#9 Failing Up (with Thomas Lane)

Show Notes

Failure is inevitable for any organization! Sometimes a project or new initiative won’t go exactly how you planned. How do you overcome these failures, address them with your organization, and set your team up to succeed more often than not? Find out in this episode with Thomas Lane from Ascent Church! Follow Thomas: https://www.instagram.com/thomaslaneva

For more resources, visit https://www.reallifeleaders.com/podcast

Have a leadership question you want answered? Email [email protected] and you might even be in an episode!

Transcript

Chantel Ray: Hey, guys. Welcome to the Real Life Leadership Podcast, where we share real life stories from real life leaders to help you become a better leader in your organization. And we are so excited. Today, we have Thomas Lane-

Thomas Lane: Hey.

Chantel Ray: ... of Ascent Church, and my co-host, Heather Roemmich.

Heather: Hello.

Thomas Lane: Hello.

Chantel Ray: Today, we're talking about a really great topic. We're talking about "failing up."

Thomas Lane: Great.

Heather: Oxymoron.

Chantel Ray: Everybody ... Nobody wants to talk about their failures. They just want to pretend ... Like look at social media.

Thomas Lane: Oh, yeah.

Chantel Ray: The only times you see things on social media is like the Pinterest fails, those-

Thomas Lane: Those are funny.

Heather: Yes.

Chantel Ray: Those are funny. They like to talk about that.

Thomas Lane: Like, yeah, like the cake. How it's supposed to look, and how yours ... Yeah, it's a disaster.

Chantel Ray: I've done one of those posts.

Thomas Lane: Those are great.

Chantel Ray: What is the concept of "failing up" mean to you?

Thomas Lane: I mean, for me it means ... I mean failure is inevitable. Anyone who's successful stands atop this mountain of failures, but you don't always see it. You don't always know that. I think we see people when they're this polished, finished product, so to speak, but we don't see all the struggles, all the heartache, all the projects they scrapped in order to get there.

Thomas Lane: So, I think it's being okay to fail. I think it's being okay to mess up. Having a culture where it's not if you fail, it's when you fail, and how's that received? Is it going to be a learning experience or are you going to throw in the towel and quit?

Thomas Lane: Angela Duckworth has a book called Grit. It's one of favorite books. She says that's the key to success.

Chantel Ray: Yeah, it is.

Thomas Lane: If you learn it's success across ... Success across anything. If it's real estate, if it's churches, it's having that grit. Having that ... I think she says it's, "The fusion of passion and perseverance, and just refusing to quit." I really think that's the key to success.

Chantel Ray: Yeah, and that's one of the questions, that we have it in our top things that we're looking for in somebody. That grit is number one, because if they don't have that ...

Thomas Lane: Oh, yeah.

Heather: Yeah. Like when we're interviewing someone, it's easy for someone to be like, "I've done all of these things," right?

Thomas Lane: Yeah.

Heather: We specifically ask them, "Tell us a time that you have failed at something."

Thomas Lane: Yeah, it's a good question.

Heather: "And how did you react to it?" Or, "What was the lowest time in your life and how did you get out of that?" Because you want to see how someone's going to react in that real life situation.

Thomas Lane: She studied ... I think she studied West Point. Like first year students at West Point. It's something crazy, like half of them drop out or 25% of them, something crazy. And they're all brilliant. They're all in good shape. She was trying to figure out what was that thing that caused them to either succeed or fail, and it was grit.

Heather: Can I-

Thomas Lane: I really think that's a great question.

Heather: I want to start this episode off by talking about one of my favorite things.

Thomas Lane: Come on.

Heather: He reminded me of it when he was talking about ... It's like you're climbing this mountain. So one of our favorite people, John Maxwell ...

Thomas Lane: Yeah, of course.

Heather: ... says, "It's uphill all the way."

Thomas Lane: There you go.

Heather: We talk about that regularly. It's like when we hit these roadblocks or whatever, we always look at each other and we do this like little movement, "It's uphill all the way."

Chantel Ray: It's so true. Tell us about a time that you failed. That you are like ...

Thomas Lane: I mean, we could go four or five hours, if we have all day.

Thomas Lane: One of my favorites is when the church was just getting started, we did these launch parties. There was no clear direction of what they were supposed to be. Is it an interest meeting? Is it a party? Is it a hangout? Is it a barbecue?

