Today we’d like to introduce you to Greg Colbert.
Hi Greg, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I am a PK (preachers kid) so I grew up in the church and always had a love for people. At the age of 9, I was asked to speak at a children’s program where there would be more than 1000 people in attendance.
Needless to say, it was a big opportunity and my father’s preparation of putting me up to sing often at church and also my mom taking to acting classes helped me to be prepared for this opportunity. The day came and I stood on a box to reach the podium and delivered my first message.
What would happen from there would be the launching pad for the rest of my life. In the coming years, I started receiving invitations to speak at children’s events and as I got older I began to be invited to youth events to sing and speak at. Not just in my city but outside of my city and state. So by the time I was 18, I had been a children’s pastor, youth pastor, worship pastor, and young adult pastor. This would lead to me and my wife being asked to take over a church that was meeting in a seniors center.
I am 23 leading a congregation of 65+ members. Our goal was to support the seniors in any way we could. Well their families started to come and we started to grow but due to some unforeseen circumstances that surrounded our growth, we had to leave the center. And my wife and I started New Life Church in Pittsburgh, CA with just a handful of people. We were the senior Pastors for over 4 years. Our ministry was unique because we focused on going to the people instead of having the people come to us first.
We fed the community, prayed for the community, and eventually became the pastors that came to the hood! I went back to school to get my associate’s degree in Biblical studies and also was asked to teach an accredited course entitled Family Matters at Gateway Christian College. While this was a great time to see people’s lives changed it was also one of the most challenging times for my family. By this time my wife and I have 4 children that are all very young and I was unemployed for a year and a half. Needless to say during that time we lost almost everything. We found ourselves in the time period without a car, without an income, and without support.
At one point the 6 of us moved into a small room in the church because we were not able to afford our rent. This was a very difficult season but we continued to believe that God was going to change our situation. Through a series of events that I would consider miracles, we were led to move to Phoenix, AZ to start a church. Little did we know that our lives would take a turn and we would Connect with a local church names Faith Christian Center. Over the next 7 years, my wife would be asked to come on staff full time.
I would be asked to be a leader in the church in many capacities. Which would lead to me becoming the youth and young adult minister at our church. We started a business called Decide To Thrive where our vision is to raise the standard of relationships and equip singles, marriages, and families to leave a thriving legacy. We have hosted events, spoken at conferences, and been featured on different platforms.
This all lead to me writing my first book entitled ReTHINK ReLATIONSHIPS; the thoughts you need for the relationships you want. The journey has had its up and downs but we are definitely excited about the future and grateful to God for where he has brought us from.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
We have had so many challenges along the way.
Finances for a long time were a challenge. After being laid off and jobless for a year and a half. We spent the next 10 years repairing our credit, getting out of debt, and becoming financially stable. We choose to have my wife be a stay-at-home mom because we wanted our children to be raised by us. No shot at any other model but that is just what we decided and living on one income was challenging. It wasn’t until all our kids were in school that my wife graduated from college and went back to the workforce.
Being without a car and being homeless as a husband and father were one of the most devastating situations for me. I was overqualified for fast food and grocery store jobs but I was under-qualified for the work I was used to doing. It was one of the darkest seasons for me because I wanted to provide for my family and couldn’t. Being on food stamps and cash aid got us through but I just knew there was so much more in me than what I was experiencing. But through this, we kept the faith and did all we could to make it work.
We experienced so much relational hurt from family, people who we thought were friends, and also leaders in our church. I talk in my book Rethink Relationships that there was a season of my life when I was done with people. I was not interested in relationships outside of my immediate family. I closed myself off and wasn’t interested in making any connections. But God has a way of sending the right people at the right time that just somehow know how to get in.
We met our current mentors right before one of the greatest relational trauma we had experienced and they helped us not to go off the deep end because Oscar and Crystal Jones restored our hope in people. They were the glimmer of light that didn’t allow us to step fully into darkness. My life is full of thriving relationships now but that is the result of some God sends in the Jone.
My wife and I have 4 boys but we have experienced loss on many occasions. She has had 2 ectopic pregnancies where we lost a total of 3 children. This was and has been such a difficult challenge to overcome over the years and just recently we were unsuccessful with IVF. All that to say that we believed we were supposed to have more children but we haven’t been able to see that come to pass.
We don’t have that piece all figured out and we are still grieving it in different ways but we are trusting that God knows best and we believe even when it feels like there is little to no hope.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I have been in ministry for the past 25+ years. The ability to serve people has been the joy of my life. I have held so many different roles but my calling has always been to teach people who they are in Christ and how to find their purpose in life. Around 10 years ago, I realized that the niche I believe that defies what I specifically specialize in is relationships. I remember after being married for a time people began asking what my wife and I were doing to have such a blessed relationship.
We started counseling people and helping married couples work through marital problems. But after a few divorces of people that we were trying to help I realized that we were getting to them too late. That there needed to be something available for singles that helped them to prepare better for the realities of what it takes on the other side of “I Do!” So we began to help singles to prepare better. Our whole business is centered around healthy relationships. My first book is centered around healthy relationships.
Our seminars and conferences are all centered around healthy relationships. Even the upcoming books that my wife and I plan to write centered around relationships. We spend most of our lives in some type of relationship. So relationships management is life management. You can’t get life right and get relationships wrong. And if that’s true why is there not an emphasis put on relational competence?
We started our business for the purpose of giving people the tools that are needed not to romanticize the realities of what it takes to have healthy, thriving relationships with others. Any great relationship is going to take more work than we expect. But the reward for the work is well worth it.
How can people work with you, collaborate with you, or support you?
Really, we are all about connecting with purpose partners. Our vision is to extend our reach and impact more with the message of relational wholeness and relational health.
Mental health is so needed but I also believe that relational health has been such a toxic contributor to mental health. We believe our part in creating a healthier individual is to confront the relational dysfunctions that many times have been passed down through generational mindsets that are robbing so many of the relational health they so need.
If we can partner to make that happen I would love to collaborate.
We always need resources to reach more and that is why we ask for monthly or annual partners to sow generously into our ministry so that we can provide more resources like Rethink Relationships to those that are ready to level up in their relationships.
Buy the book! But not just for you but for the 15 conversations you frequently have with family members, co-workers, and friends about relationships.
Rethink Relationships is not a marriage book, but it’s for married people.
Rethink Relationships is not a single but, but it’s for singles.
Rethink Relationships is not a parenting book, but it is for parents.
It helps to establish the foundation of your relational truth and helps you Rethink if that foundation is reliable.
- Rethink Relationships – $20
- Monthly Partnership – Contributions of $40 or more provide a book to someone that is unable to afford the price
- Annual Partnership – Provides books and future resources to those in need
- Email: Decidetothrivellc@gmail.com
- Website: Decidetothrive.org
- Instagram: @_gregcolbert
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gregory.colbert.3