Becoming a Frontline Hero

Dr. James Emery White

I cannot begin to express my appreciation and admiration for the “frontline” heroes serving the rest of us during this very trying time. Doctors and nurses, police officers and firefighters, grocery store workers and delivery personnel. And, of course, there are many more. 


While many of us shelter at home, they are serving and giving at great risk. They deserve our deepest gratitude and honor.

Yet there are other “frontline” heroes whose praises are largely going unsung; people who are serving selflessly, taking risks, living out a bold faith in the face of trying times. Who am I thinking of? Consider the following:

  • The chaplain at the hospital.
  • The person who gave half their stimulus check to their church and the other half to a homeless shelter.
  • The gentle soul who followed through when they said, “I’ll pray for you.”
  • The volunteer sporting the facemask and gloves sorting food at the foodbank.
  • The family determining to stay faithful financially to God through their local church in the face of economic uncertainty.
  • The neighbor who ordered a bear on Amazon and put it in a tree or window for a child.
  • The people who took part in a hygiene drive donating items for the homeless in their community.
  • The caregiver at the nursing home. Repeat: the caregiver at the nursing home.

In truth, we’re all on the frontlines—or we can be. The effort might take financial faith, selfless action, bold love or even, yes, physical risk. But isn’t the frontline where we long to be? Don’t we want our one and only life to matter?

So don’t just cheer on frontliners, though they deserve it.

Join them.

James Emery White


About the Author

James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunct professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His newest book, Christianity for People Who Aren’t Christians: Uncommon Answers to Common Questions, is now available on Amazon or at your favorite bookseller. To enjoy a free subscription to the Church & Culture blog, visit, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.