Gary Trobee

Ministry Leadership Coach


Gary’s Rules

By on February 3, 2016

Several years ago we started watching NCIS. It used to be a great show about the Naval Criminal Investigative Service before it got political. The characters are great and the story’s were great. I really liked all the characters but I loved Gibbs.

Gibbs is the leader of the team and is a seemingly heartless pragmatist. Until you get to know him. You find out quickly that he has a huge heart and lots of baggage. But is very good at his job and a great leader. Someone I would like to emulate in some ways, in others not so much. One of the mainstay of the show is Gibbs rules. He doesn’t write them down. He feels it’s his job to teach the rules and he expects everyone on the team to know them.

I started thinking. “what are my rules?” so I started a list and here they are, 30 of Gary’s rules:

  1. Always default to relationship
  2. Always assume the best in people
  3. Don’t make arbitrary rules
  4. Always give your people a “why”; or they will come up with their own and they will be wrong
  5. Always give honor and respect; not always obedience
  6. Never judge motives, only fruit
  7. What you allow you promote
  8. What you reward you get more of
  9. Unity trumps disunity
  10. Continually cast vision
  11. Email is the lowest form of communication; texts are the next lowest
  12. Vision that creates opportunity for others; will never lack the involvement of others
  13. Sometimes your’re wrong; when you’re wrong apologize, it’s a sign of strength.
  14. Direction comes before correction
  15. Always over communicate
  16. Don’t give too much attention to your biggest fans or your biggest critics
  17. If you’re going to get into trouble anyway; get into trouble doing the right thing.
  18. Be predictable; your team should always know how you will react
  19. Training too close to the decision making process looks like lobbying.
  20. Ignore the squeaky wheel
  21. Ignore your weaknesses; hire or delegate to your weakness
  22. The best time to remove a team member is before they’re on the team.
  23. Always reward faithfulness over giftedness.
  24. Never confuse familiarity with understanding
  25. Focus on building big people not big organizations
  26. Nothing grows without conflict
  27. Consensus is the end of leadership
  28. Be very careful when playing the “God” card
  29. Take responsibility not blame
  30. Always give credit, take blame

These are not all original. I’ve stolen most of them and have forgotten mostly where they came from so if you know the origin feel free to give credit in the comments.

I plan to do a series of blog posts expounding on these rules someday. Stay tuned.

What do you think?
What would you add?

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Walk In Your Gifts

By on March 24, 2015

“We don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are”
Anais Nin

Are you ever frustrated because people don’t behave in a certain way? Do you ever get angry because someone didn’t respond the way you would have?

The right way.

We tend to be a self-centered bunch. I don’t mean selfish I mean self-centered. It’s something we have to constantly stay vigilant about. We are all uniquely made by God with specific gifts, talents, and bents. This is how a community is built. This is how a church is built. We all bring something unique and valuable to the community.

We must constantly be on guard against expecting others to behave in a certain way or respond to things the way we would.

This morning I was looking through my Strengths Finder results and realized I have put expectations on people based on my personality and my priorities. I haven’t been fair.

I’m reminded of a song by the band DOWNHERE called “The Problem”

Today I repent of my judgmental spirit and my expectations on people that have been unreasonable. I will walk in my gifts, not someone else’s, and I will not expect others to walk in mine.

Will you join me?

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By on November 25, 2014

So good to be home

This is the first time since we’ve been married that I’ve been away from home more than two weeks. It’s been a great 3 months in Crosslake MN. Serving as interim worship pastor for Crosslake Evangelical Free Church was great but now I’m home and looking forward to the next season.

So many great people, so many great takeaways from the last 90 days.

For example:

  • Serving on a ministry staff is hard.
    Implementing change and vision is hard.
    People are our greatest asset and greatest challenge.
    Unity is a key, if not the key, to worshiping in community.
    Leadership is about dying and serving.
    Serving on teams is the best way to do ministry.

Over the next several days I’ll post thoughts about each of these, in the meantime why not schedule a retreat. you can email me here.

Have a great Thanksgiving week. I’ll check in here soon.

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Another Change of Seasons

By on September 5, 2014

If you’ve been following this space for very long you have seen this headline many times. Here we are again.

Our calling seems to be a nomadic calling. Though we always plant ourselves and invest where we are God seems to always keep us moving. It’s been an amazing journey. One I wouldn’t have planned but as a result we have great friends all over the place.

