March 17, 2004
Restructuring the Family of the Future, Part 1
By Mama and PeterCM/FM 3479 1/04
1. Peter and I love you so much, and thank the Lord for your continued faithfulness and love. We have good news to share with you, news about how our Husband has led us to very positive steps for the further strengthening of the Family. We trust that you have had a chance recently to review the counsel in "New Year's Challenge for 2004" (ML #3468‚ GN 1054), which gives the general background of Summit 2003 and a brief review of the ongoing problems that the Family is facing. With this GN we want to explain the next steps we will be taking together.
2. We look forward to the future with joy and eager anticipation‚ knowing that the answers, solutions‚ and new plans that the Lord has given will be fruitful and will bring us all to a place of greater happiness and fulfillment in His service. It will take a number of GNs to explain in detail the many changes planned for the future‚ so in this introductory GN, Peter and I will give you an overview of the decisions that have been made in counsel with the COs, international board members, and other Summit attendees.
3. We'll give you the "big picture" now, and then fill in the details as soon as we can in subsequent GNs. You might find the goals and changes for 2004 and 2005 to be a little complicated. But if you have a question or don't understand some aspect of this GN, please have patience, as in the weeks and months ahead, each change will be explained in detail.
4. Also, please bear in mind that we are going to explain a two-year plan. It will take time to move the Family into this restructuring and strengthening; it's a concerted effort of WS, field leadership, and each Home and individual. This is definitely teamworking! With the Lord's help and guidance, these changes will take place in a manner that is orderly, fair, and loving, so please don't fall into the Devil's trap of worrying about the future.
5. Right off the bat, Peter and I want to make it clear that we are not doing away with the Charter. We are not taking away everyone's status in the Family or their membership. We are not going to institute harsh measures or discipline. We are not going to be moving people out of the Family right and left. So please don't be fearful.
6. The future of the Family is going to be tremendous! Our devoted, wise Husband has taken all of our needs and desires into consideration‚ and has provided us with a means to become the tight, dedicated body of disciples and missionaries that we need to be. We know you want to do your best, you want to serve the Lord; you wouldn't be in the Family if you didn't. Most of you have been through big changes during your time in the Family‚ and if you've made it this far, you can continue to make it.
7. There have been some roadblocks to progress that have been very difficult to overcome since the implementation of the Charter, and specifically in the last few years, but we're following the Lord step by step, we're making progress, we're going forward‚ and we'll continue to pick up momentum with each passing month and year. Of course, to reach our goals we will each need to make changes, but that's our business—changing lives and hearts! That's life in the Family, that's life as a disciple! It's all about change, revolution, leaving the old behind, letting go of the past, taking off for new horizons, pioneering unconquered lands and hearts. That's the spirit of David, and we've still got it! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
Entering the Era of Obedience
8. Our Lover has given many tremendous promises about the future, as we are entering what He has called the era of obedience. It's thrilling to see all that stands before us‚ and there's plenty of reason to feel hopeful and full of faith for the future! Here is a keynote message that says it much better than I can.
9. (Jesus:) The heavenly trumpets sound loudly at the onset of this new day! The archangels, Michael and Gabriel, stand by My side, and the multitudes of angels and the cloud of heavenly hosts look on with excitement as you, My Endtime Bride, stand on the threshold of a new era of marvelous promise.
10. You stand at the dawning of a year of great change—a year of restructuring, which will be followed by a year of strengthening. I have laid out a plan of wisdom‚ foresight, and promise concerning the Family's future. I have whispered secrets and hidden things into the ears of your queen and king. I have pulled back the veil of the future and have revealed crucial steps to progress and success for the years to come. This knowledge will serve as a spiritual compass and is My gift to Maria and Peter as they stand on the cusp of the new era ahead.
11. The era that you stand on the brink of is the era of obedience. You have had the Word for many years. You are both accountable and responsible; thus I now move you as a Family into the era of obedience, for that is the only step that lies between you and the reaping of great victories and seeing the mighty and marvelous manifestations of the promises I have given you as My Endtime Bride.
12. It is time to move forward, not only to reap the great and desperate harvest of the world‚ but also to reap the fulfillment of the many promises I have given you. It is time, therefore, to restructure and set in place all that is needed to outfit and enable you to be the strong‚ full-of–faith, uncompromising, vision-filled‚ attacking army that is required to do the job. It is time to band together‚ to mend the breaches, to conquer the foe‚ to march ahead!
13. This day marks the beginning of the restructuring of the Family, and brings with it great change. It is a glorious day, a happy day! There is nothing to fear, for this is a step toward progress, toward victory. The days to come will bring a fresh wind of My Spirit, which will renew‚ revitalize, and bring to life the testimony of My New Church. You are My New Church, and I must have you alive, vibrant‚ and living in impassioned service to Me so that your light will be seen across the continents, and the heat of your love will be felt over the seas. This is what I will accomplish through the restructuring of My Family. Though it may seem tedious, practical, or technical to you‚ I say that it will bring forth increased fruitfulness one hundredfold, and this is the goal.
14. So set your sights high and thank Me for the changes! Look forward to this restructuring with joy and anticipation, waiting for the promise to be fulfilled once you have completed the work of restructuring and have been strengthened. At that time, you will begin to see the marvelous fulfillment of many promises that you have until now thought were reserved for the very days of the End. This new era of obedience will usher in manifold fruit and blessings that have long been prayed for, but have not yet been seen. My angels of dispensation and abundance will be released to fly across the Earth and pour out a reserve of blessings that have been saved for this era.
15. Never have so many blessings and rewards been available to you as will be available in this era of obedience. As you obey, the storehouses of Heaven will be opened to you. As you live the Word in full, the blessings of the spirit will be tangible within your Homes. As a result of this restructuring and the many changes that will come as a result‚ you will fulfill your commission more effectively and will reap a mighty harvest. All things are truly possible through the keys of the Kingdom, and you will believe and understand the reality of this promise more clearly as you step into the era of obedience and learn how to live in My complete care, with all your needs provided and your happiness guaranteed—as you manifest your faith by full obedience.
16. There is no need to fear what is ahead. The changes to come will move the Family forward and cause the Enemy to cower. They are changes that will propel the Family to new heights and greater victories. As you look at this year and wonder what it holds for you personally and what changes will come into your life as a result‚ do not worry—be hopeful! Do not fear—have courage!
17. Those who look forward with eyes of faith will see that the changes are for their good, and that they will benefit from them. Those who call on the keys of trust, faith, stability, courage, and determination will rise above and will see that I have a clear path prepared for them to follow. Those who yield and trust will find great joy and peace in their hearts, knowing that these changes must come in order to move the Family into this new era. Those who determine to obey and cling tightly to the Word will find themselves on a strong foundation of faith, unmovable in the face of the Enemy's attacks.
18. My brides who hold to the Word, use the keys, and maintain a trusting spirit will remain in a protective bubble that will keep each one safe, well cared for, and in My perfect will during this transition into the era of obedience, the restructuring of the Family, and the resultant changes. I hold each one in the palm of My hand‚ and will lovingly care for each of My children. I have a place of service and blessing for all who give their hearts and lives to Me, and this restructuring will not change that. I will care for and provide a blessed place of service for all My children.
19. As you enter this year of restructuring and change‚ know that you also enter the era of obedience, and I see and will reward accordingly. The restructuring of the Family must happen in order to set the Family in place for the era of obedience to blossom into the era of greater works and greater miracles. This new era brings you closer to the Last Days and will provide you with the core of your Endtime training.
20. You have received much training over the years toward your Endtime role, but the era of obedience will tie all that training together, because obedience is the master key that unlocks the doors of My blessings and special rewards. Do not forget the greater purpose behind this restructuring—it is working hand in hand with your future training and is preparing the Family as a whole, and each member, to reap the waiting harvest and to fulfill your destiny.
