Part 2: Jon and Tim Ross Mix It Up

Listen to part one here. Tim Ross just stepped down from his role as senior pastor at Embassy City Church, a church he started nearly a decade ago, to start a podcast. It was a leap of faith because he didn’t understand why God was calling him to make the move, but he would soon find out. His YouTube podcast, The Basement With Tim Ross, grew to more than 100 thousand subscribers only a few months after launching. As that number continues to climb, Tim Ross continues to embrace the ambiguity of the season into which God has called him. On this episode of the Church InTension podcastThe King’s University President, Dr. Jon Chasteen, talks with Tim about the changing season and how he started his popular podcast.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: Hey Church Intention Podcast listeners, we’re so glad that you’re taking some time out of your day to listen. This is part two of a conversation with Tim Ross. And so, if you miss part one you need to push pause right now and go back and listen to part one. This is very, very fun conversation, I know you’re going to love it. I told you part one was good. Part two’s even better. Can’t wait for you to listen to it. Hope you enjoy.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: So, this podcast doesn’t have segments, but if it did I’m going to move into a different segment. One of my favorite things to do with you, we do it all the time when we get together, is we like to share what we’re finding in scripture, or sermons that we’re writing in our brains.

Tim Ross: Yes, sir.

Jon: And share it. You’re talking about how the word is such a deep well that every time we read it, there’s something else in it. So, I’ve got tons of stuff I could talk to you about. What are some things lately that you’ve been leaning into or something that’s popping in scripture? Get me excited, because we have a lot of pastors that listen to this podcast watch that will rip everything we’re about to say, which is cool. But then we have a lot of people that just listen that want to be encouraged like us. I don’t know if anybody like with this, but I like it so I don’t care what they think. I like doing this with you.

Tim: Yeah, dude. I love it, and it’s-

Jon: Remember that time we were in North Carolina and … Oh, you’re going there again, to Open Door. Are you going-

Tim: Oh yeah, for sure. Absolutely, yeah.

Jon: We’re going to be there at the same time.

Tim: Absolutely, yeah.

Jon: So, last time we were there together we were in the hotel room unpacking our sermons to each other-

Tim: Yeah. That’s exactly right.

Jon: … “Oh yeah, yeah.”

Tim: We were hyped, super hyped. So, ambiguity is my thing right now, because it’s what I’m currently walking through. And so, Genesis 12 is one of the most delicious chapters in the entire Bible. The first three verses could be a semester in a college course, but there’s an invitation that God has given Abram and Sarai, and there’s another delicious thing in there that the invitation’s not for Lot. And I’ve been unpacking that with a friend of mine, and it’s just delicious. But anyway, there’s an invitation into ambiguity. God is asking a man, who is 75 years old, and a woman who is 65 years old, to place their faith in Him and follow Him to a place He will not talk to them purposely about until they start leaving where they are. And I’m fascinated by that in a way I’ve never been fascinated before, because that’s what I’m being asked to do.

Jon: Yeah, blind. Just blind.

Tim: This is blind, you don’t even understand what he means by father of many nations. There are no guarantees-

Jon: No context.

Tim: … you have no context-

Jon: No location, no GPS-

Tim: You don’t wake up from a dream seeing your grandchildren and your great-grandchildren. You just get this word, and this word is either going to be compelling enough to make you do something you’ve never done, or it’s going to paralyze you and you’re never going to leave your block for as long as you live.

Jon: And in Romans it says that even when he had no reason to hope, he kept on hoping.

Tim: That part. So, ambiguity is this whole thing that I’m really leaning into because this is really the theme of my life right now, it’s that I’m stepping into ambiguity. People are like, “Oh, it must be so exciting. And you see these metrics from YouTube, and what’s happening on Instagram.” And I’m like, “That doesn’t pay my mortgage.”

Jon: Yeah. And it could be, you never know how long it lasts. It’s hard to build an empire around that.

Tim: What are we talking about? I don’t even know what we’re talking about right now.

Jon: Okay, keep talking. I got to pull up a verse that I read yesterday.

Tim: Hey, bring it.

Jon: That is this.

Tim: Yeah. So, while you’re getting at, I’m just in this space where I’m embracing ambiguity, and I’m resonating with Abram’s narrative because I’m 47 years old and nobody I know is leaving the ministry as a lead pastor-

Jon: Tim, most people are starting a podcast hoping that someday they could have a church like Embassy City. You just left Embassy City to do …

Tim: Right. What am I even doing right now?

