A Chance to Say Thank You

June 19, 2020 | Written by PRC Staff

Without a doubt, the Thompson family has made a deep and lasting impression on Pulpit Rock Church. For 13 years, Thomas has lead us with transparency, authenticity, and humility. It’s been a beautiful time for our church.

We are who we are largely because of Thomas’ strong leadership, vision and commitment to following Jesus with his whole heart.

Now is your chance to say thank you. 

Comment below with a note of appreciation for Thomas or to let him know how his time leading Pulpit Rock Church has impacted you.

(If you’d prefer to hand write a note, there will be post cards available at all locations on Sunday morning.)

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Comments

37 thoughts on “A Chance to Say Thank You”

  1. Thomas, the time I’ve spent under your leadership, both as an attendee and an employee, has been literally life changing. You have helped redefine for me what church can be … a safe place to make mistakes, grow, learn and change. You’ve created a culture of acceptance and unconditional love at Pulpit Rock that has not been my experience with churches before. And you’ve helped me break down some of the spiritual boxes that I’ve found myself stuck in throughout my life. Thank you for your leadership. Thank you for your willingness to be vulnerable. Thank you for the last 11 years.

    Reply
  2. Thomas and Jessica

    Words are obviously going to fail to express how much you’ve meant to all of us and to me in particular. I’ve had the tremendous privilege to experience you as friends as well as pastor/leaders. And that friendship continues… and continues to be a source of joy and life. So I’m not going to write about that.

    Instead I’m going to write about your ministry. The story of what God has done through you both is written on your arms. Literally.

    Beauty will save the world.
    Free People Free People.

    Those tattoos are more than slogans. They have been your legacy.

    Beauty – You have always been a couple that “lights a candle” more than you “curse the darkness.” And one of your lasting legacies in Pulpit Rock and this city is you have drawn our eyes to the beauty of the full gospel. And you have helped each of us fall in love with the beauty of Jesus again and again. To help us recognize the only real, true beauty in this world is an immeasurable gift.

    Free people – You have fought for our freedom from religion but equally important, the 2 of you have fought to live freely with your savior. And you have welcomed us into your fight to be free people. As front row observers we’ve learned so much from your quest for freedom that we have been freed in the process. To lead us to God in a way that doesn’t create chains and burdens is an immeasurable gift.

    The truth is that your ministry to all of us has been the sort of gift that is so expansive it makes no sense to measure it. It only makes sense to enjoy it.

    We are tremendously thankful for both of you. And we pray that you may continue to chase the saving beauty of Jesus Christ. May you live fully free. And may you continue to be catch others up in that freedom.

    Jonathan

    Reply
  3. Thomas, we will miss your sermons. Thank you for all of the years of service to this community, and all the inspired messages that have led us forward individually and corporately. Even if it did include an accidental baptism as one of your sermon illustrations for Becky and me! 🙂 Nonetheless, your style of humor and your willingness to be vulnerable and real from up front encouraged us to be honest and open ourselves. We never felt that you were “above” us – just one of us that was gifted to lead and able to participate.
    We pray that this next chapter in your life brings greater fulfillment as you continue to seek and maintain our Lord’s path for you. As you do, I know that God will continue to bless you and your family through the trials of life. Just remember, when life puts the squeeze on you, pay close attention to where the pressure is relieved. There could be unintended consequences! 😉

    Reply
  4. Thomas,
    I remember waaaay back to your first couple of Sunday’s at PRC, and realizing. “WHOA! I remember the message even after I walk out the doors of the church!” This was a first for me…someone who was practically born in the church nursery. Thank you for leading during the tough times and the less tough times. Thank you for being a part of the team that kept PRC from stagnating. Thank you for sharing your boys with my sons – they are ‘real’ and able to walk though the challenges of teenager-ness with my Jay! More recently, THANK YOU for sharing the Examen Prayer!! This has been life changing!
    Rich blessings to the whole Thompson family in this new adventure!
    Julie Arbuckle

    Reply
  5. Thomas,

    We have appreciated your leadership here at Pulpit Rock–your honesty and vulnerability about your own spiritual walk have encouraged our own. It seems unusual for a senior pastor to model that; it takes such wisdom and courage. We are grateful for the impact that has had on our lives, and so many others both here and around the world. =)

    Thank you for your faithful following of Jesus.

    Becky and Bob Tillman

    Reply
  6. Thomas and Jessica and family:

    I was first introduced to your preaching at FBCBF… I made a commitment that day to a deeper walk with my already so faithful Jesus. One thing I will always hold dear about you especially Thomas is your ability to look someone in the eyes and truly ask and want to know how they are doing. You did that for Bob and I on many occasions and have since done that for me. Your teaching has led me to spiritual growth by leaps and bounds… I always knew my Savior was faithful to me and the God worth following… you however have increased my ability to do that through grief and loss. Your willingness to accept me and love me as I grew has changed me profoundly. Thank you for leading in such a way that encouraged me to be messy and vulnerable. The Lord has used you to help heal my spirit and gave me a new perspective for “church.” A great perspective!

