Jeff Zaugg (03:04):
Being dads and seeing these moments of all that’s, this is a thriving, flourishing moments of fatherhood versus versus surviving. Can you talk about just any what you think are some of the factors that make, make for adding life to the dad life in the high school years?
Rob Champion (03:19):
Man, I think, I think everything is so connected. And so, my relationship with my kids through their early years allows for the high school years to be one that is really, enjoyable building more of that coaching, that friendship type of situation. And so really trying to be intentional about being involved in their world. I think the biggest thing I’m learning in this season, is as I’m, as I’m shifting from, you know, specifically coaching to really becoming more of a friend and walking alongside of my kids in their adult years, young adult years, and, learning to, have great conversations, they’re starting to develop their own way of thinking. And so really, taking time to, just be intentional and remember that God has the monitoring and just like, God has me on a journey. I want my kids to be further along than I was when I was at their age. And I have to remember Ok God’s got them in the palm of his hand. And so, uh, so those are, those are, those are some of the things I think, learning how to still lead and direct them and coach them, but at the same time, giving them a little bit of leash to let them grow into it as well.
Jeff Zaugg (04:31):
I think that’s interesting the way you talked about, like, there’s a, there’s a C there’s a development before, long before high school have a preparation, then coach mode is I think the way you described high school and then into friendship mode, that has maybe some coaching elements too. Yeah. Would you go into that a little further? Just maybe what you mean by the progression?
Rob Champion (04:53):
So I think, you know, there’s, there’s a training session, you know, you’re training your kids early on to really understand. You’re pouring values into them early in their age when they’re young. And then as they kind of get older, you know, you’re kind of teaching and developing them and training them and there’s the discipline and showing them right from wrong and helping them take those, those steps. And now it’s kinda shifted towards, for me, in the high school years is more coaching. I’m still leading, I’m still directing, I’m asking questions, I’m trying to help guide them in the ways that are better decisions. Still, still training them on a few things here and there. Um, but really allowing the coaching to come out of relationship rather than out of do this, because I said so, type of aspect.
Rob Champion (05:41):
And so I think with each phase of a child’s development, parenting looks a little different, and I’m learning to embrace that season and, to, allow if a relationship is good. I think that’s the key thing. I think also we see with the Lord, if relationship is well, at the get at the get go, and then continues to be sustained throughout, you can go in and out of those different levels of parenting, and you’re still helping to lead your kid in, great ways, helping them to become all that God wants them to be. And so the coaching is more of a man you have a decision to make, or there’s some things that you need to do. Okay. Let’s talk about that. Let’s have a conversation about that. Hey, how is this helping you? Is this really the destination that you want to get to? So really utilizing a lot of questions rather than telling them what to do. It’s more, helping them to realize and understand, yeah, this may not lead to the, to the outcome that I want, and helping them to come to that realization. And so really trying to help lead their developmental processing and to think well, if that makes sense.
Jeff Zaugg (06:58):
Well, something you said a couple of minutes ago, you said, you know, hopefully to be taking steps, to be a step ahead of where I was in that place. So you didn’t describe perfection being your goal, but a step ahead. And that actually takes me to the backdrop of going back to you as a kid and what you saw modeled for you, from your dad, your mom, and, so let’s go, let’s rewind for a moment. What, what things did you say, Hey, I want to do the same as I saw from my dad. And then what areas did you say, Hey, I want to – and leveling up is not a bad thing. When I say level up, it’s just like, no, that’s a gift we have just like the gift you’re giving your kids to level up intentionality level of helpfulness and coaching. So, yeah. Talk about both sides of it though. What you tried to repeat and what you tried to take a different course.
Rob Champion (07:42):
Totally. My dad, who’s a single, he was a single parent home. He grew up in low income housing. His dad wasn’t around. And so my dad really didn’t have a model of really what it meant to be a good father. And so he did the best that he could, he knew what he didn’t want. He knew he wanted to stay around for his kids. So one of the things I really appreciate about my dad is, I’m the oldest of six kids. And so he, my mom was pregnant with me. He decided he’s going to stick around. He married this woman. And so he married, her was committed to, giving us the best life that he could. He was 18 years old when he became, when he got married. So I’m young. I mean, my son’s 18 right now.
