Why is it important to rethink the church? Today many leaders focus on how their ministries can be run more efficiently. But the foundational question, according to James Emery White, should be Why do we have this ministry? and then, Why do we do this ministry the way we do? Is it effective? Rethinking the Church helps pastors and lay leaders work through questions that must be answered if a church is to rethink evangelism, discipleship, ministry, worship, community, and the structure of the church. Break old molds, check assumptions, and be sensitive, says White. He uses the language and aims of “seeker targeted ” churches but urges readers not to tie themselves to any model without understanding the individual purpose of their church. Now thoroughly revised and expanded, Rethinking the Church contains more emphasis and key material on how to move from re thinking to transition. White blends biblical reflection and hands on experience and uses the early church as described in the Book of Acts as the ultimate example.
The New Dictionary of Pastoral Studies
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina; president of Serious Times, Inc., a ministry that explores the intersection of faith and culture and hosts this website, ChurchAndCulture.org that features his messages and blogs; ranked adjunct professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president; and author of more than twenty books that have been translated into ten languages.
Mecklenburg Community Church (Meck) began with a single family and has grown to more than 10,000 active attenders. Meck experiences more than 70% of its growth from those who were previously unchurched, and during its formative years was often cited as one of the fastest growing church starts in the United States. Dr. White's commitment to local church ministry also includes service as Distinguished Professor of Pastoral Ministry at Anderson University, and consulting editor to Leadership Journal.
Dr. White holds a B.S. degree in public relations and business, along with the M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees from Southern Seminary, where he was awarded a Garrett Teaching Fellowship in both New Testament and Theology. He has also completed advanced university study at Vanderbilt University in American religious history, and continuing education at Oxford University in England, including participation in Oxford's Summer Programme in Theology. He has served as a visiting professor at such institutions as New Orleans Seminary, Southern Seminary, Southeastern Seminary and the Moscow Theological Institute. He currently serves on the Board of Reference at Union University and has served on the Board of the Boston Theological Institute, which includes such schools as Boston College, Boston University and Harvard.
Dr. White is the author of more than twenty books, including such Gold Medallion nominees as Serious Times and A Search for the Spiritual, Christianity Today book-of-the-year award winner Embracing the Mysterious God, as well as A Mind for God and Rethinking the Church. His most recent publications include What They Didn't Teach You in Seminary, A Traveler's Guide to the Kingdom, The Church in An Age of Crisis, The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated, Meet Generation Z: Understanding and Reaching the New Post-Christian World, Christianity for People Who Aren’t Christians: Uncommon Answers to Common Questions and his latest book, After “I Believe”.
Though his family's roots have been tied to North Carolina for generations, he was born in Chicago, and then lived in California, Utah and Washington during his childhood. His family returned to North Carolina during his teen years. Dr. White and his wife, Susan, have four children and twelve grandchildren (and counting!).