Jon: Dude, listen to this.

Tim: Yes.

Jon: All right? So, we all know Hebrews 11, the faith chapter.

Tim: Yes.

Jon: All right. This is NIV. So, the first part of it, blah-blah. “By faith, Abraham, when called to go to place he would later receive as an inheritance, obeyed and went even though he did not know where he was going.” Verse 9, “By faith, he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country.” This is the part that blew my mind. I’ve read this 100 times. “He lived in a tent as Isaac and Jacob who were heirs within him.” Verse 10, “For he was looking forward to a city with foundations.” This dude had the ability to live in a tent, but see future foundations. So, how do you lay in the dirt and envision foundations? That dude, living in a tent in a foreign land, but he sees something different. He sees a city with foundations.

I read that just yesterday morning, and I had lunch with a guy yesterday, because this is what I’m on, and this is a perfect segue. So, I know that men can’t get pregnant. Right?

Tim: Right.

Jon: That’s kind of common sense. But I have-

Tim: The transgender community would disagree with you.

Jon: The transgender is what I’m speaking about. But I feel pregnant. So, by the time this podcast airs, I’ll be in the middle of this series or season at my church, called … We don’t call them series, we call them seasons. We’re going to be in the season called Expecting. I’ve never been pregnant because I’m not a woman, but when my wife got pregnant we knew we were pregnant. She wasn’t showing. No one knew but us. And when you’re pregnant with something, you don’t even know the gender. I don’t know the hair color, the eye color. I don’t know what this baby’s going to grow up to be. I don’t know its personality, I don’t know its destiny, I don’t know its calling, but dadgummit I know we’re pregnant.

And that’s what I think a lot of people feel. I think that’s what Abraham felt. He’s like, “I don’t even know where I’m going. I don’t know what this baby’s going to look like, but I’m pregnant. And I know I’m going to give birth to this thing. And I don’t know when, or what it’s going to look like, but when you know you’re pregnant, you know you’re pregnant.

Tim: Dude, this is how I feel about this season I’m in.

Jon: And when you’re pregnant, it’s uncomfortable. Julia was pregnant. They walk different, they sleep different, they are nauseous. And the closer it gets to birthing, the more uncomfortable it gets.

Tim: Oh, then I’m very pregnant. My water might break while I’m here. I might turn this water over with the cap off.

Jon: Dude, it became so-

Tim: Just as a prophet prophetic gesture.

Jon: Maybe I’ll get more sermon ideas while we’re talking here, but it just came to life to me so much because I remember … Do you remember that old book that every pregnant woman’s read? What to Expect When You’re Expecting?

Tim: Yeah, yeah.

Jon: So saying, “Hey, when you’re pregnant, this is what you can expect. You expect to be uncomfortable, you’re going to be nauseous.” All these things. But then there’s even a timing issue. There’s a gestation period for the seed. And I remember whenever we had our first child, Corey, Michelle had tons of complications in the delivery. She was in labor for 18 hours or something, and she wanted to push so bad. And the doctor was like, “Don’t push.”

Tim: Juliette was there with Noah.

Jon: “Don’t push.”

Tim: Yeah, I remember that.

Jon: “If you push, yes, you’re going to do more harm than you’re going to do good.”

Tim: I remember this. Yes, I remember this.

Jon: And so, I think even when we feel pregnant with God, with a vision, a dream, a calling, we don’t know what it’s going to look like, there’s moments where we want to just push. Like, “I can fix this. I know how to get this baby out of me.” And God’s like, “No.” But there came a moment where the doctor was like, “Okay, time to push. That baby’s coming out.” So, this has been wrecking me, dude. Because I feel that way in me in a lot of things in my life right now where I don’t even know what it is, but I know I’m pregnant.

Tim: Yo. I feel like I’m going to jump out of my skin talking to you about this. So last week, there’s a clip. My producers, we shoot a lot of content. So, there’s a lot of stuff to choose from. Well, they put this thing out about marriage. That thing has over 17 million views on Instagram. It’s not even viral, it’s nuclear. Last week, Tina Knowles Lawson posted it on her Instagram. That’s Beyonce’s mama. Then Holly Robinson Pete reposted it. Then Kelly Rippa commented on it, then Cedric the Entertainer commented on it, and then Niecy Nash commented on it and reposted it like yesterday. She’s married to a woman. And so, this is out there in the atmosphere, and I’m sitting here like, “What is going on?” Well, one of my producers is like, “Do we need to capitalize on this by doing this, this, this, and this?”

