Only 32% of kids believe in God, but Brent Dusing is challenging this statistic by changing the gaming industry for Christ. Brent is the CEO of TruPlay, a platform that offers high-quality, fun, and biblically-sound entertainment to audiences worldwide. It gets more complex every day for parents to combat what their kids see online, so Brent is committed to providing children and parents with a safe corner of the web. He started his career during the dot com crash and went on to work with a venture capital firm. He knows about operating when times are tough. Brent’s entrepreneurial spirit is built on experience, grit, and a commitment to faith.
- How entrepreneurs must operate in three dimensions of growth
- Why startups (or any business) need the right people in the right seat
- Why it’s not only on parents to combat what children see online
About the guest:
About the host:
- Principled Profits: Outward Success Is an Inside Job
- True North Business: A Leader’s Guide to Extraordinary Growth and Impact
- The Freedom Paradox: Is Unbridled Freedom Dividing America?
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Transcription of Episode: How to Change an Industry For Christ
To better serve you we are offering a transcription of each episode. The transcription is automated and therefore has mistakes. However, we hope that it serves your community as you look at how to change your own industry for Christ.
Their souls right? That’s That’s what’s always Jesus’s number one concern is what’s going on. So what’s, where’s your heart? And that’s where you can look at the data and just see where we’re dramatically falling away. You know, for for the first time in American history, well, actually, in the last 60 years, less than half of Americans go to church.
Howdy, and welcome to the true north leader Podcast. I’m Bobby Albert. And we’re here today to talk with Brent Dusing. And he’s the founder and CEO of true play. So, Brent, welcome to the show. Thank you. Great to be with you, Bobby. I think you’re gonna be really fascinating. Brent knives, actually, we spent longer and I thought we were just chatting. And currently, he’s living in my State of Texas, in Austin. And so, Brent, tell us a little bit about you. Cuz man, you got a fascinating entrepot entrepreneur spirit that I relate to, I like to hear about you. And what you and your team are doing at Trueplay.
Here are Well, to start off with why are we here at Trueplay. We’re building a multimedia experience for kids and families that’s faith based and truly world class. So it contains games, videos, digital comics, and a lot of fun, beautiful, excellent experiences that also contained God’s truth. So my background is I started I grew up in Missouri, I went to college on the East Coast. When I graduated in 2001. I graduated, right, it started my first job, right during the.com crash, if you’re anybody out there, remember this days, about 21 years ago. And
I started out at a venture firm in Silicon Valley. It was interesting, it was interesting time because I learned how to invest in a down cycle, which is actually a better time to learn. And in fact, for those of you maybe for younger listeners, this might be the we’re going through a downside right now. And in a lot of ways, that’s a great time to learn to invest because you’re investing on fundamentals and not hype. In the.com era in the late 90s. In 2000 there were a lot of investments being made on, you know, eyeballs and hype. And, well, if you don’t give me a deal today, I’ll just go down the street two hours later and get someone from someone else. There’s a lot of that kind of nonsense happening. And while it worked out some people ultimately that you know, didn’t ultimately
proved to be the right way to invest. Certainly, so started out 2001 doing that I started my first company when I was 26. It’s a company called Cell fire. If you’ve ever gone to the grocery store, and they say use your cell phone to save money, or use digital coupons, chances are you used cell fire. So we had that in all the Kroger and Safeway affiliates all throughout the country and a few other groceries as well. And what the way it worked was you could open up the app and use digital coupons. So use coupons directly on your phone, when you checked out it were clear. And so we had millions of people use it and ultimately sold the company
to a company called Catalina marketing. My second company was a company called lightside games where we built games that were explicitly biblical games, primarily on Facebook. So if anybody remembers the days of a game called Farmville on, on Facebook, we didn’t build Farmville. We built games that were kind of in that same genre in that style. But that told biblical stories we did the journey of Moses, then we did the journey of Jesus. We did another game called stained glass, which was on mobile. And so everything we did, again, the pillars were, they’ve got to be fun. They’ve got to be done with excellence. They’ve got to be done with beauty, but they’ve also got to contain God’s truth. And so
about four years ago, I was kind of noticing some things I was observing in society, you know, for children, kids, particularly, that really concerns me. You know, anxiety, suicide and depression rates are all time highs for kids. And that’s before COVID That statistic was true before anybody knew what Coronavirus was.