21. This day marks a great move forward for the children of David, Maria, and Peter! Your queen and king have heard My voice and have obeyed My instructions. They have desperately sought Me concerning the needs and future of the Family, and I have given them answers and the plan of My choosing. Once it is implemented, you will see the fruit of My wisdom. You will see the Family surge forward as a strong and united movement. You will see unity and strength of spirit within each Home. You will see increased fruitfulness and joy. You will see the old problems fade into oblivion. You will see the nagging impossibilities hurdled. You will see long-standing battles turn into victories. You will see the problems being met by solutions. You will see your second generation coming to the fore as solid disciples and leaders. You will see My Word being fulfilled, and the culmination of Words that you've sometimes looked on as unattainable promises, or things to be fulfilled far in the future, perhaps by others.
22. If you welcome this new era and embrace the change ahead, you will see the Family of the future take shape and rise to fulfill its special calling. You are that Family, each one of you. Please understand the importance of this change. It's not simply a practical restructuring; it's forward movement‚ and it's part of a great move in the spirit that I am setting before you. It's the path to the fulfillment of My promises, and to get there, you must travel down this restructuring portion of the road. The journey is unknown to you right now, but I see it all clearly, and it's positive and exciting. It's the road to fruitfulness and victory!
23. If your heart and soul is with the Family, then you can be excited and happy about the coming changes, because they're good changes and will bear good fruit. They will move you forward and upward. This is the new revolution for today—for this year. Embrace it, get behind it in the spirit, and focus on how you can help make it happen, and how you fit into the Family of the future! (End of message from Jesus.)
24. (Mama:) You see, dear Family, there is a lot happening. We're being blessed and things are on the up and up! It's wonderful! Praise the Lord! And this is only the beginning.
25. A few months prior to the Summit, the Lord led Peter and me to a number of potential solutions to the Family's ongoing problems, which Peter formulated into proposals to present to Family leadership. These proposals were first prayed about, discussed, debated‚ and fine-tuned within WS, and then they were presented at the Summit. These proposals called for major changes within the Family aimed at both short-term and long-term solutions; that is, solving the present problems and keeping them from recurring in the future.
26. The international boards played a major role in this process as they met, along with others at the Summit who joined their discussions, to tackle specific Family problems that related to their pillars. For a month there were six hours of meetings daily, with each board meeting separately, and the larger VS board breaking up into three groups, each group discussing a different subject. This meant a total of eight groups were meeting daily, each focusing on a different aspect of the Family's needs in an effort to provide guidance and counsel‚ and to overcome the problems. Thousands of man-hours were devoted to prayer‚ discussion, hearing from the Lord in prophecy, and putting the conclusions on paper. The end result is a program for not only saving our ship from sinking, but for making it the sleekest, fastest, smoothest sailing vessel around‚ by God's grace.
Brazil "Paved the Way"
27. Peter and I have been so grateful to see how the Lord has led us all step by step to this point. It's pretty amazing! We have commented many times how thankful we are that we followed the Lord, even when we weren't completely sure where He was headed or what the exact outcome would be. We want to clearly give the Lord all the glory and honor. He's the One Who is leading. He's the Answer Man. He's the Keeper of the Keys who has done miracles to bring us to the point we're now at where we're on the threshold of tremendous progress.
28. Here's a little recap of our great Shepherd's marvelous leading: In November of 2002 we were alerted to the serious weaknesses of the field of Brazil, which we discussed and heard from the Lord about. The need for Peter (and his helpers, Misty and Joy) to make a trip to Brazil became apparent in January of 2003. As Peter and his team prepared for the trip‚ we prayed about it much more, counseled with those in WS and with Mark CO in Brazil, and the Lord began to reveal how very serious the problems were in that field. (Note: At this time, Mark was the only CO living in Brazil.)
29. Eventually the Lord showed us that I needed to make the "Woe" warning video and that the Family in Brazil needed to be chastised for their sins and disobedience. As you know, this resulted in the six-month period in which all Family members in Brazil lost their status‚ fasted worldly input, etc.
30. Peter's first trip to Brazil took place in late April for five weeks. During this time he filmed 11 hours of videos, which were shown to the Family in Brazil in late May, and then the period of chastisement began on the first of June. The videos that Peter and his team produced during their first visit to Brazil were the basis of 6 GNs, which you all benefited from (GNs 1035–1039, and 1042).
31. Peter had hardly returned home after the first visit to Brazil when the Lord made it clear that he and his team needed to again meet with the Brazil COs to discuss and pray about the plan for reinstatement of the Homes. It was especially important to articulate the grounds on which the Homes would be evaluated and to let them know this in advance, so that the judgment of the Homes would be fair. During this second one-month visit‚ Peter again made videos, and Home and personal report forms were drawn up. The compilation of printed Word which became the Letter "What Is Full-time Discipleship?" was sent out, to help the brethren in Brazil understand what they were accountable for and what would be the basis of evaluating their Homes (ML #3469, GN 1055-1056).
32. There were just seven weeks after Peter's second visit to Brazil to prepare for the Summit. This wasn't a lot of time‚ especially since we'd originally planned the Summit to cover other aspects of the Family's work. But the Lord showed us that the problems in Brazil were the problems of the Family worldwide, so we changed our focus. As you can imagine, writing the many proposals for the Summit attendees was time consuming and required a lot of discussion and further prayer. The Lord had said that what He had done in Brazil would "pave the way" for the future of the Family, and although what He has shown is needed for the Family at large is quite different than how He led in Brazil, the experience, wisdom, insight, and understanding of the state and needs of the Family that were gained from the Brazil situation certainly proved to be the foundation upon which this restructuring of the whole Family was built.
33. The Summit was the time when the plans and proposals for the overall Family were debated, discussed, studied and prayed about in detail by many counselors‚ which helped to refine them and make them applicable to the many varied field conditions worldwide.
34. Then, only a few weeks after the Summit was over, preparations for the last meeting with the Brazil COs began, which was held during the month of December. During this meeting Peter and his team were able to help with the groundwork and fine-tune the reinstatement procedures so the COs could begin the job of evaluating the Homes in Brazil. The insight gained from decisions made at the Summit and the knowledge of the changes that would be coming to the Family at large was a great help to this evaluation process.
35. As you can see‚ this was quite a tight schedule, with very little time between these important events, and had we missed any of these steps, we would have been greatly disadvantaged. Needless to say, it was difficult for Peter and his team to be away from home so much, and their concentrating almost all of their time on the Family's problems took their attention off of their other work, and some things suffered as a result, but it was necessary. It was a sacrifice, but the Lord has more than repaid. Had Peter decided he didn't want to travel or head up those long, tiring meetings in Brazil, had he not wanted to give his strength and energy to make those videos, had he not had the patience to carefully and fully analyze the problems and delve deeply into the Word to find the keys to progress, had he and others not been willing to endure the grueling meeting schedule at the Summit, think of what we could have missed.
36. Even if we had not outright disobeyed but had delayed in following the Lord, His perfect timing would have been thrown off and the forward progress would have been much more difficult‚ greatly hindered, or even lost altogether. But as it was‚ we saw the Lord do miracles as He unfolded His plan layer by layer, until we discovered the precious treasure—the plan He has for the Family at large as we launch into the era of obedience. Many times Peter and I have marveled at how wonderfully our Husband has led thus far and how His promises have blossomed into beautiful fruit. We can trust that as we continue to obey we will continue to find such tremendous success.
37. This is a sobering lesson on how important it is to follow the Lord, to move in the Lord's time, and to keep in touch with Him step by step. When you feel His nudge in the spirit or you receive a check that you need to do this or that, then please go to Him and seek His confirmation and instruction in the Word and prophecy, and do it. We could have missed His timing‚ His plan, had we delayed or doubted. The same is true of you and the decisions you make. So let's claim the keys of obedience and be doers and not just hearers, so we can stay in the center of the tunnel of His will where He can bless us all to the full.
Home–related Summit Proposals
38. Okay, back to the restructuring of the Family. To give you some background, we will share with you some of what was shared with those who attended the Summit about our Family Homes and the important role they play. This will help you understand some of the reasoning and thinking behind these changes.
