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 Six

My college years were wonderful, and it accomplished what I had hoped.  I was prepared with the answers I was looking for, well thought out reasons that secured my faith on the ineffable word of God.  There were some rough patches adjusting to a conservative way of life after the freedom of a liberal university, but it was there that I renewed my faith and met the woman God had chosen for me. 

After college my first ministry was in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where I was a part-time Youth Pastor and part-time youth counselor with Youth for Christ.  Eventually I went full time with the church.  My wife and I settled into the new ministry, began our family, and set out to help teens discover the answers I had found.  While Bible College prepared me with biblical knowledge and theological grounding, it didn’t prepare me for the complexities of ministries; teenagers are unruly.

Surely my friends and I were nothing like this; we were focused on our faith, cooperative in our demeanor, and obedient to the word of God.  Yet, if the truth be told, the church hadn’t failed me, I wasn’t listening.  I came to realize how difficult it was to shape young lives into the god shaped people they were meant to be.  Culture fought against them, parents fought against me, and teens were often caught in the middle. 

I lured them with fun activities, challenged them with the Word of God, prompted them to go deeper and further, but after a year and a half I didn’t seem to be any further along than when I began.  I had hoped the Senior Pastor would mentor me, but he told me he didn’t have time.  Giving me a few ministry books from his seminary classes I was left alone to figure out the convolutions of ministry.  There were successes and there were failures.  Again I was placed in a crucible, but this time I was not alone.  My wife was a rock and I was grounded in my faith.  I faced the challenge the best I could and trusted God’s grace would do the rest.

When the Senior Pastor called me into his office I thought it was the usual meeting where we would go over details of ministry that he thought was pertinent to me.  He gently explained how he had tried to elevate my stature before the elders, but that no matter what he said they would only see me as a kid playing with kids.  That was the summary of my ministry.  He spoke of my education and the white-collar community that we lived in, and that if I ever wanted to make it in the evangelical churches of America I would need a master’s degree.  In essence he was saying, “Paul, you’re not good enough, and in their eyes you never will be. What you need to do is go to seminary.” 

I was devastated.  How could all the effort that I had put into this ministry so easily be dismissed because of my youth or a degree?  Yet, what other recourse did I have, so, with my wife’s support I applied and was accepted to Dallas Theological Seminary in hopes that God would lead us in the direction of His will and glory.  The Apostle Paul said to his apprentice,

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. 1Tim. 4:12

The church hires people as professionals, prepared disciples, who are expected to perform for the money they are given.  Any lack they may have is seen as a deficiency of education and needs to be corrected in the proper institutions, so that they can produce in accordance to the church’s expectations.  The church can be a safe place for lay people to fail, but not the paid staff, it is neither efficient nor productive.   In a very nice way the Senior Pastor had planted a seed, one that would grow and color my perspective and feelings of church.  This is the first reason that I hate church:  It has conformed to the image of a capitalistic production oriented, education based institution that sees its staff as employees who are discarded if they don’t measure up to the expectations of its corporate core.  I’m just saying… (Continued).