Introducing the Jubilee Team: Tom
In our mini-series about people taking up new roles within the church we have already introduced Wendy. Today it’s Tom’s turn. Tom has been appointed as our first ever Worship and Youth Pastor.
How did you become a Christian?
I grew up in a Christian home and went to a Baptist church from birth. I knew that Jesus was real but a lot of it was head knowledge. In my latter teens the Holy Spirit began to work on my heart, and I decided I wanted to follow Jesus and that I was going to commit myself to him. I was baptised at the age of 17 and a few years later whilst attending Spring Harvest I had an encounter with the Holy Spirit. A few months later someone at church prayed for me and I was filled with the Holy Spirit, from that moment on everything changed and my life took a completely different turn for the better.
Who is your favourite bible character and why?
Aside from the bizarre youth work techniques displayed by Elisha in 2 Kings 2:23-24 and Paul in Acts 20:8-12 I think that King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20:20-23 is an inspiring and challenging read for worshippers everywhere. Jehoshaphat was told that the battle belonged to the Lord and sent his singers ahead of the army to declare that the love of God endures forever. They stood firm and ‘As they began to sing and praise’ (v22) the battle was won.
What is your favourite Bible verse and why?
I love Romans 8:37-39. It comes at the end of a wonderful passage about our security being in Jesus and God’s everlasting love and comes to a great declarative crescendo of defiance that nothing can separate us from the love God has for us. It’s one of the passages in the Bible where I think you can really hear the writer’s (in this case Paul) passion and indignation against the things that would come against us and His absolute certainty in the love of God.
How do you keep an appropriate church/work/life balance?
Starting from a place of rest has been a key phrase that has been repeated a few times in the first month of my work. I started with a few days of rest between my previous job and this role and I have been encouraged by a few to continue in that; reading, worshipping and taking time to spend with friends and family who give life and restore me.
What are your hobbies?
I love reading and I have also written a couple of children’s books. I am currently working with an illustrator to bring one of these to life. My eldest daughter got a telescope for Christmas and we have very much enjoyed thinking about the solar system and God’s amazing creation!
What has been your favourite holiday destination so far and why?
Holidays all have different meanings. Several years ago we were privileged to go around the world for just over a month. The beach holidays were relaxing, seeing friends on the other side of the world was wonderful and being exposed to the cultural difference of the USA was fascinating. Our visit to Uluru was very special as we found out we were expecting our first child there, quite unexpectedly! I do love spending time away with family in this country and Tenby especially holds very fond memories and is a place I love to visit.
Who has had the most influence on your life and in what way?
Other than my family and close friends I would have to pin-point my youth workers growing up. This couple were a consistent part of teenage life and modelled youth work in such a relaxed way but never held back on the challenge. They were also very key in my development as a worship leader, tirelessly meeting for practises and giving me lifts to youth groups and worship evenings. Good youth work sticks with you!
If Jubilee Church had a pet what would it be and why?
A parrot?! – because it could go and tell others or a meerkat as they live in a community which looks out for one another, like a big family. Although I’m not sure they would work as a pet.
How do you see your role at Jubilee?
I’m really excited to grow the youth work and see the young people in this church start to live out the prophetic calls on their lives individually and corporately; being part of raising a generation who are courageous to share about what God is doing in their lives but also using the gifts God has given them to bless the church and others.
I’m also excited to be growing our worship family and the future of our sung worship. We are exploring and growing a ‘presence centred worship’; worshipping knowing that God will bless us with His presence, and we will see signs and wonders; miracles, gifts. We don’t come to meetings and gatherings in order to get something from God. We come to gather together as a group of believers to sing together, and to encourage and build one another in the faith in order to give glory and praises to God. It is an overflow of our hearts together as the church, but because God is gracious, a good father and by very definition is love, He meets with us and we encounter Him.
Thank you Tom. We are excited to see what God does in the church.