THIS WEEK'S EPISODE: Chelsea & Nick Hurst‼️🎉
Oct. 25, 2021

Mike Kai

Pastor Mike Kai knows from personal experience that success doesn’t just happen— it’s the outcome of countless daily choices to walk in obedience.


Currently, Mike and his wife Lisa lead a multi-site church network, the Inspire Network. The powerful network grew from humble beginnings as a church that Mike and Lisa planted in Hawaii in 2001. Today, that network has produced life-giving conferences and books, with the most recent release being Mike’s book That Doesn’t Just Happen. But on this episode of Trevor Talks, Mike takes us back even further, into the challenges that shaped his character. 


Pastor Mike grew up in a small town in Hawaii. Early plans for a career in the air force were interrupted when Mike’s girlfriend got pregnant when he was just 19. They married, but within two years, the marriage was over and Mike was desperate and alone. It was then that a coworker friend invited him to church— and changed Mike’s life forever. This episode tells the story of what led Mike from that turning point into a position as a leader in both professional and spiritual development.


Get That Doesn’t Just Happen on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


Follow Mike Kai:


Instagram: @mikekai

LinkedIn: Mike Kai

YouTube: Mike Kai


For more Trevor Talks:


Apple Music

Google Podcasts




Trevor Tyson  0:01  
Thank you for tuning in to Trevor talks podcast where we talk to real people about real topics and real stories. Today's guest is guaranteed to give you some advice that you'll probably run with. As a leadership expert, podcast host and pastor of the largest church in Hawaii. Mike chi knows a thing or two about personal growth, both in your career and in faith. My hope for this conversation is that we'd all find a thing or two and apply it in our lives today. His new book is available now. And we're just super excited to hear all about it and his story. Here's my interview with Pastor my chi, thank you for being here.

Mike Kai  0:41  
Trevor, thank you so much for having me on this great podcast. This is one of those podcasts that you say when you find it, like where it has this podcast been all my life, and then you start listening to it. And it's so amazing. So thank you so much,

Trevor Tyson  0:53  
dude, of course, thank you for taking the time to be here. I'm always like, I'll get these pitches and it's like and are now but as, as immediately when I saw yours, I was like, dang, like, this guy is gonna bring some value to people. I hope so. No, like, I'm really just intrigued by everything that God's doing in your life through the Inspire network, inspire church, like everything that God has going through your life right now. It didn't just start right off the bat, right? There's a whole story and the whole process that the Lord's taking you on a journey to get through. So I'd love to start off with just hearing a little bit about you personally, and the story of how God's molded you into the pastor and person you are today. Well, thank

Mike Kai  1:39  
you. Well, it goes all the way back to a small town in Hawaii. You know, my parents, middle class, great upbringing. Not perfect, but great. You know, who's perfect. I'm not even perfect as a father. But my mom and dad were awesome. My dad was a police officer. My mom worked at the hotels and the executive offices, I've got two brothers and a sister. We're all two years apart. So we grew up together athletes, you know, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, you know, everything but Future Farmers of America, we did everything but that we could have, but we didn't do it. And, you know, and, and I, I am a father of three beautiful daughters. We've got two grandkids, my oldest girl get this, my oldest girl is 34. My young, my middle daughter is 26. And my youngest is 16 just turned 16. So it's a nine year gap between each one. And I became a father very early on. Before I came to know Christ. I was a single dad got married at 19 on the rocks at 21. And that's really where a lot of my my journey began to who I am today. Was that time.

Trevor Tyson  2:49  
Dude, that's crazy. I'm 24. Now I couldn't imagine having a kid at 19

