Giving honor to previous generations can bring tremendous blessings to a family - but sowing dishonor can be disastrous. Steve and Chris Alessi unpack this powerful truth in Part 2 of their From Father to Son conversation.
Is giving honor a lost art?
In this continuation of a heart-to-heart conversation between father and son, Steve and Chris Alessi unpack the importance of honor in a healthy, strong family and ministry. From examining examples in their own relationship, to tragic situations in which honor was withheld, a clear pattern is made apparent - people who honor those who came before them can expect to enjoy long-lasting blessings.
0:00 Intro to Episode 8
2:24 Deciding to Work with Your Parents
7:27 When Your Dad is Your Boss
10:59 Dealing with Insecurity
13:05 When Fathers Aren't Honored
19:13 Being Intentional about Honor
28:38 Creating a Culture of Honor
34:35 A Story of Two Pastors
40:30 Closing Thoughts
41:51 TFB Question of The Day
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Steve Alessi 0:09
Welcome to another episode of our family business podcast where today, Christopher Alessi my namesake and I are able to talk about the family business, that being ministry. And the reason we're able to do this today is let's face it, family is everybody's business. And we're talking about things right here that we don't usually have the time or the opportunity to be able to say, on Sundays. So do you like our family business podcast, Mr. Alessi?
Chris Alessi 0:42
I'm absolutely loving this. I'm loving listening to it, loving being a part of it...makes me feel good.
Steve Alessi 0:47
Yeah. Well, part of this is your inspiration, as you and I have talked about talking out some of the things we discuss, since we work together. You're on staff, you're the Doral campus pastor. And you bring a lot of influence to the staff on a daily basis. Things have shifted over the last few years with you getting into your role as you have grown up here in the church. I think I saw, by the way, on the calendar the other day, your anniversary popped up and it was like 10 years you've been working for the church.
Chris Alessi 1:26
Yep. So it really starts this May, 10 years, but I was officially on staff in September of 2011. So..
Steve Alessi 1:34
Chris Alessi 1:35
...makes 10 years.
Steve Alessi 1:36
Yep. So we're, we've been talking about things all the time, you and I, and we sit on my patio, whether it's having coffee, your patio, too, when you lived there. And we would always say things and think, gosh, people should be hearing this, they just need to get into our mind, our brain to see how we process working together as a family. So that's what we're trying to do here with our family business podcast. And mom's already talked to Steph along the way. And I'm talking to Gaby and talking to Lauren, but you're the lead in the sense, you're the oldest. And now, you're just got married and now you'll be turning 30. So there's a lot that you've been able to process over the last 10 years as the first working with us, with your parents in the ministry. So let's talk about that on this particular podcast. Because I worked with my dad, I worked with him for 13 years. Came out of college, same college you went to for a year. I graduated Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida. It took me five years to get my four year education, which just simply shows that I am persistent.
Chris Alessi 2:54
Steve Alessi 2:55
Got that degree, sits in my office on the wall. That's about it. But I worked with my dad for 13 years, came right out of school. I wanted to work for dad. My dad had a different kind of mindset about working with him in the ministry. He thought I needed to be like Jesus. So he wanted me to be a carpenter by trade first. So I never understood this about my dad, as a dad. I went to college to learn how to be in the ministry. Now why do I come out of college and have to work construction, that stuff that I did in college to get through college? But I did that for a year or so, two years. But you, right away, we knew there was there was a good gift on your life. And I was really hoping that from the onset, we'd be able to navigate you to be a part of the ministry if there was a calling on your life. So do you remember what it was like when we first had the conversation about you coming on staff?
Chris Alessi 3:54
I do. I remember getting the phone call actually asking me at first to get from Lakeland to Miami, a four hour drive, to make that drive in three hours because I needed to run a lock in. So I'm a 19 year old kid and my first experience in leadership is overseeing a lock in, which was crazy, overnight event for the youth, this overnight event. It was crazy. But then after that we discussed you know, hey, run the youth group alongside of Christina Martinez, family friend, for the summer. So I did and I kind of did... I did so, so weird. I did so. I was cocky. I had a leadership position, "look how good this looks."
Steve Alessi 4:35
Come on. You went to one year Bible college or University already. You were an expert.
Chris Alessi 4:39
I was an expert. But I also didn't want it.
