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Episode 31: 3 Q’s You Must Ask Yourself Before Taking the Next Step

August 15, 2017

If your ambition is not aligned with your assignment, whatever you produce will be empty?! This is big.

Travis Gibson shares personal insights learned from being the youngest campus pastor at his church. He marks out the rules for reaping and sewing, and what major questions he asks when staring opportunity in the face.

IN THIS CONVERSATION YOU WILL DISCOVER DIMES, TRUTH BOMBS, AND SIDE HUSTLE TIPS WILL DROP FAST! FOR EXAMPLE:

  1. If your ambition is not aligned with your assignment, whatever you produce will be empty
  2. You will always reap more than you sow
  3. Be humble in your hustle
  4. Be patience and your drone will come in

EPISODE RESOURCES

GO DEEP INTO THE DIMES DROPPED, CONNECT WITH THE SPEAKER, AND CHECK OUT THE LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  1. https://www.instagram.com/explore/locations/387042088/
  2. https://www.facebook.com/rockchurchsanysidro
  3. http://www.sdrock.com/stories/travisgibson/

Episode Quotable

Grab your reading glasses and download the PDF here.

Episode 31 Transcript

Mingo Palacios:

Travis, tell me: what is it like being the youngest person on a team that’s so high-profile? Because that obviously comes with, no matter what church you’re at, you’re going to have a sense of fandom. you’re going to have people who are like “You’re my favorite!” You get onstage, people scream, right? High spotlight, high engagement, high visibility. You’re watching your senior pastor navigate it so well, but he’s mid-50s.

Travis Gibson:

He’s been doing it for a long time.

Mingo Palacios:

He’s been doing it a long time. What are some of the challenges that you wrestle with as a younger leader, having that kind of visibility?

Travis Gibson:

Man, you know what? One, I love it in that it’s such an opportunity to leverage the relationship. You could sit back and just high five people.

Mingo Palacios:

You could just step on followers.

Travis Gibson:

Yeah, “do you want my autograph, bro?” Yeah, for sure.

Mingo Palacios:

That would be misappropriation.

Travis Gibson:

That wouldn’t be accurate, yeah.

Mingo Palacios:

Thank you, Vanessa. Thank you for that so much, really appreciate it.

Travis Gibson:

I’m serious, being married – my wife’s here joining us – I think being married creates a real honesty about who you really are. She sees the moments where I’m broken, where I’m crying, where I’m frustrated, where I’m angry, where I’ve yelled and had to repent, those moments that are so sobering about who you really are. You pray and hope that you carry that same spirit with you wherever you go. So there’s no separation between the sacred and the secular; you’re just God’s guy, and go and hopefully model that.

What I told people when I walked into the position was I never wanted to show people that I was qualified or that I was perfect, but I would step out to be the first one to walk towards the man who was perfect, and that’s Jesus. I take that seriously. That’s my job. I’m not going to be the guy that you look to, but maybe I’ll be the first one to step out and say “Hey, come with me.”

Mingo Palacios:

First to go transparent.

Travis Gibson:

Exactly. Let me just be the first. I won’t be the guy, but I’ll be one of the first. That’s what I consider my role. It’s cool, man. I love just going around and being part of the local church. I consider the campus as a local church. Love going to the gym and seeing dudes that I see at church, and love going to the grocery store and seeing people there and being able to build that relationship and encourage them. It’s rad, man.

Being the youngest, though, I take great pride in that. I think it’s a mantle or a stewardship, whatever you want to call it. There’s a responsibility that I have to bridge the gap, the wisdom gap with the ambition gap, whatever it is.

Mingo Palacios:

With the “absolutely I’ll try that” gap.

Travis Gibson:

Yeah. “Heck yes, let’s do it,” right? “Yes, that sounds amazing. Tacos and food trucks and water balloons? Let’s do that. Craziest idea? Let’s make it happen.” I think I kind of bring some of that with the wisdom, with the experience that I don’t have, but I also have to be always quick to wear the hat of listener, observer, and – you know this – just show honor where honor is due, because you and I both, we’re riding on the shoulders of those who came before us in ministry.

Mingo Palacios:

Absolutely. Afforded a lane, yeah. I didn’t have the toolset, I didn’t have the credibility, I didn’t have the track record to build my own lane. I don’t think anybody does when they start out. I think they’re afforded a lane. Sometimes we lose sight of that, and then when we’re asked to share that lane, we get real pissed off. We get real angry, like “You want this lane back?” We can forget really easily it was afforded us. Somebody moved in their capacity, in their margin, and made way for me.