And if you look at the charts, it exactly mirrors the rise of social media on smartphones, you know, particularly for teenage girls. I know I was also came came up, you know came upon the statistic that the average male is exposed to pornography when he’s 11. And actually four years ago that was 13 years old. So it’s it’s getting far worse. And there’s all kinds of data by the way from Christians as well as from just secular scientists and child psychologist confirming the terrible damage that causes particularly to young men and men men in general. The the to me almost the worst stat is that while let me
See? Okay, so while 62% of adults, a 40 year olds are people over 40 in America believe in God, only 32% of kids do.
Right? So church attendance for the first time in American history? Well, for the first time in my in your lifetime, I think it was maybe in the 1930s. Things were pretty grim before Billy Graham’s revival started.
But in the 1930s, I think it was was was bad, but for the first time since then, less than half of Americans go to church. Right? So you have you have 62% of adults over 40, believing in God, which is actually really good for a first world country, but only 32% of kids in this country, which is, which is terrible. And you ask, Well, why is that? You know, is it? You know, it’s not because there’s some scientific, you know, discovery that God doesn’t exist, that’s not true at all, you and I know that it’s that it’s that kids get bombarded with messages.
And the effects of those things are, you know, the anxiety, suicide and depression rates, and their pornography exposure and a whole lot of access to all these other toxic messages, that they’re on a screen 50 hours a week, you know, kids are on screen 50 hours a week, and you ask yourself, well, how often is the average American child at a church about 30 minutes, because they go to church, about an hour, only half of the kids go to church. And so you have this, this dichotomy of what they’re learning is true, based on where they spend their time, and just as the Bible says, the eyes are the window of the soul. And so true play was really birthed on, let’s go build content that’s truly world class truly excellent and fun.
And we’ve got a tremendous team, which I’m happy to talk about. But it also contains God’s truth, whether it’s biblical stories, or a new set of characters we’ve created, there’s a lot of creative ways that we do that. But that’s, that’s basically a little bit about what we’re doing. Well, Brad, and I know the audience
may not see it, but you’ve got an image on your T shirt. And, but perhaps maybe, to lead into that is, and you kind of talked about a little bit is, is why do you why do you feel passionate about what you and your organization do? And perhaps maybe share a little bit about your mission? And then maybe about the, the image that’s on your search or so. So to answer your question, why why did myself and we’ve got a tremendous team here, we have over 100 people working in various capacities, you know, at the company, truly world class team, moving people out of some of the very leading companies around, you know, video games and animation production, and, you know, our production and and those kinds of things.
It’s a tremendous team, people from from the big technology companies as well, but a very, also a very dedicated team around the mission. And I think the reason we’re so passionate is, is a few reasons. One, it’s a calling, there’s so many of us, that would tell you, God has called me to this, there’s so many people who we have, for example, a recruiters will reach out on LinkedIn. And you know, because we’re hiring for all kinds of jobs. And the first response people will tell us is, well, I this is something I’ve been wanting to do for 15 years. And finally, there’s a company that’s doing this with a level of quality that I want to be able to deliver but as well as God’s truth. You know, there’s, there’s a lot of,
I think, talented people inside the technology industry and in the gaming industry, that really have a heart to do this, but that need the organization and the platform to be able to be a part of so first.
First of all, it’s a calling second, you know, when you think about when you talk to people about, you know, personal hangups they have in their lives or difficulties they’ve had, they’ll often trace it back to, well, something happened in their childhood, you know, some adult did this to them or did that to them? You know, those are those are legitimate concerns.
