Friday, June 26, 2009

Guest Friday's Answer: What Should the Men Do?

We're excited to bring you leadership wisdom from wonderful veteran leaders around the country in our "Guest Friday's Answer."

Paul Mills co-founded Hill Country Christian Homeschoolers and has served as its President for over ten years. He also serves on the board of the Texas Home School Coalition and on the Advisory Council for Homeschool Group Leader.

Paul is a delight to us here at Homeschool Group Leader and has helped many leaders and us with his insight, clarity, vision, prayers and wisdom. Denise & Kristen

What is the men's role on the leadership team?
Just as the strongest home schools have both the husband and wife actively involved, I believe that the strongest home school support groups have both men and women involved in leadership. I know from experience that the best way to attract (and keep) men in leadership is to clearly define their roles on the leadership team. Here are just a few of the responsibilities the men on our leadership team share in:

  • Vision Setter ~ Clearly this can and should be done by both men and women, but men do bring a unique prospective to the process. Even if your husband has no interest in running the day to day operations of a support group get them involved in setting the vision for it. This can also be a great lead-in to more involvement in the future.

  • Administrator ~ Our group has always had a male treasurer. This allowed a man to serve in an area he was comfortable with. I personally have always handled the business end of our support group including insurance and incorporation issues.

  • Communicator ~ On those rare occasions when our leadership needed to discuss a serious issue with a member family I took on the responsibility for communicating the message. My wife appreciated the fact that she could attend the next field trip with or pass that family in the grocery store without feeling quite so awkward.

  • Greeter ~ One of the most important roles for the men on our leadership team is to meet and greet the dads that come to our group activities. Many men are intimidated by homeschool group events thinking they are primarily for women and children. Our group has consistently kept a high number of dads at events by encouraging those that do come out that they are not alone.

  • Encourager ~ Our group has typically asked couples to serve on our board together. Not only do we get two-for-one this way but it also allows us a much better opportunity to encourage our wives when the stress of leadership gets too much, or to help her reprioritize if necessary.

Even if your group does not have men in formal positions of leadership encourage their active involvement as advisors. The benefits are worth it.

Paul Mills


Anonymous said...

I think a man's perspective could help out a homeschool group immensely. I'd like to point out however, that with regard to communicating a serious issue, the wife should be present when he is speaking with a family, as a confrontation could be misinterpreted by the husband of the 2nd family. At the very least, since most co-ops are attended primarily by moms and children, the dad should be present when the male leader is addressing the issue. JMHO.

Anonymous said...

You make some excellent points. Space did not allow me to go too deeply into that topic but I agree with you that speaking to both parents is generally best. Of course we all pray that this is not necessary very often. Paul.