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It’s a typical Saturday morning, my wife and I are driving around hitting up some yard sales. But we spiced it up today and went to a storage unit auction and a tag sale. We had a few under our belt and decided to stop to grab some coffee before continuing on to the next bargains.

There wasn’t a long line, only one man in front of us at the cash register. That’s when my wife nudges me and looks at him. Huh, that’s Coach Joe Gibbs and it’s not a rare site around our area to see NASCAR people, but I thought it was odd that he wasn’t at the track on a Saturday.

I admire this guy, I’ve read biographies, articles, and heard endless stories about what a class act he is. Do I speak, do I not speak? Don’t say anything. Well, maybe, say something.

As he turns around, waiting on his order I said good morning Coach, and that’s when the conversation started. Good morning, what are you up to this weekend? That’s where I blew it…or so I thought. I just said it’s a lazy weekend with my wife, spending some time together. How boring did I just sound?!

Telling him I was surprised to see him here and not at the track, he explained that his grandson was racing at a local track and he wasn’t going to miss that and he’d fly out to the west coast track the following morning. I complimented him on his priorities (like he needed to hear that from me, this is a man who has Prioritization down to a spiritual science!).

Then, he said, “Here’s a little tract for you” as he hands me the Game Plan For Life pamphlet/brochure/tract.

Suddenly, I felt small, inadequate, but inspired. He takes every opportunity to share the Gospel Of Jesus Christ at any time. And I just said it was a lazy weekend for me. I didn’t outline my plans. I didn’t take the same opportunity to say that my weekend plans include church…as they always do. I just glossed right over it.

That led the conversation in a different way. I told him thank you and that I’m a believer, that our church is growing at a rapid pace (we’re even building a whole new sanctuary at Rocky Mount United Methodist Church in Mooresville NC).

“That’s awesome, I’m glad we’re on the same team!” followed by a fist bump by Coach Joe Gibbs. He asked about the church, offered to assist with Bibles if anyone needed them, and we talked about heaven, about Jesus, and about struggles with ‘religion’.  That’s how I like to talk about Jesus, with a fist-bump, with laughter, with excitement.  Not with strict rules and suits and repeating memorized words

He’s is a class act, but you knew that already. He motivates, he inspires, he creates teams, he evangelizes, he models outstanding relationships…but in this encounter, he taught me to have the confidence to include “Church” when someone asks me about my weekend plans.

Find out more about Coach Joe Gibbs Game Plan For Life here:


Pete Herrick is a radio personality, speaker, blogger and podcaster. He works with groups on leadership, culture, transition, efficiency, storytelling and branding. Find him on social media @peteherrick or at Now booking engagements, contact us for availability.