Episode - 8

Will The Church Arise? – Chris Sonksen and Michael King

On today’s podcast, I am joined by Chris Sonksen. Chris is a best-selling author, pastor, sought-after speaker, and the founder of Church Boom.

According to Gallup, “Americans’ membership in houses of worship continued to decline last year, dropping below 50% for the first time in Gallup’s eight-decade trend. In 2020, 47% of Americans said they belonged to a church, synagogue or mosque, down from 50% in 2018 and 70% in 1999.”

Christianity Today reports that in 2019, approximately 3,000 Protestant churches were started in the US, but 4,500 Protestant churches closed, according to estimates from Nashville-based Lifeway Research.

Welcome to the Level Up Leader Podcast.  I am your host, Michael King.  I am an executive coach and founder of Teams.Coach, LLC. I work with C-level leaders to clarify and expand the vision, elevate performance, and Level Up their Leadership.

For over two decades of my life, I have served in music and executive roles in one of America’s fastest-growing churches.  I have seen firsthand the life-changing experience that can happen in a healthy church when things are going right.  I have also helped hundreds of churches over the years when things aren’t. 

On today’s podcast, I am joined by Chris Sonksen. Chris is a best-selling author, pastor, sought-after speaker, and the founder of Church Boom.  He has spent decades of his life assisting and mentoring pastors and now has a new initiative that seems to be right on time.  Please welcome Chris Sonksen to the podcast. 

Chris shared a valuable concept that every leader needs to identify the things in our lives and organizations that are “mission critical”. Are you able to identify where your pressure is coming from that is trying to influence you? External Pressures. I know that I feel this every day.  Then he described several levels of priority, with the bullseye being noted as MISSION CRITICAL.  Mission Critical can be defined in this statement…If YOU don’t do this…we are in trouble. Take the bucket exercise that Chris shared, and feel free to drop your feedback in our group forum on our Level Up Leader Facebook page.  Also, drop Chris some questions while you are there! 

A special thank you to our featured Artist, Names Without Numbers, for allowing us to use their music.  We decided we wanted to feature music that I produced on the podcast..so that’s pretty cool.  

To find out more about everything we’re up to, check us out at https://teams.coach, and don’t forget to join our Facebook group at teams.coach/levelupleaders/.


Where to find Chris:


Connect With Us @
Level Up Leader Facebook Group
Teams.Coach Facebook Page

Share This


Michael King 0:00
According to Gallup, Americans membership in houses of worship continued to decline last year dropping below 50%. For the first time in gallops eight decade trend in 2020 47% of Americans said they belong to a church, a synagogue or a mosque, down from 50% in 2018 and 70% in 1999. Christianity Today reports that in 2019, approximately 3000 Protestant churches were started in in the US, but 4500 Protestant churches closed according to estimates from Nashville based LifeWay Research. Welcome to the level up leader podcast. I’m your host Michael King. I’m an executive coach and founder of teams dot coach, I work with sea level leaders to clarify and expand the vision, elevate performance and level up their leadership. For over two decades of my life. I’ve served in music and executive roles in one of America’s fastest growing churches. I’ve seen firsthand the life changing experience that can happen in a healthy church when things are going great. I have also helped hundreds of churches over the years when things aren’t.

On today’s podcast, I’m joined by Chris Songtsen. Chris is a best selling author. He’s a pastor, a sought after speaker and the founder of church boom, he has spent decades of his life assisting and mentoring pastors and now has a new initiative. That seems to be right on time. Please welcome Chris Sampson to the podcast.

Pastor Chris Sachsen, welcome to the level up leader podcast.

Chris Sonksen 1:49
Awesome. Yeah. Cool to Be With You. All we love hanging out with my Wii, Michael King, which by the way, has the best last name on the planet. Branding last name right there. It was a great last name. And it just is like, Man, I got Sawsan. It sounds like you’re sneezing. You gotta pee. That sounds like 40. So yeah, that’s awesome.