Mike Kai  2:54  
It made me grow up real quick, you know, coming from a small town and going to the big city of the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. That's a different island and talk, you can get culture shock in Hawaii. So you can go from one small town in Hawaii, to the big city and still get culture shock in Hawaii. So I was lost. Yeah, I was lost in many ways, you know, not just virtually lost, but lost in the crowd, and have my first real girlfriend. I mean, I loved girls in high school. They didn't like me so much. Because I was shorter. I know. I know. I know. And I go back to my classroom, like how you like me now but I don't really say that. But in my mind, I'm like today taken 28 years of marriage, you know, it's awesome. And, and then, but to 19 Atta when I got my when I got my girlfriend pregnant. It was a two by four up the side upside my head of reality. And I quit school and I was in school because my whole goal was to be in the Air Force in the ROTC and go fly planes. This is pre Top Gun. Pre Tom Cruise. And yeah, Oh gee. And, and that's what I really wanted to do. But then I had to put that on the side and I went immediately to work at the best jobs I could get at the time. Pizza Hut, as a waiter, and a Shell gas station at night as a as an attendant. So my dreams, my goals were put on the side. Cute. Kenny Chesney, there goes my life. And now all of a sudden, we're married and you think that that will make it better, but it didn't. You have two people who are living for themselves. You have two people who don't know God, God's not in the middle at all. And by the time I was 21 It was so bad. And I was not the person I am today and she definitely wasn't. She left. Trevor. I'm 21 years old now. I'm taking care of my two year old daughter. I'm comforting her because her mom's not coming back. Um, and something nobody's comforting me. And it was hard time. And it's 21 and you're 24 and 21 I started moving up in different jobs. You know, I got a better job as a waiter here made 30 bucks a night, got another busboy job during the day. And then I got miraculously got hired at American Airlines to work on the ramp. So that was big. But then homicidal, because I want to hurt somebody, let's be honest. And I'm suicidal, because I'm hurt at my core. And it's not a good combination. You know, when you're young 21. And so my friends saw me and they saw what was happening to me to my life at that time. And yeah,

Trevor Tyson  5:46  
dude, that's powerful. And I love that you bring up that aspect as like you were homicidal, because you wanted to hurt somebody or suicidal because you hate a wife at that point. But like, wow, like, what a realization a lot of people won't admit if they're homicidal, northerlies suicidal. So you would even bring that up, even though it's later on down the road, like, life can suck sometimes, like, there's so much that goes on, there's so many moving pieces, the wife, and people think like, oh, once I get married, I'll fix that. Once I do this. Once I do that. It's like, dude, like, you got to figure it out where you're at?

Mike Kai  6:22  
Yeah, yeah. And during that time, I mean, Trevor, I was like, my parents were praying for me, although they, you know, they weren't born again. But they were praying for me. I was brought up in a really good environment. We went to church every Sunday, I was an altar boy. We went to church every Sunday. But when when I went to university, I just let all that go. And even though it was here, because I could memorize everything. It wasn't in my heart was in my head, but none of my heart, but thank God, at least something was in my head, right. And so I felt like the Lord, I know that the Lord showed me what my funeral would be like, if I did something to hurt myself. My daughter Courtney kept me alive. So I envisioned my funeral for like, 30 seconds. See my mom, my dad, my brothers, my sister, all like blaming themselves. My daughter growing up without me. So it was like Ebenezer Scrooge, like you could go through all the, you know, the, the Christmases that he went through all the ghosts of Christmas, past and all of that in the future. And that's when I went like, I need help. But I didn't know how to cry out for help. Because that can you know, I'm 53 now, so back when you're 21. And then in the late 80s, you don't you don't say I need counseling? Today, no problem. Mental health is everything man. And but that back then you hit it. You you, you drank it, and, and my friends have this one restaurant called the willows, which really impacted my life. Told me man, you got to come to church, as I don't want to go to church, like all I knew was what I had, right? Growing up small town. That was it. He's got to come to my churches I don't want to go to church kept begging me. Every single week. I worked with him. It was bugging me. He didn't beg me. He bugged me. And finally I said, Alright, so tell me about your church. Tell me about your church, because Okay, so Well, we've got great music. Great music in church. Are you serious? Like yeah, we got great music. I said like, so what? Tell me about the music. Well, we got guitars. You got guitars? We got drums. You got drums in your church? Yep, we got. We got we got we got everything. We got electric guitar. I go. Okay. Tell me about your minister. Oh, well, he wears jeans. He wears jeans. He preaches from a Bible from a Bible. And I said, Wait, you got jeans. You got guitars? You got Bibles. You got drums. That's not a church. Well, that's a cult. He goes, that's not a church