Steve Alessi 4:43
Chris Alessi 4:44
And wanted, wanted to go back. But that I remember when we sat down after the summer and said all right, Chris, you know, you either go and spend a whole lot of money and three years of your life, and then do this, or you do it now and...Man, that was the greatest decision you ever made for me. And I am very excited that we've made that decision as a family.
Steve Alessi 5:08
Yeah. And that was, again, we knew education was so important. But college for some, a lot of people, is getting an education, but it's also just having a lot of fun. And it was spinning a lot of wheels in other locations. And we wanted you to have the fun, but we wanted you to have the education. And we figured...geez man, if there's anybody that is qualified to at least come in assist in the youth ministry, why not somebody in our family that's feeling led, because you you lead part of the youth group when Armando was pastoring, over our youth ministry.
Worship leader for seven years.
Wou were a worship leader. And you had some of the guys like Nick Martinez and another guy, John Frank, who helped him and were part of the band and for the youth. You lead worship at your school, Westminster Christian School with those guys that were in college, going with you...
Chris Alessi 6:07
To my high school.
Steve Alessi 6:08
...to your high school to play. So you were already ...you felt groomed, you were...Well, you felt called even as a young man, to ministry, into service. And being at college away was not going to ultimately serve you to your best ability. So you came back and you went to FIU, get your education and of all things. What was it?
Chris Alessi 6:29
Steve Alessi 6:30
Chris Alessi 6:31
And that was that was your influence as well.
Steve Alessi 6:33
Chris Alessi 6:34
I remember you talked to me about it... said "hey, why don't you go and study something that may not prepare you for ministry, but will prepare you for people?"
And that's kind of my thing now. People make fun of me, because I'm always like, Well, you know, in psychology, and now they make fun of me. But it's because it...it really unlocked a passion of mine I didn't know I had.
Steve Alessi 6:52
We knew the education for your Bible for theology, all of that we can pick up along the way. And mom and I, we were doing the church thing... felt like we had a good grip on what we were doing for South Florida, second generation pastors, we figure we can make this happen. So we can teach you along the way on the mechanics of it. And then you would be able to get, of course, Faith Christian University, wanted you to continue studies, even after you received your degree in psychology. So that's going to help you when it came to theology, but what about this? Okay, the question is, how in the world do you work for me? How do we work together, Chris?
Chris Alessi 7:35
Well, it started with a lot of kicking under the table. I was a very, like I said, cocky person. And I wanted...I had an opinion on everything. And I wanted to share it at all times. And I could not understand that there was ever an environment that didn't need my opinion to survive. I mean, how is this meeting going to live without my.... there wasn't meetings before me, you know, that was like, my mentality, I guess. And so you would always make me sit next to you but there's only so I could be within a legs length getting kicked out of the table. And that led to a lot of fights here in the office. And that led to a lot of mom finally getting her role back, which is kind of being in the middle, helping us process, really helping me process. And she played that what that role so well, but so did you. You... you kept being pastor and you kept reminding me of who I was, and... and where I was. Never shamed me for being how I was, but just always was teaching me. Your season isn't ready for that yet, that season will come.
Steve Alessi 8:37
Chris Alessi 8:37
And you really taught me. One of the best things I love about living with you, when I worked for you all at the same time, or I should say, working.... working for you while I lived with you for so long. I didn't move out till a year ago.
Steve Alessi 8:49
Chris Alessi 8:50
....Was I got a lot of time for training, a lot of time for those conversations. And so it did come with a lot of kicking around the table. A lot of "I can't do this anymore. I'm gonna go back to college." But a lot of you reeling me back in time after time after time. And now it's my greatest privilege, is being married to Richelle and working for my parents.
Steve Alessi 9:12
Chris Alessi 9:13
It really is.
Steve Alessi 9:15
The verdict's not out yet on how all of this happens, because what awaits you and I is going to be a transition in the future. Whatever that looks like. We're, we're part of certain transitions, like the day to day operation. There's been a transition in effect there, but the overall deal will still play itself out. And so we still stay close to certain people that have done this and people that are doing it. We still keep ourselves open to instruction and guidance. I learned a lot by watching what other people do. So we.. we're on to something really good here, but yet we're...
Chris Alessi 10:01
There's room to mess it up.
Steve Alessi 10:02
There's room to mess it up. And we're not naive to the point where we think we know at all.
