News - Called to Know Christ's Beloved Outside of Church

Called to Know Christ's Beloved Outside of Church

Since his graduation in 1992 and his ordination in the Free Methodist Church, Nathan Perkins has ministered in various capacities. The story he shares here as a Christian minister working in the secular workplace will resonate with clergy who—like the Apostle Paul—serve bi-vocationally. Nathan helps to manage Upland Hills Farm, an educational agricultural enterprise in Oxford, Michigan. The operation sees over 100,000 visitors annually through field trips, summer day camps, seasonal festivals, weddings and more.

As a Christian minister working in a secular company, I have been privileged to develop a unique view of the world. When my full-time job was in a church, I was often conflicted about spending so much time in the office and among like-minded believers. I sought opportunities to get away from the saturation so I could know more about the world that the message of Christ was meant to transform.

Back then, I worked in the public schools and met with secular charities, like Rotary and Kiwanis. Those experiences were extremely satisfying, but limited because of a full schedule of church events and meetings.

Nate PerkinsSince 2011, my work has been primarily in a secular arena. I feel that my worldview has grown beautifully and my opportunities to be a light to the world have also expanded. I have discovered that the church is not as full of light as I once thought it was, and that the secular community has more light than I had believed.

What We Learn From Social Media

Take a look at the conversations on Facebook among Christians. The light is often dimmed by negativity and judgement. Compare those conversations to what you see among the secular. These conversations are often very positive, but reaching; trying, but still often baseless. If you have a good balance of secular and Christian Facebook followers, you’ll sometimes be embarrassed by one or the other and aware of how the posts from one group may offend persons in the other group.

Multiple Avenues For Creatively Engaging Others

During the summer, my schedule gets very full. In addition to my work at Upland Hills Farms, I own a small t-shirt printing company that is also a summertime business. I am also an author. I write and edit all year long. I’ve published four children’s books that are about farm animals, and I present those books at schools, libraries and local venues. I write adult fiction as well. Currently, I’m completing a series of suspense thriller/mysteries about an inner-city mission where unlikely heroes emerge. The series promotes the idea of redemption and human value. Specifically, readers will be inspired to go beyond themselves and to see value in other people.


I am extremely proud of my family. Pam and I have raised three boys. Joshua is married to Erin; Caleb is married to Jordan; and Lucas currently attends Cornerstone University. All three attended a Christian college. Joshua and Caleb work in education and Lucas is considering a field related to music and counseling. Pam and I are now empty-nesters and we are enjoying our time together.


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This story was published on March 01, 2018

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