L3 Leadership Podcast Transcriptions: Lightning Round With Carolyn Haas, Co-Lead Pastor Of Substance Church

By January 21, 2018Transcripts

Please enjoy this transcript of our interview with Carolyn Haas.  It was transcribed and therefore might contain a few typos. For ways to connect with Carolyn, the notes, and for links to everything discussed, check out our show notes.

Carolyn Haas: 00:00 You know there is, there is no magical church attendance number of building book album. There is nothing that will all of a sudden feed your identity and go, I have finally arrived as a leader like Psalm 62, one, my soul finds rest in God alone. My salvation comes from him.

Doug Smith: 00:16 This is the L3 Leadership podcast, episode number 177. What’s up everyone, and welcome to another episode of the L3 Leadership podcast. My name is Doug Smith and I’m the founder of L3 Leadership. In this episode, you’re going to get to hear my lightning round interview with Carolyn Haas, who is the co-lead pastor of Substance Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. If you didn’t listen to part one of our interview, it’s fantastic. You can go back and listen to that episode number 176, but again, this is the lightning round. If you don’t know anything about Carolyn, let me tell you this. She is incredibly insightful and wise. She loves God. She’s hilarious and she provides a ton of resources. In this episode, you’re going to absolutely love this and you can find ways to connect with Carolyn and Substance Church and links to everything that we talk about in this interview and more in the show notes on our brand new website L3leadership.org forward slash episode 177, but before we dive into the lightning round, just a few announcements.

Doug Smith: 01:12 First and foremost, I want to encourage all of you to become a member of l three leadership. Our vision here is to connect and develop leaders to help them maximize their potential, and we believe that every leader needs a community of people around them that’ll encourage them, challenge them, and hold them accountable. We think way too many leaders are doing life alone. When you become a member of l, three leadership, you’ll have the ability to join our launch and one of our mastermind groups. You will have access to our community of over 100 liters. You also have access to the tools and resources you need to take your life and leadership to the next level. All of this is available to you for just $25 a month and you can find out more about membership at L3leadership.org/membership. I also want to thank our sponsor, Alex Tulandin. Alex is a full-time realtor with Keller Williams Realty and if you’re looking to buy or sell a house in the Pittsburgh market, Alex is your guy. He’s a member and a supporter of L3 Leadership and he would love the opportunity to connect with you. You can learn more about Alex and connect with him at Pittsburghpropertyshowcase.com. With that being said, let’s dive right into the lightning round with Carolyn and I’ll be back at the end with a few announcements. Just start lightning round with what’s the best purchase you’ve made in the last year for $100 or less?

Carolyn Haas: 02:21 Sure. Okay. So I was just recently in London and one of my favorite stores there is Superdry and I got some running shoes that like I did not. No shoes could be this comfortable. I feel like they’ve changed my life. So anyway, I’m just so excited to have these new Superdry running shoes. Only 55 bucks. Superdry.

Doug Smith: 02:38 Super Dry. Are you. So you’re a runner.

Carolyn Haas: 02:41 So fun. No problem. I’m not. Everyone’s in shock because I’ve never ever gone out in public and running shoes and so I’m wanting to get back into exercise and so I needed to. My husband, I go on walks every night and so we needed a good pair of walking slash running shoes. But no, I’m new to getting back into exercise. But they’re just so comfortable. I’m constantly wearing heels. And so this is like amazing.

Carolyn Haas: 03:06 What books do you find yourself giving away most often and that have impacted you the most deeply?

Carolyn Haas: 03:11 Great question. The top book that I give away other than my husbands are Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud, I would say it is read like it helped changed my life. It helped me forgive people and I literally give it to every leader and I think once a week even church members, I’m like, you need to read Necessarily Endings, you need to read this. It’s so good on processing change and pain and prunings and so anyway, I love that book and then the other book that I constantly give away, it’s called Hope Delivered by Rob Hoskins and it’s an incredibly inspiring book. I mean, I would argue it’s a must read that will inspire you to reach children and youth and it’s filled with story after story of how God’s Word has impacted a child and changed their whole family and it’s just effective missions, outcome-based strategies, spirit lead. You’ll be inspired by the stories of their radical obedience and it’s just. It’s a must-read.