Chris Alessi 10:06
Steve Alessi 10:06
cuz we don't. But some of the things we've done, has produced a very healthy environment to where you are involved and you got in the wake of the leadership, your sisters are also in the wake of the leadership. And, you know, Steph's going to be getting married. That... that means we've got some things going on there with her spouse, what involvement will they have? Same with Lauren, same with Gaby, what's that all going to look like? So the verdict's still out with a lot of this, but here's the journey. Jump in now, even with this podcast, jump in now to hear how at least we're navigating along the way here. Which leads me to this, because I'm learning just as much as you are learning. And from a senior leader, I don't run around boasting about starting this ministry. But it sure feels good to know that I'm the founder of this ministry. That ...that really does make me feel good. Especially because we've come so far. I don't say in a prideful way, I say it in a way that makes me proud of the accomplishments that my life has been able to produce. I will always have my role, I will always have my place in this ministry. And what happens with some guys at the senior level of their business or in church in ministry, is that they don't make room for their siblings or excuse me, their kids, even their spouse, because a lot of them don't know, their real place. They don't have this security. And the unique thing about our job as pastors getting up in the pulpit, and also rubbing shoulders with people in the pews, is that it's very easy to be insecure.
Chris Alessi 12:06
Steve Alessi 12:08
Chris Alessi 12:09
Steve Alessi 12:10
If we don't see a response in something we said, in a message, if we don't get the pat on the back, or somebody comes to us, after we preached our guts out, says, "Oh, man, I heard so-and-so say that on Instagram. They were saying it, the same thing....be like" No, no, wait a minute!
Chris Alessi 12:24
Or their dad accusing ,accusing you of taking that sermon from somebody.
Steve Alessi 12:30
Speaking about the verdict's still out on some of that. I'm wondering...No...That's not true. You've got great revelation. It's impressive to me. But we could be some of the most insecure people out there.
Chris Alessi 12:42
Steve Alessi 12:44
But to be a leader that makes a way for a son or a daughter coming up behind them, they can't be insecure. And neither can the person, the son or daughter, coming up behind them. Because this is a perfect recipe for disaster.
Chris Alessi 13:01
Steve Alessi 13:01
In a family working together.
Chris Alessi 13:03
Absolutely. You know, Dad, I look at this. And.. and you know, you and I have talked a lot about the relationship, the past generations, people have done it, son and father working together. I can't see from the perspective of the father, but I can see from the perspective of the son, and I try to stay there. Well, one of the things that I noticed about sons is we don't learn from Reoboam. We just don't. And the story of Reoboam you know, David's grandkid, teaches you a lot. And you're talking about the father feeling like is his place going to be solidified for the long haul if he makes room for other people? Well, part of that is making sure the son knows, Okay, whenever it is time, that he needs to make that room. And what we learn from Reoboam is if you don't make room for the generation that made room for you, there is no kingdom and there's no room.
Steve Alessi 13:57
Say that again.
Chris Alessi 13:58
If, as the next generation...
Steve Alessi 14:00
Chris Alessi 14:00
...if the son doesn't make room for the father, there is no room for the son.
Steve Alessi 14:05
Chris Alessi 14:05
...There's no kingdom. The minute Reoboam kind of edged out the advisors of his father - which means it really isn't just the specific men that helped the father - it's the whole generation. It's the system that was there before you. It's the guys that rubbed shoulders with the guy who decided you were next. If you edge that all out, there is no kingdom, Reoboam's kingdom was divided and lost day one. Without making room for those who made room for you, there is no kingdom. There's... There's no room for you. You lose it all. And so it is a recipe for disaster because if you don't make room for the people who made room for you, you don't have any room.
Steve Alessi 15:00
So now you're actually, what you're referring to there is, from your seat, making sure that I will always have a seat of honor.
Chris Alessi 15:10
Absolutely. It's the only way my seat is ever honorable.
I was told by Pastor Phil Munsey years ago. And one of the things I love about you, Dad, is you always brought incredible people around us. And you were never intimidated by those incredible people. So we always, we were never like, oh, wow, these people are better than our parents. We always saw you as such a path to so many great people. And so Pastor Phil Munsey, he's a great example. And he always told me, the only way you make your seat a seat of honor, is by honoring the seats above you. And it makes so much sense. Because if I'm trying to say the only seat of honor is that one, number one, well, I'm the one who just dishonored the second seat. But if I honor the second seat and honor the first seat, it makes both a seat of honor, there's a clear one and a clear two, but two is still a seat of honor. Three is still a seat of honor, eight still has a seat at the table. So that's why I say that. Because while your side of the conversation in your head may involve the insecurities of "will I have a place when I'm 80 and 90?", I can only speak for the son. The son has to recognize, "I don't have a place if I don't make room for the one who made room for me."
