OVERVIEW OF CATEGORIES OF FAMILY MEMBERSHIP FOR NON-LIVE-INS
By the International CGO board
General membership--the details
Active membership--the details
Missionary membership--the details
Using our Family training courses
Questions and answers on General and Active membership
Questions and answers on Missionary membership
Activated Readers fed by the Home
More questions and answers
General member declaration
Monthly report for Missionary members reporting to a Home
SO far, while there have been various categories of membership for members who are not living in a Family Home listed in the Charter--such as live-outs, catacombers, or "other members" (encompassing mail ministry members, active supporters, outside witnessers, etc.)--there hasn't been a clear plan spelled out as to how someone becomes such a member, and what is the progression from meeting someone on the street to them becoming a full-fledged Family member. Nor have they generally been considered true "members" of the Family, except perhaps in the case of some live–outs.
More recently the term "Active member" has often been used instead of "live-out" (a term which some live-outs objected to), but not being clearly defined, this term has been broadened to include sheep at many different levels. Different Homes apply the term differently, and therefore it's not possible to say that "Active members" represent a certain level of service for the Lord‚ since in some cases a Home may report as an "Active member" a sheep who just started coming over for classes (but who is "potential"), whereas "Active members" reported by other Homes are closer to being disciples who for some reason can't or aren't ready to join full-time. While we have had a set standard and requirements for the live-in levels of membership, the same hasn't been the case for the outside levels of membership.
So the Lord confirmed that we needed to define the requirements so that an "Active member" (or whatever level of membership) is the same whether in Chile or China, Uganda or the USA. Individuals themselves may be at different levels spiritually, just as live–in members may be at different levels spiritually, yet they would adhere to the same basic standard and have to fulfill the same set of requirements to reach that level.
The Lord also showed Mama and Peter that it would help the Family to make greater progress in winning disciples and members if there was a clear plan for how to bring our sheep along, through various stages of spiritual growth and training, all the way to membership and/or discipleship. The beginning stages have already been in place for some time with the Activated magazine subscription program and the 12 Foundation Stones. The following outline completes the Lord's plan for teaching and training His sheep.
One important point to bear in mind as you read over the explanation of these levels of membership is that the goal is not to bring every sheep you meet to the highest level of membership, or to full-time discipleship. As the Lord indicated in "The Family's Future and Expansion Program," there are many who will work with us to reach the world while not living in our Homes‚ and many of them will be at different levels. Some will be very close and dedicated in their service, giving their all to Jesus even while still living in the System. Many more will just be friends and supporters, or occasional witnessers. The higher the level of commitment, the fewer they will be--and that's okay! All are needed and have their place.
Everyone needs to have the opportunity to grow as much as they want to and go as far as they can for the Lord, but if they decide to remain at a certain level, we should accept that and be thankful for their help and support and continue to work with them in that capacity. Think of these levels as concentric circles, with the higher-commitment circles being much smaller than the lower-commitment ones.
To begin with, here is an overview of the different categories of Family membership that are available to new members. The first stage of growth listed below (Activated Reader) is not officially considered membership, but a step leading toward it.
Stage 1: Activated Reader
Stage 2: General member
Stage 3: Active member
Stage 4: Missionary member
Stage 5: Family disciple
STAGE 1: ACTIVATED READER
When you first meet someone and start witnessing to them, you generally refer to them as a "sheep." That's not a category of Family membership or even an official label for which stats are collected on the TRF, but rather a catchall term used to describe those you are witnessing to. That person might be a friend, a provisioning contact, a relative you're feeding through the mail, etc. That person might be someone you met once, twice, or ten times. They are being fed at some level with whatever GP lit the Home wants to feed them. Most Homes will have a large number of "sheep" on the line, most of whom should move fairly soon into the first official stage of feeding, which is the Activated magazine (if available in their language). Those who do so would be called Activated Readers.
This is not a category of Family membership. However, it is a label or designation for which stats will be collected on the TRF. Activated Readers refers to those who either have subscribed to the Activated magazine and therefore receive the Activated magazine each month from the Activated desk, or who are being personally given the Activated mag on an ongoing monthly basis by a Home (see explanation on page 24 of this GN). They might also be receiving other GP lit, attending classes‚ etc. Activated Readers are not considered members of the Family, and might not know that much about the Family or even be saved yet.
Activated subscriptions sold by the Homes will continue to be credited to each Home's stats by the Activated desks, as they have been so far (rather than by the Homes on their TRF). Those whom the Home is feeding personally with the mag each month will be reported on the Home's TRF as Activated Readers. Most sheep, friends, contacts, etc., should move into this category if the Activated magazine is available in their language, or a language they can understand. So if you haven't already "activated" your sheep, do so today!
STAGE 2: GENERAL MEMBER
This is a brand-new category of Family membership, what could be termed "entry-level" membership. Those who join the Family at this level could be compared to the "congregation" of a Home's "church." It is a low-commitment level of membership, which is as simple and procedure-free as possible, with a minimal code of conduct and very few requirements.
The purpose of this category is to make it as easy as possible for a wide range of sheep, friends‚ contacts, and anyone else who wants to feel a part of the Family and our work and be associated with us, to be considered a member of our movement.
Note that the previous paragraph says "wants to feel a part of the Family." An important aspect of being a General Family member is that it's something the person must knowingly choose to do‚ having understood what the Family is. You can't count them as a General Family member on your TRF just because they're "sheepy," "potential," or even if they have fulfilled the other requirements for membership. They have to decide they want to be counted as a member of the Family in the broad sense, similar to being part of a congregation of a church.
The benefits, requirements, and details regarding becoming a General member will be outlined in full a little later in this GN.
STAGE 3: ACTIVE MEMBER
This is also a new category of Family membership, although the term "Active member" has been loosely used before. It's very similar to General membership described above, and has the same minimal code of conduct and requirements as does General membership.
There is one big difference, however, and that is that Active members are those who have completed the 12 Foundation Stones course, and are therefore eligible to receive the new The Family Magazine. More on The Family Magazine later on.
STAGE 4: MISSIONARY MEMBER
The Missionary membership category has been defined in "The Next Step!–-Missionary Membership" (ML #3483, GN 1068) as well as the Missionary Member Statutes. Missionary membership will, however, not only include those who were formerly either Family disciples or Fellow members. It will also be a membership level available to Active members who are unable or unwilling to drop out and live full time in a FD or MM Family Home, but who do want to serve the Lord at this level while living outside the Home.
As explained in the GNs, this is a high-commitment level of Family membership. The new incoming Missionary members will be similar to those live-outs and catacombers of today who have a lot of contact with the Home and who want to serve the Lord, but either aren't ready to join as full-time disciples, are unable to do so due to circumstances, or they do not feel called to this level of membership, and yet want to participate in active Family service. There are some logistical and reporting differences between Missionary member Homes (as outlined in the "Next Step" GN) who report and tithe directly to WS, and the new Missionary members who are attached to an existing FD or MM Family Home and report and tithe to that Home. But the spiritual standard and membership requirements will otherwise be the same. This will be outlined in full further on in this GN, as well as in the Missionary membership Status supplement for Missionary members who report to a Home, included in this mailing.
STAGE 5: FAMILY DISCIPLE (NEW LIVE-IN DISCIPLE)
Family disciples are, as we know, full-time disciples who abide by the Charter and live in a Family discipleship Home. This is the highest commitment level within our membership structure. We expect that most of our non-live-in members will not join Family discipleship Homes, but rather be General members, Active members, or Missionary members (and many more will be Activated Readers). However, some will want to become Family disciples‚ and a new member who has reached the Missionary membership level may join a Family discipleship Home with relative ease. By having gone through the various levels of Family membership, he or she should be able to fairly easily integrate into full-time discipleship, having had a solid foundation of the Word‚ witnessing, and serving the Lord while living outside the Home.
Someone may also choose to join as a Family disciple straight from either the General membership level or even sooner than that ("sudden dropouts," which, although often not the wisest course of action, can be the Lord's plan in some cases). There are procedures in place for all of these options. (More on this in the Q&A section toward the end of this GN.)
As explained in the "Forward, Always Forward" GN‚ it is only possible to be a Family disciple by living full-time in a Family discipleship Home. Therefore, there will be no such thing as a "live-out Family disciple." Those who are not living in a Family discipleship Home have the option of being Missionary members.
(Note: Fellow membership was not included in the preceding list of the different stages of membership [nor live-in Missionary members], as this GN is focusing on the new levels of membership.)