Doug Smith: 04:02 I don’t know if you listen to podcasts alot but if you do, what podcasts are you listening to these days?

Carolyn Haas: 04:07 You know, I actually don’t. The only podcasts I’ve listened to is Carey Nieuhof, which he’s a brilliant, so I’ve loved that. I’m more of a listening to worship music in the car or I actually used the boxer app and I talked to all my pastor friends while I’m commuting all the time.

Doug Smith: 04:25 I love Voxer. I think Matt Keller got us onto that. That’s awesome.

Carolyn Haas: 04:27 That’s awesome.

Doug Smith: 04:28 What daily disciplines routines do you have on a daily basis to help you to be as effective as possible?

Carolyn Haas: 04:36 You know I wanted to think outside of the box because I thought, you know, the normal answers. I read my Bible a journal

Carolyn Haas: 04:41 course.

Carolyn Haas: 04:43 So I thought, what are other things that I do that I would actually consider discipline? And so one of them is honestly loving my kid. Like I make sure they are hugged, loved. I tell my daughters that are pretty, you know, I speak life to them, I speak about their calling that their leaders. So I vision to my children because their pastor’s kids and they’re growing up in the church. I’m constantly telling them stories of miracles in life change that’s happening in the church so they feel a part of it. So that’s one of my disciplines for my kids. The other discipline I get for my husband is honestly, I constantly serve, encourage, serve and encourage my husband daily. So I’m always in. I just, I love serving him. I love encouraging him. I study him. I just love making his life better. So I do those two things.

Carolyn Haas: 05:25 And then honestly I stay connected with friends. So I am super relational and I’ve found that, because I tend to be more work driven, I tend to actually, my nature would be to actually put off my friendships and be too busy to have quality friendships, but I realized that one of my strength finders is relater and it says that your friends keep you grounded and so it’s actually been a discipline for me to make sure I stay really connected with my pastor friends all over the world and when we use Voxer and we use texting of course, but really being honest and authentic and vulnerable and sharing prayer requests and highs and lows. And so that’s something that I do daily, daily texting with friends and just staying super connected to. But I don’t get isolated as a leader.

Doug Smith: 06:08 That’s good. If you could back and have coffee with your twenty-year-old self. What would you tell her?

Carolyn Haas: 06:11 Oh, you know what I would say there is no perfect church or organization. You’re never going to arrive and be able to say, I finally built the perfect church, the perfect kid ministry where we don’t need any volunteers in the worship ministry is just incredible. And everyone then a small group and everything’s working like freeze frame. No ministry is always evolving and you’re always trusting God for leaders. The harvest is plentiful. Workers are few. So we’re praying always for the right leaders, you know, and you’re always going to be tweaking systems and pastoring and so, so pray hard, work hard and play hard, you know, like enjoy the journey versus like thinking that you’re going to get to a destination, put your feet up, freeze frame and go, I finally did it. You know there is, there is no magical church attendance number of building book album. There is nothing that will all of a sudden feed your identity and go, I have finally arrived as a leader like Psalm 62:1 my soul finds rest in God alone. My salvation comes from him. That’s what I tell my 20-year-old self.

Doug Smith: 07:12 That’s incredible. Out of everything that you’ve accomplished to this point in your life, what would you be most proud of?

Carolyn Haas: 07:18 Most proud of. Honestly, the journey that God has had us on. Like just the idea of being obedient, sacrificing, you know, resigning a church. Moving, starting a church, going through lots of hard leadership, pain and not quitting, and then seeing God do a miracle upon miracle that we can even take the credit for that God has done some incredible miracles here at Substance and knowing that this church is impacting thousands for his kingdom and it’s changing paradigms and it’s changing lives. It’s humbling. So I’m proud to be a part of that journey. I’m proud that we didn’t quit when it was tough. I’m proud of my husband’s books because those are our story and it’s fun to have your, what God has done in you able to be. My husband always says it this way, our pain can become our platform and God can use our pain to really become a platform. And so I’m proud of the books because it’s our, it’s our pain that God has use to help others. So those are just some of the things I’m proud of.

