#19: Tom Ricks.
Tom is the lead pastor of Greentree Community Church. GTC planted Riverside in November of 2001. I came to work for Riverside (then Greentree Webster Groves) in December of 2002, and as the only full time staff member Tom was my supervisor. In September of 2003 Scott Sauls was hired to lead Riverside. The 3 of us had a conversation, and Tom encouraged me in that meeting. He said when I feel pressured I go maverick (not Tom Cruise, but ‘alone’… maybe he meant Tom Cruise, but I think he meant I go alone sometimes) and that that isn’t healthy.
Today I caught myself going maverick. I thought of Tom and was thankful for his careful but incisive words.
A few years later I was really struggling with something and asked Tom’s advice. In the midst of the conversation he said that a pastor’s role is to first care for the spiritual well being of the person in front of him – if that is not his first concern then he has a real problem. This could easily be applied to anyone professing to know Jesus 🙂 but that is another blog post.
His advice encourages me on some days and haunts me on others. I am excited to grow; I assume I will continue to blow it some days and not on others. Thanks Tom.