GENERAL MEMBERSHIP--THE DETAILS
To become a General member of the Family:
1. As mentioned earlier, a General Family member must understand what the Family is and what he or she is being considered a "member" of. It wouldn't be fair to them otherwise. This ties in with the importance of introducing your sheep, friends, and contacts to the Family as explained in the CvsC series.
So to ensure that members have a basic understanding of what the Family is and what we believe, a prospective General Family member must have read at least the following Family publications:
* "The Family's Statement of Faith" (the new version‚ revised January 2004, which is a summary of the Family's essential beliefs).
* "Introducing the Family" (a new publication, included with this mailing, which explains very briefly what the Family is, our origins and founder, our methods of outreach, a bit about our controversial past and persecution, etc.)
2. General Family members:
* Have received Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
* Are subscribed to Activated if available in their language (or are fed monthly with Activated by the Home--see section on "Activated Readers fed by the Home" on page 24 of this GN).
* Are regularly being fed the Word by members of a Family Home either in person or via e-mail or mail.
* Regularly fellowship with a Family Home or are visited by Family members (or if unable to fellowship in person, they keep in touch by phone/e-mail/mail).
* Give to the Home in some way, either of their finances, material goods, time, or a combination of the three.
* Are encouraged to be witnesses however they can, according to their faith and ability. (They are not required to report witnessing stats, etc., although they can, of course, if they desire.)
* Generally conduct themselves as good Christians according to the godly principles of the Bible* and are not a reproach to the Family. (*This is primarily referring to the "great commandments" to love God and their fellow man.)
3. After reading the above-mentioned publications, and fulfilling or agreeing to fulfill the above-mentioned requirements, any person who affirms that they want to be considered a General member of the Family may be considered as such, providing the Home they are attached to votes by a 2/3 majority to accept them as such.
The reason it's necessary for a Home to vote on accepting a new General member is that the Home will be held accountable to feed and minister to their General members, and therefore should have some say in who they accept as members. (If a person is not accepted in one Home as a General member, that person may apply to join another Home as part of their flock if they wish.)
At the end of this GN you'll find a short "declaration of intent" for a potential General member. This is to be read with those considering becoming General members, and then left with them (they don't have to sign it‚ though), so as to help them to clearly understand what they are going into in agreeing to be considered a member of the Family. Those who skip the General membership stage and go straight to Active membership (perhaps they went through the 12 Foundation Stones without being a General member, which is permissible), would also need this "declaration of intent" read to them for the same reason.
Once voted in, the Home may then include them on their TRF as a General member in the "Your Fold" section of the TeleTRF (there will be a new space provided for this in the upcoming update of the TeleTRF), for as long as they remain a member in contact with the Home. A General Family member can choose to discontinue being a member at any time, at which time the Home should stop counting them on their Home's TRF. A Home may also revoke a General Family member's membership for failing to meet the requirements of membership or if they lose contact with them.
A Home must vote by a 2/3 majority to discontinue someone's General membership.
Family pubs that a General member is eligible for:
* They will be receiving the Activated magazine, as mentioned in the requirements above.
* They can read any lit classified GP, DFO or GM (see note of explanation on page 29 of this GN about lit classifications), and can also have portions of other lit read to them at the Home teamwork's discretion. (This option is already allowed under the Charter, and the Charter-amendment explanation given in FSM 344, for anyone who the Home teamwork feels is eligible.)
ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP--THE DETAILS
Active membership is similar to General membership. The same requirements listed earlier apply.
In order to become an Active member, General members must complete the 12 Foundation Stones course. Because they've completed the 12 Foundation Stones course, Active members are therefore eligible to receive the new The Family Magazine, and subscribing to this mag is a part of their membership.
General and Active membership and the 12 Foundation Stones course
In order to become a General member, it is not necessary to take the 12 Foundation Stones course. In most cases, however‚ General members should be encouraged to take this course, even if it takes them quite a while to get through it due to their busy schedules. Those who do can then become Active members and receive our new publication‚ The Family Magazine.
We initially thought of combining General and Active membership into a single category, and to require all those in it to first complete the 12 Foundation Stones course before they could be considered "members." However, there are some close friends, contacts, and kings, who support us, know what we believe, and feel a part of us or want to be considered a part of us as members in the broad sense, but who aren't able or willing for one reason or another, or aren't ready, to go through the whole 12 Foundation Stones course. So the Lord said we should leave the option of Family membership open for such individuals. They can be a General member if they so desire, without having to take the12 Foundation Stones course, or can be working through it slowly. However‚ they would not be eligible to receive The Family Magazine. The new mag is only available to those General members who complete the 12 Foundation Stones course and thus become Active members. That way all those receiving The Family Magazine will have the same basic spiritual foundation and input from the Word through the 12 Foundation Stones.
We strongly encourage you to take as many of your General members as possible through the 12 Foundation Stones course and to Active membership so that they can receive The Family Magazine and get more feeding and a stronger connection with the Family as a whole.
For your current would-be Active members
If your current sheep have already had classes covering the same basic topics as the 12 Foundation Stones, they may skip taking the 12 Foundation Stones course (which would mean retaking the same classes again), and can become an Active member provided they first pass the "12 Foundation Stones equivalency exam." This exam‚ which will soon be available on the MO site, will show whether or not they have learned and understood the essential subjects taught in the 12 Foundation Stones course. If they don't pass, then they should be taught the 12 Foundation Stones classes for those topics which they have not yet learned.
[End of box]
The Family Magazine
This magazine has not yet been created, but an announcement will be coming out soon as to when it will be launched. The goal is that this magazine will contain news about the Family around the world, feeding spiritual reading, and articles of interest. Some of its content will be that of the current Grapevine, some will be GN material suitable for Active Family members (such as the "Keys to Victory" style Letters)‚ and so forth. The material in this Family member mag will be new, unpublished material. Rather than taking from existing Family publications and rehashing it, we'll take new material which would otherwise be slotted for other publications such as the GN, GV‚ END, Kidland, XN, etc., so that the material is new for all--including you!
The Family Magazine will be a variety mag, and it will go to all Family members--Family disciples, Missionary members, Fellow members, and Active members. The only membership level that will not get the magazine are General members.
The content of this mag will not be too advanced, but we will assume that those receiving The Family Magazine have been taught the 12 Foundation Stones classes and therefore have an understanding of the principles presented therein. That's the basic starting point. There will probably be an introductory issue (or two), which new Active members would receive first, but then after that they would just receive the same magazine of the month like all other Family members and Homes.
The Family Magazine will be a step up from the Activated magazine as far as the level of feeding, and will be much more oriented around Family happenings. It will also be longer. To save on time and money, and because it's geared toward those who want to be considered Family members, it may not be in color or have as fancy a presentation as the Activated magazine.
Initially The Family Magazine will be available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, but it's our hope that in the future it will become available in some other languages, time and finances permitting--particularly for those language areas where we end up having a large Active membership population as a result of the Homes' follow-up.
Those who are receiving The Family Magazine would pay a subscription fee to cover printing and postage, similar to the Activated mag. The details and cost of subscribing to this magazine are yet to be determined, but will be announced when the magazine itself is launched.
Family pubs that an Active member is eligible for:
* All pubs that a General member is eligible for
* Any lit classified GP, DFO, GM, or AM (see note of explanation on page 29 of this GN about lit classifications), and can also have portions of other lit read to them at the Home teamwork's discretion. (This option is already allowed under the Charter for anyone who the Home teamwork feels is eligible.)
MISSIONARY MEMBERSHIP--THE DETAILS
Standard, conduct, and requirements
The spiritual standard and code of conduct required for Missionary members is clearly outlined in the "Responsibilities of Missionary Members" in the Missionary Member Statutes. Missionary members, whether formerly in another level of Family membership or newly joining from Active membership, will all adhere to the same spiritual standard and commitments.
There are a few small differences on the practical front, as far as the procedures and requirements, between a Missionary member Home‚ which reports directly to WS, and whose members, generally speaking, used to be FD or FM, and Missionary member individuals or families who were formerly Active members and who have never lived in a Family Home before.
We will focus here specifically on the requirements and procedures for a Missionary member moving in from the Active membership circle. These Missionary members are not a Home in themselves, but rather are attached to an existing FD or MM Home. There will be a supplement to the Missionary Member Statutes for Missionary members who report to a Home. Also, the "Responsibilities of the Missionary Member Home" in the Missionary Member Statutes will not apply to them since they are not reporting as their own Home, but rather are reporting and tithing to an FD or MM Home.