Michael King 2:11
Cool. This is a this is a pretty big honor for me. I haven’t really opened up the podcast. So a lot of lot of pastoral connections or things like that. But but but I have two people in you being one of those. Our story goes back in fact, you were the first was when I had to level up my leadership. I don’t know if you know this or not. But you were speaking at ministers retreat in Nebraska. And I heard you speak. And I knew like after I heard you speak, I knew that there was something more in me. But I just felt stuck. I didn’t know necessarily how to take that to the next level. So I just want to thank you publicly for your investment in my life. We got to work together as well. So privilege. Yeah. So tell us a little bit about what makes Chris Songtsen tick what’s going on in your world? And what are the things that you’re part of right now?

Chris Sonksen 2:57
Yeah. Well, the most important thing I’ve been married for 31 years. To a beautiful Hispanic woman. I always say she doesn’t speak English, but it helps us get along. You can argue and talk to each other. Now I’ve got two children. And I have two grandkids. I’m sure you’ve seen that on social media. I got a two year old two week goal is the best thing on the planet. It is God’s gift for killing your own kids. It’s amazing. And I love it. I am the founding pastor of South Hills church. I think we just launched our 12th site in Virginia. I am an author with a bunch of books and a coaching organization called church boom. We basically coach pastors and rescue churches and yeah, that’s where I spend a lot of my time coaching, speaking writing.

Michael King 3:51
I love it. Love it. Tell us a bit more about about church boom, how are things going with it?

Chris Sonksen 3:55
Great. Church was doing really well, we we really might we have two things. One is I said we coach pastors. So executive coaching for pastors. So pastors that feel like they’re stuck. They’re like their churches stuck. They want to grow. They’re sort of the executive coaching arm. And then we partner with pastors and I’d say the majority of time they see growth. The the other side of it, we always say we coach pastors and rescue churches. So the coach pastors is pretty self explanatory. The rescue churches is the initiative that we started about a year and a half ago. And it’s been amazing. Basically, the short version is for eight straight years America shutting down more churches than it opens and didn’t 2020 or 2018. Right before the pandemic, America shut down to 1400 churches in one year. So we are losing mass amount of churches 70% of churches are in decline. So our rescue initiative is this. We want to give freaka teaching for a year free resources and we give away grants money to help churches. So some guy that calls us to do we got 40 people left in our church in the middle of Alabama somewhere, we’re like, alright, well, let us help you, we get that guy up to 80. And it starts growing, maybe he needs a grant for five grand and fixes leaky roof or whatever. We just give it to him. And that church rescue initiative has, has become a heart for all of church boom, how? Because here’s what we really always say is one of I go promoted at churches because we’re always raising money from healthier churches, I always say this. I always say if you want to rescue America, you got to start by rescuing the churches. Because the more we lose churches, the darker America gets. And so that’s been that’s has become. It’s become a big part of church boom, rescuing churches.

Michael King 5:52
That’s killer. What are you? Are you seeing any commonalities as far as you know, what is what is the callate? catalysts? What’s the reason for church decline in America right now?

Chris Sonksen 6:00
Yeah, well, there’s been a lot of church decline, it’s just the difference is the number has increased. So you have multiple problems. One, you have a problem, we’re rescuing in the present. We’re also talking about rescued in the future. If you Google clergies, leaving ministry or clergy shortage, you will get a ton of response the there is literally less and less and less people going into full time ministry, which just do the math? Where does that leave you 1015 20 years from now. So major problem of leadership shortage, current problem, like right now, if I had to say if I walk into a church, and let’s say we’re trying to rescue that church, or whatever we’re coaching them, they’re part of our coaching groups. It typically falls Mike in one of three areas, there’s a problem in their staffing, there’s a problem in their structure, or there’s a problem in their strategy. It’s one of those three, somewhere, there’s one of those three, one or all three of those problems, there’s a staffing issue. They don’t have the right staff around, they’re on the right team around them, they got a toxic team, which is something I’m big on the new book is all about that. They’ve got structural issues, who’s reporting to who, who’s not recording, it’s being to board driven, they’re concerned more with preference than purpose. And then the third one would be the strategy. There’s just no clear strategy, how do you actually reach people help them? So it normally falls in one of those three, not every pastor wants to be helped? Yeah, for sure. Not every leader wants to be helped. So we say we don’t work with those that need it. We work with those that want it. So

