June 23, 2004
Our hope and prayer through these Missionary Member Statutes is to help Family Missionary members fulfill Jesus' two most important commandments: to love God and others.
These statutes define the responsibilities that the Family's Missionary members and Homes are expected to live up to. They also explain the rights and define the standard of membership and the procedures that will be used in governing Missionary members.
The principle that should be emphasized above all is the Law of Love. We should strive to make the Law of Love the cardinal rule that we all abide by when fulfilling our responsibilities, exercising our rights, and obeying Family rules. The apostle Peter wrote, "And above all things have fervent love among yourselves: for love shall cover the multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8).
The Missionary member category is one of active service.—It is comprised of active Homes and members who are devoted to the Family and to winning and helping the world's lost and needy people. Homes and Family members in this category are those who voluntarily maintain a high spiritual standard and are active in their service for the Lord, witnessing, promoting Activated, and being a positive influence in their community. Those awarded this membership status will need to work hard to maintain it.
Missionary members are expected to be true followers of the teachings of David and to maintain a high spiritual standard. As believers and missionaries, you are very important to the Lord, to Mama and Peter, the rest of the Family, your sheep, and the lost.
Activated program: The distribution of the Family's Activated magazine and other publications and products, signing up subscribers to the Activated magazine and/or feeding them with the magazine personally on an ongoing basis, personal witnessing and soul winning, with the goal of lasting follow-up and building a local church.
Age determination: when an age is specified in these statutes, such as "18 years of age," it always includes those who have passed the birthday of the age stated.
Children: Family members under the age of 16.
City: when "city" is used throughout this document it is referring to an actual city, town, or village, not a "metropolitan area" (see definition below).
Closed city: a city where the opening of further Homes is not permitted without Rules and Clearance Council (RCC) approval.
Closed metropolitan area: a metropolitan area where the opening of further Homes is not permitted without Rules and Clearance Council approval.
Common pot: fund used by the continental area for area projects, leadership assistance, gifts to needy missions, fellowships, camps, etc., to which all Family disciple and Missionary member Homes donate 3% of their monthly income.
Continental Council (CC): the teamwork of continental officers overseeing a continental area.
Debt: overdue or non-payment of financial obligations to Family Production Centers, Family businesses, Family Homes, or Family members. Credit that is given to a Home or member, or payments to be made over time, does not count as debt, but defaulting on those scheduled payments does.
Excommunication: a disciplinary action excluding a member from being a Family disciple, Missionary member, or Fellow member of the Family and disallowing the excommunicated member from receiving all Family literature other than that designated DFO or GP. The Rules and Clearance Council can also disallow an excommunicated member contact with Family Homes.
Family Aid Fund (FAF): fund to which all Family disciple and Missionary member Homes donate 1% of their monthly income, to be used for pioneer gifts, tool gifts, passed on gifts, Home loans, baby bonuses, and gifts to needy Homes.
Family disciple: Family members living communally in a Family discipleship Home and fulfilling the membership requirements and responsibilities listed in the Love Charter.
Fellow member: Family member that is saved, completes a monthly TRF, tithes, and fulfills the responsibilities of Fellow members, as outlined in the Fellow Members Statutes.
HER (Home Emergency Reserve): reserve funds made available to Missionary member Homes upon request, in the case of a genuine emergency. The decision to give HER funds to a requesting Missionary member Home will be decided by the continental officers of the region. HER funds are only available for Missionary members and not other non-Missionary members living in the same household.
Homes' monthly report: Tithers' Report Form (TRF).
Household: the premises where Missionary members reside, including any other non-Family members living with them.
Intellectual copyright material: a legal term referring to any original works of an author or composer that he or she has written, created, or made, etc., and encompassing the general areas of copyright, trademarks, patents, etc.
Liabilities: all of the Home's and members' financial obligations—accounts payable.
Love Charter: official Family document that defines the Family disciple membership and basic structure of the Family.
Mass distribution outreach tools: publications, either printed, digital or analog recorded audio (cassette or CD/DVD), video, or other electronic media intended for distribution to the general public.
Metropolitan area: large city or urbanized area including adjacent suburbs and towns. Metropolitan areas in question may be defined by the Regional Council.
Missionary member Homes: an individual or multiple members living communally who fulfill the requirements of the Missionary Member Statutes, tithe, give a 1% FAF gift, 3% Common Pot gift, report monthly to WS and receive their mailings and publications from World Services.
National area: a specific geographical area, designated by the Continental Council, serviced by the national boards.
Probation: a disciplinary action, from three to six months, given by the Rules and Clearance Council. Probation might result in a reading list assignment and/or a loss of fellowship with other Family members to varying degrees depending on the offense. Reoccurrence of offenses warranting probation will place a member in jeopardy of losing their Missionary membership.
Probationary notice: a disciplinary measure imposed on a Missionary member Home by the Rules and Clearance Council for failing to live up to the Charter's "Responsibilities of the Home" or as a result of collective infractions committed by Home members in violation of the Missionary Members Statutes.
Regional area: a specific geographical area, designated by WS, and overseen by continental officers and the Rules and Clearance Council of that area, and serviced by the regional boards.
Regional Council (RC): The chairpersons of the six boards within that regional area. The Regional Council oversees all Family work and activities within that region.
Reporting Office (RO): formerly the Continental Reporting Office, where Homes send their monthly TRFs, tithe, 1% FAF gift, and 3% Common Pot contribution.