Missionary members tithing and reporting to a Home
While all Missionary members are required to tithe, a Missionary member Home tithes and reports to WS, while Missionary members who were formerly Active members and who reside outside of a Family Home will report and tithe to a Family Home–-which could be either an MM or FD Home. This is the primary difference between the two.
The Lord has made it quite clear in previous instruction and counsel that He has given to the Family that His plan and vision for the Family's future is for Homes to be supported by those whom they are ministering to and feeding--those who want to do something for the Lord, who want to be a part of their work, but who are not able, ready, or willing to be full-time disciples. Missionary members tithing to a Home will form an important part of the Lord's financial plan of support for Family Homes and His "retirement plan" for our FGAs. (The Lord and Mama and Peter expound on this in the Letters "The Family's Future and Expansion Program" [ML #3308, GN 908] and "Be Ye Separate" [ML #3363, GN 959], and you may want to reread those to help you fully understand the vision being presented in this GN.)
While a large part of that promised support may come from a Home's General and Active members, Activated Readers, and tool distribution and other sources, the Lord has revealed that Missionary members working together with a Home should give their tithe to that Home, as part of that Home's base of support. It takes a lot of time and effort to invest in training a new Missionary member--giving them classes, shepherding, prayer, and everything that they need to grow and mature in spirit--and the Lord wants to reward those who invest this time and effort, by receiving the tithe from these Missionary members who they give to spiritually. This is part of what will enable them to invest in the training of new members, because as they do, these members will help support their Home, and they will not need to spend as much time out fundraising as they otherwise would, freeing them to devote time to teaching those who can teach others.
Here is an excerpt of what the Lord said recently, confirming this plan:
(Jesus:) It is indeed My plan for this group of people to tithe to the Home instead of to WS, as a way of My supply for the Homes. They that preach the Gospel shall live of the Gospel, and you reap what you sow. If Homes don't get part of their support from their sheep, then they would have to invest their time into other ways of supporting themselves financially, instead of being full–time missionaries who live by faith. If the Homes are doing their job right‚ then they will be well supported. (End of message.)
Missionary members who report and tithe to a Home are considered part of the Home they report and tithe to and are reported on that Home's personnel roster. Rather than reporting to WS, they will be reported as part of their "mother" Home. They must fellowship at least monthly with the Home they report and tithe to, and should receive regular shepherding from that Home. All the Missionary member's witnessing and distribution activities are under the auspices of the Home they tithe to, and their witnessing statistics (including any General or Active members they win or follow up on) are reported as part of that Home's statistics on the Home's TRF. There is a brief report form included later in this GN, for MMs reporting to a Home to use. Orders of distribution tools, questions about tool distribution in other cities where there is a Home, etc., are all handled by the Home on their MM's behalf just as the Home would for any live-in members of their Home. (See Q&A at the end of this GN about how to report your new membership stats on your TRF.)
Requirements for becoming a Missionary member who reports to a Home:
A prospective Missionary member must:
1. Have completed the 12 Foundations Stones course (with a few exceptions--see the text box that follows) and be an Active member (thus receiving The Family Magazine). (There is no minimum amount of time for which he or she must be an Active member before moving on to Missionary membership.)
2. Have completed the 12 Bridges course (once it is finalized--see text box).
3. Have read and agree to abide by and fulfill the requirements of the Missionary Member Statutes.
4. They must be voted in as a Missionary member by a 2/3 majority of the Home they report to.
5. Report and tithe monthly to the Home on whose TRF they appear.
Once voted in, the Home begins reporting the individual as a Missionary member on the personnel roster on their TRF.
A Home may also vote by a 2/3 majority to terminate the membership of a Missionary member tithing to their Home, if the member is not living up to the requirements of membership. In that case, the Missionary member could become an Active member again, if they wish, unless deemed ineligible for Active membership by the Home.
Until the 12 Bridges are ready…
The 12 Bridges are currently a work in progress. They are being posted on the MO site at the rate of one Bridge (2 or 3 classes) per month‚ starting in April of 2004 and finishing in March of 2005. You may begin using the first classes with your Active members and then continue teaching the new ones as they come out. If you get ahead of the Bridges classes, you can use the 12 Bridges Interim Reading List, which covers the same topics, albeit in a less complete fashion. Until the whole 12 Bridges course is finalized and posted on the MO site, if someone has read all the required Letters from the 12 Bridges Interim Reading List, this would count toward the requirement of having completed the 12 Bridges course, and they could therefore become a Missionary member. (Just so it's clear, it's required that someone go through the 12 Foundation Stones course or that he or she has passed the 12 Foundation Stones equivalency exam before taking the 12 Bridges.)
[End of box]
Mailings for Missionary members
If all of this so far is sounding a bit like a beefed-up version of today's live-outs or catacombers, this next point will set the new Missionary member category apart from the past. It represents something new and exciting that the Family has never done before with its live-out members. Drum roll, please….
Missionary members who are reporting and tithing to a Home will receive their own copies of all WS mailings which MM Homes are eligible for, if available in their language. Since MM Homes presently receive the same mailings as FD Homes‚ that means that these Missionary members who are attached to your FD or MM Home will be getting the same mailings as you, at the same time as you, sent to them directly from your NPC.
Mama and Peter think it's very important that all Missionary members receive the Word directly from WS to ensure they are getting proper full feeding of the Word. They considered setting things up so that mailings for MMs who report to Homes go through the Homes themselves, but the Lord showed them that there should be no hindrances to our MMs receiving the Word they are entitled to--such as perhaps someone in the Home forgetting to pass on their mailing, the Home moving or closing, or perhaps even the Home shepherds not having the faith to give their MMs the mailing for fear it might stumble them. Another factor is that, while it's important that they have shepherding from the Home they are working with, it's even more essential that they get attached to the Word itself, to the source, and don't depend only on any person or personality for their feeding and spiritual support.
Here is a word from the Lord about the Missionary members receiving mailings directly from WS:
(Jesus:) The core of the spiritual foundation for every Family disciple, member, and missionary, is the Word. The Word is the "ballast" that will keep you and strengthen you through every test, trial, and challenge. The Word is the essence of the spiritual strength that everyone who wants to serve Me in the Family needs.
It is essential to have an open lifeline of communication and feeding directly from Mama and Peter and WS for these incoming Missionary members. They must have the Word, and they must have it in good, strong, full measure if they are to be the missionaries, witnesses, and examples that those at this level of Family membership must be.
It will take faith for the Homes who are feeding these folks to vote them in and sign them up as Missionary members, knowing that they will receive pretty much everything that they in the Home are receiving--and some of it is pretty strong meat! But the meat is what will make these missionaries strong! The meat is what will solidify their commitment, sustain their spirituality, and fortify their convictions. Some Homes have been lacking in faith at times in what they feed their sheep--fearing the consequences, fearing that people might be stumbled or blown away if they share the full truth with them, when the full truth is exactly what they need.
You do have to take people step by step; you have to feed them the Word in stages, starting with milk, then mixing and alternating the milk and meat, until they can take the solid meat. That is why there are different stages of Family membership, to help you to accomplish this step-by-step process. First you feed them with GP lit, then with the Activated magazine, then as they become a General member and go through the 12 Foundation Stones‚ they become an Active member and get The Family Magazine. Then, by the time they have gone through the 12 Bridges and are ready to become a Missionary member, to live up to the high-commitment spiritual and physical requirements that come with this lifestyle, they should be ready to take the meat of the Word, and to love it and cherish it and apply it.
They may have questions, and they may at times have battles because of something that is difficult for them to understand, or that hits them hard or shakes them up, and that's where shepherding comes in. They need the Word and they need it direct, but they also need the personal touch, the connection and fellowship with the Home, and the shepherding by someone close to them. They need the direct shepherding from Me and WS through the Word, but it needs to be combined with the direct shepherding by those they can see and hear in the flesh--who can hear them out, answer their questions, pray together with them‚ hear from Me with them or for them, and lovingly help them through any difficulties or adjustments when it comes to receiving the New Wine‚ and through the variety of battles and tests they will undoubtedly face as they begin a life of service to Me. (End of message.)
Missionary members reporting to a Home would receive one copy of the WS mailings per household, regardless of how many members of the household are Missionary members. In cases where it would not be good security for a Missionary member to receive their mailing at their own house (i.e., they have an unfavorable spouse or parents who open their mail), they may receive their mailing at the Home's address, though it would come from the NPC in a separate envelope.