Thomas Lane: We had one where, I think, maybe 10 people showed up. We were hoping for like 50. I think we had like 10. Only two people were new, who ... That's what we were ... That's what the goal was. We didn't really say it well, but the goal was to get new people to say, "Hey, we're coming to Ascent. We want to serve." We only had two new people show up.

Chantel Ray: Where did you have it at?

Thomas Lane: We had some at coffee shops, where it was successful. We did one at my house, which was a complete nightmare. That was the one that was a failure. We had two new people show up. It's kind of weird to go to a stranger's house.

Chantel Ray: Somebody's house- [crosstalk 00:03:29]

Thomas Lane: Yeah, it was just ... It was a big mistake.

Chantel Ray: So if you had to look at that, what did you learn from that? Like how would you say, "Okay, it was a failure, no big deal. This is what we learned of what we need to do to make those better so that they work in the future."

Thomas Lane: I think you have to clearly define what the win is. "What is our goal? Are we trying to get new members? Are we trying to discuss vision? Are we trying to build something? What is the point of this?" That way you can say if it was a win or a loss. If you don't know what you're aiming for, you don't know if you hit it. You know what I'm saying? You could finish and say ...

Chantel Ray: And how many people were there.

Thomas Lane: Exactly.

Chantel Ray: Did you ever say, "Today's goal for this thing, we want 50 brand new people ..."

Thomas Lane: No.

Chantel Ray: ... "and this is exactly ..."

Thomas Lane: No.

Chantel Ray: "... how we're going to get there. And you're responsible for 10. You're responsible for five. You're responsible for ..." Whatever.

Thomas Lane: That would have been a lot more effective, but no. That was in my head. In my brain it was packed out, and I think we had the chairs for it, but no. It's definitely a momentum killer when something like that happens. It's a little frustrating.

Chantel Ray: Heather, can you think of a time?

Heather: Yeah. I was talking ... thinking about ... We have tried to do different like client appreciation parties, where we just throw this like big event. While we had good turnout, it wasn't what we were expecting. Like in our mind, we kind of did the same thing. Like we would say, we were thinking, "Okay, each agent's going to bring 10 of their clients," Right?

Thomas Lane: Oh, easy. Yeah.

Heather: Right. They have all these clients. It's free bounce houses, it's free food, we're providing dinner, we have a DJ, like all this stuff and it's outside. It's a beautiful day. Then like 300 people show up, and we're like, "Wait, where is everyone?"

Thomas Lane: Yeah.

Chantel Ray: Yeah, we ended up having about 350 people and everyone ... like the other people were like, "Wow, what a great turnout. This is awesome." To the outside, they were like, "This looks fantastic," but in our mind, because we had planned on ... I think we had planned more like 600. In our mind, it was kind of a failure.

Heather: Yeah, and I think you have to get buy-in too.

Thomas Lane: Of course.

Heather: That's where you-

Chantel Ray: That's where we missed out.

Heather: Yeah, and you miss out a lot of times, and you learn that. We learned, okay, the next time we do this, we have to get buy-in from the agents, that they're invested in this too.

Chantel Ray: Sure.

Heather: So that otherwise-

Chantel Ray: Because we spent a lot of money on it.

Heather: Yeah.

Thomas Lane: Oh, yeah.

Heather: Otherwise, we're just doing this big thing and like, a couple hundred people show up. I think once you get that buy-in and you get them to want to do it, you're going to get a better return.

Thomas Lane: I forget to do that a lot. I'm excited about it, so I'm like, "Why aren't you as excited as me? Why aren't you ..." You know what I mean? "Why aren't you as passionate about this as I am?" But I think I forget to communicate that down as well, to get that buy-in, and you can feel it in the results.

Chantel Ray: I'll give you an example of something. We did an event one time and it was a huge success. The reason was is because we got buy-in, but we got people's participation. For example, we had done ... It was a church event-

Thomas Lane: Cool.

Chantel Ray: ... that we did. It was one of those like Fall Festival Paloozas.

Thomas Lane: Fun.

Chantel Ray: What we did was, we invited like the cheerleading squad-

Thomas Lane: Cool.

Chantel Ray: ... to do a routine. We invited the marching band to do a routine.

Thomas Lane: Sweet.