Rob Champion (08:28):
I can’t even imagine him starting a family. I mean, he’s nowhere ready. And so my dad, you know, kind of jumped into there. I don’t want to give all the, all the history, but kinda, he kind of grew up in that, in that environment. I would say the things that, that I would most want to, be like with my dad, the things that I kind of admired about him was he was, he was very, he was a hardworking guy. And so he worked hard, very, very diligent, really valued education and the importance of making sure that you’re going to get an education that you work hard in school. And so all of us where were A, B students, honor roll students growing up, my dad was really, really big into that. And then also instilling in us and understanding of our identity, because my mom was white, my dad’s black, I grew up biracial.
Rob Champion (09:26):
And so there was, there was comments, kids would say, on who were white and then kids that were black, that would say different things. And so I was kind of in the middle of, a lot of, racial kind of weirdness and identity crisis for maybe for a lot of people. But my dad always kind of helped reinforce my identity and helped me understand who I was, that I am white and I’m black. And the importance of understanding both of those as part of my heritage personally, and, not allowing other people’s thoughts, to, cause me to, question who I am and even who I am in God. And so that was a huge foundational piece. And I would say that’s something I want to try to continue to, perpetuate in the lives of my kids, as far as an area for, just kinda leveling up.
Rob Champion (10:18):
So to speaking and, and kind of getting better, because my dad never had a dad, I don’t think he really knew how to, grow, as well in a relationship with a son. And so having a son of my own, one of the things I’m wanting to do is making sure that I’m really having great relationship with him. My dad had a great relationship with my sister who’s the second oldest. But with me it was, it was, it was challenging. I think he was trying to, he was 18 years old. He’s trying to figure out what does this even need to look like? And, and so I have so much grace for my dad. He’s the one who led our family to Christ. He had an encounter with the Lord, and that encounter actually changed the trajectory of generations. I’m a pastor today because of his, decision to follow after Christ. And so those wonderful things, but I would say I really am wanting to grow in my relationship with my kids, that as we get older, as they become more adults, that we not just have a father-son relationship, but that we actually have a friend relationship, you know, that’s kind of one of the biggest areas I’m trying to make sure I’m leading in well.
Jeff Zaugg (11:28):
For sure. How about, friendships? Did you see modeled your dad having good, good friends, nutrition, friends. Do you see any of that modeled?
Rob Champion (11:36):
Man – That was tough. My dad was a pretty much a loner. And so he was out there trying to do it himself, which I think, robably added to some of the challenge of really not knowing what to do. And so he really didn’t have very much community and so I’m very community oriented and I’ve actually really learned the value, having some men in my corner who are going to speak into my life as a man and as a father to help me, be the best that I can be. And so, yeah.
Jeff Zaugg (12:09):
Yeah. I’ve known that about you Rob from our 10 years of knowing each other, that’s a deep passion and I kind of had guessed that might’ve been a pendulum swing of. Like, I didn’t see that model. And now you’re modeling. I mean, for your son, your daughter, they know that just like I know that. That that’s deep, like men in your corner and even the way you’ve invested this last year to build with all the limitations and things we can’t do with COVID, you’ve, you’ve built into brotherhood in a huge way. So talk a little more about that principle and the impact, and also the downside, if you don’t have it, if you’re isolated – the vulnerabilities. So talk about brotherhood.
Rob Champion (12:43):
It’s so good. Um, one of my life verses is out of the Ecclesiastes and it says “One can be defeated, but two can stand back to back and conquer, and the triple braided cord is not easily broken.” And so it’s this idea that man, if you’re by yourself, the enemy can pick you off. But if you have a brother who can stand back to back with you, you can actually slay a lot of giants. You can win a lot of things. And I think, so it, it really has, been life to me. Honestly, my greatest growth has been a result of a brother who would say, man, you need to deal with that. And it wouldn’t feel good, Jeff. So I’m not saying this is something that, that it was one of those things where it was like, Oh man, I feel it was great.
Rob Champion (13:28):
It was actually through pain that, that our brother would speak into my life. And specifically I have one here in Oklahoma City, that is, man he is in my corner, and he doesn’t always tell me what I like, but he tells me what I need. And, uh, I’ve found that I’ve, um, been able to avoid, landmines as a result of that. I’ve been able to deal with some deeper things in my life that I didn’t even know were there that needed to be uprooted. So that actually my confidence would be found in the Lord and not in someone’s else’s opinion on someone else’s thoughts, that, which, which has helped me actually to be a better dad, helped me to be a better husband, helped me be a better man. And so I would say to those guys who don’t have that, man, you need to find it.