Steve Alessi 16:29
Chris, if that's not intentionalized, that whole generation that did the work before you is forgotten.
Chris Alessi 16:34
Steve Alessi 16:35
I see it happen all the time. I see it in companies, I see it in churches. Down at our Dadeland campus when you walk in, there's two pictures on the wall. One of our family, the senior leaders, the pastors, but one of my dad and mom, as well as the founders. And we have looked at decorating and what it looks like and how that looks a little old fashioned. But I've always said, "Nope, we're not going to take those pictures down." One because people need to know when they walk in the church who the pastor is...
Chris Alessi 17:09
Steve Alessi 17:09
But two, for the sake of my parents. If we don't remember the sacrifice of the one that's gone before us, then it'll be quickly forgotten. And it reminds me as a senior leader today, that was able to step in after all those years they served at that campus. Dad and Mom founded it. And I was able to step in eight years ago, seven years ago. And then now pastor both locations, so mom and dad could retire out. It can never just be about Steve Alessi, forgetting that John and Ann Alessi have done their thing. And Steve and Mary Alessi are now the people. What... What do I need that for? What part of my ego needs to be stroked that bad that I have to forget the work of the forefathers that went before us? I wouldn't have that. I wouldn't be in ministry today was if it wasn't for my parents. Part of this then...honor is definitely taught. It's not just caught. Sadly, people don't honor today because they see the example of.... we don't see the example of honor. We have to teach it. And being very intentional about that...for that generation is now a seed that you're walking into. And you do a great job of it, bubs. You do a great job of honoring me and honoring your mom, and you married a woman that's doing the same thing. Just... it's filled with honor. And I would say in the home, you can never go wrong when you honor you in the family. You know, we're talking family business being ministry, but what about just people wanting their family to be together, in like a, an enterprise that's doing great things together with grandchildren? So ....? Honor, it's a beautiful thing.
Chris Alessi 19:05
It's a beautiful thing. I mean, it's kind of like, you know, the way they tell you to look good in any outfit is to be confident in it, right? You're the one kind of saying, "I look good." And because you say "I look good," everyone else is like, "Well, you know, you look pretty good." Well, for instance, I'm 29 and I work with all three of my sisters. And now that I'm married, you know, I know for a fact that this ministry needs room for four married couples that are family. And sometimes that'll be like, wow, do we have that room? My wife comes in, what's... what's her room? You know, you're thinking all of that. But if I allow any one of my sisters or anything to flow from me, that dishonors my sisters, dishonors their husbands or their future husbands? If I do that, I'm the one that just called my family dishonorable. I'm the one that just said, "Hey, we're not a unit that should be honored. So maybe I could still over 30 years establish myself as someone of honor, but probably's a lot easier if I say, hey, my sibling unit is one of honor. I kind of dictate, like the outfit, whether or not people look on us as honor, as worthy of honor. So you would always tell me, hey, there's a lot of people that honor me and mom, and if you don't, those people won't honor you. And it was just the upfront honest truth that you had put the work in. And there were people that honored you. So if I walked in and dishonored what people honored, I would be dishonorable. It's like what I've been telling you, I'm processing myself about the things that God calls holy, you better call those things holy. Well, the things that God calls honorable, you better honor, because then your brain does this weird thing that says, "Oh, so God calls that honorable, but we call it dishonorable, we must apply that to everything." And before you know it, there's no honouring of anything. You don't even honor yourself.
Steve Alessi 19:21
Worst story you and I heard, we were together in a.... with a group of pastors and friends and...in that meeting, the founding pastor - whose son is a phenomenal guy - and the founding pastor is a phenomenal guy. So the son took over, made a lot of changes. But yet, we heard the story of the father coming back in to the church service after he had been gone for a month or two months, or whatever. And some of the new people were in there, the new leaders and so forth. And he goes to sit in his seat, and his seat's not there.
