When I was growing up, there were lots of books about Leadership. There were seminars people would go to; you’d hear talk about it on the news and in discussions of current events. In those days, when the Baby Boomer generation was growing into their prime, apparently the knowledge about leadership had largely been lost, so most people didn’t have it. But the desire for that knowledge was still there, hence the mini-industry of leadership training.
But today, leadership is about as popular as toenail fungus. Men don’t even desire to be leaders anymore, much less know how to go about it.
I’ll let you in on my secret: that’s why this article’s title says “Leaderliness”―because I knew that if the word leadership were in the title, then no one would read it. Leadership is most definitely out of style.
But did you know that one of the elements of old-school Christian and classical education was training children to be leaders? Boys were trained in the skills of leadership, and girls, since they got the same education, were taught the same skills along the way.
But there’s more… Did you know that you, homeschooling mother, are called to be a leader?
Mothers (and fathers!), whether you like it or not, God has called you to be a leader.
He may not be calling you to be a leader in your local congregation (ladies, He definitely isn’t calling you to that); He may not be calling you to be a leader in your local government; He may not be calling you to start a sports team or even to do something as little as organize a potluck.
But if God has given you children, then He has made you the leader of those children. So whether you feel like a leader or not, whether you like it or not, you are called to be a leader. And the sooner you accept your role as a leader and decide that you want to glorify God and strive to be an excellent leader, the better.
So here we are, back looking for those old paths again. Let’s see if there’s anything worthwhile to learn about the old approach to leadership.
But I’m Not a Leader
I know it seems like I blame every bad thing that has happened to our formerly Christian nations on the public schools, but if the shoe fits, wear it. “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world,” and the folks who designed modern education understood that well. They have been rocking the cradle for the last 150 years, and the world we’re living in is the world of their making. In other words, yes, yet again, we can lay blame for this dearth of leadership at the feet of the modern education system.
Modern education was designed to train young people not to be leaders, so that the elites could keep the power to themselves without being challenged by a well-educated citizenry. One of the earliest forces in the design of modern education was Hindu schooling, in which the lower castes, making up 95% of the population, are schooled from childhood to be submissive to the 5% in the upper castes (source: The Underground History of American Education, by John Taylor Gatto, p. 71–72). A dude named Andrew Bell saw this system in action and India and though it was awesome, so he brought it over to England and the rest of the West in order to train the skill of self-government out of the children of Christendom. This is one of the fundamental priorities of modern education, from its inception to this very day.
I tell you this history because I hope it will help you see that the modern education you received filled you with feelings of inadequacy and dread when it comes to leadership on purpose, and that this was not God’s natural design for you as a Christian.
When you understand God’s calling that you take on the role of Leadership, I exhort you not to be afraid, or to dread and loathe it. God always helps you to do whatever He commands you to do. Seek knowledge from His word about how to do this thing; search for understanding from your faithful pastor; pray and ask the Lord to give you wisdom.
My Children Aren’t Going to Be Leaders
Do you like being ruled by wicked men, as we are this day in most of the world? In America, parents murder their own precious children every day without the authorities blinking an eye, through chemical abortions and by hiring hitmen at the hospital or abortion mill. Children are being castrated and maimed in the name of “love” and “acceptance”. Honest, hard-working men and women are robbed by punishing taxes and inflation.
Our authorities blatantly lie to us about what they will do in office, so we will vote for them, and then they only pursue bribes once in power. Or they commit voter fraud to force rulers upon us that we have refused. Whether these are the specific matters that stand out in your mind or not, a recent Monmouth poll shows that only 18% of Americans currently think that our country is headed in the right direction, so it’s a safe bet that you’re not happy with our leadership.
We all know the quote by Edmund Burke: All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing. The reason why we all know it, is because it’s true!
We are living in a world in which all of the good men were trained in their schooling that they must do nothing, but humbly accept whatever abomination the wicked leaders civil government foist upon us.
Let us train our boys to be righteous, godly leaders, so that maybe in their time they will not live under tyranny and injustice; may we train our boys to be righteous leaders so that they might, in God’s providence, rise up and win the day with grace, persuasion, and the lovely, undeniable wisdom of God.