Chantel Ray: We invited this, you know, this thing to do this things. If you think about it, what happens then, right? Because what happens is, if the cheerleading squad's going, guess what? Mom, dad, grandma-

Thomas Lane: That's a good point.

Chantel Ray: Right? They're all coming to support them.

Thomas Lane: Oh, yeah. Totally.

Chantel Ray: You got to think about, "Okay. If I want to have this, let's start by brainstorming, what's the easiest way to get people to go there?" And that's it.

Thomas Lane: Exactly.

Chantel Ray: Because they're ... All those people want to come to support that individual person.

Thomas Lane: Yeah. That's a really good outreach strategy. It really is.

Chantel Ray: So why do you think that we are so scared to fail? Not only to fail, and to be open about it. Because here's the thing. It's funny, because even on some of these leadership podcasts, I love the leaders that just can really laugh about it-

Thomas Lane: Yeah. It's healthy, I think.

Chantel Ray: ... and go, "Yeah, this is a total goat screw. It was terrible," and you laugh about it. That's one thing I feel like we do here all the time. We do fail, but we laugh hysterically about it, and that's what makes it.

Thomas Lane: It's strange, because I think deep down, I think I'm going to look like an idiot. I think people are going to not want to follow me anymore or not trust me or whatever. I think it's Craig Groeschel who always says ... I think he says, "People admire your strengths, but they connect with your weaknesses."

Thomas Lane: I think that's why you like when leaders say that because you connect with them. You're like he's human, she's human, she's just like me and that actually creates more buy-in. I think in my mind when I fail there's going to be distance. People aren't going to trust me the next time have a big idea, but I think actually the opposite is true. If we can admit it, laugh about it, joke about it and show some humility, I think it actually strengthens the whole team.

Chantel Ray: Well, and it's not only that, but it's really getting into detail. I've listened to a podcast and she was talking about how she went through a divorce and she got really sick, but she was so vague about it. She didn't tell any of the details and it made you not be able to relate as much to what she was talking about.

Thomas Lane: Wow.

Chantel Ray: And that is another piece, is that when you fail, you have to be able to really dive in-

Thomas Lane: Sure.

Chantel Ray: ... and go, okay, like after that launch meeting. Right? Let's talk about that.

Thomas Lane: Yeah.

Chantel Ray: So what would that look like? Like a great leader would come in after that launch meeting and say, "Okay guys, that was a complete disaster." Laughing about it. Right? "But I just appreciate you guys so much. How can we grow?" So I want to hear your pep talk at what would be, what would be the talk that you would give them after that launch party?

Thomas Lane: Right. So what I ... Right now, it'd be very different. At that point-

Chantel Ray: Do it now.

Thomas Lane: I think when I was thinking of quitting.

Chantel Ray: Just pretend.

Thomas Lane: I think I ... There was one ... There was probably two or three points in the launch phase, which was this year long process before you launch where I honestly went on ... I shut the door, I got on my computer, and I looked up church jobs. Not even kidding. And I was like, "Oh, there's a youth pastor job. I wonder if I could do that."

Heather: Oh, wow.

Thomas Lane: Or, "There's a group ..." So, one time I was preaching and I brought that up. Like, I was so close to quitting. I honestly was looking at jobs. And I honestly looked at my resume and was like, "Could I ... Would they hire me?" You know? I think it was so real of me wanting to quit. I think right now what I would do, since I've learned some since then, I think I would own it. I would say, "Guys, I screwed up. Here's the three things I did wrong. There was no vision. That's on me. There was no buy-in. I didn't communicate it to everyone and I tried to do it all myself. I tried to say I'm going to get 50 people here, as opposed to saying you bring 10, you bring 20. All right, let's make a list. Who are you going to ask today? You know, at this event." And then I think I would dream for the future.

Thomas Lane: Guys. You know, if people do show up, if people jump onto the vision, what could this church look like in six months? What could it look like in six weeks? So I think pointing, not only how we failed here, but if we turn this around, what could this do? What could God do through this over the next months and years? I think pointing people to the future is our job. And vision leaks. It's always easy to forget where we are. Why are we doing this? What's the point of this client party? So I think it's our job to constantly remind people-

Chantel Ray: Cast that vision.

Thomas Lane: ... this is why it's important. This is why we're excited about it.

Chantel Ray: Yeah. So as leaders, we create a culture where it's okay to fail. How have you in your organization created that where you said, "Hey, it's okay to fail." Like we ... Actually, if you're winning 100% of the time, that's not okay.