Chris Alessi 21:02
Well, hold on, he was talking about, he was talking about the hardest parts of the transition at this point. And he said, it wasn't the fact that they no longer had coffee for free in the lobby, that they had had free coffee in the lobby forever. It was part of what this pastor, the father brought into the church to make it what it was, It was no longer that they changed the name of ushers to like, you know, culture attendents or something like that. It was the fact that when he walked into the service after about a month off, which he deserves - he deserves 10 years off if he wanted 'em. His seat, not even the main pastor seat, because he gave that seat to his son now. But there was not a seat for him on the front row. There was not a seat for him and his wife on the second row. And they ended up sitting in the back alongside the wall. And that hit me as a 27 year old at the time, because I'm thinking, "All he wanted was some room'. He doesn't even need to make decisions. He doesn't even care the decisions that he made in the past are seemingly undone. He was shocked and hurt by there wasn't room for him.
Steve Alessi 22:48
And nobody on that front row.
Chris Alessi 22:51
Steve Alessi 22:52
made room for him.
...which shows that the person in the platform, the pulpit, his son...
....wasn't making room for him during the week.
Wasn't making room for him during the week, which then meant the staff wasn't making room for him on the weekend. That was something that was addressed. That was something that was fixed. Because, again, like us, they were processing working through the whole thing. No bad guys here.
Chris Alessi 23:16
Steve Alessi 23:17
It's the reality, though, of what happens in the flow of growing and getting exciting about new leadership. And yet not being intentional enough to always say we need to honor the... the guard that got us here. Even down south at our Dadeland campus when we took over. I never wanted the people that served alongside of my mom and dad for all those years, while I was over here in Doral, I never wanted those people to not feel honored. So we really from day one, we didn't make a lot of changes, Chris. Because it was like wait, I don't want to make these people that have been there faithful over the years, I don't want to make them uncomfortable, that now their seat has been changed. And so we've been very slow on any physical changes that have occurred, because we always wanted to show that this would be an honorable thing.
Chris Alessi 24:09
Steve Alessi 24:09
That's what...how we lead. So even as we work together as a family in the ministry, that's probably one of our core values. Just as a family operating in ministry, wouldn't you say, honor is right up there?
Chris Alessi 24:24
Well, we always say that honor will take you where gifting, money, treasure can't take you. And when I think about the fact that I have been, since Sunday, in three different rooms, having three different conversations with three different people who all brought up Grandmommy driving herself to church.
They all...people of different generations, different ages. They all brought up how great that was, but that was because you and mom and the staff of Metro made the decision to keep saying "Wow, that's honorable." And... and, you know, we honor her, we honor them, and Dad, you've always taught me that the biggest ships take the longest time to turn. When we were in Alaska, and we finally got to that one area and the cruise ship, they were like, well, we're just gonna turn around? It took like three hours for that ship to turn.
Steve Alessi 25:10
Chris Alessi 25:11
So by saying we're not going to change things quickly, by saying we're going to take our time, you're saying this is a big ship. This is a big organization, this is a big deal. Your actions are saying something. If we walked in and said, "Well, okay, take the picture down, change the pews", you're saying that all of it can be changed again. So none of this is a big deal.
Steve Alessi 25:31
Chris, just talking about it from a church perspective? There are two powerful, huge influential churches that I have recently seen their practice of not honoring the guard, the old guard, that brought the church to this place when they changed leadership in that church? Both of those churches are gone from the ministry today. Both have new church pastors in it from a whole different organization, one here in Miami, one in Texas, because they wouldn't honor the old guard. They gave him a paycheck to move him out, changed immediately the name on the...the wall of the church, did away with anything of its history. So there was no way they were going to sow that kind of seed and walk into a harvest of honor that would sustain them to where they're going. What you've done, and your sisters, with our staff, even. You as a young man, you've always led with honor. And I know that hasn't been easy. There's been times when you wanted to express something that could be perceived as dishonorable. How did you navigate through those times?
