As many of you know, Tom Brown entered into the presence of Jesus on Monday morning this week.  Tom and Ruth have been a part of Green Pond Bible Chapel virtually since its inception. I have only been at GPBC since August of 2011, so I did not know Tom very well.  I did have a few precious memories walking with him.  He was gracious enough to take my children swimming several times during our first summer here (brave man!).

I know Tom primarily through his legacy… and what a legacy!  Almost everyone whose been a part of GPBC for more than a few years can tell a story of Tom leading them in youth group, leading worship in song, serving as an elder, teaching the Bible at a retirement home, ministering to them, or coaching them.  

The evidence from their testimonies is clear: Tom was a faithful servant of Jesus Christ.  He not only verbalized the gospel, he lived it every day.  He was known as a man of integrity, passion for the Lord, and fidelity to Jesus and to his family.  He invested countless hours into ministry- especially youth ministry.  Many of the adults who now are an integral part of our church family were discipled by Tom.  He was respected in the community, and known to be a trustworthy man.

As I think about Tom’s life, I am convinced that we need more Tom Browns.  We need more men and women who, regardless of their vocation, view their primary calling as ministry for the sake of Jesus.  We need more men and women who don’t merely talk and sing about Jesus, but who live for him.  We need more men and women who don’t retreat from our communities, but rather seek to impact our communities for Jesus.  We need more men and women who live by faith.

When I think of Tom’s legacy I think of 1 Peter 2:16, “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.”  What does a person look like who has been changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ?  They look like the servant of God Tom Brown.  This is his legacy.  What will your legacy be?Image

Ryan serves as the Senior Pastor of Green Pond Bible Chapel in Rockaway, New Jersey. He is married with four children.

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