June 2, 2021

The Benefits of Raising Kids in Church | S1 EP6

Raising kids in church - is it a burden? Or a blessing? In Episode 6 of our podcast, Mary and Stephanie Alessi unpack why making church a priority has been a game-changer in their family.


Raising kids in church - is it a burden? Or a blessing? 

Is there such a thing as spending too much time in church as a family? And what results can you expect if your family makes church the top priority - even when your kids aren't too happy about it?   

Pastor, songwriter and worship leader Mary Alessi and her daughter Stephanie continue their conversation from Episode 5 on growing up in the ministry, and confront the hard truths of being a ‘church kid’ and being exposed to ministry 24-7. Rather than focusing on the popular stereotypes, Mary and Stephanie unpack their very real experiences as mother and daughter, and explain why keeping church in the center of their family was such a game-changer.

Key Takeaways from This Podcast Episode

  • The problem with children who lose passion for church is not the quantity of time they spend there, but rather the attitude their parents model towards them.  
  • There is always a season when children start to push back against their parents, but only parents who stand firm will see the benefits later on. 
  • Living out the principles being taught at church and applying them at home is essential to helping children to adopt them as their own.
  • It’s important for kids who are brought up in ministry to understand their roles, and never should be promoted before it’s time. 
  • Parents should always be wary of falling into complacency, simply because their children seem to have a level of faith, because seeds of pride and rebellion are not easy to spot. 

 

Quoteables from This Podcast Episode

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Transcript

Mary Alessi  0:09  
Welcome to the family podcast. 

Stephanie Alessi  0:12  
Hello!

Mary Alessi  0:13  
 Do you know the tagline, Stephanie? Where family is everybody's business!  Boy ain't that the truth.

Stephanie Alessi  0:22  
Too much of the truth

Mary Alessi  0:24  
 I love that tagline. 

Stephanie Alessi  0:25  
I love it. 

Mary Alessi  0:26  
I love it. Because it's not only true, but it is. It is universal. Every single family knows your business is everybody's business in the family. So we're gonna talk about today.... being raised in ministry and being raised in the church, and what dad and I did or what we didn't do and what you learn from it, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Stephanie Alessi  0:51  
 all of it. 

Mary Alessi  0:51  
So I'm excited that you're here again.

Stephanie Alessi  0:53  
I know I'm excited I'm here too. Our last conversation was really solid.

Mary Alessi  0:57  
It was really great. We talked about music and writing together. And so now we're just going to talk about the truth, the ugly truth.

Stephanie Alessi  1:03  
 and we have to talk better. Let's talk stronger. 

Mary Alessi  1:05  
We've got to, we've got to be honest here

Stephanie Alessi  1:07  
 We have to be honest,

Mary Alessi  1:08  
 This is... this is the truth telling podcast. Yes. And I'm not going to get my feelings hurt.

Stephanie Alessi  1:14  
Me either. Okay?

Mary Alessi  1:15  
 okay.

Stephanie Alessi  1:15  
 Me either.

Mary Alessi  1:16  
promise? 

Stephanie Alessi  1:17  
I promise you maybe.

Mary Alessi  1:19  
I'm gonna try. Lord Jesus. Come quickly. No spirit of offense.

Stephanie Alessi  1:23  
no spirit offense. 

Mary Alessi  1:24  
Actually, when you talk about your childhood, sometimes it's easy as moms and dads, we don't remember things the way you remembered them. We.... Remember them from this, this place of the decisions we made for you. Were they good? Were they bad? 

Stephanie Alessi  1:39  
Yeah, 

Mary Alessi  1:39  
were they the right thing for you? Are you where you're happiest? Did we sow the right seeds in your life? So this conversation when you have with your kids, some people, some parents run from this conversation, because they don't really want to talk to their adult children about their childhood. But we need to talk about it. Because we were very specific with you and your brother and your sisters. We followed in our parents' footsteps as to the way we raised you guys with the same conviction. And really the same practices as far as church being the center. Jesus being the main thing, and I think we accomplished that. Were we perfect? No. Did we make mistakes? Yes. Did we leave you all in the car?

Stephanie Alessi  2:18  
Maybe.

Mary Alessi  2:19  
Yes we did. O

Stephanie Alessi  2:20  
Oh, yes. 

Mary Alessi  2:21  
I'm not gonna lie.  Did you live?

Stephanie Alessi  2:24  
 once? And yes, we did. And because somebody was there, thank you.

Mary Alessi  2:27  
 Someone came to the rescue. 

Stephanie Alessi  2:28  
Yes. 

Mary Alessi  2:29  
But you survived. 

Stephanie Alessi  2:30  
Yes. 

