For Father’s Day this year, we’re highlighting the inspiring Dads we know through His Way in both Huntsville and Atlanta. We’ll hear from current residents and their fathers, a His Way graduate, a volunteer, and a member of leadership! Help us celebrate these amazing Fathers who are setting examples for the rest of us in parenthood, redemption, and love.
Today, we have the privilege of sharing Tom & Andrew Reynold’s insights about fatherhood and about how they share a passion for ministry!
From the Perspective of Tom Reynolds, Director of Ministry and Chairman of the Board
Having grown up in a traditional intact middle-class family in Tacoma, Washington, I valued that foundational family experience. My Dad, who I highly admired as a wise, principled, and ethical man, was also a functional alcoholic during my growing up years. This left a painful void in my life because while I admired him, his drinking kept him very aloof and disengaged. So, while admiring him, I found it impossible to connect with him.
When I became a Christian in college, I took a path into campus ministry that was very different from my family of origin. Always distanced from my family, I raised my family under the influence of Christians in the church. While maintaining a structured, traditional family, I let the demands of church ministry pull me away from family life.
Training His Kids in the Way They Should Go
However, I did include the kids in ministry as our family lifestyle. From an early age, they understood their support role in ministry. While their parents ministered to adults, they would serve those adult’s kids through kindness, sharing, and play. It was a training ground for them to experience the lifestyle of Christian ministry.
In ministry, I realized I had the unique privilege of training my kids as their preacher. I felt the burden to live a consistent life publicly and privately. As the kids grew, I took on the typical fatherly involvement.
I coached my daughter’s high school basketball teams, taught in their school, and actively supported Andrew in his interest in golf. I played with him, supported his instruction, and attended most of his practices and matches. Andrew and I developed a very close bond through sports. Most of our conversations had to do with golf or football.
I have enjoyed watching Andrew grow into adulthood. He has always been a person I truly admire. I loved his selection of a wife and truly think of Amanda as another daughter.
Despite our very active ministry and personal schedules, I have striven to stay connected to Andrew’s two daughters. Andrew and I have remained close. We have maintained a weekly lunch appointment for years and talk on the phone almost daily.
Watching His Son Become a Dad and Grow in Ministry
Andrew has been connected with His Way since the beginning through me. He was one of our founding employees at The Saving Way thrift store. Many still assume he is an employee based on the amount of time he spends searching for bargains from store to store.
While having an interest in His Way through me, we would discuss the details of the challenges of ministering to the men. He eventually chose his own path of ministry at His Way through mentoring. He originally chose to get involved through weekly exercise classes with the residents. This grew into more of a one-on-one mentoring relationship that developed into a Wednesday night coffee fellowship.
When COVID struck and we could no longer take the men to a local church, Andrew stepped up with the partnership of Matt Reynolds to start Table Talk at His Way on Wednesdays. The idea of it was to bring the coffee fellowship to the entire group. This ministry has grown tremendously into a full mentoring fellowship. Andrew has successfully implemented a dream of ours by recruiting Christian men from many different churches to come regularly and connect closely with our men. This has become the foundation for our mentoring ministry for every resident.
Andrew has gotten so involved that most of the residents at His Way have become his dear friends. He brings our granddaughters out regularly to interact with our guys. They have come to adore the men and be adored by the men as well.
While many might question the wisdom of his young girls being around such an influence, his upbringing of ministry involvement has led him to practice the same with his family. There is certainly risk in loving, engaged ministry, but there is a greater risk in the safety of developing a hard, protected heart for those desperate for the gospel.
Andrew’s passion for the hurting has led him and his family to active leadership in a church for the homeless that meets at 2820 Governor’s Drive. He has become a vital connection for the homeless to find Christ through addiction recovery ministry at His Way and creating a path of ministry for the His Way residents at the church at 2820. Many have found opportunities to preach, serve, encourage, and lead through this ministry.
Andrew and I still meet weekly for lunch and talk nearly every day on the phone, but now we seldom discuss sports or meet for golf because our time is consumed with discussions about and efforts to best serve the men at His Way. It has become his heart’s passion and his life purpose to bring the healing gospel to the hurting. And I believe through his example, it will become our granddaughter’s as well.
It is a joy to see the legacy of Christ-centered ministry continue!
From the Perspective of Andrew Reynolds, Tom’s Son
One of the biggest things my dad taught me was how to minister to people. He taught me through his example and put me in uncomfortable situations to learn. He did not force me in any direction but showed me how impactful ministry can be by the way he lived.
I have learned that this mindset is the best way to mentor men in addiction and also how to raise my own kids. It allows for people to grow and mature on their own. If you hold their hand and try to guide them in one direction, they won’t know how to make decisions when you aren’t by their side. I’m trying to raise children who can choose for themselves what they want in life and show them through the ministry I am involved in.