Chris Alessi 26:41
I think it started when I was 10 years old, and I was outside. And I told my cousin Daniel, and only my cousin Daniel, my dad. And Daniel was like, I'll never write you out, man. I'm your cousin. I'm gonna go get some water real quick. And he came back. Sure enough, 20 seconds later, you open the door cruise. And sure enough, my cousin had ratted me out. But that actually, it's been very easy. Because our staff is full of honorable people. And if I was ever to walk in, and operate in any kind of dishonor, it made me the oddball out. I mean, the only way to fit in to our culture is to honor and that just came through handling yourself in an honorable way. For the 15 years that Metro ran without us on staff, you guys created a culture of honor you lead by example. So the minute we walk in, it was like, Oh, my gosh, you know, the only way to be a part of this is to honor If not, I just I just made myself, you stand out. But you also, I will be honest, you also created space for the worst of me to come out in a safe environment. And in a way that didn't hurt you. You would always tell me if you're upset, I'm okay with that. I'm big enough for it. My life is not going to be rerouted. Because my son's a little upset at me. And that helped me put my anger or what I thought was an issue into perspective and to realize, okay, this doesn't anger him. This must not be a life changing thing, because that's where your mind goes immediately. It immediately goes to man, this mole hills, a mountain. Yeah, but when your boss, your dad, your pastor, your representation of God's voice on this earth, the One God called you to says, I can hear the worst of you. And it ain't gonna affect me. There's just safety there. It makes all mountains turn right back into molehills. And that's what we all want. Yeah.
Steve Alessi 28:39
It creates creating that culture of honor. Listen, that is not a passive thing. No. Demanding honor is aggressive. That's what I love about the climate, and the culture we have of our church that you move up into and leadership. You come around here, listen, you better have thick skin. Somebody is going to call you on something. And if you get in the crosshairs of Armando or john or David Martinez, and they all start joking. And if you have any instance, if you're sensitive at all, insecure about yourself, man, you're not going to last long. No, but when it comes time to do what's right and be honorable, boom, we can call ourselves in each other up on that, too. We protect that. And the reason I say that is because some people today, they make honor, like it's something that's so passive, and you can't be strong with it and, and it's just got to be so polite all the time. And, and that's how that works. And it's just words. It's flowery words. No, it's a posture. One thing I love about the military, they don't put up with dishonor. There's something called honorable discharge and dishonorable discharge. They will boot you out if there's this honor on your part. They don't play games. I love it in sports. I'm an aggressive individual. That's why I love football. I love boxing. I love those things that are aggressive. Okay. And that's how I think that's how I process and quite frankly, I demand on her along the way with you and me and your sisters. Oh, you're not gonna talk to me like that? Oh, nope. We We demand honor in those mom moments, when you and I would have words about Mom, mom was frustrating you about something? I'd say, wait a minute, I got that. But she's my wife. Don't talk like that about my wife. Be careful. And yet, we could discuss things that needed to be discussed. That didn't shut you down. It's just we can discuss things without boundaries, that without it being dishonorable. Don't Don't attack the individual. We can discuss the issue that we're we have a disagreement with Chris, I appreciate this about leadership. And I hope I hope other people can sense this in leadership. You don't have to be in agreement. 100% of the time, you have every right to your opinion. I have every right to my opinion, where we go wrong is making you an enemy. I'm gonna make you an enemy if you don't share my opinion. That's not right. You are all we're all entitled to our opinion. I always said it's like a head but he's got an opinion and but he's got a head, you you have that. I'm not going to shame you because of your opinion. That's not honorable, but going both ways up or down. There has to be this understanding in place that we can be human beings, we can be strong, we can be aggressive, we can be in our flesh sometimes. But honor will always bring us back to make sure we're preserving relationship within our ranks. As an organization, what will get you get you a ticket out of Metro is dishonor is dishonor.
Chris Alessi 32:07
Well think about the words. You know, honor,
Steve Alessi 32:11
I want to say fired But
Chris Alessi 32:14
okay, think about honor dishonor, think about respect, disrespect, and think about agreement and disagreement. All of these words, the opposite of honor. They're not saying that honor has the opposite word of like, the way that the opposite of joy would be anger. We don't call it like destroy it. Speaking of an it's not the presence of an emotion. It is an action in the opposite direction. And so when you use the word dishonor is literally the very word is telling you that this was actually supposed to be a moment of honor, and you went in the wrong direction. That's what the Word says that our whoever set up the English language said when it comes to whatever honor is because it's not the, you know, I'm preaching at a church. That's not mine. Let me just honor the pastor. Man, thank you so much for having me. You're the best amazing, okay. It's not the church culture that I can't stand where you call everybody a legend, or everybody's killing it. Everybody's amazing. One of the greatest things for everyone listening on this podcast, one of the greatest things you ever did for me was looking at a man I really respected Pastor Mike Hayes. And when he asked you how I was doing, you said, He's doing a good job. Not a great job. You said it on purpose. You said all of that. And it helped me realize not everyone can be great at 22. It gives me like no room to grow. So it's that's not honor. When people do that. That's like, that's a that's a compliment. When it comes to honor, it speaks of a position of place it speaks of true action. And the opposite of that isn't the presence of the opposite. It's a directional term. It's like this was supposed to be this seat, and you went in the wrong direction. And that really only applies to respect, agreement, and honor. And there's probably more but we're the opposite of those things. Is this honor, disagreement and disrespect. That should teach us something? Yeah.