Michael King 7:38
I love it. I love it. We we started, you know, the things that you mentioned with with staffing and strategies and structures, those things, those things, those overlay into different areas as well. It’s not like just a church specific issue. Right. Right. And we, we developed this, this platform along with one of our partners with cloverleaf in which we are actually able to give assessments to every single person on a team fees into a dashboard and actually let you know, like, how aligned is your team with your vision? You know, what seats should your team be sitting in? We even have a hiring portal now, to where people can actually hire by design. Based on those things. I know that people can get in touch with you if it’s church boom.org As your website, right. So anybody who’s listening who wants to support that get in, get involved? In Chris, I just want to let you know, to just as a gift from us. If there’s any churches that you feel like would benefit from any assessments, we will go ahead and donate those for free as well.

Chris Sonksen 8:39
Oh, yeah, we’d love that. I’d love to talk to you more about that offline. That’s for sure.

Michael King 8:42
Yeah, absolutely. I’ll show it to you. I think you’ll, I think you’ll be you’ll geek out with me. Pretty fun. Great. So as a leader, with a level level of leader podcast, every great leader gets to a place to where they recognize at some point in their life to where they have to take personal responsibility, and they have an aha moment and they say I got to level up. What was that moment for you?

Chris Sonksen 9:03
You know, I would say probably the biggest moment was we’re going back wow. I’m 29 years old. I’m about to launch a church. I’ve never launched one before years ago. And you know, at that point years ago, CD was big way to listen to music. But you know, then you go even farther back cassettes were dead. But I had a cassette player still cuz I drove it. I still got an old car. But a lady comes up to me before we launched the church. And she hands me a box with probably 150 audio cassettes of Maxwell is in there. Zig Ziglar is in there. Jim? Jim Rohn is in there. All of these guys are in there. And she just gave me that, hey, I thought he might want these. I popped one in and I loved it, the pumped another one, and I loved it. And we’re a couple months away from launching a church. And the more I listened to these to these audios, the more I was like, there’s I don’t know anything. I’m about to launch a church and I don’t have a clue, like, constant stuff about how to raise up leaders or how to deal with team or how to deal with conflict or how to put people in the right place. All of that stuff. Like, I didn’t have a clue. And so I just gobbled up these cassettes. Literally, they were old. And like, nobody was listening to cassettes, but my car happened to have a cassette player because it was sold. But I was like, I listened to those 150 tapes. I wore those things out. And that was my journey. I think it created the biggest appetite was, yeah, was that that moment right there sent me. I was 29. Now I was doing leadership beforehand, a very large youth ministry. And I was learning some small stuff. But it was 29 years old when I realized how much I didn’t know. And I was like, Man, I got a lot to do. And I think my my, the success of my youth ministry caused me to think I needed more than I really knew it was a very large youth ministry is larger than the church that I was working at much larger. And so that created a created a big problem. You know, because I think it was like, man, you know, I think success has a way of doing that. I think it has a way at times of blinding you to your own weaknesses. I think success always does that to some degree. If you’re not careful, successful blind, you momentum will blind you. Like, Hey, man, I grew up with a big youth ministry. I grew a big church, and then you realize that I don’t know what I’m doing. So there was age 29. Right before we launched the church.

Michael King 11:54
You had this aha moment. What did you do about this?