Mary Alessi  2:31  
No parent is perfect. We all make mistakes. Yes, we drop our kids from time to time. But the.. the intended goal for dad and I was that you guys would love Jesus with all your heart. Like if we know if we did that we did our job. 

Stephanie Alessi  2:46  
Yeah.

Mary Alessi  2:46  
 ...the rest of it. We're not perfect. But we wanted to lead you to a relationship with Jesus Christ. So yes, I feel like we did that. And we're still on that path. And we're still on that road. But talk about a little bit your childhood what it was like.

Stephanie Alessi  2:58  
Sure

Mary Alessi  2:59  
 your memories of being raised with church being like such a huge part of your life.

Stephanie Alessi  3:03  
Sure. It was a lot of goldfish. A lot of Veggie Tales.

Mary Alessi  3:08  
a lot of communion elements, 

Stephanie Alessi  3:09  
A lot of communion elements eating the bread afterwards, running around. Yes, it was the... it was probably the best way to be raised because talk about universal. Yeah, when you meet another church kid, it's like, oh, my God,

Mary Alessi  3:24  
we live the same, exactly

Stephanie Alessi  3:26  
The exact same life  and you have the same jokes, you understand the same music, you understand the same sleeping patterns, because there really wasn't much of a sleeping pattern. It's the best, best way to be raised when you're a kid. And then you get older, and you start to form your own gifts or your own desires, and other ideas and stuff. And they have to be surrendered to the vision of working the vision that your parents have. And it is probably one of... what I love about it is you're constantly dying to yourself. 

Mary Alessi  4:02  
Yeah.

Stephanie Alessi  4:03  
 And you're constantly growing. If you're in a healthy family, you're constantly talking to your family about it. You're getting on the same page with your family. It's an adventurous, adventurous road. It is... it really is I feel like I remember when I was like 17 I was hanging out with a lot of adults. And I they were questioning why I would hang out with people older than me and not really people my age. And then I was like what because I've seen a lot of life before more than the average 17 year old and because we've... we've come alongside you guys and we watch people come in and out of the church and you hear of so many different stories and walks of life. And we see it right there in front of us. 

Mary Alessi  4:47  
So you learn a lot.

Stephanie Alessi  4:48  
you learn so much. 

Mary Alessi  4:49  
You learn a lot about people, behaviors, patterns, what people do right what they do wrong. You do learn a lot and I wanted...

Stephanie Alessi  4:58  
Yeah.

Mary Alessi  4:58  
 I want you to answer this question though. I want you to, to answer this honestly, did you ever feel like when you were younger, was there ever a time that you felt like you really wish we weren't at church so much... like that you could do things outside of church more. Did you ever struggle with that?

Stephanie Alessi  5:14  
Saturday, when we had a Saturday night service? Yes, I remember when I was young, and people would hang out on Saturday night. But I had to go to church, for sure my immaturity was ...I was just really young at the time. And I think I was probably in high school, middle school, and my friends would invite me over Saturday night, but I would have to go to church because I was serving. But you know, that started to dissipate when I was finding my love for the church in my own niche in a ministry somewhere. 

Mary Alessi  5:43  
Yeah.

Stephanie Alessi  5:44  
That started to go away because I was growing a vision and ideas and a passion for the ministry I was in. So I was looking more forward to showing up and executing that new series we had planned or that new song we had rehearsed. I was more excited about that than hanging out with friends. But yes, to answer your question, yeah, for a brief time. But I think the beautiful thing was you guys, you didn't just push church, you didn't just push the religion of church, you pushed the love of church.

Mary Alessi  6:18  
Right.  

Stephanie Alessi  6:18  
And how the... the love that you can have for the people in that in a ministry, it's the best job you can take. 

Mary Alessi  6:26  
Yeah, it's true. 

Stephanie Alessi  6:26  
The best

It's a privilege,  a privilege, for sure. 

It's a privilege. Because people come into the church giving their all to the church, when you meet the right people. They are there with their hearts wide open, that's looking for instruction. Looking for... some of them come from really broken pasts. Some of them are new Christians. Some of them are old Christians, and they just need recovery in church. And they... you have the honor of stepping into their life and helping them. So there's a lot of, you need to be prepared. And you need to be careful and and trained in doing so. But to know that somebody looks at you and says, Listen, I've had somebody say, I've prayed for God to confirm it with my parents, with my leaders and in you. And if you don't feel peace in this, then I'm not going to make that move. 

Mary Alessi  7:16  
Right. 

Stephanie Alessi  7:17  
And some people say that that's church abuse. But if you come from a healthy church, 

Mary Alessi  7:21  
yeah, that's key right there.