I want to keep going down that road, because you’ve got high responsibility, you’ve got high visibility – there’s probably a fair segment of followers or viewers that are going to watch this, and they’re seasons behind, years behind. They’re wondering from their seat, “Why can’t I be Travis Gibson? Why can’t I be the campus pastor? Why can’t I get that shot?”

What are some of the things that people who don’t know your history, ministry/serving-wise, what do you tell them by way of the pathway to get to where you are? Yes, we know God afforded you the opportunity, but there’s some humanity involved.

Travis Gibson:

There’s so many good stories. There’s so many good stories. Just failures. When we wanted to be a part of the first multisite, I was initially told “no, you’re not qualified.” Literally that was the conversation. “You’re not qualified.”

Mingo Palacios:

Like, Reply: Travis Gibson. “You’re not qualified,” period. Send. [laughs]

Travis Gibson:

“Come back when you can lift some more weights, brother.” Yeah, yeah. But those happen. Those conversations and those stories were all there.

Something I think is just huge – and I just wanted to share this, something that God’s been sharing with me, and it speaks to maybe that guy or that gal who’s in ministry, even serving, thinking about “When am I going to get my opportunity? When is God going to give me the platform?” I relate it to the couple that’s looking at all their friends and all their friends are having kids. “When are we going to have our kid?” Now they have the kid. “When are we going to buy our house?” It’s everywhere, right? You can kind of relate it to all those things.

This is just cool, just wisdom from the Lord: three rules of reaping and sowing. This is really –

Mingo Palacios:

Come at me, dude.

Travis Gibson:

I’m just going to give you this. Is this cool? Can I give you three?

Mingo Palacios:

Let me click out of this and take some notes, dude.

Travis Gibson:

Is this cool if I give you this?

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah, bring it.

Travis Gibson:

This is cool. I was just thinking about this. Let me just read – quickly, because I know we don’t have a lot of time – here’s what the Lord says: “God is not mocked; but for whatever one sows, that he also will reap” (2 Corinthians 9). “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”

I’ll read you one more. Luke 6:38: “Give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

Here’s just a couple thoughts. Again, this isn’t me; this is just like grabbing knowledge. Here’s three rules.

One, you reap what you sow. That’s the easiest one, and all that means is really you only get as much as you’re willing to put in.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s good. It sounds cliché.

Travis Gibson:

It is, right? But that’s Rule #1, so we’ll start there. You’re only going to get as much out as you’re willing to invest in. I feel like young leaders especially have one foot in, where their opportunity is, and one foot out for the next person who’s going to open the door.

Mingo Palacios:

Let’s go. Let’s talk about this.

Travis Gibson:

“If you’re giving me the opportunity, I’m with you – but let me keep my arm out here.”

Mingo Palacios:

My options open.

Travis Gibson:

My options are open.

Mingo Palacios:

We used to talk about that in dating. It’s like backburner, right? “Oh, I’m with you,” but then just in case.

Travis Gibson:

The creepy Christian that was sorta dating three chicks at once, but not intentionally identifying any of them.

Mingo Palacios:

Right. “No, we’re cool. We’re all cool though. We’re just cool, we’re all cool.”

Travis Gibson:

Dude, get out of the friend zone. Get out of the opportunity zone and invest. Just go all-in. Commit. Buy into whatever vision that God’s put in your heart. Just seek the Lord and say “I’m going to go for it.”

Mingo Palacios:

I like how you said buy into the vision of what God’s put in your heart, because you have to make sure that what’s inside of you is in alignment with the organization that you’re lining up with.

Travis Gibson:

Dude, if your – oh, this is good, and I’m going to get back to these. If your ambition is not aligned with your assignment, whatever you produce will be empty.

Mingo Palacios:

Whoa, come on, dude!

Travis Gibson:

Dude, come on, is that good?

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah, this is going to be a quotable somewhere else in this thing.

Travis Gibson:

Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. And somebody else who’s bigger than me and more popular than me said that.

Mingo Palacios:

“Travis Gibson said this.”

Travis Gibson:

Yeah, yeah, write that. But tell me that’s not good. If your ambition is not aligned with your assignment from God, whatever you produce will be empty. You’ll be discouraged, you’ll be looking for something else. The affirmation you were hoping for, the favor is not there, whatever it is. You’ll just be hitting a wall. So you reap what you sow.

Mingo Palacios:

I like that one.

Travis Gibson:

That’s a good one. Second one: you always reap much more than you sow.

Mingo Palacios:

You always reap much more than you sow. On either spectrum?