Jon: Push.

Tim: Push. And I told him quite the opposite. This is not God saying, “Hurry up.” This is God saying-

Jon: “Watch Me work.”

Tim: Right, right. This is God saying, “Prepare yourself. It’s not a time to push. My last day is not going to be impeded by all this other stuff going around.” So I told him, “Hold off on that, because now that we’re in the new year, now we can push, because this is my full-time job.” But at the time that this happened-

Jon: The timing wasn’t the right timing.

Tim: … it’s like, we can’t do that now because I still have two things that I’m trying to steward. But when it’s time to push-

Jon: It’s time to push. It’s time to push.

Tim: … I don’t need an epidural. I’m just going to squat. I’m a just-

Jon: Get in the stirrups.

Tim: … I’m a Sumo bend down and just squat. And because I do feel like that, dude, because you know I see everything in my head. So, I’m looking at Abraham pitch his tent.

Jon: Got to be careful on that one.

Tim: Climb in, that’s why I slowed down, climb into it, prop up-

Jon: On the dirt-

Tim: … like some burlap or whatever sacks he has as a pillow, and go to sleep thinking, “I could climb out of this tent and it could be a city with all my family.” What?

Jon: Or to go one step further, for him to be able to say, “And even if I never see it, it’s bigger than me.”

Tim: That part, that part.

Jon: “When did it become about me? And maybe it’s about my kids or maybe it’s about Isaac. Maybe it’s about Jacob. Maybe it’s about Joseph. Maybe it’s not about me at all.”

Tim: And listen, that’s a different way to receive a prophetic word, because we all want to be Jacob.

Jon: We all want it. We all want it.

Tim: We want to see it. We want the multiplication, like one, two, 12. We all want to be that person. But I think that’s why Abraham gets so much credit as he should. He’s the only one that got a song. Out of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob-

Jon: Father Abraham.

Tim: … he’s the only one with the song.

Jon: What I think some people do, some people push too soon. Some people don’t take care of the vision and they miscarry. But I actually think, I thought about this in the last couple of days, and I don’t know if I will have preached a message on this yet by the time this podcast airs, but I actually think sometimes … So, let me unpack it this way. So, Abraham knew he’s going to be the father of many nations. Sarah got impatient and right seed, wrong womb. They forced the pregnancy.

Tim: Okay. But slow down, bro.

Jon: They forced the pregnancy

Tim: But slow down though. Don’t say it like it is so casual, and yeah, we all do this, bro. I’ve never heard that in 47 years.

Jon: I hadn’t heard it until day or two ago when I was reading through this.

Tim: Right seed, wrong womb?

Jon: Right? It was the right seed. It was Abraham. It was Abraham’s seed. But Sarah forced it because it wasn’t happening in her time.

Tim: She forced it into the wrong womb.

Jon: Yeah. She knew that it was her baby to carry, but she didn’t think she could. So, she forced the vision into somebody else’s womb.

Tim: Oh my God.

Jon: And it ended up being the wrong thing. This is why I wanted tell you this.

Tim: Oh my God.

Jon: I wanted to know if this is any good. Now I know I need to preach this message.

Tim: I’m preaching it too. It’s going to be a race to the pulpit.

Jon: I may need to change it and preach it this weekend quick.

Tim: Dude. That is …

Jon: But isn’t that what some people do? God’s not giving me a vision, he’s not giving me a baby. I’ll just go out and do what I know to do. I’ll just get the degree I wanted to get. I’ll get the job I want to get. I’ll marry the person I want to marry because it’s not happening in my time.

Tim: Dude. No, I can’t. I’m going to let that marinate, bro.

Jon: No, unpack it more, man. Make it richer. It’s just so crazy to me that you brought up Abraham, because this is all the crap that I’ve been … It’s a terrible word for it, because it’s not crap. This is all the bewilderness that I’ve been-

Tim: Yes, bro.

Jon: It’s just rich.

Tim: It is.

Jon: And it all goes back to what your mom said about all the stuff she knows about the Bible. It’s the head of a needle or whatever she said. Dude, I’ve read that story a million times. I’ve read Hebrews 11 verse a million times, I’ve never noticed tents and foundation.

