Pastor’s Corner: Kevin Perry
Pastor’s Corner: Kevin Perry
Madison Campus Pastor
Willowbrook Baptist Church
Tell us about yourself:
I was born in Huntsville in 1964 and grew up in a Christian home, going to church from negative nine months. I received Jesus at age eight but I really didn’t understand there was more to it than being a “good boy”. God gave me many milestones in my spiritual journey and I’m still not there yet but I am convinced that “being good” is an effect of salvation rather than a cause. My path to becoming a pastor is anything but normal. I graduated from Auburn in electrical engineering and worked for twenty years in the power industry. I felt my heart being drawn to full time vocational service and thought that my family was headed to a foreign mission field. Instead, God placed us within a mile of our house and has spent the last six years giving us a new perspective in what it means to live a life on mission.
What motivates you to do what you do?
For a long time my Christianity was trying to do the right thing but about fifteen years ago God finally got it through to my heart that following Jesus is an overflow of His presence in me. If I’m not enjoying God then why would I expect others to want what I have? In Psalm 23 David said that God’s provision for him caused his cup to overflow. God taught my heart that everyone’s cup is going to overflow but what spills out depends on what we do with Jesus. If I don’t have a choice about walking through life sloshing what’s inside of me on others then I desperately need to stay so full of Jesus that He is what’s splashing out of me. The bar has been set. I must splash Jesus.
What is God speaking to you right now?
I’m in the middle of a season where I repeatedly hear God reminding me to speak the truth in love. I cannot speak the truth as I understand it without my motivation passing the love test and I can’t possibly love people without telling them the truth. In a world where the pressure is increasing to live and let live, choosing to tell the truth is not always acceptable. With the backdrop of history recording truth spoken in righteous indignation, it is sometimes hard to comprehend what it looks like to speak love even as we speak the truth. While this definitely shapes the way I interact with others I have not been able to avoid examining what I say to God. I am continuing to learn that God wants me to tell Him the honest feelings of my heart even when my logical mind knows they do not agree with His eternal truth. Owning up to what I truly feel opens the flood gates of God’s love to renew my mind with His truth.
What does unity in our city mean to you?
I have a “Short List”. I also have a “Long List”. The “Short List” is what someone else has to believe for me to enter into fellowship with them as a Christian brother or sister. The “Long List” is all the doctrine I believe and try to live out. When I got honest with God about what was on the “Short List” I realized it was extremely short, definitely less than ten. My “Long List” is very important but it covers many things that can be argued. Unity as the body of Christ takes shape when we acknowledge the existence of both lists but choose to be the hands and feet of Jesus together based on the very basics of the message of the Gospel. I realize everyone has different “Long Lists” but I suspect that all of us will have some corrections to make when we see Him face to face.
Prayer for our city
God, I am so grateful and happy that You are Sovereign over all and have included me as one who “calls upon Your name”. Your work in me, through me, and around me is something I want to be aware of and cooperate with every day. Thank You for our city; for the diversity; for the freedom to proclaim You; for the persistent tug on the hearts of all who trust in You. Bring unity among Your Church in our city for Your glory and our blessing. Help us see that Your purposes are coming to fruition regardless. Whether we benefit or not is determined by our obedience so empower us to obey You. Let us live and serve from the overflow of Your amazing grace poured out in the blood of Your Son. It is in the powerful name of Jesus that we pray. Amen.