Rules and Clearance Council (RCC): The Visitation and Shepherding (VS) national board, along with the chairperson(s) of the VS regional board, together make up the Rules and Clearance Council for that national area. The RCC handles clearance requests and investigation and/or application of disciplinary measures within their national area. Countries with more than one RCC will create a single clearance committee with members from each RCC to handle clearances to their area from outside the country.
Sexual act: (A) genital contact; (B) contact between the mouth and the genitals; (C) the intentional touching of the genitals with an intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.
Sexual contact: the intentional touching of the intimate parts of another person with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.
Sexual interaction: anything sexual done with another person. This includes sexual acts, sexual contact, and deep kissing.
Simple majority: a vote in which the decision of over 50% of the voting members determines the outcome of the vote.
Tithe: 10% of all cash income to be given to the Lord via World Services.
World Services (WS): administrative and publication arm of the Family.
Missionary members should:
A. Maintain a close connection with God through personal communion with Jesus and hearing from Him; personal and/or united prayer and praise; personal and/or united reading of His Word (both the Bible and the Letters); Scripture memorization; and the minimizing and resisting of worldly, ungodly, and unedifying influences in their lives; thus exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit, which are "love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance" (Galatians 5:22-23).
As Missionary members, you should strive to maintain a deep relationship with Jesus through prayer, praise, the written Word, and personal prophecy. As Family members you should pray and hear from the Lord, both individually and with others, and strengthen your spirit through regularly reading God's Word, privately and united.
God's Word says, "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17). In order to strengthen your faith and to be in tune with the Lord and the direction that He is giving the Family, it is imperative that you read and study His Word, both the Bible and the Letters and other WS publications, for they contain a wealth of needed counsel, direction, and spiritual feeding.
You should "resist the Devil" (James 4:7) by striving to minimize ungodly and unedifying influences in your lives. These ungodly and unedifying influences could be anything that pulls you away from the Lord or pollutes your spirit, mind, or heart with "junk food" of the spirit and hinders your connection with God. Undoubtedly, in your day_to_day living, work, and outreach you will come in contact with ungodly influences, but you should attempt to minimize them by not intentionally inflicting upon yourselves things that you know to be ungodly or unedifying. Excessive input of worldly influences will weaken your spirit and hinder your connection with Jesus.
B. Believe that David was God's Endtime Prophet and that Maria is God's chosen and anointed successor, who has inherited David's mantle as God's Prophetess.
There are a number of differences between the churches and the Family, but the main one is that God gave us David, His Endtime Prophet, as our founder, shepherd, and leader. Through the years Dad trained Maria as his successor, and with his passing, the Lord has anointed her as His Prophetess and Shepherdess of the Family, and David's mantle passed to her. Years ago, in prophecy through Dad the Lord said to Maria, "When David is taken from you, you shall be known as a prophetess, and you shall be heeded as the Oracles of God and you shall become as another one—as the Prophetess of God!" (ML #111:22). We know by the wonderful fruit of Dad and Mama's ministry, the billions reached with the Gospel and the millions of souls saved through the Family, that they are called and chosen of God.
C. Believe, uphold, and teach to their children that are Missionary members, the Family's fundamental beliefs, Biblical and revealed, as published in "The Family's Statement of Faith," or otherwise declared in a publication with a ML or GN number.
The Lord, through the Bible, Dad, Mama, and Peter, has poured forth an immense amount of teaching, training, guidance, spiritual truths, revelations, and direction. The Bible and the Letters embody our religious beliefs and doctrine. These beliefs vary in importance, but some are an integral and essential part of our faith, which Family Missionary members must believe and uphold.
"The Family's Statement of Faith" articulates most of the Family's fundamental beliefs, and includes the following subjects: the Holy Scriptures, God and the Trinity, Creation, the fall of man, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, salvation by grace, the Holy Spirit, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit, the fruits of the Spirit, the gift of prophecy, angels, departed saints, Satan and his demons, spiritual warfare, prayer, divine healing, the Lord's Supper—communion, the fellowship of believers, the Church, the Great Commission, consecration, our separation from the world, discipleship, cooperative communal living, marriage and children, the sanctity of life, civil government and religious liberty, Jesus' Law of Love, the Bride of Christ, and belief in Bible prophecy indicating that we are living in the Time of the End.
D. Live in accordance with the Word by endeavoring to apply the counsel given in the Family publications to their daily lives, in accordance with what is expected of them as Missionary members.
The Letters contain God's counsel for the Family, and as Family members we should do our best to please God by following the guidance He's given in His Word. Missionary members, however, are not required to live the counsel in the Word that pertains to Family discipleship Homes that portray the sample of full-time discipleship as per the Words of David.
E. Endeavor to overcome, and when necessary request united prayer against those personal weaknesses and besetting sins that cause physical or spiritual disruption, and physical, spiritual, or emotional harm to themselves or others.
F. Endeavor to apply the principles of the Law of Love; to love, care for, refrain from causing discord, and interact harmoniously with members of their Home as well as all Family members.
Dad succinctly explained the Law of Love in the following quote. "'Love doeth thy neighbor no harm,' for 'thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself': This is God's Law of Love! 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.' 'Against such love there is no law.' This is the Lord's Law of Love. Obey it and you can have total love, life, and liberty in the Lord. These are God's conditions [Romans 13:10; Matthew 22:39; 7:12; Galatians 5:22-23]" (ML #302C:8).
We should endeavor to fulfill the Scriptural injunction to "bear one another's burdens" and to love one another by doing all we can to make sure that we are aware of the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of those around us, and do whatever we can to help care for them. We should refrain from discord and allow the Law of Love to govern all of our actions, for it is the basis for all of our Family rules, responsibilities, and rights.
