Bucket List

Dr. James Emery White | Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary | Monday, October 28, 2013

Bucket List

Have you ever heard the phrase “bucket list?”

It means the things you want to do before you before you “kick the bucket.” 

I recently read an article titled “The Before You’re Forty Bucketlist.”  It was a decent list, full of things both spiritual (read the bible) and temporal (watch every film on the AFI top 100 list).

It got me thinking what a bucket list should entail for someone who is already a follower of Christ (becoming one would be, of course, the only bucket list item that would matter).  After all, we are not to count this life for much beyond personal preparation for eternity and making an eternal difference on others.

So what would a top-ten bucket list in that spirit contain?

Here’s my shot. 

  1. Build a relationship with a non-Christian and share your faith in Christ.
  2. Trust God financially in terms of giving.
  3. Take at least one bungee-jump of faith related to obedience.
  4. Love someone to the point of sacrifice.
  5. Discover your spiritual gift(s) and serve accordingly.
  6. Make one spiritual pilgrimage (see A Traveler’s Guide to the Kingdom, InterVarsity Press, for some ideas).
  7. Read the Bible in its entirety.
  8. Mentor someone new to the faith.       
  9. Find a church home and invest yourself in its community and mission.
  10. Serve the poorest of the poor.

Let me know what you think I missed.  But if I can have those ten things crossed off,

…it would have been a good and God-honoring life.

James Emery White


“The Before You're 40 Bucketlist,” Jesse Carey, Relevant, October 13, 2013, read online.

James Emery White, A Traveler’s Guide to the Kingdom (InterVarsity Press).

Editor’s Note

James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, which he also served as their fourth president. His newly released book is The Church in an Age of Crisis: 25 New Realities Facing Christianity (Baker Press). To enjoy a free subscription to the Church and Culture blog, log-on to www.churchandculture.org, where you can post your comments on this blog, view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on twitter @JamesEmeryWhite.