The thing that bothers me is we’re the adults now. Yeah. And so, you know, all those facts and statistics I gave you, you know, we say as as adults, well, you know, you asked me what’s the most important thing you’re like my family, okay, great. But boy, if you came in from another civilization and had never met, you know, ever seen American 2022 And you came into it brand new, you sure wouldn’t think that. I mean, if you look at again, anxiety, suicide, depression rates, and, you know, pornography exposure and their lack of exposure to God’s truth, and, you know, all kinds of things, you know, brain damage starting to happen with kids because of drug legalization, you wouldn’t think that children were the priority at all.
In fact, it’s hard to name organizations that look out for the best interest of American kids. Really, you know, there’s great, there’s great organizations for, you know, children in, you know, in countries in need in developing countries, fantastic places. There are fantastic organizations, you know, Compassion International and Samaritans person Worldvision doing great work, but there’s not a lot of organizations that exist
to serve our kids. Yeah. And their needs are just as great. And so we they might not be material needs. They might not be for example, you know, poverty, but their souls right. That’s that’s was always Jesus’s number one concern is what’s going on. So what’s where’s your heart? And that’s where you can look at the data and just see we’re, we’re dramatically falling away. You know for for the first time in American history well actually in the last 60 years less than half of Americans go to church. Yeah. So share a little bit about the image on your tokens. Yeah, so. So this is a T shirt, we just got
you yesterday. And we’re waiting to be developed a new set of characters in a world called the reverse. So in the reverse. It’s this fictional world, we’ve created a course where God is real, and the Bible is true. But there’s also real evil that exists and our characters, our heroes, our kids. And so this is Lucas Lucas, as you can see, as a skunk. And he has a robot costume that he design that flies and shoots laser beams out of its eyes. And he’s, he’s our inventor, but Lucas actually has a pretty interesting story. His brother died about a year ago. And they used to play walkie talkie all the time. And now he’s in Lucas is 910 years old.
And he has a lot of questions about God, you know, where’s my brother? Really? And my mom says, he’s up. He’s, he’s up in heaven. But where is that? And what does that mean? And how could God have let this happen? So he’s got a lot of issues he’s wrestling with another one of our characters and there’s a there’s an animated short, we made you can see on our website called maple in the force of words, there’s another one of our characters a little girl named maple.
She’s about eight, nine years old. And Maple is is bunny rabbit that dresses at a tiger costume. And her her attitude is she’s not always right. But she’s never in doubt. You know, she, she’s very strong in her faith, she has very little time for anybody else’s opinions. And she in the video rushes in the forest on a rescue mission was rescuing a boy who’s a fox that dresses in a bear costume.
And they want Discovering Together, there’s kind of this, there’s this evil queen, who’s taken over the forest, and through a series of kind of lies and manipulation, twisted, really the meaning of of words and what’s being said in their environment that’s led to these terrible effects for society. And so, so each of these characters have their own games, they have their own animations, and other ways they appear. And they also have their own stories where they kind of grow and learn and evolve over time, but also going on adventures and, you know, fighting bad guys and saving the day. Yeah, well, man, I can see how much fun that would be. And
you know, one of, you know, one of the things and a previous business before you sold it to you all LED 25,000 people to the Lord. And I thought that was extremely, by through people using your gaming process. So
I, I tell you, what’s interesting to me is the Create Bill, you know, how creative coming up with the storylines for these characters. And, and I think the other fascinating thing is, you recognize a gap in the market that is desperately, desperately needed. And, you know, my wife and I have three boys, of course, they’re married now, and you know, they have their own families.
Our daughter in laws are like daughters to my wife. And so we, they’re really special to us, but it’s, I’ve been, it’s interesting looking, visiting with our, with our sons, is that, you know, you hear that phrase, chip off the old block. Yeah, it’s amazing how much they behave like dad. And you know, I, one of the things that I talk to our boys about, over and over and over and it relates to what you’re trying to do with gaming is to protect what your eyes see, and what your ears hear.
And since you’re a computer guy, and you’re pretty smart, because you went to Harvard. So, what, what I meant by that is, you know, when I was in college, this by giving my
Ah away here. But when I was in college and I took computer science, you had a lot of computer science courses. So this was back in the days when we had punch cards. Yes. I never saw that.