Rob Champion (14:20):
You need to be a part of a community where you can actually find some brothers that can strengthen you, as a man, I think there’s this, this ego sometimes we have as guys that man, I got to pick myself up by my bootstraps. I got to do it by myself. And yeah, there’s some times when you have to do some things yourself, no one’s going to do it for you. But I love the illustration. I’m reading a book right now that talks about this illustration of Navy seals and, kind of built on the whole idea that if you, Navy seals, they’re dependent upon their brothers to have their back, they’re moving forward, the brother behind them has to take care of them because he has to have their six or, or the whole thing to get blown up. The whole thing would fall apart. And the value that’s so necessary. I think even in the body of Christ, of understanding that you need people behind you who have your six, and the value of that. And if you don’t have it, man, you have a weak spot where the enemy can hit you and really take you out.
Jeff Zaugg (15:26):
Is that Killing Kryptonite, John Bevere is that the book? It is. Talk a little bit more about it. We’ll link it in the show notes, this book, and I have learned from principles from his speaking, but I haven’t read this book yet. So it’s on my, it’s on my to read list, but talk about why you’d recommend that book,
Rob Champion (15:40):
Man. And so this is, I didn’t read it before. I actually decided to do a book study on it with, with our men group. But man, I would say that the, the key principles there is understanding the importance of community and how, how one person impacts that community. So either for the negative or for the positive. And so if they’re, you know, the Bible talks about a man named Aiken and they were sitting in the camp and then aiken his issue was man, he brought sin in the camp and people lost their lives as a result of his sin. And then the other thing is true is that when you have other people around you, in the body of Christ, you actually help can bring strength to one another in areas. So that there’s no weakness. And so there’s, there’s parts of that. We play that can either hinder the advancement of God’s kingdom or advance it based off of how we are engaged in unity in the community. And so it’s a, it’s a powerful book it’s been really encouraging for me. It’s, it’s really challenging me to make sure I don’t got anything in the place of, of God in my life, uh, to make sure that I’m fully who God wants me to be. And yeah,
Jeff Zaugg (16:48):
Well, I think the tagline, if I have it right, is “destroying what is destroying your strength?” Killing kryptonite is the name of the book. So yeah, we recommend it. And, there is a, there’s truly a battle going on. And if the enemy of Satan can take out the dad effect the ripple effect, to our kids, our kids kill the ripple versus the leveling up that is God’s plan of us adding life. So it’s a, we know, we know there are things going to come after our strength as dads, they’re going to help us. They’re going to cause us to bring less than God’s….the gift that we’re supposed to be to bring to our kids, which we’re all very imperfect dads clear about that. It’s funny. In fact, we’ll go in this direction. Now, if I was to ask your wife, Nikki, I was to say, Hey, give me some not so awesome dad moments. So instead of you coming up with them, think through the filter of your wife, like areas that, of course you’re not perfect, but areas that like, Hey, this is something that, you know, Rob is he’s, he’s, uh, he’s still working on or he met, he missed it here, but we all learned from it, like what would, what would be one or two of those stories that she would share?
Rob Champion (17:50):
I would think one of the biggest thing, my dad was a big disciplinarian, right? And so growing up, he was not afraid to, spank your behind so to speak and, that’s, when you needed it, he’d take care of business. And, and so, I think early on, I really had, I had some major insecurities, I didn’t realize this until about 2019, where God really took me on a journey of, revealing some things that were in my heart, that were leading to some of my behaviors. And so one of the behaviors was anger, I would blow up, I would get frustrated, I would get angry. And a lot of it just cause I was suppressing a lot of things. And so with all of that said, man, I think one of the things that she would say is there will be times where I would discipline the kids out of anger.