In order to cover the cost of the Missionary member's mailing‚ because the member will be tithing to the Home and not to WS, a Home will be required to send WS a $20 monthly mailing fee with their TRF, for each MM member, unless several MMs live in the same household (i.e., husband and wife) and only get one mailing--in which case only $20 would be sent for the entire household. This mailing fee may need to be adjusted in the future, but for now it will be $20.
We realize that it will be a sacrifice for the Home to send in $20 for that MM to receive their mailings. Believe it or not, that just covers the printing, mailing, and NPC-support expenses for a month's worth of mailings, plus some extra to sponsor mailings for MMs in poor countries (see below). It doesn't even include support for those creating the pubs or any other WS, CO, VS or board services (which your MMs will also benefit from to some degree by virtue of being members of your Home, though they themselves are not directly eligible for board services). But it's worth the sacrifice‚ as your MMs will be better fed spiritually and therefore grow stronger and be a bigger blessing to your Home both in terms of manpower and financially. It's an investment, but one that will pay off in dividends for you!
This $20 would come out of the tithe which the Missionary member turns in to the Home. However, it is understood that in poorer countries with heavily devalued currencies, the MM's tithe may be not much more than $20, or in some cases may even be less. So in order to leave as much of the MM member's tithe with the Home as possible, in cases where a member's tithe is generally below $50, the Home may send in 25% of the tithe received as the mailing payment‚ the minimum being $5. In these cases, WS will cover the extra mailing costs--so please pray that the Lord will supply the funds! Of course, if you can send in more than that, even if their tithe is low, because you have other means of support, please do! But if you can't, then 25% with a minimum of $5 is fine. WS may have to adjust that figure in the future if it can't be sustained financially, but we'll start off with that and see how it goes.
(In order to make it easy for you to remember how much to send in for your MM's mailing fees, there will be a section on the TeleTRF where you record your MM's tithes and it will make the mailing fee calculations for you.)
Currently WS paper mailings are sent out in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and some pubs in Japanese. Those who can read one of those languages could order their mailings in that language (regardless of what country they live in), and pay the above-mentioned mailing fee. Missionary members who don't read any of those languages would not receive a mailing (since it would not be read). In that case they would receive whatever translations are done in their language electronically via e-mail or by subscribing to the Members Only site. Not much FD/MM material is translated in languages other than those listed previously due to lack of resources, but some is, and there could be more in the future, resources allowing. In that case, the Home would only need to send in a $5 monthly fee per Missionary member, to help fund translations in the local language.
The Home which a Missionary member tithes and reports to will be responsible to include and update their Missionary members' addresses for their WS mailings and indicate which language they should receive their mailing in. There will also be a space on the TRF for the Home to enter in each MM's tithe for that month (to calculate their mailing fee and indicate that they tithed that month and are eligible for a mailing).
If a Missionary member fails to turn in their tithe one month‚ they would not receive their mailing the following month. If they resume tithing the following month, their mailings will also resume. If they don't tithe for two months, the Home should revoke their membership. (Note: The NPC will not hold "back mailings" for those who miss their mailings due to failure to tithe.)
In addition to receiving their own mailing, Missionary members tithing to a Home will have access to the Members Only site at the same level as all Missionary members. They will also be eligible to receive the version of the HomeArc/InfoStore program that all Missionary members receive. A Missionary member who is attached to a Home would not be eligible to receive a Home library of older printed pubs in their house, since they are not a Home in themselves.
USING OUR FAMILY TRAINING COURSES
You'll notice that in order to receive The Family Magazine, a General member has to become an Active member by completing the 12 Foundation Stones course or passing the 12 Foundation Stones equivalency exam. Then, in order to become a Missionary member, they must go through the 12 Bridges. We wanted to expound a little on the reason we require these particular Family training courses instead of just making a general guideline of "you must teach sheep classes on xxx topics, however you want to go about it."
The primary reason is that the Lord has shown Mama and Peter that we must have a united standard of training for those who we bring into the Family's membership circles. We need to all "speak the same thing" in our training of our new members, so that we can be guaranteed that those who are at a certain level of Family membership have the proper foundation in the Word that they need to live that level of membership.
There will naturally be some variation in how the classes are taught, depending on the teacher, but the essential content of what is being taught should be the same, so that what the sheep are being fed in order to qualify for a certain level of membership is not dependent on the faith of the Home or even the person's background or culture, but on the standard of the Word for all. Of course some people, depending on their background or culture, may move through the courses more slowly, or need additional explanations on topics that they have a difficult time with, and that's perfectly fine. But in the end‚ once they've completed the course and are counted as a member at a certain level, they will have the same basic spiritual training as any other member at that level anywhere in the world.
If someone is going to receive The Family Magazine, which Active members will, there are certain things they will need to understand and be grounded in, in order to understand and apply the content of this magazine. The 12 Foundation Stones course prepares them for that. If someone is going to be receiving full Family mailings, which Missionary members will, then in order to be able to receive and understand and apply the content of these meaty pubs, they will need to be at a certain level spiritually. The 12 Bridges course prepares them for that.
Here are some excerpts of messages of confirmation from the Lord and Dad about the need for a worldwide standard with these courses:
(Dad:) Having the Word in these courses, at these different steps and levels‚ will help the Family to live up to the potential it has. If we are going to live up to being the living Bride of Christ, a truly vibrant‚ fruitful, on-fire, radical, iconoclastic church, then we need the truth and the Word of God in its purest form to strengthen our witness. Requiring the Family to have a standard and follow a structured course will in the long run help win and build the right kind of disciples and members. It may take time in certain parts of the world, and it may take more prayer and desperation in others, and overall it will require the Family to ask and seek the Lord in different situations as to how to feed and teach these standard courses, but it will move the Family forward from strength to strength.
(Dad:) I'm pleased to see the progress that's being made in helping the Family to feed their sheep consistently and faithfully, and this is the next step in the building of the Activated follow-up program. You've all seen how the Activated magazines have helped the Family make tremendous strides of progress in the feeding of their sheep. The Activated mags are good, solid feeding, and every month a brand-new magazine reaches the sheep. And then it's the next step--and a vital one--that the Homes start using the 12 Foundation Stones to feed their sheep further and bring them along toward membership or discipleship. It's good to require that the Homes use this course, and it's not too much to ask. Once people start seeing how easy it is to feed their sheep with these classes, they'll get on board with them.
(Jesus:) For those who wish to have Missionary member status and be fed by all the WS mailings on a regular basis‚ it is vital for them to go through the 12 Bridges course to help prepare them for the meat of the Word. For someone to become a Missionary member, they must have a strong foundation in My Word to help them to understand the spiritual principles behind the standard that they are required to live by. Going through these Bridges will give them the connection they need with Me and will prepare them for future mailings they will be eligible to receive. It's an entrance course and a unifying standard for new Missionary members. (End of messages.)
We'll move on now to a little recap of the main focus and content of the 12 Foundation Stones course and the 12 Bridges course.
The 12 Foundation Stones course
The 12 Foundation Stones is a Bible-study based course that covers most of the basic Christian principles such as salvation, prayer, the Word, witnessing, the Endtime, prophecy, etc. If taught at the rate of one class per week, the course can be finished in about six months. However, it can also be spread out over a year or more, as needed.
In addition to the classes themselves‚ there is a Supplementary ML reading list that accompanies the 12 Foundation Stones, which includes a variety of MLs related to the topics in the classes. Where possible and depending on the level of your members' receptivity and available time, this would be good to work through with your sheep, either reading the MLs with them or giving them to them to read between classes.
The 12 Foundation Stones has been available on the MO site for over a year, and will soon be available in book form (in English) from your local PC. The Lord has supplied the funds to sponsor one 12 Foundation Stones set (teacher and student books) per FD and MM Home, and these will be sent to you shortly by your PC with one of your tool orders. (If you don't get it, please contact your PC.) You'll want to order additional copies of the Study Book (to give to your students), as well as additional full sets (as teachers may want to have their own copy). These will be available to order from your PC, and you will be notified by your PC once they are in stock locally.
A person does not need to be a Family member at any level in order to begin the 12 Foundation Stones course. They may start on the 12 Foundation Stones course while simply a "sheep," and not even a General member. At the end of the course they can decide whether they want to become an Active member or not. If they decide not to become an Active member, they would not be eligible to receive The Family Magazine, but they could still be fed by the Home and subscribe to Activated (and thus be counted as an Activated Reader, or a General member if they and you so decide).
