LC: 56. HOME SIZE RULES
A. Minimum Size: A Charter Home consists of four or more Charter voting members residing together.
1. Homes with members who are under 18 years of age must have at least two resident members who are 25 years of age or older, unless the underage members are living with their parent(s).
a) The continental office may grant permission for someone under 18 to live in the same Home as their spouse or a sibling who is 18 years of age or older, even if that Home does not have two members over 25.
The two-year-old child of a 22-year-old adult couple may live in a Home with other YAs, without any 25-year-olds needing to be present. However, other than small children living with their young parents, or 16- and 17 -year olds receiving permission to live with an older sibling, if there are not two people in a Home who are at least 25, there shouldn't be members younger than 18. As with the few other restrictions on the 16- and 17-year-old age group, this is mainly for legal reasons. (Please refer to the Right of Mobility, A. 1. B) for details on parental permission necessary for teens joining other Homes.)
2. If members leaving a Home results in the Home falling below the minimum Home size of four (but not less than two) voting members, the Home may keep its Charter Member status providing the second monthly report shows a population of at least four voting members.
3. When pioneering a new Home, a team of two or three voting members can function as a Charter Home for their first six months before being required to reach the minimum Home size of four voting members.
Allowing this six-month grace period will enhance the Right of Mobility, making it easier for members to launch out to pioneer if they wish. Notice, though, that after six months this team must increase its population to four voting members. A voting member is someone 16 years of age or over who has been in the Charter Family for at least six months, so even if this team wins two new disciples, it hasn't increased its population by two voting members since babes are not voting members. Voting members from existing Homes will need to join this new pioneer Home sometime during its first six months of existence for the Home to retain its Charter Member status.
4. The continental office can authorize exemptions to the minimum Home population size when they feel a case warrants it, providing the Home has a minimum of two voting members.
The continental office may grant exceptions to the four-voting-member minimum when they feel a case warrants it. For example, a couple is fulfilling the Charter requirements and generally obeying the "Fundamental Family Rules," but because their children have serious behavioral problems that affect other children they live with, others don't wish to live with them. If the continental office feels it's warranted for a valid reason, they can allow this couple and their children to live in their own Home without other voting members.
In the rare case of a single parent with children who has a hard time remaining in or finding a Home, the continental office can likewise allow him or her to move in with another single parent and function as a Charter Home without having the required four voting members. So it would be possible to have a Home of two single mothers with their children, or a single father and single mother with their collective children.
In some instances, two or three voting members may be unable to get up to four voting members in the required time. In that case, they may contact their continental office, which has the authority to grant them an exemption; either for a specified time or indefinitely, if they feel it is warranted. (Undersized Homes containing single parents will be given special consideration.)
The revelation the Lord had given us on how to win the youth of the World for Christ: It was not to be by total scatteration of helpless individuals and their individual infiltration through the Enemy's lines without any help, organization or Colony backing and encouragement, but it was to be by sending forth those who had the faith to almost individually pioneer small new Colonies with our encouragement, help and laborers (ML #316A:10).
We have proven that communal living on the local level can be done, and with us this has been eminently successful under the blessing of God in being one of the most powerful contributing factors to our worldwide success! (ML #330A:5; DB6.)
B. Maximum size:
1. A Home must not consist of more than 35 total members, unless it is a Service Home.
2. A Service Home must not consist of more than 45 total members, unless:
a) The continental office requests and receives approval for a specified number of personnel from World Services leadership. Upon receipt of approval, the Service Home must not exceed the approved number of personnel.
Presently a Home may not exceed 35 total live-in members, including adults and children. (The exception to this is a Service Home, as explained above) Each Home must have its own utilities, independent of the other Home(s), such as electricity, gas, water, etc. Each Home should be financially independent and must send in the minimum tithe monthly. Also as pointed out in Required Meetings and Activities, C., each Home must have its own (separate) Home council meetings, childcare meetings, and so forth. As well, each Home must have its own separate mailing address, as outlined in the World Service Reporting and Mailing Rules, B. This means that a Home expanding to over 35 members (or 45 in the case of a Service Home) is required to split into two separate dwellings.
By stating that the maximum personnel limit of a Home is 35, we are not suggesting that Homes should try to reach this limit. Generally we hope that Homes can keep well below that, somewhere between 20-25, as such smaller Homes are much easier to manage and shepherd. If your Home begins to increase in personnel towards the 30 mark, you might want to consider splitting into two Homes, with perhaps 20 remaining in one and the other 10 moving into a new Home. It might be helpful for the new Home to remain nearby so that you can cooperate together as you continue to build a work in your city.
Another thing to keep in mind when judging the population of your Home is the ratio between the amount of personnel and the available rooms in the house. Dad said, "I want every worker... to have comfortable quarters, and warm comfortable beds..." (ML #301A:49). Your house should be big enough to comfortably house those in the Home. Going down to a smaller Home size does not necessarily mean going to smaller houses. Make sure your house is large enough for your Home population, so that everyone is comfortable and not overcrowded.
Everyone should have a bed in a bedroom. Couples should have their own rooms; singles should at least have a room with other singles. No one should have to sleep on a mattress on the floor unless it's an emergency, your Home is in the early stages of pioneering a work, or it's local custom, like it is in Japan.
Your children need rooms for schooling; you might need an office room, etc.
If members of your Home don't have their own bed and place to put their things, then you either have too many people, or your house is too small for the amount of people you have, and therefore you need to find bigger housing.
Just because your house is not full to the brim doesn't mean that you need to bring in extra personnel to fill it! In fact, we recommend that Homes have an extra room that they can use for a guestroom, or a prayer room or nap room.
I am still firmly convinced that the small independent Colonies are the most effective and the hardest to stop! We've had some big ones that collapsed or got slowed to a standstill just by their own size and weight! (ML #127:44.)
Our first shifting of gears is going to be a mandatory change in Colony size. This will now give an opportunity for the development of new leadership in each small easily manageable unit. This will reduce our Colony sizes closer to the ideal family-size unit and Heavenly Home instead of a monstrous mess of unmanageable conglomeration! (ML #329B:25,36).
Perhaps a very few slightly oversize Colonies may be necessary for the handling of ... specialized operations [Service Homes] (ML #155:9).
C. A Charter Member who stays in a Home for more than 30 days, who is not reported on another Home's TRF, is considered a member of that Home, and must be reported as such on the Home's monthly report. (See World Service Reporting and Mailing Rules, A. and Right of Mobility, A. 7.)
D. If a Home has exceeded the maximum personnel limit or fallen short of the minimum Home size on two consecutive monthly reports, the Home will be placed on Probationary Notice, in accordance with the Procedures for Placing a Home on Probationary Notice, points D. E. and F. None of the Home members will lose their Right of Mobility.
These [DO] Letters will be withheld ... until such time as you notify us that you have divided your Colony into smaller Colonies ... when you will again be placed on the full-fledged membership Colony list. ... This means that if you want to stay on the regular membership mailing list for all Letters you must all reduce in size ... or you'll lose your Letters! (ML #329B:29,37.)
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family