Pastor Tom came to Christ at a very young age and pursued a relationship with God throughout his teens and felt the call to ministry at the early age of 17. At age 19 he began to pastor a youth group as a volunteer at the Presbyterian church where he grew up. Those were exciting years of ministry that saw a local youth group grow out of nothing to more than 25 kids. At age 21 Pastor Tom decided to attend a Pentecostal church where God rocked his world and he was baptized in the Holy Spirit in the midst of a worship service. From then on, Pastor Tom pursued ministry with all his heart. After completing Bible School in the mid 90's Pastor Tom became licensed and eventually planted a church in Detroit, MI where he pastored for 21 years.
It was during this time his experience and character were honed as he was forced to learn many of ministry's lessons the hard way. During his 21 years at the Detroit church, he overssaw many difficult staff transitions, a church split, and sudden growth, decline, and everything in between. It was in these fires of ministry that Tom learned much about how to navigate the toughest and unexpected aspects of church ministry. Tom has often said that church would be easier if it weren't for all the people. But of course, that's never an option. In ministry, we are in the people business and learning to navigate hardship in the church is something all pastors need to learn to do with love and grace. Sadly, Bible school doesn't teach this; only practical experience can.
Eventually Tom decided to pursue credentials in The Church of God, transferred in, and now pastor's Northstar Church in Tumwater, WA. Pastor Tom currently holds the credentials of Ordained Bishop in the Church of God. In his time at Northstar, the learning process hasn't slowed down, it's kicked into overdrive.
Church health experts will tell you that when a new pastor arrives at a church, it will immediately reset and begin to go through the initial stages of church growth. The first stage is The Honeymoon. For Tom, the first month was about all the honeymoon there was. Immediately there was a sense by some that Tom was not going to do things like the previous pastor did, so the church quickly found itself in the next phase: The Storm. This is when people who aren't on board with the new pastor either leave or stay and make trouble. If that phase wasn't bad enough, in 2020 churches were pressured to shut down due to COVID restrictions. And while Tom reopened the church very quickly in resistance to those restrictions, nevertheless this was a difficult period to navigate during the Storm Stage.
But the challenges didn't end there. Due to the Storm, the church saw sudden decline as people who were not on board moved on and often created conflict on their way out. Pastor Tom calls this "leaving and tossing grenades behind you". While the reduction actually created more overall emotional and spiritual health in the church, it was tough on the finances. It was during this time, tragedy struck the church on several occasions. One of the associate pastors died suddenly, a key couple in the church were murdered which rocked the church to its core, and a schism developed surrounding a Jezebel Spirit at work in the region. Needless to say, there were days when one wondered if the church would survive these challenges. This is a story of a church that's been under constant attack and criticism due to the stances it's taken. In fact, it's too much to describe here.
Fast forward to today and Northstar finds itself in the next stage: The Norm. Or maybe better put: The New Norm. This is when the majority of the church is on board with the pastor's vision and mostly swimming in the same direction setting us up for the next stage: Performing. Due in large part to the lessons Tom has learned about navigating leadership challenges, it is believed the church is entering into this phase of ministry: Performing. The church is growing, more optimistic, and more peaceful. Many challenges still remain, but Pastor Tom would be the first to tell you that God is in control. If you will remain faithful and keep working on your character, God will never leave you or forsake you.
It is for this reason that in the past couple of years, God's given Pastor Tom a more clear mandate to speak the truth to this wayward and confused generation no matter the consequences or opposition. Too many churches have gone the woke route, afraid to speak the truth for fear of becoming unpopular. Pastor Tom realizes speaking truth may mean less popularity and perhaps even a smaller church. Nevertheless, he fearlessly preaches the Word of God because God's truth trumps all other considerations. And in the end, he believes people will be drawn to the truth of God's Word because the Bible declares that God does the drawing to Himself. In a world full of compromise, you will hopefully find this dedication to the truth of God's perfect Word refreshing and necessary. This is why Pastor Tom says "If you're looking for a good show, we might not be the church you're looking for. But if you're looking for uncompromising truth, fearless preaching, and transformative worship, we might be the church for you."
Tom will be the first to tell you he doesn't know it all. But he's gone through most of what you have gone through in ministry and managed to come out on the other side with God's grace and help. His heart is to encourage and he wants to be a blessing to you if you could use any advice of mentoring. Pastoring is the hardest thing you will ever do. Don't go it alone.
Contact Tom at email@example.com
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