an interview with the one and only PW!!

Oh, shoot. I totally forgot about Pioneer Woman. Were you expecting Ree?? I am so sorry! But I’ve got Pete! Three cheers for Pete!

Pete Wilson, husband to Brandi, dad to Jett, Gage and Brewer, pastor of Cross Point Church, author of the book Plan B and all-around great guy is joining us girlies today on the blog. Welcome, Pete!

Thanks for having me, Marla. And I do wear women’s sunglasses, so I’m sure I’ll fit right in with you ladies.

(Okay, I totally just made that up. Well, not the part about the girly sunglasses. He tells all in his new book. But he didn’t really say that. From now on, all the words in italics will really and truly be Pete’s.)

Let’s start over. Hey there, Pete. We’re going to dive right in if that’s all right with you.

(It’s all right with him.)

You talk in the book about how stuff we do for God can become an idol that we worship more than God Himself. It hurts to admit it, but I totally get this. How do you keep from this kind of idol worship in your own life?

Great question.  A lot of times in our life we get so wrapped up in the “doing for God” that we forget about the “being with God.” It suddenly becomes how much I can get done and how many people hear my message. When the words “my” and “I” come into the conversation when you are speaking about serving God, then there’s a problem.

(Um, ouch.)

For example, the flood that happened here in Nashville recently. Our staff was out everyday that next week physically cleaning up homes and spending time with those that were devastated by the flood. We challenged them to replenish themselves every day before going back out. Taking time to “be with God” so the focus of the day never wavered.

(Pete’s church pulled together in an incredible way, helping out their neighbors in need. They even got some national TV coverage, which leads me to my next question.)

Let’s be honest. You get a lot of praise from a lot of people and, frankly, I think you deserve it, but what I’m interested in are specific ways that God keeps you humble. Care to share?

I do get a lot of praise, but with that comes criticism. I’ve found the two almost always go hand in hand. While I appreciate the input from everyone, I usually try to eliminate the highest praise and the worst criticism. That leaves a balanced portion of praise and criticism that is encouraging and constructive. And, while I can still learn from people on the edge, their praise and or criticism doesn’t carry the same weight because it’s directed at one of my messages, or one of my books, or one of my interviews. They don’t get to see the totality of my life or see into my heart.

I allow the people in my inner circle to speak freely to me and their praise and criticism carries a weight that I don’t give others. This is the only way I know how to be accountable but not go crazy from all the opinions of others.

I can totally relate to this, and I’m going to come back to your words when I’m tempted to let criticism crush me and keep me from doing what I know God wants me to do.

Okay, back to the book. Another part I really, really like is where you talk about shalom–“all things the way they are supposed to be.” You say that according to the Bible, we’ll experience shalom. But not yet. You also say, “Some people–usually called idealists or dreamers or visionaries–have a more acute sense of shalom. They feel the disconnect between what is and what should be more intensely than others.”

Whoa. I have always felt this way but had no idea how to express it. Where did you come up with this idea, and are you one of those wacko dreamer-people?

Ha! Yes, I’ve been called a wacko on more than one occasion. You know I really have nothing to back up my idea other than just personal experience. There are some people who seem to be more sensitive to the fact that things are not the way they should be. I feel this most intensely when I’m walking with people in our church who have had one personal tragedy after another or when I’m serving in a place like India. I often pray, “God, never allow me to grow numb to the disconnect. Never allow me to grow numb to the pain of others. Never allow me to grow numb for my desire of ‘shalom.'”

Nice. I like that. Okay, moving on to your better half for a minute. (Hi, Brandi!) I think it was Angie Smith that said you “married up.” I happen to love your wife (forgive me, but I read her blog religiously and yours sporadically), and I think Angie might be on to something. Brag on Brandi for a moment if you will.

First of all I think you should read my blog more regularly. Secondly, you are right. I did marry way up. My wife Brandi is truly my anchor. My life can get crazy at times and she has been with me through every single up and down experience we’ve had in ministry. I fell in love with her from the first weekend we met and that love continues to grow over time. She’s the most patient, caring mother I’ve ever seen. I stand in awe of her daily for how God is using her life.