Travis Gibson:

On either spectrum, good or bad. There’s not a whole lot of practicality. It kind of speaks for itself, but you put in something and watch what happens to it. It’s sort of like sin isn’t private; sin is communal. Sin doesn’t just affect you and me, sin affects the community. Whatever you do, it has legs to it.

Here’s the third one, real quickly – this is my favorite one. This one kind of speaks to that person who’s like “when is my time?” There’s usually a delay between the time you sow and the time you reap.

Mingo Palacios:

There’s usually a delay. You know what we hate?

Travis Gibson:

Waiting.

Mingo Palacios:

Delay.

Travis Gibson:

Delay, bro!

Mingo Palacios:

Yes!

Travis Gibson:

I want to go to the shop and I want to order it and I want to buy it and I want to take it home at the same time.

Mingo Palacios:

I’m getting frustrated when Amazon doesn’t give me next-day delivery.

Travis Gibson:

Where’s my drone? Drop that stuff at my house, brother. [laughs]

Mingo Palacios:

Come on, dude. Come on.

Travis Gibson:

In ministry, it’s like “Wait a minute, how come I’m not the guy tomorrow? I went to Seminary 1.0.”

Mingo Palacios:

There are no shortcuts in ministry.

Travis Gibson:

There’s none, man.

Mingo Palacios:

And actually, when you try to take them, they always end up as dead ends.

Travis Gibson:

Absolutely. I think we all want to be the guy/the girl – or maybe you don’t; I don’t know what the story is of that person that’s maybe listening or watching this – but there is a delay. And it’s an appropriate delay. It’s a delay where God’s pruning. He’s refining.

Mingo Palacios:

There’s maturation that’s being developed. Is that a word, maturation?

Travis Gibson:

Yeah, dude. You’re maturing. That’s real.

Mingo Palacios:

Okay, good. You’re maturing, there’s refining. There’s so many ministry cases where I thought, seeing the assignment, I was like “I’m going to bring this, I’m going to take this and these” and all these personal things I’m going to add to the thing. And it was in the margin between what I thought I was going to bring to the table and when it was time to come to the table, I was like “oh, I don’t need this.”

Travis Gibson:

Think about the guy or gal that gets put in a position to lead when – and you hear this all the time – their character doesn’t match up, they weren’t ready for it, and then two weeks later there’s an epic fallout and you go “man, what do we do?” I can’t give you the address, but Scripture speaks of when Jesus goes “Satan came to me and asked me to sift your soul.” Sifting is taking the wheat, throwing it in the air –

Mingo Palacios:

Jesus said, “You will be sifted.”

Travis Gibson:

You will be sifted.

Mingo Palacios:

It’s not even like “it might happen to you.” It’s like, watch out. You know. It’s “you will be sifted.”

Travis Gibson:

Here’s what it is. The illustration is a farming illustration, taking wheat, throwing it in the air, the wind blows and takes away the stuff so you’re left with this. Satan wants to come and do that with leaders. He wants to do that with married people. He wants to throw us up and see if he can just distract, tear your life.

And there’s an appropriate delay where some of that needs to happen. Pruning. Some of that you need to experience because Satan will come against anybody and everybody. Will you be sifted? Will you be tossed to and fro? Will you be consistent? And in the appropriate time, you’ll reap the fruit.

Mingo Palacios:

Man, those were solid points. I mean, I didn’t expect you to preach a sermon at me.

Travis Gibson:

Dude, you told me – all of a sudden I’m like “dude, let me get something ready!”

Mingo Palacios:

[laughs] Here we go.

Travis Gibson:

Yeah, man.

Mingo Palacios:

I want to talk two more things briefly, because I’m always trying to position our viewers to find themselves in the narrative. We have mainly two viewers. We have people who are in charge of finding those next generation leaders. We’ve got executives well-seasoned in ministry or well-seasoned in the marketplace.

As you were scouted out and as you were given opportunity in incremental measure, what were some of the things that allowed you to trust your leadership to go along for the ride? When somebody’s looking at an opportunity, what should they be looking for in order to determine whether or not that’s the right move? Obviously, again, the Christian answer is like “God’s provision,” blah, but on some human –

Travis Gibson:

I got it. Yeah, real practical.

Mingo Palacios:

Yes.

Travis Gibson:

Man, someone told me this a long time ago and I’ve just held it to my heart. I share this with anybody and everybody who’s got a decision. Is it Starbucks, is it Target? Where do I go shopping?

Mingo Palacios:

Neither. [laughs]

Travis Gibson:

Right, no, no. [laughs]

Mingo Palacios:

They support things I don’t believe in. Sorry, I apologize.

Travis Gibson:

I don’t know, I’m not a coffee drinker. But three real easy questions I think helped me along the way.

