than 50 years, Michael Haynes served as pastor of the historic Twelfth Street Baptist Church in the Roxbury district of downtown Boston. Twelfth Baptist Church is a direct descendant of the First African Baptist Meeting House on Beacon Hill, founded in 1805. In 1840, a band of dissenters from the church felt led of the Holy Spirit to become involved in the Underground Railroad, an organized means of smuggling slaves from bondage in the South to freedom in the North.

When Baptisms Don’t Count

There was an important article for church leaders in the latest Harvard Business Review (HBR) on how tying metrics to strategy is not always the best practice. Here’s the big idea. Something like Apple’s “Think Different” strategy, or Samsung’s “Create the Future” endeavor, would naturally be judged by the amount of sales of new products. As the HBR article puts it, “If strategy is the blueprint for building an organization, metrics are the concrete, wood, drywall and bricks.” The problem?

5 Questions Every Church Should Be Asking

A recent article in the Atlantic cited 17 questions every college should be asking. The point was that “we need a serious conversation about the future of America’s universities.” They're right. We do. And there are questions we can be asking of the church, too.

Woke: Why Pastors Need to Address Racism Now

If you are a teaching pastor of a church, or in leadership of a church, this blog is for you. Everyone else can eavesdrop. You need to do a series on race and racism. And you need to do it soon—as soon as you can. Racial division is our culture’s most pressing concern, and it is a deeply biblical and spiritual issue.

Update on Meck's Big Decision

There have been many queries as to how things have been going at Meck since we made the strategic decision to end our multi-site approach in order to pursue other methods for ongoing growth and the pursuit of our mission to the unchurched. I will confess that this update is not what I expected. I have been completely blindsided by it.

How Will the World Look When It Stops Growing?

In the year 1800, there were less than 1 billion people on the planet. Through advances in medicine, sanitation and food production, by 1900 there were 1.65 billion, and by 2000 there were more than 6 billion. In a breathtakingly short 20 years since, we’ve climbed to 7.7 billion. But this will not continue.

The Vision for the Church & Culture Conference

In just a few weeks, the fifth annual Church & Culture Conference will take place at Mecklenburg Community Church (Meck) in Charlotte, NC. If you have not attended before, you may be wondering what the vision is for this event. Heaven knows the Christian world doesn’t need another conference that is just like every other conference.

Five Things We Now Know the Online World Is Doing to Us That Has Never Been Done to Us Before

There are few things more fascinating – and more pressing – to social scientists than to discover what our new digital world is doing to us, particularly the new online world. From an assortment of new surveys and studies, I’ve drawn together five key findings. Some you may have suspected, some may come as a surprise, but all are based on the most recent findings.

How to Experience the Blessing of Community: Shalom

Shalom is commonly understood to mean “peace” or “health” or “prosperity.” It carries within it the idea of completeness. Cornelius Plantinga writes that the word shalom is “the webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment and delight.” Shalom is the vision of community; it is what community strives to be.

Community 101: Finding vs. Building

One of the great myths of relational life is that community is something found. In this fairy tale, community is simply out there – somewhere – waiting to be discovered like Prince Charming finding Cinderella. All you have to do is find the right person, join the right group, get the right job, or become involved with the right church. It’s kind of an “Over the Rainbow” thing; it’s not here, so it must be “over” there.

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