Dave Gibbons: Leading Your Church through Desert Moments

Dave Gibbons

Dave Gibbons is the founding pastor of Newsong Church in Santa Ana, California. He is also the Founder of Xealots, a global leadership network focused on Misfit Leaders. He has served on the boards of World Vision and Fuller Seminary. Dave has authored three popular books on leadership, culture, pain and what’s next: Monkey and the Fish; XEALOTS and Small Cloud Rising. Dave is married to Rebecca. They have four children pursuing their dreams.

Key Questions:

Church leaders today get a lot of advice about leadership from an organizational perspective. Can you talk about your view of leadership, strategy, and development from a spiritual perspective?
What is your perspective on pain and its ability to teach us?
What advice do you have for helping people embrace their God-given creativity?

Key Quotes:

“At the end of the day, I saw that we weren’t addressing the approach that Jesus did. He did the big crowds, but it seems like most of his life was given to the conversation, where there were these one-on-ones and these small groups, and in particular, it was his three and 12…So I said what would it look like if we actually re-allocated our resources from just focusing primarily on the community to actually focusing on the core?”

“When I was in this season [of change in our church], the Holy Spirit became the real elixir to me. Without him guiding me or strengthening me, I wouldn’t have been able to survive.”

“We’re living today in probably one of the most disruptive moments in history—not only in terms of economically, governmentally, nationally, but even spiritually.”

“When you’re in that desert stage where things are dying, you need to know that he’s honing you there and he’s giving you something that you’re not going to see unless you’re in the bareness. Because it’s in the dessert where the colors are obvious and the hues you didn’t see in the lush green are suddenly just starkly evident….You have to embrace the desert moment.”

“The millennials are hungering for leadership that’s actually fully present. So it’s not only that you’re authentic, but I think where we show the transcendent nature and power and beauty of God is when we can be fully present with someone and see them and know them and love them without any condition. And I think God is leading us to that dance.”

“Often the things you learn in the desert will be the very things that give you the sensitivity to focus where the Lord wants you to focus.”

“I think the incongruity [between how a pastor projects himself or herself and who he or she really is] causes a lot of stress, workaholism, addiction, because what you’re doing is you’re choosing to live a life of hypocrisy which I think that breeds an anxiety by itself.”

“When you think of [Jesus] in his perfect state and we’re all with him in heaven, he’s the only one that’s going to bear scars, and he’s still perfect.”

“He’s calling us to design processes where our people feel free and not burned out and anchored by an institution. It’s like our children should never feel like we’re holding them in prison to just do our household chores.”

“When you immerse yourself into a culture that’s dissonant or different than you, I think you actually start to understand who God is because he’s the ultimate ‘other’ to us sometimes as human beings. He’s foreign to us.”

Mentioned in the Show:

Previous articleWhy Sermon Preparation Is Not Devotional Time
Next articleMatthew McConaughey Named His Eldest Son for His Favorite Bible Verse
Jason Daye
As Director of Ministry Development for Outreach, Inc., Jason dedicates his time to encouraging and equipping churches, denominations and ministry organizations to develop their Kingdom effectiveness by creating a culture that is both incarnational and invitational. Jason lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with his beautiful wife and six children, where he enjoys hiking with his family, fighting rainbow trout, summiting 14ers and swapping stories with good friends. Connect with him on Twitter @jasondaye