Heather: Right? Yeah.

Thomas Lane: You're not taking enough risks if you're always winning, yeah.

Heather: If you're not trying, you're not failing.

Thomas Lane: Agreed.

Heather: And the only way that we can really grow is to do that. A lot of things I think people have problems with is a lot of times they are managed by managers and not leaders-

Thomas Lane: Ah, there you go.

Heather: And managers are quick to point out what you didn't do correctly.

Thomas Lane: Of course.

Heather: Right? And so as leaders, we really have to sit ... So like, we meet with our management group and then our managers meet with the people under them like once a week, once a month. They look at these things, like, hey, this is what you're gonna do this week. And it's okay. Like they'll say, "Now this was a stretch goal and I didn't hit it but I did XYZ." And we're like, "Great job for trying." We're not going to point out like, "You didn't do this, XYZ." We're going to say, "Great job for stretching it. Do you want to recommit to that next week and see if you can hit it?"

Thomas Lane: That's cool.

Heather: Because we want them stretching. We don't want them just setting these-

Chantel Ray: So, my tennis coach, who ... His name is John Frazier.

Thomas Lane: Cool.

Chantel Ray: I take tennis lessons with-

Thomas Lane: Nice.

Chantel Ray: ... and he said the most powerful thing, and I say it to my staff all the time. He said to me ... I said, "How's your daughter doing in tennis?" And he was like, "You know, she's not doing that good right now." And I said, "Why?" He's like, "It's my fault because-"

Thomas Lane: Wow.

Chantel Ray: "... she's a 4.0 player, and I moved her to the 4.5 category. And what happened was she lost every game because she wasn't a 4.5. So she won zero out of three times."

Thomas Lane: Wow.

Chantel Ray: "Then when I moved her to the 4.0 category, her self esteem was so bad. Even the game-"

Thomas Lane: Wow.

Chantel Ray: "... she should have won, she lost."

Thomas Lane: Damn.

Chantel Ray: And so what he said is, "If you know that you're in the right category, you should be winning two out of every three times."

Thomas Lane: Okay, that's cool.

Chantel Ray: Like, in tennis. Right?

Thomas Lane: Yeah, yeah.

Chantel Ray: And so that's when I said to our staff, I said, "We want you to make three commitments every week of what you're going to accomplish this week, and you should be hitting two out of three." Some weeks you might do three out of three, some weeks you might be doing one out of three. But if we average it out, it's two out of three. Because if you're doing three out of three and every week you're hitting it? Look, you need to move up a category in tennis.

Thomas Lane: Sure, absolutely. Yeah.

Chantel Ray: If you are in this category in every week, you're hitting zero out of three games? Guess what? Your self-esteem is ... You're just going to be like ...

Thomas Lane: I give up. Yeah.

Chantel Ray: You're going to be like you looking for jobs.

Thomas Lane: Yeah, and just run. I quit. It's not worth it. What we always say is that culture is what we create or what we allow. It always comes down to the leaders. If something is happening, if people aren't taking risks, I have to look in the mirror and say, I did something which dissuaded them to do stuff. People are taking risks all over then that's something I did as well, which is cool.

Thomas Lane: But it really comes down to us. How we lead. This is a weird example, but I'm just going to throw it out there. If you have a toddler, when they get hurt, when something happens, the first thing they do is look to their parent and they say, should I be mad right now? Should I be crying right now? And I've noticed if my kid falls and looks at me and I'm like, "Oh!" Then he starts crying and screaming. But if I look at him like, "Dude, you're fine. It's okay. Let's get back up." Like, "Let's get back in the game." He doesn't cry.

Thomas Lane: I think our staffs look to us as well in the sense of, are you going to yell at me or you're going to chew me out? Are you going to celebrate it? So I think ... And people talk. People talk at the water cooler. If someone takes a risk and we hammered them, everyone's gonna know about it. And the whole organization is going to be slower to do that. But I think those little moments ... It's really, really important how we respond. Because people know if we're just being phony.

Chantel Ray: Well, that's a-

Thomas Lane: If we're authentically picking them up, coming alongside them, and helping them and encouraging them, I think we have a healthy culture.

Chantel Ray: I want to give you an example and then I want you to give me an example back that piggybacks off of that.