Stephanie Alessi  7:23  
If you come from a healthy church that really listens to the Holy Spirit, and they love their people...

Mary Alessi  7:27  
 that's right

Stephanie Alessi  7:28  
... more than they love themselves and more than they love their new series. 

Mary Alessi  7:31  
Right? 

Stephanie Alessi  7:32  
Then that's one of the most beautiful things in the world. 

Mary Alessi  7:34  
That's right.

Stephanie Alessi  7:34  
...because the relationship that's formed there. Anyways, we can keep diving into that. But I was taught to love the people and to love the church, because there's so much benefit in loving people. 

Mary Alessi  7:47  
That's right.

Stephanie Alessi  7:47  
Genuinely loving them, to.... to get into the trenches with them, to fight with them, to fight for them, to give to them, to come alongside them, to marry them, to be there when they have their first baby. 

Mary Alessi  8:01  
Yeah.

Stephanie Alessi  8:02  
to be there. 

Mary Alessi  8:02  
When they're in the hospital.

Stephanie Alessi  8:04  
 It's the most beautiful career anybody could ever get in. 

Mary Alessi  8:08  
And I... I can say that when y'all were younger. And we were really new in the church. We'd started the church when Lauren who's 23 now, but she was.... I was I found out I was pregnant with her when we started Metro Life Church. Yeah. And so we had you and your brother, and you were a handful. You didn't like the nursery. You didn't like the nursery workers. You didn't like to go to church, and you were a baby. So we didn't listen to you obviously. Christopher loved it, because it was so social. And he's such a social person, just being around people was important. But you were a lot tougher. 

Stephanie Alessi  8:40  
Yeah.

Mary Alessi  8:40  
 And then I... a year later, you're 18 months old. And now I've got a brand new baby. And then a year later, I have another brand new baby. So we had four kids so fast. And I can remember, I'll never forget this. There was a man in the church whose kids were like 12, or 13, a boy and a girl. And I remember him telling us this story about the son and he did something that was just blew my mind that this kid at 13 would already do. And he wasn't coming, saying, "Hey, you know, my son did this crazy thing, will you pray for him?  I want to get him in the youth group." He was laughing about it like, "Oh, that's what kids do." And I remember I had all you guys, you were babies, but I knew what I knew. I knew that being in church was all that Dad and I were going to enforce.

Stephanie Alessi  9:27  
There's no other option. 

Mary Alessi  9:28  
No other options. We wanted you to do good in school, but not at the risk of missing church. We're gonna be in church, but the voices that come against parents is... and based also on the culture that you're part of. And I remember saying to him one time in the lobby, I said, you know, you just need to make sure that he's in church every Sunday and every Wednesday night, and he laughed at me. 

Stephanie Alessi  9:48  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  9:49  
And he said, I'll never forget it because it just shook me. He said, you're going to see when those babies grow up. It's not going to be as easy to put them in the car and get them to church. You're going to have to lighten up on that. 

Stephanie Alessi  10:00  
 Wow. 

Mary Alessi  10:01  
And I just remember going home, driving home thinking, am I gonna be lighten up on this? Am I going to... is forcing them to church, making them to come to church going to force them to rebel? And I remember saying to your dad, because your dad has always been more decisive and stronger than me in those moments. He said, No way. Don't you even listen to that. Yeah, no way. Well, you know, fast forward. And you know that, that young man has had a lot of difficulty. 

Stephanie Alessi  10:29  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  10:29  
And I remember getting to that, that place with Christopher when he was about 12. And he started that, I want to go out with my friends and I want to do this, I want to do that. And we put our foot down and said, well, you're not doing it. You're going to be at church with us. And if you're bored at church better, you're bored at church with me. 

Stephanie Alessi  10:46  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  10:47  
...Then bored with somebody else that I don't know that gets you into trouble. 

Stephanie Alessi  10:51  
Yes. 

Mary Alessi  10:52  
And we just didn't facilitate a mindset to any of you guys that said the world's important too. 

Stephanie Alessi  10:58  
 Yes.

Mary Alessi  10:59  
we just never did that. No, the church is the most valuable asset in your life. 

Stephanie Alessi  11:03  
Yes. 

Mary Alessi  11:04  
That is the incubator for an incredible relationship with Jesus Christ.

Stephanie Alessi  11:08  
Yes. 

And that's the most valuable thing you can contribute to other people. 

Mary Alessi  11:12  
Yeah.

Stephanie Alessi  11:13  
 I think that I always look at the prophet Samuel. It's probably one of my favorite stories, because I really do I, I know what Samuel experienced. He was raised in the temple, his mom dropped him off, left him there when he was three years old. And he was raised in the temple like...

