Dr. James Emery White

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

The People Meck Needs

I’ve been very open (and often very loud) in sharing that the mission of Mecklenburg Community Church (Meck) is not about transfer growth.  But there is one type of person we long for and who I, personally, pray for. 

And they are easy for me to describe:

They are already a Christ follower.  In fact, they’ve been following Christ for a long time. 

They are older, mature and seasoned; not only in terms of their age, but in terms of faith and emotion.

They “get” the mission in a way that few do.  Translation: they know it isn’t about them, but instead, that it’s about the least and the lost.

They are willing to mentor younger Christians.

They are enthusiastic about investing their accumulated resources strategically into the Kingdom in order to leave a legacy.

You say, “It sounds like you want some older folk who get it.”

You better believe it.

Over 70 percent of our members have come to Meck from a decisively unchurched background.  Many from broken families without functional parents.  This means we are desperate for people who will mentor, disciple, lead, teach, give and invest. 

We are overflowing with young couples wanting older couples to mentor them; filled with men wanting older men to have a coffee and talk with them about career, marriage and family; busting out with children and families that have no one in their life who has led a family under Christ to pour into them.

As a church that has against all odds skewed younger every year for the last decade, we long for older Christians who will embrace an atmosphere and culture of twenty- and thirty-somethings who are either just beginning their exploration of Christ, or freshly minted followers.

Bottom line:  When many churches are filled with fat, feeding Christians, we are not.  We are filled with starving, newborn infants who desperately yearn for spiritual parents.

So while I say, over and over, “We aren’t interested in transfer growth,” I guess I’m not altogether truthful.  There’s one group of you I want really, really bad. 

“Pauls” who will take on some “Timothys,” and some Titus women who will take on some young moms.

At Meck, we’ll call you saints.

James Emery White


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 latest book, The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated, is now available on Amazon.  To enjoy a free subscription to the Church and Culture blog, visit www.churchandculture.org, 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 twitter @JamesEmeryWhite.


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