Trevor Tyson  8:38  
around to you know,

Mike Kai  8:40  
I know. I know. So Trevor. He goes, come on, man. And so finally, I guess I was at at the point where I said, you know, I'll give that a try. I tried everything. I think I knew how to try. I'll try that. So let's come to church going on. I'll buy you breakfast. I sell breakfast. free breakfast like I'm not even kidding. When I joke man. When somebody offers you free breakfast and you broke you go wet. But I was overdressed for church. And it took 30 minutes to get there to Courtney with me my daughter. She's two at the time. And we pull up in this car and it's a cafeteria with a with a with an overhead projector I can hear the drums coming through the windows because there's no AC and I'm getting nervous, bro. First time coming to church nervous I can only imagine what people feel like when they come to my church for the first time. And I've heard the drums and I think if you hear my heartbeat before, before the Trumps Trevor, and I walk in they take her this way. They take me that way. Someone seats me in the second row who puts the new guy in the second row and I'm in the second row. And I'm looking at the overhead projector words the transparencies, I thought what a cool job, whoever, whoever's got that job. And I saw the words and because I come from a music background where I would drown my sorrows at the karaoke bar, or karaoke, you know, back then they give you $1 You pay $1 to sing a song On people were giving me dollars to sing songs on chain melody, let's roll it. Or you know Billy Joel, you know, or Elton John Daniel, Daniel, my brother. But when I saw the words to the worship songs, they were to me. nonbeliever walking in. They were love songs to God. They're like love songs to God. And it's almost like at that moment, like, I know this doesn't sound right. But that's the way I processed it. I could pull God's name out and put her name in. I love you. I need you. And God flipped it. You need me. I love you. And they had me at Psalm two, or three. And I didn't even know what he preached all I know that I was being ministered to the way that I could call it I had chicken skin, which we call in Hawaii is like goose bumps up and down. And I had an experience with God at that moment. I cried. And, and I was like, I'm all you know, I haven't I couldn't articulate it as home. I gave my life to Jesus that day. 1989 21 years old. She

Trevor Tyson  11:07  
dude, how wild is it that like, while you were explaining like walking up to that church, you heard the drums coming through, you get a sort of like not anxiety, like when you're going into a new place like that, like even for speaking at events like you can relate to this, like, you're going into a new place. You're walking up to the building, you hear people walking and such. And then sometimes you can hear the drums and everything and you just get that adrenaline you're like, oh, it's about to go down. But back in 1989, I can imagine like those little transparent sheets they were scrolling through that was cutting edge technology. Yes, it was. Nobody thought anything about the person's hand being like replicated on the wall. Like there's like, dang, they've got that overhead projector. And then now on have like elevated leadership and Maverick city just put out that record, they have the projection screen on there, and they hit number one. So it had to make an impact on people like people that grew up in the church during that time period. And I got to see like the tail end of it. Late 90s, like I guess, early 2000s, I can remember bits and pieces of seeing those projection screens. And nobody uses those anymore. And I remember going to the doctor's office and seeing like a the first touchscreen panels that they had, wow, further computers. And I'd be like, it's Take three. Yeah, take three, boom. And like the whole new Maverick city elevation worship album, they have the projection screen on there. So it obviously made an impact on people being able to see technology go and go and go. But for you, you finding Jesus in a church and seeing that cutting edge technology for the time is 100% different than what somebody is going to see today. And I can only imagine your church there in Hawaii. I mean, you'll walk in, people are greeting you probably a coffee bar nowadays, like a book or like you've just got people there to welcome you back in the day. It was just like, you know, you had your greeters at the door. But now like, you've got teams for that teams of people that are dedicating their time to just make sure that you feel welcomed and loved. And it's just phenomenal. And I'm really curious to know, like you had that encounter with God, how long was it before you realize that God had given you the gift of leadership and even your church?

Mike Kai  13:31  
I didn't think I never saw myself as a leader growing up. I was always like, the follower or I wanted to be the leader. But because I was, you know, I just wasn't it. During that time I started picking up books, my friends started handing me books. You should read this book. So I pick up tough times never last but tough people do by Robert Schuller. Wow. The greatest salesman in the world by Augmon. Dino had nothing to do with sales. But it was powerful. Red One, two and three wrote him a letter in my pain during that time, and he wrote back he wrote a letter back blew my mind said stop feeling sorry for yourself. Well, I thought somebody's gonna hug me. Even hug me. He sent me straight. And I was like, Yeah, stop feeling sorry for yourself. started reading The Richest Man in Babylon. about saving money, started reading all more leadership books. I started growing that area. And then while I'm waiting for a miracle at the age of 21, for somehow to be reconciled with my with my wife, my first wife. I hate saying that, but it is. Yeah, it's during that time I'm waiting. God's changing me the miracle didn't happen in the marriage because she'd never came back. But the miracle happened in me. And I started growing. And my daughter started getting we started getting better, even though it was hard. And then finally at the end of that, that journey while I'm growing up As a leader I got involved in, in multilevel marketing because I had nothing else. My friends said, Hey, try this, join this group, it's going to help you. And I got I gotta say, that really helped me. It helped me in confidence and helped me and speaking, it helped me in, in, in educating myself when I couldn't go back to college because I didn't have time to work two jobs, sometimes three jobs and slide this inside. And my mom and dad flew up and moved over from my island that I grew up on to a wahoo to come and help me raise Courtney. And then at the end of that three years, part of it was, I waited and waited and waited, and I was still going to church, and I was going to church every single Sunday. And then finally, I prayed. And I said at the end when it was over, and it was biblically over. And even though the writing was on the wall, I was still ready and willing to forgive. But then it was done. It was done, done. And that was the hardest part. I had to put that to rest. And then I waited one more year Trevor, I said, God, I'm gonna wait one year, I'm just gonna be married to Jesus, I kept my ring on the whole time. Even when I waited, and I was still that's I'm gonna be married to Jesus and I keep my ring on. And in that year, when it was over, I prayed. I said, Okay, Lord, I need a life. And my daughter needs a mother. And I don't have time to go find her. In the old places. I want to find her in church, but I don't want to be the creek, you know, I'm saying, I don't want to be like, hey, I want to join the internship program. So I can you know, like,

