by Rebecca Kocsis
Gone are the days when those in homeschool leadership should feel like they have to appear perfect in order to give homeschooling credibility. Homeschooling is now legal in all 50 states. We have a track record supported by more than 35 years of empirical research that proves homeschooling works. Parents can do a good job teaching their children at home.
Does that mean the pressure for leaders to appear perfect is off? Not hardly. Leaders still have family members that are skeptical. That might be because they know us well, warts and all. Leaders are also under scrutiny by those we lead. Can we walk the talk? They are watching our kids, too, because the proof is supposed to be in the pudding, right?
Still, the appearance of perfection can be a hindrance to you as you lead. Even though we may be scrutinized, leaders still need to be real. Setting a perfect example sets unreasonably high standards for others to follow. The appearance of perfection is really just that—an appearance. No one is perfect. It’s an illusion. And it may even create a barrier between you and those you lead.
It’s long been established that authenticity in leadership is key. I’m not saying you should expose your children’s sins or hang your family’s dirty laundry out for all to see. What I am saying is that the families you lead, and even your leadership team, need to know that you have walked where they are walking. They will be comforted to know that you have struggled with the same things they are struggling with. Then you can share with them how the Lord enabled you to overcome or is giving you grace to walk through it.
Just when your day is falling apart, don’t be surprised to hear one of your own say, “I’m so glad you don’t have it all together. I need to know that you are real.” Real is obtainable. And they need to see God at work in your life. That’s going to include trials as well as triumphs. Homeschooling is real life. Christian homeschool leadership is real life putting the Lord Jesus at the center and allowing Him to be glorified in you—warts and all.
‘So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.’ John 13:12-17 (NKJV)
Christ set an example of servanthood for us to follow. Yes, He was perfect, but He doesn’t ask us to be perfect. He asks us to be servants. And He promises we will be blessed if we follow His example.