Rob Champion (18:39):
And in those moments, man, I have just some regrets in those situations, the impact that it had on my kids and, and they’re, they’re looking at me, and walking in fear and instead of knowing that dad loves you and, and knowing that he’s not gonna react in this poor way. And so I had to apologize to my kids many times and just say, Hey guys, I’m sorry. That’s not how I need to react. You know, pray for dad. That’s got to get better here. And you know, they would forgive and they would hug me and we would be, we would, we would grow in our relationship, but I would say those are the one time I blew up on my daughter’s Charissa. She’s probably maybe eight years old. And, I just blew up on her and a man, she was cowering in the corner and I was like, Oh man, this is, this is traumatic.
Rob Champion (19:33):
I mean, this is not good. And, since then I think the Lord has, has done a deeper work in my heart. A lot of those were birthed out of insecurities in me. And once God really helped me deal with those insecurities and really realize that He is my source. Right. I knew it, Jeff, but I didn’t have a conviction about it. I didn’t, I wasn’t convinced of some things. And so the Lord had to convince me of some things about who he is for me and who I am in him and those things that allow me to kind of walk through this. So I think I’m doing better today. I think you could ask my wife, how’s he doing with anger and things she would say better. Yeah.
Jeff Zaugg (20:13):
Yeah. And I know like physically, if physical strength, if we realize that, I haven’t lifted weights in a while, or I haven’t, and I haven’t done those, those ab workouts, man, you can tell where we have some signals of like, Hey, there’s some, there’s some things going on. I think there’s also those subtle signals when there’s inner work that needs attention. And I’m curious if it was your, your friend that you’ve mentioned if it was brotherhood or what, what was it in 2019 year and a half or whatever two years ago that they caused a, some deeper work that helped in this anger area. Was there any, any signals that for you?
Rob Champion (20:42):
There were several, there were several Jeff, and so one was a friend who said, man, there’s some stuff here, Rob, I’m seeing that you gotta deal with. And then he recommended another to me is called leadership pain. Um, and a great book recommend highly recommended. It actually started me on this journey of really dealing with some stuff in my heart that I didn’t realize was connected to a whole lot of things. And so, reading through that book and then going through a breaking season. So, ministry’s hard. Jeff’s is tough and, it was hard, man. And, so here, here at the church, as I was growing and learning what it meant to be, in the role that I was here, realizing that I’m realizing I’m falling short in some areas, and I’m not measuring up to the standard at which leadership was wanting me to measure up to and feeling like I had to measure up or I wasn’t able to measure up it brought out all these insecurities in my heart and my mind.
Rob Champion (21:46):
And, as I was going through a really hard season, so it was, I would say was three critical factors. I was going through a really hard season. A friend was willing to say, Hey man, the way you’re reacting is not healthy. And then I, I looked, I, I began to dive into that book. And as I began to read that book, I began to see some things in me. And then God began to take me on a journey of renewing my mind, really is what it was, and, changing some the wrong beliefs I had because of my experiences and allowing my beliefs to be rooted on God’s truth rather than my experiences. And that was a shift for me that really caused breakthrough in my life. And so those would be three. You got to have somebody who’s willing to tell you the hard truth. And then for me, I’ve found that a resource always helps me to figure out the process and the steps of that. But also I’ve learned that in our journey, don’t be afraid of the pain, the pain that you experience is God’s trying to show you and grow you through your pain. So embrace it and be willing to go on the journey. God will lead you.
Jeff Zaugg (23:05):
At that point with your kids in high school, upper high school, mid high school, like the gift of getting some of that inner heart work, the identity stuff earlier in dad’s life. I mean, it’s always the way it works. We hit a growth period and we’re like, Oh, I wish I would’ve had that asset. But for the dad, who’s listening that doesn’t have the friend that’s calling it out. Maybe they’re not hitting the crisis moment or the moment of, I don’t have enough on the, on the professional side. And then maybe they’re not reading the book, right? The three factors, how would, how would we, or how would you encourage us if you were coaching me? You know, my oldest is seven to do some self-examination and do some of the hard work now versus wait till, another season. Yeah. Encourage me, coach me around that topic.
Rob Champion (23:47):
So man, Jeff, I would tell you brother, anything you’re not liking in how you’re behaving is tied to a root in your life that God is trying to uproot. And so anytime you see those things, I would say to you, Hey man, dive into that, ask the Lord, what insecurity,? what lie are you believing from the enemy? And be willing to dig into it, and allow the Lord to do heart surgery on you, because you will be so much better of a dad. So much better of a husband, so much better of a man, and a leader. Once you really deal with some of the root rootedness, because he here’s, here’s why, I believe in this so strongly Jeff, this is one of the, I think the biggest things in my heart right now for men, to deal with, is because every, the Bible says, guard your heart for out of it flows, the wellspring of life, everything comes out of it.
