Friday, March 09, 2007

John Perkins and Urban Ministry

"So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:16-20, NIV).

Today, I read an article about John Perkins on the Christianity Today website ( It brought back memories of meeting Dr. Perkins almost 5 years ago at the Urban Ministry Conference of the Churches of Christ. He was a famous and impressive speaker, but many of us did not know who he was until he spoke that evening. (In fact, he was getting some food and coffee from the kitchen when Evelyn Jennings met him. She told me that she thought that he was just a man who had wandered in from the streets for some food. It happens often at the Contact Church of Christ.) Dr. Perkins was a preacher, a former labor union organizer, a civil rights activist, an advocate for the poor and hungry, a pro-life advocate, and a former advisor to President Reagan, but he was a humble and unassuming man at the same time.

After reading the article from Christianity Today, I thought that I would post an article that I wrote for our former congregation. This is a portion of an article from the November 2002 newsletter of Jenks Church:

By Terry Laudett

Urban ministry leaders gathered in Tulsa from October 24-26 at the Contact Church of Christ for the national Urban Ministry Conference of the Churches of Christ. The annual meeting provides a forum for Christians to share ideas, information, and encouragement in sharing God's love and message of grace with people in urban surroundings, especially those living in poverty...

On Friday, Dr. John Perkins, chairman of the Christian Community Development Association, built upon the conference theme of developing holistic Christian community within urban churches. He taught that the whole gospel is the love of God demonstrated to the whole world. "Don't overlook anyone," Dr. Perkins warned. Everyone needs reconciliation with God and with other people. Christians must reach across racial, economic, and cultural barriers as God's ambassadors to bring the message of reconciliation. Dr. Perkins noted, "To receive the grace of God, but not to be a reconciler, is to receive the grace of God in vain."

It was an honor to have met and talked with Dr. John Perkins.

No comments: