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Jan. 4, 2022

Patience and Perseverance Provide the Healthiest Progress

Patience and Perseverance Provide the Healthiest Progress

#22. Rob Wilton is the Founding Pastor of Vintage Church, Send City Missionary for the Send Network, and the Chaplain for the New Orleans Saints. Rob is steadfastly dedicated to the process of impacting people, and in this episode he shares:

  • The role of NFL Team Chaplain
  • Misperceptions of NFL players
  • Leadership = influence
  • Why leaders need to model patience and perseverance

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Transcript

Luke:

This is episode 22 of The "I" in Win Podcast

Rob:

if I can get a smile after a talk or a man, I can have a kid believing more in himself and what the team is doing, man, I feel like I've left and I've served that team well.

Luke:

Okay. Before introducing today's guests. I want to give a quick shout out to Archer and Connor who left an awesome review of the show on the eye and wind, and he call it the Ted lasso of podcast. How about that for high praise? Thank you, Archer and Connor for the awesome feedback. Anyone else interested in leaving a review can do so at our website, theiinwin.com again, that's theiinwin.com. And now wants today's guest, Rob Wilton. He's the founding pastor of vintage church send city missionary for the sun network and the chaplain for the new Orleans saints. Rob, thanks for being on the show.

Rob:

Hey, Luke. Thanks for having me looking forward.

Luke:

So it's great looking at what's behind you there because my first question has to do with who you pledge your allegiance to. Is it about who dad or is it about the terrible towel? Cause I know you're raised in new Orleans, but now you live in Pittsburgh.

Rob:

But this is the way in which I say it to soften the blow. All right. I'm all in pirates. I'm all in penguins, but you'll never see me. So that terrible towel in the air. This is kind of like been my thing. I'm in here in Pittsburgh for three years. And, uh, one of my hobbies in this city is going toe to toe Steelers fans. And so I share with them all the time, like where are the true black and gold new Orleans saints and the true black and gold. And every single time I say that to a Pittsburgh. They asked me how many rings do we have?

Luke:

Well,

Rob:

There's no winning that argument.

Luke:

well, I could tell you that my neighbor is from Pittsburgh, which is how you and I got hooked. And a moment does not go by literally every day. He reminds me the rings that the Steelers have and the rings that the bears do not have. And, uh, yeah, so it's, it's amazing. I guess we're all kind of centered on where we grew up, but man, Pittsburgh, people are proud people. So tread lightly with that whole St stuff while you're in Pittsburgh, man.

Rob:

Yeah. I'll just say this. There's been already quite a bit of hazing in my neighborhood. We've only had to play each other once since I've been up here and actually the saints won that. So

Luke:

All right.

Rob:

that went Well, for me, but not so well, you know, with my neighbors.

Luke:

Well, you know, wish me luck. Cause uh, Monday night football, my beloved bears are playing the Steelers and a lot's on the line. It's neighborly battle going on. So wish me luck on that. But.

Rob:

Oh, well,

Luke:

So, I know you were an athlete yourself, and I want to start with just discussing the, how your teachers, your coaches impacted your upbringing.

Rob:

yeah, so I mean, truthfully for me, it starts in my home. I'm super blessed. Uh, generation pastor preacher. Both of my grandfathers were preachers and then my dad and both of my uncles are preachers. Uh, to tell you a little bit about my life story, I tried everything I could not to be a preacher. And, uh, you know, just, I've always been independent. I liked starting churches and starting things, but God's call obviously came into my life. And to come back and circle back. That's because of the steady influence in my life of my grandfathers and my dad, my uncles. And I just don't take that for granted. I grew up in a home that walk their talk. And so, athletic sports is in kind of the roots of my family, my whole family, south African I'm actually the first born in my family in America. And my dad was a rugby and cricket coach. And so after being in the army, he was a tank commander and the south African army. He became a rugby and cricket coach and also a teacher. And so after doing that for years, God called my parents into church ministry. And that's when they moved to America in 1979. And I was born in the city of new Orleans in 81, but I grew up in a house that loved athletics, obviously different athletics than what we have in America. Although. Cricket or kind of catching on here in the states, which is kind of cool to see. But I grew up in a, in a home that was very much structured, like a teacher's home, a coach's home, with the disciplines that we love. And I'll just say in terms of like impact influence, and I can go from there to my high school coach, coach mark freeze, man, whom I love so much to this day that really. Push me. Uh, he was of the school of Bobby Knight, love Bobby Knight, and, uh, really challenged me, pushed me, but in bedded within me, discipline that, that carries me a lot today and drove me towards getting a college scholarship to play in college, and then to have the privilege of playing really for two college coaches, both of those college coaches, their investment in my life. And then coming out of college, God called me into ministry, but he called me into sports ministry. And I worked for an organization called upward sports, which is really all over the world. Caz McCaslin is the president and founder of upward sports. And so a man got invested in, uh, significantly by him. And then as I went into ministry world, man, some incredible pastors like David plat, uh, Kevin president of the north American mission board, which I work for now has just been a huge influence. And I I'll just say this, Luke, this is why like it's so important. What you're doing with this podcast is all about, I am who I am today because of the impact of these people in my life. And some people know it, some people don't my privilege of being around the saints for the last 12 years. The things that I've learned from Mickey Lumis the general manager, Sean Payton, even though we haven't had a direct relationship. You know, being poured into as a mentor, just being around them, learning from them, seeing them their excellence has just pushed me in so many ways to be a better person and to make an impact in this world.

Luke:

Well, I know one guy that, you know, better than I do, but we do share in common is coach J T Curtis. And you've, you've done some work with coach D T and I know you've gone and talk at John Curtis Christian school. So, let's talk a little bit about your relationship with coach JT and how you hooked up with them. And since he was a previous guest on the.

Rob:

Hey, you got to check out that, that episode. That was so cool. Like listen to you and coach talk and look what you heard him share. He is the real deal. I know a lot of coaches. But he's legend status, right? All time wins the whole deal, but what makes his program so special is the way in which he loves on one student at a time. His door's always open. And even me as a young aspiring pastor, eventually chaplain for the new Orleans saints, there was never a time where he didn't answer the phone or have his door wide open. For me. It's kind of funny. The first time we ever met my church was looking for a place to meet. And this will just show you how I roll. He had access to some property and I kind of rolled into his office and basically asked him for his building before I knew it. He had called all his sons into the office and, he told me how much he loved my boldness and my grit. And we began a friendship from there on and I've had the privilege of getting to speak at their chapel. A lot of their staff have the. members of our church in new Orleans that we had. And so we've had a great friendship. Uh, coach J is a real blessing to a lot of people. And, Um, I'm truly thankful for them.

Luke:

Yeah. I mean, it's such a unique personality and such a unique philosophy of a school. One that personally I would like to see more athletic programs in schools adopt. And again, to your point, I appreciate the plug of the podcast. That's, that's what we're doing and trying to get people to be on board with. Look, the winds are gonna be. If you focus on the people, the winds are going to come at just a, a secondary effect of making better people. But, you touched on, on being a chaplain of new Orleans saints. And I don't, I don't really understand what the day to day that would look like. So what are the duties of the chaplain new Orleans saints?

Rob:

Yeah. So, you know, each NFL team has kind of a different playbook for their chaplains. Some have fully embraced their chaplains to be full staff members on their, their staff. And then some do it more from a volunteer level. Coach Peyton has always been super kind to allow me to be around the team as much as I can, but I'm not necessarily a part of their staff. It's a volunteer role. Uh, it's just a role that he thinks is very important for his team. And I'm honored to step in. I always describe it in three ways. So first is care. And, and it's really all about just loving on. Anyone in the organization from those who work in the training staff, to those who are actually on the team to coaches to just be available, to, to care for those men, those women, and to be in their lives, to be a part of the things that are unexpected, and then to help them grow as people off the field. I very rarely, when I preach and communicate, even try and use football illustrations, I talk more about like, Uh, about them being dads, husbands about them making an impact. And that's primarily why I'm there in terms of care. Secondly, communicate, man, I love speaking and inspiring. And so I want to communicate. And part of that communication is, is thoroughly challenging these players and this organization. Carl Payne, he was the long-time Seattle. Chaplain, uh, he's no longer the chaplain with the Seahawks, but he poured into me my first year, 12 years ago. And he gave me these three words of wisdom as a chaplain. He said, don't ask for anything, don't assume anything, and then challenge the heck out of them. And so, I found real quickly as I stepped in the don't ask for anything. Everybody wants something from these guys. And if you can prove that you're not in for yourself, but you're in it to be a servant. Man, they actually give you more access into their life and trust. The don't assume anything football players listen, they're stone cold. They've been trained that way. So externally they might look like they're not paying attention. But I want you to know you're, you're, you're pressing in, you're making an impact and they're locking in. So you can have confidence that you have. And then the challenge of the heck out of them, man, we go deep. My first season with the team, we went in the Bible in one chapter for an entire season, Romans chapter eight, and we just broke it down And we said, all right, God's speaking to us about being spirit led. What does that look like? And so we, we pressed in on that. So man, I've thoroughly enjoyed it, but I've also known that this is a stewardship in my life that God's given to me to make an.