Doug Smith: 08:19 I know we gotta wrap up, but I have to ask. Why or how did you guys not quit when it got tough? Because a lot of people do.

Carolyn Haas: 08:28 You know, this sounds. I don’t know if it sounds crazy or not, but in the tough times, I mean, part of it is it’s your livelihood and so maybe I’m stubborn and strong and I’m like, I can’t quit because I’ve got responsibilities is one of my strength finders and so it’s like

Carolyn Haas: 08:42 if I quit

Carolyn Haas: 08:43 all these people are gonna lose their job and I’ve seen what happens in church disasters and all these people walk away from Christ and so you see the ramifications of moral failure or know that kind of stuff. So I knew that that wasn’t an option. So what did we do in the meantime? I literally spent extended time on my knees literally crying out to God and saying, God, what is going on and what are, what is happening and what do you want to speak to me? And and I would ask God even for prophetic words of encouragement and so everywhere we go to hide would send somebody that it would just be like pray for us and give us a word of encouragement. And one of my mentors said, start collecting all of those and put them in a file folder. And so I literally have this file folder of all these different words that God has spoken to us and you’re looking at the themes and the consistencies and knowing that.

Carolyn Haas: 09:31 So I’ll just give you one quick example. Like we had had so many staff transitions and it was just painful and I was literally to the point where I think was a 14 staff member that had left and less than an immature way. And I just remember seeing God, is this you or is like, I don’t even know how to process this. And we go to visit some friends and they just said, can we pray for you? And Peter are like, yes, please pray for us. And for us this, man that was in the prayer room, in the room, in the living room with us had us stand up. And he started shaking us. It sounds kind of weird. And he literally said, the Lord is shaking you. The Lord is shaking you and it’s not the enemy and everything that can come off of you is coming off of you right now.

Carolyn Haas: 10:11 And then he said, I see that you have been in a hard season, we’ve been on this path and it has not been easy. It’s been hard. And he goes, there’s been a lot of misunderstanding, a lot of hurt, a lot of pain, a lot of frustration. You feel like you want to punch the wall and you go, but God is pleased with you and he’s making some adjustments right now, but he, you are on track and there is a finish line and God has this next season for you. And so I’m telling you, we just whap and that’s honestly what caused us to not quit with knowing that, that God saw the season we were in. We were not abandoned. You know what I mean? He was working a plan. And that’s what caused me to go. Okay, God, thank you for affirming that this has been a really frustrating season of delay and thank you that there is a finish line and that you have a new season for us, but I’m going to be faithful in the current season and I’m not going to be insecure as a current season that I‘m in.

Carolyn Haas: 11:05 And so that’s what caused me not to quit and then just encouraging my husband constantly and it’s getting God to actually speak to you and say, I remember saying at one point, God, I feel like a dumb leader because we’d tried eight different buildings every building fell through reportable or our churches fundraising. Nothing’s happening with buildings and we just looked like idiot leaders and admits that you’re going through staff transition. So again, we look like idiot leaders and there’s just such insecurity and the delay and then you’d relational changes and staff changes and it just is painful. And I remember just saying, God, what are you, what’s going on? And I felt like he said to me, you are Moses right now and you’re at the Red Sea and I’ve lead you through an impossible situation. Like when Moses was led to the Red Sea, he was not a bad leader, but there were no boats and there was no way to cross.

Carolyn Haas: 11:51 But God led them there so he could do what only he can do. And it’s part the Red Sea. And so it was just that lesson of the Lord showing me, Carolyn, you’re not a bad leader. I brought you to an impossible situation so that I can do a miracle at Substance that you and Peter cannot get the credit for it, and no one’s going to look at Substance and go, oh my gosh, they’re just these brilliant leaders that strategically fundraise everything perfectly and had the right meetings at the right time to open up these doors. No like we hit the Red Sea. It was impossible. There was nothing happening. And then God did the miraculous. And it’s just this crazy story. Two buildings in one year, miracle after miracle after miracle. And that’s what causes you to not quit, is when God speaks you so clearly. And I’m not talking about the God card and I’m not talking about hyperspirituality where everything will. God said, God said, God said, and then you’re foolish, but it’s that legitimate. You know, you’ve got mentors in your life who are speaking to you and you’ve got, you’ve got a support network that’s also in your life, but you’re also meeting with the Lord. And hearing from him, that’s what helped us not quit.

