what a great treat yesterday! was invited to a join a small group of pastors/leaders in seattle to have lunch with dr. john perkins and it was great to be able to take the bulk of our church staff. how often do you get a chance to have lunch and chat with one of your life heroes. dr. john perkins – through his books, sermons, and lectures has grown to become a significant shaper of my worldview. quest is also very privileged to have dr. perkins join us on saturday, february 24 as we host him and the royal priesthood gospel choir for one of our ‘learning events.’
several of his books, including ‘let justice roll down’ were monumental reads early on during seminary and was reminded today of the need (& desire) to read them again.
for some of you who are unfamiliar with dr. john perkins, you MUST read his books. for any pastor, particularly emerging church pastors, engaging in disciplines that call us to mercy, justice, humility and the work towards reconciliation are non-negotiables. an excerpt from a short bio:
John M. Perkins, President of John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation and Development of Jackson Mississippi is a sharecropper’s son who grew up in Mississippi amidst dire poverty. Perkins fled to California when he was 17 after his older brother’s murder at the hands of a town marshal. He vowed never to return. However, in 1960, after his conversion to Christ, he returned to his boyhood home to share the gospel of Christ with his people. His outspoken support and leadership role in civil rights demonstrations resulted in repeated harassment, imprisonment and beatings. Despite dropping out of school in the third grade, Perkins received recognition for his work with seven honorary doctorates from Wheaton College, Gordon College, Huntington College, Geneva College, Spring Arbor College, North Park College and Belhaven College. He is an international speaker and teacher on issues of racial reconciliation, leadership and community development.
during our introductions, i shared how embarrassed i felt being in the circle of other pastors and churches that were doing much more significant and intentional work towards the issues of racism and reconciliation. quest, i confessed, is a wanna-be, a poser, and a rookie. but one thing that i did share is that we’re not one hit wonders. we’re here to stay - learning, absorbing, and contextualizing what ‘relocation, redistribution, and reconciliation’ may look like for quest in the next ten years and beyond. at times, i’m split over the occasional requests and personal thoughts of completely moving quest and relocating to a radically different part of seattle that reflects the racial and socio-economic diversity we know we ought to be intentional about. two years ago, a dozen or so people from quest already moved to ‘south seattle’ to live incarnationally including our community groups pastor, david and his wife, chris. but each time, i feel conviction that that our current place is where we need to be. part of it involves the fact that a church in this part of seattle is taking a vote on february 4 whether or not they’ll merge with quest and through that process, grant their properties to us. i guess that’s another post in itself.