American Style Classical Education and Leaderliness
Training boys (and by extension, girls) to be leaders was part of American style classical education. Post-Reformation Christians taught their students to communicate effectively, to speak well, and to write well. They taught students to think about philosophies, to understand history, and to evaluate laws and ideas according to a Christian worldview.
Yes, we are called to be submissive to those in authority over us, but we are called to be in authority in several areas, and even to desire positions of leadership that God might call us to.
First and foremost, we are commanded to govern ourselves throughout the Bible (self-control, Gal. 5:23). Women are to lead their children (Eph. 6:1, Pr. 1:8-9). Men, their wives and children (Eph. 5:24, Eph. 6:4).
In the area of church government, the Bible encourages men to desire to be pastors, in authority over their local congregations (1 Tim. 3:1).
Finally, in the area of civil government, God commands us to choose righteous rulers for ourselves, namely, men who fear God (Ex. 18:21). Clearly, Christian men need to become rulers in the civil government, otherwise we couldn’t possibly obey God’s command to choose men who fear God to be our rulers!
This is why Christian education always trained boys to be leaders―because God’s plan for every boy is that, when he grows up to be a man, he will be a leader. Christian education seeks to prepare a child for his life’s work.
In old-school grammar school, children acquired lots of knowledge, learned how to gain more knowledge, and were taught the most basic skills of speaking and writing well.
This is why those of us who are copying this style of education today have our grammar school children do assignments like Reading Aloud, Oral Interpretation, English Grammar, summarizing, and memorization.
Leaders Must Be Readers
And lots and lots of reading.
Here’s your final takeaway: Leaders must be readers.
This is an old saying, and it’s completely true. But why?
Because when you read great books, you learn great ideas. Plus, when you read great books, you are stimulated to think, so you end up thinking up some good ideas yourself!
Remember all of the admonitions in the Bible to ask for wisdom, to seek wisdom as if it were a buried treasure, to find understanding. Whether it’s Jesus’ teaching, the Proverbs, or the epistles, the instruction is the same―we Christians are commanded to put a lot of effort into searching for truth.
As for how that affects leadership, that connection is natural. God designed us to follow leaders, and He instituted governing structures for us―civil government, the local church, and in the home. But here’s the thing: The most effective leadership is not exerted by brute strength, but by insight and wisdom.
People will follow leaders who are wise and good, who have great solutions to problems, who help our lives to be better. Brutes might beat people into submission, but wise and good leaders end up with people naturally following them willingly.
So in that sense, working on becoming a good leader isn’t nearly as hard as it seems. Just seek wisdom; as one becomes wiser, one naturally becomes a better leader.
So we repeat the adage practically borne out in Christian classical education, Leaders must be readers.
First, we must read the Bible. Then, we should read other quality books (not page-turner fiction).
Make your children read lots of books, and make sure that your children are understanding what they’re reading. In the Later Knowledge Guides, our reading assignments don’t come with study guides of review questions and tests, but instead we use the old-fashioned approach of teaching both reading comprehension and writing all at once by having our students write summaries of what they’ve read. That old-fashioned, simple method is a great approach that can be implemented in any homeschool.
And mothers, you need to work on being a reader. Just to make sure, I’ll say it once more: first, the Bible; then other quality books.
Maybe set aside a block of time in your schedule for reading for 30 minutes every day. Or set aside 15 minutes. Or keep a book in the bathroom, and read instead of checking your phone.
You’re thinking, If I only read the Bible for 5 minutes a day, and another book for 10 minutes a day, that’s so little, that won’t even do any good. And you are wrong. Test me on this. You will be amazed at how much you can read, and how much you will learn, with only a few minutes a day set aside for reading.
If you’re looking for ideas about books to read, join the Grammar of Grace Families page on Gab (or Facebook, if you insist); there are a lot of great book suggestions there.
And tell us about becoming a leader in your own home, or teaching your children to be leaders, or how impactful reading has been in your life and home in the comments below!
Thanks for dropping by; please keep us in prayer!