Elder Spotlight | Bryon Thomas

Bryon & I sat down for tea in Woodstock while Dreams by Fleetwood Mac played in the background. This was my first time meeting Bryon, and so if you are in that same boat, let this serve as an introduction to one of our newly installed elders.

Bryon, who works in management for a construction machinery company, and his wife Anna, have been married for 14 years, and are raising 4 children, ranging between the ages of 12 and 3. Their family began attending Sojourn Church in the ‘early days’, leading anything from small groups, to children’s ministry, and even helping with the church finances for a few years.

I asked, “What brought you to Sojourn in the first place?”.

"I was tricked." Bryon said with a sarcastic grin. "While we were between churches, Anna met the Chambers through a common friend and invited them over for a play-date. They showed up with white chocolate covered Oreo's and an invitation to join them in their church-planting efforts."

Bryon said that he and Anna were first drawn to the church because of the people’s “relatability” and emphasis on how the Gospel informs all of life. What compelled them to stay through the ups and downs was for a chance at experiencing true church family. Bryon explained that he came from a family that struggled with unity, which has motivated him, not only in loving his own family unit, but also motivates him in his commitment to the local church. 

“Family can be beautiful. There are opportunities for support, healing, and sharing challenges together. But family is also often messy. There are relational issues, debates, and mistakes. Those things don't change who my family is, or that I love them. When I view the church as my family, I'll wade through the mess and enjoy the beautiful.”

And now, years later, he is stepping in to serve this church family as an elder. I asked him what part of ‘eldership’ he most looks forward to.

He explained that 3 of the main focuses of Sojourn’s elders are teaching, care, and organizational leadership. For Bryon, organizational leadership comes the most naturally to him, but God has given him a heart that wants to care for the people of Sojourn, and expressed that he was eager to become even more equipped in this area.

Finally, I asked “what is your desire for every member of Sojourn?”.

“So many words and thoughts are coming to mind, but the desire that stands out most is that they would have an active faith that exists beyond Sunday mornings. There are so many who struggle with faith, and I think one reason is that we rarely or never exercise it. Can you imagine a church with that sort of faith?”
Join me in praying for Bryon, and the other three elders (Brian, Joe, and Trent) as they shepherd our church in truth, love, and grace / committing themselves to God’s Word and prayer, seeking to honor God in all things / bearing with, suffering for, and keeping watch over the souls of this faith family.
Mitch Pinion
Director of Storytelling