39. One of the important conclusions made at the Summit was that the Home level is where the battle for the Family will be fought, and won. The Home is the key. In 2004 and 2005 we will focus on making our Homes the beacons of discipleship they need to be. We will do all we can to help each Home become spiritually and practically successful. We will educate Home members as to the important role the Homes play, we will aid them in playing that role, and we will hold them accountable to fulfill that role.
40. Following is an excerpt from the proposals written by Peter, which were read by the Summit attendees. This explains not only the importance of each individual Home within the Family, but also the qualities and makeup of successful Homes.
The Importance of the Home
41. (Peter to the Summit attendees: ) Successful Homes are those who have a united goal. The members of the Home work hard and sacrifice to make the Home successful; they move forward together, they feel responsible to make the Home work, and because of that they build a camaraderie which helps carry the Home to success. They are generally fairly well shepherded by people who help the Home members progress spiritually.
42. Successful Homes usually have a significant core of people who are committed to the Home, who stay in the Home and stick with the same team for a substantial period of time. When there are problems, the Home members work through them instead of turning in their 30-day notices. Generally speaking, you will find that Homes that stick together, work together, and spiritually grow together for longer periods of time are the most successful.
43. On the other hand‚ while teams made up of a core of individuals dedicated to making the Home work are usually successful, it's not always the case. Often the core individuals who are committed to the Home are those who opened the Home, and that's generally one particular couple or family. They are the ones who found the house, met the landlord, signed the contract, etc. Their names are on the legal paperwork and they are responsible for most aspects of the Home.
44. Often these folks feel that it is "their" Home and they begin to act that way. The Home becomes the "property" of these individuals and they become the de facto heads of the Home, often becoming permanent members of the teamwork. There develops an "understanding" among the Home members that these individuals must be on the teamwork. This especially happens if the Home "owners" are actual homeowners, in that they have purchased or inherited the physical Home property.
45. In a case where the couple or people who opened the Home are good shepherds‚ wise leaders, open to counsel, and desperate to apply the New Wine, and have the gifts needed for being on the teamwork, then this situation may not be detrimental. However, that isn't always the case, and unfortunately such circumstances often lead to Homes that begin to be run by those who originally established the Home, who set things up the way they want them to run‚ according to their personal Home rules rather than the Family rules outlined in the Charter and the Word. People in the Home have to operate according to the wishes of the "homeowners" or they can no longer stay in the Home. This has sometimes even evolved into the "homeowners" listing their demands to people who want to join the Home, saying if they won't agree to these demands, they can't join the Home.
46. Often these spoken or unspoken demands run contrary to the Charter. For example, "My young children watch TV often because we are too busy to take care of them. If you join our Home, you need to understand that's how it is." Or, "We have a certain way we discipline our children (often meaning that they don't discipline), and if you and your kids join or stay in our Home, you have to understand that we will keep our way of disciplining‚ and if you don't agree‚ we won't allow you to join our Home." Of course, such statements are contrary to the Charter, but the fact is that there are many Homes like this. They become "mom and pop shops" which often sink well below the CM standard and are in fact FM Homes with the CM title.
47. Even if such Homes don't establish rules or policies that are contrary to the Word or the Charter, just the fact that they're run like little kingdoms‚ where those in charge are used to having their way and only doing things their way, is contrary to the Charter. If "mom and pop" aren't allowing the other Home members to exercise their rights of choice and self–determination, to determine by prayer, discussion, debate and voting, the nature‚ goals, direction and activities of the Home, then they aren't true Charter Homes living the CM standard.
48. There are also CM Homes that, for various reasons, do little or nothing as far as true missionary work and live well below the CM standard. These include many undersized Homes, many single-family Homes, some all-young people Homes, many Homes in home fields, and even Homes on mission fields.
49. When Homes who are striving to do the job, who shepherd their people, who sacrifice to live communally, who fight hard to maintain true discipleship see that those who don't do these things are accorded equal status, it causes them to wonder why they are working so hard and sacrificing so much, when others who aren't doing nearly as much are looked upon as being on par. In time, this often causes the stronger Homes to weaken, because they see that they can stop working so hard‚ sacrificing so much, obeying the Word so diligently, and still keep their place in the CM Family. Of course, this isn't the right reaction, as each person's obedience should be based on the Word rather than comparisons with others, but this has been the case. And with time, this gradually creates a downward spiral that causes the whole Family to become compromised and disobedient.
Individuals in the Home are the Home's Responsibility
50. Under our present structure, individuals are judged as to whether they are living up to a discipleship level. If the individual is not meeting the CM standard, he is supposed to be moved to FM status. The main avenue for the judgment of the individual is presently through the VS board and VS visits. While the Charter also gives authority and responsibility for discipline of the individual to the Home and the Home teamwork, generally speaking it is insufficiently employed.
51. While a Home has the authority to decide that one of its members needs to be put on Home Censure‚ this is seldom done. While the Home has the authority to start the procedure to move a Home member to FM status‚ virtually no Home or teamwork makes the decision to actually start the process. Thus virtually all major discipline is passed upward to the VS. This is generally due to the shepherding within the Homes being weak, as explained in "New Year's Challenge for 2004."
52. If a Home doesn't discipline an errant member‚ there is little or no disciplinary consequence to the Home. While Probationary Notice can be used in such a case‚ it seldom is. The result is that collectively the Home members do not feel personally responsible for the spiritual condition of the individual Home members; rather, they tend to feel that that's the job of the VS, or at least the Home teamwork. But many Home teamworks also don't feel they can, or should, or are qualified to either discipline or shepherd the individual.
53. Consequently, often a Home member who most people in the Home know is not living up to the requirements of discipleship is allowed to do spiritual damage to the Home by remaining in the Home, as no one at the Home level takes responsibility to properly shepherd or discipline that individual or to move that individual out of the CM Family. After all‚ they figure‚ that's the VS's job. If the member is causing a lot of trouble, most often what happens is that the Home members vote the problem person out of the Home, thus ridding their Home of the problem, but inflicting the problem on another Home and on the Family at large.
54. In some cases‚ voting someone out of a Home is a matter of the Home members realizing that a particular person is not fitting into their Home, but the Home members recognize that this person could be a blessing in another Home, and therefore the Home is helping that person find a better situation where he or she can be happier. But in most cases, voting someone out of the Home is used as a substitute for properly shepherding a member, disciplining them, or even for placing them on FM status, because the Home members find it too difficult to discipline or initiate the procedures to move them to FM status.
55. This allows a substandard member to move from Home to Home, sometimes for years, as they inflict spiritual damage in Home after Home due to their own poor spiritual state, which has gone uncorrected or undisciplined. Instead of being shepherded, disciplined‚ or moved out of the CM Family, they are allowed to sow their doubts, compromises, and spiritual sins wherever they live, until they either decide to leave the Family on their own, which they often eventually do, or one day the VSs catch up to them and they are disciplined according to the Charter as needed. The sad thing is that usually every Home this person has lived in knows that the individual wasn't living the discipleship standard, yet they did little or nothing to shepherd, discipline‚ or move them out of the CM Family, so the damage done by such a person is multiplied over and over again as that person moves from Home to Home.
56. The Homes themselves feel little or no responsibility to shepherd such individuals to full discipleship or to begin procedures recommending that the individual be moved out of the CM Family, even though it is clear in the Charter that they should. They generally only feel responsible to get the problem person out of their Home‚ and hence they vote them out, leaving it to someone else to eventually move them out of the CM Family. This lack of shepherding, disciplining, or moving someone to FM who is not living the discipleship standard has caused damage and has been a factor in weakening the Homes.