Doug Smith: 12:53 Well if for nothing else other than this conversation, thank you for not quitting, but I’m sure thousands of other people feel the same way. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Last question then. I’ll just leave it open ended if you want to leave us with anything but looking back on your life one day, what do you hope for?

Carolyn Haas: 13:10 What do I hope I hope to be remembered for someone who loved God with all her heart, loved her Bible, loved her husband and kids know what I mean with real, authentic and was obedient, like radically obedient, generous. I mean, I just think I just want to be known for being faithful and being faithful in the little. And I think I just want to stand before God and say, well done, good and faithful servant. And I want my kids to love Jesus with all their heart. I want my kids to love the church. You know, it’s not the value that drives me and I know I can’t control them, but I could steer them and you know, and I’m not saying I’m not going to get insecure. You know, parents can’t get insecure in their children’s outcomes because kids make decisions as well, but that is definitely like, I know that my kids are brilliant leaders and I want them to go farther than me. I want to work for them someday. Like I truly believe I will, you know, like they are there, arrows in the hands of a warrior are children and they arrows go further than the warrior and they go to strategic places that a warrior cannot go. And so I do want part of my legacy to be Lord help me aim my children, aim them, the arrow to go and places that I can’t even go to do what I can’t even do. What is it that unique about them that you’ve called them to do.

Carolyn Haas: 14:21 So those are some of the things.

Doug Smith: I love that. Anything else you want to leave us with today?

Carolyn Haas: 14:27 Thank you so much. I mean this is a bit of fun. You know, I just know I’m just excited to share my heart and I hope. I hope it comes off.

Doug Smith: 14:36 Oh Man. I just took like 30 pages. I could do this for another five hours. This was phenomenal, but I will respect your time, but thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for investing in me and everyone who will listen to this today.

Carolyn Haas: 14:48 Thank you so much for your time and I appreciate and let us know if there’s anything we can do.

Doug Smith: 14:55 Hey everyone. Thank you so much for listening to our lightning round with Carolyn. I hope it added value to your life getting you can find ways to connect with her and links to everything that we talked about in the show notes at L3leadership.org/episode 177. If you haven’t, I would encourage you to go back and listen to part one of our interview in episode 176. It is so good, so if you haven’t listened, go back right now and listen to that. A few things before we wrap up. I want to thank our other sponsor, Henne Jewelers. They’re jeweler owned by my friend and mentor, John Henne, my wife and I got our engagement and wedding rings through Henny jewelers and just think of they’re an incredible company. Not only do they have great jewelry, but they also invest in people. John gave Laura and I a book to help us prepare for our marriage and he’s also been investing me as a father, a husband and a leader now for years, and I’m just so grateful for them.

Doug Smith: 15:39 So if you’re in need of a good jeweler, checkout Hennejewelers.com. As always, I value you as a listener. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for listening to this and it would mean the world to me. If you’d subscribe and leave a rating and review and please share this with your friends. Share the link shared on social, and thank you in advance for that. If you want to stay up to date with everything that we’re doing here at l three leadership, just go and sign up for our email list at L3leadership.org and you’ll start to get weekly emails delivered to your inbox on everything that we’re doing in our latest content. As always, I’d like to end with a quote and I quote Brian Houston. Often, it’s because he says great things and he said this. He said, “A leader’s goal is to stay pointed no matter what the distractions. Look at your goal on the horizon and don’t move to the left or to the right.” And I just love that. Stay focused, stay focused, stay focused, disregard the distractions. Thank you for listening and being a part of  L3 Leadership. Laura, and I appreciate you so much and we’ll talk to you next episode.