You may currently have sheep who have not taken the 12 Foundation Stones course because they had already had classes covering all those same topics, who would like to apply to become Active members and thus receive The Family Magazine. In that case, your prospective Active members can take the 12 Foundation Stones equivalency exam, to make sure that they have an understanding of the spiritual principles covered in the 12 Foundation Stones course. If they pass and choose to be an Active member, they would be eligible for The Family Magazine. If they don't pass certain subjects, then they could take the 12 Foundation Stones classes on those topics, and be a General member in the meantime (if they want to). However, from now on, all new sheep would need to have classes taught from the 12 Foundation Stones course in order to qualify for Active membership and The Family Magazine.
We realize that the 12 Foundation Stones is only available in a few languages (although it's being translated into more as time goes on). If your sheep don't speak a language in which the 12 Foundation Stones is available, then someone who speaks the local language will need to teach them the class, translating as they go, just like you would in order to teach them any other class in their native tongue. This means that it might take longer to get through the classes, which is fine. But in order to maintain the same worldwide standard, it is necessary for your sheep to go through the 12 Foundation Stones-–whether already translated or not--in order to become Active members. Please pray that we can eventually get the 12 Foundation Stones course translated into as many major languages as possible!
The 12 Bridges
The purpose of the 12 Bridges is to teach the principles of discipleship, to ensure that all Missionary members have the same foundation in the Family's beliefs and doctrines, and to enable them to begin receiving the New Wine in the GNs. The 12 Bridges course presents the Family's meatier doctrines, such as the Law of Love, Loving Jesus, the keys of the Kingdom, and other spiritual weapons, in a step-by-step manner, building on the foundation laid by the 12 Foundation Stones course. In addition to the classes themselves, the 12 Bridges course will contain supplementary "homework" reading from the "New Wine" pubs (edited MLs), as well as assignments such as hearing from the Lord on certain questions, witnessing, etc.
The 12 Bridges course requires a much higher level of commitment than the 12 Foundation Stones, and a desire to not only read and receive the Word, but to do something about it in their lives. It is also based much more on straight reading of the Word (quotes from older Letters, newer GNs, prophecy, and Bible verses) with the students, rather than focusing mainly on Bible study as does the 12 Foundation Stones.
The 12 Bridges will initially be available in even fewer languages than the 12 Foundation Stones course (though it, too, will be translated into more languages as time goes on, DV). If your sheep don't speak a language in which the 12 Bridges is available, again someone able to speak the local language will need to teach them the class in their language. Active members will be required to go through the 12 Bridges--whether already translated or not--in order to become Missionary members. (Unlike the 12 Foundation Stones, there will not be an equivalency exam substitute for actually taking the 12 Bridges course other than the 12 Bridges Interim Reading List until the 12 Bridges are done-–as it's very important that if someone is to start getting their own mailings of the New Wine, they have a solid foundation in Family doctrine.)
As of the publishing of this GN, Bridges 1 through 4 have been posted on the MO site for you to download and use.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON GENERAL AND ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP
Can we read portions of The Family Magazine with our General members, even if they haven't gone through the 12 Foundation Stones yet?
Yes. You can read portions of the magazine with any of your sheep, but only Active members (those who have completed the 12 Foundation Stones course) and higher levels of membership, are eligible to receive (or be given) a copy of the magazine.
We have some close friends who would like to be General or Active members, but they have some bad habits--for example, one of them smokes, another tends to drink a bit too much, and some of their conduct couldn't exactly be considered "godly" by Family standards. What do we tell them?
We don't expect anyone who wants to be a General or Active member to immediately stop smoking, drinking, and to be free from all worldly ways and habits. The primary intent of the clause stating that they must live up to godly principles is to ensure that we do not have members who are being a reproach to the Family through seriously damaging behavior and vices. These are low-commitment levels of Family membership, and as we mentioned previously, are comparable with the congregation of a church, as opposed to the pastors or deacons. The Family does not take responsibility for the actions or behavior of General or Active members, any more than the Catholic Church takes responsibility for the actions of its parishioners.
Those who are shepherding General and Active members should naturally try to help them overcome their weaknesses and bad habits or vices, but it isn't necessary to disallow them membership simply because they have bad habits or weaknesses. Most people in the world do. They can't be a Family disciple or a Missionary member if they indulge in certain weaknesses or vices that are disallowed by the Charter or Missionary Member Statutes, but we are not requiring a strict standard of personal behavior for the General and Active members‚ or many requirements, in order to make it easy for people to reach that first level of membership. We have intentionally not created a detailed code of conduct, but have instead given a more general guideline to be used in your shepherding of these members.
(Jesus:) Family members at this level will for the most part be like babies spiritually. They will love Me‚ love the Family, and want to do something to serve Me and others, but by and large they will be new Christians, just starting out in their walk with Me, and they will have weaknesses-–some a few, and some many.
The point of accepting them as General or Active members isn't to have perfect people to work with‚ and you can't expect them to be disciples or high-commitment Christians. On the contrary, the purpose of bringing them in closer is because they need help, shepherding, strengthening, and feeding, and you need to give it to them. Working with them on overcoming their weaknesses--from difficulties in getting along with others to any vices they may have--might end up in some cases to be quite a big part of your feeding and shepherding of them.
This is a category of membership that is meant to be broad, welcoming, and easy to enter. It's a place where "him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." You will have to be Spirit-led and prayerful, and in some rare cases there will be those whose bad habits, weaknesses, or connections are such that it is spiritually or physically risky to allow them General or Active member status. But such situations would be few and far between.
In most cases, I want you to welcome whomever desires to be a Family member into the General and Active member circles. They might have problems and they might need help‚ but if they want the Words, if they want to progress spiritually, and if they're willing to accept some help and work on their problems, then they're okay. They can still be good members, they can still be a blessing to your work, and most of all, they need you and the help and love and spiritual support you have to give, and which they can receive at this level of membership.
Can someone be a General or Active member via mail, if they live in a city where there are no Family members‚ for example? In that case, could they eventually become Missionary members via mail too?
Yes, someone can become a General member via mail, if they fulfill the General membership requirements--except for the one about fellowshipping regularly, which does have a built-in exemption clause. To become an Active member they would need to take the correspondence course version of the 12 Foundation Stones (which will be made available on the Members Only site and on the 12 Foundation Stones Resource CD) and then pass the equivalency test. As Active members they can subscribe to The Family Magazine.
However, an Active member could not become a Missionary member reporting to a Home unless they are physically fellowshipping with that Home. One reason is that in order to become a Missionary member they would need to go through the 12 Bridges course, and because of the meaty content of the 12 Bridges, this will not be available as a correspondence course but must be taught in person.
Would Active members be subscribing to two mags--the Activated mag and The Family Magazine?
General members are required to subscribe to Activated‚ if available in their language, and most likely will have already been subscribers before becoming General members. However, once a General member completes the 12 Foundation Stones course and becomes an Active member, receiving The Family Magazine, they are not required to continue subscribing to Activated as well, though they can if they so desire. They should, however, be using the Activated magazine in their own witnessing and be sharing it with their family and friends, getting others subscribed, etc.
What happens to our General and Active members if our Home closes or moves?
Your Active members receive The Family Magazine directly from WS, based on the information supplied on your TRF. So if your Home closes and your Active members are not reported on another Home's TRF‚ then their membership and mailings would automatically be terminated. So if you wish for your Active members to remain members, please either continue to report them on your new TRF so they can receive the magazine, as well as feed them yourselves at a distance from your new location, or turn them over to another Home who can continue to feed them personally and report them on their TRF. In most cases, if there is a Home nearby, the latter option will be better, as that way your Active members can continue to have personal fellowship and receive feeding from Family members.
The same applies to General members, although they do not receive a mailing directly from WS. (If they're subscribed to Activated, they would continue to receive that regardless of whether they're reported on any Home's TRF.)
When someone becomes a General or Active member, do their spouse and children automatically become members too?
See reply regarding Missionary members at the end of the next section.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON MISSIONARY MEMBERSHIP
Can Missionary members who have been tithing and reporting to a Home form their own MM Home? Can they form their own FD Home?
It is best for a new Missionary member (who has not previously lived in an FD Home) to report to an existing FD or MM Home in order to get the shepherding and training in the Word and as a missionary that they need. The tithes from these MMs are also part of the Lord's plan of support for our FD and MM Homes. However, there are occasions when a Missionary member would need to become their own Home, as the Home they're reporting to may have moved and there are no other FD or MM Homes in the city they can receive shepherding from. Or, they may have been an MM for quite some time and the Lord has shown that they are ready to "leave the nest" and strike out on their own, perhaps even pioneering a city where there are no FD or MM Homes.