Mary Alessi  11:31  
 Oh, it's incredible.

Stephanie Alessi  11:32  
 In the temple of the Lord, that was his home, and he slept there. 

Yeah. That's an incredible picture. 

Yes, he slept in the temple, he had a bed there. And what I ...what I, one note that I take from his story of when God called on him.  The first two times he ran to his... the priest, his master. And what that shows is, he was trained, that before hearing the voice of God, you're going to hear the voice of the master, the voice of the priest.  That before you start to learn what it's like for you to hear God on your own, you're going to learn what it's like to listen and to obey the voice of your parent and your priest and your leader. 

Mary Alessi  12:13  
That's so good Steph. 

Stephanie Alessi  12:14  
You don't know the voice of God, yet. God hasn't called on you yet. And it even says in those days, God's voice was dry. He wasn't speaking as much as he would as he was in the past. So you're not going to learn God's voice yet until you learn how to obey your parents' voice. And what it did was it taught me not to submit to my... he hasn't taught me to submit to my parents, but you taught me the art of submission. Yeah, the art of obeying, right? And obedience is way better than sacrifice. It's such a treasured virtue that is not that is not common nowadays. 

Mary Alessi  12:44  
No, it's not. 

Stephanie Alessi  12:45  
And once Samuel learned to obey the voice of his master, then the Master said, Okay, he's gonna call on you one more time. And then you position yourself and you say, "Here I am, Lord, what do you need from me?" And then it opened up that door to a relationship with the Lord. But he was in the house of God. He was in the temple, he was there sleeping, tending to the temple. And then even then, the...the own high priest's kids weren't serving the temple appropriately, and they were breaking the rituals. They were disobeying, they were angering the Lord. But Samuel remained so humble because he remained obedient to the Masters voice and to God's voice. 

Mary Alessi  13:27  
Yeah. 

Stephanie Alessi  13:28  
And I think people can look at that. And they, because you have pastors kids like that.

Mary Alessi  13:33  
Yes, you do.

Stephanie Alessi  13:34  
They're both raised in the church. But one is rebelling, and once or one's really, really dedicated, and people think "Oh, well the common denominator is you forced them to go to church. That's the problem."

Mary Alessi  13:45  
Exactly,  exactly. 

Stephanie Alessi  13:45  
It's like no, the lesson that Samuel learned that those other boys did not learn was, he was obedient. And he learned how to obey his parents, and then which in turn opened the door for him to obey the voice of God. Those other two kids, they never learned obedience. And the parent, the high priest never enforced obedience. He never pushed them to, he got later punished for that. Anyways, I can keep talking about it. But it's... you can't blame constantly being at church as the problem.

Mary Alessi  14:13  
No.

Stephanie Alessi  14:14  
The problem is they didn't learn how to obey. 

Mary Alessi  14:16  
That's right.

Stephanie Alessi  14:16  
 And then how is God going to entrust his voice and commands to kids who can't even  trust their parents or obey their parents? 

Mary Alessi  14:23  
 That's right. And we, you know, wow, if there was an applause if there was an audience we would all be going whoo! That is so powerful, Stephanie, because you have learned at a young age, the importance of not being set up before kings too soon. In other words, we're not... we're not man pleasers. We are God pleasers. 

Stephanie Alessi  14:44  
Yes.

Mary Alessi  14:44  
We... We don't obey.... We don't only obey man, but we obey God. And in turn, we are honoring and obeying man because we're serving the Lord. So we're not looking and we taught you guys, what we live by. We're not looking for promotion to come from the world, from the flesh, from our jobs, or from the church with a microphone in our hand. We're not... we hopefully we taught you guys that you never ever would allow the thought of "what about me? When's it going to be my turn?" Yeah, we never let that stay alive in you even as a seed. 

Stephanie Alessi  15:19  
Yeah.

Mary Alessi  15:19  
We let you guys know even before we we knew the propensity and the plan of the enemy was to use that "What about me?" 

Stephanie Alessi  15:28  
Yeah

Mary Alessi  15:29  
Because we have this opportunity, 'Our parents are the pastor's.' 

Stephanie Alessi  15:32  
Yes, yes..

Mary Alessi  15:32  
" And they're in charge and we can do anything". We came at that proactively. 

Stephanie Alessi  15:36  
Yes you did. 

Mary Alessi  15:37  
 Even before it was ever a temptation. So we would warn you guys, listen, the temptation will be that you'll have these thoughts. Cast that down, that ain't never gonna happen here.

Stephanie Alessi  15:47  
Amen.

Mary Alessi  15:47  
You're going to lead by example. And it started back...We were talking about this on the way to church today. 