That’s awesome. Really, really awesome.

Okay, another personal question. I’m always interested to know what kinds of dreams and aspirations God planted in people’s hearts at an early age and if they’re living those dreams now. I wanted to be a mommy and a writer. And maybe a librarian or a missionary. What vision did you have for your future when you were, say, in 2nd grade?

Well, I wanted to be a rock star. I had the band name picked out and everything. We were called Fragile Crate. We were horrible. Then I wanted to be in politics. I was sure of this one as well. The aspirations that I believe God placed in my heart were to be in a vocation that helped people. Whatever I did, I wanted to help people. I eventually discovered that politics probably wasn’t the best use of my time if I really wanted to help people.

Are you sure Fragile Crate was horrible? Really? Could it possibly be that you used up all your creative genius naming your band? Because wow.


So, I’m curious. Any more books in the works?

Yep, actually writing one right now. Still not far enough along to really nail down the title but I’m getting excited about it.

Ooooh! Can’t wait! Thanks so much, Pete, for taking the time to hang with us for a bit. We really appreciate it!

(He says we’re welcome.)

Oh, and I guess I should mention that I read the whole book and loved it. God really used it to knock my socks off. I could write another whole post.


So, tell me: what one question would you like to ask Pete? I’ll choose my three favorites and see about getting you some answers from Mr. Wilson.

(I haven’t exactly asked him if he minds me doing this, but I did read his blog twice this week, so that should count for something.)

Ask away!

p.s. I got a free copy of the book, but nobody paid/bribed/threatened me to write anything nice. Free will, baby! (this qualifies as one of those legal disclaimers, right?)

21 thoughts on “an interview with the one and only PW!!

  1. Pingback: Marla Taviano | Christian author and speaker » q & a with p.w.

  2. Pingback: Marla Taviano | Christian author and speaker » on the dock of the bay

  3. gitz

    I warned you, Marla 🙂 Tell Pete he is more than welcome to do a whole post on my blog if it’s too much for here… one less day I’d have to think of something to write about…

    [In case you missed the sarcasm… I’m Just Kidding!!!!]

  4. gitz

    I do have a question, but it’s kind of weighty, so maybe not interesting to all.

    My “Plan B” has been all about accepting whatever God needs from me, even if I really don’t like it. More than that, it’s been about learning to love that Plan B rather than just accepting it. And that has worked for me… finding joy in his will instead of my dream.

    But, while I absolutely believe in miracles and that He could surprise me with one at his whim, I don’t have any real hope that it will happen to me. And I’m ok with that. I feel like if he wanted me well he would have made that in my plan. So I love what I have and don’t look to healing as my “way out.”

    Is that wrong? I have MANY people bombarding me with words that I need to ask for healing, pray for healing, insist on healing. I have people telling me that they know I’ll come see them someday and we’ll dance together when I’m healed.

    They mean well. But it puts a dagger in my heart.

    I feel like praying for his will in my life and accepting this as his plan for me is the right thing. It gives me peace as I come to terms with living out my days inside these four walls. But am I not giving him enough credit? Or am I surrendering like I’m supposed to?

    See. I told you. Weighty. 🙂

  5. Gabe Taviano

    I’m a subscriber to Pete’s blog (sorry Brandi), and really admire his heart for being a part of the church that God has him leading. Many “pastors” fall for the lies that you just have to point a flock of believers in a direction and they’ll eventually start moving. I can only imagine God’s response when he sees leaders like Pete actually taking part in outreach and service initiatives with the people they are leading. THAT IS NOT NORMAL.

    My question for Pete feeds from all of that:

    There’s a big focus today on being a leader, making many people feel like they “don’t fit in”. I know our faith is not about works, but I also know that faith without works is dead. As a leader who has ditched his pride and put on his work boots, how have you seen the Spirit do a work through your acts of service? Do you see the body you are leading react differently to your service than your words?