So for those reasons it is permissible for a MM who has been reporting and tithing to a Home to start reporting as their own Home, reporting and tithing directly to WS, under the following circumstances:
1. They have been a Missionary member, tithing and reporting to an FD or MM Home for at least one year. (This one-year period could be waived by the RCC in exceptional situations. For example, if the Home that they have been reporting to for nine months has to leave the city, and the MM has no other Home to report to, and is ready to become their own Home.)
2. They must apply for and receive authorization from the RCC to become their own MM Home.
3. Once they receive approval to become an MM Home, they would begin tithing and reporting directly to WS as per the instructions from their reporting office. This would include any minimum tithe requirements‚ if applicable. (The mailing fee which the Home had been paying for their mailings would no longer be necessary, as it would be covered by their tithe to WS.)
A Missionary member who has become their own Home may live by themselves or may allow other members to join them, just like any Missionary member Home.
A Missionary member who has been reporting to a Home cannot directly form his or her own Family discipleship Home. If they want to be a Family discipleship Home, they must first apply for and become an MM Home and fulfill the "Responsibilities of the Missionary Member Home" as per the Missionary Member Statutes. Once they have done this‚ and they have the necessary minimum number of members to qualify for FD status, and are ready and able to fulfill the other FD requirements, they can then apply for Family disciple status just like any other MM Home can (the procedure for this will be explained in an upcoming GN).
Can a Missionary member who has been tithing and reporting to one Home start tithing and reporting to another Home instead?
Yes, a Missionary member has the option of reporting to another FD or MM Home, providing that Home will vote him in as a Missionary member. Generally, however, it is not recommended that Missionary members regularly switch "parent" Homes, as it's better that they receive consistent shepherding–-and also because they contribute to the support of the Home. Homes should also be careful not to recruit MMs who are tithing to other Homes, for the sake of financial gain or other reasons, as that could cause friction and disunity between Homes, which the Lord will not bless (and which contravenes the Charter clauses on unity/disunity).
However, allowance needs to be made for an MM to switch Homes, as their original Home may close or move, or there may be other good reasons to do so, such as them being able to more easily fellowship with and be fed by a Home that is closer to them, etc. This should be the decision of the Missionary member without any pressure from the Home they may be interested in joining. Likewise, if a Missionary member would like to join another Home and has sought the Lord about it, their existing Home should not pressure them into continuing to report and tithe to them because of the impact on their own support. These matters should be handled with prayer, prophecy, and counsel between the parties involved, seeking the Lord as to what will be the best for the spiritual growth of the Missionary member involved. If you put the sheep's spiritual needs first, the Lord will supply your physical needs!
Can current Live-Outs/Catacombers become Missionary members?
Yes! In order to make it easy for your existing Live–outs who are at the Missionary membership level to move into that category of membership, those who currently have the status of "Live-out" or "Catacomber" as per the existing Charter definition, and who fulfill the rest of the requirements for being a Missionary member, do not have to go through the full 12 Bridges course as long as they have already been taught classes on all those topics. (If they've had classes on some topics but not others, they just need to receive classes on the topics they missed. The list of topics covered in the 12 Bridges is published in the 12 Bridges Interim Reading List‚ available on the MO site.) Of course this assumes that they have been through the 12 Foundation Stones already, or been taught classes covering those topics, which your Live-outs or Catacombers should have by now. If not, they would need to take the 12 Foundation Stones course first, as that's a prerequisite to taking the 12 Bridges.
However‚ even if they have been taught classes on the subjects, all existing Live-outs would have to read the Letters listed on the 12 Bridges Interim Reading List as a refresher before being counted as Missionary members on the Home's TRF.
What about current sheep who are called "Active members"; can they be counted as Missionary members?
Though sometimes used in testimonies from Homes as a substitute for the term "live-out," the term "Active member" seems to have had a wide spectrum of uses and interpretations throughout the Family. So it's not possible to say that anyone who you currently call an "Active member" can be counted as a Missionary member. Those current "Active members" who are Live-Outs or Catacombers as per the Charter definition qualify for Missionary membership with the additional requirements listed in the previous question and answer. Those who have completed the 12 Foundation Stones or have passed the equivalency exam can be counted as "Active members" on the TRF. Those who haven't can be counted as General members, providing they agree to be.
Will Missionary members receive WS mailings in their own language?
Missionary members will receive whatever FD/MM WS pubs are available in their language. At this time, all FD/MM WS pubs are available in English, and most FD/MM pubs are also translated into Spanish and Portuguese. Some FD/MM pubs (including most GNs) are also translated into Japanese. It's unlikely at this point that we will be able to offer FD/MM publications in other languages, due to a lack of manpower and financial resources. We wish we could. Should there be resources available, translating The Family Magazine into other languages would be a higher priority, as that will have a wider circulation to those who are less likely to read English. (Please pray for funding and manpower, so that we can fill this need in those languages where we end up having a large number of members.)
We strongly recommend that you encourage and/or help your 12 Bridges students to learn English, or improve their English if they already speak some, so that by the time they finish the course, or sometime thereafter, they become proficient enough to read the mailings that they will be eligible for as MMs. The faster they learn English, the easier it will be to feed them!
As explained earlier, if WS mailings are not available in a Missionary member's language, and they cannot read English (or another available language), then they would not receive their own copy of the mailings. In that case, you wouldn't have to send a mailing fee for them, but would send in a reduced fee (also via the TRF) for translations.
If mailings are available in your Missionary member's language, you are required to send in a mailing fee for them so that they can receive their own mailings, for the sake of their spiritual feeding.
If any FD/MM pubs are translated into languages other than those listed earlier, it may not be possible to print them, as saving on printing costs would make more funds available for translations. In that case, they would be available via e-mail to Missionary members, using the pubs subscription service on the Members Only site.
If an FM Home is striving toward Missionary member status, can such a Home have a "live-out" Missionary member tithing and reporting to their Home?
As explained in GN 1068 ("The Next Step!--Missionary Membership"), a Home that is currently FM will have the option to apply for MM status starting in January 2005. For those FM Homes that do, once they become MM, they can decide to grant MM status to their live-out members, provided those members have fulfilled the requirements, once the Home itself has received MM status.
An FM Home cannot have a Missionary member reporting to their Home, but they can have General members and Active members, and of course Activated Readers.
Will Missionary members who report to a Home have some direct link with Family leadership or board members?
Missionary members are encouraged to communicate with the Home they're reporting and tithing to and receiving shepherding from. However, if they need to communicate with Family leadership, they would be free to do so‚ and in that case they could write their Regional desk, who could pass it on to the appropriate board member and/or VS. There will be a note in the Missionary Member Statutes for those reporting to a Home, explaining this. Contact information for the Regional desk will also be made available to all Missionary members.
When someone becomes a Missionary member, do their spouse and children automatically become Missionary members too?
Not automatically. To qualify as a Missionary member‚ each adult or teen age 16 and up must go through the procedure of becoming a Missionary member (i.e.‚ go through the 12 Bridges, be voted on by the Home, etc.). However, each Missionary member household would only receive one copy of the mailings, so counting the spouse or children as members does not affect how many mailings they receive. Children do not have to go through the 12 Bridges course to be reported as members along with their parents on the TRF. However, they can only be counted as missionary members if voted as such by the Home and if they themselves are in agreement (if they are old enough). For example, a 12-year-old whose parent (or both parents) are Missionary members reporting to a Home but who wants nothing to do with Family missionary life himself could not be counted as a Missionary member on the TRF. Please don't count members on your TRF who aren't really so!
ACTIVATED READERS FED BY THE HOME
In some situations, Homes have found that while some of their friends and contacts may not be interested in subscribing to a monthly magazine that they receive by mail, it has borne good fruit to deliver the Activated magazine to them personally on a monthly visit. Homes with ongoing long–term monthly mail ministries have also found it fruitful to include the Activated magazine each month with their personalized mailings to friends, relatives, etc. These people are usually supporters of the Home in some way--and should be giving something if you're taking your time to feed them each month, month after month. Someone who is receiving such a service from the Home would count as an Activated Reader and part of the Activated magazine program, even if they are not technically subscribing to the magazine.
