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Mykel Perdue: Outside The Box

Mykel Perdue says that he’s the kind of person who likes to think outside the box. Or, in the case of his summer 2016 mission trip with the North American Mission Board (NAMB), he likes to think outside the walls.

“I saw an opportunity to serve God’s people and also grow and gain a little more ministry experience outside the four walls of church,” says Perdue.

A freshman broadcast media major at North Greenville University, Perdue spent several weeks living and serving in the Miami, Fla., area this past summer. The Miami trip gave students like Perdue and his fellow NGU classmates Brian Cordle, Connor Hash, Courtney Simmons, Phillip Sallé, Silas Forrester, and Stephen Turner an opportunity to help lay the groundwork for a church plant in the nearby city of Homestead.

Perdue’s team prepared a church planting prospectus and then presented it to pastors in the Miami area. They also worked to establish a sense of Christian community with students at and neighbors of the University of Miami, so that the future church plant could have a solid base of connections.

“It was a great experience,” says Perdue.

Perdue’s trip was just one of many offered by NAMB’s Generation Send (GenSend) program. GenSend immerses college-aged adults into urban contexts, where they gain a practical knowledge of not only missions but also leadership.

Along with reinforcing gospel foundations and missiological practices, the intention of GenSend is to be an extension of the local church’s efforts in key cities throughout the U.S., including Cleveland, Ohio; Denver, Colo.; St. Louis, Miss.; Portland, Ore.; and Washington, D.C.

Atlanta, Ga. — another of the program’s so-called “Send Cities” — happens to be Perdue’s hometown. His background in a larger city like Atlanta made him feel prepared for the NAMB mission trip, he says.

Perdue first learned about NGU while attending high school outside of Atlanta. His percussion teacher recommended the school to him during his senior year, and he quickly set up a day to visit NGU’s campus.

“Literally, as soon as I stepped on campus, my mother said, ‘This is you.’ It just felt like it was where God was sending me for the next chapter of my life,” says Perdue. “And after prayer and heavy consideration, it quickly became home to me.”

Perdue still plays music today. He’s a member of NGU’s Joyful Sound ministry, and he occasionally plays for Baptist Student Union (BSU) worship celebrations on campus, as well.

“I’m a musician, singer, songwriter, producer, et cetera. Point is, I do a lot of creative things, and I know a lot of people who are believers and who are creative. But I don’t think there are nearly enough of those people affecting culture from a creative Christian perspective,” says Perdue. “I believe that’s what God is calling me to do: to penetrate culture creatively and effectively in my own life and [to] train and encourage others to do the same.” 

Perdue not only performs, but also produces music, posting under the account UrbanWood on the audio distribution platform SoundCloud alongside Thomas “TomTom” Grindell, senior business administration major. They have even transformed a section of Grindell’s dorm room into a makeshift recording studio.    

And Perdue has not only modeled for Unitee Wear, but he’s also in the process of starting his own clothing line.   

An entrepreneur at heart, he hopes to continue creating businesses like these once he completes his education at NGU.  

“I eventually want to build a platform for other believers to express their creative freedoms and not worry about the existence of a box,” says Perdue. “I’m also interested in starting a few side businesses and camps for artistic children.”  

For Perdue, the NAMB trip was the “next big growing experience” in his life, helping him continue to develop a heart of ministry and to find practical yet creative ways to serve. When Director of BSU Jody Jennings first recommended the GenSend opportunity to him, Perdue said yes right away, no questions asked.  

“I wasn’t even sure of the details, but I knew I prayed for God to provide an opportunity to serve this summer, and when He did, I hopped on it,” Perdue remembers. “Courage, to me, [is] being fearless, driven, and motivated despite possible outcomes.”  

For more information about ministry opportunities at NGU.

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