Trevor Tyson  16:27  
I get it. Dude, imagine dating in 2021, though, just think about it. Dating apps, right? Is that the other and I'm I'm still sitting here like trying to run an agency and do the whole podcast and I'm I got time for all that. Not gonna work.

Mike Kai  16:45  
I hope you do. Because you're gonna find there. God's got the right one for you. Perfect. And that's when I prayed. I was discipled on the radio. When I drive to work, I turned my car to the University of success at cassette tapes, Zig Ziglar popping down. And while I was driving, I was listening to Chuck Smith, Chuck Swindoll, Jack Hayford, Mike Macintosh, all these guys that we listened to on the west coast on the radio on Christian radio. And then I prayed. So Jack Hayford said don't be afraid to pray specifically, pray specifically. And I thought Who am I to pray specifically? You know, I kind of started getting groomed that whatever happens happens, not rare. They're actually contending for something. And so I said, I'm gonna contend so I prayed. I said, Lord, if I can ever get married again, can she please be five foot seven? Okay, five foot seven, because I didn't want short kids, because I remember what it was like being short, gorgeous Chinese, that she's got to be gorgeous. And loves Jesus more than me. Just gotta love Jesus more than me. Because if she loves Jesus more than me, we can make it through anything. And so I didn't go to church with a tape measure, you know, Asian, close enough, you know, five, six, you know, I just honestly didn't even go looking. And then I went to a young adults Christmas party, which I didn't feel like a young adult at the age of 2425. I felt like an old man at 25. I get that right. And I walk in. And there she is. She's working the table of the young adults Christmas party. And her name is Lisa Lum. And I walked up to the table and said hi, she says hi. We dance that night we go we group eat, we go to like the equivalent of Denny's in Hawaii called zipties. And we start talking and then the next day Trevor, she called me. She called me. Now that's a big deal because back then we we had pagers, we now have a cell phone case, I'm taking you back. And the phone rings on my home phone and I pick it up. There's no caller ID. Okay, it was a it was a touch dial wasn't wasn't Rotary, but it was a touch that we moved on and technology. Yeah, come on. Trevor, I pick up the phone and it's her I can't believe and she goes, Do you want to go out? Would you like to go out? I'm like, Oh my gosh, these Christian girls are forward. I said yes. Yes, I don't want to go. And and then today, I thank God that she called me because I don't know if I would have called her and I never asked for her number. And the crazy thing is I teased her about it all the time. He said you took advantage of your privileges at work. You had the phone list, you had the roster the database and you called me but I'm so glad you did.

Trevor Tyson  19:29  
He did like somebody with a phone list I get that phone call and be like you know what to work for Mike's gonna work for me. Let's go. So you go through all of that, you know, the now love of your life. How did everything transition into like her stepping into that mother's role and then becoming the mother of more children?