    Thank you for leading by example… thank you to your family.

    Cheryl Collins

    Reply
  7. Thomas, thanks so much for your faithful service, honesty, transparent humility, humor, hope-infused messages, and for putting us all at ease. I feel I have grown and flourished under your leadership. I could tell how much you really cared about all of us, even when you accidentally “baptized” us with water in the student center, lol! Hey, we got free COS I Love You SWAG! It was fun to sit in the front row every week.

    Jessica, you are a beast! You put in the hours for your business, your family, and watch out for Thomas all while being incredibly fun-loving and free. Thanks for supporting Thomas and being real with all of us regarding the pressure you felt as a pastor’s wife. I hope I didn’t ever make you feel judged.

    Same for all of you amazing “kids”. Thanks for letting us all be so incredibly nosy and interested in everything you do. I know “Aunt Karla” can be a bit much for my kids, but you are always so gracious and kind to her. You each inspired me in different ways. I wish you all the best in your future and look forward to hearing what you are up to occasionally.

    Reply
  8. The Paradoxes of Servant Leadership
    Poem by Brewer

    Strong enough to be weak
    Successful enough to fail
    Busy enough to make time
    Wise enough to say “I don’t know”
    Serious enough to laugh
    Rich enough to be poor
    Right enough to say “I’m wrong”
    Compassionate enough to discipline
    Mature enough to be childlike
    Important enough to be last
    Planned enough to be spontaneous
    Controlled enough to be flexible
    Free enough to endure captivity
    Knowledgeable enough to ask questions
    Loving enough to be angry
    Great enough to be anonymous
    Responsible enough to play
    Assured enough to be rejected
    Victorious enough to lose
    Industrious enough to relax

    Leading enough to serve

    Thank you for serving the Pulpit Rock community well

    Reply
  9. Hi Thomas and Jessica,
    About 5 years ago we started attending PRC. We came because a fellow international sojourner from a Wed am group shared how he had found a church which stimulated his life with Christ. That was an unusual report amongst us. Kay and I were bored with “over easy” sermons and performance-based worship music in the church we attended. You were preaching from Ecclesiastes. Stimulating sermons which encouraged, convicted, stimulated and refreshed my soul. Thank you for digging deep into the Word, yet making it practical for living out one’s life as a Christ follower. The use of multiple mediums in the Phil 4:8 series left it’s marks on my soul and life.

    Jessica, thank you for being authentic when you participated in sharing the Word on Sunday am. Your sharing was real and humble, even if it was a bit uncomfortable for you and Thomas. It gave candid glimpses into your lives as a couple.

    Thanks for taking the next step of obedience in your journey with Christ. This step will impact both of you. It will be different, not being a pastoral role, but probably more fulfilling as you rub shoulders with others in their world Monday-Friday. It will bring new challenges, but those will refresh your relationship with a faithful and creative God. Blessings.

    Reply
  10. Thompson family,
    Deb and I can point to all kinds of examples of your family’s influence in our lives. What stand out are the little things. Thomas, remember when you shared that Jessica asked if you wanted a parade after you did the dishes? Ever since that day, Deb and I have a joke after we do something to help the family. We’ll point out what we did and then ask for a little parade. In fact, sometimes one of us will actually do an improptu parade right there. Your vulnerability about your marriage, about parenting, and about your spiritual journey has meant so much to us. I can only imagine the ways God has used all of you to bring healing in the lives of the people at PRC just because of your willingness to be honest. And healing would never come if you never made time to connect. All of you, kids included, are so good at lingering with people. Some of my best memories have been standing outside the sanctuary after church and getting a chance to talk to one of the Thompsons. People love to linger at PRC, and that has largely been fostered by you guys, a family who knows what it means to stay in the moment and love people well. Finally, it’s one thing to foster honesty and spiritual strength in adults, but quite another to do it in the lives of kids. I can still see our sons, David and Gus, looking through all the pictures of kids in Haiti who needed a sponsor. They prayed, talked to their parents, talked to each other, and found a young man they felt God wanted them to sponsor. That week in Haiti, Thomas was very intentional about speaking to the kids in our group. When something happened that might be frightening for the kids or overwhelming, Thomas addressed it, even squatting down low at eye level to talk to them. Then, on that last night, it all clicked and our sons were looking for a kid to love. We are so thankful for the Thompsons. Everything we love about all of you are the glimpses and tastes of Jesus we’ve had as we’ve spent time under your leadership at PRC. He loved kids, He lingered with people, and he told honest stories that changed lives. Your family is beautiful to us in so many ways, and we will miss you more than you know.

    Reply
    • Erin, such beautiful words. That Haiti trip will always be special for many reasons, and getting “lingering” time with you guys was one of them. And yes, sometimes we should have parades! 🙂

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    • Erin, we feel just the same about you and your entire family. You loved us so well. You love others well. Thank you for being the light you are in this world. We are grateful to witness it first hand!