Stephanie Alessi  15:53  
Yes.

Mary Alessi  15:53  
We were talking about how, even in the very, very beginning when y'all were babies, and we were in the hotel, we rented a hotel to have our services in and we had two large hotel rooms that we had adjoining and Mory and David, that were our kids ministry directors. Thank you, Jesus, they're still with us all these years later, they were phenomenal with his ministry at the time. And they would turn those hotel rooms into a kid's ministry. And it was so awesome what they did. But you would try to escape to be with mom and dad, and how they would run down the hallway and grab you and bring you back in and say no, you have to be in the nursery. And so we were talking about how easy it would have been for us, me and dad to just put you in church. "Well they want to be with us. And the poor kids, you know, they're away from us so much." But dad would say "how are we leading by example, when we do that?" If we don't put our kids in the nursery...

Stephanie Alessi  16:48  
 Yes. 

Mary Alessi  16:49  
...What are we saying about our nursery? That is not even worthy enough for our own children, no. We lead by example. Our kids will be in the nursery and our children will be in the toddler room.  Now you bit other babies, other babies bit you. But that's just being church kids. Yeah, that's what happens. You grew up, we never changed that formula. 

Stephanie Alessi  17:07  
No.

Mary Alessi  17:07  
You never got too big for your britches, or too good for an environment, nor did we give into feeling sorry for you, because you were here so much. And when you were here a lot, and we did feel bad about it, we would create other ways to make that more palatable for you. 

Stephanie Alessi  17:24  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  17:25  
And we're even helping some of the our staff members do the same thing with their children. Because they've seen what that process has... has brought. 

Stephanie Alessi  17:34  
Yes.

Mary Alessi  17:35  
 Four young adult people that love the Lord. And this is the big thing... love the Church 

Stephanie Alessi  17:42  
Love the church. 

Mary Alessi  17:43  
Don't hate the church, aren't bitter at the church. Aren't mad, wounded, hurt. Yeah, I love Jesus. But I don't ever want to go back to church again. Yeah, how often do we hear that,  Steph?

Stephanie Alessi  17:52  
Yeah. And you know, I think that the trick was, we kept coming back to the relationship. thing that we relationship, relationship, relationship. Relationship with God, the relationship with others, and then relationship with the world. But the first is relationship with God. I've... rarely have I had Dad or you tell me,  "We have to make the decision for the church people."

Mary Alessi  18:16  
 right? 

Stephanie Alessi  18:16  
What are they going to say? Rarely has that been a discussion. Once or twice. And it's because legit, we were going to upset people, you know, but it's always come back to Steph, what about your own relationship with the Lord? Personal! 

Mary Alessi  18:31  
Yes.

Stephanie Alessi  18:32  
I remember I was 15, 14 struggling with that pride thing. And I was a worship leader. And Dad straight up told me "Oh, well, you know that Lucifer, he was a worshiper, and his pride is what brought him down from heaven. And you know, that's the devil." And he compared me to Lucifer!

Mary Alessi  18:50  
 He did, I remember that. 

Stephanie Alessi  18:51  
Because it was never a..."the church people are going to get mad if you act like that. That's going to look bad to the church people." That's not what it was. It was a, "you're gonna embarrass yourself, for sure. And we don't care if you embarrass yourself, but your relationship with the Lord, that's on you."

Mary Alessi  19:05  
Right.  

Stephanie Alessi  19:05  
You're gonna have to stand before the Lord and say that was in your heart. And you never addressed it.

Mary Alessi  19:10  
 No.

Stephanie Alessi  19:10  
 So it came down to my relationship with God. And then it turned into, okay, that I have to get this right with you. And in turn, gets right with my relationship with the church people, which then in turn, gets it right with my relationship with people not in the church in the world. 

Mary Alessi  19:28  
That's right. 

Stephanie Alessi  19:29  
So it was always about us and God, it was never about appearances or the mask.... There was never a mask we put on that that wasn't it. 

Mary Alessi  19:36  
Because if you know you've hurt God, that's all that matters. 

Stephanie Alessi  19:40  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  19:40  
People will absorb that and say, Well, we've all made mistakes. And, you know, come here, we've all made mistakes, and we'll ...you know, we'll get through this together. But especially if you're in a loving church community. So we'd never felt like if our kids messed up publicly that there'd be this huge shame. We didn't care about that. 

Stephanie Alessi  19:58  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  19:59  
I mean, we didn't want you hurting others or yourself. But that's not what drove us.

Stephanie Alessi  20:04  
 No.

