Synopses & Reviews
' John M. Perkins was born 80 years ago in the deep South. His mother died when he was an infant, his father left when he was a child, he dropped out of school after the third grade to work with his family of bootleggers and he witnessed police shoot and kill his brother. Years later, John M. Perkins was the object of violent racism, and in 1970 he was almost beaten to death in a Mississippi jail. He had every reason to respond with bitterness, anger and rage. Instead, he forgave those who had tormented him and showed love to all. In the ensuing years, John M. Perkins has built a remarkable resume, founding the Christian Community Development Association, having a college reconciliation studies center named after him, consulting three presidents, serving on the board of directors of many organizations and having his book Let Justice Roll Down named one of the top 50 books that shaped evangelical Christianity by Christianity Today. As he approaches his 80th birthday, Perkins’s pace has not slowed. He has launched a Mississippi Delta project to help revitalize a forgotten region. He visits young men in prison. He travels extensively to challenge people, particularly the young generation, whom he calls “post-racist.” Whether teaching from the Bible or digging deep into his memories of the Civil Rights movement, when John M. Perkins speaks, people listen. In these new memoirs, he revisits the racism which was the crucible of his own life, peers deep into the power of love to overcome all evils and tells stories of the most unique characters you will ever meet. He stands up in the wake of Katrina, stands by his wife’s side through the toughest days of their lives and casts a vision that has the potential to transform every city in America. '
The impact of John Perkins and Wayne Gordon on low-income urban communities has been profound. We in the business community can learn a lot from the leadership example and practices of these two servant leaders. Read this book and be inspired to make a difference.
CEO of Nonni’s Food Group, Chairman of the Fuller Seminary Board of Trustees
When I think about John and Wayne, two important qualities of leadership stand above the rest: they listen and they take risks. These qualities have enabled them to become great friends and partners and to make a difference for thousands—if not millions—of people. These guys know leadership, and I know that reading this book will make a difference in your life.
CEO of the National Center for Fathering
While most of Christian leadership material originates in the context of suburban, middle-class realities, these two ministry pioneers share hard-earned leadership lessons from the context of under-resourced communities that will equip thousands of Christian Community Development practitioners and leaders throughout the nation.
CEO of Christian Community Development Association
John Perkins and Wayne Gordon are two of the wisest and greatest leaders I know. For nearly 20 years, I have been learning everything I can from them. This book is the newest, freshest fruit of the lifelong friendship of this dynamic duo of urban ministry.
Author, Activist and Founding Partner of The Simple Way, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
John Perkins and Wayne Gordon are unique visionary leaders who always write out of the heart of their firsthand and risk-taking leadership experiences. It is for that reason that the timely lessons they provide in Leadership Revolution can be trusted and adopted by those seeking to use their leadership gifts to create transformational and revolutionary change.
Leah Gaskin Fitchue
President of the Payne Theological Seminary, Wilberforce, Ohio
This inspiring and instructive book on leadership will be a lasting legacy from these two pioneers of faith-based community development. Leadership Revolution serves as a clarion call for a new generation of courageous Christians to embrace the cross, follow Christ, and take risks for God’s kingdom.
Marshall E. Hatch, Sr.
Senior Pastor of New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, Chicago, Illinois
I have known John and Wayne for more than three decades. They take servant leadership to a level I have rarely seen demonstrated. Their book is packed full of practical counsel for leaders. I loved it!
Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, Illinios
John Perkins teaches us about Moses. Wayne Gordon teaches us about Nehemiah. Both of them teach us about Jesus. The principle of servant leadership is universal. Leadership Revolution is an excellent book that will be very helpful to me in my ministry.
Patri ck McCaskey
Senior Director of Special Projects for the Chicago Bears Football Club, Chicago, Illinois
John Perkins and Wayne Gordon have penned a book on leadership that is theologically sound, biblically consistent, and practically useful. This is an absolute must-read for the committed practitioner as well as the serious student of leadership.
President of Cedarstone Partners, Adjunct Assistant Professor at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois
Re-imagine Leading and Following in a World Longing for True Justice, Compassion and Freedom Followers of Christ yearn to see the world changed in compassionate, positive, effective ways. As prophetic voices, Shane Claiborne and John Perkins lead the way in this move to be the hands, feet and heart of Jesus. One is young, a self proclaimed reformed redneck who grew up in the hills of Tennessee and now lives in inner city Philadelphia and the other is decades older, an African-American civil rights leader who was almost beaten to death by police in Mississippi, and went on to found a reconciliation movement and counsel three American presidents. Claiborne and Perkins draw on more than a century of combined following and learning, activating and leading. Together they craft a timely message for ordinary people willing to take radical steps to see real change happen. In Follow Me to Freedom
, Claiborne and Perkins lead the way toward justice for all, unfolding a proven strategy as ancient as the patriarchs of faith and as fresh as the needs of every human heart. Starting with Moses as a model, they re-imagine leading and following in a world desperate for true social justice, compassion and freedom. They offer practical ways to internalize and live out God’s promise of freedom in the twenty-first century. Followers of Christ will not only be inspired but also catalyzed into action, and the world will never be the same.
