The intent of this blog series is to introduce our church to people serving in various ways throughout our church body, people you may know well or not so well, so as to give us all an opportunity to learn more about each other, learn from each other, and be mutually encouraged in God's gracious work through us, as instruments in His hands.
This month's volunteer being interviewed is Tom Dyba, who is one of our elders at 3RG:
The first time I walked into 3RG was December 9, 2001. I have been here every Sunday since then except when we were out of town or sick. I also missed once when we had a 'snow day'.
What are some of your favorites hobbies/things to do with your free time?
I am pretty much of a book-nerd. I read two types of books: either theological ones or "good" fiction.At the moment I am finishing New Covenant Theology and will likely start Tom Schreiner's New Testament Theology next. The Christian books I most often recommend are either The Life of God in the Soul of Man (Henry Scougal) or Knowing God (J.I. Packer). I usually try to read one of each type of book at the same time. I have recently read Hardy's Tess of the d'Urberville (probably the most depressing book ever) and am currently finishing Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath (which - compared to Tess - is pretty upbeat). I'm not sure what is next....maybe some short stories by Flannery O'Conner. My favorite author is Dostoevsky (thank you, Cam, for turning me onto him) but it is difficult to choose which of his three 'big books' I like the best....though probably it is The Idiot. Best 'feel-good' book of all time: To Kill a Mockingbird (Lee) or Pride & Prejudice (Austen).
How long have you been an elder at 3RG?
I honestly don't remember how long I've been an elder. I think my first time as an elder was from 2004 to 2007. I resigned and then after 2 or 3 years was asked to assume the eldership duties again. I think that would've been around 2010.
What is the greatest joy of serving as an elder in our church body?
My greatest joy does not necessarily have anything to do with being an elder; it revolves around being a member of Three Rivers Grace. I truly believe that Jesus is doing something special here among us and I have a deep-seated happiness to be a part of what Jesus is doing...it is exciting.
What is the most significant lesson you have learned through your service as a elder?
Tough question...but I believe the most significant lesson I have earned as an elder is a VERY personal one: I will confess that what the Bible refers to as "fear of man" as always been a struggle for me. As a life-long salesman, I've always wanted people to like me and I have been trained to say inoffensive things to folks. Now there is nothing wrong with those things per se, but when you fail to correct or admonish people because of a fear of offending them, then you are not being a very good elder (or Christian for that matter!). I trust I have learned.....or maybe I better say 'am learning' to overcome that.