57. Another factor that has contributed to the weakening of our Homes is a lack of commitment of individuals to their Home. This plays out when individuals land in a Home that they feel is going nowhere‚ or where they have no say because it's a "mom and pop shop," or where the "owners" of the Home aren't open to shepherding or suggestions; so the individuals don't bother to try to change things, but instead turn in their 30–day notice and move on. While they may try to help change the Home for a time, if that change isn't made quickly, then the tendency is for the individuals to move out of the Home. While this has allowed folks the freedom to move on from dead-end Homes, it has also created a feeling of not needing to fully involve themselves in the Home, because they feel they may not be there very long.
58. This brings about a transient mentality, where Home members don't want to commit to a Home and immerse themselves in a work, and thus tend to not give their all to the Home in which they live. Their attachment to the Home is weak, which means their attachment to the ministries of the Home is weak. They don't look at the Home as "theirs." Consequently, they don't feel very responsible for the condition or the forward motion of the Home. This lack of full commitment to the Home and the work of the Home weakens the Home unit.
59. Our Charter discipline structure focuses mainly on the individual. While there are laws which allow for disciplining a whole Home, such as Probationary Notice, followed by moving the Home to FM if the Home doesn't raise its discipleship standard, this method of discipline isn't used often enough. Generally it's the individual, or a family, who is moved to FM status, but even that hasn't been sufficiently used. Because of a lack of VSs and finances, which make it difficult for the VSs to visit the Homes often enough, many people who aren't living the lifestyle of discipleship are allowed to remain in the Homes.
60. Because our standard of measurement is focused on the individual rather than the overall state of the Home‚ there are many entire CM Homes who collectively are not living up to the discipleship level even though the individuals may not be breaking obvious Charter rules. These Homes are considered CM Homes when in fact they are not. While individuals are disciplined for Charter infractions, generally Homes that aren't living up to the discipleship standard of New Wine and the Charter are not.
61. The question is, if a Home is not living, acting like, or bringing forth the fruits of a CM discipleship Home, then how can the individuals within the Home be considered disciples? If the children of the Home are not getting spiritual training or an adequate education, if they don't have enough food or clean clothes, if the Home isn't witnessing, doing follow-up, winning souls and establishing a well-rounded missionary work with lasting fruit, if members of the Home have non-witnessing System jobs, if the teens of the Home are undisciplined and a reproach to the cause, if Home members are in ongoing disunity among themselves or with other Homes‚ if they make little or no effort to obey and apply the Word, if they don't live communally, then how can they be disciples?
62. If a Home doesn't live Acts 2:44 and 45; sends their kids to System school, but doesn't spiritually shepherd and feed them as the Word and Charter say they must; can't agree on a united disciplinary standard for their kids; has little or no spiritual fellowship or devotions‚ no shepherding or discipline; can't discuss matters in love and come to prayerful united decisions; fails to have the required Charter meetings to decide the direction and goals of their Home regarding witnessing, childcare, finances and the well-being of the Home; makes very little effort to apply the GNs to their lives‚ barely witnesses, fundraises or conducts CTPs in a manner that has no connection to the Family or in some cases even Christianity, how can that Home be considered a discipleship Home? Yet there are CM Homes that fall into such a category.
63. Why? There are many reasons, some of which were explained in "New Year's Challenge for 2004!" But one reason is that while our present system is set up to look at the individual to see whether a person is fulfilling his or her responsibilities of discipleship and CM membership, we have failed to focus on whether the Home is collectively living up to its responsibilities, which is a clear indicator of whether the Home members are truly obeying and applying the Word. Both aspects are needed—periodic evaluation of the Home as an entity, coupled with faithful spiritual shepherding of the Home's members.
64. We look at an example Home and see that the Home does a little witnessing, but mostly fundraising. The people in the Home don't shepherd their teens much, and thus the teens aren't doing too well spiritually. The teens are also pretty laid back, lack initiative‚ and have a "minimizing" mentality. The Home does some CTP work and the members basically don't step out of line when it comes to Charter rules. It looks like they as individuals are living within the Charter minimum, so they must be okay. But are they? Is the Home a discipleship Home? Could it be that these Family members have settled down and no longer live the lives of disciples today, and as a result the Home has sunk to a complacent state where it doesn't bring forth the fruits of a true discipleship Home?
65. While as individuals they might outwardly look like they are living the discipleship standard, are they really? Maybe they're not causing trouble, they aren't breaking the obvious rules, they aren't having sex with outsiders, etc.—but does that mean they are living the discipleship standard? They may be keeping the "thou shalt nots," but are they obeying the "thou shalts" that are also an integral part of true discipleship?—The thou shalt witness, obey the Word, and apply it to your lives; the following up and feeding your sheep; the teaching your children; the overcoming your personal problems through counseling‚ shepherding, and prayer; the living together in love and unity with others, sharing all things‚ and many other such demands of discipleship?
66. Is the Home bringing forth the fruits of obedience to the Word? Are there tangible fruits of that obedience? It is not enough that individuals or Homes don't cause problems; that isn't sufficient to qualify for discipleship. They must bring forth the fruits of discipleship‚ the fruits of obedience, the fruits of obeying the Charter and the New Wine in spirit, the fruits of unity and living the One Wife vision, the fruits of using the new weapons, the fruits of good witnessing, the fruits of putting the Lord first and serving Him to the best of their ability. It should be clear whether a Home is living the discipleship standard by looking at their fruits, both their outside witnessing fruits as well as the fruits of the Spirit within the Home. And the only way for a Home to truly bring forth that fruit is if the individual members of the Home are disciples, living the discipleship life. If the people within the Home aren't disciples, then the Home won't bring forth the fruits of discipleship. And if a Home is not bringing forth the fruits of discipleship‚ then chances are, the folks in that Home are not disciples.
67. We have not sufficiently focused on the Home as an entity, seeing if the Home is fruitful. We have not clearly made the connection between Homes full of disciples bringing forth fruit and Homes with substandard members that are not bringing forth fruit. We need to begin to look at the Homes and realize the important role the Home plays in the manifestation of an individual's discipleship.
68. The starting point for nurturing and living Family discipleship is the Home. While an individual may have the desire to be a disciple‚ the Home is where that discipleship is lived. While there are undoubtedly individual Christians who live a form of the discipleship lifestyle according to the truth they have in the Bible, the discipleship lifestyle for us in the Family is defined by both the Bible and the Words of David, and the unique qualities of that lifestyle can only be lived out in a Family Home. To follow the discipleship calling and provide the special sample of full-time discipleship that the Lord has given to us, the Family, one must live in a Family Home. Therefore the Family Home becomes the foundation or springboard or sample of modern–day discipleship as explained in the Words of David, and it is the most important unit within the Family structure.
69. In order to strengthen the overall Family, we must strengthen the Homes, because the Home is the core of the Family. The Home is where discipleship is lived. It may change in the Great Tribulation or sometime in the future, but for now the Lord has made it clear that He wants Family disciples to live in communal Family Homes. Our Family Homes show the sample to the world that true‚ living, applied Christianity, as portrayed in the New Testament, exists in today's world. True communal discipleship Homes show the world that there are Christians who are willing to live 100% for God, who are willing to give up the comforts and conveniences of selfish System living to live a life of service to others. Our willingness to live by faith, to witness full time and trust God to supply our needs as we share all things, is a testimony of the existence of a living‚ caring‚ very real God. There is very little evidence of this throughout the world, and our sample to the world in this area is important, as Mama clearly stated in the "Conviction vs. Compromise" series.
70. Besides the sample of living communal Christianity‚ there are other reasons the Home plays such an important role within the Family. The Home is where discipleship is lived, it's where it grows, where it's tested, where it's honed. Living together with other disciples provides an atmosphere where discipleship is nurtured and grows. Family Homes provide fellowship, a common purpose, and a spiritual retreat from the world. They are places where those who are committed to serving the Lord can live and work with others who are like–minded. Living together in a Home makes it possible for individuals to band together, and therefore to accomplish the goals set by the Lord in a much more effective way than an individual could do on his or her own.