Steve Alessi 34:11
See, that's the part of your communication skill that I love. You bring up images like that should be honored. But when you dishonor you're going in the wrong direction. What I think of is how when you do go in the wrong direction, you're selling the wrong seat. Yeah. And you are not going to be happy with the harvest that one SOS of dishonor. Chris, years ago, Mary and I are on a vacation. We're visiting a family member that was also in the ministry at that time. And I was working for my dad. I was feeling about this big, about an inch tall when I walked or was driving to visit them because I worked with my dad was working My dad, and the whole thing was, oh, you're working for your daddy. I was working for my daddy at the time. And I think I was doing youth ministry. He was the same age, maybe a year younger than I was. And he had already gone through a number of ministry positions. Like he started in youth. And then he went to a large ministry as an assistant out in Denver, Colorado, and then he had taken this senior pastor position. And so mom and I go to visit. And meanwhile, I'm still back here at like, first base, being the youth guy, right? You felt? Yeah, cuz that's how it is, they make you feel that way. Because if you're going to start out in this line of work, you got to start out in youth, then you got to move up to an assistant, and then maybe CO and then one day, one day, you'll be your own senior guy. And so these guys
Chris Alessi 35:54
Steve Alessi 35:56
And I remember going, driving up to where we were going to visit them. It was in stark, Florida. And if you look up Stark, Florida, you'll find that it's like the home of the largest prison in the state of Florida. But he's he's gonna he's pastoring up there. And in my mind, in my mind, I am. I'm feeling like I'm such a loser. I'm so small. My world is so behind. Because now this guy is a senior pastor. And he had already gone up from the youth to the assistant and now the senior. So we're driving up to start Florida. I'm struggling with this in my head. I've got to be 2829 not married too long. We pull into Stark, Florida. I'm looking around, I'm thinking this is dark Florida. Like no buildings, no big city, nothing like Miami, I think they had like a Perkins or a Denny's that was like the main restaurant in town. Nothing like Miami. We then go pulling up to this church. And, man, it sure wasn't anything close to what Grace Church was at the time. And I'm starting to feel like you know what, maybe being the senior pastor here isn't such a big deal. After all, why am I feeling so bad about where I'm at? And I'll never forget. They take us through a tour of the facility. And at the time, you know, when Papa built his churches down in my town here, everything at that point was ahead of time popper really took care of the building. And he loved doing that. He's big in construction. It was modern. It was beautiful. Man, I walked into that place. It was dirty carpet. It had old smelly pews. It was tiny, maybe 75 to 100 people could fit in there. My youth group was bigger than that. And I remembered the landscape outside was dirty. It was it was sand and mud and no beautiful plants. No beautiful landscape, nothing like Miami environment. And finally, after going through this tour of the facility, bathrooms nasty. He was just so proud that now he was his senior guy. And I was tempted to feel so bad about myself to the point of dishonouring, where I was at and thinking my dad was controlling me and we walk into his office, his office was the size of my bathroom today. Okay, the size of the bathroom in my office. And I'll never forget, he leans back in his chair, puts his hands behind his head, pops his feet up on his desk. And he says, Steve, there's nothing like being your own man. And I'm looking at him thinking, this is what you trade it for. You couldn't wait to move up from the youth guy to the assistant guy to now the senior guy where he went from assistant to senior. That wasn't a step up. It was a step down. He never was able to honor one the leaders that were in his life at that season, wherever that season was, and he never honored the season he was in of development in growth. There was zero honor whatsoever. I walked out of that place. I felt so good about myself. I couldn't wait to get home. Just like you couldn't wait to get home back to your Metro people from Vegas on your honeymoon.
Chris Alessi 39:50
We left the day early.
