Bro. Thom Wolf
The man just totally rocks. TOTALLY ROCKS. And he doesn’t have a web site. Nor has he written a book, although others have written about him and lifted his stuff for their own books.
I would like to offer this humble fan post as a marker for Bro. Thom, until he gets a decent web site up with links to all his incredible teachings over the past 30 40 years. There is no good reason for this post – it is not Thom’s birthday, nor is he dead. But my gratitude for him is so great that this blog post burns like fire in my bones and i cannot rest until i at least start it.
– Bro. Thom is my teacher
– I first heard Thom Wolf back in 1984. When i was studying at West Australian Bible College, the teacher played a tape of this guy called Thom Wolf who joked about his name, laughed out loud, seemed to actually ENJOY being a pastor of this church called The Church on Brady. That tape inspired me – i knew it was possible to be a minister AND be a human being who could laugh and enjoy life. I wanted to be a minister like Thom Wolf.
– When i was studying at Fuller Seminary, I choose a class on church planting with Thom Wolf, in the hopes that it was the same man who inspired me with his laugh. It was
His class, co-taught with Carol Davis, was the best class I have ever taken at any school or seminary (i dropped out of quite a few of them).
I was hooked on Wolf. Big time!
He still pastored this incredible church, which he would later hand over to Erwin McManus who renamed it “Mosaic”. In fact, I was there when the transition was taking place. I joined the church and met some fantastic people who had come under the influence of Thom and his wife Linda. Many of them now live in India and around the world.
Thom shifted his teaching to San Francisco and I moved up to that city at the same time. For the next few years, Thom and I drank a lot of coffee together in our favorite city. And we gave tours of the city to ministry leaders and students. – he still lived in LA but travelled up to SF each week. Sometimes he would stay with us. When my daughter Abigail was born, Thom was crashing on our couch.
Derek Chapman, our prophet and friend, came to California to study under Bro. Thom – which is how we hooked up and have spent these years with each other.
Thom has a naughty side. A “mischevious” side. I have seen him do crazy stunts in his car that were not be-fitting a boring Seminary professor. But then he was not a boring Seminary professor. Thats why i liked him.
My wife remembers Thom as the guy who turned the car around and drove all the way back to pick up a shoe on the road. I remember him driving down that windy road in San Francisco, radio blaring loud and all windows down, tires screeching and Bro. Thom smiling from ear to ear as the Japanese tourists snapped pictures. Thats Thom. He really does enjoy life.
My Czech friend Sasa remembers him as the missionary who cried in our living room. He cried as he opened his Bible and began to talk about Jesus. Huge tears. And he just carried on as if it was normal.
Much of my teaching flows from his. My Tree By the River movement (taught in Japan and England) is based on his Universal Disciple. (posted by Geoff Westlake, another fan)
My PHAT teaching on apostolic pattern of ministry was totally taken from Thom. Except the name, of course.
My methods of Bible study with others was influenced by his 7 questions.
I chatted with David Garrison a few months back – the author of “Church Planting Movements”- and he shared how he also sat under Bro. Thom and learned so much.
Thom and Linda are now overseas. Based in India. Still going strong. Still influencing thousands of people.
I dont see them nearly as much as i used to do. The last time was in Prague.
I have much more to say about Thom Wolf and will need to come back here to write down my thoughts.
Have you also met him?