71. Without living in a Family Home, an individual's discipleship would in most cases weaken; the spiritual strength garnered from living together with other disciples provides an essential element to one's discipleship. The communal Family Home is what sets us apart from the majority of Christians in the world; it is what makes the Family unique; it is where Family discipleship thrives, and it is a vital part of living the discipleship life.
72. The Home provides both a supportive environment and fellowship with others to help you live discipleship as defined by the Lord. Full-time 100% discipleship means to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature (Mk.16:15); to be together with those that believe, to have all things common (Acts 2:44,45); to deny yourself and take up your cross daily, and follow the Lord (Luk.9:23,24); to forsake all that you have (Luk.14:33); to come out from among them, and be separate and touch not the unclean thing (2Cor.6:17); to refrain from serving two masters‚ God and mammon (Mat.6:24); to lay down your life for the brethren (1Jn.3:16); to trust that God will supply all your needs (Phil.4:19); to continue in the Word (Jn.8:31‚32); to glorify the Father in bearing much fruit (Jn.15:8); to show that you are a disciple through the love you have one to another (Jn.13:35).
73. It's very difficult for individuals to live true discipleship on their own, which is probably one reason the Lord promoted communal living right from the days of the Early Church. He knew how difficult it would be to live up to the standard of discipleship, and in His wisdom knew that we would need the help of one another. He told His first disciples to leave their nets, their tax tables, their jobs and families, and to follow Him. How successful would those first disciples have been if they would have continued fishing every night or collecting taxes every day? Would they have been able to be disciples? Would they have followed all the way? Would they have spread Christianity throughout the world? Probably not.
74. They needed to be together with Jesus night and day; they needed one another's encouragement and help to keep going when the going got rough. They needed to be together in one room after Jesus was crucified and buried, so they could bolster one another's faith. And from the Day of Pentecost forward‚ "All that believed were together and had all things common, and sold their possessions and goods and parted them to all men, as every man had need" (Acts 2:44,45). They needed to live and work and share together so that they could live the discipleship life.
75. Why would the Lord set up His Early Church so that His disciples lived together? Probably because He understood the nature of man—that without help, encouragement, and a little prodding from others, it would be all too easy to let one's discipleship slowly slip. "Two are better than one, for if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow" (Ecc.4:9,10). While our communal Homes show a sample to the world of living Christianity, they also provide a strength and safeguard to each individual's discipleship. We are living together, we see each other's sample, we sense when someone is slipping, doubting, or losing faith, and we can help them. We are a safeguard to one another.
76. The Home is, in actuality‚ a team made up of all the members of the Home. When the members of the Home live together, work together, obey together‚ and watch out for one another‚ they will form a winning team. A team that truly becomes one unit, with all members working toward the same goal of victory, will become strong; they'll be winners. The Lord put us in Homes because He knows that while it is extremely difficult to fully live up to His standard of discipleship as individuals, when we are together, united as a team and upholding one another, it is much easier. Thus the role of the Home becomes vital to living the discipleship life. (End of material written by Peter to Summit attendees.)
77. (Mama:) It's very important that you understand the vital role the Homes play in the success of the Family. The Home can make or break someone's discipleship. So many times, young people in particular decide to leave the Family because they become disillusioned with the Family, because the Home they live in isn't a discipleship Home, it isn't going anywhere‚ it's visionless. It's so sad to lose good people because of poor Homes.
78. On the other hand, we've heard many testimonies of people who were disillusioned with their Home and who moved to another Home, a true discipleship Home, and their fire was once again ignited; they became inspired, fulfilled‚ and continued to serve the Lord.
79. Peter will present the Lord's counsel for the rest of this GN. He has spent weeks and weeks in prayer, counsel, and thought regarding the plan the Lord has led us to, and he can articulate the details very well.
Building Winning Team Homes
80. (Peter:) The Home is crucial. Having true discipleship Homes is the key to keeping the Family from sinking. Our Homes must become teams—winning teams. They must become united, forward-moving, going–places Homes. The Homes must understand that in order to win, to be a winning team, they have to work together with a vision, a goal‚ and with determination to win.
81. Building winning team Homes is paramount. If we can't change our present-day Homes into winning team Homes, then the Family as a whole will never progress the way the Lord wants it to. We will lose. We'll lose our place as His Endtime army, we will lose the special calling He has given us, we will lose the promises He has given to us over the years, and we will be Old Church losers instead of vibrant New Bride winners.
82. We must become winners! We must do whatever it takes to make our Homes winning Homes, full of winning disciples. The question is, how do we make the Homes winning teams?
83. What are the components that make a winning team?
#1: Dedicated players
84. To have a winning team you must have players who are sold out to the sport and to the team. It's not enough for the players to be skilled; they need dedication, a burning desire to play and to win. In Family terms, this is called true discipleship, and for a Home to be a winning Home, it must be a Home filled with committed disciples.
#2: The desire to win
85. For a team to be winners, the members of the team need to have the vision to be winners. They need to understand that it involves hard work and self-discipline, a willingness to do whatever is necessary to win. The successful Home needs the same. They need the vision to win‚ not to just exist. They need a way to gauge if they are winning, if they are progressing, if they are a winning Home. They need to study and follow the rules of the game, and especially all the latest and best tactics, found in the New Wine. They need to work hard at being successful, doing those things the Lord has said are necessary to be a winning discipleship Home.
#3: Working as a team
86. Unity is a key to winning. A fragmented team, dragged down with disunity and discord, will never win. If the members don't get along, if some members are visionless, if teammates expect one or two members to carry the team to victory without the dedicated help of the rest of the team, or if some members try to act independently without counsel and teamworking with the others‚ it will lose. Home members need to work together as a team, with each one doing their part to help the Home do the job.
#4: A good coaching staff
87. A winning team will always have a good coaching staff, coaches who help them progress, who mix the right amount of encouragement with correction. Coaches help players gauge their performance; they point out the weak spots in the players' and team's performance; they help their players to grow in the game, to get better. Sometimes they need to take initiative to help their team decide whether a member should remain on the team or be traded to another team, or be moved to a different league. The Home teamworks are the coaches of the Homes, and unlike coaches in the world, they actually play beside their teammates‚ side by side, helping them as they go. And when other‚ more experienced coaches come around in the form of their VSs or COs, they're willing to receive coaching themselves, so they and their team can do an even better job.
#5: Understanding that, as a team, you win or lose together
88. A team is a body of individuals who work together as one. Even though the team is made up of individuals, they are one entity. When a team wins, all members of the team win; when they lose, all members lose. Members of a losing team don't say‚ "The team lost‚ but I won." If the team loses, they all lose; if it wins, they are all winners.
#6: Understanding that there are consequences for being a losing team
89. Winning teams understand that there are consequences for losing, especially if they are continually losing. Besides individual members' desire to win and the collective team's desire to win, the consequences for being a losing team provide a powerful incentive to win. Teams who continually lose face consequences. Teams are relegated to a different league, coaches are fired‚ players are traded or are retired, teams lose fans and therefore lose income. The whole team suffers when they lose on a regular basis.
90. In order for the Family to change, to progress, and to be the winners the Lord is expecting—in fact, demanding‚ that we be—we must help each of our Homes to become winning teams. This is the goal and the basis for the restructuring that the Family will undergo. We are faced with making the Family as a whole into winners. As a Family we cannot be constantly losing, for if we do, there will be consequences for us all, which the Lord has very clearly stated.
91. At the Summit, the Lord led us to develop a plan that extends over the next two years, which, if carried out according to His instructions‚ will make our Homes the winners they have the potential to be.—And if we can develop winning Home teams, the Family as a whole will be winners.
92. The following are the steps that we are going to implement in order to become winners.
*Change the compromised mindset of upper management. Leadership at all levels have come to accept the Family where it's at, and have excused poor performance, disobedience, compromise, and lack of dedication. They have not done their job as they should; they have not sufficiently disciplined errant members or Homes. Those leaders who attended the Summit went through a major mindset change and have pledged to do the job properly in the future. The performance of upper-level leadership will be reviewed on a yearly basis, and those who are not following the Letters as they should be and doing the job as the Lord intends will not be able to remain in their positions.
