Last time, I said that the homeschool environment is an ideal place to incubate world-impacting leaders. I gave several reasons why this is so. But you may be thinking, “Not everyone can be a leader. Some have to be followers. Besides, I don’t think some of my children are ever likely to be leaders!”
First of all, we must all learn to be followers, if we are going to lead effectively. A leader who has never learned to follow will not be able to show the way for others. We all must follow Jesus, for a start, and also be able to submit ourselves to whatever human authorities God has placed in our lives.
Secondly, there are two types of leaders, and we can all fall into one category or the other, or a blend between the two. There are the born leader types — those with Type A personalities, who just have to lead the charge or die trying, and then there are the learned leader types — the ones who have to be awakened into leading. They operate differently, but they both have their place. I found the following two articles so helpful in understanding leader types, that I’d like to share them with you. You will no doubt see yourself and your children described in them:
Keep in mind that even “world-impacting” leadership can come in many sizes and varieties. The arenas and levels in which you and your children can lead are endless. Those who will lead in government positions or as CEOs of major corporations are very few. But we should all be showing the way for somebody, and small opportunities should never be despised. For instance, as a homeschool parent, you are making a better world by bringing up your children to know the Lord and by teaching them to be responsible citizens. The multiplication of many homeschool parents raising many children well means we can together be a light to our world. This is huge!
Employers greatly prize employees who can be counted on. They are very hard to find these days, even on such low levels as people showing up for work when scheduled and being respectful toward authority figures. If your children grow up to be consistent, faithful workers, they will be a good example to others, and they will be perceived as leaders by their employers.
Will some of your children become prominent, well-known people? Maybe. And if so, you will have influenced society more than you could ever have envisioned, simply by being the parent who prayed and discipled your son or daughter into who they eventually would become.
We never know how much the small parts we play in life may eventually affect thousands or even millions of other people. The seemingly inconsequential things we do have a domino effect. Hudson Taylor’s mom simply prayed diligently for her son’s conversion. Her prayers were heard, and he became a pioneer missionary to China in the nineteenth century. His ministry is today credited by historians as the launch pad to the hundreds of millions of salvations which have since taken place in China. Hudson Taylor became a leader — but his mom was a leader too — by how she influenced his life.
Jesus gave every one of us the commission to “go and teach [disciple] all nations, … teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19, 20). If we do that, and if we teach our children to do likewise, we will impact our world, whether it is by going to a foreign land, as Hudson Taylor did, or whether it is in seeing our neighbors as our mission field. We will have acted as leaders in spiritual matters, which is by far the most important realm of influence we could ever have.
Next time we’ll begin talking about Jesus’ model of leadership and how to get our children there.