Gotta Be A “Ten Pirates Ships Coming” Kind Of Leader

There is an old joke that goes like this…

A young captain in the British Navy was taking his first ship and crew out to sea. An older more experienced captain gave him a piece of advice. “Never let the crew see that you are afraid,” said the old salty captain, “for if you do they will become afraid also and then things will not go well.”

A few days out to sea the lookout in the crow’s nest hollered, “Ahoy, two pirates ships coming this way!!!” The crew looked to the captain to see his reaction. Remembering what the older captain told him, he shouted to his cabin boy, “Bring me my red shirt!!!”. The captian put on the red shirt, grabbed his sword and began to fight the pirates – who had now come along side the ship. The crew seeing the captain’s bravery and lack of fear did likewise and within moments they had defeated the pirates.

The next day the lookout in the crow’s nest hollered, “Ahoy five pirate ships coming this way!!!’ Again the crew looked to the captain to see his reaction. Just as he had done the day before he shouted to his cabin boy, “Bring me my red shirt!!!” The captian put on the red shirt, grabbed his sword and began to fight the pirates who had now come along side the ship. The crew seeing the captain’s bravery and lack of fear did likewise and within moments they had defeated the pirates.

After the battle the first mate came to the captain and asked, “Captain why do you always call for your red shirt to wear just before a battle with pirates?” The young captain explained that he didn’t want his crew to be afraid if by any chance he was struck by a pirate’s sword during battle. “A red shirt covers the fact I may be bleeding so the crew won’t know, become afraid and stop fighting,” the cpatain told the first mate. “You have to continue leading without fear in any situation or those looking to you for leadership won’t follow,” exclaimed the captain.

The next day the lookout in the crow’s nest hollered, “Ahoy ten pirate ships coming this way!!!’ Again the crew looked to the captain to see his reaction. The young captain seeing the ten pirate ships bearing down on his ship shouted to his cabin boy, “Bring me my brown pants!!!” 🙂

As pastors and shepherds of our flocks we have to be a “ten pirate ships coming” kind of leader. The folks of Compass Point have seen me tired, they have seen me without passion, they have watched me “play hurt”. they have seen me confused, they have watched me drop the ball, they have heard me apologize…but they have never seen me afraid. My wife has. My accountability partners have. Other pastors that know me have. But the people I am called on by God to lead never have.

1 Timothy 1:7 tells us that we shouldn’t live a life of fear…but live a life of power. Fear in leaders breeds fear in the followers…and fear ultimately breeds defeat. There is a part in the movie “Men In Black” where Agent K is talking to Agent J about the fact that there is always some alien species about to destroy Earth. The only thing that keeps people from running around in mass panic and fear is because they just don’t know.

At Compass Point I am honest about many things. The one thing I am never honest or authentic about is…what scares me. When the flock looks to me they need to see a display of calm…or assurance…that this “scary thing” will pass…and that the direction and vision is correct. In essence when folks at church look to their pastor…they should see a rock of confidence…not a goo pile of fearful Jello!!!

Until God leads me otherwise…I will continue putting on my red shirt and brown pants everyday…and be a “Ten Pirate Ships Coming” kind of leader.

Gotta Be A “Ten Pirates Ships Coming” Kind Of Leader