(To be read one week prior to each election date as a reminder of the procedures and responsibilities of electing your Home teamwork.)
We want you to be able to choose your own Home teamwork, people you love and trust and respect as good shepherds, those who have courage to make the difficult decisions which shepherds need to make, who can encourage you to do your best for the Lord and His work, and who can lovingly correct you when you're not doing your best. These elections are not popularity contests, and you have a serious responsibility to desperately pray for the Lord to lead and guide you to choose those whom He wants to shepherd the Home. United prayer for the Lord's help and guidance should accompany the elections.
If you feel your present Home teamwork or individual members of it aren't sufficiently living up to the shepherding standards that Dad and Mama have laid out in the Letters, then you should vote in those whom you feel will, including young adults! Please take into consideration that shepherding is a difficult responsibility. It's a very big sacrifice, as shepherds do what often seems like such a thankless job. If you find you're voting out one teamwork after another and you can't find anyone who can do the job the way you think they should, then maybe you're part of the problem; maybe you're extremely difficult to shepherd and need to pray and ask the Lord to help you.--Or maybe you can ask to try the shepherding job yourself for a while.
We want you to have more say in the running of your Home and we want you to decide who shepherds your Home, but in doing so it puts the responsibility of the Home on your shoulders. If your Home doesn't run well, then you're partly to blame, since you elected those who run it. (However, if you feel your Home has problems that can't be resolved on a local level or you're having specific problems with one or more of your shepherds that are hindering your Home, then please be sure to notify your CRO shepherds via their Open Heart box.)

YAs and Senior Teens on Home teamworks
         Most of our young adults have been in the Family for at least 18 years, which is longer than many of our older adults. They have had the Word and the Family principles poured into them since birth, and we feel it's good to allow them to use all that they have learned, to put them in the position to apply their training. Although we older adults have certain experiences that our young adults haven't had, they have had a major experience which we have not undergone; they have grown up in the Family!--And because of this, they have a great understanding of how our Family children and teens see things. They understand their needs, desires, frustrations, etc., even better than we do, because they've experienced them.
If the PER is anything, it's a concerted effort to encourage our teens by trying to understand the needs and desires of our youth and do something about them. Who better can help us accomplish that than those who have the experience, our young adults? Therefore, in order to help us better care for our youth, we would like to suggest that when your Home holds its teamwork elections, any mature and responsible young adults or senior teens could be considered for a place on the Home's teamwork, just as any older adult could be considered. (Although the election of a young adult to your Home teamwork is not mandatory, if you have competent young adults in your Home who could be trained in such responsibilities, we strongly suggest you consider this. Keep in mind that senior teens are not eligible for the Business teamworker position.) Any young adult elected by the Home would have voting power equal to that of the other Home teamworkers. Having a young adult on the teamwork would benefit the young people in the Home by helping them to have more choice in Home matters.

How to Hold Home Elections:
         1. Election dates: Each Home should hold mandatory Home officer elections every six months, prior to the required date, as stipulated by your respective continental office, for your February and August monthly report. New Homes should hold elections within 7 days of opening, then hold elections at the normal times, so they will be synchronized with other Homes.
2. Voters include all members of the Home who have reached the age of 16 and who have been in the Family for at least 6 months. Only voting members can be nominated and elected to Home teamworks.
3. Nominations for teamwork positions: One week before the election date, the Home should hold a meeting in which Home members can submit nominations for each of the teamwork positions.
first decision or vote should be on how many teamworkers to elect. Even small Homes should have three Home teamworkers. Larger Homes can decide, by a simple majority vote, whether they want to have more than three Home teamwork members. (Smaller Homes might want to have the Business teamworker carry the Outreach portfolio, as suggested in the DTR Letter, rather than electing an Outreach teamworker.)
         Those nominated for teamwork positions should be consulted before their name is brought up for election, in case they don't
want the job. Some people might not want the job because they've been teamworkers for years and desperately want a break. Of course, if the nominations are public (verbal), then those people may feel pressured to accept, even though they don't want the position or don't feel capable of handling it. To avoid this problem, Home members could submit written nominations for teamwork positions, which would give the people nominated a chance to be consulted and either accept or decline the nomination.
         Written nominations also give the shyer people a chance to participate more, since they may not feel as free to voice their opinions. And if anyone feels intimidated nominating people other than the
present teamwork members, this would give them a chance to do so in a private manner.
         The names of those nominated should be posted somewhere in the Home so that throughout the week everyone can be reminded who has been nominated. This will give the Home members a full week to think and pray about whom they personally feel would be the best choices to fill the teamwork posts. It's better to refrain from talking with others about whom you or they are going to vote for, as this could cause a rash of gossip, peer pressure or "lobbying" for votes. Use this week to pray and seek the Lord about the available choices, so that when you do vote you will be voting according to how the Lord has led you and not because someone else has convinced you to vote for a certain person. In cases where some lobbying has taken place, Family members have found it detrimental to the election. Only voting members can be nominated. Since 16- and 17-year-old members have no vote on financial matters, they are not eligible to become Business teamworkers.
4. Vote for each teamwork position separately. The order of voting is determined by a simple majority (51% of the Home's voting members).