Mingo Palacios:

You going to three me again, dude? [laughs]

Travis Gibson:

I think it’s just the way my mind thinks, bro.

Mingo Palacios:

Okay, give it to me, dude. Give it to me.

Travis Gibson:

This is practical, man. Ask yourself these questions, because I ask myself these questions. Are people affirming you in whatever it is? That allows me to trust.

Mingo Palacios:

The people that you trust, are they affirming you towards that thing?

Travis Gibson:

Yeah, towards that thing, whatever that thing is, one.

Do you even have a passion for it? Because sometimes people go “you’re the most epic freaking break-dancer” and you’re like “I hate dancing, bro. I don’t like the way my butt looks when I dance, I’ve got skinny calves. I shouldn’t be dancing.” There’s not a line. There’s just not a line.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah, my Spandex is off. It’s all off.

Travis Gibson:

It’s weird, right?

Mingo Palacios:

So do you have a passion for it? How funny, because immediately my thought on that is if you were presented an opportunity, like “oh, I think I could like that” – you’re like, no, don’t.

Travis Gibson:

“I can imagine myself doing that.” You weren’t even thinking about that, bro.

Mingo Palacios:

“I feel I could fly jumbo jets for Delta. I can see myself doing this.”

Travis Gibson:

Yeah, “I should’ve been Mark Zuckerberg.” [laughs] It’s like, no.

Mingo Palacios:

So you’re saying, is this a line, and honestly, was there some sort of inclination prior to opportunity that my heart was set on?

Travis Gibson:

You just said the last question. So one, are people affirming you? Are you passionate about it? And three, is there an opportunity to do it? Usually one of those is not there.

If the passion’s not there, maybe the other ones are. If you’re super stoked about singing and you get invited to American Idol and you get up there and they’re like “Boooo!”, you get the triple X’s or whatever, that’s it.

I think those questions, for me, I just go “Lord, are you affirming me in this? Are people affirming this?” And we’ve done it to each other. Like, “Mingo, bro, go. Dude, go.”

Mingo Palacios:

Oh my gosh, I remember this conversation.

Travis Gibson:

“Go, man.” And you’ve done that for me. “Travis, go.” And I go, yeah, man, I’m stoked about this, I’m excited about this – and then the Lord provides the opportunity.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s really good.

Travis Gibson:

Sometimes it takes longer than you want, but you know.

Mingo Palacios:

The time.

Travis Gibson:

Yeah, the time.

Mingo Palacios:

So that’s from the executive looking at the potential leader. As the leader waiting, one nugget of wisdom from the book of experience from Travis: what do you tell that leader who’s in the process, on the margins, waiting for the shot?

Travis Gibson:

Say yes to every opportunity God gives you. Maybe that “yes” looks different every time, but the yes is “Lord, I’m open. I’m available.” I think there’s a spirit of humility that is attached to the most incredible leaders, and I wish we would all just follow in the footsteps of our savior Jesus. This dude modeled humility.

Mingo Palacios:

Never above anything.

Travis Gibson:

Never above, never too high to say “yes” to opening a door. “I want you to hold a bulletin.” Yes, may Christ be glorified. “I want you to freaking go direct the traffic.” You’re like “Dude, that’s not the platform I was thinking about.”

Mingo Palacios:

“Look at my shape, bro.”

Travis Gibson:

Yeah, like “what are you talking about?”

Mingo Palacios:

“I’m made for announcement.”

Travis Gibson:

Yeah. [laughs] “I’m the guy.”

Mingo Palacios:

“I can say a lot of things in less than 60 seconds.”

Travis Gibson:

Yeah, “I can talk really fast.” Just say yes to the opportunities Jesus gives you to glorify Him. Don’t focus on building yourself up so that you miss the opportunity when it comes, the one that God has for you.

A spirit of humility goes a long way. That’s something I tell my team, the team that I have, that I’ve been given responsibility for.

Mingo Palacios:

“Get humble!” [laughs]

Travis Gibson:

[laughs] Yeah. Really, let’s not be above or let’s not be to the left or the right of what God brings. In a spirit of humility, let Christ lift us up, man. That’s it.

Mingo Palacios:

Dude, so easy to say.

Travis Gibson:

That’s an easy one, right? Is that too easy?

Mingo Palacios:

No, but I mean it came off the mind, so I know it matters. I know it matters. It’s not like you sifted deep.

Travis Gibson:

I gave you like seven 3-pointers.

Mingo Palacios:

I know, you gave me a bunch of sermons over here. I’ve got all these viewers that are like “oh yeah, I’m going to make [unclear 00:16:57] out of these.”