“I am persuaded that the Church, as the steward of this gospel, holds the key to justice in our society. Either justice will come through us or it will not come at all.” John Perkins’s optimistic view of justice becoming a reality starts and ends with the Church. With Justice for All is Perkins’s invitation to live out the gospel in a way that brings good news to the poor and liberty to the oppressed (from Luke 4:18). This invitation is extended to every racial and ethnic group to be reconciled to one another, to work together to make our land all God wants it to be. And it is a blueprint—a practical strategy for the work of biblical justice in our time. In an age of changing demographics where the need to break the cycle of poverty is staring many of us in the face, Perkins offers hope through practical ministry principles—that work. This outstanding resource includes “Reflection” questions for personal or group study as well as “Interaction” sessions for groups to participate in activities together.
From the author of Let Justice Roll Down
, chosen by Christianity Today
as one of the top 50 books that have shaped evangelicals, come the 3 Rs of Christian Community Development brought up-to-date for the 21st century—Relocation: To be an effective community developer demands relocating into the community of need. We must live among those we are serving. We must become one of them. Their needs must become our needs. Reconciliation: In an incredible night of horrors Perkins was beaten to within an inch of his life by policemen in Brandon, Mississippi. It was as he was being beaten that he heard and accepted God’s call to a ministry of reconciliation between blacks and whites. Be encouraged by the fruits of Perkins’ ministries in the heart of racially torn Mississippi and throughout the world. Redistribution: The earth does not belong to us, but to God. We are only its stewards. God provided the earth for all mankind. Economic injustice, then, is simply depriving people of free access to God’s creation. Justice is achieved by working with God to share His resources with the disenfranchised of the earth.
Shane Claiborne and John Perkins know the hopes and longings of this age. One is young; the other is decades older. One is a self-proclaimed reformed redneck who now lives in the inner city and has become a voice for compassionate change; the other is an evangelical African-American voice for civil rights who once was almost beaten to death by police inMississippi, and went on to counsel three presidents and launch a reconciliation movement. You would be hard pressed to find a more unlikely duo, yet Claiborne and Perkins now lead the way toward freedom for all. In a world hungry for radical hope, their stories, lessons learned and wisdom will guide us as we walk down the rugged road to another world. Followers of Christ will not only be inspired, but also catalyzed into being the hands, feet and heart of real change—and the world will never be the same.
Come along as we live out this conversation . . . there are many obstacles—so much suffering, poverty and violence. But our God is familiar with suffering. Our God can swallow up armies and pour out bread from the heavens. Wall Street may fail us, but the God who takes care of the lilies and the sparrows will never let us down. Our Savior has stared evil in the face and overcome it with love. And now we are invited to join the triumph of the cross . . . and to lead others on the narrow, rugged road to freedom.”
John M. Perkins was born 80 years ago in the deep South. His mother died when he was an infant, his father left when he was a child, he dropped out of school after the third grade to work with his family of bootleggers and he witnessed police shoot and kill his brother. Perkins himself was the object of violent racism, and in 1970 he was severely beaten by police in a Mississippi jail. He had every reason to respond with bitterness. Instead, he forgave and showed love to all. In these memoirs, he revisits the racism which was the crucible of his own life, peers deep into the power of love to overcome evil and speaks of the most unique characters you will ever meet. He stands up in the wake of Katrina, stands by his wife’s side through the toughest days of their lives and casts a vision that has the potential to transform every city in America.
His brother died in his arms, shot by a deputy marshall. He was beaten and tortured by the sheriff and state police. But through it all he returned good for evil, love for hate, progress for prejudice and brought hope to black and white alike. The story of John Perkins is no ordinary story. Rather, it is a gripping portrayal of what happens when faith thrusts a person into the midst of a struggle against racism, oppression and injustice. It is about the costs of discipleship—the jailings, the floggings, the despair, the sacrifice. And it is about the transforming work of faith that allowed John to respond to such overwhelming indignities with miraculous compassion, vision and hope.
The next generation hungers for strong, visionary, ethical and passionate leaders. Where do we start in this day where we lack leadership at all levels? The authors of this breakout book contend that leaders of tomorrow are among us, but they need to be identified, trained and empowered. John M. Perkins casts the biblical vision that has started a movement. Wayne Gordon has rolled up his sleeves at the grassroots level to spark the transformation of a Chicago neighborhood. Together (and with friends) they founded the Christian Community Development Association. Now they put in this book the stories and lessons of discovery, growth, mistakes, success and lives changed. They are ready to hand batons of leadership, especially for poor and under-resourced communities, over to the next generation. With this book, they do just that!
About the Author
JOHN M. PERKINS has ministered among the poor for nearly 50 years. He founded Mendenhall Ministries, Voice of Calvary Ministries and the Harambee Christian Family Center and Preparatory School, and was co-founder of the Christian Community Development Association. He was publisher of Urban Family Magazine and is the author of nine books, including the civil rights classic Let Justice Roll Down, one of the top 50 books of the last half of the twentieth century, according to Christianity Today. Despite dropping out of school before he was 10, he now holds 8 honorary doctorates. John has served on the boards of directors of World Vision, Prison Fellowship, the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), Spring Arbor College, and others. He is an international speaker and a teacher on the issues of racial reconciliation, indigenous leadership development and community development. Seattle Pacific University recently opened the John Perkins Center for Reconciliation.SHANE CLAIBORNE, bestselling author of The Irresistible Revolution and co-author of Jesus for President, is a prominent activist and sought after speaker. He is one of the founding members of The Simple Way, a community in inner city Philadelphia that has helped birth and connects radical faith communities around the world. Shane serves on the board of directors of the Christian Community Development Association.