Luke:

And if we brought some of the players on this podcast and they were talking about their work with you, we brought, you know, coaching and you even said that he views it as being really important. Why is this world. Important because it's directly related to what I'm trying to get across in the podcast, right? Like we need to do more than just coach football or teach math. So why is the work you're doing important enough that the saints allow you in and you volunteer your time to do it?

Rob:

Well, I love John Maxwell's simple definition of leadership. Leadership is influence, right? And this team, yes. It's trying to win a super bowl every year. This organization is trying to win a super bowl every year, but I'm blown away at how a way. The new Orleans saints are to their influence in the city and in the world. And so yes, coach loves that I'm helping pour into these players personal lives, because we know if we have any hope of doing anything for anybody else, we've got. Right. If we have any hope of having a sound mind, a sound judgment, locked in on the playbook that week distractions and their personal life has to be put together. And so I invest in those types of things because it does result in clarity on the field and, and it does result in success. But, but this is what blows me away about the NFL. Like there's such an incredible intention now. In the NFL about making an impact in this world with the platform that they have. And so at the core, when people say, why do you think this is so important? Why do even the saints or other teams value? This is because they're all aware that this is not just about them, that there's a stewardship in their city and in their world through the game of football, through the platform they have. And I'm feeding that most important part of their life, which is truly more importantly, the impact that they make off the field.

Luke:

So that's a great segue to something I'm thinking about right now, and that is misperception of NFL football players. You you've been lucky enough to get to know some of these guys on a personal level. What are some misperceptions that you could dispel about these guys that are playing at this elite level, in that.

Rob:

All right. So I'll say this cause I'm a fan of football, right. And I've also been, in the locker room with these guys. And, uh, I'll just say this football, isn't the most important thing to them.

Luke:

Right now. You're devastating fans everywhere,

Rob:

Um, those city kids everywhere. I've seen how quickly these guys go from losing a game to hugging their kids and honestly forgetting about the game. Right. but then you'll see fans like lose their lives, lose their minds over a loss of a game or whatever else. And so I think, do they care? Are they passionate? Are they investing? Are they sacrifice? And absolutely. I mean, it doesn't mean that they don't carry losses. Right. All athletes do I still think about, you know, that last second tip in and the state semifinal game of my senior year in high school where we lost, right. We always lose these things, but football, isn't the most important thing to them and, and, and NFL sometimes can get that brand of man. They're all about themselves. They're all about the game, but. The status, all that kind of stuff. And I just haven't found that to be true of the majority. Um, and then, you know, a lot of them also, and this is just from, uh, being around the league for so long. A lot of them, as I've already talked about, know that God has blessed them with this opportunity. They know that a lot of people have been involved in getting them to this opportunity. So there's a lot of appreciation in the NFL. There's not, I deserve this kind of thing. And then thirdly, they know that they've been blessed to be a blessing. And so they're constantly asking guys how many, all the time, what can I do? Are there any needs I can serve? Do you need help? And I'm blown away by it. I love it.

