June 09, 2021
From Father to Son, Pt. 1: Building a Strong Father-Son Connection | S1 EP7

Steve Alessi and his son, Chris Alessi, have a heart-to-heart conversation about their unique father-son relationship and reveal the key choices that built a strong bond between them.

Can a father be his son’s best friend? 

What must fathers do in order to raise their sons to be strong, confident men, all while maintaining a happy and healthy bond even into adulthood? 

In episode 7 of the podcast, Steve Alessi and his son, Chris Alessi, have a heart-to-heart conversation  about their unique father-son relationship. With vulnerability and honesty, they break down the key roles they play in each other’s lives, how their relationship changed over time, and how their choices helped them navigate through stresses and challenges. 

You’ll discover how making the right choices can help you build a father-son relationship that will stand the test of time. 

Key Takeaways In This Podcast

  • Fathers have to take a strong stance in their sons’ lives if they want to foster healthy relationships. 
  • While mothers have important roles to play, fathers should take the lead when their sons approach manhood. 
  • Boys need strong authentic men around them in order to hold them accountable to the standards fathers are setting. 
  • Fathers set the standards and boundaries that will influence the way their sons will value friendships and relationships in their future. 

Key Moments in This Episode about Fathers and Sons

0:00 Intro to Episode 7
1:59 Being Before Doing: What It Means
8:24 Defining Roles in Relationships
13:46 Friendships and Fatherhood
20:59 Dealing with Changing Roles
24:19 When Mistakes are Made
33:08 Being Accountable 
40:06 TFB Question of The Day

Related Resources from The Podcast

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Steve Alessi  0:10  
We want to welcome you today to the family business podcast. Because let's face it, family is everybody's business. And today we're talking about things with my son, Christopher, that we cannot talk about on Sunday. 

Chris Alessi  0:25  
Hello everybody.

Steve Alessi  0:25  
There's going to be a lot in this discussion today, son. And part of this whole inspiration really came for this podcast, because you and I, over the last year, especially, we would constantly talk about let's do something, let's do something like this, where we talk, like we do in the backyard when we sit on the patio and have these discussions and we chat about things that we don't even realize are helping bring some navigation and direction to both of our lives, being the father and leading and trying to lead the ministry, but also leading you because you're my namesake, and you're my only son, and I'm proud of that fact. But also things that, you know, you say along the way, it helps me navigate in a way that wants to keep you enticed and drawn in and buying into the whole ministry, which is our family business. And so this has been really cool. I'm glad you're gonna be joining me today.

Chris Alessi  1:30  
Thanks for having me. It's gonna be fun.

Steve Alessi  1:33  
Oh, they'll be some surprises. Well, your mom and I and your sisters, we're all a part of this in the family. And what I'd like to focus on today is this, it's, I think it goes, it's pretty consistent with the way that I want to live my life, but encourage you to live your life as well, which I think then has helped us get to where we are today in working together in the ministry. And that is this, it's simply a phrase "being before doing", it's huge. You got to be something before you do something. A lot of people though, don't get that right. And they just think doing is the important thing. And not necessarily being it.  It's like a show. It's like social media, it's an image that we put out there, the doing is what is important. And I don't think that's right. I believe being first before you ever can do something, is the right way to get it done. That's why I think education is so important. Go be a student first, learn as much as you can about the subject matter. So that when you get ready to do it,  you've already started to manifest part of that being as you move on. So I say that because you and I have had that conversation a number of times. And as great as the platform is, the home, the living room, is more important for us in our line of work as a family and business ministry. That living room has to be in our priority first. 

Chris Alessi  3:19  

Steve Alessi  3:19  
 And when I mean living room, meaning the way we're interacting in our home. 

Chris Alessi  3:24  

Steve Alessi  3:24  
 So let's go back. First off, do you believe that being before doing? 

