|(Isabel, Sam, Lynn, Bobby, & Sara Thompson)|
“I look for three things when I’m looking for a staff member. The first is character. I want to know that this individual knows the Lord. I want to know that their knowledge of God has filtered down from their brain to their heart and changed the way that they think, which changes the way that they speak, which changes the way that they behave. What I found in Pastor Bobby was a man who is honest, a man who is loyal, a man who is faithful, a man who loves his God, a man who loves his wife, and a man who loves his children. That’s what I found—a man of character, and I loved him for it.
The second thing I look for is competence. I want to know that what he is asked to do he can do and that he can do it well. What I asked Pastor Bobby to do is one of the most difficult things to do in ministry. When you deal with people’s children or with their money, you’re never going to get it right. And that’s what I asked him to do—deal with people’s children, their teenagers.
It is a unique type of person that can identify with junior high and senior high kids, keep their sanity, teach them God’s Word, and deal with their parents. And Pastor Bobby has done that well. He is competent. You have been a joy in my life, and I have been sharpened by you.
The third thing I look for is chemistry—can they fit with me, and can they fit with Pastor Jerry? Can they fit with Pastor Pete and Stephen and Sean and Gerry Hill and Jared? Can they fit with Georgia? Can they fit with Gwen?
There are some people who can come in and it will disrupt the chemistry. It will disrupt what you have going on in the office. It could be their personality; it could be a lot of different things. Pastor Bobby, you added to the chemistry of our staff, and I love you for that.”
“When I first came to Faith Baptist a little over eight years ago, Pastor Bobby was in seminary. I heard stories about Pastor Bobby—how he was this marvelous young man. I got to know Bobby as he came on staff here at Faith. So my getting to know Bobby has been through our church life. I am thankful to God for the manner in which Bobby has been an example to me in a number of areas.
As I thought of Pastor Bobby, my thoughts went to a verse in Colossians 4 that describes a man named Tychicus. Verse 7 reads, “Tychicus, a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord.” Tychicus is mentioned five times in the New Testament. We don’t know a lot about him, but he was a trusted companion of the apostle Paul.
Pastor Bobby has been a Tychicus in my life. Every time Tychicus is mentioned in Scripture, it’s in a manner that proves his faithfulness, his loyalty, and his effective ministry. Colossians 4:7 lists three characteristics of Tychicus that I have observed also in Pastor Bobby.
Bobby has been a brother in the faith, a brother with whom we can share our joys, our trials, our ministry triumphs, and our ministry failures. I thank you, Bobby, for being such a great brother in the ministry.
“Faithful” means “to be certain, worthy to be believed, true, just, and trustworthy; one who is steadfast to one’s trust, word, and promises.” That sounds like Pastor Bobby to me. That’s what I think of Pastor Bobby.
The term “servant,” or “minister” is “one who willingly serves.” The root of that word talks about one who labors in the dust. This is talking about the “stuff” of ministry, that daily grinded-out side of ministry—when you’re up late, and you got to get up early the next morning, and you keep doing it again and again and again; when you’re working with people, just that “stuff” of ministry. And Bobby did this well. I thank the Lord for that.
As Tychicus was to Paul, so was Bobby to each of us on the staff. I thank you for that, Bobby.”
“I thought of two words. The first is “faithfulness.” You’ve been faithful to God for as long as I’ve known you. You’ve been faithful to your parents. You’ve been faithful to your wife, and God has blessed the two of you with three great kids that you’ve been faithful to as well. But you’ve also been faithful to this church—I don’t mean just as a staff member. You’ve been faithful to this church for as long as you’ve attended here. When you went off to college and seminary, you remained faithful to this church, and you also were faithful to the traditions of this church by faithfully attending church wherever you were. I want to thank you for being that man of faithfulness. You’ve been a good example.
Also when I think of you, I think of the word “adaptability.” Over the years that we’ve known each other, God has led you in many different directions. I think of that as having an open heart and an open ear to what God has for you.
Whenever God has changed your path, you’ve never been bitter about it, you’ve never been resentful about it. You’ve always kept that positive attitude. You’ve always looked for the next opportunity God had for your life. You’ve always trusted God to see you and your family through whatever life brings.
I thank you, my friend—and you’re also my brother. I thank you.”
What Impact has Pastor Bobby had on your life? What will you remember from his years as Youth Pastor at FBC? Share your thoughts with us below.