Hey Y'all!

It took me awhile to get here, but alas I'm finally joining the blogosphere of bloviation. It took a rant floating around in my head to send me toward this journey, but so be it. We'll have some fun here too. I promise. Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to leave me a comment or two. ~ diane

Monday, June 28, 2010

Well Done, Good & Faithful Servant

Yesterday we had the privilege of helping celebrate the retirement of a beloved pastor and friend, Tom Tyndall. After 40 years of ministry, Tom is turning a new page in his life and leaving his present position as associate pastor of our church, Cross Point Community, in Nashville.

To know Tom Tyndall is to love him. We first met the white-haired reverend when we joined CP about six years ago. He was the third staff member hired by Pete Wilson, our pastor, as they launched this amazing church. God couldn't have put together a better team - the wise, elder pastor with 30-something years of experience and a heart for people the size of his beloved Florida . . . and the young, energetic church planter, burning with ideas for a new way to "do church." This odd couple formed the perfect compliment, and now - four campuses later - CP is a thriving community of believers spread across the greater Nashville area.

In his remarks yesterday, Tom reflected on his past history in the ministry. He said he's done it all - "high church, low church, and no church" (the last, referencing a church with just seven members which he "grew to five" before he left!) We enjoyed a hilarious video that included pictures of Tom in his "high church" regalia, including the black robes of his days in the Presbyterian persuasion - a far cry from his more recent laid-back blue jean era at CP! Also included were pictures of the family he loves so much - kids and grandkids - and the love of his life, his beautiful wife Betty.

Some pastors are great preachers and orators. Others are phenomenal Bible scholars and teachers. Some are highly gifted in areas of administration and leadership. Still others have hearts burdened for the lost, their calendars filled with overseas missions trips. The best pastors have a combination of all of the above - and one more. In my own personal opinion, the defining characteristic of a great pastor is that of shepherd. One who loves and nurtures the flock. To me, Tom Tyndall is a perfect example of what Jesus intended when He instructed Peter to "tend my sheep" (John 21:17). Tom would quickly brush off any such praise using his trademark quirky sense of humor. But that's just because he's also extremely humble. He has tended us well, and we are forever changed because of him.

Two years ago I was in Tulsa at the beside of my mother who was dying. That week, I received  numerous calls from Tom checking up on me, praying for my mother and my family, and offering such profound comfort across the miles. For those closer to home, over and over I've heard about the countless times Tom was the first one to the ER or surgery waiting rooms - sometimes even before family arrived - when someone was in need. He's been there - "Jesus with skin on" - in the darkest hours, ministering with kind compassion and heartfelt prayers.

At the risk of a post so long, only the die-hards would ever finish it, I'll conclude by saying it's been a privilege to be a member of Tom's "flock" these past few years. Tom and Betty, Ken and I wish you nothing but happiness as you start this new chapter in your lives. We wish you continued good health as you enjoy well-earned time with your family and your trains, a chance to travel and speak . . . But more than anything, we wish you God's richest blessings as you have so richly blessed all who have known you - including us!

Au revoir, arrivederci, hasta la vista, and of course - LATER GATOR!!!

1 comment:

  1. A beautiful tribute to a man of God.
    I wish I could have come to your mother's funeral. Just reading about it brings back lovely but sad memories.
    I found your Pete Wilson's book at Border's here in Albuquerque yesterday and will start it today.