Chris Sonksen 11:59
Well, I, I just went on a, I went on a bandwagon of learning. One, just getting tons of resources, you know, audios whatever, started reading books like crazy. I did. A couple of things I read. I started hearing about Dan reiland. And his amazing leadership. And so I drove two hours to watch him teach a small conference, stood in line to talk to him. And I said, basically, I’ll pay $100 If you’ll just give me 15 minutes of your time. And I did that with him. John Maxwell. I even did that with I drove. There was one leader I really wanted to spend time with most people wouldn’t have heard of him, but it doesn’t matter. I liked him. I drove for hours I arrived. He told me he’d give me 15 minutes after he got done speaking at nine o’clock at night. So I left it, I drove for hours. I met with him at nine o’clock. He gave me until 945 almost an hour. And then I said I gotta go. He said he stayed the night here in the hotel was at a hotel. And I said no going back now and just where do you live nearby? I said, No, I live four hours away. He goes, you’re not gonna get home till like one or two in the morning. I’m like, yeah, and he goes, You drove out here for 15 minutes with me. And I say that on this podcast be like, Yes, that’s what I did. Go for hours, because I was promised 15 minutes and I’m driving four hours back. I drove you know, I drove two hours stood in line to get 15 minutes with Damaraland. But all of that turned into relationships. Because they admired the hunger. Great leaders admire the hunger. And that’s what set me on the journey. Yeah, read the but your here’s another thing is interesting. Is a while back, I think you and I talked about this a few years ago, but wow, quite a few years ago, I was I spoke I think like, I don’t know, something of it. And I was signing a bunch of books. And some young guy asked, you know, hey, buys a book, say we sign it. And I said, Sure. I sign it. And he says, Man I want to I’ve ever got he says, I want to do what you do. And I said the question isn’t what you want to do what I do. The question is, are you willing to do what I’ve done? That’s the question. Of course, you want to stand on the stage in front of 1000 people and sign books sounds like a great thing. First of all, we’ve got all over the place sounds like a cool thing. But you weren’t there, buddy. When I drove for hours, on what little money I had my gas tank. I got to Dr. Pepper at 711 and sunflower seeds. I keep my eyes open, driving late at night to spend 15 minutes with a guy so that I could learn leadership or knowledge or when when I was 29 years old, I got my first coach. I was 29 Many years ago, many years ago and paid him $700 A month because I was a pastor of a church I just I launched a church, it started, we didn’t have any money. We were growing like crazy. But you know, we weren’t 500 overnight, but we had no money. I had a little side business, and I took all that side business money. And I reinvested in the thing that I thought was most important. And that was myself. Not that I’m most important, but I needed to invest in myself and I paid a guy. This is 20 years ago, I paid 22 years ago, I paid a guy $700 a month to give me an hour of his time to coach me. That’s that many years ago, that’s like, I don’t call that $1,500. Now call that at no call at everybody that’s listening. Now, if you’re, if your company or organization won’t pay the $1,500 a month, will you pay? Will you do it? Is it that important to you know, that old saying, Man, if you were stuck, would you invest in yourself? I did. And I continue to? So that’s a long answer to a short question. But I felt very strongly about hunger, because that’s the dividing factor of Mike is his hunger. It’s here’s the thing. The same books, almost the same people, the same audios, the same podcasts, the same conferences, the same growth plans, the same growth tracks are available to me as much as they’re available to anybody else. Now you choose to take absorb them. Great if you choose not to, but it’s not. You know, who told me that first time ever met with Maxwell? Because same books I read are available to us. The question is, are you going to read them? I’ll say as I was 29 years 28 or 29, or something, I had a conversation with them. And that set me on the course man and I had been gobbling it up, and learning and growing and learning and growing and never gonna stop.