Well, you’re lucky, because it drove me nuts. Because when you start putting those punch cards in the JAMA, then you have to rerun the program again. And it would just drive me nuts. And it was very time consuming. It was ridiculous. When I look back on it, but a term we use back then, was garbage in is garbage out. Yeah. Yeah. And the application is exactly what you’re trying to do. Because our minds are so right. Especially kids and young adults are so wrapped up. They don’t know it. But they’re they’re really thirsting for God’s truth. Yes. They, they don’t come out and say I’m thirsty for God’s truth, you know, but
what I would talk about are boys in a practical sense, boys, you need, and we had house rules. Wouldn’t until our youngest son that actually wrote them out. Talk with him verbally, but it’s like, you know, you gotta. You know what, what, you know, they knew I was going to ask them about what movies are looking at? What?
You know, what books are they reading? You know, what magazines? Are they looking at? what friends do they hang out with? Do their friends? What kind of language their friends use? What kind of jokes do they tale?
Hey, when you get in the car on Friday night, you already know how the nights gonna turn out. So make a decision now, right? If you’re gonna get in that car, you know, when?
And it’s reason why I brought up about our three sons. Because I can see them being playing out, protect what your eyes see what your ears hear, even with their own children. They’re very protective. Yeah.
What’s you know, it’s harder, Bobby than it was. So, you know, I grew up in the 80s. And, you know, you know, if you think about it, like access to pornography was, you know, as a kid, you could go to a friend’s house whose dad had a magazine and sneak in the middle of the night, right? Or to buy certain music, you had to produce an ID to prove you were over 18. Right? Or to watch read certain movies, right? Or to get into the movie theater? Right? You had to show you a right team? You know, there were there were restrictions.
You know, the the thing now is there’s there’s so much content that’s so readily available through a quick Google search through the app store, where you can get so much of that content instantly. That’s, that’s so toxic, particularly for children. And so the problem now is when you hear we know anxiety, suicide, depressed rates for all time highs, the message is, yeah, but parents would just police what their kids do. Okay. Well, you know, we legalized drugs in this certain area, and now we’re showing there’s brain damage in kids, particularly disadvantaged kids, actually, there’s an instance of increase in those in those places.
Well, what about that well pair to just do a better job. Okay. What about the fact that the average male exposed porn is 11? Well, parents just do a better job. You know, it’s kind of like telling a parent, if they say you lived on a beach town, hey, there’s gonna be a hurricane. Oh, my gosh, what should I do? Hey, no problem. Just go to the beach and hold up your arms.
I mean, that’s, that’s what it’s like to raise children. I have three kids of my own, you know, you know, you’ve got some grandkids. And I’m sure that’s what the experience is, like, for your son’s you the the screens are so prevalent. Yeah. And there’s so much access to information so quickly. And you know, it’s not just because, uh, yeah, but there’s parental controls and blockers. Yeah. And then you wait till they get older, or at a friend’s house. They’re on a school bus. Exactly. Right. And it’s right there. And so there really is.
You know, that that’s why this I think there’s so much responsibility that has to be taken by content creators and platforms and not just continued to escape go parents because I you know, it’s true play. We want to come alongside parents, you know, nobody’s we’re certainly not here to blame parents. We’re here to affirm and say, Here’s great content. Here’s a place you can trust. Yeah, that’s going to do that that your kids are going to love. You know, we’re not we’re not selling robots.
And you know, row Pitocin is, I know, this doesn’t taste very good, but you should drink, it will help your call. We don’t sell that, right we at AAA, it’s, it’s chocolate cake stuff with vitamins and calcium protein. So the kid wants to, you know, wants to engage wants to get involved, and the parents great with it, because they look at all the benefits that are coming as a result of it.
Yeah, well, you know, our three boys, we, my wife and I looked at our home as, as a ministry. And I mean, we had, you know, you mentioned about movies, like, you know, you had to check, you know, what age you are before you can go in some of them. And, but we had part of our way of living is, we told her boys, we don’t permit R rated movies.