Chris Alessi  3:29  
Absolutely. I... it's so funny here, there's just so much going through my head, I literally this morning posted something on Instagram, because this video is going viral of a guy saying hey, whenever you're getting into social media arguments, just remember, there's there's no reward for being the bigger person, be as petty as you possibly can, because no one can see anyways. And I just sat back and thought, like, there really is a large contingent of people who believed that to their core. And it might not just be social media, but that there's no reward for what I do in the dark. And so I could do whatever I want in the light, but there's no reward for what I do in the dark. And that's just such a gross life to live. Because if there's no reward for what goes on in the dark, or when no one can see, then there's no reward for what you do in the light. There's no reward for that. I literally posted that this morning. Because you've just taught me my entire life. The way I handled myself when no one is watching will be seen when everyone is watching. And we live in a day and age because of social media that the minute someone looks at you face to face, they know if you're real or not. 

Steve Alessi  4:34  

Chris Alessi  4:34  
 So if it didn't start in our living room, that our sanctuary would never have the impact that it's having these days. So it always started in the living room, in the bedroom. And now we see that really reflected in the light.

Steve Alessi  4:47  
Yeah, and we want to live that. We got to be it first, so. And that's backed by... by Scripture. If you look in the Bible, the Bible does talk about to be an elder, the elder has to rule his His own household well first. And if you do that, then you can rule in the house of God. And that just makes total sense. Because if a man can't, and we'll speak men here... if a man cannot, if I can't rule in my home, make sure that the family is happy, make sure my wife is happy. Okay? My bride....then how will I ever help the bride of Christ, the body of Christ, be happy? It's going to be really difficult, because that would mean me as a leader. If I see that your mom's not happy, and I don't do what it takes to correct my behavior to make her happy, make her fulfilled? Then evidently, I'm neglecting something that I know is right to do. I'm ignoring it. If I know this will make her happy, but I don't do it, then I'm ignoring what is right. And then that makes me really a bad husband, that I would be willing to ignore what my wife needs from me in order to make her happy. If I ignore that, what kind of husband am I? So if I have that ability to ignore something in my home that will make my wife happy, my family happy, will I do that same thing in the church, as a pastor of the church? If I know that something should... is beneficial to this church family, will I ignore doing it? Because if I ignore doing it to my wife, then what does that say about me? I'm just selfish. And I'm only looking after me. Will I do the same thing in the church? That's why being a good husband, being a good father, being a good man at home, has to be first, before I could ever step into this role as a pastor here at the church, because I'm that same thing. The roles that I carry at home, are the same roles that I carry here in the church. I didn't always know that. So the good man that I am at home, I always knew I needed to be good man at church, too. Being a good husband, at home? I never saw myself as being a husband, in a sense to the church, not the husband, we know, Christ is the husband, but I have to be married, I'm married to this church, and I have to treat her like I do my own wife. Being a father, at home, And now being a father here, at church, maybe that's the role that I most identify with. Because that's important to me. So being before doing. Now, let me ask you, what did we do at home? What... what were we at home that helped you then be the young man that you are today so that now you can do ministry?

Chris Alessi  8:03  
Well, I remember we did a sermon series on this a couple of years ago, on on how you really raised our family when when it came to extreme moments of "Okay, we need to really insert some discipline here." Your language, I don't know if it was intentional or not. But your language was always we're Alessis. And this is what Alessis do. It was never really pointed at what we don't do. It was always pointed at, this is what we do. And under that umbrella, over time, you were able to discuss the things we don't do like you've been, I feel like any phrase that I have, I've just heard from you since I was 12.

Steve Alessi  8:42  
Not true. You're coming up with some crazy phrases of your own these days. I love that.

Chris Alessi  8:46  
Well, now that I'm married, and I have my own household 

Steve Alessi  8:49  
Two weeks, two weeks. 

Chris Alessi  8:50  
But the phrase I'm saying in my house are the phrases that you've taught me. So I told my wife the other day, my dad's always taught me you don't touch the girls, the gold or the glory. 

Steve Alessi  8:58  
  You already had that discussion?