Michael King 16:55
well, you you’re I’ve seen you in action, like at multiple different levels, from intimate all the way to macro big. You serve your audiences really well. You’re probably one of the most entertaining communicators that ever, ever seen just ridiculous. But this insatiable desire for teachability, you know, Craig Groeschel, on one of his leadership podcast, he talks about how the sum average of who you are as a person can be quickly identified by the five loudest voices that you have in your life. Now, I made a mistake early on in my life to where I just kind of felt like I had to just take those five voices as they came, you know, just like, I don’t get to choose them. But here you are, you know, you have this aha moment, this, this, this hunger to enjoy your life, you’re chasing down these relationships. I love that. And I think that that in when we talk about self investment to, like I had, I had a similar moment like you. I mean, I was, this was probably maybe five years ago. And at the time I was working, I was finishing up my master’s program, I was working for you a little bit. And then I was trying to get out of working at this, this car dealership. You know, I remember all the conversations that we had for my finance office. And, but I had this moment where like, I was on my break, and I went over to Starbucks sat down with my computer. And, and this guy from I played at his venue back in like the early 2000s, when I was an artist. Now he’s like this big time executive coach, traveling and speaking and working with Disney and BMW and all these fancy bougie things. And I’m like, I’m like, I don’t know how to get to the next. Like, I feel like there’s something more in my gut, I have no idea how to get there. You have to take responsibility. Like as soon as you get that moment of saying you’re creative for more, your impact can be different, your influence can be so much more than you ever thought it could be. But you have to take responsible for you. Responsibility for you. First and foremost, that investment question that you asked, that is so important. I’m not gonna wait for a company to and it’s like I’ve been paying for an executive coach. I’ve two of them now in my life, and I can’t I can’t tell you like how valuable that is.

Chris Sonksen 19:05
Yeah, yep. Yeah, you have to be willing to, I think, yeah, like the soften. But you know, if you’re a stalker, you are you worth investing in then invest in yourself. And I just remember, like I told you, I was young. And if you’re young, you got a three year old or five year old and four year old or whatever they were at the time. You’re 29 You just started a church and you’re paying 700 ollars a month. Right? I had a little side business, I had to hustle at night and hustle on the weekends and that was only bringing in side business only bringing in $1,000 a month and I put 700 of that to invest in me and I haven’t stopped and I love what you said Mike about chasing relationships. I think you do have to chase the right voices. You talked about that. I let five people in or let us you know certain people into my life. They remember one time you and I talking about it. I’ve always said that there are people that just because people have positioned in your life doesn’t mean they have passage to it. And something that I’ve always believed position in your life, that’s kind of a lot of the times, that’s just life, like, you know, Mom and Dad, your next door neighbors, most of the time, it’s like whatever, sometimes your new boss, your new employee, coworker, whatever. Like, that’s just whatever those are people that have position in your life. And a lot of times you really don’t get to choose that. But passage to your life, a voice into your life, that that’s all up to you. And so I got a million friends, I’ve got four or five that have passage. And they’re the ones that want to lift me up, which I’ve always that’s one thing I’ve noticed, I was talking to another guy about that. A few weeks ago, actually, I was at a conference and I talked about it at the book table. I told this guy is so interesting to me, Mike, that the people that are above me, whatever that means, I think we all understand it sounds weird that people are above you are always pulling you up. People that are below you, always pulling you down. I find that so fascinating. Everybody that’s above me is just wants to make me better. Everybody that’s below me wants to pull me down to a level that’s comfortable for themselves. And it’s just always so fascinating. So choose people that pull you up and want to make you better. And I one thing I always say get around successful people, I promise the conversation will be different. There will always be 100%.

Michael King 21:35
Okay, well, I’m gonna throw you a curveball on that. What you just talked about pulling up and pulling down? What What would you say to the leader that is on it, that maybe on a team, they went to their senior leader maybe might even be intimidated by their presence in their senior leader actually is trying to pull it down?

