As a typical Swiss of his time Thomas Bucher did a three year apprenticeship. In a local Christian Youth Group he got vision and perspective for his life.
After Bible seminary (TDS Aarau) he joined OM to work with Immigrants, first in London then in Italy and finally in Egypt (each placement for a year).
Thomas Bucher loves to be where the action is. He has often found himself in situations, sometimes quite untidy ones, where his skills in consolidating situations, growing and implementing vision and helping organisations to grow to the next level were well put to work.
Over the years the roles were many and often parallel. A selection: OM: COO and then National Director in Switzerland (18 years), OM Western European Director followed by associated European Director (9 years). Evangelical Alliance: Swiss National Board (10 years and 6 of those as chairman), European Evangelical Alliance board (2008-2012) and now General Secretary since September 2013. Tearfund: Board (11 years, 4 of those as chairman). He has also started various projects, one of the latest being Mission-Net, a European youth mobilisation event and movement.
As the chairman of a local Reformed church, he faces the opportunity of living in an area with 40% immigrants. Being exposed to grass root questions and also having the possibility to see issues from a European perspective gives him very practical insights.
Spiritual development is very dear to Thomas Bucher. He sees this as the foundation for character development and as the key for mastering life. He therefore sets aside regular times for spiritual formation and does make sure people in his sphere of influence are being helped to develop. One of his greatest joys is to see people thrive.
For his personal development he has two mentors.
He is a generalist and therefore reads a wide selection of book with topics like theology, missiology, leadership, people development, trends, biographies and so on. He is very interested in the general changes in society and their root causes.
A little channel he uses to pass on his insights are his e-mail signatures (renewed every 10 days). He is time and again surprised by encouraging feedback.
Further education has happened through attending specific courses over the years. He has generally preferred specific short courses in order to fulfil his interest of practical application.
Laying good foundations and setting good processes
Coming from an organisation with many pioneers he has developed a concern to make sure good foundations will be laid and the respective processes developed. All too often he has seen organisations (including the ones he served) not being able to grow to the next stage because they lacked the essentials to do so. This includes getting the right leaders in place which suit that stage of organisational development.
Thomas Bucher has lived a busy life but family has always been important to him. I is married and has four married children and two grandchildren. His children call me a dad who was present.