Leadership in High Gear: Meet “Energizer Danny”
‘Industrious’ does not seem comprehensive enough to describe Danny Hernaez, a member of Humble UMC who epitomizes servant leadership on steroids. He is constantly moving up the leadership ladder as a member of the first class of Laity Unleashed and a Vibrant Church Initiative consultant in training. Read why he gets involved in so many ministries and how he manages to keep saying yes to God.
Aside from being the CEO of a healthcare company, and president of a non-profit organization primarily supporting the distribution of Bibles and other resources to seminaries, a deaconess college and churches in the Philippines, Danny Hernaez has an impressive resume of additional ministry activities. He is currently involved in the “inaugural class” of Laity Unleashed and recently received an assignment with the TAC Vibrant Church Initiative as a coach. If that wasn’t enough, Danny says, “I am also praying that
I will be included in the Academy of Spiritual Formation
Class #36, which is a two-year program.”
Danny is married to a Methodist preacher’s kid, a husband for 39 years to Emy Manuel-Hernaez, a father of four grown children, and a grandfather of three. His relentless energy and passion spring from his spiritual well of gratitude. “My reward is in remembering I am forgiven and saved only by God’s grace and mercy. I continue this journey with excitement and joy to give God all the glory and to make disciples of Jesus Christ for global transformation,” notes Danny.
How does he do it all, and keep a smile on his face and an obvious and contagious skip in his step? Danny shares candidly, “I am amazed how I am able to manage time. God has given me sufficient time to rest, too. I prioritize and multi-task. He is showing me one thing -- to trust and obey.”
From his perspective, “Leadership and management go hand in hand. They are not the same things; they are necessarily linked and complementary. The manager plans, organizes and coordinates. The leader's job is to inspire and motivate.” One of his favorite books is Winning on Purpose by John Edmund Kaiser.
He knows that pleasing Christ is the only motivation with lasting sustenance in the midst of a chaotic schedule. “I am inspired with the race we are in,” he says, “to make and do the best for His glory. There’s no higher privilege than to serve Him, and Him alone. I am called to make disciples of Jesus Christ for global transformation, which makes my leadership role in the Texas Annual Conference Vibrant Church Initiative exciting.”
Danny has enjoyed several VCI training sessions designed to improve his coaching skills, in anticipation of being paired with the leadership of Fairhaven UMC later this summer. As a directive coach, Danny will stay in contact with the pastor over the course of 18 months to provide resources and accountability aimed at personal and congregational growth.
He is a prime example of “Laity Unleashed” and empowered. Having lived a fruitful and intentional life, Danny can’t pick one favorite ministry moment, but he will tell you he was particularly blessed to be one of those called to start the Walk to Emmaus in the Philippines. “I remain grateful for the many things He has done in my life, and for the many other things that He will do in the days to come,” says Danny with a reassuring smile and pat on the arm of all who are listening.
“I share my life to the people as a broken vessel full of holes, sinner yet given a second chance, forgiven and saved. There is no other compelling reason for the folks in the pew to be stirred, inspired and encouraged to join me in leadership wherever we are called.”