Chris Alessi  9:02  
Well, I just came out, because this is what you always taught us. So you were always able to tell us, this is what Alessis do. And it was almost like the Alessi family was a train, it was going somewhere. And if we wanted to be on that train, this is how we behaved. It was never shameful. I have a guilt complex. But that didn't come from you guys. Like you always never brought any shame. It was always that way. But I'll never forget something that you decided to do. And then a decision mom made that put me in a decision making place. I remember there was a time where I was going to mom all the time. And you... I was a preteen becoming a teenager, and my first go-to when life got hard was mom. And you just surveyed the land and said that was good when he was in elementary school. That's not going to work. And I remember the day that you walked in and inserted yourself. It was forceful. It was aggressive. It was loud. And you said, This is my son. And as he moves forward, I'm his go to. It was right around the time that you told me, I'm your best friend, always will be, don't you forget it. And I was so upset because I felt like mom was my best friend. 

Steve Alessi  10:13  
I wasn't treating you like a  friend there. 

Chris Alessi  10:15  
Didn't feel like  it.I was like, "Mom's my best friend, she gets me, she communicates like me." And I just remember the next fight after that. And you and I got a little heated, I remember, mom started coming into my room at the end of the night to help soften your words, to help me make sense of what you were saying. And I know that that sounds great to a lot of people. But mom started to play the role of the Holy Spirit, rather than introducing me to the Holy Spirit. So I feel like I met Jesus when I was 13. But when I was 15, I met the Holy Spirit, because you told mom to stop doing that. 

Steve Alessi  10:48  

Chris Alessi  10:48  
you told mom let him go be upset, let him go into his room, let him go deal with all of the thoughts. And I remember the time I went into my room, I almost was waiting for Mom to come in, to ...to soften Dad. And she didn't. And I remember stewing on all the thought my dad's mean, he's this. And that's the day the Holy Spirit came into my room. And so how in the world, I'm sitting here now, thinking about my own kids one day, and my main thing is, how do I get them to meet the Holy Spirit? The way that you and mom did? 

Steve Alessi  11:25  

Chris Alessi  11:26  
Because that's, that's what helped us be the same person at home, in the dark, in the car, at college, as in the church.

Steve Alessi  11:35  
Yeah. And that same kind of thing happens here at the church, you know, Jon's in the studio. And every so often, we'll let him say something, but I remember having to tell your mom because she would work right up alongside of Jon Roman, who in,  Mary being over the sound minister.... the music ministry, and under that was the sound and the lighting and the video. And she was dealing with something with Jon and I said, You know what, Mary, enough of that. He's mine for now on to work with directly. We're big in our ministry. We're not mega in our ministry, but we do have multiple staff. And there were certain things mom would deal with, with Jon when it came to the how tos and so forth. But if it was the chemistry of how we work together, just like in our family, I said to her, Hey, back off, don't deal with emotion here. Let me work with Jon. And he and I will work on the chemistry because if the men get it right in the family, the men get it right on the job, though I know women are strong, and women deserve to be strong. Men help set that foundation of that then women are able to continue growing and being strong and then exercise their strength in the right area. But the same thing that was happening at home was the same thing that was happening in our business with other men and other women in the ministry that we would work alongside of. And I also remember, Mom, me having to say to mom, okay, when it came to me dealing with this certain female, in our office...

Chris Alessi  13:13  
 Your turn! 

Steve Alessi  13:14  
Mory Martinez, I had to say, Mom, Mary, you deal directly with Mory, on the chemistry aspects of it. And I'll be there for vision and support. Just like we've done with our kids at home. There are certain things I can talk to the girls about. But there's other things I know better than to touch with a 10 foot pole. Let mom handle those things, which I think empowers the household as well, as we see, empowering what we do here in the ministry. 

Chris Alessi  13:44  

Steve Alessi  13:46  
But back to something you were saying. That friend thing, why don't... why don't you kind of share that whole story for a minute of when I said, Wait a minute, you know, how did I tell you about your best friends that you were at school and you felt they were such a voice of influence? And then how would I be your friend? And then when did I stop being your friend, and so on?

Chris Alessi  14:13  
Well, I think that will all matter and make sense when they understand that... A hand on the Bible, I will say my dad is my best friend. 

Steve Alessi  14:22  

Chris Alessi  14:23  
And I'm 29 years old, and the only person that I wanted to really show my honeymoon to and all that while I was there was my dad. So everything I'm about to say only really matters because it was truthful. And I look back now on all of that and do not remember a day where I ever had conflict with you. I know there was a lot of it. 