*Declare a period of "renewal." This period of renewal will be a time of fasting those things that have caused compromise and spiritual weakness within the Family. This is not a period of punishment, but a time when Family members can reevaluate their spiritual lives without all of the normal distractions that pull them away from the things of the Spirit. It will be a time when WS pubs for the most part will be stopped in order to allow everyone to review all that the Lord has said over the last few years. (Note: GNs and other pubs related to the restructuring and strengthening of the Family will continue to be published during this time.)
*Redefine the CM Home to create winning teams. Significant changes must be made in how a Home perceives itself. Homes must begin seeing themselves as teams that stick together and work together to win. They must have the necessary elements to be a winning team‚ which includes dedicated players, the desire to win, working together as a team, reaching the team's goals, having a good coaching staff, and understanding that as a team they will win or lose together.
*Raise the CM Home size so Homes have a better chance of being a winning team Home. The Lord has been clear as to what He wants our discipleship Homes to be‚ and generally this can't be achieved in a four-man or undersized Home. Homes need to be larger in order to accomplish the goals the Lord has set. There will be very few, if any, exceptions to the new larger Home size rules.
*Make clear to the Homes what is expected of them as a Home. Over the years the Lord has clearly stated what a CM Home must do in order to be considered a discipleship Home. All of this information will be compiled in an easy-to–understand format that will both help the Homes understand what is expected of them, and allow them to gauge how they are measuring up as a Home, not just as individuals.
*Review the Homes' performance on a regular basis to determine if they are winning or losing. Just like any team, the Homes need to know if they are winning or losing. Until now there has not been any specific practical review of the Homes, and consequently many Homes have become do-little or under-par Homes. Homes need to be reviewed regularly, and those which aren't performing up to standard must move to another place of service, where not as much is expected of them. A CM discipleship Home must bring forth the necessary fruits or it will lose its CM standing. The CM Family will consist of those who are Family disciples living in discipleship Homes that bring forth discipleship fruit. This Home review won't officially go into effect until 2005. There will be a non-binding review in April 2005. And then the first official review will take place in October 2005. (These dates are subject to change‚ as this will be fine-tuned as the time approaches, but these are the tentative dates.)
*Place a major emphasis on training Home teamworks. Many of our Home teamworks do not properly shepherd and run the Homes. This is especially true when it comes to spiritual shepherding. Today's shepherds need training in every aspect of the job. Along with this, the Home members need training on what a shepherd is supposed to do, so they will begin to accept shepherding, as today so many are not open to it or even reject it. Home shepherds need to learn to be successful coaches in order to coach their Homes to victory. We will begin a program to train the Home shepherds to be the successful coaches they need to be.
*Refocus the VS job so they major on training the Home teamworks. The job of the VSs must move from focusing on disciplining those with problems to coaching the Home teamworks and teaching them how to shepherd and run the Homes. The VSs must work with the teamworks, helping them to solve the Home's problems, teaching them to properly shepherd the Home members, so that through shepherding, each individual's problems will be solved before they become major problems that begin to sink the Home. And the VSs can help the teamwork develop people–handling and shepherding skills, learn to promote a winning team spirit, grow in their understanding of how to make the Home a happy, inspiring, challenging place; become more proficient at using the talents of all the Home members and making sure that everyone is fulfilled and has their needs met, and create a united, well-rounded Home and work that will bear lasting fruit.
*Create a new category of Family membership other than CM and FM. This new category of Family membership will be much more similar to CM than our present-day FM level is. This category will have its own governing document, which will reflect the same beliefs and many of the same spiritual requirements as CM, but will allow for a difference in lifestyle. For example, while those in this category of membership won't have to live communally, they will have to witness, promote Activated, and live much closer to the CM standard than our Fellow members are required to do. This category will be called Missionary members, or MM. They will be required to tithe, give to the FAF and the Common Pot. They will continue to receive all the pubs that the CM Family now receives, and they will be eligible for the FAF and some other services. It will be an active level of membership. People or Homes in this category will be able to move to CM status much more quickly than Fellow members presently can.
*Set up a new level of Family believers for those who are saved and who go through the 12 Foundation Stones classes. It will be a place for believers who want to be members of the Family, somewhat like church members. Those who go through the 12 Bridges course will be eligible to move into the new Missionary membership level or even CM.
93. I'll now try to expound a bit on these steps so you can better understand what they entail and what impact it will have on the Family. I'll group some of them together for the sake of clarity.
The CM Homes
94. The goal is to get the Homes to be well rounded, well shepherded, and bringing forth the fruits of obeying the Word. There are a number of changes that will be made to bring this about.
95. The first is to raise the minimum CM Home size to six adults‚ age 18 years or older. While six will be the minimum‚ larger Homes will for the most part be necessary to become the well-rounded discipleship Homes the Lord has stated He wants. Raising not only the Home size but the minimum age from 16 to 18 for Home size qualification purposes will eliminate the "mom and pop shops" consisting only of parents and their teens, which aren't communal Homes, as well as the undersized Homes and those Homes that are too small to be effective. This will affect roughly 60% of our present CM Homes.
96. Larger Homes allow for better shepherding‚ better teamworking, better childcare, better education, better opportunity to shepherd and supply the needs of the JETTs and teens, better outreach, better follow-up, and more fellowship. Small four-man Homes rarely have the well-rounded Home and work of a discipleship team. Larger communal Homes will have a much better chance of being a winning team. Of course, pioneer Homes will have a certain amount of time to bring their numbers up, thus still allowing for smaller teams to pioneer. (Details coming later.)
97. For a Home to be successful, they need to know what the Lord and we expect of them. This standard has been stated in the GNs over the years; however, it is spread throughout a number of GNs. In order to help the Homes be better able to focus on their priorities, each of the six boards—VS, JT, CGO, CP‚ FED, and PR—has compiled a checklist of what is expected of the Homes within their pillar according to the New Wine and Charter.
98. Each board will publish those things which the Lord has said need to be done within their respective pillars, so the CM Homes will know specifically what they need to be doing in each of the six pillars of the Family, not only as individuals but as a Home. The boards have developed a list of questions that the Homes can ask themselves in order to evaluate how they are doing in each pillar, which will be published to aid the Homes. Each board will also produce a "handbook" based on the Word which will help coach the Homes on how to fulfill their responsibilities within that pillar.
99. In order to help the Homes work more as a team, where each member feels responsible for the Home and its performance, the concept of collective accountability will come into play. In short, what this means is that as a member of the Home you are part of the team and you bear equal responsibility with each team member. As such, if your Home does not meet the criteria for being a CM Home and is therefore placed in the MM category, every member of the Home will move over to that place of service. If a whole Home isn't doing the job, all the members of the Home will be moved to a status that reflects their lifestyle and standard.
100. This understanding will change the dynamics of the Home, causing Home members to take more responsibility for the state of the Home and one another. If there is a Home member whose performance or spiritual state is low and is causing the Home to sink, or affecting it negatively, members will be much more likely to shepherd that person and help them improve spiritually if they know that it could affect their place in the CM Family. If a Home is failing to meet the criteria in a certain board pillar which could cause the whole Home to be reclassified, then chances are the whole Home will make the effort to improve, rather than expecting just one or two people or the Home teamwork to fix the problem.
101. The Homes will be reviewed on a regular basis and therefore won't be allowed by leadership to sink to a standard in which they are not living up to what the New Wine and the Charter require of CM Homes. By regularly reviewing each Home's performance, it will be easy to spot which Homes are failing in some way so that these Homes can receive help from their VSs or one of the board pillars.
