Friday, August 28, 2009

Guest Friday's Answer:

We were delighted to meet Martha Sides at the THSC Leadership Conference last October. She is a veteran leader with the unique wisdom of overseeing one group amiably become two groups.

Martha has homeschooled since 1992 and has been the Co-Coordinator for REACH Co-op near Houston, TX. REACH is a co-op that ministered to over 100 families this year. They offer classes, fellowship, ministry opportunities, formals and graduation. When their co-op had grown to over 150 families, their group planted a new group. Now both groups are full and thriving. "What a blessing to be able to serve so many families!" says Martha. ~Kristen & Denise

As a homeschool group leader, how do you make sure that the group will continue and not depend only on you?

Our group started as a small group of eight ladies. Somehow, I didn't volunteer for any other job, and I ended up being the co-head coordinator for the group. Our group has always prayed at our meetings, but we have started to depend more on God and found that when we let the need be known to our group and God, it would get filled.

It didn't take long for us to see that we needed to delegate. But when you do, things either don't get done right or not at all! I also have found that it helps to have an assistant to almost anything. The more people who are involved, the stronger your group.

I would recommend having a leader and an assistant in training, yes, to take your place someday. Some of you may be counting the days til you can get out of your office and others thrive on it! I have thrived on it, and there was a time that I couldn't imagine stepping down. I have happily stepped down this year because my co-leader is great and has brought in new ideas...not mine but great ideas that will help our group to grow. If the same people run it forever, it will die...

In bringing in assistants, don't look for a perfect match to the job, you weren't when you stepped into the job. I would recommend a younger/newer homeschool mom to work along beside you. You can mentor her in the job and in homeschooling/parenting.

My biggest piece of advice is to remember your first job is to your family, and your group should take second place...I realize that there will be times when you will need to put your group first, but be sure that they are short periods of time and not very often.

Being a leader can be so much fun and open so many doors to friendships, just be open to stepping aside someday to let someone else be a NEW blessing to the group!

Martha Sides
Blessed wife of Steve and nine wonderful children/adults: Joseph 24, Enoch 20, Mary 20, John 19, James 18, Crystal 15, Robert 14, Sara 12 and Matthew 8

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