         5. Majority rules: Unanimous votes are not necessary. Teamwork positions will be filled by the nominee receiving the greatest number of votes for that position. Once a nominee is elected to one post, then he or she will be out of the running for the other teamwork positions.

         6. YAs, senior teens or disciples less than one year in the Family: Because of the immensity of the teamwork job, young adults, senior teens and disciples who have been in the Family for less than one year, who have never been on a Home teamwork before, will be considered "trainees" for their first six months on the job. There are several ways to bring your YAs and new disciples into positions on the Home teamwork, and here are two possibilities:
         a) The first time ever that a young adult or disciple less than one year in the Family is elected to a Home teamwork, he or she does not have to be voted into a specific teamwork position. For example, your Home can vote in eligible teamworkers to fill the various positions, and you can vote in one or two young adults or disciples less than one year in the Family to also be on the teamwork, but without specific portfolios for the first election period. Giving these folks six months of "on-the-job training" will allow them the opportunity to help out in all of the teamwork responsibilities, and will show them, and the Home, which type of shepherding role they are best suited for. If they are re-nominated to the Home teamwork after six months, they could then be elected to fill a specific teamwork position.
         b) Alternately, if they have a special burden and training in a specific ministry or position, such as Childcare or Outreach or Teen/JETT shepherding, they could be voted in as a trainee for that specific position right away, and would work alongside the seasoned adult who was voted in to hold that position for the entire six months.
         Although "trainees," these young adult and new disciple teamwork members will have a full vote on the teamwork.
7. Secret ballots: Voting must be conducted by secret ballot. A committee of three people, consisting of one teamwork member and two other non-teamwork members selected by the Home should count the votes. This committee would announce the winners, but the winning margins should remain confidential and not be disclosed to spare the feelings of those who lost.
         The Home can determine the method of voting they use. Some possibilities: If voters are concerned that their secret ballots may be distinguished by their handwriting, one idea would be to use a color-coded system. Each candidate in the running would be assigned a different color, and corresponding slips of colored paper would be available by the ballot box. The ballot box could be left somewhere in a central location, and Home members could come by and place the color-coded slip of the person they'd like to vote for in the box sometime during the day. The voting could be opened in the morning and votes could be counted that night. (Or instead of color coding the ballots, you could assign each nominee a number, or someone could write or type out duplicate copies of the names of the nominees, so each voter could simply check, circle or underline the name they want to vote for.)
8. Tie Votes: In the event of a tie vote, hold a run-off election for that position. If the tie is unbroken after three run-off elections, then the Home must decide, by a simple majority, if the two candidates should both become part of the teamwork, or if they should alternate being on the teamwork--one for the first three months of office and the other for the second three months.
9. Special elections: If a Home loses a teamworker for some reason--his visa is denied, or whatever the case may be--then the Home must hold an election to fill the position within seven days. The person elected to this position holds the office until the next election date or confirmation vote.

         10. Confirmation votes must be held, by secret ballot, before the required date, as stipulated by your respective continental office, for your May and November monthly report. Voting should be by secret ballot, a simple yes/no type of vote, and must be held to determine whether everyone is happy with the performance of the Home officers. It requires a two-thirds (67%) majority to recall Home officers from office.
         If a two-thirds majority vote
against confirming the Home teamwork, the Home will hold new Home elections within seven days in accordance with the Home Election Rules above. The term of office of a Home teamwork in such a case is only until the next Home Election date.

         Much love,

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family