Big Tom


"If service, in service; if teaching, in teaching." –Romans 12:7


Tom was not a good athlete, but loved sports. He could not dunk a basketball, but was a valuable member of the program. He could not spike a volleyball, but his impact on the team was greatly appreciated. Who was Big Tom? He was a servant and worked for buildings and grounds to prepare the gym before each contest.

In Romans 12, Paul lists spiritual gifts. One gift is out front where everyone can see and hear it. The other gift is behind the scenes and often goes unappreciated. Big Tom was a student worker who took his gift very seriously and made every effort to serve the Lord as he served our teams in Oklahoma. Each year teachers were awarded for their excellence in the classroom, but Big Tom went unnoticed.

God desires for us to honor others’ gifts. When we overlook or take for granted someone’s gift, we do not honor how God has allowed him or her to serve. People like Big Tom have always made an impression on me—so much that when our son died in 2001 and a scholarship fund was created, the first award winner was Tom Boustead for his service to the Kingdom. I believe God wants us to honor all people no matter how big or small their gift. I know the faithful at the small college in Oklahoma will never forget how Big Tom served the Lord and the campus. God certainly smiles on the Big Toms of the world.


1. Have you ever overlooked or looked down on someone who serves the Lord and did not recognize his or her gift as significant?
2. Why are all of God’s gifts so valuable to Him?
3. How can you honor someone whose gift is making a difference in your life?


Deuteronomy 28:47-48; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 12:24


Lord, help me serve others through the gifts You have given me and help me see and encourage others to use the gifts that You have placed in them. Amen.

Bible Reference: 
Romans 12