I'm Just Saying

Dr. Paul Perkins

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For an author writing is as necessary as breathing. They don't write for money or to court literary fame, but because they believe they have something to say. It matters not that anyone will read or listen, the words must be written, and if in the process someone is blessed -- all the more wonderful

Dr. Perkins has written for a long time, but only recently has sought to publish his work and venture into new genres. He believes in education, finally earning his doctorate at the age of 55. He believes that learning never ends, giving fodder to the imagination and breathing life into the characters on his page. His hope is to continue telling stories for a new generation of readers and aspiring authors.

Dr. Perkins' first novel is "Centurion: From glory to glory", but is not his first book. He has written "Legacy to my sons", "The Lost Shepherd", "The prayer of a transformed life", "The Cost", and a verity of Christian Youth Devotionals. 

Why I Hate Church: Part Eight

            At the peak of a ‘successful’ Youth Ministry I was sitting at a junior high event when it dawned on me, I didn’t enjoy this anymore.  In a sense I was saying to myself that I had grown up and no longer enjoyed running around with junior high students as their entertainment director.  I didn’t want to be that kid playing with kids any longer, and when an opportunity in the church presented itself I applied to be the Senior Pastor.  

            The move was met with resistance.  Conventional wisdom said that a Youth Pastor couldn’t make it at the same church as a Senior Pastor.  In other words people would always see me as the “Kid playing with Kids.”  Not one to give into conventional wisdom I said that I would apply but not accept the position unless 95% of the congregation voted for me, and when the results came in it was close to 98%.   It seemed to be an overwhelming confirmation of God’s will, but the Elders were torn.  There were a couple willing to give me a chance and a couple who didn’t want to, but the people had spoken and I became the Senior Pastor. 

            In upwardly mobile evangelicalism successful Senior Pastor’s have a persona, an image, a dignified way of doing things.  For those who wanted that kind of image I didn’t fit.  It wasn’t that I brought the image of Youth Ministry into the adult world, but my personality wasn’t (and isn’t) that of the typical CEO.   Constant conflict between the elders and me revolved around an attempt to form me into an image of something that God had not created me to be. 

            I brought practical teaching and preaching to the pulpit, I started a small group ministry, I led my staff relationally, and I tried to focus the church on outreach.  Did I do it all perfectly, no?  The tension between the elders and me seemed to never cease.  It wasn’t their fault entirely.  I was as stubborn toward their desire for me to change as they were to me changing.   The Elder board was no longer a safe place where I could wrestle with my own deficiencies and be encouraged toward a better relationship with Christ. 

            The Church is a mixture of ministry and business.  It is about people and institution.  In our culture the institutional structures sometimes get in the way the business of ministry.  It is no longer sufficient for a pastor to love people and teach the word; he must be a strategist, organizer, recruiter, motivator, counselor, shepherd, prophet, teacher, and communicator.  He is to be compassionate, loving, forgiving while holding people accountable and administering discipline without the two conflicting.  It is very exhausting.

1Tim. 4:12 Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. 14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you. 15 Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all.

The only image that Paul was concerned for Timothy to portray was one of character wrapped around his spiritual gifting.   I Hate Church because it doesn’t allow Pastors to shine in their character and gifting, but derails them because of their lack in other areas, and when they don’t conform they find it necessary to move on.  I’m just saying… (Continued).