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Seven Questions with Gregory Perkins

Gregory Perkins
President, National African American Fellowship
This Week at CSBC is excited to sit down with the one and only Gregory Perkins. Gregory walked away from executive corporate life to take on the pastorate and today he serves as pastor of The View Church in Menifee. In June, he was elected the National President for NAAF (National African American Fellowship of the SBC) and he is the current Chair-Elect of the Baptist Foundation of California. A self-proclaimed “extreme introvert,” Gregory enjoys immersing himself in crowds. Where most introverts are drained by the masses, Gregory gets tremendous energy by people-watching because “humanity is the apex of God’s creation.” Gregory also enjoys reading, desserts, and walking, which he says is birthed out of having to walk his dog every day. CSBC just announced that Perkins is slated to be one of the keynote preachers at this year’s Annual Meeting in Clovis.

1. What book(s) are you currently reading?

I try to read a book a month, but right now I just finished reading “Calling Out the Called,” by Scott Pace and Shane Pruitt and it was really good. It answers the question, “how do you disciple people who are called to disciple people?” Helping leaders lead leaders... That’s a whole different art and science and I’m really drawn to that approach. It’s interesting with some great principles. Now I’m going through Jamie Dew’s book, (also co-authored by Paul Chitwood) “Let This Mind Be in You,” which explores God’s call to servanthood. It’s a good read.

2. How do you like your bacon cooked?

Bacon should not be crispy. It should be medium…. where you can still taste the fat. If not, you may as well just eat pork rinds.

3. Tell us your best, ministry horror story.

I’ll never forget this one time… I was the executive pastor back then, and we were rolling out this program; a capital campaign, and we were having an organizing meeting to recruit volunteers and there were 40 people registered. Now, I’m very punctual, where, if you come on time, you are already late. So it’s time to start and no one is there….I’m just thinking, “Huh… no one’s here… huh.” Well, I had put the right time on the event registration but the wrong day. Here we had outside consultants that we were paying for, who had flown in for this capital campaign meeting. So, they are there, and NO ONE IS IN THE BUILDING….I had publicized it a week too far out. We had to fly them back again a week later. I felt so terrible, I knew I had to cover ½ of the expenses out of my own pocket.

4. What biblical character (other than Jesus) would you want to meet, and why?

Habakkuk. You know, he screamed out “Violence, violence! Justice is perverted.” He was saying to the Lord, “how can the wicked be winning?” We live in a world where it seems like sometimes the wicked are winning and God spoke His prophetic voice to him, dealing with the morass of the world. It’s akin to what we are dealing with today. He might be able to help us navigate it all in a more godly way.

5. Do you have a favorite leadership/personality type assessment (Ex. Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder, etc…)? If so, what do the results tell us about you?

I’m a strong Myers-Briggs fan. I have been an INTJ for 30 years - They call it intuitive; I call it discerning…I have been gifted with being able to read a room and read engagements. That discernment has been helpful to me.

6. What has been an evangelistic tactic that has worked best for you?

Picking up the tab in restaurants randomly. We have gotten so many first-time guests and visitors to The View (Church) because of that. I find a table and I ask, “can I pick up your tab?” And people are surprised but inevitably they begin asking questions like, “where is your church?” … “Do you have a children’s ministry?” And even if they don’t, they tell other people, “some random pastor just paid for our lunch…” The Lord impressed on me that the people are here. We need to reach them. So, I went to Coco’s every day and would buy people meals. I wanted to change the image of church. I want them to see that we aren’t just takers, we are givers. And I wanted to change the image of pastors. We aren’t just exploiting you to get you into our building. I want to be a blessing and NOT have it be connected to you coming to our church. Most importantly, it helped my heart and my motive. The hermeneutics of biblical hospitality is “giving with no expectation of receiving.”

7. When you think through all the names of Christ, what name resonates with you right now, and why?

Counselor…. I am a former corporate executive for a large HR division, but it pales in comparison to the work I do now as a pastor. I need Jesus as my Counselor. We are in a 6-million-dollar expansion. I cannot do any of this without Jesus. I need His guidance, and direction, His protection, and His grace because I am entering into a whole different terrain.
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