Tim: No, no.

Jon: So, if people say the Bible’s boring, they’re just stupid people. It’s crazy rich.

Tim: Yeah. They definitely have a veil over their face. No dude, I’m sitting here and I’m like, it’s just a very sobering, cautionary tale.

Jon: But here’s the cool part is even God can redeem that. Even God chased Hagar down and said, “I see you. I know it’s the wrong seed in the wrong womb, but I’m still with you. I still love you.”

Tim: Because it wasn’t her fault.

Jon: No, it wasn’t her fault.

Tim: Now, if we want to back up, I don’t know if you’ve ever-

Jon: Doubt it. Keep going.

Tim: … sifted this out.

Jon: Hey, real quick, I got your eyes and your ears. Don’t push pause, don’t push stop, don’t push fast forward. We’re going to finish the conversation with Pastor Tim in just a minute. But I wanted to let you know of something really important that’s coming up. Our next episode of the Church Intention Podcast, we have Nathan Finochio on. If you don’t know who Nathan Finochio is, he’s an author, he’s a teacher, but he also is the founder and creator of TheosU, as well as TheosU Memes. And we have a really great conversation that you will not want to miss. So, keep your eyes peeled for that. It’s coming in our next episode. Keep your eyes peeled on social media and other platforms, and we will roll that out. Now, back to the conversation with Pastor Tim.

Tim: I don’t know if you’ve ever-

Jon: Doubt it. Keep going.

Tim: … sifted this out. But the only reason why Hagar is an option is because of the lie that Abraham told in Egypt. Hagar is not a part of the caravan prior to them going into Egypt. And when he lies about Sarai, he gets a dowry from Pharaoh. And part of that dowry wasn’t just animals. It was men servants, and man servants. Men servants and maid servants. And she was a part of that package. So, even when God intervened and Pharaoh didn’t sleep with Sarai, and she comes back to Abram, Pharaoh kicks him out but he doesn’t take back to dowry. And that’s how she’s-

Jon: I have not sifted that.

Tim: Bro, that’s how she’s there.

Jon: Was a stupid thing Abram did.

Tim: Because think about it, Sarah could have already used Hagar. I mean, they’re 75 and 65. They haven’t had no kids. They could have had them already. By proxy. So, this is after Genesis 12. Well, I don’t want to say after Genesis 12, this happens in Genesis 12, but it’s after the promise is given and prior to Genesis 13, where Lot and Abram separate. But Hagar would’ve never been an option if Abraham doesn’t lie. So, we can talk about putting the wrong seed in the wrong womb, but sometimes we have to back up and talk about being impatient, being so scared in the season of transition that we compromise our integrity.

Jon: And the ramifications of that long term.

Tim: To this day.

Jon: Yeah. To this day. 100%.

Tim: To this very day.

Jon: One lie.

Tim: That’s why it’s such a cautionary tale for me.

Jon: Oh, it’s so good.

Tim: I’m sitting here thinking, “Have I put the right seat in the wrong womb? Have I ever done that?” I’m sure I have.

Jon: We all have.

Tim: I’m sure I have.

Jon: I’m sure we all have.

Tim: But I’m like, “That’s scary. That’s scary.”

Jon: Well, it wasn’t even until this morning. I studied this in the last day or two, and then I’m meeting with my lead team this morning. And this is therapeutic for me to unpack this with you, because there’s not a lot of people you can really unpack what God is saying to you that you’re going to deliver in a … Have you ever started to talk to somebody about a sermon and you can just see their eyes glaze over?

Tim: Yes. Yes.

Jon: And you’re like, “Bro, let me tell you about this word that I’m-

Tim: Yeah, yeah. Exactly, exactly.

Jon: And so, it really wasn’t until this morning that I was unpacking this thought with my lead team as I go into this season we’re going into, and the words literally just spilled out of my mouth. I said, “Right seed, wrong womb.”

Tim: I’ve never heard it in my life.

Jon: Well, somebody will probably mention me on Instagram and say, “That’s already been said by Jensen Franklin in 19 …” okay. Well, I didn’t hear it so-

Tim: All right, cool. Well, we must be batting in the same-

Jon: There’s nothing new under the song, so-

Tim: Yeah, we must be practicing in the same field, because he just gave it to me too.

