Legacy…

Posted by Brandi Wilson

On Sunday I had the honor of attending a retirement celebration for our Pastoral Care Pastor, Tom Tyndall.  We recognized Tom for his 40 years of successful ministry.  Forty years, y’all!  As I sat and listened to the tributes to Tom I was struck by the legacy he’s leaving behind.  We throw the term legacy around quite often, talk about making a large impact… but how often to we really get to see legacy lived out?

I spent the rest of the afternoon really reflecting on myself and the impact I’m making.  I thought a lot about you guys and how we all feel an authentic desire to serve  and serve well, but sometimes get caught up in ‘life’ and easily lose focus.  I wanted to share one of Tom’s tributes (given by my husband) with you all, it really helped remind me of the important influence I have.  I went to Tom’s retirement party eager to celebrate him, I left realizing how much I’d learned from him about successful and healthy ministry.  Thought you ladies might enjoy these thoughts today.

When we started the church seven years ago Tom was the third staff member I hired. I knew how important it was to have someone with his experience and wisdom by my side. Every Sunday morning for the past seven years I’ve spoken at Cross Point Tom has met me in my office to pray over me.  I couldn’t help but cry all the way through the prayer yesterday knowing it was the end of an era.

It’s been a true joy to serve with him over the years and I wanted to share with you guys what he’s taught me along the way.

– SERVE WELL

Wherever God sends you and whatever he gives you, serve well. When I hired Tom he had just finished, two years prior, a tenure as the senior pastor of a very influential, large church in our community. From day one he helped set up chairs, pick up trash and was willing to work out of a closet that served as his office. I never heard him complain one time. He just served well wherever God led him.

-BE FLEXIBLE

The longer you do ministry the more you think you’ve figured out the “right way” to do it. Tom was in full time ministry for 40 years. Can you imagine how tempting it would have been for him serving in a church plant to want to say, “That’s not the way I did it!” Do you know how many times that guy had to bite his tongue while serving by my side? While Tom would have never budged on his theology he learned a long time ago to be flexible when it came to methodology. He stayed focused on the main vision.

-LOYALTY MATTERS

In 7 years I never heard Tom Tyndall say one negative word about another staff member. Not another pastor, not an assistant, not the janitor.  Not one word.

In the early days of Cross Point we fought a lot of hard battles. He sat through some very difficult meetings with me. The kind of meetings where things were said that put me in a position where I wanted to walk away from it all. Time and time again Tom would come into my office after those meetings and say, “Pete, get your head up. Don’t listen to that stuff. You’re  a good pastor and a great leader.” I can honestly say I don’t know if I would have made it through those early days without his support and encouragement.

– LOVE EXTRAVAGANTLY

1 Corinthians 13 says “These three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love”

Tom reminded me in many ways that…

Great sermons will get you pats on the back.

Savvy leadership skills will win you admiration from your colleagues.

Hard work will catch peoples eyes as you separate from the pack.

But if you don’t love you’re nothing more than a noisy gong, or a clanging cymbal. If you don’t love the people God has placed in your life nothing else really matters.

Thank you Tom for your 40 years of service to the Kingdom. Few leaders can truly echo the words of Paul and say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” By the grace of God you escaped the bombshells of Satan which I’m sure were fired at you with great regularity  in an attempt to wreck you, your family and your ministry. Well done, good and faithful servant.

I love you friend. You’ve helped shape my ministry and I’ll be forever grateful.

8 thoughts on “Legacy…

  1. Anna Iervolino

    I am weeping as I read this for several reasons, one is that I have a Father who has been in Toms seat and serving along side Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill in Seattle, my Dad is 70 years old and is the oldest guy there and he just loves the body of believers there and has a really understands who he is and who he is not and he functions and it is leaving a legacy, so i am weeping for my Dad and also for my sweet husband who is a senior pastor and has faced such a tought year with critics and accusation and he is an amazing leader and i want a TOM for him…Thank you Brandi!

  2. Brandi Wilson Post author

    i think that’s what struck me the most… that Tom has lasted 40 years with such integrity and character. there are times i can’t imagine going on 40 more days! love that he’s helping me keep my vision!

  3. Dawn-Marie

    What an awesome tribute. I haven’t even met Pastor Tom and he’s impacted my life through your husband’s tribute. Thank you and your husband for sharing. And thank you Pastor Tom. 🙂

  4. Lori Wilhite

    Love hearing about Tom and love hearing about your dad Anna! Amazing ministry and leadership.

    And … you and your husband hang in there. I pray you’ll find someone that can pour into and support your husband … until then, I’m glad we Pastors’ Wives have each other! 🙂

  5. Angela De Souza

    Wow what an amazing man and what a great post. I am going to use this word for word at our team night tomorrow if that’s OK? Thanks so much for sharing this with us it is a real treasure 🙂

    Love
    Angela
    xxx

  6. Shelley Hendrix

    Love this….thanks so much for posting this Brandi!

    Grateful for those in the generations before us who are blazing trails and setting examples of authentic faithfulness that spurs us on when times are tough.

    Looking forward to having Pete on the show tonight. Only wish you could be here, too! 🙂

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