What I’m learning about leadership

02.25.2015

Today’s guest blogger is Pablo Daut. Pablo is originally from Argentina and comes to us after studying in Spain. He is with the CCSM for one year working with our Hispanic Ministry. 

(First act)

—So, what would you like to be in a few years from now?

—Well, he answered, I know God’s called me to be a pastor. But not the main pastor. Don’t wanna be the lead pastor for sure.

—How come? (she asked with curiosity)

—Oh, because I stink at leading and administrating. I’m really, really bad at all that.

(Second act)

—Pablo, would you tell us now what’s your main strength and your greatest weakness?

—Of course. My strength has to do with being with people, teaching, and one-on-one discipleship.

—OK, that’s good. What about your weakness?

—Well, I’d say administration. I’d rather have someone else do the leading and administration so I can be with the people.

I’m the main character in both conversations. The first one was a conversation held with my future wife when she was 16 and I was 18. The second one was the interview held with Cross Church’s Board of Directors.  I was 24. As you can tell, six full years passed between the first and second interactions, and it’s pretty clear I’m quite confident about two things: I love people and I hate coordinating. Or at least, that’s what I’d always thought.

Casa de herrero, cuchillo de palo. 

Please don’t be miserable and google translate that, let me do that for you. It’s a saying in Spanish that literally means “blacksmith’s home, wooden knife. It kind of represents the funny discrepancy between one’s potential (externally) versus what actually goes on at home (internally). You would say that, for example, when you got somebody working as a successful salesman at a Cadillac dealership, but his wife drives an ol’ ’88 pick up that’s somewhere between a John Deer’s tractor of the last millennium and a can of beans. You’d smile and say “Casa de herrero, cuchillo de palo”. 

My dad was an outstanding leader. As a matter of fact, when he was invited to preach at the city churches in Buenos Aires, he would open up his Bible and work through the text teaching Biblical leadership right from it. He would even teach the book of Job at WOL’s seminary in Argentina and make it a leadership class every morning—how he did it, I don’t know. But you can tell what kind of person he was. He had the ability to move thousands of people through countless activities, mission trips, and more. Excellent budget calculator, and an incredible leader with a very strong personality. He was the overall weekend-ministry director at seminary over five hundred students each year. So that was him.

Not so with me. Creativity had always been a curse word for me. I loved being in front of people preaching, teaching or being funny and being very loud (yes. I know I’m loud and I never cared, so if you know me, just live with it and chill). But coordinating? Planning? I hated planning meetings. Loved meetings and food, but not the planning. Saying no to people? Forget about it. My dad was awesome at it, not me. Remember: blacksmith’s home, wooden knife. Or so I convinced myself to believe.

Two wrong presuppositions 

This year we’ve been learning a lot about leadership at the CCSM. It hasn’t been that long, and I must say I began to realize I have always held two wrong ideas.  Number one was love for people and direction/coordination are mutually exclusive. For some weird reason I thought that being around with people and enjoying one-on-one discipleship was not compatible with planning and budgeting. Baloney. Actually, both make an incredible duet. Doesn’t mean you gotta be the best at both. But you don’t need to love one and hate the other. It’s not serving two masters. It’s the two-sided coin needed to make an impact for Christ’s Kingdom.

Two, I’m not a natural administrator or coordinator. Well, you’re probably not a natural dad until you have a son, and you’re not a natural intellectual until you have the chance and opportunities to do fantastic on your tests. Natural not always coincides with what I’ve done before or who I’ve always thought I was. So instead of making my own life’s case based on what or who I think I am naturally, I’ve just decided to give myself a break, trust God, and stop being a chicken. If God put me there, he surely made no mistake.

After all it’s not a matter of what I can give to God, but how much I’m willing to trust Him and forsake for His cause—yes, even lack of self-confidence must be surrendered. Who knows? Maybe a wooden knife is what He was looking for.

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