Mike Kai  19:53  
Correct. Okay, so that was the whole deal. We were a package deal me and Courtney. And if you didn't take us both, you will You wanted me then it wasn't going to happen. And she was willing. I said, this is not going to be easy. And she was willing. And she stepped into it. And it was not easy. It was so hard in our first five years being a blended family, oh my gosh. She, she had a hard time. Like, she'd go home to mom and dad's quite often that sleepover, but just go, I'm gonna go to mom and dad's gonna go see. And I'm like, Hey, that's a problem. That's becoming a problem. But now, I knew why I knew why. Because it was hard for her. And it was hard for me. And it was hard for Courtney. And so we made it, you know, we went through counseling, we, we worked, we worked it out, she worked, she worked through some things. I worked through a lot of things and, and we have two more daughters. And you know, and we are 28 years old. So she's working for the church, though. So she's working for the church. I'm working at American Airlines, and I'm doing multi level marketing, and I'm selling bottled water. I'm hustling. I'm paying cash for everything, because now I don't buy nothing on credit. My pastor sees me. And before Lisa and I get married, sorry, let me roll it back a little bit. Yeah, Trevor, he goes, I want to take you out for breakfast. This is while I'm dating her because he heard that it's moving fast. So I said, Okay, I'll go, I was nervous. You know, this is Pastor Ralph, you know, he's an icon.

Trevor Tyson  21:18  
You gotta take it right. And free breakfast.

Mike Kai  21:21  
I'm all about the free right back then. So he goes, he goes to McDonald's. That's his favorite place. So he takes me to McDonald's. One Wednesday turns into two and it turns into eight Wednesdays. And while he's trying to suss me out to see if I'm good for her, to make sure that I'm solid. He actually starts discipling. Me and I don't even know it. And when we get married on that wedding day, I guess I sang some songs to my wife, I was joking around with my brothers from the podium. And I guess I was doing what I what I what I can do. Because of all that speaking and multilevel marketing, he comes up to me when everybody leaves and he and his wife, Ruby come up to me, he puts his finger in my chest. And he says, You ought to be a pastor. Stop wasting time you need to be a pastor, you are a pastor, and he ruined my honeymoon. Because it's like Elijah throwing the mantle on Elijah sickle, think about that.

Trevor Tyson  22:24  
Second Kings to nine tattooed on my arm right there.

Mike Kai  22:29  
Trevor, I tell you what I'm when I say ruin my honeymoon. I'm not kidding. Because it was it was a, it was a moment that I knew was going to happen. I knew it was going to happen. I just felt the Holy Spirit telling me all this time that you're going to do that one day you're going to do and on and on and on and be in business and you're going to do that you're gonna do I want to be an entrepreneur. No, no, you're going to do it. No, I want to be a millionaire. And then I put that on the altar a year later, and I went, Okay, I'll do whatever you want me to do, Lord, go wherever you want me to go, say whatever you want me to say, be whatever you want me to be. And I got discipled on his staff. So I get saved in his church. Five years later, I'm on his staff. Two years later, I become the youth pastor. Five years later, I take over a dying church in 2001, or surviving church that had five pastors in 13 years, and 60 people. And I know right, I was like, Oh, why are you sending me there? I thought you love me. You know what I'll go. And I remember my pastor saying before he says, if you can say yes to pastoring in the back of a warehouse with 20 people, he goes and say yes. But if you're saying yes to the big thing with 2000, don't say yes. If you can say yes to the thing behind the shack with that heart, then do that. And I guess that's what happened. And here we are celebrating our 20 year anniversary this month.

Trevor Tyson  24:07  
For Oh, it's crazy. I know, congratulate. You're celebrating 20 years and you put out your book, like and you've got multiple but the one we want to talk about today is that just or that doesn't just happen, how excellence celebrates everything. I am kind of like intrigued by you were working at Pizza Hut. You worked at American Airlines. What was like I know you obviously read books, listen to radio shows and was coached by the best in that way. Yeah, but how many years did it take for you to get from working that like full time job just to pay the bills to get to where you were pastoring a church full time.

Mike Kai  24:48  
That was a long journey. And I'm going to say that was about a 12 year to 15 year journey. Yeah. 12 years.

Trevor Tyson  24:58  
And nowadays, people If they make an Instagram posts and they're supposed to be glorified the next day or next hour, we're impatient. Like, I say it all the time, like everybody's expecting to have like a microwaved dinner, but they want it to taste like charcoal steak, like, it's just not going to work. Like 12 years you spent chasing that dream, that calling that you had. And people are just looking for instant gratification. Now, for someone out there that's like, dang, I've been doing this for 12 years, and it's just not working out. If you were in their scenario, which you have been, what would you tell them?