Steve Alessi  14:47  

Chris Alessi  14:47  
but I don't remember it. All I remember now I really do say this hand to God. I have everything I had because of my dad. Everything. So I remember being 12... 

Steve Alessi  14:58  
And I have everything I have because of my dad,

Chris Alessi  15:00  
Yeah. And, and... 

Steve Alessi  15:03  

Chris Alessi  15:03  
Yeah, so. So I remember, you know, you did kind of redirect me away from mom and towards you. And I think you did it equally for both me, but also for mom because I was becoming a teenager.

Steve Alessi  15:17  

Chris Alessi  15:17  
And it was gonna be a lot of roller coasters for mom to have to deal with.

Steve Alessi  15:21  
Testosterone was kicking in, man, you were becoming this man. And you could get aggressive which, which is what you need to be on your way to being the person that you are .

Chris Alessi  15:30  
Absolutely. And you you really helped me. But again, I don't know whose value that was for more, me or mom, because you kind of saved her from the headache of having to deal with all that directly. But you, you redirected me and you basically said, Look, I'm your best friend. And I think best friend has a lot of different definitions. Because it's come to mean to me, the most quality friend that I have. It's hard for me to pick the best man because the.. the... the best man in my life was my dad. And it was really, the definition of best friend became really just more the quality, maybe not the one I'm like the closest to and want to go watch a movie with or go on a double date with. But you really redirected me and I remember you just you just kind of laid my life out before me. And the only reason I could take your word for that, was because I saw how your life was and you told me about your life. You were always very open, never sharing anything that was really above my weight. But still telling me you have three or four solid men around you that are your friends today. And were your friends when I was 12. So I watched your life at 12 years old. And it was kind of like there's no chinks in his armor. Why wouldn't I believe what he said. But you told me at that point that my middle school friends would probably be gone when I went to high school, and my high school friends would probably be gone when I went to high school. And my college friends were probably gone when I graduated college. And I look back and see Wow, you were so right. And I didn't necessarily understand or even fully believe or agree at the time. But that was always part of the cocktail of thoughts in my mind. Whenever I went into my world, that phrase, my dad who had all the results, no chink in his armor, who, who really proved it in his actions. him telling me that at 12 years old, it was always in my mind. And I could go into the psychology of confirmation where whatever you hear growing up, life will confirm. And sure enough, when I started to go through life, it was confirming everything my dad told me. It wasn't confirming stuff I read in a book, it wasn't confirming things that my friends were telling me because my dad didn't talk to me, but my friends did, no. It was confirming everything my dad told me. And you just told me I'm gonna be your best friend. And that's when you started telling me that I could never say I hated you. It's when you told me, I could never call you old man

Steve Alessi  17:55  
Oh, man. 

Chris Alessi  17:56  
You said, these are the rules of our relationship. But here's what you get. I'll always be your best friend. And I sit here at 29, 30 in December. That's... 

Steve Alessi  18:06  
How do you..how do you even say that at 29? Because some people will look at that and think well, that's kind of, you know, you're a daddy's boy. That... that's kind of weak of you to even say that and about your dad. You know, how do you say that as a man at 29 and not feel as though that makes you a less of a man?

Chris Alessi  18:30  
I'm pretty confident in my gift. Yeah. And I'm pretty confident in my gifts because my dad was confident in my gift before I had it. And I remember mom asking me to sing at 12 years old, didn't even know I could. And I never my dad asking me to preach at 18. I didn't even know I could. And I remember my dad teaching me how to preach and... and pouring into me and telling me the truth, but always telling me the truth and the truth wasn't always,  "Okay, you joke away too much at the beginning of your sermons, stop." The truth was always also, "Hey, you've got you've got something here. You've got a gift. And that's the only reason why I'm coaching you." So I'm pretty confident in my gift. anyone that wants to say anything about me? Get around me a little bit. 

Steve Alessi  19:17  

Chris Alessi  19:17  
I'm pretty confident in that. But that really only came because... and I just go back to fifth grade. I go back to fifth grade where you you've walked on campus with me. And I think this is actually in my book, the confidence that came over me because my dad was with me. Yeah, fifth grade or 29 doesn't matter. It's the same thing.