We all know that there's nothing like the "personal touch," and it is important that as many as possible of those who you are feeding with the Activated magazine--whether they subscribe and the desk sends them mailings, or whether you bring or send them the mailings personally--have personal contact with Family members in addition to receiving the mag. In cases where personal contact is not possible, try to stay in touch via mail, e-mail, or phone. This is something that has been emphasized in the Letters and WS pubs as an essential part of the Activated program: When subscribing someone to Activated, don't leave it at that, but attempt to maintain personal contact and follow-up when possible.
If the personal touch is best, then you might wonder, why have the Activated desks anyway? Wouldn't it be better for everyone to just deliver the Activated mag personally to their sheep each month?
One of the principal reasons why the Lord led Mama and Peter to set up the Activated subscription program was the realization that, as much as Homes want to and need to follow up on and feed their sheep, it is a time-consuming process, and the more sheep you have in your flock, the more time it takes. Therefore, the Activated desk is there to help with this task and feed the sheep that your Home doesn't have time to personally follow up on, and free the Homes from having to create mailing lists, keep track of who is on what mailing, post or deliver packages, and all that comes along with ensuring that the Activated subscribers are receiving consistent feeding each month. It's a big job!
If someone subscribes to the Activated magazine, then you and they have the reassurance of knowing that regardless of whatever else happens in your Home--whether you have sickness, financial difficulties, you move to another city or country, your Home closes, or whatever-–for the next year that person will receive some good, solid feeding in the mail each month from the Activated desk. Then it's your Home's responsibility to take the next step of providing as much of the additional personal touch as you can to encourage further growth‚ and to follow up more deeply on those who have potential to go further.
You need to follow up on your sheep and contacts. However, the number of people your Home will be able to personally visit and deliver the Activated mag to each month will be limited by your manpower and resources. There may be many more sheep who you will not be able to visit each month or mail a letter to each month--maybe you're only able to see them occasionally or every couple of months‚ or when you go on a road trip to their city, etc. Those people you should be signing up as subscribers, even if you have your own delivery service of the magazine via your monthly Home mail ministry and/or those you visit most regularly.
Regardless of whether you mostly sign up people to Activated via your Activated desk, or you personally hand-deliver or mail the magazine to people with a personal note each month (month after month after month), you should be personally visiting and following up on those who have the most potential or who are supporting your work. If you've already signed them up for Activated, then when you visit them, discuss the magazine content together to strengthen their spirits and help them grow‚ and/or feed them with the many other GP products that are available.
The service of the Activated desks is meant to alleviate some of the burden and pressure at the Home level in regards to your follow-up--to help you get the job of feeding the sheep done. Some Family Homes are able to pull off a regular and consistent delivery of the Activated magazine, whether through a mail ministry or personal visitation, and that's great! But others don't have the personnel and resources to do that with all of their sheep who should be getting fed each month. Or, they would rather have the Activated desk take care of sending the magazine so that they can follow up on their sheep when they can and when their sheep are able to meet with them, but not have to be bound to do so every single month with each one. In some cases, a combination of both methods might work best--personalized mailings or visitation and delivery of the magazines for the sheep you are in regular contact with, and mail subscription via the Activated desk for those you can't deliver the magazine to every single month without fail.
Pray and seek the Lord as to what is the best way for your Home to operate, and act accordingly. The main point is that whether you deliver the mag yourself or get someone to subscribe so that the desk handles it, you should ensure that your sheep are receiving regular, consistent feeding. That's what the Activated magazine program is all about.
The question you need to ask yourself is, "If I subscribe this person to Activated, I know he or she will get the mag each month. Will I be able and faithful to deliver the Activated magazine to this sheep for the next 12 months?" If the answer is not a definite "yes," then get them subscribed. Then, on top of that, visit and feed them personally as much as you are able, bringing them along to Family membership and/or cultivating their support for your Home.
In order to help ensure that Homes who deliver the Activated mag in person, or include it in their own personal mailing, are following through faithfully with it, we have set up some guidelines. For a person to qualify as an Activated Reader on a Home's TRF, the following conditions must be met:
1. The Home must make a commitment to deliver the Activated mag 12 months in a row to the recipient, unless at some point the recipient no longer wishes to continue his/her association with the Family, at which time he/she would no longer be reported as an Activated Reader. (In languages where there are less than a year's worth of magazines in print, you would only be required to deliver as many magazines as there are available.)
2. The Home has to have delivered the magazine for three months in a row before they can begin counting this person on their TRF stats.
3. The Home has to have delivered the person a magazine during the month of the reporting period. (In other words, if you gave them a magazine last month and they were on your TRF last month, but this month you weren't able to give them a magazine for some reason, you can't count them as an Activated Reader. If you resume again next month, then you can again include them in your TRF stats.)
As mentioned earlier, Activated Readers include both those who have subscribed to the magazine and those you're feeding personally with the mag each month. Those you feed personally should be reported on your TRF's stats. Those who subscribe will be reported by the Activated desk but credited by the desk to your Home. The Activated Readers shiner stats that will appear in The Grapevine and on the Members Only site will include both subscribers (reported by the desk) and those who you deliver the mag to personally (reported by your Home).
An important note: You notice that we're not referring to those you feed the mag to personally each month as "subscribers." That's because they haven't actually subscribed to the magazine. Because selling a subscription involves a legal obligation to fulfill that subscription, please do NOT sell Activated subscriptions other than those filled by the Activated desk. Please go ahead and give the mag personally each month to those the Lord shows you to, but don't call it a subscription and don't sell it to them (although you can ask them for donations for your work, of course, since you're ministering to them). Otherwise, if your Home moves or for any reason is unable to continue delivering the magazine each month, it will reflect negatively on the Activated program as a whole, which would be a bad testimony. Thank you!
MORE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Can someone drop out and join a Family discipleship Home‚ as a live-in member, without first going through the other levels of membership?
In most cases, a person will progress through at least some of the levels of Family membership before being ready and making the decision to drop out and join as a Family disciple in a Family discipleship Home. However, there is allowance made for those who are ready to join sooner if the Lord so leads. Anyone can join a Family discipleship Home as a Family disciple, without having been a Missionary member or even a General or Active member, following the "Procedures for Accepting New Live-In Disciples" in the Charter.
The one addition to the existing Charter requirements is that the new disciple must read through the 12 Bridges course within their first six months as a Family disciple, as well as go through the 12 Foundation Stones course if they had not done so prior to joining, before they are accepted as a voting member. (This will be added to the new updated Charter procedures.) Since the Charter requires that new disciples have 2½ hours of daily Word time‚ completing both the 12 Foundation Stones and 12 Bridges in six months should not be difficult. Also‚ in the vast majority of cases, a sheep should have already gone through at least some of the 12 Foundation Stones before dropping out and joining the Home full-time. However, in the unlikely event that it should take a little longer than six months to go through both the 12 Foundation Stones and the 12 Bridges course, they would need to wait until they finish both courses before being accepted as a voting member.
The current "Babes Basic Course" will be incorporated into the 12 Bridges course, and therefore will no longer be required in the Charter procedures for accepting new disciples. However, the CGO board has created a short reading list designed especially for those who are joining a FD Home, with Letters pertaining to communal living and the Family discipleship standard. Those who join as Family disciples will need to read through this list within their first six months in the Family, after they complete the 12 Bridges course.
The above also applies to someone joining a Missionary member Home as a live-in member, and is covered under the "Procedures for Accepting New Live-In Members" in the Missionary Membership Statutes.
Can a General/Active/Missionary member join an MM Home as a live-in member?
Yes, as explained in the answer to the previous question.
Can a General member become a Fellow member Home?
As explained in "The Next Step," paragraphs 61-66, Fellow membership will remain as it has been, that is, an alternative level of service for members who were previously CM (or FD) or MM. Now that new levels have been created specifically for bringing in new sheep, General or Active members would not be eligible to report as their own Fellow member Home. They could only report as an FM Home if they had previously lived in an FD or MM Home.
There are some cases of current FM Homes who are made up of members who have never lived in a CM Home, but who were Live-outs or Catacombers who were unable to become CM, or had no CM Home nearby to join, and who were therefore given permission to report as their own FM Home instead. Such Homes would of course be allowed to retain their current FM status. They are also eligible to apply to become a Missionary member Home, after January 2005, if they so desire, just like any other FM Home.
Can someone who was formerly FD and moved to MM or FM status‚ or who left the Family altogether, decide that they want to be a Missionary member tithing to an FD or MM Home, rather than tithing and reporting to WS? Or could they be a General member or Active member?