Mary Alessi  20:04  
What drove Dad and I and still drives us today with two of you, either on your way to get married or married, you and your brother, that we are believing God for our grandchildren to be raised with that same exact understanding that we're not trying to protect you from the the the negativity or the the shame of people. 

Stephanie Alessi  20:27  
No. 

Mary Alessi  20:28  
What we want to keep you from doing is sinning or hurting the heart of God. 

Stephanie Alessi  20:32  
Yes. 

Mary Alessi  20:32  
And when dad said that to you, I remember we were in the kitchen and you were talking about your worship list or something. And yeah, again, you were 16. And he just went there. Well, you know, Stephanie, Lucifer had his same problem. And he fell....and I remember thinking, that's too much, Steve.

Stephanie Alessi  20:48  
 But again, traumatized, traumatized.

Mary Alessi  20:52  
And we will whack you with the Word. 

Stephanie Alessi  20:55  
I'll never forget it. Never.

Mary Alessi  20:57  
 Do you remember what he said to Lauren. When she was going through a struggle, 

Stephanie Alessi  21:02  
Oh my God. 

Mary Alessi  21:03  
That's the thing about Dad, he never waited for things to manifest to fruit. He would see it. He'd ask God, show me the seed.

Stephanie Alessi  21:10  
 Yeah, yeah.

Mary Alessi  21:11  
 And I'll never forget, we had like a family meeting. And we were talking about things and attitudes in the house and expectations. And when he went in...

Stephanie Alessi  21:19  
Oh, man....

Mary Alessi  21:19  
We'll let her tell the story.

Stephanie Alessi  21:21  
 Oh, yeah.

Mary Alessi  21:21  
 But I remember sitting there going, "That's not her." 

Stephanie Alessi  21:25  
Yeah.

Mary Alessi  21:25  
That's not her. And he said, there's a seed of rebellion.

Stephanie Alessi  21:29  
Seed of rebellion. 

Mary Alessi  21:30  
And she was broken. And she was like, Dad, I'm not rebellious. I honor, I serve. He said, I didn't say you were rebellious. He said, I said there's a seed that's trying to take root. Well, here's the reality. Duh. 

Stephanie Alessi  21:42  
Yeah.

Mary Alessi  21:43  
Of course there is. 

Stephanie Alessi  21:43  
We all got it. 

Mary Alessi  21:44  
Everybody has a seed of rebellion that the enemy is desperate to say, Where can I plant this?

Stephanie Alessi  21:48  
and recognize it? 

Mary Alessi  21:49  
And then where can I water it? 

Stephanie Alessi  21:50  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  21:50  
And where can it grow? And in our children, if we have this mentality, Stephanie and you know where dad and I stand on this. If our children are somehow a little messiahs that that can do no wrong, that are always perfect. In us doubting their perfection doesn't mean we don't believe in our children. 

Stephanie Alessi  22:07  
Yeah, yeah. 

Mary Alessi  22:07  
We believe in our children. God's given us incredible people. 

Stephanie Alessi  22:10  
Yeah

Mary Alessi  22:11  
...to raise and to grow into wonderful human beings. But the devil has never changed and he's never gonna.

Stephanie Alessi  22:16  
 Amen. 

Mary Alessi  22:17  
So what we have to do as pastors and parents, is say this. The devil wouldn't be much of a devil if he did not try to throw us all off our game and make our knees buckle by planting a seed unknowingly in the heart of one of our children. And we didn't see it. 

Stephanie Alessi  22:37  
Yeah.

Mary Alessi  22:37  
 And then somehow it got watered and we didn't see it. It got the fanned.... the flame was fanned.

Stephanie Alessi  22:44  
 Yeah.

Mary Alessi  22:44  
 And we didn't see it. And parents, we get busy. We... and we get busy. But we also fall prey. We've all done it to "Not my kids. Oh, no, my kids are good." And I'll tell you that that is not good language to... to use a lot. 

Stephanie Alessi  23:01  
Yes.

Mary Alessi  23:01  
... to say it's simply, it's always good to say about your children -  And I can say this. I'm not an expert. But I can say this from raising four. And watching a lot of kids get raised. 

Stephanie Alessi  23:13  
Yeah.

Mary Alessi  23:13  
Sitting on the front row, watching it all happen. And that's how we learn. 

Stephanie Alessi  23:17  
Yeah.

Mary Alessi  23:17  
 you know, we learn from other people's mistakes and the things they did well, yeah, we said we're gonna do that. Yeah. But it's not a good practice to keep saying that, because what happens is the enemy can quickly turn that into pride. 

Stephanie Alessi  23:31  
Oh, totally. They're too young to even recognize that the enemy is changing that. 

Mary Alessi  23:35  
Oh, and we as parents, it's our... it's our, like, our trophy to know we did well. 