And, certain, you know, age levels on playing games that they were brilliant. And, and, you know, it got, you know, we had our we created a home that was fun to be there. The frigerator was full of, you know, copes, or other drinks and all kinds of food there. We had a swimming pool, we had a basketball go, you know, we had a fort when they were younger, yeah, they could climb around. And so they were constantly inviting friends over to her house.
But we created all of that, because we saw our home as, as using our home as a mission, rather than it’s just a house that. And so our boys were very good at telling their friends when he come over, like, hey, when you come over, we’re not going to watch these kinds of movies. Sure, sure. And it became a safe place, right for other kids to come. So it’s interesting for you to say that Bobby, because it’s your house was a safe place for your kids and their friends. That’s what we’re building a true play. It’s a safe place for kids. Because, you know, as a parent, you know, again, it’s convenient for content creators, and platforms to blame parents and put the burden on parents.
But I can tell you, as a parent, as I’m sure most of your listeners will agree, you don’t always have time to play every game and watch every movie first and look at every YouTube video, you know, you don’t have the time and the bandwidth because life’s busy enough. And so what true play is providing is the ability for it to be a place your kid wants to be that safe, a safe place, a safe, a safe environment, you know, for them, but not just safe, but a place that’s really going to help grow and encourage them in, in God’s truth. Yeah, you know, there’s a quote, and I wish I could remember it’s a lady and she,
she had multiple, you know, she had three names, too. And I can’t remember the names right now. But what we’re talking about, what what her quote was, is prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child. Yes. And, you know, I think you understand this, so many parents today are trying to prepare the path, rather than preparing the child.
Yes. And so what you’re doing with your gaming, helping pay, you mentioned the word safe, it’s a safe place for parents, to allow them to use the gaming to help prepare the child for their path of life, that they’re going to live in this, you know, in this world, rather than trying to clean up the path all the time behind them. You know, like going to school and, you know, trying to, you know, help Johnny get a better grade, you know, that’s preparing the path. That’s right. That’s right, instead of preparing the child for the path of doing the right things, and there’s another challenge.
And this is this is Manny me, I’m in fact, I’m probably going to kind of reveal my age here again. There’s an old Christian band called Phillips, Craig and D. And here in Austin, I mean, Randy Phillips is right here in Austin. He’s 50 minutes away from my office and is charged. Yeah, well, you know, if you see him, you can tell him I still remember this old song, and it told the story
Since your end, your characters and things and what the story was, and I can’t remember the name of the song. But it’s a dad that was tucking in his son in bed at night, praying with him. And then as he walked away from the bed, and he’s about ready to turn off the lot, he started praying, Lord, I want to be like you, because he wants to be like me.
And I tell you what it really is, by use of music terms struck a chord.
Yeah, and it made it very clear. My wife and I were already doing this, but it really confirmed that as a parent, the rules we were wanting to teach her children to live by, we had to live by them, too. Yeah, that’s right. It’s kind of you know, I mentioned about we don’t go to our rated movies. Sure. Well, my wife and I have lived by that, you know, probably now for, you know, I don’t know, 35 years or something like that. Yeah. And still, today, we live by that. And I allow myself to attend one R rated movie, and it was the passion for Christ. Sure. Short Movie. So
which I was surprised, but I can understand that there’s a lot of gory. I mean, that movie, it’s funny. Bring it up. So that movie was a really big part of me becoming a believer. So I had grown up going to a church and
believe that God exists. But as you know, he was different believing that God exists and following Jesus Christ, right. Yeah. And
I went to this church in California in Silicon Valley at the time, as you know, that 20 years ago, and I was asking the pastor, all these types of questions, you know, is is,
you know, what’s the Bible say about this? And what’s the reason for that, and, and the pastor showed me things I’ve never been exposed to during the church that I grew up in. But you know, Psalm 22, were written 1000 years before Christ, where the crucifixion is laid out in detail, by by David, Isaiah 53, about the virgin birth, Daniel, and the prophecies and Daniel, and it started to become really black and white. Wow, there’s really this God of the universe that supersedes even that even time.