Thomas Lane: Yeah.

Chantel Ray: And somebody in Bible study was like, "Oh, that's what we say in the military all the time." We're like, "I'm going to piggyback off that. I'm going to piggyback off that."

Thomas Lane: Do it.

Chantel Ray: So now I got that.

Thomas Lane: Come on.

Chantel Ray: So, one time we had this assistant that I had and she said like, everything ... Not Allie, Allie's fantastic, by the way. This was old. Before Allie. And so how do you think she wanted, she kept asking me for, so she'd be like, I'd say, "Hey, can you order us some new pens?" That was it. She'd come back and be like, "Do you want blue pens, red pens, ballpoint pens?" Then I would respond. And then she'd be like, "Do you want click pens?" I mean, I don't ... Do you know what I'm saying? And I'd be like, "Oh my God, just order the pens."

Thomas Lane: I just want pens. Yeah. I need them now. Yeah.

Chantel Ray: So how do you feel, like, what is the leader doing wrong in that case? Because I don't think it's the assistant in that case.

Thomas Lane: Sure, yeah.

Chantel Ray: I pointed it right back to me and I said, "What am I doing wrong here?"

Thomas Lane: That's a great question.

Heather: Yeah.

Thomas Lane: I think more people need to ask that question. I think it's a mirror thing. I've done the same thing with social media. I've given someone freedom to, hey, post this, do this, and then come back and be like, I don't really like that. Is that really us? So I think it creates a culture of people who are afraid to take a risk. They'd be like, "Well, what is he going to think?" And then it comes back to me and then I have to micromanage.

Thomas Lane: I think giving some freedom ... I think it's Maxwell always says, "If someone can do it 80% as well as you can, you got to give it to them." And it's not going to be perfect, but sooner or later they're going to be doing it better than you could. I think-

Chantel Ray: And if you're criticizing every time-

Thomas Lane: Exactly. Yeah.

Chantel Ray: ... they do it, that's a problem.

Heather: I have a great example of this. So, we all know ... And if you've listened to any of our podcasts, my biggest problem's delegating. So we had this time when I was ... I don't even know what position I was doing. Like, who knows, I've been every position here. But I was overseeing ... We had a bookkeeper at the time.

Thomas Lane: Cool.

Heather: And so, Chantel had come to me, she was coaching me about delegating, and she's like, "Okay, so you need to like let her make her own ... like, let her do it." And I was like, "Okay, sure." So she'd come and ask, because she asked me questions. Same thing. Like, "How do I do this? How do I do that?" And so finally I was like ... so Chantel's like, "Do this." So I went and I was like ... She came to ask me a question, I was like, "Did you try to figure it out yourself?" And she was like, "No." And I was like, "Okay, well go try to figure it out."

Heather: Well then I did it so abruptly that they all thought I was the meanest person ever. Like I had to go buy them all lunch. They were like, "Heather is so mean now. She doesn't answer her questions." And I was like, "Okay, so I did that wrong." I went from like zero to a hundred. There's this Dave Ramsey podcast that we listened to a long time ago that I always revert back to. The way he trains people to think like him, which is I think what we miss out, is so when they come to you the first time, it's like in her instance, like say the assistant came to her and was like, "What pen should I buy?" And so her first response would be, "Well we're going to buy black ... you know, what do you think we should buy?"

Heather: And then they give you, "Well I think we should buy the black pens that are just the no click." Okay. And then she would say, "Well I would have picked this one because of XYZ." So then when they come back to do the next question, you say ... You coach them through that again. So then they say, "Which pens do you want to buy?" And you say, "Oh, I don't know, which ones do you think I would buy?" They're like, "Well, I think you'd like these." And you're like, "Yeah, that's great. Go buy them."

Thomas Lane: There you go.

Heather: Then by the time they come back to you, by the third or fourth time, they're like, "Hey, we needed to buy pens. I know you like these so I already ordered them."

Thomas Lane: That's huge.

Heather: Because you taught them how to think like you.

Thomas Lane: Yes. And that's the goal.

Heather: And that empowers them. That's where you have to get to as a leader so that they know what you want without you having to tell them.

Thomas Lane: I think speaking into them too. I think it's a really good opportunity to elevate them and to say, "Hey, look, you're super creative." Or, "You have a great eye. I trust you with the pens." You know what I mean?