      Reply
  11. Thomas, we have really appreciated your thoughtful and uplifting sermons, sharing your insights, and always challenging each of us to grow in our walk with Christ. May God richly bless you and your family as you continue on to a new chapter in your ministry. Thank you so much! We hope to hear your transparent from-the-heart messages again from time to time.

    Ron and Daisy

    Reply
  12. Thomas,
    Thanks so much for your leadership at PRC for over a decade. We’ve appreciated your preaching through books of the Bible to help us understand the context and deeper meanings that would otherwise be missed. And the willingness to share examples from your own life and family helped bring lessons down to a more personal and practical level. Thank you! May God guide, bless and use you in this new chapter on your journey with Christ.

    Grace and Peace,
    Leon & Janet Neumann

    Reply
  13. Dear Thomas,
    Corporate culture comes from the top.
    It seems to me that Pulpit Rock culture comes from Jesus.
    You led in accomplishing that by not making yourself the top, that is, by publicly demonstrating that Jesus Christ is the top, the head of your life and the head of Pulpit Rock.

    Sitting under your personally vulnerable leadership gave me an example to follow.
    The result in my life is healing I didn’t know I needed as I submitted to Christ’s leadership parts of my life that I didn’t realize I was holding back from him.

    Thank you for being real. May God continue to bless you and your family
    Donah Grassman

    Reply
  14. Dear Thomas, We have benefited from your godly leadership and Spirit-led teaching. Your humor has been an added gift! We have been glad that you have led us into serving our neighbors in the Springs and in Mexico and around the world through the organizations with which we partner. We have been greatly encouraged by your humility in sharing your personal life lessons from the pulpit.
    Thank you for how you have partnered with the elders and created a team pulling in the same direction. Thank you for your friendship and for pouring into us in so many ways. We miss you and want to stay connected as you move into this next phase of ministry.

    Reply
    • Brian and Lisa–thank you. So enjoyed our “long obedience in the same direction” together. You two are great models of faith to me.

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  15. Well, Thomas…you may be leaving your pastoral position at PRC, but you will still be one of my teachers. Your words, copied by my pen, are written all over the margins of my bible. I come across passages all the time with a note, a date, and the initials “TT”. You will keep teaching me out of God’s Word for years to come.

    And most of these “TT” margin notes are found within the gospels. I love that! I love that you go straight to the source…to God Himself in the Person of Jesus, to bring light, life and clarity to me, and to all of us who have listened to your teaching over these blessed years of your pastoral care.

    So…let me just share a couple of those notable insights that are inscribed for me.
    Luke 15: Early in the chapter, the tax collectors and sinners are gathered around Jesus, while the scribes and Pharisees are grumbling about Him. You showed me (in 2012) that while Jesus never sinned, never said sin was okay, that sinners still WANTED to be around Him. What a concept…totally new to me…it is okay to be “in the world”? Jesus was. Yet, He never was worldly. This got me thinking: Can I truly be IN the world and still be not OF the world? Later in the chapter (in 2015), you taught me to be wary of too much separateness from the world. In the story of the prodigal son and his brother, you asked me to examine the “bent” of my heart: am I protecting that which is “mine”? Or is my heart like Jesus’, willing to love and share with sinners the exact same love and grace the Father has given me?
    Mark 7: So much talk of Jesus and His unwashed hands. Yet, in 2019, you showed me that Jesus did not hide behind rules. He got involved with those who needed Him, even those who were “unclean”. You asked me to examine my own heart: Am I keeping my hands clean at the expense of helping when called? You taught me to live “sent”. And that is the lesson I still am trying to learn. I want to hear His call above the din of my own demands for order and cleanliness and respectability. I did not know until you showed me. But yes, I want to live “sent”.
    Jeremiah 29: Then, we go back to the Old Testament for a real eye-opener: God has not changed. YOU showed me that when you pointed out that He even told the Israelites to live “sent” when He allowed their captivity in Babylon. Three times you have opened these verses to me in Jeremiah 29, where God tells Israel how they must live as part of the community of their captors. Eating with them, living in their neighborhoods, marrying and raising kids with them, praying for their welfare. Who does that? Who prays for the victor when the one praying is the one defeated? I guess I must…that’s what the Word of God admonishes. And He says all that BEFORE He says, “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” But, Thomas, I never noticed those preceding instructions before you pointed them out. Thank you.

    Thank you for all you’ve taught me. Thank you for appearing in my margin so often…with thoughts that always give me pause to see God’s word with a TT twist…and a smile.
    So Thomas…go now into the world. Be in it, not of it. And show the world Who our God is.
    Sent,
    Nicci

    Reply
  16. Thomas, Your excellent messages with your unique insights have, at times, encouraged me and at other times challenged me in different areas. I have appreciated your vulnerability in sharing some of your own faults, showing that you struggle along with the rest of us at times. I have looked forward to your messages each Sunday. Thank you for enriching my life through your unique way of using your gift of teaching.
    Helen

    Reply

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