Haaaaave you met Tom?

TomFEvery so often I like to use the Refuge Blog to tell you a little about the people that keep Refuge doing what we do.  So we have this kinda strange dude who also goes by the name Tom, but since we have two Pastors named Tom at Refuge, I sometimes call him Raul. Anyway, I was thinking of one word to describe Tom. That’s a tough one, but the best word I can think of is “Groovy”. Yeah, Tom is kind of a throwback to the 70’s when Baretta was our favorite cop, we loved to hate JR, and Ponch and John came on right before The Love Boat which came on just before Fantasy Island. Remember those days? If I had to guess, (and it’s only a guess), if Tom has a favorite character in The Love Boat it’s probably Issac because he uses the phrase “out of sight”. Tom is quite “out of sight” but not just because he still watches reruns of Dallas. He’s “out of sight” because he’s mostly tucked away back in Kid’s Church on Sundays serving as Refuge’s Kidz4Christ pastor. Kids pastors often go unrecognized by people in the church who don’t have kids, so let me tell you a little about Raul…er…Pastor Tom Frontera.

Pastor Tom came to us having no pastoral experience a little more than 10 years ago. It wasn’t long after attending that he began to volunteer as a kid’s worker. After some time, it became obvious that Tom was quite good with children. He has an innate ability to relate to kids and communicate God’s truths on their level. This is a rare gift indeed. Eventually Tom completed Bible School classes and gave his life to the ministry. Tom now serves as our Kid’s Pastor. My own kids are part of his program and I love seeing them “get it” as a result of Pastor Tom’s tutelage.

One of the things I admire most about Tom is that he is fairly unflappable. Nothing seems to shake him. I can’t think of a time I’ve seen him angry and I’ve never seen him be unreasonable. This is an amazing character quality and one that uniquely qualifies him to work with kids…which as we all know requires a great deal of patience. I also love the fact that Tom is who he is and he isn’t about to change for anyone except God. On that front, I can say that I have seen immense personal growth and change as a result of becoming more dedicated to Christ. He’s still a radical of sorts…don’t get him started talking about his array of conspiracy theories for example. But that’s what makes him a unique personality. Tom is one of those guys you just enjoy being around. I’m excited to see what the Lord continues to bring about in Tom’s life. I’m sure there’s more change to come and I truly appreciate that sort of humility.

I’m proud to call Tom my friend and ministry brother. He’s a great addition to the Refuge Team. If you don’t have kids, please don’t keep Tom “out of sight”. Take some time at various Refuge events to get to know our Kid’s Pastor. Just don’t ask him about Area 51. Love you Tom. You’re an out of sight, groovy dude who I can’t imagine this ministry without.