Faith & Leadership Inspiration at the Lagoon in Hawaii

Encouragement for Pastors
Leadership Development
Spiritual Encouragement

The Father and the Son at the Lagoon: Faith & Leadership Inspiration

Faith & Leadership Inspiration at the Lagoon in Hawaii

A couple of years ago, my wife and I were in Hawaii visiting our son and daughter-in-law. We were there helping care for their five month old triplet daughters. I know, that’s a tough duty, but someone had to do it. One day, we were cooling off in the lagoon when I noticed a man walk haltingly into the water. I assumed he had some type of disability and thought, “How great it is that he has the courage to go into the water.” After getting knee-deep he started swimming, and swimming, and swimming. Five minutes, ten minutes, fifteen minutes went by… and he kept swimming. What was unusual was that we heard someone on the shore shouting directions. The man swimming in the water would turn in response.

As we got out of the water and walked by the man on the shore we asked if he was “with the man” in the water. “Oh, yes,” he said. “That’s my son.” He proceeded to tell us that his son was born blind. Every morning and every evening this 92-year-old father brought his son to the lagoon where he swims for thirty minutes each time. He proceeded to tell us that his son has completed sixteen marathons, graduated from college, played football in high school, and was the second place team All-District kicker. He never had a music lesson, but can hear a song, then sit down at the piano and play it perfectly. The first book he learned to read in Braille was the Bible and he reads it every day. In short, he said, “He’s never thought he can’t do something. He thinks everyone deals with life like he does.”

We talked a bit more and Bev said, “You and your son are a picture of trusting God. Your son is trusting you to give him the right directions. He can’t see, he doesn’t know what is in front of him, or where he is going. But he just swims and knows your voice, and follows your instructions.”

Showing Trust & Faith in God:

This story is a wonderful parallel for the faith we should be living in our lives. We need to trust what God says to us like the swimming son trusts his father. And we need to follow his instructions.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding,” (Proverbs 3:5, ESV).

Faith is risky. It calls us into the unknown. The question is, “Can I trust God to be who He says He is, and do what He says He will do even when I don’t see it, and don’t understand it?”

Self-Evaluation Leadership Inspiration:

We could also think of this story from a leadership aspect. The father sees a larger picture for the son and has always had unwavering faith in him. It involves planning and discipline for him to guide his son well. He had to learn how to communicate appropriately given his son’s situation. The father surely had to look for opportunities to help engage his son and daily he has to keep an eye on him to guide his next steps. We can learn from this father when it comes to our own leadership by asking the questions below.

Self-Evaluation Leadership Inspiration Questions:

  • Do we believe in those we lead and make sure they know it?
  • Are we careful not to plant doubt in their thoughts, but rather help them recognize they can move forward as well as the next person?
  • Do we take the time that is needed to get a full picture of all that needs to be done in order to help our students or team move forward?
  • Are we keeping a loving and watchful eye on how they are doing? Do we constantly consider how we can serve them?


It’s incredible how God can speak to us anywhere and anytime, like on a trip to the beach. Faith is the core of existence. Love and service are keys to successful leadership.





If you’re a church leader, pastor, or the leader of a non-profit organization, are you looking for leadership training or team development help? Thanks to the backing of a generous foundation, LifeEquip is able to offer leadership and organizational training at highly reduced rates to meet the needs of smaller organizations. Some LifeEquip services include pastoral coaching, OLA, Everything DiSC, The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, and Lead Like Jesus.


Free tips, sermon packets, blog posts & more...

* indicates required
Pick a Topic or Subscribe to All Posts

More Info & Resources:

Get blog updates + over 15 FREE SERMONS (& counting):

Blog Categories:

Blog Archive:

Glenn C. StewartPastor & Church Coach
Glenn C. Stewart has forty years of experience leading churches, planting a church, and developing leaders. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology and leadership at the Orlando campus of Palm Beach Atlantic University, and as the chairman of the board of a Christian college and seminary. Along with his degrees in Bible and theology he has a master’s degree in organizational leadership. Glenn has a heart for serving pastors and being a spiritual mentor.


Glenn C. Stewart
Glenn C. StewartChurch & Pastor Coach

Authorship Credentials:

  • Adjunct Professor of Theology and Leadership
  • Certified as a Human Behavior Consultant
  • Authorized Wiley Everything DiSC© Partner
  • Organizational Leadership Assessment (OLA) Partner
  • Certified Facilitator of Ken Blanchard’s Lead Like Jesus Encounter Groups
  • Certified Facilitator of CPP Personality, Career, and Organizational Development Assessments
  • International Speaker and Trainer


  • Work, Ministry & Community Outreach Support: How to be Optimistic

Work, Ministry & Community Outreach Support: How to be Optimistic

Connect, Lead, Equip: Community Outreach Support: How to be Optimistic - In Good to Great, Jim Collins wrote about Vietnam War prisoner, Admiral Jim Stockdale, who was tortured over 20 times during his eight-year captivity in the prisoner-of-war camp and had no guarantee as to whether he would survive.

  • How to be Optimistic as a Leader

How to be Optimistic as a Leader

Connect, Lead, Equip: What Does it Look Like to be Optimistic as a Leader? “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,” (Philippians 3:13, ESV).

Did you know 54% of pastors are frequently overwhelmed?

LifeEquip was founded to help reduce that percentage… Our Pastoral Life Coaching is proving to be a helpful solution. Financial aid funds may be available through the generous giving of foundation partners. Call to find out if you’re eligible.
Learn More About LifeEquip's Pastoral Support

Leave A Comment