Mention the name Linda Hobson and two words immediately spring to mind – persistency and consistency.
She may be the daughter of senior pastor, James McConnell, yet the Metropolitan Tabernacle’s leading administrator has more than proven her worth to God’s work, having served the church and the Lord in her current position from as far back as 1981.
Yes, for over thirty years, it’s been Linda’s role to organise her dad’s daily duties, answer his emails and keep the books, something she has accomplished with no shortage of skill persistency and consistency.
Says Linda, “I believe the work at Whitewell is the work of the Lord and while it’s a demanding job that I take very seriously, it’s also one I love doing”.
She admits the biggest challenge she faces on a daily basis is handling her dad. “It’s all part of the job” she insists, with a large smile on her face.
Linda, who is married to musical director Norman Hobson, is also responsible for the daily care of the staff at the Tabernacle. She adds “From the first day I took the job I have always tried to deal fairly with the staff and to use wisdom in all matters. Serving God is not always easy. With the Tabernacle being such a large church we get many requests on a daily basis which requires wisdom before answering”.
Ably supported by Geraldine Higgins, who she describes as “my right arm”, Linda begins her day at 8.30am and works Monday to Friday in the office until 1.30pm. In addition to their daily tasks, both are responsible for the organisation of most of the major functions at the church.
Geraldine, who has also been employed in the office for well over 20 years herself, arrives around 9.00am each morning and has become a real blessing to Linda. “Geraldine always brings me a lovely cup of tea before we get down to the serious business of the day. I couldn’t do without her and I think we make a great team”, adds Linda. Her motto in life is to never give up, something she says she learned from her dad following a memorable incident way back in the 1980’s.
She explains “I recall we were holding a large province-wide rally at Windsor Park. All the money had been spent on advertising when suddenly we were informed that due to the Bradford City Fire no-one was allowed in the stands again. Then we were told we couldn’t put chairs on the pitch and the only logical conclusion was to cancel the event”.
What happened next was a life lesson Linda says she will never forget.
She explains “My dad refused to accept this and phoned officials and told them we would place the chairs in between the stands and the pitch, something which they surprisingly agreed to. In the end we even got to use the old stand. No fewer than 12,000 people showed up and it’s still one of our greatest ever outreaches for Christ”.
That one single incident taught Linda that she must never rule out the impossible and, having survived Cancer for over 12 years, Linda certainly knows all about overcoming the impossible.