Former NBA player and two time Championship star with the Los Angeles Lakers, also deemed “America’s Champion for Change” by Tedx, Pastor Billy Thompson, shares with SW on his passion for helping people bring forth their own inner champion.
Our Dreams Change our World: Birthing a dream requires a lot of faith and belief in knowing what obtaining that dream could bring you. The goal was always my focus; knowing what it would bring me if I accomplished it. What would it add to my life? I put in a lot of hard hours, practice, and studying. For example, my dream of becoming a professional basketball player; I had to put in a lot work, there were setbacks, and injuries, and like any other dream, many things that I still had to overcome, in that moment, to still reach that dream. To give birth to a dream, doesn’t just happen, it requires work, and a great support system. I realized that I needed people like my parents, my mom would drive me around, what they call the soccer mom today, they would guide and support me and help me reach my goal of becoming a star basketball player. They helped me to fulfill that dream.
The NOW generation: Many people call our youth the next generation, but they are the now generation, although they are our future because they are younger, they are very much a part of our culture and society— the fact is, that tomorrow is not promised—so what can we do for our youth now? What can we do for our elderly now? I’m passionate about pouring into them, because we can have a stronger society when we have people who are built up.
Through the Billy Thompson Foundation, we have a summer program called School of the Gifts, where again, kids have certain inclinations. The Bible says to train up a child in the way that he should go, that in the latter day he will not depart from it, we know it means scripture, but yet some kids right out of the womb, have a desire for medical things, or numbers and they wind up being accountants, so we try and channel that in the summer programs,while they are young. We begin at ages 11 and up, but we are now looking to start earlier, because we are noticing some of these same inclinations at ages 3 and 4 and we now want to begin doing this same thing with them at an earlier age.
Activist for Persecuted Christians We are not just a church in Boca Raton, we are a part of the larger body of Christ, so we are not separate from the sufferings of our brothers and sisters around the world. So as a Pastor, what I am doing is putting out a clarion call to all pastors to be more mindful of the global persecution that is occurring, and admonishing that we petition our government officials, support different rallies and even send our money. To help by raising our voices especially to our own government to put pressure on the leaders of the regions where these atrocities are taking place. A lot of American churches really don’t know the severity of the persecution that is taking place, and its almost systematic where the devil is targeting Christians, not only through ISIS but also through separate governments in places like China and South Korea these places are all coming under greater persecution. So, I see the need that we need to speak up and I am pushing with different organizations to get the word out. It is happening here subtly, we see government, for example trying to force bakeries to bake wedding cakes for same-sex couples, and if that is not what you believe you should not be forced to have to do that. We should be able to agree to disagree. Unfortunately, we are not having that right anymore and our amendment right is being violated, there is a sound of the trumpet going forth and I am trying to add my voice to that and calling others to do the same. Voice of the Martyrs, Persecuted.com and the Samaritan Purse, these organizations are all doing a lot of great things.
Don’t give up on your dreams, because God gave you those dreams! Don’t be afraid to stand for what you believe in, or to speak up against injustices against others. The Bible says “Cry aloud and spare not!”
The love of God —His compassion— must push us to take a stand.