G. Conduct themselves as good Christians, showing outgoing love and concern for others and interact lovingly and harmoniously with all people.
As Christians and representatives of the Family, we are responsible to manifest the Lord's love to all men by being good samples of His love; to avoid actions, words, or attitudes that would stumble, hurt or confuse others, or reflect negatively on the Lord, His Word, or His work.
H. Recognize that their bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost, and as such not abuse them.
The Family's definition of "abusing the body" also includes the smoking of any substance, which is forbidden, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or any other substance people can smoke. We should also be moderate in the consumption of alcohol, keep a clean and presentable appearance, compatible with the country and culture in which we live, and actively and regularly endeavor to stay healthy and physically fit.
As witnessing Christians, our personal appearance is also part of our testimony and therefore an important part of our witness that can reflect either positively or negatively on our missionary work.
I. Respect the Charter standard and rules in any Family discipleship Home or when fellowshipping with Family disciples.
When visiting Family discipleship Homes, or attending Family disciple fellowships, Missionary members must respect the Charter rules and standard that Family disciples are trying to maintain, including abiding by any alcohol, movie, and Internet usage guidelines, or any other guidelines that the Family discipleship Homes have in place.
Sexual acts or contact between Missionary members and Family disciples are not permitted. Missionary members who violate this rule will be placed on probation for three to six months. A further breaking of the Missionary Member Statutes while on probation may result in the loss of Missionary membership.
J. Make the decision on medical matters involving themselves or their children.
We believe that divine healing is a privilege available to all who believe in Jesus. The decision to avail yourself of that privilege is a personal matter between you and God. Generally it is recommended to trust the Lord for your healing, but we understand that the Lord works in each of our lives in different ways, and in some cases He may want someone to get the help of a doctor as part of trusting Him. When it comes to healing, the decision whether to trust God completely for healing or to seek medical help is up to you. "According to your faith be it unto you" (Matthew 9:29). Dad said, "God wants you to make your own choice by faith according to your own faith—not mine, not ours, not somebody else's, but yours!" (ML #M:45).
If you are a parent (or legal guardian) with children in the Family, the medical decisions regarding your underage children are your responsibility to make and they should be made in your child's best interests.
K. Fulfill their obligations, financial, legal and otherwise, to the Family and others promptly and with due diligence.
This also includes maintaining the tool fund they've received from WS, which at present is US$50 per person or the equivalent in distribution tools.
L. Engage in active missionary outreach on a regular basis.
The Lord has called all Christians to partake in the Great Commission (Mark 16:15). As Family members we have answered that call and have made a commitment to win others to Jesus by preaching the Gospel. As Missionary members you should actively engage in missionary activities, according to your abilities, such as distribution of Family publications and products, personal witnessing and soul winning, signing up people to the Activated magazine course (if available), and follow-up and/or building up a local body of believers. Special attention should be given to the Activated program, if it is available in your area, as distribution of the Activated materials and promoting the Activated magazine course is the required minimum witnessing for Missionary members.
1. Missionary members, 16 years of age and older, must, health permitting, spend a minimum of two hours per week, or eight hours per month, of quality witnessing time.
The goal of course, is for able Missionary members to spend many more hours preaching the Gospel and helping others, two hours is the bare minimum for those who simply are unable to witness more. These two hours per week should be "quality witnessing hours." This two hours of focused witnessing does not include fundraising activities that have little or no witness, such as ballooning, face painting, car washing, etc. Quality witnessing hours should focus on witnessing activities, such as signing up people to the Activated magazine course (if available), distribution of Family publications and products, personal witnessing, soul winning, follow-up, and/or establishing a local church.
2. If you are pastoring a flock or establishing a following, you should teach them by using the 12 Foundation Stones or 12 Bridges courses (if available) or work towards bringing your flock to that level with the goal of teaching your flock these courses.
The 12 Foundation Stones or 12 Bridges class books might not be translated into your local language; in that case you should at least cover the main points in each 12 Foundation Stones class by using whatever materials you have available in your language, supplemented by whatever Letters or materials referred to in the classes that are available in your local language.
We recognize that among select, non-Christian cultures, some of your sheep may not reach the level of 12 Foundation Stones or 12 Bridges, or that it may take a long time before they do so. Nevertheless, you should be working towards bringing them along spiritually as much as they are able to receive, even if progress is slower than in other cultures or countries.
M. Maintain a lifestyle that contributes and reflects positively on their membership in the Family.
Each of us should be a good example of a Christian and of a Family member, for our sample speaks much louder than our sermon. As much as possible, our actions should lift up Jesus, and none of them should defame or blemish either the Lord or the Family.
In different areas of the world, this could mean refraining from different things. Wherever we live, we must take into account the traditions and culture of the community or country and try not to do things that would offend individuals of that culture. This is part of trying to comply with the Biblical counsel to "become all things to all men" (1 Corinthians 9:22).
There is, of course, a great deal of counsel in the Letters regarding our sample and actions, which applies no matter where we live.
N. Present themselves, their Family membership, and their work in an honest manner and act responsibly in any business or financial dealings, provisioning, fundraising, tool distribution, appeals for support, bookkeeping, and other obligations related to legal entities, humanitarian aid, and the receipt of government benefits.
The Lord has instructed us to "provide things honest in the sight of all men" (Romans 12:17), and it's important that our sample to others reflects that in every part of our lives. As Missionary members you should be open about your membership in the Family when witnessing and in particular when distributing tools and fundraising, provisioning, making appeals, etc. While it's good to present the Family's works, Missionary members or Homes must not present other Homes or members' works as their own.