And so if that’s true, then I need to be sure to get right with him. Right. You know, fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. I didn’t think fear Lord is beginning wisdom. It didn’t make sense to me at the time. But now I realized that that was the point. The other thing that got to me was the movie The Passion of the Christ, because it was depicted the crucifixion in such a real way. Yes.
And and, you know, it’s terrible to say, but you know, when you grow up in in Christendom, right, in western civilization, that you always see a cross, you see a church, yes, but it’s kind of that you never really get a sense of what really happened. It was it’s kind of like this generally accepted cultural thing, rather than described, rather than kind of explaining it diving into the detail of why no matter how terrible of a sacrifice it really was. So seeing it depicted in that way really opened my eyes to the sacrifice that Jesus made for all of us. And the other thing it did is it really spurred as I was saying earlier, if you look at that movie,
it was highly engaging, you know, you’re riveted to it, even though you know exactly what’s going to happen, right? There’s no twists in that movie. But you’re, you’re you’re hooked into it, because the way he tells the stories, the quality of the acting, you’re the characters don’t speak English, they speak Aramaic, but your great acting, great cinematography, great music, and it stood for 15 years as the number one R rated movie of all time by box office receipts, right? Is that right? Yeah. And so but it was really about and what by the way, though, it adhered to biblical truth.
I mean, sure, Mel Gibson took some liberties in that movie, but the truth is, the core of the story of the movie of what happened, really was based on the Bible, the gospel, and so that was really a nice touchstone for us to say, Look, everything we do, it’s gotta be of high quality. It’s got to be engaging. It’s got to be done with beauty, but it’s also got to contain God’s truth as a foundational layer. Yeah.
I like you bringing up about Psalms. I, in the early part of Psalms in my daily quiet time right now, you’re exactly right. A lot of the description that David was writing and perhaps singing in those early songs are, it really kind of gives a picture of what Jesus Christ was experiencing with, you know, the people that were attacking him hypocrites the one that were lying about him.
You know, in today’s term, you know, we would say using smoke and mirrors, you know, to to get Addy it’s and you see a lot of that today that’s going on and so man hours notes all over my Bible. So rant man I’m I’m loving this discussion I want one I’m gonna change the subject character a bit? And can you share your story about an obstacle that challenge you and your team and tell us a little more about that? Yeah, an obstacle that challenged my team and I, you know, one of the
one of the kinds of things that we had to think about as a team is, you know, we’re building a platform that has a whole bunch of content. So we’re building the platform, as well as the content, you know, there’s, there’s not a lot of great Christian content for kids out there, there’s very, very little that took high quality.
And so there’s not a lot of things that we could just go by, so we have to go build it, you have to build that as well as the platform itself. And so you know, when you what I try to tell people, and this might be helpful for your a lot of people who listen to us that are entrepreneurs, you have to remember that when you’re doing
a business like this, you’re actually going through three dimensional growth. And here’s what I mean, you’re building a new product, and everybody who starts a new company understands that because it’s pretty obvious, we’re building a product. But the second dimension is, we’re building a company. And so what build a company means often is your job. No, Joe Smith, the job he got hired to do in March, by September may change was like, Hey, Joe, we started marching into these five things.
But now I only need to do these three. And sometimes that can look like it mostly from Joe. Well, that’s not fair. And you took my responsibilities, right? No, no, because I need you to really focus on these three things, because those three things are now being used by a million people around the world. And another two things we’ve had to hire people for, to take over for you.
Right, so as a company scales, right, who you report to changes your responsibilities, change, all those types of things. And then the third dimension is personal growth. Because you know, we hire people here with experience in their fields, we don’t typically hire people right out of college, because as a startup, we don’t have time to train you to do a job for the first time. While it’s true that nobody’s built, what we’re building a true play before.