Stephanie Alessi  23:39  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  23:40  
So the enemy can work in our hearts. And we don't even know it. We're fully unaware that that's happening. And it's better to say, yes, we're doing our part. We are raising our kids to love the Lord. But the enemy's tricky. 

Stephanie Alessi  23:53  
Yes, he is. 

Mary Alessi  23:54  
And I love those moms that aren't afraid to take the door off the hinges. 

Stephanie Alessi  23:58  
Yes. 

Mary Alessi  23:58  
Even have the best kids to go in and search the drawers. 

Stephanie Alessi  24:01  
Yes.

Mary Alessi  24:01  
 I love those moms. I heard a mom tell me, Stephanie several years ago and I my kids were little... I'm like, I love you. I never had to do this. 

Stephanie Alessi  24:08  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  24:09  
But it helped me keep my spirit open. She said, I saw my son. Something was changing in him. He was about 13, which is always a big age for boys. And the Lord woke me up and said, Go check his drawer. Well at that particular night he was at a friend's house. She got up and she said I had no reason to check his drawers. 

I do his laundry. I organize his drawers. And she went in and found stuff. Yeah, that let her know but the Lord led her. Now, if she had had this mentality, "not my son, my son's perfect or not my daughter. No, they would never." It sets a trap for the enemy every time.

Stephanie Alessi  24:42  
It does. And...to the pastor's kids, recognize that the devil will try to get at you. Yeah, he's trying to get at you. He's trying to get at the legacy. He's trying to get at the gifts that are getting passed down to you. Yes, you will experience tremendous blessing. The devil hates that.  Recognize it. Be even more cautious,.

Mary Alessi  25:05  
Be aware.

Stephanie Alessi  25:06  
Be even more aware and serve even more than the regular volunteer because of that. 

Mary Alessi  25:12  
That's right.

Stephanie Alessi  25:12  
Earn the respect of the people that are closest to you even more than all the other ones because of that. 

Mary Alessi  25:19  
That's right. 

Stephanie Alessi  25:19  
I think that every single pastor's kid, we know who the church inner circle is. We know it.

Mary Alessi  25:25  
Right. 

Stephanie Alessi  25:25  
There's the outer circle, the people that come in and out... if they leave is not that big of a deal. But we know the inner circle. 

Mary Alessi  25:31  
Yeah.

Stephanie Alessi  25:32  
 I think what pastors kids don't realize is that inner circle, they know us.

Mary Alessi  25:36  
 Yeah. 

Stephanie Alessi  25:37  
they've watched us grow up. 

Mary Alessi  25:38  
That's right. 

Stephanie Alessi  25:39  
They know us more than we know, ourselves. They've seen us, they probably visited us at the hospital when we were born. 

Probably.

Their kids were raised with our kids. They know us. And they are looking, they're watching us grow up. Those are the people you want to serve first.

Mary Alessi  25:56  
 Yep.

Stephanie Alessi  25:57  
 Those are the people you want to serve first, because I have been to churches, where the pastor's kids were not respected by the inner circle. 

Mary Alessi  26:03  
No, it's true. 

Stephanie Alessi  26:03  
And in turn, years later, everybody started to not see... everybody saw it. Everybody saw Wow, okay, then this, they don't really earn our respect or not a respectable person. But it started in that inner circle. It's.... can we keep on going? It started in that inner circle. And if a pastor's kid, you know exactly those people that in your life that work the hardest for you, that work the hardest for your parents, work the hardest for your church. If you don't serve them first, serve your parents and then serve them? 

Mary Alessi  26:35  
Right.

Stephanie Alessi  26:36  
 Then who.... are you just trying to serve the people? Are you just trying to serve the stage? That's, that's gonna fall on you real quick.

Mary Alessi  26:43  
That's right.

Stephanie Alessi  26:43  
The stage can be taken from you from one day to the next. But those people are there for life.

Mary Alessi  26:48  
 Absolutely. 

Stephanie Alessi  26:49  
They're there for life. And if you can get their respect, if you can get a relationship with them, then you have a family that will be with you through every single season.

Mary Alessi  26:57  
 And it ....and you know, the truth of that is that applies not only to pastors' kids, but it also applies to all kids that come to church. We've got so many single moms that bring their kids and they want what they see us have. And the thing that we work at is to let them understand, this is not just for pastor's kids.

Stephanie Alessi  27:17  
Yes, amen. 