Steve Alessi  19:38  
Chris I...I got that from my dad.

I get emotional about it. Not because he's not here anymore. But I'm thinking how, how many men... they just don't know how important the male relationship of a father is. And then I think and it's sad how many young men in society today missed out on the approval of a father, a pat on the back of a father, and how that brings such confidence to a son. And so, you know, I still up to before Pops passed away... finished preaching. I loved him giving me the thumbs up. I love him standing up and give me a hug on the way out the door, because he wanted me to know that was great. And even though he'd be on his phone, sometimes in the middle of the sermon. I called him out ...

Chris Alessi  20:43  
He just wanted something to post on Facebook. 

Steve Alessi  20:45  
I made a joke of it one time. And then he told my mom at the end of the service, my dad, at 80 tells mom, Grandmommy, I can't do that anymore. It must distract him. So that relationship is important. But I want to go back to something because, again, working with you, talking to you seeing you sit here, it's emotional, because I go back, people may think, well, your home had to be perfect. Because Chris is making you come across like you're this perfect, you know, person and your mom is perfect, your wife, this perfect woman. And that was never the case, we never strove to be perfect, because there was no such thing of it. We just had to bet on and every parent has to grab hold of this, we had to bet on that the instruction we were giving you was the right instruction. Because it never really felt...we didn't always have the confidence. It never felt like we were doing it right. That's the weird thing about raising kids is you sit back and you wonder, does this make sense? Am I doing it right? Because you don't see this in media, you don't see it in the culture today, where a strong father can come across and say to his son, listen, all those friends you think you have, they're not going to be there in the future. That's... Hollywood shows you that man, these kids you grew up with in high school and they became your buddies, or you hung out with in college. Now you go hang out once a year at your favorite, you know, party place, and everybody gets drunk and mess it up. And you know, but yet you're buddies for life and all that. They don't, they don't necessarily see that most of us were blessed if we have three or four friends if we can count, when we become adults, five friends that are still in our life from our early days. And it was never that I didn't want you to have friends, I always wanted you to have friends. It was that I never wanted you to let their words be heavier than my words, that you would always look at them as your buds and hang out and have a great time... play the games do all of that, they were there for that. But when it came to guidance, then you would say all right, my dad is speaking to me. Because he ultimately has my best interest in heart for my future. Not so much, he's wanting to control me, but he has my best interest at heart. So that's the whole thing with the best friend. And then my time went on, I told you I'm not your friend. And that was... "Don't... Don't look at me from the standpoint of trying to win your approval."

Chris Alessi  23:34  
I could care less

Steve Alessi  23:35  
...as a friend. It was like, No, I'm your dad. You're gonna have a ton of buds. But but you only gonna have one Dad and I got to be your dad. And I can't vacate my place of trying to be right and strong. Just because I wanted to win your constant approval. I wanted you to be my friend. I had to kick that out. He's not going to be my friend. I can't get everything I want out of my life from watching you whether it's in the pulpit or whether it was back when we'd take you out to play football and all this. I couldn't get my joy out of your success in life as a kid. It would come later for me. So I had to be a dad. I couldn't be your best friend.

Chris Alessi  24:19  
Yeah, you know, Dad, I'm even just sitting thinking about it. Because if people think that you know that there's any level of perfection in our family. My gosh, are they wrong. You know, I'm not a perfect person. I was not a perfect kid. I... I had my issues. I had my moments. But there is an aspect of righteousness that.... that rang through our home, rang through my life, rang through my sister's life that even though we were not perfect, we were righteous and part of that righteousness was setting a culture at home. That was never out done by any other culture in any other home. There was never a home I felt safer in than ours. And not the natural "Oh my bed." I mean, there was never a home of discipline that I felt safer in the doors. And I think it came down to when I was 12 or 13. And I came forth with like my first admission of wrongdoing. And I think it was around one of the first times that you would have told me, Listen, you're going to get in trouble if you don't tell me. But if you tell me, not that it's going to soften the blow. But you're not going to compile mistakes. Basketball player, we learn a lot about compiling mistakes. You know, if you're, if you're, if you dribble off your foot, don't get the ball and slam it on the ground, because now you've compiled mistakes, and you're gonna get a technical, don't do that. Don't compile mistakes, leave it at the one mistake you made. Don't get in your head all about it, keep it up, you taught us that. Don't, don't keep things from me. If you tell me the truth, it's going to go a lot better for you than if I find out through a third party. Which meant no matter what happened, no matter what house I went to, no matter what I got involved with, the minute the rubber met the road, the minute I started to feel the weight of a bad decision, I knew the next step was to tell my dad,

