Chief Servant of Stewardship and Vision - Trent Wilbanks Staff Spotlight

by Nikki Gentry in Uncategorized on 09/15/2015

As Director of the Gap Year, Trent sees his role at Impact 360 as the chief servant on the Gap Year team. Ultimately, the team is comprised of servants in Christ’s Kingdom setting a banquet table for students who are honored guests. Trent’s role is one of supporting, serving, and resourcing the team as they serve and equip students. In Trent’s words, “it is quite humbling, and yet energizing, to be entrusted with the responsibility to guide our team to steward and shape our vision of the future and to work together to bring that to reality.”

Trent’s journey to Impact 360 began to take root as he helped launch Lifeshape’s first ministry, The Summit, in 2003 as a place of Christ-centered hospitality and respite. This season of his life allowed him to witness servant-leadership principles lived out by John and Trudy White. Being married to their daughter, Joy, Trent has enjoyed some incredible behind-the-scenes views of their intentional influence in establishing Lifeshape and Impact 360, and shaping a vision at WinShape through their work with camps, the college program and international.

While at The Summit, Trent had the opportunity to be a fly on the wall in a few of the early meetings in which the vision and mission for Impact 360 Gap Year began to take shape. The Summit team hosted retreats for the first several gap year classes, and his excitement about the program continued to grow. It culminated in the opportunity to join Impact 360 an associate director in the area of student learning and living. After quite a bit of prayer and processing, Trent discerned that stepping into this work with the gap year and pursing graduate studies was an incredible opportunity to further develop his passions and StrengthsFinder talent themes. As Trent looks back on his Impact 360 journey so far, he reflects that “working under Basie’s leadership for the past 7 years has contributed significantly to these being some of the most formational years of my life. I often pause and look around the office to consider our team and am struck with humility that I have the privilege of working with these incredibly gifted men and women who walk with God.”

Trent has not walked this path alone. His commitment to the mission of Impact 360 Gap Year is shared by his wife, Joy. Thirteen years into their marriage, they are journeying together through the vocation of parenthood with their six children: Ashlynn (10), Anna Kathryn (9), Caleb (7), Daniel (4), Micah (23 months), and Lydia (11 months).

With his family in mind, it’s not hard to guess that most of Trent’s leisure time involves aiming to be the husband and the father that only he can be. He knows God has uniquely called him to be the vessel through which He loves and serves Joy and their children. No other human has that specific calling! Trent also thrives outdoors in creation. His family enjoys camping and Jeep rides with the top down; they also like listening to symphonies by Beethoven, Brahms, and Rachmaninoff. Trent enjoys reading and appreciates the works of Dallas Willard and J.I. Packer. Books he may recommend would be

Renovation of the Heart and Hearing God, both by Willard, and Courage & Calling, by Gordon T. Smith.

There are myriad things Trent loves about working Impact 360 Gap Year. Some of them include working with the team, witnessing God working to transform students’ character, and “hearing Ed Bort in a lunch conversation with a student working out some philosophical, theological, or ethical concept and how it connects practically to promote flourishing.” Trent sees the value in this program because he believes this community is “a sacred trust in which young men and women can set aside 9 months to establish a life-long trajectory of loving God and loving neighbor. I believe students are choosing a rare opportunity to slow down for a season of intense focus that enables them to begin to explore depths of loving God with all of their minds, strengths, personalities, bodies, and emotions.” But the trajectory of the students’ lives is just beginning. As they leave this program and continue to develop, they can have significant influence on their generation and future generations.

So, for the young men and women of Gap Year, Trent has a deep longing that they will “taste and see that God is good; that they will experience the reality of God’s presence dwelling with them in such a way that they learn to fear God and to take courage because He knows and delights in them; that their appetites will be so reoriented toward Christ, that their entire beings will long to know Him; that they will discover the unique and radical goodness in which God created them and to which He is in process of restoring them in Christ; that they will begin a journey of enjoying and developing the giftedness in which they are created; and that they will delight in working for the good of the people in their midst and introducing them to flourishing life in the Kingdom.”

As for himself, Trent currently understands his life purpose as this: “to explore, refine, and build life-giving organizations. My dream is that I would work out my vocation to cultivate my home and our team as places in which we flourish.” On another note, he also thinks it would be fun to “one day take the Jeep on an overlanding expedition.” Come to think of it, “a multi-week rafting and camping trip through the Grand Canyon would be fun too!”

In the end, Trent harbors the hope of a Micah 6:8 life: throughout his lifetime, he wishes to “increasingly become a person who works for justice, who loves mercy and kindness, and who walks humbly with God.”

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