O. Take precautions to keep their Home library, electronic or otherwise, secure. Giving or loaning publications to those who are not eligible for them will result in a Missionary member Home or individual being placed on probation or losing their Missionary membership.
1. In exceptional cases, the continental officers of the region or World Services may give members permission to give literature to those who would not normally be eligible to receive it.
Missionary Homes and members must take the necessary steps to keep their mailings in a secure location that is inaccessible to non-Family members at all times. This is especially important for Missionary members that live in a household that also houses non-Family members.
Publications designated for Family disciples and Missionary members only should not be given or loaned to others, published, reprinted, or posted on Web sites without permission from your RCC or WS. Portions can, however, be read with those you are ministering to, at your discretion. GP publications may be distributed widely and DFO publications may be shared with friends and those you minister to.
2. All publications in the possession of Missionary members must have portions deleted or modified, if necessary, in accordance with the WS pubs purge advisories.
P. Receive permission from the Family disciple and Missionary member Home(s) in that metropolitan area before distributing Family publications or products to the general public, if not residing in that particular metropolitan area.
1. The Rules and Clearance Council may overrule the decision of the Homes in a metropolitan area if the RCC determines that the members requesting permission should be allowed to witness in the metropolitan area.
2. Missionary members may not distribute Family publications or products to the general public in a metropolitan area its Regional Council has designated closed to those not residing there.
Q. Purchase all distribution tools through their local Production Center or a Family disciple Home, unless special permission to do otherwise is granted by the GP Production Board overseeing this ministry. Printing or obtaining Family products from any other source, unless specifically authorized could result in the loss of Missionary membership.
1. Missionary members may duplicate WS-produced black-and-white GP tracts without prior authorization.
R. Submit for approval to a committee appointed by the GP Production Board for their region, any printed, electronic, audio or visual products created for distribution to the general public.
1. Missionary members may create their own tracts, newsletters, follow-up materials, etc., without approval providing these are for follow-up use by their Home only, and are not distributed by other Homes or sold to the general public.
S. Refrain from engaging in activities that reflect negatively on other Homes in their area or country, or on the Family in general.
Missionary members and their household are a reflection of the Family to the public and local community and must be in line with Family standards and local expectations in such things as cleanliness, vehicles, property maintenance, adequate living accommodations, homeschooling documentation, and responsible witnessing with children and teens.
T. Live in unity by supporting the joint decisions of other Missionary members living in their Home.
If any Missionary member, after counsel, prayer, and seeking the Lord with the other Missionary members he/she lives with, is still in disagreement or unable to cooperate with the majority decisions, he/she should voluntarily leave that Home by moving to another Missionary member Home or opening his/her own Missionary member Home.
U. Obtain written permission from their Regional Council before engaging in any verbal or written legal agreements in the name of the Family, Family entities, or any Family authorized companies, or acting as an official representative, other than a sales representative, of any Family publications, productions, or companies.
V. Inform and seek counsel from their regional Public Relations board before participating in national, international, or other major media interviews, documentaries, movies, books, written rebuttals, press releases, or articles in the name of the Family.
Missionary members have the right to:
A. Remain a Family Missionary member, providing they conduct themselves as Missionary members as outlined in the Missionary Member Statutes.
If you are keeping the rules in these Missionary Member Statutes and complying with any GNs concerning the responsibilities of Missionary membership you cannot be moved to Fellow membership, nor be excommunicated; you have the right to remain a Missionary member.
B. Receive all Missionary member World Services mailings.
Missionary members who fulfill their responsibilities as Missionary members and Homes will receive Missionary member WS mailings.
C. Move to Family disciple membership providing they are eligible and they follow the procedure.
The Fellow Member Statutes clearly define what Fellow membership is and what one has to do to qualify for and to remain a Fellow member. Any Missionary member who wishes to move to Fellow membership has the right to do so, as long as he or she abides by the Fellow Member Statutes.
Anyone is free to leave the Family at any time he or she wishes. No one is forced to remain. In fact, if someone wants to move on from Family membership, we encourage him or her to do so. We do not coerce anyone to remain in the Family; on the contrary, we seek only those who have made a personal decision to be in the Family in whatever place of service they choose.
Parents or guardians of children are responsible to:
A. Raise their children in a godly manner and impart to them the knowledge of God through His Word. They should love and care for their children, and see that their physical, spiritual, medical, and emotional needs are supplied to the best of their ability, and should protect their children from all forms of abuse, including physical, mental, emotional, sexual, or psychological. They should see to it that their school-aged children are properly and sufficiently educated on an ongoing basis, and ensure that sufficient academic records of their children's educational progress are kept.
1. In certain circumstances, Missionary members might share the parenting of their children with a non-Family member and not have full control over decisions affecting their children's upbringing and training. Nevertheless, the Missionary members should attempt to raise their children in a godly manner as much as is within their ability to do so.
C. Discipline their Missionary member children in accordance with the standard in the "Family Discipline Guidelines" (ML #2919), so that their children's behavior is not a reproach to the cause of Christ.
1. Missionary members living in a communal Missionary member Home should have a united disciplinary standard with the other members of the Home.
D. Properly counsel and guide their resident teenagers in all matters regarding emotional relationships, sexual interaction and birth control, ethics, community responsibility, the dangers of drugs, the laws of the land, and for those teens who would like to eventually move on, preparation for living independent of a Family Home.
It would be beneficial to those of your teenagers that might not want to remain in the Missionary member Family, or become full-time Family disciples to review the FED course created to help young people who leave the Family. (This info can be found on the Members Only site by searching for "info pak" in the FED catalog.)