Steve Alessi  26:12  
It was confessional. It was hilarious, 

Chris Alessi  26:14  
But it was because I always believed, okay, the only way to move forward from this is to get you involved. And Dad, that's what I would say to any parent out here. Social media is involved in your kid. 

Steve Alessi  26:27  

Chris Alessi  26:27  
 Their.... their friends are, they're involved with your kid's life. You were always equally as involved in everything, not perfect. Not even saying it the best way. But you were always equally involved, which meant when my friends did move on, or the things that I cared for, like sports moved on. The only constant, the only constant involvement in my life was my parents, and my church. They were the only constant presence that was always involved.

Steve Alessi  27:01  
Don't let me forget where I'm gonna go with this, I'm going to tell the story about you sitting in front of all the guys, and how it took a village of admin in the church. But I want to go back to something. You know, when you and I would deal with something, whether it was you made a choice, and it was a wrong choice or you were struggling with us... an area. Could have been a relationship, it could have been with wanting to fit in, the peer pressure of school and so on. You were very emotional growing up, which was beautiful, we knew that that would always play out in the right place, that your heart would lead you. And sometimes people that are led by their heart, they... they tend to be more emotional. And there was a time where I remember that you are going through something and we brought the attention to you. And it wasn't one of those conversations that when we walked away from at night, and you went into your room and you always close your door to sleep. It wasn't one of those conversations that brought any of us, you me or mom peace. It was one of those situations where we had to say all right now God, we did what we were supposed to do here. And now we need you to be able to kind of play this thing out. Because now we trust you. And Chris, I remember one time it was so dark, there was a darkness going on over you. The enemy was trying his best to sabotage you as he tries with so many young people today. And there was a literal darkness over you. And you were a teenager, you didn't even know better, wasn't anything you were doing. It was just the sabotage, the.. I mean the... the the onslaught of attacks that the enemy was pouring into your mind. And you were thinking it, you were feeling it. And so then mom and I are speaking it over you and bringing life. And I remember going back. We're in our room, you're in your room. And I got afraid. And I got up and I walked over and I just...I put my ear to your door. Because I just had this terrible thought that I would open the door and you'd be hanging because you were that upset. You were so deep in your struggle and challenges. And I'm thinking he's... he's experiencing a kind, of a type of depression. And mom's in the room and she's praying. And I'm like, let me just go check on him. And I remember putting my ear to the door and I'm like, I don't hear anything except your fan. I don't hear a thing and I'm like, Lord, no, no, this this isn't gonna happen in our household, we're not going to live in fear. We're not going to be intimidated to speak truth. We're not going to get caught up in the minute, the moment the now

we speak life over our son, we speak life over our house. And all of this is normal. It's what people go through. It's what young men have to go through. To be able to decipher, at that season of your life, as a teenager, you already needed to hear from God, in the voice of your parents, the wisdom that was being spoken, you had to hear God in the middle of that, so that every voice in the mouth of two witnesses will be established. You needed to hear that, but it was one of those things we couldn't rescue you from, because you were going through it. And you dealt with it. And you came out on the other end of it, like you always have done, which makes me so proud of you. Because we... it's not that you've always been as sweet as you were and kind and respectful as you were in this podcast today...

 Wasn't always the case.