It’s also true that there are components of what we’re building that have been done, right. So you’re taking people in from their different disciplines, art, game design, software engineering, and project management. And people with these high levels of expertise, recruiting, are able to come into true play and apply their expertise to build a great company a great product, but that also means their personal growth and development will evolve as well. And so I think, as a leader of an organization, you’ve got to be sure that you’re messaging three dimensional growth, and try your best to provide opportunities for that. Yeah. Yeah, that’s, you know,
you’re sharing some great stuff. You know, when you think in terms when you hear the word entrepreneur, you think of business, but a pastor could be an entrepreneur leading people. Well, if you’re doing a church plant, that’s exactly be an entrepreneur. Right? Sure. Yes. Exactly. And the struggles they go through, you know, and they’re trying to scale and, you know, it’s a,
but something I saw, it’s been several months ago, that it was a it was something kind of like this about, like 80% of the churches had 200 or less people. Yes, yes, it was something like that for March, right? Barna Research. And what occurred to me and it sounds like what you’re saying can happen, it doesn’t matter if it’s a church or even a nonprofit, it could even you know, an educational essay, let’s say a Christian Academy, you know, K through 12 or something. So, one of the things that I teach is called on an N.
And what I have found is that 85% 85 to 90% of the leaders are working their tail Law in the business.
Yeah, are in the ministry are you know they’re working in and they lose sight to work on the organization. Agree. And but it’s not either or,
as you’re just, you know, I’m using some terms that to describe what you are saying. But I mean, why you’re working in your business, you’re working on your business, so you can scale it. That’s right. And unless particularly somebody in your role, and I found this luck for me, it reached a point where almost almost 100% of my time was working on our business. But I had to hire the right people.
And like Jim Collins said, get the right people in the right seat, the wrong people, you know, in the right seat of the bus, right, get the wrong people off. That’s right. And in the right, see, going in the right direction. I agree, Bobby. Absolutely. I think that, you know, it’s true for entrepreneurs. But you know, you spoke about pastors, and I think as a Christian church, we can all do better supporting and affirming our pastors. Yeah. You know, I often think that I see I see congregants do this all the time, they expect
pastors to adhere to a standard, which they wouldn’t themselves agree to. But they expect to compensate and support them at a lower level than they would accept. Yeah. And so I think for pastors, if you think about it, a lot of them, especially those at smaller churches, you knew you’re expected to be a counselor, run the church, be the chief fundraiser, be the best speaker of sermons being the biblical authority when there’s a dispute, you know, that’s a lot of burden to place on one person.
And I, while I’m sure there are some people who can do all that I don’t think it’s fair to expect everyone who is called to the ministry to have to do all those things. And so the ability to hand things off the ability to find people you can trust, and who are competent, by the way, which is so key is to trust with the handoff is so key. And I think that as as congregants, you know, if you’re going to a church of a small church, where the pastor is doing too much, where can you help, you know, how can we help support our pastors who are called to pastor us? Yeah, well,
there’s some mindset that you’ve got to hire, and pay a staff, that there’s a lot of people in a church that
would be willing to volunteer, just like you’re saying, to, to do it. Now. They may not, you know, they have another job, and they got a family, perhaps, but they can, they can take you to another level before you have to hire somebody, and willing to do it and do it, as unto the Lord, not just just, you know, just volunteering. That’s right. And that’s a key thing
is, if I can share this about our company, when I started seeing work as a ministry and not a job, I took our traditional organization chart that had me at the top, of course, that signals to all employees, they come to work for Bobby album, but I took it and turned it upside down. And I took of the servant leader row. And I took the role to serve, develop and equip the leadership team. And, and they knew they were supposed to do that to people that reported them all the way. And we had that frontline people at the top of the organization chart. But above the frontline people was a customer. And even above the customer was the Lord Jesus Christ.