102. Every CM Home will be reviewed twice a year and will receive a "report card" from the COs living in their region, grading their performance in each of the six pillars. There will be two grading periods, the midterm and the year-end. Homes that don't pass the year-end review will be reclassified to the level of membership appropriate to their performance over the last year. Those who do poorly at the midterm review will be focused on by the VSs and boards with the intent to help them raise their discipleship standard and perform better. The goal of these reviews is twofold:
103. Grading the Homes' performance by pillar will help the Homes target their weak areas. They will be given coaching to get their grades up. At the same time they will know that if they consistently get poor grades, then they are accountable as a team, and thus all members of the Home will be reclassified according to their lifestyle and spiritual standard. They are a team, they perform as a team, and there are consequences for consistent poor performance. This process will be known as the Home review and will be explained more fully in an upcoming GN.
Raising the Home Size
104. At the time the Charter was written, many of our Homes were large combo Homes with between 50 and 100 people living in them. The average Home size for Family Homes just before the Charter was written was 40. Such large Homes were very difficult to shepherd, organize, finance, and keep on an even keel. So when the Charter was published there were Home size rules introduced that set the upper limit at 35 people in a Home‚ and the lower limit at four voting members. At the onset of the Charter, our concern was that Homes would be too big, not that Homes would get too small. We suggested in the Charter that Home size be somewhere between 20-25‚ which would generally be a Home of about 10-15 adults, depending on the number of their children.
105. Once the Charter came into effect, many of you left the larger Homes and went off to pioneer new Homes in new cities or countries, so from late 1994 to within a year after the Charter came out, the number of Homes increased by 163% (from 222 DO Homes to 585 CM Homes) and we launched out into 23 more countries (from 44 to 67).
106. This was a phenomenal change, which galvanized our witnessing and outreach stats. For example, prior to the Charter, the number of souls won per year was about 770,000. Within 12 months after the Charter was implemented, the Family had won 908,000 souls‚ or 18% more. Souls won stayed in the 900,000 range for the next two years, till by the end of 1997 we were winning over a million souls a year, and it's remained above one million per year for seven consecutive years now! On the personal witnessing front‚ during the 12 months before the introduction of the Charter, the Family had 5.5 million personal witnesses. In the 12 months after the Charter, it jumped to 7.3 million, or 33% more!
107. While breaking up the large Homes and creating many more smaller Homes initially had a great impact on pioneering new areas and increasing outreach, over the years the decreased Home size has had a negative effect as well. These negative effects have been clearly outlined in the CvsC series and other GNs over the past few years. (See ML #3362:43-44, GN 958; ML #3363:96–98, GN 959.) As time has passed, more and more Homes have chosen to live at this minimum size, to the point that presently 16% of our CM Homes (or 109 Homes worldwide) are at the four-man size‚ while another 21% of our CM Homes (or 137 Homes) are undersized, meaning less than four voting members. That's a total of 37% (or 246 Homes) of all CM Homes that are just making the minimum Home size or are below.
108. While the Charter has allowed for a minimum of four voting members, and has even allowed for exceptions to have less than four voting members where warranted, Mama made it very clear in "Conviction vs. Compromise" that such small Homes are insufficient to do the job of a well-rounded missionary work. She said:
Though it fulfills the minimum Charter requirement, Peter and I don't necessarily feel that four voting members in a Home, especially if it's just a man and his wife and two of their teenage children, is the best situation for living communally or the Acts 2:44 and 45 vision. Dad considered six to 12 adults a good number to have a successful, well-balanced Home. So even though you can squeak by the Charter requirements with four voting members with just your little family unit, it doesn't make it possible to accomplish much. That's why the Lord, in His wisdom and foresight, had the Early Church‚ and the early Family, live communally. ("Be Ye Separate," ML #3363:97, GN 959).
109. Over two years ago, the CvsC series explained that in order to fulfill the requirements of being a CM discipleship Home, it was necessary to have a well-rounded missionary work, and that generally a four–man Home would not be sufficient for a Home to reach that well-rounded discipleship standard. However today, 37%, over one-third of our CM Homes, are at or below that level. These mini-size Homes generally don't measure up to the discipleship Homes as described in "Conviction vs. Compromise." While there are some fruitful four-man Homes, they are by far the minority.
110. Of course, there are some four-man Homes that are truly pioneering and are bearing fruit, but even these Homes eventually need to have more personnel in order to build a long–term missionary work. They might be able to do the initial pioneer work with a small team‚ but in time, if they don't get additional personnel, it becomes very difficult to fulfill the goal of sustaining a fruitful and growing work.
111. In order to be a winning team, the Home has to be large enough to do the job. When you consider all that the Lord has said in regards to faithfully witnessing, winning souls, getting out Activated, doing follow-up, teaching and training new believers, caring for and educating our children, meeting the needs of our young people, building a lasting work, and being a sample of full-time discipleship, it becomes clear that you have to have a well-rounded team of people on hand to do the job. Generally, the most successful Homes today are those who have sufficient personnel on hand to do all that is required to be a fruitful Home‚ which means having somewhere between eight and 12 or even more adults. This gives them sufficient manpower to accomplish all the tasks that a successful Home must undertake on a regular basis.
112. It is our recommendation that Homes increase their size in order to have a workable, well–balanced, successful Home. Our suggestion is that you increase your Home size to over eight adults (aged 18 years and older) or whatever amount is needed to do the job. Dad felt that 12 was the best number; in your situation it may take even more. The number of people that you need in order to have a successful Home will depend on a number of factors. We are keeping the maximum Home size rule of 35 in place so as to keep Homes to a manageable level. We don't want to revert back to pre-Charter blob Home size, but we do want to find the right balance between too large and too small, and right now the Family as a whole is generally on the "too small" side.
113. With the restructuring of the Family based on building winning teams, Homes must have the needed manpower. While we are suggesting that you have more than eight adults‚ we have set the new minimum CM Home size at six voting members who are 18 years old or older. While 16– and 17-year-olds will remain voting members, they will not count toward the voting member population in regards to the minimum Home size. This minimum will ensure that CM Homes are communal Homes‚ which offer a better chance of nurturing discipleship and being fruitful. There would be very few, if any, Homes of six voting members over the age of 18 who are all in the same biological family, thus any former "mom and pop" single-family CM Homes will naturally become communal CM Homes.
114. Field leadership will also no longer be giving exceptions for undersized Homes without WS permission. There will be specific rules that deal with Homes which become undersize, allowing them sufficient time to return to the minimum, but if they don't, exceptions will not be granted, except by WS permission. The key in this change is to get your Home size way above the minimum of six adults (over the age of 18) so that you can do the job. If you are a bit above the minimum Home size, then if one or two people leave the Home, you'll still be above the minimum. However, if you keep your Home size at the minimum level and someone has to leave unexpectedly, then you will be undersize and will risk being reclassified if you can't reach the minimum Home size within the allotted time.
115. The new Home size minimum will go into effect by the January 2005 TRF, which means you will have about nine months from the time you receive this GN to bring your Home population up to a minimum of six voting members ages 18 and over. If your Home is below this minimum size by the January 2005 TRF, you will not be able to retain your place as a CM Home.
116. In joining a Home or inviting others to your Home, or in closing your Home or merging your Home with another Home, you should keep in mind the primary goal of this restructuring of the Family‚ that of building a winning team. This means that you should wisely and prayerfully choose your new Home or new Home members, because it is with these folks that you will be building your team, a team that will work together, fight side by side, and win.
117. While the minimum Home size is measured by the number of adults 18 and over, it is not meant to discourage taking large families or single moms into your Homes. A winning team, in many cases, will include large families and single parents. You need a well–rounded team in order to have a successful work and be a good sample discipleship Home. That includes mothers‚ fathers, young people, provisioners, JETT and teen shepherds, witnessers, teachers and childcare personnel, and much more. As Dad has always said, children of all ages are often our greatest testimony—the proof of the pudding, a tremendous witness, and they can be an invaluable asset to a fruitful discipleship Home.