Luke:

Well, that's really encouraging to hear. And I could tell you that it's very similar to coaching high school football. We would lose a game and the adults, which would be the coaches and the parents are just devastated. The sky is falling and the kids are upset. Now. Let's just pretend it's an away game. They're upset. We walked to the locker room, they're mad. They might punch a lock or whatever, by the time we get on the bus and we're driving home, they're ready. I hear them in the back of the bus. And Hey, look at this snap that I just got from Melissa. And, you know, I always look to my assistant coaches like. There are kids in there over it, you know, but, but Hey, if that's the right approach, it is just the game. And some people lose sight of that. But, I know you also speak to high school teams. You've done that in new Orleans, as we already alluded to with John Christian and you'd do it in Pittsburgh as well. What is your message? As you're talking to these high school to.

Rob:

Yeah. One of my favorite friendships here in Pittsburgh is coach Joe Rossi of Southwest airlines here in Pittsburgh. And, him and his staff have just been so amazing. Uh, hopefully my boys are gonna continue to advance. Uh, I've got three boys that love football and, man coaches kind of hashtag when everything is all hard, right. And I'll just love coach Rossi. And I love any opportunity. He allows for me to be a part of their program and encouraging them. I always think about three things. Anytime I speak specifically to high school athletes, I think about life leadership and like. Life leadership legacy life has kind of self-explanatory and leadership is too in terms of the importance of those things. And I know you address that a lot in this podcast, but I think we should be challenging these younger generations to already think about their legacy. Right. Think about the impact I want, I want my kids to already be thinking about their great grandkids, uh, with the stewardship of that. Uh, where, where are they going? Because without vision people perish. And so I think a lot of time we just see the here and now, or we just think about our junior year in high school or whatever else. And, uh, we don't think about, uh, the college years, the marriage years, the, the years of legacy. And then we also don't think about those who are coming behind us. And I think there's just something powerful about helping high school students see their lives in a way bigger picture than just that year. Right. And so it's why I love coach Rossi's program here at south Fayette. I mean, he's really building a multi-generational year to year legacy of pride, right. Uh, but also responsibility and stewardship for our.

Luke:

Yeah. And that's great that you challenged them to think about legacy, you know, as you said that I started to think about mine. I know Dan asked, but I'm going to tell you one thing I think about is do you ever see the movie, the Bronx tale?

Rob:

Yeah, no.

Luke:

So I always think about that movie. Legacy because there's that scene where the kid is talking to his mentor, who's the mob boss and they're at a funeral. And the kid says, man, everyone's just talking and acting like nothing. And the mob boss says it's because nobody cares. Right. Nobody cares. And I would tell my players, I would show that scene and talk about it because to me that's a legacy. When my moment comes. I hope someone cares and not talking about someone outside of my family. I haven't, I would hope by default my kids and my wife care. All of my wife may not, who knows. Right. But anyway, hopefully people outside my family care. And that's how personally for me, that's my gauge that I'll know that I have done the right thing. And I've told my kids that too, right. People come and people care, you know, you have a legacy. So that's awesome, Rob, that you are challenging those kids to think about that because it is important.

Rob:

Yeah. And I think encouragement and inspiration, right? Like. There there's so much, especially in the world today, there's so much negativity out there and I think we do need to be positive and uplifting. And I know this is a new generation and my, my Bobby Knight, you know, influenced head basketball coach. I think he complimented me like five times ever in four years. Um, and, and, but it was a little bit kind of shift into a different time. Kids do need encouragement today and. And if I, if I can get a smile after a talk or a man, I can have a kid believing more in himself and, and what the team is doing, man, I feel like I've left and I've served that team well.

Luke:

Yeah, totally agree. And speaking of this generation, and they're known as generation Z, you do a lot of work with them and I do as well. In your opinion, what's the biggest misperception of this young generation.

Rob:

So it's kind of challenging to millennials, right? And to, uh, the older generations, because I'm gonna say something that I don't think we're clicking with now. We still got some work to do, but their perspective. On their place in the world is way bigger and larger than previous generations. And what I'm finding with gen Z is this, they want to make an impact and a difference. They don't necessarily just want to make money. Now this is an overgeneralization, which is tough. Because I'm sure somebody is listening to podcasts, say you hadn't met mine gen Z. Like, oh, they want his money or whatever. But I actually spoke to a company down in Tampa, Florida, uh, that is in Pittsburgh and in Tampa. And I spoke on, on legacy and this dad came up to me. He had a senior in high school and the kid's brilliant getting scholarship offers everywhere. Incredible grades. And this dad shares with me that for two straight years, he was like, so frustrated with his son because his son kept saying that I don't care where I go beyond this. I just want to make a difference. I just want to make an impact. And he got so frustrated with that in my talk to the company, he talked about how shouldn't that be? What we're all aiming. Not accolades or trophies, but actually making an impact, making a difference. And he came to me with tears in his eyes and he says, I'm leaving. Today's talk to go and apologize to my son as he wraps up this senior year, because he's actually been right. And I should be celebrating the fact that this young kid sees that he's got gifts and he's working hard in the classroom and all the field, but he sees a bigger picture. And I think that's a misconception right now that we have, and we've got a great stewardship opportunity as coaches to keep working and building towards these students going in that direction.

Luke:

Well, that's really encouraging to hear of that young man. And just in general, you, you see that within young people. Cause I agree with you. It is about the difference we make while we're here and we all can make a difference in our own way. So getting back to, or I should say, stay on topic of generations. What are some skills that you think they're missing, that we as adults need to help develop and bring out within them?

Rob:

All right. So in, in thinking about this. It's a great question because this is, this is where we coach, right? This is where we invest. We don't hit a panic button when we see a lack of skills. No, we prepare a week of practice to improve those skills. That's what you do as coaches. You don't just minister to the successes and to the strengths. No, you step into the weaknesses and you try and work to correct. And if I can say thing about the gyms. They want the platform, but they don't want to pay the price. So an Instagram influencer isn't necessarily successful influencer, right. And how quickly people can get the fame or whatever else, they don't understand the investment that it takes. And, uh, one of my favorite stories is talking to even high school kids. Work ethic for years, I was with the saints. This is funny because this is actually the game that the saints beat the Steelers. Um, I was up here in Pittsburgh. My first year. I fly down to new Orleans and it's right before Christmas, the saints are playing the Steelers and I've been around the organization now 10 years. Right. And I had my twin boys at the time, were there for their practice on Saturday, before the game on Sunday, everybody finished. And me and my twin boys have the whole practice facility ourselves we're playing for about 45 minutes. One of the coaches comes over to me and says, oh, pastor Rob, uh, man, thank you so much for being here. We love having your kids here. You got to get out of the facility because this is Drew's time. I said, what are you talking about? This is Drew's Tom I'm Drew's pastor. I should know about this. And he said, no, we got to clear the. And so what I found out after the fact in talking with drew, after memorizing the playbook and having an entire week of practice, drew gets out there on the field, put some music on in the room and he walks through by memory the playbook for the next day. And so a lot of guys want drew Brees greatness, but they're not willing to pay the price right. For the platform. And I think we've got to teach disciplines. Uh, we got to get a little old school. Uh, we got to teach perseverance grit. We got to teach how to take a hit and pop back up. We got, we got to invest because if we can be honest loop, most of the world is not teaching hard work. Most of the world is not teaching grit. Most of the world is teaching man, this can come easy. Get rich quick type of fix. And, uh, I think this is an opportunity for us,

Luke:

Yeah, so many things you mentioned that we need. Get back to that old school. I agree with your list and I'm frustrated because at least within my little circle, I don't see it happening. I don't, I don't see it happening within the realm of academics. I don't see it happened within Rama athletics and it's not because the teachers and coaches don't believe in that. I think they're afraid to Rob. I think they're afraid to, because of the backlash and the helicopter parenting, that's going on. And they're, they're a little, they're nervous about it, you know? And, and now to get pegged an old-school coach, think about the negative connotation to that statement, which, you know, when I was a kid, honestly, that was a compliment to a coach. He's an old school coach. It was a compliment. Now it's one of the ultimate put down. So, but that's a good segue into leadership. I mean, what do you think is missing in leadership today?