Yes. And Colossians 323 24 was the foundational verse for our company. And so which stock talks about? It’s the Lord Jesus Christ we’re serving so our people clearly knew, it’s kind of like, you know, what Jesus said, I’m paraphrasing this to his disciples, I come not to be served but to serve. And, and so but that was a key of our culture or organization is it was like I could not out serve our people. because they kept giving back to me results that were extraordinary soaring resource or reserves or results that people would dream about having.
And, you know, part of our culture. This sounds weird when you think about a business. But our people had a passion. They were excited. They were enthusiastic to come to work every day, even their own personal problem. Yeah. And it wasn’t until after I sold the company I was been I spent months praying, lower Wow, was things working so well. And he helped me understand he only actually only gave me one word, and that was served.
Because that’s how you we demonstrate God’s love.
And so it helped me understand in a deeper way, that the reason why that you know, you can’t buy people, you can’t buy passion, and enthusiasm. That’s right workplace. That’s right. Especially nowadays, when you know, you read so much about employees being disengaged, quiet, quitting, you know, quiet, mature, waiting on their jobs and thing.
But our people were experiencing something I didn’t quite understand it was the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
And in our workplace, and they they couldn’t expect couldn’t express it to me. I could I didn’t recognize it. But one thing I found is I could not I struggled trying to get our people to find a church home.
And I finally figured out, they felt like they came to church five days a week.
Yeah. So it didn’t really occur, but our ministries in our work, I mean, it was so prevalent, it started out in the workplace for employees, but we begin to figure out how to minister to customers, and even suppliers. And we we had, you know, as yours, but we had 10s of 1000s of customers. And we had about 3000 suppliers, you might call them contract. Sure. So we had more business, across the country, as well as internationally and we can handle so.
But we figured out ways how to minister to and we had so much ministry activity, the end of business, that we had to hire an extra person in our HR, you know, human resource department just to handle the, the logistics of all the ministry activity. So this all comes back about working on your business while you’re working in your business, you could insert the instead of business you could put church, sir, or your nonprofit ministry or your educational institution. So
Well, one thing ran, if I might ask another question here, and you’ve kind of cut you know, I mean, we’ve covered a lot on this, but I just want to ask if there’s anything else add is how has your faith influence the way you approach the way that you lead your team? Oh, tremendously. So because we’re doing you know, what we’re doing is really mission you know, we’re applying
Silicon Valley operating principles that I learned for years to go accomplish a Christian mission. I mean, that’s essentially what we’re doing because we’re, we’re mission based, you know, organization where and so, the, the ability to you know, you’ve got to do your best to think about the biblical examples of of Noah’s Ark. Okay, so no one had to go build the ark in it, you know, the Bible doesn’t say well, they got sloppy and then there were holes in the side that it’s safe right now. They did a good job it took them a long time.
They built it Well, are they the temples right the first temple that’s that’s described Solomon’s temple, where again, isn’t like oh, yeah, they messed up in a column fell off the whole thing clap No, it they did. They took their time, but they obviously built with excellence. They worked hard to get with. Nehemiah is all about building the wall. Again, that was successfully. So the point is that there you’ve got to build with excellence and hard work and do your best but there are also components where you’ve got it
trust God to show up, you know, that’s true in, you know, the building of the temple where, you know, God provides all these wealth or resources for them to do it or, or Nehemiah, God, you know, kind of stirs the heart of the king to let Nehemiah go, you know, Lee is, you know, leave captivity and bring people with him and kind of protects them as they’re building it when I think Stan ballade and some of the other, you know, villains are trying to kind of corrupt and, and so and so the point is that, you know, you’re working with God.
Yeah. And so you’ve got a, you’ve got to kind of drive you’ve got to kind of operate in that way. And let your let the people here do the same thing. Yeah.
Yeah, you hear you talk, how if I’d come back to songs, it’s a favorite verse. There’s actually there. I have a testimony with it. But it’s, it’s Psalm 27, verse 14, and it said, be patient and wait on the Lord. And it not only says it once, but it says it twice. And that one verse, and with what was so hard is I’m extremely impatient. You probably relate as with a type A personality. Yeah. So I’m impatient. And in fact, when I look back when I was a little boy.