Mary Alessi  27:18  
This, this is going to really bless a lot of pastors'  kids, if you're listening to this or watching this, I know it will. And we can talk more about that. But to also include the parents that are saying, I'm going to take you at your word, Steve and Mary, and I'm going to do what you did. And we're not going to miss church. Our kids are going to know that church is priority, kids church is priority, and then they're going to stay in kids ministry. And when we get tired of forcing them, we're just going to push even harder. Because we're not giving into them. We want the fruit. 

Stephanie Alessi  27:48  
Yeah.

Mary Alessi  27:49  
... that we see on your life. Well, let me just tell you, the way you get that fruit is you don't quit. You don't get weary in well-doing you continue. The pattern doesn't change, the process never changed. Do not compromise. 

Stephanie Alessi  28:01  
Yes.

Mary Alessi  28:01  
That needs to be the the prize you put your eye on... where you are focusing on your children and their relationship with the Lord is the main thing. It's what you're seeking for. And I will say that it's usually around that 10, 11, 12, 13 years of age that the... that the system can start to break down. Kids aren't interested anymore. They get a little bored. They might want to... they start becoming a little bit more turned away by the world. 

Stephanie Alessi  28:29  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  28:29  
And when, when, when that happens to you and it will, listen.  Push in harder. Lean in harder. 

Stephanie Alessi  28:36  
Yeah.

Mary Alessi  28:36  
No. 

Stephanie Alessi  28:37  
yeah. 

Mary Alessi  28:37  
Because you'll set it in concrete. And if you do that through that season, as you guys know, it gets easier after that age. 

Stephanie Alessi  28:45  
Yeah.

Mary Alessi  28:46  
it just becomes more fluid because then they become leaders in the church. They start serving the... the inner circle that you talked about, sees you as parents push through the hard season, and they're all over that thing, how can we help you?

Stephanie Alessi  28:59  
They do. And I think another thing is,what's so beautiful is, sort of changing it a little bit. But I always tell people whenever I'm just dismissing the crowd, and Dad preaches an incredible message. I always feel like they just got the second hand wisdom that I got first. My dad and you preached to us before he preached to the people. And they're just hearing wisdom I've heard that a week ago. 

Yeah. 

And it's really quite beautiful to see that they are...the church is going to see my dad act ... he's gonna say the wisdom on the stage that he said to us at home.

Mary Alessi  29:39  
 it's true.

Stephanie Alessi  29:39  
 And he's preached to us, he's spoken to us and not preach. We've had conversations, the conversation at home, about relationship with Jesus, not corny. Not let's speak in tongues and gather and everybody let's hear from the Lord. No raw, honest conversations about how are you feeling with you and God. Are you... are you bitter? Are you mad? Are you mad at me?

Mary Alessi  30:01  
 Right?

Stephanie Alessi  30:01  
 Let's get this... work this out right now, that's done more for my salvation than anything.

Mary Alessi  30:07  
right.

Stephanie Alessi  30:07  
 And what it's done is it's only made me more passionate to come and serve the church the way that my dad serves our home.  And my....serve the worship team the way that my mom serves our home.

Mary Alessi  30:18  
Wow. So Stephanie, you know, we always like to end our podcast with a random question that you have no idea I'm gonna ask you. I think we would all like to know, what was your most embarrassing worship moment or moment on stage?

Stephanie Alessi  30:34  
I just ....Okay, so I was doing the welcome right after worship. So we just finished worship, we crashed out and everybody was clapping. And now I had to transition into the mix and into the sermon. So I everybody was standing and everyone was happy and clapping. And I said, Gosh, this church is just so incredible, isn't it? We're so happy you came and joined our service today. This church, we believe in three things relationship, relationship relationship, and we are such a socialist church here. Socialize. We love to socialize, we're so socialist here. And let's continue on with our service. Let's have a great day. Let's go, church. And everybody, one person, no claps, no claps because this is Miami. So they all just came from a socialist country. So it was so embarrassing, and somebody said, you just called our church socialist. And I was like, but isn't it and I had no idea the difference between socializing and socialist. So that was the most embarrassing moment on the stage. That's me.

Mary Alessi  31:42  
 It is always a pleasure talking to you. You just made my day. 

Stephanie Alessi  31:46  
So fun, mom. 

Mary Alessi  31:47  
I feel like we did good. And I ...I'm a good mom I guess. I'm gonna...

Stephanie Alessi  31:51  
You're a great mom. You're the best. 

Mary Alessi  31:53  
Well, I'll be a grandma next. Let's see how I do. 

Stephanie Alessi  31:54  
Yes, you'll be a good one.

Mary Alessi  31:56  
 Great talking to you.

Stephanie Alessi  31:56  
 I love you mom.

Chris Alessi  31:58  
Thanks for listening to the Family Business Podcast with the Alessis. 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 is 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 Alessis 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 Alessis.