Rob:

Well, as we talked about, I mean, I think it's important to just state again, we've, we've got to invest in whoever we're influencing the importance of hard work. Uh, I want my kids to understand the narrative of what it took me to get to my point right now in life. And I want them to understand that the different goals that I have in my life, that's not just going to happen without some hard work and. And we, we've got to instill that hard work. I also think this is the reason why you have a lot of pursuit of trying to have things happen so quickly. It's whether it be the social media culture, where we can get news and information so fast, or whether it's the, you know, Amazon culture where we can order and have stuff delivered, you know, patience and perseverance. Is something that from a leadership we must model and we almost also must inspire and teach. And I think if we can focus on first modeling that. And, and so, um, I know I'm speaking maybe to some, some coaches I'm speaking to some leaders of programs right now. Please don't give up after a year. Please don't give up after year three, like think 10 years think outside of clearly God calling you somewhere and doing something, man, championships aren't necessarily formed overnight. I know we all love Brady's story of coming to the bucks and in one year bringing a championship, right. That ain't the norm and Brighty. Ain't the norm. I hate to say it he's the goat. Right. And I hate saying that as a saints fan, but we've got to push people towards this understanding that they've gotta be patient in their faithfulness and that sometimes slow progress is healthiest. And then we also got to persevere when necessarily we don't see the fruit or the product or the win happen overnight. And, uh between you and me, Luke, it's way more satisfying. Anyways, when I've really worked hard at something and. Received the prize from that hard labor, then inheriting something overnight. There's just way more value to that.

Luke:

Yeah, no question. And you know, that patience piece. Again, I think that's really important of what you're about as a coach. I mean, if you're a process-driven coach and you really want to focus on impacting people, that's a journey, right. And it's a long journey to be able to do that. But if you're a performance-based outcome coach and you want to just go wind state, or when a champion. Patients is out the window, right? You, you have no, you have no time for that. And also you're going to be chasing something that's never going to be fulfilling because is there a such thing as too many wins or I've had enough wins, right. Like, okay, I'm good. I've won enough. Right. But along those lines, talking about impacting people like you to share a story of a time. You know, you or your ministry helped a young man or young woman emotionally, socially, or you made some huge impact on this person and just how that helped that individual and also how it helped you as well.

Rob:

Yeah. I've, I've got a lot of stories and, and obviously I want to, you know, Use discretion in terms of respect and those that I've walked with. I know this one, uh, I'll just stick in the NFL since we've talked about that. Uh, cause he's one of my favorite people in the world and I'm just so proud of, of who he is today as a, as a man. But I began a, a very fun friendship with Roman Harper. He was with Alabama, uh, won national championship with Alabama when super bowl with the same. Man, really in that threefold job description of care, communication and challenge, I just started loving Roman like crazy. When he walks into a room, Luke, I mean he owns that room. He is just dynamic and, and I knew he was such a leader. Well, you know, he was going through things in life and I just proved myself to be there for him no matter what. And as he started to continue to journey in life with the intention, With the intentionality of me being in his life, my wife, uh, being around his girlfriend's life. I had the privilege of baptizing him and seeing him completely transformed by the Lord, man. He shifted gears in a way that I believe only God could do. And I started to see him hunger for things that were way bigger than football. I started to see him pursue his girlfriend. Eventually I had the privilege of performing there. And Roman today is a broadcaster influencer this Sunday. Uh, he's going to be brought into the Saint's hall of fame in new Orleans. And what most important though, that I'm proud of with Roman is the way in which he's a daddy and a husband and his home. And I've seen him make more impact in the NFL with other players around the NFL because they're watching how much he loves his. And, I know that we had some very hard conversations at one point about how important that was and to see him now walk in that and serve in that. I don't know about you, Luke, but that's why we keep investing in people. That's what it's all about to me.

Luke:

That's a great story. I appreciate you sharing that. And in closing, convince our audience, which by the way, I don't think the audience needs convincing, but I should say reaffirming to our audience. We should focus on the intangible of impacting people, rather than that tangible.