Chris Sonksen 21:49
Yeah, no, that’s a good one. I think you I do think you’re going to have to separate what’s happening at work to what’s happening in your head. You have to separate us down. And because if you try to say what’s happening at work, they will this guy’s insecure, that’s what’s happening. This guy’s trying to keep his job, this boss feels intimidated, etcetera, etcetera. That’s what’s happening at work. So how can I serve Him? To make him not feel intimidated? How can I serve Him? To make him know that I’m supporting him? Because I think you should always support the people that aren’t placed above you at that season of your life. So how can I serve him? How can I help him? How can I make him better, and trust that I will be promoted as a result? That’s the workspace, the headspace. That is more, but I have been on the side away from that moment with my boss, I’m still growing. I’m still developing. I’m still believing that I was created for more, I think you’re gonna have to separate because if you take your headspace and move it into your workspace, I think that you might end up damaging yourself, separate the two, and then call them I think one of the greatest jobs of leaders to find reality. He or she is probably very, very insecure. Very, very worried about their job, very worried about being outshine. Do what you can to help remove that worry. But don’t let it interfere with your headspace. Don’t let it interfere with your growth. Don’t let it interfere with your friends outside of work. Who are lifting you up? Separate the two separate them or if you keep them together, you’re gonna get hurt. Yeah,

Michael King 23:26
that’s good. That’s really good. All right, so I got I got probably I kid you not I probably have 300 documents on my computer of your, of your leadership talks, notes that I’ve taken along the way. One of my favorites is boxes and batons? Do you remember that one? Oh, yeah. Teach it all the time. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s like, but what would you say is something that you feel like is is one of your best leadership principles that you’re currently teaching or is in play right now?

Chris Sonksen 23:54
mission critical. The one that I really enjoy teaching to leaders is becoming mission critical. Not only organization, but you being mission critical. And that go off course 80 90% of the people I talked to our church leaders, pastors and big churches, monitors and medium, whatever. But give you the 30 minute version inside of three minutes, here’s what it is. There’s an outside circle, I draw out, it’s like a target. You know, target goes like this, and then this and then this and then that’s there for a lot of layers. The outside layer, it would be the word, external pressure. We all have external pressure, external pressure from our bosses external pressure to appease or our stakeholders, our shareholders. If you’re a pastor, you have external pressure. Why are you more verse by verse and why aren’t you more like this? And we need a Bible study for that. external pressure is the pressure that everybody puts on you to perform what They want you to do, they’re not worried about mission critical. They’re worried about you doing what they want you to do to appease them. And then you move to the next inner circle and that word is meaningful, meaningful is meaningful is the things that you like to do, as a leader, the things you find enjoyment, doing the things that are fun for you to do, but aren’t necessarily great for the organization. For instance, got a buddy of mine, playing guitar for all sorts of different Shanaya, Twain used to be the guitar player. And then he left off the road became a pastor, and now he’s a lead pastor got a good sized church, loves playing guitar Thursday night, a rehearsal was playing on Sunday morning. And he asked me what’s getting in the way I said, your guitar. But I like it. And I said, I know you’d like it. But the organization doesn’t need you playing guitar, there’s plenty of other guitar players, you got a large church here, the organization doesn’t need you doing it that’s meaningful, but it’s not the target mission critical. So it goes external pressures, then it goes meaningful. Now, the next one on the inside is highly important. And then of course, mission, critical, highly important are the things that you should do. I’m sorry, rephrase that, the things that you need to do that have to be done. But maybe you’re necessarily not the one that has to do it. But the really important, now missing critical, missing critical is, is dead in the center. It could only be three or four things. It can’t be 20. So are you the Chief Visionary? Are you the chief fundraiser? Are you the chief communicator? What are you in the organization? That’s mission critical. So if I’m talking to a pastor that’s got 2000 People that his church and he wants to launch two more sites and whatever it is, here’s how his name is Mike. And he’s the pastor of a big church. I would say, here’s how you figure out what’s mission critical. It’s very simple. If Mike doesn’t do Blake, our future Stretton, what’s the blink? What is? Well, Mike doesn’t do weddings? No, it might doesn’t do counseling. No, it might doesn’t do all the preaching? No, not necessarily. It might doesn’t raise funds or futures button. Yes. If Mike doesn’t create vision and rally people to a common cause, then we’re in trouble. Yes, if bytes, the main leader, so if Mike doesn’t do blank, or future spread, that’s what’s mission critical. So what I tell people to do, bring in this little three minute talk to a close, I say, figure out the top two to four things you do, what are the buckets, then figure out everything you do? Everything you do in your in your work in your life, and then put in those what fits in those buckets, like okay, vision, casting, podcasting, whatever, fundraising meeting with high donors meeting with, you know, economic strategies, okay, that’s going to be that lane. So you got three major lanes. So everything you do, you start popping into those three lanes, whatever is leftover, you eliminate, automate, or delegate, you do one of those three, you’re going to automate it, or you’re going to delegate it. And then you focus on the three things 70% of your time needs to go on the three top things, it mike doesn’t do blank, our future thread, that’s where 70% of your time needs to be spent. Most of our time is spent on appeasing someone or external pressure or what we find meaningful or what, no, no, what does the organization need for you to do in order to move it forward? That cannot be 20, it can only be three or four things. So that’s, that’s a big one that I’ve been talking about for the last several months.

