1. That pastors would see other churches in their immediate vicinity as a co-laborer, not as the competition.
2. That members of churches would see themselves as ministers and missionaries, dying to themselves for the sake of the cause, as opposed to consumers who care most about whether they are fed, ministered to, or served themselves.
3. That parachurch organizations would be parachurch organizations - meaning serving alongside the church while giving the local church the pre-eminence it deserves - and allowing the partnership to reach its full redemptive potential in light of the biblical mandate.
4. That church planters would commit to being a) sent by a church; b) called by a community; and c) eager to go where no one has gone. Instead of a) sending themselves; b) going to where they simply desire to live; and c) remaining blind to the reality that they'll be the 11th McDonalds in a row of ten existing ones.
5. That all seminaries would remember that they exist to serve the church, and that they would serve the church to such a degree that their students would be more on fire to serve and build the local church after they have graduated than before they entered.
6. That those committed to discipleship, and rightly so, would quit pitting it against evangelism as if any emphasis on "reaching out" somehow takes away from "building up", creating a false dichotomy that doesn't exist biblically.
7. That older generations would quit worrying about whether they are being catered to sufficiently, and would become more interested in whether they are passing the baton on to the next generation that is so desperate and hungry for mentoring.
8. That the false dichotomy between a concern for personal or sexual morality, and social justice, would evaporate. Instead, that we would see that being salt and light applies to both concerns: being as concerned for a culture of divorce as much as we are for the AIDS pandemic in Africa.
9. That the pendulum between whether to share the gospel or engage in social ministry would also disappear. That we would see them not as an either-or, but a both-and; we are to give a cup of water and the bread of life, feeding both stomach and soul.
10. That we would understand that lost people are not the enemy, but instead the objects of the Father's heart - and thus, they should be the objects of ours. That we would join the Father as He sets out to find His lost sheep, search for His lost coin, and look desperately down the road for His prodigal son.
James Emery White
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About Dr. James Emery White
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina; President of Serious Times, a ministry which explores the intersection of faith and culture (www.serioustimes.org); and ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture on the Charlotte campus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Dr. White holds the B.S., M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees, along with additional work at Vanderbilt University and Oxford University. He is the author of over a dozen books.
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