Jon: I don’t know, man. And what do people say when they say we’re pregnant? The polite way to say it is we’re expecting.

Tim: That’s exactly right.

Jon: So I’m just like, I don’t even know what I’m expecting. I’m just expecting.

Tim: Yeah, I am too. Dude, I’m telling you. Where I am right now I feel like … Because one of the things the Holy Spirit told me back before the podcast started when I was praying about the timing of it, because I’m like, “I’m transitioning to church. Should I start it in January? When should I start it?” And he’s like, “Start it now.” And I’m like, “What?” And he’s like, “I need this seed to be in the ground, and roots to have gone down, so by the time the transition is complete-

Jon: It’s already bearing fruit.

Tim: … it’s already bearing fruit.” Well bro, that’s when I thought that the transition was happening ’23. Not ’22. So, this is like May-ish. And so, I’m like, “Oh, okay.” And so, I’m flying to Denver in May of ’22, and I’m reading my Bible but I’m not praying about this podcast. I’m not thinking. And the Holy Spirit says, “Hey Tim, I’m setting joy before you.” And I said, “Excuse me?” He goes, “Hebrews 12. But the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross and despised the shame.” He said, “I’m setting joy before you.” He said, “I’m giving you this podcast as joy, so that would make it easy for you to transition from the church.”

And I was like, “What?” You know what I mean? I’m like, “Is it about to hurt? Is this transition about to hurt?” Because that cross is like … You know what I mean? I’m like, “I’m a literalist.” So, I’m like, “Sir, is this about to be painful?”

Jon: Sir? Sir? Sir?

Tim: Please? I just need some clarity.

Jon: Thank you for the word, I need clarity.

Tim: Yeah, I need clarity. But truly, I remember when I did the first pod, I literally said to the producer right after the cameras went off, I said … It was in the green room of Embassy City. And the door you go out would take you out to the sanctuary then the platform. The camera shut off and I said, “If this is what God is calling me to do, I never have to walk out of that door and get on a plane.” That’s literally how I felt. So, I don’t know what this is in the same way Abraham didn’t. But dude, I’m literally putting my head on a rolled up burlap sack and dreaming about a city. I really am. I’m like, “This podcast is going to reach a lot of people. I’m going to sit down with influential people. I’m going to sit down with people nobody’s ever heard of. I’m going to invite everybody I can to the Basement. I don’t know how many people that live down there. I want to find out.” You know what I mean?

Jon: Dude, but even to go take that scripture another layer. I think that’s what faith is. The ability to lay in the dirt and see something that’s not dirt. But even to be more literal with it is, I agree with everything you said, I think laying your head on a burlap sack and looking … But I actually think what you’re envisioning is just the foundation. So, in Oklahoma City there’s this Devon Tower. It’s the tallest building in Oklahoma City, in Oklahoma. And years ago, a neighbor moved in and I met him, shook his hands in his driveway, and I said, “Hey, you moved here? What are you doing?” “Oh, I’m here temporarily. I’m here to build the foundation for the Devon Tower.” And I said, “Oh. Well, that’s awesome.” This is back when it was being built, 900 feet building. He’s there to build the foundation.

And he said, “That’s what I do. I travel all over the country, build skyscraper foundations.” And I said, “How long are you going to be here?” And he’s like, “I’ll be here three years.” And I was like, “What? This is going to take you three years to build this foundation?” And he was like, “Yeah.” And I just kind of said something off the cuff. I didn’t mean it to be a jab or anything, but I just said, “How does it feel to build the thing that no one will ever see? No one’s ever going to drive by that building and say, ‘Wow, what a beautiful foundation.'” And I’ll just kind of laughed. And he didn’t laugh. He was serious. He’s like, “This is my job.”

And he said, “Yeah, it’s funny.” He said, “But I will tell you one thing.” He said, “The height of the building is dependent upon the strength of the foundation.” He said, “So, the building can only go as high as I build it strong.” And I was like, “Oh, thanks for the sermon illustration, buddy.”

Tim: You win. You win. Holy cow, dude.

Jon: I don’t know who wrote Hebrews. No one does really.

Tim: Oh, I can’t wait. I got to find that dude.

Jon: Let’s go find that out real quick in heaven.

Tim: I got to find that dude.

Jon: But I think that there’s even clarity and symbolism in that to say he wrote the word foundation on purpose.