Missionary member Homes are responsible to:
A. Send a monthly report of their activities and witnessing statistics, as per the instructions received from their reporting office, and tithe to World Services a full 10% of their Home's income, as well as contribute a further 1% to the Family Aid Fund (FAF) and 3% to their Common Pot.
In order to cover the cost of mailings and other services, World Services will continue to set a minimum figure for the monthly 10% tithe. Special exceptions from the minimum may be granted in hardship cases by the reporting office.
Failure to report and pay the 14% in full on any given month will automatically result in the Missionary member Home being placed on probationary notice.
In cases of no, low, or late 10% tithe, 1% FAF contribution, or 3% Common Pot contribution, no or late Home monthly report, the Missionary member Home will automatically be placed on probationary notice. If the situation with the no or late tithe, FAF contribution, Common pot contribution or TRF is not rectified within two months, their Missionary membership will be revoked.
As members of the Family, Missionary members are also encouraged to share of their abundance through offerings to World Services and/or Family members, as they choose.
B. Be free from debt to any Family governing body, Family business, another Family Home or individual, or to a business that services the Family.
If a Missionary member Home is in debt to their Production Center, another Family Home or individual, or to a Family business or business that services the Family for two consecutive months they will be placed on probationary notice. If the debt is not paid within 60 days the Missionary member Home will be moved to Fellow membership.
C. Complete all required evaluation forms on the dates set by their Regional Council and understand that their membership level status will undergo review during the Missionary members' periodic evaluation, to determine whether they are living up to the Missionary Member Statutes, are a positive reflection of the Family, and so can remain a Missionary member Home.
The decisions and actions of all persons residing in the Missionary member household, including any non-Missionary members, will be taken into consideration and could influence the outcome of the Missionary member Home's membership at its review.
1. Missionary member Homes that do not pass the evaluation will automatically lose their Missionary membership.
D. Be an example of a positive Christian influence.
A Missionary member Home should not share their living premises with those who are a reproach to the cause of Christ or those involved in criminal behavior.
E. Follow directives from World Services and follow area goals sent out by the Continental Council to the Missionary member Family.
F. Belong to the City Council in their city or metropolitan area and operate in accordance with decisions made by that council.
If a city or metropolitan area has more than one Family disciple or Missionary member Home, a City Council consisting of representatives from each of the local Homes should meet at least every two months.
The voting of the City Council will be conducted as follows:
When a person joins the Family as a Missionary member, he or she becomes an integral part and influence on the Home he or she joins and eventually on other Homes as well. Thus someone accepted as a new member into the Missionary member Family must meet certain criteria.
A. For a person to become a new Missionary member he or she must:
1. Have received Jesus as his or her personal Savior and been filled with the Holy Spirit.
2. Be of legal age, or if not, have notarized parental permission.
3. Have a basic understanding of the Family, its goals, way of life, and believe that David was God's Endtime Prophet and that Maria is God's chosen and anointed successor, who has inherited David's mantle, as God's Prophetess.
4. Have completed the 12 Foundation Stones and 12 Bridges courses, which teaches the Family's beliefs. If he or she has completed the 12 Foundation Stones, but not the 12 Bridges, he or she may join as a Missionary member, but must complete the 12 Bridges within the first 6 months of being a member.
5. Show a sincere interest in reading God's Word and desire to engage in evangelism.
6. Have a sincere desire to dedicate his or her life to serving Jesus with the Family in the capacity of a Missionary member.
7. Be free from substance abuse and/or the use of illegal or illicit drugs.
8. Read the Missionary Member Statutes and make a commitment to follow the principles and guidelines outlined in the Missionary Member Statutes.
B. A two-thirds majority of the Home's voting members must agree to receive the person as a member of their Home, after having prayed and received confirmation from the Lord.
1. If the prospective member has been previously excommunicated, or is a former Family member, the Rules and Clearance Council must give its approval before he or she can rejoin as a Missionary member.
Since you are making the decision to allow this person to join not just your Home but the overall Family, confirmation from the Lord is also imperative, to get His approval and through prophecy, putting His stamp of approval on it or to stop you if it is not His will for the person to join as a Missionary member.
Some factors the Home will want to take into consideration are:
A. Missionary members will be placed on probation by the Rules and Clearance Council if the member commits one of the Offenses Warranting Probation.
1. Only the Rules and Clearance Council can place a Missionary member on probation.
B. The Rules and Clearance Council, upon determination that the Missionary member has committed one of the offenses warranting probation, will notify the member and the member's Home that he or she is on probation for three to six months.
C. Probation might result in a reading list assignment and/or a loss of fellowship with other Family members to varying degrees depending on the offense. Reoccurrence of offenses warranting probation or contravention of the terms of his or her probation will place a member in jeopardy of losing their Missionary membership.
1. Failure to send in monthly reports of their activities and witnessing statistics, as per the instructions received from their reporting office, or for failure to tithe to World Services a full 10% of its income, a further 1% to the Family Aid Fund (FAF) and 3% to their Common Pot.
2. Overdue bills or payments on borrowed funds to Family members or businesses. These are considered Home debts that the Home is responsible to pay. If a Home is in debt for two consecutive monthly reports, it will automatically be placed on probationary notice. (See definition of "debt" in the Definition of Terms.)
B. If the Rules and Clearance Council determines that a Missionary member Home should be placed on probationary notice:
1. The Rules and Clearance Council will write to the Home informing them they have been placed on probationary notice, specifically stating how they have contravened the Missionary Member Statutes.
a. The Rules and Clearance Council will inform the Home of the changes they must make to come off probationary notice. The Home must comply within 60 days or be moved to Fellow member status.