Heather: Yeah, yeah.

Thomas Lane: Like if someone ... Maybe they're asking because they don't have the confidence. So if it's social media, if it's a song choice, I love to say to the team if they're like, "Well, what about this?" I'm like, "Guys, look, you're more creative than I am. You have a better eye than I do. I trust you. Like let's make a call." You know, I'll coach you, I'll give you feedback. But at the same time I have to see it's a cool opportunity to really say, "Look, this is who you are. This is what you could be. Go for it."

Heather: Exactly.

Thomas Lane: Roll the dice.

Chantel Ray: So last night in our Bible study we were talking about ... We were watching a video for a little bit and discussing it. One of the things he said is that what happens with relationships is that the other person always at some point goes, "You know what? You're not as romantic as you used to be. You're not as thoughtful as you used to be. You're not as giving as you used to be. You're not doing all these sweet things that you used to be." And so they think the right answer is to nag them about it.

Thomas Lane: Always.

Chantel Ray: To say, you know, "Well, how come you're not more romantic? How come you don't do anything for me anymore? You used to bring me roses and now I don't. You used to do this and now you don't." And one of the things ... He never said this, but this is what I got out of it. He said instead of nagging about it, you should have a response where you would go to them and do something thoughtful, which is then going to ignite in them the thought of doing something thoughtful. Can you guys think of an example of how we can relate that? So instead of nagging the people, like, "You're failing right now. You're not doing this, you're not doing that. I'm tired of this, blah blah blah. This is not working. I'm not happy with your performance."

Chantel Ray: How could we, like that marriage podcast, turn it around where instead of doing that, we're making it something we're doing or saying it in a different way so we're not like the nagging wife?

Thomas Lane: It's a brilliant strategy. I don't know how to implement it, but I think it would really work well.

Heather: Well, we talked about this a little bit this morning, you know, like we do a morning huddle with our big leaders of the company, and so we were talking about just appreciating someone. So when somebody feels appreciated, that's kind of like, you know, like when I feel like my husband's being super loving to me or like does something out of the norm, my initial response is like then I'm going to like be extra loving to him, which then it's just going to create this snowball of like awesomeness.

Heather: So we had ... One of our managers here brought a couple of our just admin positions, gummy bears. They were so happy. They ate their gummy bears all day and they were just extra productive. We were challenging our managers to say, "What can you do to just a very small appreciation?" And one of them was like, "I actually just was thinking about my admin last night. Just send them a text." And that just makes them come in today, they're happy, they're productive, they feel appreciated and they are going to do 10 times more work for you-

Thomas Lane: Totally.

Heather: ... because they're super happy. So I think, one, just showing appreciation. It doesn't have to be buying them something, but just giving them that boost is, one, going to increase their productivity. I think that's a good start to it.

Thomas Lane: Yeah.

Chantel Ray: Well, I thought of one yesterday. I had to have a hard conversation with someone in our company and they're doing a good job, but they're getting paid to do a great job, if that makes sense.

Thomas Lane: It does, yeah.

Chantel Ray: So they're doing good, but we're like, "Hey, you're getting paid this much. You need to get your level up to here." And today I'm going to bring them a little present that just says-

Thomas Lane: That's cool.

Chantel Ray: Hey, you know, I just wrote down a note for myself and I'm going to like do a little basket. And the conversation that I had with them was this. I did have a beginning hard conversation, but then I said to them, I said, "This is a very hard conversation I'm having with you right now, but I want you to know in 30 days you're going to be so glad." I had this conversation with them and I said, "What I feel like you're doing is you're working at ... Your brain level capacity is here, but you're working on stuff that's way down here in this level of twos and threes when you're a level nine or ten player."

Thomas Lane: Oh, yeah.

Chantel Ray: "So I want you to start delegating these tasks and moving up to here." And I said, "You don't like me right now, but in 30 days you're going to be like, "Chantel, thank you so much for having this conversation with me because it's making me stop working on this and focusing on what I really need to do to move this company to the next level."

Thomas Lane: Totally. [crosstalk 00:22:37]

Chantel Ray: All right. Any other thoughts on failing up?

Thomas Lane: I don't think we did well with showing honor when we first started. Not just appreciation, not just in the moment, but I've really learned when you take the time to show honor and show, hey, this is what we do at this organization, this is valuable, I've seen a complete shift in culture, in hard work and people getting it. 80% of a church's launch team leaves within the first year. That's the nationwide average, which is terrible.