Yes, they could either be a General, Active or Missionary member, as long as they fulfill the requirements for those levels. However, a former member wishing to become a Missionary member tithing to a Home would first need RCC approval, which the Home can request on their behalf. (This is the same requirement for a former member who wishes to become their own Missionary member Home.)
Will the stats listing on the TRF change to reflect these new types of membership? What do we count a "sheep" as?
Yes, a number of changes will be made to the TeleTRF to accommodate these new membership stats, such as logging in the number of Missionary members, Active members, General members, and Activated Readers your Home is ministering to. In the case of Missionary members, there will be a space where you can record their mailing address (for their WS mailings), and their tithe (to calculate their mailing fee). In the case of Active members, there will also be a space where you can record their address for receiving The Family Magazine, and their subscription fee. For General members and Activated Readers, detailed personnel information will not be needed--just the current total, and there will be a place provided for that. (However, these changes will only appear on the TeleTRF, not the paper TRF--so be sure to use the TeleTRF!)
Over the years we've had a wide variety of "members" on the TRF, such as "DF members," "Radio members," "Mail members," and so forth‚ but this will now change. Any "member" would either be a General member‚ Active member, or Missionary member. As well, even though they're not considered "members," there would be a place to report your Activated Readers as part of your flock. Other sheep, friends, contacts, etc., who do not fit into these categories would not be counted as part of the Home's flock on the TRF. They would of course be included in the Home's personal witness stats. That's not to say that other sheep, friends and contacts are not important--they certainly are! Also, in some non-Christian countries many of your contacts might not yet have progressed to the level of the Activated magazine, as you have to bring them along more slowly. But as "sheep" or "contact" is too vague a category to collect stats on, we're limiting the TRF to the actual levels of membership‚ plus the Activated Readers (which is easily defined).
Until you receive the new TeleTRF with these stat changes, please continue to report your non-live-in members as you have so far on your TRF (as live-outs, catacombers, other members, etc.).
If I subscribe someone to the Activated magazine and he is receiving magazines from the Activated desk, do I count him as an "Activated Reader" on our Home's TRF Stats?
No‚ but you still get credit for them! The desks will keep record of all subscribers who receive their mailings from the desk--and your Home will get credit in The Grapevine for the Activated subscribers you sign up, as has always been the case. Since the Activated subscribers are already being reported to WS via the Activated desks, we don't want to duplicate the stats on how many Activated Readers we have altogether, including both subscribers and those on a Home-delivered program. On the Activated Reader section of the "Your Fold" stats on the TRF, you would only include those whom your Home is personally delivering the magazines to, as per the criteria outlined in the previous section.
I noticed there was not much reference to DFO pubs in this GN. Why is that?
As you'll notice in the next reprint of the Charter, along with changing the classifications for CM to FD and creating the new MM classification, we'll also do away with the DFO classification. DFO stands for "Disciple and Friends Only," which doesn't really apply to our new membership structure. Instead we'll use the following lit classifications:
GP: Can be given to anyone according to the Home's faith.
GM: Can be given to all membership levels (General, Active, Fellow, Missionary, Disciple).
AM: Can be given to Active, Fellow, Missionary, Disciple (all members except General).
FM: For Fellow, Missionary, Family disciples.
MM: For Missionary members and Family disciples only.
FD: For Family disciples only.
All old lit that is classified DFO can be given to anyone--member or not--according to the Home's faith. (Just bear in mind that most lit classified DFO is meatier than lit classified GP--so know your audience!)
When do these membership changes take effect? What do I do now?
Upon receipt of this GN you can go ahead and start doing the following:
* Report on your TeleTRF the current total number of Activated Readers that you have (those you are delivering the magazine to personally each month, as per the criteria mentioned previously--not the Activated subscriptions you send in to the desk). Report Activated Readers in the current TeleTRF on the "Monthly Stats" page in the "Your Fold" section in the box labeled "Mail Ministry/Activated Subscribers." This stat will be renamed to Activated Readers in the next version of the TeleTRF.
* Offer General membership to those of your sheep who you feel are ready for it and would like to be General members. Give them or read with them the new "Statement of Faith" and "Introducing the Family" pubs to help prepare them for it. Both will be available soon on the MO site. There isn't yet a space to report General members on the TRF, but once the new TeleTRF update comes out, you will be able to start reporting them.
* Those who have gone through the 12 Foundation Stones (or taken the equivalency exam) can be presented with the option of becoming Active members. As soon as The Family Magazine becomes available, you will be asked to send in their addresses and subscription fee, at which point they'll begin receiving the magazine. When the new TeleTRF update comes out, you will be able to add them to your Home's personnel roster. In the meantime you can report the total in the "Active members" box of the "Your Fold" section of the Monthly Stats page on the TRF.
* If you haven't already, start your live-outs and catacombers (who have finished the 12 Foundation Stones, or previously received classes on the same topics and have taken the equivalency exam) on the 12 Bridges classes--which are now being posted on the Members Only site class by class as they're ready. Or you can take them through the 12 Bridges Interim Reading List (also available for downloading from the Members Only site). Once they've finished the reading list, you can count them as Missionary members providing they decide they want to become members, and fulfill the requirements (which includes tithing). Until the new TeleTRF is released, we don't have a mechanism for reporting them on your TRF and gathering their addresses and mailing fees, so they won't receive their own copies of the mailings just yet, but they can read the full mailings at your Home. They could also borrow copies to take home with them, or you could give them a copy if you have extra, or photocopies. Once the new TeleTRF update is released, you can start reporting them on your personnel roster, start sending in their mailing fee, and they'll begin receiving their own mailings.
(Jesus:) My plan for Family membership expansion is going to bring about great change in the Family--and it's going to be change for the better. As you set your heart and mind and actions to follow the plan I have laid out, and build and expand your membership structure accordingly, you will see great victories, much fruit, and tremendous growth! It's going to be wonderful!
My Family is one body, one bride, all joined together in service to Me. Each member, and each type of membership, has its own special part to fulfill. Together, you make the body of My Endtime Family complete. All of you are needed. You are each an important part of My plan. You serve Me in different ways, according to your capacity and faith, but all serve Me from the heart. Most importantly, you all love Me--and I love each of you dearly.
I am grateful for each and every one who has chosen to give your heart, your time, your service, to Me. Whatever you give Me is beautiful to Me. I love it all and I need it all. In like manner I would that you thank Me and praise Me for one another, that you see Me, and see My plan, in each Family member who lives and works beside you--at whatever level he or she has chosen or has been called to. Be thankful for one another, and rejoice at the marvelous plan that I have laid out, by which I can use each of you to what I know is your best capacity.
You're all in this together, and together, as a mighty army of Family members, you will go forth to conquer and you will fulfill your grand and glorious destiny. You will march together, triumphant, into the beautiful victories of the future that await you. (End of message.)
General Member Declaration
The Family International
I have read the publications titled "Introducing the Family International" and "The Family International's Statement of Faith," and I am aware of the Family International's basic beliefs and doctrines.
I desire to become a General member of The Family International, and would like to be accepted as part of their missionary movement in this capacity.
I have received Jesus in my heart and have also prayed to receive the Holy Spirit. I plan to grow in my faith in God by receiving and reading the Activated magazine, and I will also try to make time to read God's Word in the Bible and Family publications.
I would like to stay in touch with other members of The Family International on a regular basis, so that I can benefit from their fellowship. I will try to live and act according to the great commandments of the Bible to love God and love others and manifest that love through my actions. I will also testify of my faith to others when I have the opportunity.
As a General member of the Family International, I will do what I can to help further the work and efforts of the Family community that I fellowship with, or other Family communities, whether it be through my time, finances, or services, according to my ability.
Monthly report for Missionary members reporting to a Home
The Family International
* Report covering the month of:
* Witnessing stats:
Tapes/CDs/CD cards distributed
Multimedia (iCD) distributed
Activated mags distributed
Books distributed (pieces): Books distributed (pages):
Other pubs distributed (pieces): Other pubs distributed (pages):
Activated subscriptions sold (these would be turned in to the Home to send to the Activated desk rather than reported on the TRF. The Activated desk reports these stats for each Home)
Activated Readers, General or Active members followed up on
* Total tithe turned in:
* Change of address for WS mailing (if any):
(Please fill in these points on a separate piece of paper)
* Lessons or prophecies.
* Prayer requests.
* Questions or comments on this month's mailings.
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Copyright © 2004 by The Family International
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