Tim: Yes, he did.

Jon: Because the city wasn’t about the foundation, it was going to be about what was going to be built on top of it. But the foundation was really important. And so, even think about how smart Abraham was that he was like, “Oh, I wasn’t looking at the buildings, I was looking at the foundation.” He was like, “I wasn’t distracted by the beauty of what God’s going to build in the Promised Land. I’m looking at what it’s going to be built on.” That’s how mature this guy is. He’s like, “I can sleep in the tent and forget the buildings. I’m just focused on the foundation.”

Tim: Bro, you’re going to make me nerd out on that verse for like …

Jon: If you preach it before me I’m going to mention you on Instagram-

Tim: Two months.

Jon: … and say, “Thief, robber.”

Tim: No dude.

Jon: I’m kidding. I don’t give a rip if you do that.

Tim: Which I know you don’t. But this is the kind of stuff that you got to throw it in a crock pot.

Jon: It’s got to marinate.

Tim: You know what I mean?

Jon: That’s why I wanted to bring it up, because I was like, “This dude will-

Tim: Yeah, bro.

Jon: There’s very few people that can marinate with me like you can.

Tim: I wouldn’t preach this for two years. Because then the implication is if you’re looking for foundations, the implication is you have a sense of the cornerstone.

Jon: Oh, there we go.

Tim: And that’s jacking me up. Especially since it is the pre-incarnate Christ that visits him.

Jon: See? It just keeps going. It just keeps going.

Tim: I can’t. My brain is not ready to even play with you today.

Jon: But people don’t want to mess with foundations nowadays. They want to go straight to the …

Tim: They go to the top. The top is attractive.

Jon: Yeah, they want to go to the top floor. That’s what I love about your basement. Like, “No, let’s start down here. This is foundational.” When you’re in the basement, you’re sitting on the foundation.

Tim: Holy Spirit literally told me, “If Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone, what floor would you want to live on?” That’s the question he asked me. And that’s why I’m like, “Basement.”

Jon: That’s stupid good.

Tim: Basement.

Jon: That’s stupid good.

Tim: And the reach. God is proving you can be influential from a basement, because it’s a philosophy. There’s no basements-

Jon: No upside-down kingdom.

Tim: … in Texas, but down is up in the kingdom.

Jon: It is. It’s upside down.

Tim: And it’s upside down. And if we can’t embrace that …

Jon: And the culture is everything but that, it’s how high can I go? I want the penthouse.

Tim: Yeah, absolutely. And influence. I told the Lord, I said, “I want you to give me as much influence and fame as you feel like I can handle that that will still allow me to be faithful to you, Juliette, Nathan, Noah, my family, and my friends.”

Jon: That’s a great prayer.

Tim: I’m asking for it, because I’ve seen a lot of people get influence and lead people to a trash bin.

Jon: More influence than character.

Tim: Yeah. So I’m like, “If you going to be giving it out, or if it’s there to be taken, give me as much as you think I can handle.”

Jon: That’s really good.

Tim: “Because I’ll steward it the best I can. And if you think it’s going to make me go away from you, take it back. Or just don’t even give it to me at all.”

Jon: Don’t give it to me in the first place.

Tim: So, I believe every number has a name. And so, when I look at our reach total now, it’s like 350,000 people. Across all platforms. I’m like, “That’s a stewardship responsibility.” I’m like, “Oh God, you’ve giving me influence with 350,000 people. Great. That’s really fantastic. That means what I say counts, and I need to be careful on that, but not too careful to where I’m trying to please them. You’ve given me an audience to listen to what you want me to talk about.” But then also understand that when I order a grilled cheese at Starbucks, people start buying grilled cheeses at Starbucks. That’s how deep influence goes.

Jon: Does Starbucks have grilled cheeses?

Tim: They do.

Jon: Starbucks has grilled cheeses?

Tim: Fam, go in there and get it, and see what happens.


Are you serious?

Tim: I promise you, you’ll love it. They make it with white cheddar and mozzarella, and it’s on sourdough. And it’s a blessing. You should only probably have one a month because of the saturated fat. But yummy.

Jon: I didn’t know they had food. All I ever see is those weird little warmed up biscuits.

Tim: Yeah. Yeah. I don’t fool with that. They throw that thing in that little conventional oven or that little grill thingy. It comes out cheesy, and bubbly, and crunchy, and yummy.