Mike Kai  25:38  
I would tell them that. It doesn't just happen. I mean, I'm not being cliche is I'm not using that as a cliche. It doesn't just happen it actually is obedience. So it's a step of obedience to the Lord every single day, every week of every month of every year. It's following what God told you to do be good at the first thing that he told you to do. Be faithful with the one talent or the two talents even though you feel like you have five talent potential because I was really a two talent guy in a one talent scenario with five talent potential. That's the way I look at it. I'm a to talent guy, I'm average, in a one talent situation which is horrendous, but enough with five talent potential. And so even though I always wanted more, David wrote in Psalm set, the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places. In other words, I have a delightful inheritance. So wherever the boundary lines are for me right now, Lord, You are my portion. You are my cup. And I had to delight myself in the Lord. Psalm 37. Four and he will give you the the desires of your heart, to trust God every single day when I didn't get promoted to waiter because I was a busboy. I had to trust God, even though I thought that they were. I was an excellent busboy. But they needed more busboys, and they need waiters. So I was kept there. at that restaurant called the willows when my friend witnessed to me that was pivotal because there was this lady named Kusama Kure, who was a world renowned chef from Sri Lanka. And she took a liking to me. She was the original Iron Chef before there ever was one. And this lady was tough. She was tough as nails. And she took me under her wing. She says, Michael, I really like you. You work really, really hard. You pay really good attention, just that sparked me when the other manager was up was making life hard for me. She was awesome. And so I even come in. I've named her in my book, because if it wasn't for Kusuma, who I didn't have tons of interaction with, she didn't mentor me. But just the way that she noticed me. It was just the way that this world renowned chef, actually encouraged me actually kept me going. And then when I was the, you know, now I'm in the ministry, they I'm being apprenticed. I'm an apprentice, right. I'm learning on the job from Pastor Ralph. I'm taking Bible college classes along the way, because I've got an instant family. And I'm doing that and all along. I never thought I want to my church, you got to set me free, man, you got it. I want to go fulfill my dream trap. It wasn't like that. It was like, Oh, I'm scared. I gotta do this youth ministry. I don't even like high school kids. And then four years, three years into it. I love high school kids. And the fifth year when God called me to take the church. I felt like separation anxiety. I felt like I really felt like something tore off me. I didn't want to leave. But I knew God was calling me. So all of that. It's it's angst. It's trusting God, it's, it's dying to yourself. It's putting away your desires. Are you though, you know, you could probably do more. I know. You're great. Like I wanted to be a worship leader. Pastor Ralph told me no. He goes, Yeah, you can sing. Yeah, you got charisma. But you're a pastor. You're not a worship leader. And that was hard. That was hard. That was really hard for me. And so it's all these times of letting someone groom you and shape you and discipline you. And I had complete trust in Him. And there were times I was mad at him. And there are times I know, I disappointed him. There are times, there are times like it was it was difficult, but I hung in there and I honored him the whole way. And even to this day, he's still in my life. You know, and it was it was awesome trip.

Trevor Tyson  29:13  
That is insane. Like it your whole story. Like we've jumped around quite a bit on like, the different seasons you've went through on life, but it all paints towards the one big picture that God has had for you, obviously. And one thing that I'm really taking away from it is just perseverance. Like, you stayed in where a lot of people would leave like one thing my friend Brian and I always say is like, we're at that part in the movie, like you're gonna keep going or you're gonna give up. And even this podcast, like, I didn't, there's been moments even recently where I'm like, dang, like, why am I even doing this? Like, on the outside? It's like, whoa, like you talk to this person and this person, but it's like, at the end of the day, like I'm doing it because I felt called to it right conversations because I feel called to have these conversations. I'm not doing it for clout or affiliation or anything like that. Like, I'm just trying to trust Jesus with everything. And it's actually like with you being a podcast host yourself, number one. With the script being flipped on you right now. Am I hired or fired?

Mike Kai  30:20  
You, you definitely hired your

Trevor Tyson  30:24  
thank God. I was like, You're amazing. You're doing a great job. Trey's God, I was like, Dude, we've got a veteran podcast around here. I've got to exceed expectations, and obviously, but when you go into stuff like this, you've started brands, you've started churches, you've wrote books, like, it doesn't just happen.

Mike Kai  30:46  
It's not pixie. Oh, like what you're doing? What your podcast and then that doesn't just happen. I mean, it's not pixie dust. It's, it's hard work. When God takes someone, he raises him from the dust, he doesn't just add pixie dust, he raises him from the dust. And for you to be doing what you're doing and connecting people to all of the different genres and spheres of society that they're all coming together. I mean, you got pastors, you got musicians, you got business people. It's It's incredible the position that God has placed you in and so you know, game recognizes game, we understand that it's hard work. It's dedication. There's a lot of stuff that you said no, to to be where you are today. There's moving things all over the place, and really only 21. I mean, no, I have seen no ear has heard no mind can comprehend what God wants to do with this.