Michael King 28:46
It’s brilliant. I love that. I love it, especially just you know, remove it, delegate it, automate it, I love it. That is so good. Because as a leader, if you don’t have bandwidth, you really don’t have anything. Right. And I, you know, I work with organizations every single day, even some, even some churches that I coach, the first thing I do when we go in and we start looking at it, we call it the process and organizational audit, because everybody loves the word audit, like it’s such a sexy term. But when we start looking at the things that we’ve committed to versus like, how big our staff is, how big our bandwidth is, what we’re capable of doing. I it overwhelms me at times to see how much we’re burning out our organizations because we don’t have mission critical.

Chris Sonksen 29:31
Yep. 100% and you’ll find Mike especially well in anything, you’re gonna find that most of the time is going to what isn’t what is urgent and not important. And that’s where most of their time is going to be spent and spent. It’s spent on the urgent not on the important but other mission critical funding. One example I always give a between highly important mission critical, people always laugh. You’re going to LAX go there at two in the morning. Have you been an extra two in the morning? Are those 25,000 people? There are two in the morning like, What are you all doing here? But anyway, and there’s no like, you can’t just walk across the street to McDonald’s and go to the bathroom. So think about this highly important mission critical. 25,000 people are there at LAX right now, all the water goes out. No toilets can be flushed, dude, talk about pandemonium. Because if you’ve ever been to LAX, you don’t just walk across the street, there is no walking across the street. There’s nothing for mothers so that you can just walk to at all. So you can just go cross street go to the bathroom. So all of a sudden, all the water goes out right now, right? Let’s just say you and I are at LAX. And all the water goes out to pandemonium, because you got 25,000 people that can’t flush toilet, drink water, all that stuff. Now, we would all say, Dude, that’s crazy. That would be lads, that would be psycho. Okay. Let’s imagine the same exact time air traffic control goes out. Where’s the attention gonna go to air traffic control? Why is air traffic controls mission critical. The other thing was just highly important. It and that’s what I always use that examples like, there are things that have to be done. Doesn’t mean you have to do more, they need less of your time. You got to spend your time 70% of your time is the number I always use. And I always say, and you just fill in the blank. If Mike doesn’t do blank, our future is threatened. What’s the blank, whatever that blank is? Spend 70% of time doing that. That’s killer.

Michael King 31:33
That’s so good. All right. So going with the plane analogy, just landing this plane here. You didn’t really good. By the way, I really enjoyed this conversation. So great job. You sound shocked. I know this is new to me. And so so I’m just enjoying, you know, learning. So you have you have a new book out, talk to me about it.