2. Home members may not join, or open, another Missionary member Home during the period of probationary notice.
A. Missionary members can be excommunicated by a two-thirds majority vote of the Rules and Clearance Council in conjunction with the continental officers of the region, only if the member commits an offense warranting excommunication.
1. Those who have been excommunicated may still have contact with Family members, unless expressly forbidden by the Rules and Clearance Council, which would be announced to all Family Homes within that country or region.
Those who have been excommunicated may still have contact with Family members, unless expressly forbidden by the RCC, which would be announced to the Homes. If contact is forbidden with Family members or Homes, the excommunicated member will be permitted to have contact with his or her personal family outside of a Family Home, if his or her family so desire.
Unless otherwise specified by the RCC, it is up to a Family Home to determine whether they will have contact with an excommunicated member, and to what degree. A Home cannot, however, allow an excommunicated member to join/rejoin their Home as a member without approval from the RCC.
B. Recommendation for excommunication of a Missionary member may be initiated by a continental officer or the Rules and Clearance Council.
1. If the Rules and Clearance Council, after investigation, determines that an excommunicable offense might have taken place, they will write to the Missionary member in question, notifying him or her of the allegations.
3. The Missionary member in question must submit a confession or report to the Rules and Clearance Council on the matter at this time.
4. The Rules and Clearance Council will then study and pray over any reports they receive and make a decision as to whether or not excommunication is warranted.
5. If by a two-thirds majority vote the Rules and Clearance Council and continental officers of the region determine that excommunication is warranted, they will notify the Missionary member and his or her Home in writing that the member's Family membership has been withdrawn.
A. A Missionary member's status can only be withdrawn and the member moved to Fellow member status by the Rules and Clearance Council if the member violates, contravenes, or fails to fulfill the "Responsibilities of Missionary Members," or if a Missionary member on probation contravenes the terms of his or her probation.
B. A Missionary member Home's membership can only be withdrawn and all the members of the Home moved to Fellow member status by the Rules and Clearance Council if the Home violates, contravenes, or fails to fulfill the "Responsibilities of the Missionary Member Home," and its members collectively fail to fulfill the "Responsibilities of Missionary Members."
C. Missionary members or Homes can be moved to Fellow membership by a two-thirds majority vote of the Rules and Clearance Council, providing the following procedure is adhered to:
1. The Rules and Clearance Council must write a letter to the Home explaining the reasons explicitly and showing just cause for the change of status of the member or the Home.
2. If, upon receipt of the letter from the Rules and Clearance Council, the individual or a majority of the Missionary member Home is in disagreement with the Rules and Clearance Council's decision, the member or Home has the right to contest the decision by sending a letter of rebuttal to the Continental Council, with a copy to the Rules and Clearance Council, within seven days.
a. The Continental Council, upon receiving the Home's or member's rebuttal must review the decision made by the Rules and Clearance Council, taking into consideration both sides, and make a decision on the Home or the individual's membership.
b. While under review, unless the Home is notified otherwise by the Continental Council, the Home will remain a Missionary member Home.
c. Once the Continental Council has made its decision, they will notify the Home or individual and the Rules and Clearance Council of their decision and the Home or individual will either retain Missionary membership or will become a Fellow member Home or Fellow member respectively.
3. If the Home or individual does not contest the decision of the Rules and Clearance Council, the change to a Fellow member Home or Fellow membership will be official.
Missionary members will be placed on probation for three to six months if determination has been made by the Rules and Clearance Council that they have committed any of the following offenses. Probation might result in a reading list and/or a loss of fellowship with other Family members to varying degrees depending on the offense. Reoccurrence of offenses warranting probation will place a member in jeopardy of losing their Missionary membership.
A. Sexual acts or contact with Family disciples.
B. Passing Family-only publications to those outside the Family.
While portions of publications may be shared with friends and contacts, giving FD/MM/FM publications to those not authorized to have them will result in probation.
C. Failure to report an excommunicable offense.
Missionary members will be excommunicated from Family membership and receiving all but GP/DFO Family literature if it is determined that they have committed any of the following excommunicable offenses:
A. Substance abuse.
We chose the terminology "substance abuse" to cover the full range of possibilities, both legal and illegal drugs and intoxicants. Some drugs and intoxicants are not illegal, but the use (or overuse) of them is considered abuse, for example, taking certain over_the_counter drugs for non-medical reasons. Even if not technically illegal, those activities could be considered substance abuse. The severity of the offense will be taken into consideration and may result in a lesser discipline administered by the RCC.
B. Committing violent, intentionally endangering, or life-threatening acts, except in defense of themselves, others, their family, or their property.
Family members should not commit violent or intentionally endangering or life-threatening acts, except in the rare case of trying to defend themselves, others, or their property. For example, you may, of course, resort to the use of legally sanctioned physical restraint or force if someone is about to bash you—or any innocent helpless person, for that matter—over the head with a bat, or is trying to grab your children or set fire to your property, etc.
This "committing violent acts" clause also covers violence with one's mate or children. If a Family member were to become violent with his or her mate or children, that member would face excommunication. If, however, a mate was defending himself or herself from spousal violence, then it could be judged a matter of self-defense and would not necessarily be grounds for excommunication. (See "Our Stance Against Physical Violence" Statement.)
Violence will not be tolerated in the Family, and those found guilty of violence or repeatedly threatening violence against others will be excommunicated from the Family. The severity of the offense will be taken into consideration and may result in a lesser discipline administered by the RCC.