Thomas Lane: We saw about 60%, which is still not very good. This last week we did a volunteer team night. So the whole A-team, all our volunteers, come together, and we hang out. We ... and every week, every time we do it, we celebrate one person who really just killed it. So you would pick a top salesmen or just someone who went above and beyond. Ryan's one of our guys. He's one of our setup guys. He's behind the scenes. You would never know him or see him. He comes early. He pulls a trailer, he unloads everything, does his job. He always brings a Monster. So we got him two cases of Monster. Right? We pulled him up. We said, nobody knows who this guy is, but he's pulling the truck each week. He's killing it. He loves the energy drink. We thought that was a cool gift, which shows his grit and we held him up to say, "This is who we all should be like, this guy. We're not in it for the glitz and glam. We're behind the scenes. We work hard. It's not about us, it's about the mission."

Thomas Lane: Two days ago he texted me, he said, "I was fiddling with the truck. It needs a new radiator." I don't know anything about cars. I was like ... And this is the truck that pulls our trailer each week. It's a pretty integral part of [crosstalk 00:24:06]

Chantel Ray: If you don't have it, you're in-

Thomas Lane: And I'm like, "What does a radiator do?" Like, do we need it now? He said, "Well, I went by the store, I picked up a new one. I just installed it." And that blew me away. And I said, "Well, can we compensate you?" He's like, "No, it's a gift. It's something we wanted to do." I think because we honored him ... I mean, our goal was not, "Hey, let's honor you so you work more."

Heather: Right.

Thomas Lane: But I think he felt that love and appreciation and that honor, and he said, "This is what I do. This is who I am, I love this organization. I'm here to serve." So naturally it was just an outpouring of that. But that blew us away. That totally blew us away.

Chantel Ray: Well, I think two problems in the church ... The two biggest problems, every pastor I know says I don't ever have enough volunteers. Recruiting volunteers is a problem and giving is always a problem because you always need money to do ministry. That's the bottom line. And what I, going along this example, when I used to be a children's pastor and we went from 40 volunteers to 200 in just a couple months.

Thomas Lane: That's great.

Chantel Ray: But here's what I did. I didn't go up there. This is what drives me crazy. These children's ... people come up and they're like, "We're desperate. We need children's people so bad. If you don't come and do it, the children are going to come in here and they're going to be disrupting everyone." I'm like, oh my gosh, that is terrible. But what I did do, to me, every week, you should be honoring somebody-

Thomas Lane: Sure.

Chantel Ray: ... in the main service. And you just go ... Like if you're wanting children's volunteers, you bring up children's volunteers for the next four weeks. You say, "Guys, we just want to-" You know, you give them roses and give them a little basket and say, "We just want to tell you how amazing Susie is and we just want to honor her today." And all the great things about her. And guess what? That in and of itself is going to increase ... And not only that-

Thomas Lane: Totally.

Chantel Ray: Here's what an impact Susie is doing and why are you doing this? And Susie then says, "I'm doing this because I know that 89% of all people give their life to Christ before the age of 12 and I want to make an impact."

Thomas Lane: Everyone's like, "I want to do this."

Chantel Ray: Yeah, I'm going to change lives.

Thomas Lane: I want to make an impact. But if you're begging, that doesn't ... that's not attractive.

Heather: Yeah.

Chantel Ray: Yeah.

Thomas Lane: Nobody wants to be a part of that. No.

Chantel Ray: Yeah. Anything else-

Thomas Lane: At all.

Chantel Ray: ... on failing up?

Heather: Don't be afraid to fail.

Thomas Lane: I would agree.

Heather: Yeah.

Chantel Ray: And don't be afraid to share it.

Heather: Yeah.

Thomas Lane: It's going to happen. It's not if it's when.

Heather: Be transparent.

Chantel Ray: When.

Heather: Exactly.

Thomas Lane: You're going to fail. You're going to screw up, you know?

Heather: Yeah.

Thomas Lane: Yeah. Own it. Grow.

Chantel Ray: Great job.

Thomas Lane: Right on. Come on.

Chantel Ray: All right, great job.

Thomas Lane: Up top. Come on, man.

Chantel Ray: We'll see you next time, guys. Bye-bye.

Click to Show More

Close Menu