Jon: What do you do for fun these days?

Tim: Tactical training.

Jon: Like legit now?

Tim: Yeah, yeah. Did I not tell you about that? Yeah, I train with a former US Marine Scout Ghost Recon Sniper-

Jon: So, you went from shooting guns on Call of Duty to literally shooting guns.

Tim: Ghost Recon.

Jon: Ghost Recon.

Tim: Not Call of Duty. I can’t do first person shooting. But yeah, we clear buildings and we’re trained across all platforms. So pistols, carbine, precision rifles.

Jon: That’s awesome.

Tim: But it’s like we train for life and death scenarios. So, like shooting my wounded. It’s dangerous stuff. He puts stress on you to put you in that-

Jon: So, what is about that, that you like?

Tim: I’m a defender of the people that I love. And so, the thought of defending people that I love and defending people that can’t defend themselves is what had me do that. So, the odds of you getting into a situation where a firearm is involved in a detrimental way is one in 300,000.

Jon: Oh, I believe that.

Tim: So, I guess the odds are on your side. You know what I mean?

Jon: May the odds be ever in your favor.

Tim: Yeah. May they forever be in your favor, but if a mass shooting comes down to the fact that someone was trained against someone who is deranged, may the odds be in my favor.

Jon: I guarantee you.

Tim: You know what I mean?

Jon: Yeah. So, it’s dangerous to even practice, to do what you guys are doing is dangerous.

Tim: Very.

Jon: So, it’s funny because my counselor tells me in leadership, when you’re in high stress, high a lot of things going on, managing a lot of things, leading a lot of things, he’s like, “The best thing you can do is find a hobby where you could die doing it.”

Tim: Are you serious?

Jon: I’m serious.

Tim: I’ve never heard this.

Jon: Yeah. He’s like, “You need to find a hobby that’s not like you’re likely to die, but you could.” You don’t want to find a hobby that’s like, yeah, it’s a pretty good chance you’re going to die.

Tim: Hey family, low key, I’m likely to die on my Peloton. There’s one-

Jon: Peloton, my man.

Tim: There’s one instructor on-

Jon: Female or female?

Tim: Female.

Jon: I know who you’re talking about.

Tim: Is it Kendall?

Jon: Yes.

Tim: Kendall will-

Jon: She destroys.

Tim: I don’t think she’s human. I think it’s going to be found out that she’s actually a robot.

Jon: Because for me, it’s not the instructors it’s the … I’m so freaking competitive that if I get on there and there’s 52,000 people that have done that … I don’t do the live ones.

Tim: Yeah, me either.

Jon: I’m like, “Okay, I’m finishing in the top 500.” And so, I set out to finish in the top 500, and I will murder myself to do it. And if Rapdog2837 from Seattle come upping and on my tail I’m like, “Not today, devil.”

Tim: Yeah, yeah. So, here’s the thing-

Jon: Peloton kills me.

Tim: I don’t have that competitive drive.

Jon: So, you need the motivational speaker.

Tim: No, here’s the thing. I’m a rule follower. I’m like classic firstborn rule follower-

Jon: I don’t do anything they say to do.

Tim: … I’m bound by responsibility and obligation. So I’m like, “Kendall’s telling me to do this, so I have to do it, but I’m going to die.”

Jon: I mute the instructor.

Tim: Do you really?

Jon: I mute the instructor 90% of the time.

Tim: No, I need it.

Jon: And I’m looking at the racers, and I’m murdering all of them.

Tim: Yeah, you’re built different.

Jon: They’re like, “Sit down, speed up.” I’m like, “I’m doing what I want to do.” I’m on level 79 pedaling as hard as I can because last time that was my number, and this time I’m beating it.”

Tim: Wow. See? No. Bravo to you.

Jon: And it’s not healthy. It’s unhealthy. It’s not healthy.

Tim: All I know is I avoid Kendall.

Jon: I know who you’re talking about.

Tim: Yeah, yeah. She’s not cool at all.

Jon: But yeah, I like the Peloton.

Tim: I don’t think she’s human. I honestly don’t think she’s human. I’ve watched her on the screen. I’m like, “There’s no way you can still be-

Jon: Could be a hologram.

Tim: She might be. She might be.

Jon: But you can’t die doing a Peloton, but you can die doing what you do.

