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Jul 18

Interview with Tom Adams, Part 1

2016 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Announcement

Earlier this month, we were pleased to announce that Tom Adams accepted our offer to serve as DSC’s new Minister to Youth and Families.

Tom and Gina were able to move here with time to join Nathan with the students at camp this week. We’re so grateful for the Lord’s answer to our prayers for this kind of timing. Nathan and the rest of those planting Christ Church begin meeting in their core team phase in August.

In the midst of a very busy week in transition from Chicago to Albuquerque, Tom was kind to answer a number of questions for what will be a two-part blog interview.

Part 1, below, explores Tom’s family, marriage to Gina, ministry background, and hopes for his time at DSC. Part 2 will explore some of the influences that have shaped his life. Part 2 will also reveal whether Tom knows what a Lobo is or not.

Before the interview, though, here’s a shot of Tom and Gina they took on the plane as they headed our way only last week.

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You’re not from Albuquerque, or even originally from the United States. Where are you from and why did you come to the states?

I come from near Birmingham city in England and I came to the US to attend seminary and learn the biblical languages so I could more faithfully preach God’s word.

Your father and brother are still in England. How are they doing? 

My family are doing fine, thanks. My Dad and identical twin brother (whose name is Tim) are back at home in England and though my dad has some health problems and may need a heart operation in the near future, he is still sharing the gospel and ministering the word to many, many people and teaches English to immigrants two days a week. Tim is working for Youth For Christ and is a journalist/writer.

You met your wife, Gina, on a boat. Why were you two on a boat?

We both served as missionaries on the gospel ship called “Logos Hope” with 400 other crew from 50 different nationalities. The ship went round the world, stopping in ports (roughly every 2 weeks we’d move on) and doing gospel ministry with local churches. Gina served as one of the cooks onboard before then becoming a trainer who equipped us crew to share our salvation testimony, do gospel-centered children’s programs, etc. Whereas I joined the ship as a teacher of the four teenage missionary kids onboard, I taught them Science, English, History, Physical Ed, Design and Tech.

We had a chance to meet Gina during your visit with us in May. She’s a marvelous lady. Tell us a funny story from the early stages of your relationship.

When Gina and I were allowed (on the ship one had to wait for 12 months before getting to know someone of the opposite gender better and to be able to spend time talking about marriage) we would sometimes watch a movie/tv show on a portable DVD player in my classroom on the top deck. After a few months of getting to know one another, in the middle of watching a film, with her eyes fixed on the screen, she wiped her mouth and then wiped her hand on my arm. I could scarcely believe this had just happened, and when I said, “What was that?” and explained what she’d just done, she had no recollection of it and proceeded to laugh hysterically for about 20 minutes.

How does she complement and strengthen you as a husband?

Gina complements me well by the fact that she helps me to be less blunt, and be more gracious as I interact with people. She helps me by being a fantastic organizer who finds joy in organizing. She also encourages me to be creative and play music, and to rest when I need to but don’t want to. Added to all this she encourages me to trust the Lord and not fret, she affirms my gifts and encourages me to use them whilst giving me the constructive criticism that I need. Most importantly she strengthens me by her faith in the Lord and how she willingly sits under my teaching in our family and submits to my leading of us, even as we walk together through the issues of life. She is simply a joyful person, who is this way because of what Jesus has done and thus is a joy to be married to.

You’ve worked with students in a variety of contexts over the years. Tell us about about how.

I have worked for a number of years with young people as a leader on a missionary camp in the UK and have at the same time always been involved as a lay leader in youth groups in various congregations where I led bible study, street evangelism and even once led sung worship with a band made up entirely of young people from our youth group. Professionally, I then became a high school Science teacher in the public school system in the UK where I taught young people aged from 11-18 years old. I am a biologist (my degree is in designing materials to be used in implants like hip replacements so the implant would be accepted by the human body) but I also taught Chemistry and Physics. I have taught young people the bible, led evangelism seminars, and with Gina led a talk on biblical marriage in different churches whilst at seminary. Lastly, I once taught for a weekend at a youth conference for a number of Chinese Churches on the Wrath of God.

How did you first find out about DSC?

Whilst we were seeking God’s will for a job since graduating, Gina kept a spreadsheet and searched The Gospel Coalition job list and came across DSC. After reading the job description and looking at the church’s website she was so excited she phoned me straight away from her work, and told me I should apply immediately. So I did just that.

You are coming to DSC as a Minister to Youth and Families. During your interview weekend, there was a real sense of unity among the elders and you on the importance of the church’s ministry to youth and to families. How did you arrive at this approach to youth ministry?

I came to this approach due to my understanding that scripture teaches that leaders in the church are to equip the saints for gospel ministry (Ephesians 4), and also specifically due to the influence and example of my parents who led a youth group at our church, did many VBS weeks (we call them “holiday clubs”) and both worked with young people from many different ethnic and religious backgrounds in many different contexts. They loved them, saw them as young people in need of a Saviour and cared for them as they shared the gospel and also then equipped them to minister to others once they had been born-again. My mom (who went to be with the Lord January this year) and dad saw God use their gospel witness to bring parents of our schoolmates to repentance and faith in Jesus, as well as many young people who came to faith in Christ. Indeed these people are still walking closely with the Lord today. They both saw their youth work as reaching young people with the gospel as well as their parents, and spent their spare time equipping and encouraging young people and their parents to be in God’s word continually and to live for God’s glory due to God’s overwhelming Grace to us in Christ Jesus.

What are you most looking forward to about serving DSC’s youth?

I am most looking forward to looking at and going through books of the Bible verse by verse together and thus delighting in the whole counsel of God.

Check back later for Part 2 of our interview with Tom.