Rob:

So I'll share a story. I'm here in Pittsburgh today because of people not because of a job or anything else. I started the church that we planted in new Orleans in 2008, after hurricane Katrina. God moved in a number of great ways. Got to be a part of some amazing things. Well then the opportunity presented itself for me to come here to Pittsburgh to start another church and to also lead the city. Well, as we walked through that, Newark is my hometown loop. Like this is leaving home. This was hard for me, but I knew that I had another assignment. And so on the last weekend that I'm in new Orleans. We have a record turnout. I'll be honest. It kind of hurt my feelings because it was like the largest turnout in our church. It was like, they're throwing a party that I was leaving. Right. And we're raising up the next leaders and they're saying goodbyes, and this big guy comes walking down. His name's Kirk, he's six foot seven, over 300 pounds. Everybody thinks he plays for the saints, but he does it. And he walks up to me and he's looking mad. He looks at me square in the eyes and he's. Pastor, Rob, I want you to know I'm pretty ticked off that you're leaving us for Pittsburgh. He said, but I came here tonight. God started to convict me of my selfishness. And he said, I came to this conclusion that if you hadn't started this church in new Orleans today, I wouldn't have a relationship with God and I'd be divorced. And I know that in Pittsburgh, if God's called you to go to Pittsburgh, there's someone in Pittsburgh. That you are called to go and impact and make a difference in their life like you made in mind. So I know you're struggling with leaving, but you ain't got no choice. If God told you to go to Pittsburgh, you go to Pittsburgh. And that story for me is why I'm here in Pittsburgh, because it's not about my title, my position, my platform. It's about people. It's about. And this goes to the heart of God. That's what Christ did for all of us. And this is our focus. And so man, the intangible is tangible right there. This is what really matters. And man, Luke is just an honor to be a part of this podcast. And I hope that anybody that's listening today would lock in on that main purpose for their lives because they are making a difference.

Luke:

Well, I really appreciate that and completely agree that it's the people that matter the most. And that's why we're spending the time doing this and having great guests like Yuan. So, so thank you so much. And what about some contact information website, email, someone wanted to reach out to you or some social media handles that you would like.

Rob:

Yeah, you can just check me out on Instagram and Twitter. You know, I'm pretty active with that because I've got a lot of different partners, but mainly because my mama wants to see her grandkids. So it's Rob Wilton TV and I'm not on TV, but someone took Rob Wilton. So I just put TV on there. So I could, you know, one day be on TV, but Rob Weldon TV.

Luke:

Perfect. Well, thanks for sharing that. And thanks for being so generous with your time. I really enjoyed the stories. And, you know, before we hit record, we're talking about how much you love the cold weather up in Pittsburgh. And, you know, we have, uh, great weather here in Chicago. It's 40 degrees. There's leaves everywhere, and you're trying to rake the leaves and the winds or the winds blowing it right back on your lawn. So, Hey, welcome to the welcome to the north Rob.

Rob:

There's no doubt. Hey look, four seasons is way better than the two seasons of new Orleans, hot and warm.

Luke:

I always hear people say that from the south, but I don't know. Gimme, gimme a call about mid January when you have about eight feet of snow on your driveway. And then let me tell it, tell me what you think about new Orleans water at that

Rob:

No, that's when I fly south.

Luke:

yeah. Good thinking. Good thinking. So, well, thanks so much again, I really appreciate it. Really enjoyed the story and just. The alignment we have within let's focus on people. And that's really what this is all about. So thanks for making a difference where you're at and thanks for encouraging our listeners to keep making a difference where they're at.

Rob:

Appreciate it. Luke's been great.

Rob Wilton Profile Photo

Rob Wilton

Pastor / Chaplain

Rob Wilton is a multi-city movement leader for Christ. He is the Founding Pastor of Vintage Church, Send City Missionary for the Send Network, and the Chaplain for the New Orleans Saints. Although his family is from South Africa, Rob was born and raised in New Orleans and this is where he met Jesus. Upon moving to the Carolinas for high school and college, he answered the call to ministry and married his high school sweetheart, Annabeth. Together, they returned to New Orleans for seminary and to serve the city before and after Hurricane Katrina. In New Orleans, they welcomed four beautiful children into this world: Bolt, Mack, Birk, and McCall. After Hurricane Katrina, Rob planted Vintage Church which has reached hundreds for Jesus and he also became the New Orleans Saints Chaplain. After a decade of ministry, the Lord called Rob to plant another Vintage Church in Pittsburgh. In less than a year, Vintage Church Pittsburgh launched with hundreds of people in two different locations. Rob has a Masters of Divinity and a Doctorate of Ministry. He loves to travel, play golf, fly fish, and hang with his family and close friends.