Chris Sonksen 31:55
I do. Yeah, book came out August 3 or fourth, when number three bestseller that has done really well. It’s called Saving your church from itself. Although that has the word church in it. I think any leader could get a ton out of it. The subtitle is six subtle behaviors that tear teams apart. It’s all not the behavior, about the subtle behavior that you recognize early on, that if you don’t address it early on, is going to ultimately tear your team apart. And so it deals with these sort of early on behaviors. And it’s birthed out of my own pain. But it’s also Bert that I’m watching tons of leaders across the nation like pastors that are like, calling me up and constantly, Dude, I got a guy that’s campus pastor, and now he started a church a block away, and I got this and this guy started it all, you know, felt led to the Lord. And like you said, a lot of tithing basis where you felt led up. Let’s just get honest. For these people, you know, that’s what it was. And so they they create all this problem, they create all these issues. And I see that so much with pastors that call me and tell me all this stuff. And all those guys started up across the street, and he ripped me off on Instagram, or Facebook or whatever. And then I always ask this question, like I always say, when did you start noticing? And they’ll say, oh, about two months ago? No, when did you start noticing it? And every time but a year or two ago? Like Yeah. Here’s the thing is like, you got to recognize the subtle behaviors. I don’t care if it’s a church or not. Now, I wrote because I write towards church leaders, but it don’t I speak from Verizon Home Depot, everybody could utilize this. It’s all about figuring out and recognizing those early signs of behavior, before they ultimately just grow. Two things I’ll say about it, and I’ll be done is that this is one, you’re in front of the eight ball, when they still care about the relationship. You’re behind the eight ball when they no longer care about the relationship. Yes, that’s true. So stay in front of the eight ball, if they still care about the relationship, you got a chance as soon as they don’t, it’s over, they will end up trying to hurt you. And maybe they’re going to classify it under I felt better the Lord. But at the end of the day, it’s going to hurt the kingdom in our view. The other thing is you have to have that conversation. A lot of guys have that. The recognizing like, it’s been quiet and staff. He’s been more problem driven than solution driven. He’s kind of felt like he’s being a little more toxic than some of the players on the team. Have the conversation politely, nicely, kindly, but have it upfront. I always say pay now or pay later. But if you pay later, you’ll always pay more. And it’ll always cost you more later on. So deal with it. Now. That’s what the book is all about. It’s all about dealing with the subtle behaviors and getting a handle on it now so your team can stay aligned.

Michael King 34:58
That’s That’s fantastic. So if people wanted to get their hands on the book or get in contact with you, how would they do that?

Chris Sonksen 35:03
Yeah, they can go to St. Well, for the book, they can get a free download there too, as well. Then get a free succession download that goes with the book, and they can order the book, and saving your church from itself.com. Long title, saving your church from itself.com. And at church boom.org, you can find out about coaching and contact with me. So those are two sites to go to. Fantastic.

Michael King 35:28
Thank you so much for making time to do this today. It’s been a privilege and enjoy. So great job. Thanks so much, man. Ladies and gentlemen, Chris Thompson. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you for joining us today on the level of leader podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, consider leaving a review on Apple, Spotify, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts, it really helps to get the word out. And make sure to like and subscribe and follow so you get all of our content. Now Chris shared a really valuable concept that every leader needs to identify the things in our lives and our organizations that are called mission critical. Are you able to identify where your pressure is coming from that is trying to influence you the things we call external pressures. I know that I feel this way every single day the things that get me derailed the things that get me distracted, but then you described several levels of priority with the bull’s eye being noted as mission critical. Mission Critical can be defined in this singular statement. If you don’t do this, then we are in trouble. Take the bucket list exercise that Chris shared. Take those priorities, drop them into different buckets and feel free to drop your feedback in our group forum on our level up leader Facebook page. Also take a moment and drop Chris a note ask some questions while you are on the page as well. We’d love to see you there. A special thank you to our featured artists names without numbers for allowing us to use their music we decided we wanted to feature music that I’ve actually produced on this podcast so I think that’s pretty cool. To find out more about everything that we’re up to please check us out at www.teams.coach. And don’t forget to join our Facebook group at www.teams.coach/levelupleaders