...hey, my dad's voice I listened and, he's my friend, it didn't always appear that way. We had some butting of heads. And when it was all over, though, and you went and processed, you would hear your mom's voice even though it may not have been audible, she'd teach you, "Hey, this is how you deal with dad. And this is how you deal with men." You came out, you always were able to land on the right side of things. Which brings us to the relationship that we have today working together, which is a, you know, to me, it's, it's fun, I love this at my age, to be able to have you half my age right there along with me is really... is really, it's rewarding. It's so fulfilling, that I know, and I put my head down in the pillow at night that I've been doing my part, God's been doing his part, mom's been doing her part, the girls have been doing their part, all of you help raise one another. And even the men on this, the staff here at this church has had a role to play. And what's really important here is, you serve in the ministry with these men today that... they... they love you. And they come alongside of you and you come alongside of them. And you guys have figured out the dynamics that make this chemistry work here, and you're young, you're young. But these men that have 10, 20 years on you, allow you still to speak into their life, into the situation, into the direction and leadership of the church partly because they know you're an Alessi. But partly because you're Chris, Christopher, where you're making a name for yourself in what we do. Not neglecting what mom and I do, but bringing some clarity and even more oomph to it. But do you remember when you had a situation one time, and I brought the guys in? I brought Jonathan, I brought David Roman at the time. And I brought Armando in at the time. And we were all in my office. You remember that pow-wow? 

Chris Alessi  33:25  
 it was our last time that you ever had to hear of my wrongdoing from anybody but me. It was the last time. I had just gotten back from being away at college for a year,  away from the environment. And I came back and was now thrust into a leadership position. And so there was just a lot of change. A lot of growing up overnight, a lot of change. And I got caught up in a very normal stupid thing. But my most wrong doing was not doing what I had been doing and what I've done since. 

Steve Alessi  34:00  

Chris Alessi  34:00  
.... which is to come to you first. And I'll never forget the day, I walked into the office 19 years old, 20 years old, and the door opened and I was like Hey, Dad. And normally you can tell when something's wrong with me. But I could tell something was wrong with you that day, because you had received the phone call. And you sat me down, zero shame. But truth was in that room. And there was a light shining on a dark place that day. And it reminded me, taught me because you had told me before, but it reminded me and taught me that I'm not just accountable to our family. And what I do doesn't just affect me or our family, but it affects everything we put our hand to, every field we've ever had to plow and harvest. And you revealed what I had been experiencing and what had happened to the whole room. Men that I trusted and didn't want to let down, men that trusted you, and they didn't want to let you down. And I remember, I remember the "Man, it takes a village." Not one of those men brought any kind of guilt or shame. Every one of them was there for me. When we left that meeting, none of them looked down on me, but none of them made it seem like it wasn't a big deal, either. I'm thankful for that moment. As much as I'm thankful for any other.

Steve Alessi  35:32  
Yeah, as much as everybody knew, and I knew, or at least, I was praying that you would be the future successor. And you would follow our footsteps in the ministry. It was never going to be that you would be so special, that you would be out of touch with the guys who has helped mom and I, for all these year build this ministry. It couldn't be that you had one way of being dealt with. And I would deal with them another way. It couldn't be that they...we had to coddle you, we had to protect you in the sense that, oh, let's make sure Christopher's protected by anybody that would see that he's not perfect. We never needed you to be perfect. It's, it's a flaw on any parent's part, to try to protect their kids because they think their kid has to be perfect. They're setting themselves up as a parent for pain. It also, I think it hinders the development of that child, when it comes to them moving into a leadership role in any kind of business that the parent has started. You can't separate, isolate your people, your kids from the reality of life. And we all have our roles here, we all have our positions here, we all have our places of authority here. And it's a very healthy environment where people respect those lines and those boundaries. But when it comes to human beings in our flesh, we also know that we're here for one another, and we're all human. We all get up in the morning, regardless of our title and our position. And we put as men our pants on the exact same way, we put our socks on for those that where 'em, we put our shoes on the same way. We go home, we do the same thing. We're men. And men are needed to come along one another, to help each other be stronger. And that even meant for you, as my son, who will one day be leading this ministry, the men of this church were needed. I needed them, Chris, to come alongside of you, and help you deal with youth. Things that happen when we are young men and even older men, I needed that. I couldn't do it all myself because I wasn't around you 24 seven, I wasn't seeing what you were doing always here at the office, I wouldn't be here for that. Mom wasn't always going to be here. But these men who always had, and even our women on staff, keep an eye on you and the girls always had our best interest at heart. Always served us so willingly and honorably, they would be part of the special sauce that would help you be a better man. Be the man before you'll ever do what the man one day will  do in leading the ministry. And you're only 29, you'll be 30 this year. And we joke and we'll talk about this on another podcast about what I believe is going to happen when you hit 30...the voices you're going to hear in your head about your own authority and your own kingdom just like Jesus heard about that. That temptation and that voice. "You do this. Follow me. I'll give you your own." Every 30 year old man that is pursuing something, whether it's business or specifically ministry, they're going to hear those voices as did I when I was 30. And we're going to talk about that on a podcast. I think we should, that'll be cool for people to see. But the men were needed back then. And Chris, you sat down in that room. I looked over at you and I felt so sorry for you. And I'm like maybe I shouldn't have done this. These are men. these are ...these are grownups. And you're right. They did not throw one rock. They didn't throw a rock instead they were like, wow, we're here, Chris. So you are today. We have this working relationship today, due in large part because you had to be all these things at our home and the backroom of the offices before you could ever do what you do that blesses our family business and ministry today so being is always important before doing. Okay so you feel good?