  6. Jason

    Great interview. It’s been very spiritually refreshing to be under Pete’s leadership at Cross Point. The way he’s open and honest about his shortcomings and the struggles he faces puts a whole different look on leadership within the church. I hate to say it…but I’ve met a lot of phony pastors in my time who love God but love the image they portray a lot more.

    Pete’s the real deal with better hair.

  7. brandiandboys

    Oh, you gals are great! I’ve answered several of the questions out loud as I’m reading them!

    Marla… seriously, this post made me laugh first thing this morning, thank you for that. And just fyi… I religiously read your blog as well… but not Gabe’s (don’t tell him!) 🙂

    What are you getting your wife for her birthday? It’s just around the corner on August 28th in case you’ve forgotten. Would you like me to make a few suggestions? An iPad would be great… or a piece of jewelry from lisa leonard… but those are just friendly suggestions!

  8. Kary Oberbrunner

    Great interview Pete and Marla.

    I do have a question. What are some other ways that you avoid doing the “good” things in order to accomplish the great things God has preordained for you to do (Eph. 2:10).

    You are obviously a relational guy Pete. How have you developed a sharp but diplomatic way of staying true to your core (saying no)?

    Kary Oberbrunner

  9. Jen Griffin

    I’m still giggling at the band name. 🙂 Pete, I’ve read your blog for a few years now. I enjoy it and learn a lot from what God teaches you. I hope I can ask questions that aren’t so serious?

    #1…your boys have the COOLEST names ever…where did you come up with them?

    #2…how do you put Brandi as your #1(after God of course)? You have the boys, church, book and speaking engagements…how do you do it??

    Thanks Pete!! I want a Fragile Crate t-shirt!

  10. Jonna

    I read this book and enjoyed it. I felt it offered a solid perspective on the reality of dealing with disappointment in life. While I was reading it I dealt with several of my own “plan b’s” related to jobs and relationships. I think what I struggle most with is how much does prayer change our circumstances versus simply changing one’s perspective?

  11. Ali

    This is a total God thing. I suppose everything is technically a God thing, but you know what I mean.

    So two weeks ago I began a job as the Admin. Asst. for the Ohio School Counselor Association. I checked the PO Box just last week, and guess what was in there? Pete’s book! I have no idea why we received a copy – I checked with the board and no one ordered it. I’m assuming the publisher just sent it to us, but still, we aren’t a Christian organization so I’m not sure why the publisher sent us a copy.

    Regardless, the president of our association said to me, “Go ahead and keep it or bring it to our next board meeting to give away.” How cool? I get to read it and then pass it along to someone else.

    And then a few days later my dearest friend, Marla, interviews Pete on her blog.


    And I should apologize for the lengthy back story. I’m a tad excited, can’t ya tell?

    But I do have a question for Pete. It’s about parenting. My babies are still practically babies (2yo and 9mo). I have such a great opportunity to start things out “right,” if you know what I mean. But parenting is proving to be way, way harder than I ever, ever imagined.

    So what would you suggest, Pete? What is one thing I can start NOW that will really make a difference in who my children become? Any tricks that are paying off now that your children are slightly older than mine?

    Thank YOU!

  12. Becky Ziegenfuss

    I read somewhere that before starting Cross Point, you thought about leaving the ministry. What changed your mind? As a wife of a pastor myself, what role did Brandi play in encouraging you to plant Cross Point?

  13. Lori Haskell

    Thanks for posting this Marla! I’ve read half of the book. It was Jon’s but I started reading it when he was away in Nashville helping with the flooding and…when he came back he re-claimed it! I think he’s almost finished so I’ll pick it back up. I would def. recommend it to all!

  14. Tonia

    I happened to come across this book on Amazon. I recognized his name from your blog. I bought the book and just got it. I can’t wait to read it. I’m finishing another book at the moment but very excited to read this book. Thanks for sharing!

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