C. Activities that foster schism within the Family, including the continual voicing of doubts, criticisms, or skepticism in a destructive manner designed to foster strife or doubts about Dad, Maria, Peter, the Word, or the Family.
It is understandable that from time to time we have questions or even doubts that we may need to have resolved by discussing them with someone. When such an occasion arises, you should feel free to openly and honestly share your heart with your shepherds so you can get the needed answers and prayer. Such matters are legitimate and need to be expressed, so it's perfectly acceptable to talk about your doubts or your criticisms with an appropriate shepherd when trying to get clarification or counsel, or express an objection to something that you're having a difficult time understanding or following. If you're doing it with the right attitude, and with the right people, whose job it is to try to answer and help you resolve your questions, as well as shepherd you through these things and help you overcome any misconceptions, then there's nothing wrong with it.
However, if you are speaking to members who are not the appropriate shepherds, and if after having been warned against it, you continue airing matters that result in the spreading of doubts or bringing about contention or division, this is unacceptable behavior and will warrant excommunication.
D. Sexual interaction by those 18 years of age and older with minors under the age of 14.
E. Sexual acts or sexual contact by those 18 years of age and older with minors under the age of 16 or the local age of consent, whichever is higher.
F. Male-with-male sexual interaction.
G. Persistent disregard for any of these statutes.
The word "persistent" is defined as "persevering obstinately," and the word "disregard" is defined as "to pay no attention or heed to; to ignore." So if someone is stubbornly and obstinately paying no attention to or is willfully ignoring or disobeying a clause in these statutes, that person will face excommunication, probation or loss of Missionary membership.
A. Some Missionary members have been, or are presently married to Family members who have chosen to remain as Family disciples. In such cases, it's advisable that the Family disciple and Missionary member who are contemplating a permanent separation or divorce wait at least six months after one partner has become a Missionary member before taking the serious step of dissolving the marriage. The couple must reach a mutual agreement regarding the custody of the children from the marriage, taking into account the children's preferences and best interests.
A written agreement, stating that the marriage is dissolved, giving details of the custody of the children, must be signed by both parties and two witnesses, using full legal names. Each party should retain a signed and notarized copy of the document. A signed and notarized copy of the separation agreement must be sent to the Reporting Office. Separating couples may choose to legalize their separation and custody agreements by obtaining a legal divorce.
A. The Rules and Clearance Council is authorized to grant or deny clearance within 30 days of receiving a request for clearance to a country within their national area from any Missionary member Home or member.
1. A Rules and Clearance Council cannot deny clearance to any voting member and their immediate family who wish to return to the country to which the voting member holds a passport.
2. Missionary member Homes or members must send their application to the Rules and Clearance Council of the country to which they are requesting clearance, and wait to receive notification of receipt of their clearance.
3. Clearance is automatically granted if, after receiving a notice of receipt from the Rules and Clearance Council, the member does not receive further response to his or her clearance request within 30 days of the date of receipt.
a. In the case of sensitive countries, after receiving a notice of receipt, members must wait to receive further notification of clearance from the Rules and Clearance Council for that country before moving.
B. A non-national Missionary member's permission to remain in a country may be withdrawn by the Rules and Clearance Council at any time for not upholding the Missionary Member Statutes. The Missionary member may appeal the decision to the Regional Council.
(To be filled out and signed by all new members after living in a Missionary member Home for six months and having been accepted by the Missionary member Home as a new Missionary member.)
I, _________, born ____/____/___ (dd/mm/yyyy), citizen of ________, on this the _______ (day) of _______ (month) of ______ (year), being of legal age and sound mind, having received Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, do hereby declare of my own free will my decision to devote my time, energies, talents, and material resources to the furtherance of preaching the Gospel into all the world as a Missionary member of the Family. I have prayerfully studied and accept the Biblical beliefs of the Family as outlined in "The Family's Statement of Faith." I have also thoroughly read the Missionary Member Statutes and understand and accept my responsibilities and rights as outlined therein. I acknowledge that the life and vocation of a missionary requires dedication, sacrifice, and the giving of oneself, and hereby do dedicate myself to work in unity and cooperation with my fellow laborers, to fulfill my responsibilities to, to the best of my ability preach the Gospel to every creature, and to love the Lord with all my heart and my neighbor as myself (Mark 16:15; Matthew 22:37-40).
I realize that the Family is a voluntary fellowship, from which I am free to depart at any time. If at any time I fail to fulfill the requirements of Missionary membership, I will voluntarily relinquish my rights and responsibilities as a Missionary member and return all necessary publications and Family property.
(This form is to be filled out by Missionary members when requesting clearance to another country. Send this form to your Reporting Office who will then pass it on to the appropriate RCC. You may use the back of this form or attach extra paper if you need more space.)
Note to RCC: Receipt of this form must be acknowledged within 30 days.
Date of request: __/__/__ (dd/mm/yyyy)Home number: ________
Country for which clearance is requested: ______________
Have you researched the visa requirements for your nationality? Do you feel you can fulfill these requirements, and do you have the faith to obtain a permanent or semi-permanent visa and/or have the faith/support for any possible visa trips?
Financial information (in US$):
a. Amount of landing funds: $ __________
b. Other support (child benefits/pensions, etc.): $_____________
c. Expected home support (monthly): $ ___________
Do you have any financial, military, and/or legal obligations? (check one) [ ] No [ ] Yes (If yes, please explain:) _________
Do you, or any member of your family, have any particular ailment that requires special medical or dietary care? (check one) [ ] No [ ] Yes (If yes, please explain:) ____
Do you plan to open your own Home or have you been invited to an existing Home? (Please explain:) ___
Please give a brief general résumé of countries where you have been, ministries, talents, languages you speak, present burdens, etc. Also include a brief rundown on what you consider your main strengths and weaknesses. _____
__________________Signature of applicant (and mate, if applicable)
(Reading this brief summary should not replace the reading of ML #2919, which contains the full counsel and further explanation of each of the following points, by referring to the paragraphs from the GN mentioned below.)