Trevor Tyson  31:32  
Yeah, like, even going into like, it all started with a call. And for both of us, we can both say that, right? It started with a call. Did we say yes? Or do we say no? Like, from the get go? Like it was scary? I said, No. Well, I got it and just say yes, God, I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna do it. It took a while for God to really resonate that through me. And like, one thing I haven't really discussed a ton is like I did 10 years like free labor doing like, volunteering at winter jam events, skillet concerts, and all of these other things like learning that aspect of the ministry and then going into like, okay, like, if I connected with this person, then it was a network game, like, who can you like not, I don't want to say who you know, but like, that does come into play when you're wanting to get into like a music industry and speaking and etc. And God gave me the gift the network. And like, I kind of had to pick that up. And I was mentored by some really unique people, like later on in my career, even like, ask for years, mentors have picked me up and be like, hey, I want to walk with you through this. And really, there's no blueprint of success. Like when we pitch your book, it's not like that doesn't just happen is going to fix all your issues. No, it's gonna be a stepping stone in that walk that you have right now, in all of that to say, like, I'd really like to touch on when people like pick this book up and hopefully read it in one sitting. When they put it down. What do you want them to walk away with?

Mike Kai  33:06  
I want them to walk away with a spirit of excellence in no matter what they do. Like, I don't want people to feel pressure, like I gotta be excellent. But if you look through the Old Testament and New Testament, I look at Daniel Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They had an excellent spirit, Caleb had one. With Daniel and his friends, they were 10 times better. 10 times better than all the other Hebrew guys that came in because they had a spirit of excellence. And they said that themselves. They set themselves apart for God. Like they did the Daniel fast. Hey, let's do this. Daniel, fast together. All right, let's do it. We're gonna name it after we've named after you, Daniel. And they they ate vegetables and water and they were better. And then Nebuchadnezzar says these guys are 10 times better. I think that today, what we really need is people who have an excellent attitude, and excellent work ethic and excellent spirit. And when we have that it accelerates I think it accelerates everything. I think, my life you look at 32 years of walking with Christ. I don't think there's been much of ADD, it's good enough. Eventually I'll say some yeah, that's, that's, that's good, but never had this mentality of good enough. We came in the overflow of the 70s. Jesus people movement. I was in the wake of that in the 80s and the early 90s, where there was a trickle down of that revival. And the beginning of that revival is the hippies right? Come just as you are Chuck Smith, welcome all these guys. They said you need shoes. He says they don't need shoes. No, I'm gonna rip out the carpet if I have to. And they came in with all of their baggage their free love their long hair, their armpits, you know, I'm saying with unshaved legs. I'm just talking about the women. You know, I

Trevor Tyson  34:49  
mean, Dread your armpits, let's go.

Mike Kai  34:54  
And they come in and heal and they feel the love of Christ. And so it was come just as you will Are comes just as you are, right? Totally. The overflow of that can come can become more of when I was growing up in churches. God knows your heart. And that's all that matters. Yeah, it does. But in the real world, not the church world, which is a real world. But in the working world. You don't have to make a first impression, you have to make a great lasting impression. And we live in a world where people actually do judge the cover before they get to know the inside. It's just the truth of it. So this book was more of a marketplace book, more of a business book culture, curating creative deputation, seeing what sought with the Queen of Sheba saw from King Solomon, taking what she saw, bringing it back game recognize game on that one, because she came in her own opulence traveled three months to get there by caravan and military escort, picked his brain, the equivalent of me, and you're going to sit, maybe with Elon Musk, and showing us Space X, showing us how Tesla's made and getting to sit with him for 48 hours and seeing all of his staff and walking away going. That was the site visit of site visits of grand proportions, I think, it may not have been at that level for me and for you to go in Elon Musk, but it's definitely her level of going to that was the smartest man God ever placed on earth before Jesus Christ. Wow. And walking away. And so out of that lesson in Second Kings 10. I walked away with that going first Kings 10 away. That is a book. I've been teaching this to my staff, but I never thought it would ever become a book. And so became a book.