Tim: Oh yeah. It’s four hours, it’s grueling. We were out in 37 degree weather doing a night shoot. I could not put my bullets on that target for nothing in the world, because we had to do it with a flashlight. My hands are numbing up on me. Dude, I was so angry.

Jon: Do you do the ones where you have go through a … What’s the word I’m looking for? A track? Like a-

Tim: No John Wick stuff. Yeah, that’s the John Wick stuff. Like the competitive like-

Jon: No, no. Where you come in a door and something pops up, and you got to shoot it.

Tim: Oh yeah, yeah.

Jon: And then you go into the next room.

Tim: Yeah. Yeah. That happens.

Jon: Scenarios.

Tim: Yeah, those scenarios happen.

Jon: That’d be fun.

Tim: But here’s the thing. It’s made me way more aware. My situational awareness is through the roof. I can tell you on any given Sunday how many people went up to walk out, and how many came back and who didn’t.

Jon: While you’re preaching?

Tim: I see everything.

Jon: And right now your back’s to the door, is it bothering you?

Tim: It is. But it’s a secure location. I saw it. I saw how far we came down here. And if anybody hits that door, then they must have a reason to be here.

Jon: Oh man. There’s probably no one even listening to this podcast anymore. I don’t know. I kind of forgot we were on a podcast.

Tim: I just love being with you, bro.

Jon: You too, man. I do.

Tim: I love you so much.

Jon: I’m always glad to hang out with you, and excited for what God’s doing with Basement. And like I said earlier, you don’t need me to be proud of you but I am. What you’re doing is inspiring-

Tim: Thanks, bro.

Jon: … leaving comfort and getting in a tent in a foreign land. But I mean, if the fruit you’re producing isn’t sign enough, my Lord, God’s in this.

Tim: And I think God had to do it like that for me, because he knows … I mean, the numbers for The Basement, solar and lunar eclipse anything I’ve ever done as a pastor. So, if you just look at the YouTube for The Basement, the YouTube for Embassy City, you’re like, “This can’t be the same guy.” Because why?

Jon: Which in how long? In how many months?

Tim: Five months? Yeah. Just shy of six. Well, July 6th was the first one. Yeah. So it’s like, “Okay Lord, if you say so. I’m here.” But the Lord knows numbers have never been my thing. I gave my life to Christ at a church that had 50 people. My parents pastored a church that never got over 100 people for 15 years. That’s where I gave my life to Jesus. So, I didn’t get introduced to a megachurch till I moved to Texas. So, my brain is still like, “Oh, small is better.”

Jon: But it is not just your experience, it’s the way He wired you. Because even going back to your Peloton, you’re like, “I’m not really driven by the competitiveness of it. I’m a rule follower. I want to listen to the …” So, even the way God threaded you. I’m ultra a stupid competitive. So, that’s a strength and a massive weakness if I’m not careful. So, even in that sense you’re not driven from a competitive nature of, “Well, I’ve got this many followers, but Mike Todd has this many so I got work to do.” So, you’re not driven by that, which is awesome.

Tim: Yeah, it is. And so, I’m fully embracing it and just getting used to it, because I am still an introvert at the end of the day and I still need alone time to recharge. And my anonymity is much less, it’s drastically less than it was just when I was just preaching. I knew if I drive through South Lake, I’m going to get noticed. But I’m getting noticed in airports now. Like, “I was just watching the clip of yours and is this you?” And I’m like, “That’s weird. That’s really weird.” You know what I mean? So I’m like, “Okay Jesus, if you say so.”

Jon: Well, on the way up to the studio we’re at the Kings University, five people said, “I love your podcast.”

Tim: Yeah, which is also weird.

Jon: Yeah. I’m like, “I don’t know you.”

Tim: “I don’t know you. Thank you for listening.” So, it’s cool.

Jon: Well man, I think that it is just the beginnings of, I think, the podcast, to use that same analogy. You’re in a tent, you see the foundation. But I think the podcast is just the foundation, dude. I think God’s just getting started. So, I’m proud of you-

Tim: Thank you, man.

Jon: … and I’m honored to be your friend, brother.

Tim: Thank you, bro. I love you so much.

Jon: All right, man. Thanks for being here.

Tim: All right.

Church InTension
Church InTension
The Church InTension podcast is a place to have healthy conversations about areas of tension and the intentions of the Church. Hosted by Dr. Jon Chasteen and powered by The King's University and Gateway Church.