Travis Gibson:

You know why I say that, though? Because it really bugs me when someone self-advertises too quickly, too aggressively, too annoyingly.

Mingo Palacios:

Oh, self-promoting.

Travis Gibson:

Self-promoting, that’s the right word. Did I say advertise? Yeah, self-promoting. Sometimes it’s necessary when you’re in your spot, but when it’s not time yet – I would rather identify the leader myself, because that’s what I see in Jesus. Jesus goes “Hey, stop what you’re doing. Stop fishing, come with me. I’m going to make you into this.” The disciples are not self-promoting.

Mingo Palacios:

It’s a total trajectory change.

Travis Gibson:

As a leader, I want to be the one that goes, let me make you. I saw you in your spirit of humility, freaking washing feet – come with me now. Allow me to make you into this, the level that God had for you, but you were okay…

Mingo Palacios:

From this to that.

Travis Gibson:

Yeah. As a leader, I like that better.

Mingo Palacios:

Travis, I love it. Tell me this: if people want to follow you and your outpouring of 3-point wisdom… [laughs]

Travis Gibson:

[laughs] That was all I’ve got, bro.

Mingo Palacios:

Dude, no, we had great conversations. Don’t even fault it.

Travis Gibson:

That was everything. It was my sermons from the last two years. [laughs]

Mingo Palacios:

If people want to follow along with the Rock San Ysidro team, if they want to know more about what’s happening at the church you serve with, what’s a way that they can do that?

Travis Gibson:

The easiest way is social media. Follow us on Instagram, follow us on Facebook, Rock Church San Ysidro. Just come support and encourage us.

If they’re in the area, if they’re in southern California, if they’re on their way to Mexico – because you’re going to Cabo, bro – stop by. I’m telling you right here. Write this down. Write it down. 905 East, we’re off on the first exit. It’s easy.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s the last highway before it’s Mexico time.

Travis Gibson:

They’ll probably come by getting lost on the way to Mexico.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s so good. So the Rock channel, you’ve got a personal channel?

Travis Gibson:

Yeah.

Mingo Palacios:

People, if they have questions – there’s so many people that were watching and chiming in so much appreciation for what you said. “You’re a blessing, Travis,” “I love this.”

Travis Gibson:

Thanks Mom, appreciate that. [laughs]

Mingo Palacios:

“Thank you.” Somebody loved the creepy Christian – your mom actually did join in. She said “Hi, that’s my kid.” Mike Clark was in, Glen Bone was in, tons of old ministry friends.

Travis Gibson:

Cool. Old schoolers, dude. That’s good.

Mingo Palacios:

People I think are naturally interested in what’s going to help them win, and that’s what this is all about. We want to see people become the best versions of themselves, no matter where they’re at right now.

Travis Gibson:

Man, you want to win with Jesus? Be on the edge of almost too much. Be on the edge of “I’m scared, I’m crapping my pants,” in Jesus – you know what, man? Vanessa and I, when we prayed, we said “Lord, do something in our lives that when people see it, they know it couldn’t have been us. It had to be You.”

Mingo Palacios:

There you go. That’s amazing.

Travis Gibson:

That’s the seat we want to be in for the rest of our lives. In ministry, in marriage, in everything, when they see us they go “That’s totally Jesus. Because I know Travis, and I know Vanessa, and they’re cool and they love the Lord, but that’s the Holy Spirit. That’s God.”

Mingo Palacios:

That’s supernatural movement.

Travis Gibson:

That’s it.

Mingo Palacios:

Dude, so good. I love you so much.

Guys, thank you so much for listening. Travis is such a good – he can articulate himself so well; that’s what I love about him. If you were encouraged by this or you know somebody who was encouraged by this, please do the due diligence of sharing.

Travis Gibson:

Do it!

Mingo Palacios:

I know that it’s a sacred space, right? Your feed, my feed, our feed. But these words are so good, this was so encouraging. I know there are people that are going to need to hear this.

For those that have been listening on the podcast, thanks for sharing the last 20 minutes with us. Thanks for subscribing. And a quick shout-out to our sponsor, Purpose Driven Church.

Travis Gibson:

What’s up?

Mingo Palacios:

Pastor Rick Warren, the legacy that he began 40 years ago, is affording pastors like you and I an opportunity to have this conversation and share it with as many people as are willing to listen.

Travis, thank you for your time, thank you for your ministry. I love that what you preach is what you practice. It’s been incredible being on the journey together – for another 40. I pray we celebrate the same thing.

Travis Gibson:

Me too. Amen, brother. Love you, dude.

Mingo Palacios:

Love you, bro. We’ll talk to you soon.

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