Rob Champion (24:49):
And so the issue is, our wounds in our heart that we experienced from when we were little kids, when we get older, all of those things, the enemy has a way of allowing us in our, in our brain. It’s wired to where we have an experience. Now we create a belief out of that experience. And every time something is similar to that, it reinforces that belief in our mind. And so I would say to anyone, if you’re seeing behaviors that you don’t like, if there are people, your wife is telling you there’s behaviors in you that are not good,
Speaker 3 (25:22):
Like doesn’t have, there’s nothing that she wants. Right. You’re great. You’re perfect. You’re the best husband. So not true. Yes. I cut you off. Keep going.
Rob Champion (25:33):
And, uh, and anyone who’s close to you, they’re going to see, they’re going to see your dirty laundry, right? And so, pay attention to that. Anything that you do that you realize that’s not a good behavior. It is rooted in something and take the time to uproot it. The earlier you can uproot it and change that root with a root belief. That’s rooted in God’s word and who he says you are and who you are and who he is for you. The quicker you can do that, the more you start walking in victory. And you’ll see. Yeah, you’ll see so many benefits. You’ll see, actually for me in these last two years, I’ve actually seen favor open up in my life like I hadn’t before. And I’m like, man, I don’t feel like I’m even doing it. I’m not working harder. I have peace, I’m not walking with anxiety. I’m not walking with depression. I’m not walking with guilt. And, I can’t say that before, before I had all kinds of guilt, had all kinds of anxiety, had all kinds of depression and the things that guys often aren’t talking about, but I was dealing with all of it and stress would hit, and it would cause all those reactions to happen. And, uh, once I dealt with those roots, man, stress hits me different. It hits me different.
Jeff Zaugg (26:51):
And you know what? You still can be. You can still bring life to people around you. And when you have all that stuff, the roots that you haven’t dug it, you can still be a benefit, a positive dad, but I just want to pinpoint for a second. So we had launched maybe maybe five, four or five years ago. And like that time when he was really good, but I didn’t, I didn’t walk away like feeling like it changed the trajectory of my dad life for my life, the time with you. Cause it was just like, it was good, good brother time, but now okay. The difference when we connected two months ago and I got off the call with you, I felt like I was, I was like, Oh my word, I’m so inspired to go after my purpose. I’m so, and then I started looking into the brotherhood, just this one little focus of your ministry and we’re going to link to it the Saturday and the Thursday brotherhood groups that you have. But the, I just roughly Rob, how many guys have been impacted even just once by that ministry, the last, the last 12 months since COVID hit, roughly, do you have any ballpark of how many guys have joined you?
Rob Champion (27:48):
Man, I would say, um, impacted in the last year, started at zero, Jeff, we’re probably, we’ve impacted, I would say at least 400 and 400 plus guys.
Jeff Zaugg (28:01):
Okay. So I just want everyone to listening to hear this, like, so this is the benefit when you move from I’m okay. I’m okay. I’m doing my job. My family loves me to doing the heart work, the inner work, the potential within a year and a half of that breakthrough, 400 plus guys have been in a year that we all need hope and we need inspiration. We need books studies around. And not that every dad reads the book, but they’ve all been blessed in some way by interacting with you. So I just want to make sure if no one else has called, I want to call out the difference of doing the heart work, how much it matters and how I’ve been impacted by it. So guys listening, like do the work because you have no idea that you will be a catalyst to other dads, other men, other spheres of influence. It’s not just for yourself and your kids. It’s so easy to think that like, Oh, it’s painful. I don’t want to dig out these roots. And the impact could be a multiplier that is far beyond what anyone….
Rob Champion (28:58):
And it’s so much more beneficial for you. Like I didn’t understand. I didn’t know what, I didn’t know, Jeff. I didn’t realize on the backside, man, I have more peace. My relationships are better. I got more patience. The more, the fruit of the spirit is evident in my life because I uprooted some stuff in my life that shouldn’t have been there. Like it is beneficial to you, but also it’s beneficial to your impact. I think in your family, as well as, going out to a lot of people, a hundred percent with you brother.