Chris Alessi  35:53  
 I feel great.

Steve Alessi  37:26  
We're bringing this thing in for a landing. Here's what I want to know because maybe some people don't know this about you, but I got a feeling they do most of them do. This is...this is easy alright? Cuz you tell all anyway. Who's your favorite musician?

Chris Alessi  40:25  
John Mayer.

Steve Alessi  40:25  
No your mother! How could you say that?

Chris Alessi  40:28  
My mom 

Steve Alessi  40:29  

Chris Alessi  40:29  
 My mom and my Aunt Martha, I'm sorry Stephanie Alessi is number two Martha Munizzi's number three and Metro Life Worship is all that and then John Mayer comes after all that.

Steve Alessi  40:39  
Maybe I should say who's your favorite singer?

Chris Alessi  40:41  
Yeah Mary Alessi.

Steve Alessi  40:42  
 Mary Alessi 

Chris Alessi  40:43  
And that's not a... that's not a lie though. That's not a lie....that.... that woman doesn't sing all week, doesn't practice, doesn't warm up - I know Allen and Jon in the back are agreeing. And she walks up on a Sunday and belts a song. We're like, "Girl you didn't warm up. You didn't practice" 

Stephanie Alessi  40:57  
but your favorite musician? 

Chris Alessi  40:59  
Stephanie Alessi,

Steve Alessi  41:00  
outside of the business?

Chris Alessi  41:02  
My cousin Daniel. John Mayer, John Mayer.

Steve Alessi  41:07  
cool. What do you want to ask me? You want to ask me my favorite musician?

Chris Alessi  41:11  
Who's your favorite son?

Steve Alessi  41:15  
JOHN and Allen raising their hands in the back. That's great. Ashley knew better not to raise her hand.

Chris Alessi  41:22  
Who's your favorite musician?

Steve Alessi  41:23  
My favorite musician? I don't ...I don't know. I'm not.. Can you believe that I'm married to your mom, and I don't really have a favorite musician. I can tell you my favorite singer is Ann...Ann Alessi... Mary Alessi. And I don't know, musician?

I don't know.

Chris Alessi  41:43  
Your favorite athlete of all time. 

Steve Alessi  41:44  

Chris Alessi  41:45  
 favorite athlete of all time.

Steve Alessi  41:46  
Gosh, that's got to be. I think Larry Czonka. He brought me his picture for... from Vegas.

Chris Alessi  41:55  

Steve Alessi  41:55  
 his autograph. He was a beast. 39 head down. Oh, he was tough.

Chris Alessi  42:02  
Sounds like my dad.

Steve Alessi  42:03  
Oh yeah, Thank the Lord. Alright, we hope you've enjoyed yourself today with our family podcast. Christopher and I will be back again. We have another one we want to do and we're going to continue this, but the family business podcast, we hope has been a blessing to you today.