Steve Alessi 39:51
I'm flying home. I can't wait to run up into my dad hug my dad and thank him for the opportunity to be able to serve I was tempted to dishonor the position I had at that moment, which then caused me to dishonor my dad at that moment, which ultimately would have sowed a seed of dishonor. But instead I stayed in it stayed in it stayed in it to this day. That gentleman is not married. And he's not in the ministry. His last ministry tour, if you'd call it was he was a funeral director for about 10 years. You don't want to sow seeds of dishonor. You don't want to judge right now the future by where you're at today. You want to take every season that you can, as you work together in ministry, with family in business, you both both senior leader, the follower, the next generation, you all want to embrace the moment in the season that you're in, you want to make sure, honor is in the culture, because that's not on your list of transitioning how to transition from one leader to the next. Next in corporate America. You don't see honor as being up there. But we don't operate the way the world does. We operate in the kingdom Manor, in honor will always be there for us. And Chris, that's not where I thought this podcast will go today. We're going to have to change the title of this one AP. But I think it's the right direction for us. Because working as a family in the ministry. If you don't have that as your top priority, it's gonna be very hard to enjoy it and be successful in it. Yeah. You like this today?
Chris Alessi 41:39
I love it. Oh, can't he can't honor God's process. He can't honor God. Okay,
Steve Alessi 41:44
now, the last podcast that threw you a softball. I'm gonna throw you curve.
Chris Alessi 41:52
Okay. Even though I ruined the first one after we,
Steve Alessi 41:55
after we have talked all about honor in working together. Let me ask you, because people may not understand that sometimes we still have things happen between us. So what's your biggest issue? Working with your dad? Pretend them out here?
Chris Alessi 42:10
Steve Alessi 42:11
currently, what's your biggest issue with working with your dad? Um, issue meaning points of frustration,
Chris Alessi 42:18
points of frustration. Mother's gonna listen to this. You want to know the truth? Yeah, you'll call us into meetings, you'll have a start discussing stuff. And then you go on your phone. You'll just get caught up and I get it. You're the boss, you got a lot more going on in your life than anyone else. I don't judge you for it. I go on my cell phone, but we start discussing stuff. And then all of a sudden, you watch you as you do this, you go. And it's like you're trying to remember the fact that you were in a meeting. And it's funny, because he did it yesterday for you. And so what about this and we go, we just discussed why we weren't going to do that for 20 minutes. And we just we've all caught on by now. Because you know what? You used to say this at me. And now I say it back to you. He got three homes. You got two churches, you got two weddings, one pass one coming. We all get it. That's why you have us we we help juggle some of that. But that's probably my only point of frustration. That's that's probably
Steve Alessi 43:21
well, I'll do my best to not do it as often because then I got nothing to say. So that means we don't have to have as many meetings.
Chris Alessi 43:27
Right? Oh, that's your biggest point of frustration working with your son?
Steve Alessi 43:32
Let me see.
All right, thank you. I'm trying so hard. I know ring to play.
Play with your ring. You know, I would show you one day I gotta find it. Because every so often, I'll look back at my notes in my phone. And for real. It was when you preach your first message. And I said, All right, this is what I will follow up and say to Chris, I want to help coach him in this, that and the other. And there was like five or six things. And of course we start with a sandwich approach, which means everything's praised on the front end. And then we get to the means that we got to correct and then we end with praise. What was funny is anytime we would do the sandwich approach, I'd never get to the end of praise because we did a bit an argument. But or at least you cry and walk it out of the room. But some of those things that I mentioned back then it still does today. That's cool. It's part of still Chris and Steve is still Steve and thankfully the Lord allows us to do great work together for the sake of the kingdom. So we hope and trust that you enjoyed our family business podcast today.
Chris Alessi 44:39
Thanks for listening to the family business podcast with the LSC. We appreciate you listening and learning with us as we just shared more about the family business. You know, I bet there's someone you know who can use this kind of advice and encouragement. So make sure to share this episode with them and their family because let's face it, family everyone's business. If you want to be a part of our family, subscribe to the show right now on your favorite app and make sure to download the episodes so you can hear them at any time. Oh, and one more thing. One of the best ways to help us spread the word about the family business with the lsaps is by reviewing the show on Apple podcasts or your favorite app. So help us out, write a review and join us next time at the family business podcast with the LSE.
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