Jeff Zaugg (29:28):
Story, that’ll add to it. So I was working and I was cleaning dishes in our kitchen and I’m cleaning dishes and I’m like, man, I had just have the strongest headache. What is going on? I just felt bad. And I realized that the stove, the gas was on, on the stove. Oh no. So I hear it out the whole house. And I’m like, okay. Imagine, imagine if you’re living that way, that you’re breathing in toxic gas, that will kill you. That’s the place that I think a lot of us live because we haven’t done the inner, like we have the potential of airing out, opening the windows, turn the gas off, breathe and not, not carry a headache mentality into our dad life, our profession, like how much more effective am I going to be? If I’m not breathing in natural gas?
Jeff Zaugg (30:12):
This is that critical. This is how critical it is to have friends to do the heart work, to welcome, like welcome hard things with a, what in me needs to change. And want to, I want to, do you want to pivot to just practical for a moment? Cause it’s easy to go like hard work, hard work, hard work, but any just coaching for it. Doesn’t matter what chapter high school kids, junior high kids, my age or younger dads season. Just any coaching tips as you think about, Hey, this is some things that you would encourage or, you know, if you had blitz mentoring to deal with a bunch of dads, just what comes to mind that you’d want to share with us?
Rob Champion (30:45):
Man, I would say one of the biggest things I’m noticing and COVID has amplified it. I’m noticing in a lot of conversations is that a lot of people are struggling in their communication. They don’t know how to communicate well. They didn’t have good examples of communication. And they don’t have good – They don’t have good conflict resolution skills. And so I would say the biggest thing that I would say practically is seek first to understand your kid, seek first, to understand your wife, seek first, to understand anyone, um, and seek to listen with a mindset to understand not a mindset to refute the other idea. It’s so good for all of us because that’s our tendency is I gotta refute. I gotta share with you why you’re wrong, why I’m right. And we have to, we have to take that back and say, let me see first understand. When you’re telling me you’re upset with me because I’m not home and I’m out here playing basketball and hanging out with the guys too much, really? That is a cry saying, Hey, I want to spend time with you. And I need to seek to understand what’s behind that rather than get upset and start reacting to it and saying how I am doing what you need me to do now. So I think in any relationship, when I seek to understand you, I can then say, I’m sorry, man. I didn’t mean to come across that way. Here was my intent. How can I do that better that it hits you better? How can we walk forward in agreement and what this is going to look like now and begin to seek to understand, and then not make it about my answer and make it about, okay, how will we agree on a solution and walk together?
Rob Champion (32:31):
I’m learning that more with my kids. To seek to understand their perspective to not get angry and upset when, when they, as young adults are coming with their own ideas and their own thoughts about how I am and what I need to change and all of these things that happen as kids grow, or even when they’re young seek to understand, yeah, it’s a big point. I couldn’t do it until I was whole, though. There’s a part there where my insecurity kept causing me to be defensive. And so if there’s a lot of defensiveness in any person, any dad, any man out there, I would say, man, there’s something behind that. Deal with that. Because once you deal with that, you’ll actually be in a good place where you can actually seek to understand, and it doesn’t hit your value.
Jeff Zaugg (33:29):
Just give you a moment. If there’s any last thing you wanted to share. And I will link out to you again, the books, you mentioned both books and the zoom, the brotherhood groups that you’re leading, which is so cool. Like people can join from anywhere. Even the time zone. The times you’ve picked are really inclusive of anyone in the different time zones in the US so, yeah, anything else that you’d want to share with us?
Rob Champion (33:48):
I would say men understand, who you are in Christ, understand that you are fearfully, wonderfully made that you have unique gifts and abilities and talents and skills. And just because you may not have the skills that another brother may have or, the abilities that someone else may have, understand that you, your value is not based off of what you do. It’s based off of whose you are, you belong to the Father and your value is rooted in that. Stand confident in that understand you have something to offer your kids. You have something to offer your spouse. You have something to offer your church. You have something to offer this world and walk in your gifts and let other people do the things that you’re not so gifted in and celebrate them in it as well. We all need each other, um, get a brother in your corner. And, I believe that that you’ll become all that God wants you to be.