TONY: What’s “normal” and why should we avoid it?
PERRY: Normal is predictable. Normal is boring. Normal is activity without progress. Normal is a passionless life. And normal should be avoided because if we are followers of Jesus, we must understand and embrace the fact that He was not normal. Normal can drain the life out of someone, and it causes destruction to marriages, relationships with our children, production at work and a host of other things. I honestly believe the last thing that God wants for His followers is to live a life with no passion and purpose.
TONY: In your own journey, when do you sense you truly experienced what it is to be unleashed?
PERRY: WOW, great question…I would say for me it actually came in phases. The first phase was when I accepted Christ and finally started understanding that I needed Him in my life. However, after accepting Him I began a 15-year battle with legalism. I really believed that forgiveness was something that I achieved in life rather than a gift simply received from Christ. I would say the next phase was breaking free from the trap of performance and legalism. The last phase has been within the past year. I battled with an intense bout of depression from late 2009 until 2011, and even had thoughts of ending my own life; however, it was during that time that I understood that God really did want me to be filled with joy instead of worry, anxiety and fear. It was quite a process but I am so glad that I went through it and I believe that I understand more about the Lord and His purpose for my life than ever before.
TONY: Life is always filled with challenges. What advice do you have for someone who senses they are at a breaking point?
PERRY: Don’t give up!!! Giving up is the #1 temptation of people who feel like they are at this place; however, Jesus, the One we follow, NEVER GAVE UP…and His assignment in life was much tougher than ours. I know that I may not know the circumstances your readers are going through, I fully agree with the fact that some of them are quite overwhelming. During those times I’ve had to come to the understanding that God’s Word is greater than how I feel and that Philippians 1:6 says that if He started a great work in me then He will carry it on to completion!
TONY: What advice do you have for pastors who are trying to unleash the potential of the church?
PERRY: I honestly believe we are on the verge of seeing the greatest days the church has seen in her 2,000 year history. When you combine what we have with information and technology with the power of God’s Word and His Holy Spirit, the possibilities are unlimited. I would press into and challenge leaders to simply listen to God and then do what He says. The Bible is full of examples of men and women who accomplished things greater than they could have ever imagined because they listened to His voice.
TONY: Are you still shagging? (See this video for the explanation.)
PERRY: As often as I can. :-)