1. We must provide a loving, happy, secure environment for our children, making sure that their physical, spiritual, and emotional needs are being met (par.7-11).
2. The Home should work towards improving its childcare department and helping to lighten the workload of those involved with children (par.189-191).
3. Good training helps eliminate the need for much "correctional discipline." Our goal is happy, self disciplined children who want to do the right thing (par.12-20).
4. Parents, or those they appoint in their absence, are the main persons responsible for the care and conduct of their children. (par.49-57)
5. Parents, teachers, and others working with children need to be familiar with the "Family Discipline Guidelines." Failure to heed these guidelines could result in disciplinary action being taken by a Home against a negligent parent or adult (par.185-188).
6. All Home members are responsible to monitor the correction of children and young Family members and report to their teamwork any serious neglect or excesses they encounter, or concerns they have (par.5,182-184).
7. Home members must meet regularly to establish united behavioral and disciplinary standards (par.21-30). This involves agreeing on Home rules, defining appropriate correctional methods, and establishing clear limits for any correctional discipline or punishment to be given. The age and maturity of children involved must be taken into consideration.
8. Clearly inform children of the behavioral rules of the Home and be sure they know the consequences for disobedience. Keep the standard you expect within reach, the rules few and simple, use moderation, make exceptions if needed, and do not over correct children (par.58-62).
9. Help the child understand what they did wrong and why they are being corrected. Give the child opportunity to explain (par.80-81).
10. Correction should be given in love and be well balanced with praise. Do not discipline in anger. Harsh discipline is not the Family way or the Lord's way (par.89-100).
11. Be diligent, consistent, moderate, prayerful, and Spirit led; show no favoritism; look for the cause; use wisdom; remain flexible; show mercy when needed; put yourself in their shoes, and pray without ceasing! (par.83-92, 101-108).
All discipline should be "age appropriate," "proportionate to the offense," and "reasonable in all circumstances!" (par.123, 125, 128, 142, 154, 159).
Common Correctional Methods (short of corporal punishment)
1. Give verbal instruction; let the child know clearly what you expect (par.118).
2. Express disappointment or displeasure in a verbal warning (par.119).
3. Take away privileges such as video watching, special activity, free time, etc. (par.121).
4. Impose extra duties (without taking away from the child's Get-Out or rest time) (par.122).
5. Restrict conversation (par.124):
a. This should ideally only be for a few minutes to ½ hour or so, and certainly not more than three hours at one time in any one day (par.125).
b. Always allow them to be able to talk to parents, guardians, shepherds, or overseers.
c. Do not use tape, restraint, or facial covering, which restricts breathing or speaking, or causes undue embarrassment (par.126).
6. Time_out guidelines (par.128-140):
a. Disruptive younger children can be separated from their peers for a short time, but they should not be left alone.
b. A child or teen should not be separated for disciplinary reasons for more than three hours a day (preferably much less).
c. JETTs on up (12 and up) can be separated from their peers for up to three days as long as it is with the consent of the JETT/teen involved as well as his or her parent or guardian, and the Home teamwork. (A person given such "time out" must be treated with love and respect, and closely and individually shepherded.)
a. Corporal punishment should be a last resort after all else has been tried (par.142, 144).
b. It should usually only be used when the child has put himself/herself or others at serious risk or harm or has been seriously disobedient (par.142).
c. It should not be given out of frustration or anger (par.144-153).
d. It should only be administered by parents or those responsible for the child at the time—the teacher, childcare worker, etc. (par.154).
e. Parents, guardians and childcare teamworker should counsel and agree together in united meetings as to what disciplinary measures are to be used (par.155-156).
a. Should only be given according to previously discussed guidelines.
b. May be given at the time of offense.
c. May only be given on the bottom or offending member.
d. Should not be given in anger, or with excessive force.
a. Should be the exception, and never be given in anger or with excessive force.
b. Reasons for spanking should have been agreed upon ahead of time.
c. Before spanking, the one doing so should counsel with one other adult, YA, or senior teen.
d. Should only be on the bottom (not bare) (par.158-163):
—Children 19 months to 4 years: no more than 2 swats on the bottom at any one time.
—Children age 4 or 5 years: no more than 3 swats on the bottom at any one time (with the hand or a non_damaging, reasonable object, such as a light, flexible slipper).
—Children ages 6 and over: no more than 6 swats at any one time (except in extremely serious situations, and with the agreement of parent or guardian, and shepherds).
e. Only an adult over 21 should administer spanking for JETTs or teens (par.158).
f. Strongly suggest no spankings for teens (par.158, 164-168).
g. At least one adult, YA, or senior teen should be a nearby witness (unobtrusively) (par.169), Where this is not possible, it must be reported to the parent or guardian, and shepherd as soon as possible (par.170).
h. Parents or guardians of the child as well as the childcare teamworker should be informed of all spankings that are more than simple correctional taps or swats (par.158).
i. Must be administered with love, understanding, and forgiveness (par.171-177).
1. No public ridicule—no signs, no forced confessions (par.178).
2. No forced restraint (except in extreme cases, where violence or injury could otherwise result) (par.179).
3. No withholding basic needs—daily exercise/meals/sleep (or routine or frequent barring from enjoyable activities) (par.180-181)
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