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The 700 Club

Legendary Coach Joe Gibbs on Setting Priorities Straight

Tom Buehring - 700 Club Producer

Joe Gibbs is on a distinguished journey, the lone inductee in both the Pro Football and NASCAR Halls of Fame! The man of multiple championships and significant achievement contemplates his life - as he continues to live it!

Question: “You invest into people. Over the course of your career and your life how does it look different to you at the age that you are now?”

Joe Gibbs: “As I look back on it, hopefully, a little more aware that I’m really trying to walk with The Lord and I want to finish strong! Doing the right job of keeping the right priorities in life. God, first! Loving others, second. And then your occupation third. So, I struggled with that earlier in life and hopefully I’m doing a better job of it now.”

Question: “What helped you realize, that it had to be reprioritized?”

Joe Gibbs: “You’re competitive. You want to win. You drive. You go hard. It was a struggle to keep the right priorities in life. I sat down with my two boys and I said ‘look, I got to apologize the time I was gone. I could have handled that differently and I hope you can learn from me. Don’t do that! You know (laugh)!’ And I’m trying to invest in my grandkids.”
 
Question: “Both the NFL and NASCAR has afforded you a cross-generational audience – they connect with you!”

Joe Gibbs: “God, down through history, has chosen very average people, I’m an average Joe! I know that! And He’s chosen those average people – and blessed them with some great experiences and a great life and certainly that’s been the case with me. The Lord has blessed me and I want to share that!”

Question: “Your reputation is that you circle yourself around the very best. Is it a lost art in not being threatened around those that are better than you?”

Joe Gibbs: “No, I think leaders and people that are team builders they realize it's finding the right people, asking them to sacrifice their individual goals for the goals of the team. And that’s hard, because that goes against human nature. But I think when you do find a group of people that’s the way to be successful in the two things I’ve been in.”

Question: “Leader, teacher, innovator and competitor. Which of those four do you most identify with?”

Joe Gibbs: “I’ve always loved being around teams and people. That’s been my life. I don’t think you can put it in one category. But for me I do realize the most important thing in my life and the most important thing I’m going to leave on this earth – won’t be the football games (laugh), it won’t be the races, it’s gonna be the impact I’ve had on others.”

And the impact another left on him, after losing his son J.D. to a long battle with a degenerative neurological disease.

Question: “You're on the sideline, cap, glasses, jacket, headset. You look fatherly. When you think of God as your head coach on your sideline, what does He look like?”

Joe Gibbs: “For me I think we all have a vision of what we think Christ looks like. And I can’t wait! My son J.D. went to be with the Lord three years ago. I can only imagine what J.D.’s experiencing right now. And some day, the great thing is, I’m going to get to be with him. Something that I find myself thinking about a lot.”

Question: “What attribute of Jesus’ example has contributed most to how you live?”

Joe Gibbs: “Thing I think about Jesus is the way he loved others. He was a servant-style leader and I think that’s what characterized him. He set the ultimate example and I think that’s the reason why so many people have invited him into their life and asked him to be their Lord and Savior.”

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