This season finds me serving as interim worship pastor at Crosslake Evangelical Free Church (The Log Church) in Crosslake MN.

I am so grateful to Andy Stauffer and Mike Rice for allowing me to serve alongside them at Stauffer and Sons Construction. I have learned so much and it was manna for our family for a year and a half. They were so gracious to me and allowed me to leave well. Thank you Mike and Andy.

Crosslake E-Free is a great church with great leaders. They have their priorities in the right place and are excited about the future. My task is to help lead them through the transition of hiring a new worship pastor. Their previous worship pastor was promoted to Sr. Pastor of a congregation near here. It was a transition done well and I’m excited to help them find the next leader.

Once I’m finished here Kim and I will continue to travel and work with church worship and leadership teams discipling, coaching and encouraging those who build.

Stay tuned, we’re excited about the next season!

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Nothing Deep

By on March 9, 2014

Just enjoying a cup of coffee and looking out my window at the trees and the mountains thinking about how blessed we are.

In the midst of all the uncertainty and all the trials God is faithful, steady, and ever-present.

My prayer this  morning is one of gratitude.

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Indie Music Reviews

By on December 21, 2013

Just got my first Music Review here it is:

Gary Trobee Proves His Faith Is Strong

Gary Trobee Proves His Faith Is StrongGary Trobee is a man who puts his faith first and does it well. “Waited” is a wonderfully sung song that’s sincere to the core. Gary Trobee lets his faith shine in this aptly titled one called “Faithful One.” It’s all about the “One” that he’s been put his beliefs in all these years and all that he does for him; it’s much appreciated. That seems to be the same tale Gary sings about in “You Pursue Me” as well. I think it was Shakespeare who once said something along the lines of, how many ways do I love thee, let me count the ways. In this case Gary Trobee is singing how many ways he loves the Lord with all of the above and “My Jesus I Love Thee.” A lot of the songs are these slowed down testaments of faith, but the title track, “I Will Sing,” brings an upbeat energy to the record. If you love Christian music that’s done with the big guy upstairs in mind, check out Gary Trobee now. (

From Indie Music Reviews

Listen to the full E.P. here

Watch the Run To You video here

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Run To You

By on September 27, 2013

I got to do the coolest thing ever. Several weeks ago Aaron Wagner who produced the I Will Sing EP for me called and said “let’s do a video“.

So I headed to Rock Church in Castle Rock CO and the guys put together a great set in the lobby of the church and at 11:00 at night we made this.

Give it a look and let me know what you think. If you like it please share it. You can get the EP here.

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The Father Heart of God

By on July 30, 2013

Yesterday my oldest son was having car trouble and I was the first call he made. As I was driving to help him I got a revelation.

I have always said your revelation of the father heart of God increases when you get married. It increases again when you have children. Yesterday I realized it increases again when your kids move out of the house.

Since my oldest moved out he’s been very busy. Working full-time, doing the band thing, managing several relationship including a fiance. I’m not the top of his priority list and rightfully so. He’s growing into a fully self-sufficient adult.

So every time my phone rings and I see that its him I smile. It must be how the Father feels when we call on him.

As I was driving to help him out I realized I was grateful for the car trouble. I didn’t cause it but it initiated a contact with me from one of my sons who I love very much and miss him being around all the time.

As with any analogy it’s not perfect and can be taken too far. Just a little insight into a greater revelation of the father heart of God.

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Black Forrest Fire

By on June 13, 2013

Another difficult start to summer this year.

After a very cool and moist spring we find ourselves again watching wildfires encroach on our home. Last year we were never in any danger. This year the fire is close enough to our home that we decided to voluntarily evacuate before we are required to go.

Yesterday afternoon we the stuff we can’t replace and drove away from everything else.

We’re staying with our oldest son and watching the news very closely. In times like this you realize how blessed you really are. We are so grateful for our amazing community of friends as well as family who have reached out with offers for help.

Please continue to pray for those actively engaged in fighting this fire, those who are displaced, and those who have lost everything.

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We’re Moved

By on March 23, 2013


Where did we get so much stuff?!?!

Although it is a bit sad to leave the house we have so many good memories in we are excited for the next season. We are so blessed to be living in a beautiful place.

This week is still a bit crazy, and then a ministry trip to Nebraska and then back to the new normal.

Thanks for being patient I’ll be back to blogging soon.


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