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Raising a Leader- Issue 291
March 15, 2013
Hi there! ....

This week we took a mid-term break and shared lots of experiences with our homeschool group. One of the families organised a week of activities in the morning and evening (with time to go home in the middle of the day for naps!). Though we didn’t do them all there was a short bushwalk to a waterhole for a swim, horse riding, tube riding behind a boat, canoeing, archery, waterslide, backyard cricket, and a campout. The campout was at our place, but it poured with rain, so it ended up being a sleepover! The kids went cane toad hunting and got very muddy, they saw a snake, built a fire, had marshmallows before breakfast and played lots of games together. The whole week was about adventure, being physical, learning new things and spending time with our friends. Overall it was a great week though I need the weekend to get over it! We pick up our studies again next week.

Live life with your kids!

If you are a new Australian reader I would appreciate you reading this special request.

Raising Leaders

Our society has an interesting perspective on leadership – we educate our kids telling them that being a leader is a good thing, that it will bring success. And then we knock the leaders we have – be it in the family, political, business or church arena. I think this is because we elevate the wrong aspects of being a leader.

Leadership is all about influencing people – not to manipulate but to direct people towards good. I want my children to influence the people around them towards God and towards applying God’s word to every area of life.

Peter and I often define leadership this way:

When you show character,
People begin to respect you…
After time, that respect grows into trust…
After time, that trust builds a relationship…
When you have relationship with people
you have influence into their lives…
Influence is leadership.

Leadership is an inner quality, a heart’s desire – it isn’t a road to success. Leadership is the ability to see the God given value in people, and to desire God’s best for them. Leadership is the ability to empower people to reach their potential. Leadership is about relationship with others.

To teach our kids to be a leader we need to teach them

  • To have a heart for others. It is about seeing the needs that others have, and finding a way to help them get there. Leadership is not about you being successful.
  • To know God’s word and how it applies to all of life and to live by God’s word themselves.
  • To respond to people and circumstances with godly character – character based responses need to be a way of life – a habit.
  • To be able connect with people; we connect with people with our emotions by having empathy, by being able to talk with people and have conversations and by being able to live life with people in practical ways.

Often people see leaders as the choleric temperament – the go getters, the bossy, the organised. But I believe every person has the ability to lead, or influence another, regardless of your temperament. Your temperament will shape how you lead but it will also give you unique challenges to overcome if you want to lead in a godly way, but every temperament can lead, every temperament can influence another. You may lead by being an upfront vibrant personality, you may lead by being a quiet behind the scenes person – either way you lead. Don’t let your temperament, or your child’s temperament be an excuse not to step up to the plate and influence the people around you.

In the Bible, it seems as if Timothy was using his youth as an excuse as Paul wrote: Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

I believe that Timothy was a leader before he was given responsibility for the church. Our kids don’t need to be given a position in order for them to show leadership – neither do they need to be particularly old. There is always someone older than you to look up to and always someone younger than you to be an example to.

Our kids can learn leadership in the home:

  • They can learn to help, encourage and do things for their siblings
  • They can learn to give their talents and abilities to help the family
  • They can learn to talk about different subjects at the dinner table
  • They can learn to respond to annoying siblings in a godly way (developing character)
  • They can learn to listen to the heart of their siblings, to pick up on unspoken cues and show empathy and kindness
  • They can learn God word and learn to apply it to life’s situations
  • They can learn to solve problems and find solutions
  • They can learn to work as a team
  • They can learn practical skills that will one day help other people.

As our kids grow leadership muscles in the home – they will then be able to influence other kids they come into contact with. They may even influence adults around them. Leadership isn’t an age segregated issue – if we live a life for Christ, then we should be influencing the people around us.

The best thing we can do to be a leader is to stop focusing on ourselves, and start focusing on Christ and the best thing we can do in helping our children in this area is to teach them to do the same. Unsurprisingly Jesus has given us all we need if we want to be a leader. The keys are in the commands that Jesus gave us:

  1. To love God with all our heart
  2. To love our neighbour as ourselves
If we walk in these things, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will indeed influence others around us.

I blog throughout the week at Live Life with Your Kids! This week I wrote:

My Bookshop

Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.

Heart Focus Parenting book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

Restoring the Heart, Mind and Soul of Christmas Do your Christmas celebrations line up with what you believe? Do your celebrations help your children learn more about Jesus?

This e-book is based on a workshop I held for a couple of years to help families see that Christmas can be a significant tradition in our family life. If we are intentional about how our family celebrates we have the opportunity to use this time to teach our children about Jesus, and his love for each one of us.

My Sitemap is a quick reference to all you will find on Lifestyle-Homeschool. I encourage you to have a browse around!

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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Live life with your Kids newsletter is about being a deliberate parent, about enjoying family life and using the opportunities that happen to teach and train your children in righteousness (right living with God). I hope that you will find regular encouragement as you live life with your kids!

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