Trevor Tyson  36:44  
That's phenomenal. And, you know, I love that you bring up Elon Musk, because I did send an email to his PR team trying to get him on here. Like when I first started, I was like, I had that moment where I was like, I'm gonna shoot for the stars, and we're gonna get the big dogs. And it's like, you know, God hasn't called us to just reach big dogs. You know, like, that's a whole, a whole message, right? There's so many people are just like, oh, I only want to do this, this, this and this, if it can benefit me in this way, in that way. And it's pride, like, yeah, so all of the resources that you have, are valuable to people, like not only your congregants, but you're providing YouTube videos and podcasts and you've got the Inspire network, the Inspire church, like you've got everything there. How can people get involved?

Mike Kai  37:30  
Well, you know, the Inspire Collective is a thing I'm really excited about, because maybe 1% of people that go to church and end up in leadership actually become pastors or what about the other 99 or 98%? I always wanted to equip everybody, not just, you know, pastoral leadership. So we remember when I wanted to be an entrepreneur, businessman, and God said, No. Well, I think what God has allowed me in this season is to help equip and encourage and inspire people who are in that sphere of influence, whatever it is, that doesn't matter if it's military, it's in business, it's in athletics. So we came up with this inspired collective magazine, I gotta send it to you, it's free. And you can go to my That's my one stop shop, Mike But in that magazine, and I'd love for you to be on it would be people in every sphere of society. I've had Olympic athletes gold medal, Brian clay, the the castle on. I've had executive coaches, I've got entrepreneurs, I've got people like Marissa Bell from the faithful app, who's the CEO of it, all in that and I wanted to do it is just to equip people in every sphere of society, just encourage them, because I think we need encouragement. Now. There's so much stuff going on in our world right now. And I wanted to encourage people in those fears that you may not be in pastoral leadership and you are still a marketplace. Minister, wherever you go, you rep Jesus wherever you go. So with that, in that business, and in that schooling or whatever they do,

Trevor Tyson  38:56  
and God still made you an entrepreneur, like one thing a lot of people discount is like when you see megachurch, pastors having huge houses and etc. It hits the news and it's like, is this where the tithe money is going? It's like you could be a pastor and a businessman like you write books you get royalties from those books is nothing wrong with that like it's such a that's a whole other conversation though, but obviously like moving in your life and giving you the resources to provide to other people and now like I'm just ready to go jump on a plane and come to Hawaii. Well, you need to Yeah, Mike. If I end up working at Inspire network, everyone knows where it started right here but much for taking time to be here like this has been great. This is refreshing for me. Thank you. I pray that it's refreshing for everyone else as well.

Mike Kai  39:48  
Thank you, Trevor. I appraisal two I mean, just the way that you handle the conversation the way that you I was really impressed when I started listening to you're very impressed like not like in a car The sending way I was super impressed like how you this new generation of podcasters you know how to you know how to handle the conversation and you make people feel so comfortable. That it's awesome. It's awesome. It's been an honor a privilege to be honest with you and I pray that your listeners are blessed to

Trevor Tyson  40:18  
do it. I know they will. And we'll make this happen again, for sure. And for everyone that's listening. Thank you so much for tuning in. Be sure to like and subscribe if you're watching on YouTube and then follow if you're on Apple, podcast, Spotify, etc. We're gonna put the link from Mike's new book in the description along with Mike, where you can have the one stop shop for everything Mike chi but again, Mike, thank you so much for being here. And thank you to new release today for making this episode happen as usual, and we will talk to you guys next week.

Transcribed by

Mike KaiProfile Photo

Mike Kai

From humble beginnings in 2001 to a thriving multi-site congregation, Mike and Lisa Kai are passionate about building the Church. They are visionary leaders with hearts to advance the Kingdom of God by attracting non-believers to Christ, connecting them to their church family, training them for life and ministry and sending each person to fulfill their God-given potential.

Mike believes that “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind can comprehend what God has for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9),” and out of this conviction has sparked the emergence of the Inspire Network. Each year, the Network hosts the Arise Women’s Conference, Kingdom Man Conference, and the Equip and Inspire Conference, which empower people from across the Hawaiian Islands, US Mainland, and Internationally. In 2019, he also launched the Influencer’s Network aimed at equipping business leaders and executives globally with leadership tools through professional exchange.

Mike and Lisa reside in Honolulu and are the proud parents of three daughters and two grandchildren. Mike has traveled to speak at conferences and to congregations all over the world and conducts pastor’s and leader’s round tables nationally and internationally. Mike is the author That Doesn't Just Happen, The Pound for Pound Principle and Plateaus.