118. Aside from the witnessing opportunities children provide, living the One Wife vision is a foundation principle of our sample and service for the Lord. It's one of the most important spiritual concepts that Dad taught us, and it's crucial that we don't lose the loving, unselfish motives that make us a united Family. We're One Wife, and are collectively responsible to care for, raise‚ and train our children—and that means providing loving Homes and supportive environments for our large families and single parents, where our precious children can be raised and nurtured in the admonition of the Lord.
119. The sacrificial love and care that you show in opening the doors of your Home to take in a large family or a single parent will not only bring you the Lord's blessings‚ but it is also an important part of your testimony. So please remember this as you build your winning team—you need families, single parents, children, and singles. We're a Family—made up of all types—and we need each one to do the job!
120. Many of you present-day CM Homes need to honestly and prayerfully assess whether your Home has the ingredients and foundation needed to become a discipleship sample Home. If not, you should consider either closing your Home and your Home members joining other CM Homes, or merging your Home with another small Home, so that together you can reach the discipleship standard. Each CM Home needs to increase its Home size, but it's important to realize that the goal is not necessarily to preserve each and every CM Home by increasing the number of voting members. The goal is to create sample discipleship Homes, which in many cases might mean smaller Homes disbanding and joining other Homes, or smaller CM teams merging.
121. A trend that became apparent regarding the small Homes in Brazil was that almost everyone's hope was that someone would come and join them, so that they could keep their own Home and work, which often wasn't exceptionally fruitful. As it turns out, most of these small Homes have now become MM Homes. This mindset of holding on to "your Home" at all costs could be an impediment to strengthening the CM Family‚ as opposed to trusting the Lord‚ forsaking all, and doing the humble thing, by closing your Home and merging with others and creating a new Home which doesn't "belong" to anyone, but is a brand-new discipleship Home.
122. Although the new Home size minimum will not be in effect until January 2005, we thought you would want to hear this news now so that you have ample time to pray, prepare‚ and choose your larger team. There will be more details printed shortly that explain pioneer Homes, why 16- and 17-year-olds don't count toward the six–man minimum, and how this applies to sensitive countries, new disciples, and returnees.
123. When praying about what this change means to you and your Home, please keep in mind the collective accountability aspect of our restructuring. This is the concept of your team moving forward and winning together. While the minimum Home size will be six members, 18 years or older, this number isn't necessarily the all in all, the ultimate goal. The goal is to build a winning Home which does the job well. If your mindset is that living with the least amount of people is the ideal‚ or if you've been living in a four–man Home with just your personal family because you either don't want to live with others or you like being your own boss, or others have found it difficult to live with you because of personal or family problems or NWOs, and you figure you can continue that lifestyle in a six-man Home, think again.
124. In fact, the new minimum Home size may require not only mindset changes but many physical changes as well. If your present housing is too small or you can't find others willing to move in with you, then you may have to close down your Home and move in with others, joining or merging Homes. Stubbornly holding on to your present housing or attitudes in the face of necessary change just won't work‚ at least not if you hope to avoid reclassification. You'll need new openness, more personnel‚ more funds, bigger housing, and a greater measure of faith, all of which we know the Lord can supply through your desperate, key-empowered prayers. And all these things are just steppingstones to greater victories. Please pray very desperately, claiming the power of the keys, for a change of attitude and even a change in your personal desires‚ likes and dislikes‚ so that you can make the needed progress in moving on to a larger Home.
125. Every CM Home will face a Home review, and if it doesn't pass the year-end review it will lose its place in the CM Family. Passing the review will depend largely on the fruit that your Home bears, along with its spiritual and physical state. Your standing as a well-rounded discipleship Home will be determined by the fruitfulness of your Home in each of the board pillars. In order to be fruitful you are going to need a good, well-manned team. While in some cases a team of six adults (18 and over) might be able to fulfill the criteria for each board, many such Homes won't. If they don't, they won't pass the review and will therefore lose their CM standing‚ even if they are meeting the six-man requirement.
126. The attitude you should have in all of this isn't to try to find a way to squeak by with doing the minimum, with having the minimum Home size, doing the minimum amount of witnessing, bearing just enough fruit to keep one toe within the CM Family. That's not winning, and we need to be winners. So take on the attitude of a winner. Pray for the spirit of a winner. Don't just go for the minimum—go for the maximum! Build a team that will win, and not only win once in a while, but will win time after time. Build a team of winners, a team made up of dedicated, wholehearted disciples who are determined to do the job to the very best of their ability—a championship team! Do the maximum! Be the best! You can do it, together with others and with the Lord's help, through the power of the keys!
127. And this goes for whatever place of membership you hold in the Family, whether CM, MM, or FM. We are going to be a Family of winners—CM winners, MM winners, and FM winners. No matter what your membership, you need to be winners in your league. You need to do what is expected of you. You need to be the best. You need to progress and win. We are not only going to be reviewing the CM Homes; you who are in the MM and FM Family will also have a review of some kind. If you are a winning team‚ you will be part of us; if you aren't, you won't. It's just that simple. There are no free rides for anyone. In our service for the Lord we play in whichever league we are able to, but we must be winners in our league.
128. One of the keys to a winning team is the coaching staff. A major key in a Home being a winning discipleship Home is the Home teamwork. A major program of training Home teamwork members will be developed throughout 2004 and will be put in place in the beginning of 2005.
129. This program will include publications, videos, seminars, visitation, and other initiatives, as needed. The international VS board as well as various COs and VSs‚ along with WS‚ will produce the needed material for this training. The international VS board has done the groundwork for this program and will focus on producing this material in the latter part of 2004. During this same time period, each international board will also be producing their pillar's handbook‚ which will aid in the better management of the Homes and helping the Homes prepare for the regular Home reviews.
130. Part of this program will include revamping the job of the VS, so that VSs will be available to help, train, and coach Home teamworks in their job. The goal is that eventually the Home teamworks will learn how to spiritually shepherd the Home with less and less help from the VSs.
131. The new Missionary members category will create a new active service membership level within the Family, a place for those who are missionaries, witnessers, and doers of the Word, but who for whatever reason cannot or choose not to live the complete CM discipleship lifestyle. It will be a place for those who believe just as the CM Family does, but who aren't required to live under all of the Charter rules. The individual spiritual standard for Missionary members is similar to that of Charter members; the main difference is in the lifestyle.
132. You will receive a GN very shortly explaining all about the MM category, including the statutes for this level of active missionary service, which lists the belief requirements and rules‚ so I won't get into all of the details here. It's important to understand, though, that Missionary members are both believers and doers. At this level of membership, one must actively witness on a regular basis. They will need to believe in Dad and Mama, minimize ungodly influences, believe our fundamental Family beliefs, work to overcome their NWOs, live in unity and by the principles of the Law of Love, live a lifestyle that reflects positively on the Family—in short‚ be good Family members and missionaries.
133. Missionary members will receive the same pubs that the CM Family now receives; they will give their 14% monthly and will be eligible for FAF benefits. While we will encourage MM members to live communally, it will not be a requirement.
134. MM Homes will be reviewed periodically, and if they are not living in accordance with their statutes, they will lose their MM status. FM Homes or individuals who wish to become Missionary members will, if they qualify, be able to do so after January 2005. All of the details and rules regarding the MM criteria, rules‚ etc., will be coming soon via GN.
Period of Renewal
135. In June 2004 the CM and MM Family will enter a period of renewal for six months. During this time we will fast worldly input in order to focus our attention on the changes the Lord is asking us to make in our lives. By this time you will have a greater understanding of the restructuring of the Family, what it all entails, how it will impact your life, and the challenges which will be before you as you work to make your Home the winning Home it needs to become.
136. This time of renewal will be different than the fast of worldly input that the Brazil Family underwent. While WS will be cutting back on the production of many of the monthly pubs in order to focus our energies and time on the other publications and material that need to be created, there will still be some publications that you will receive that relate to the Family restructuring, as the Lord leads. You will continue to receive any new GP tools‚ new books, and new GP music CDs that are scheduled to reach you during this time. The board structure will continue to operate, although it may run at a slower pace, because board members will also need to focus on their personal lives, changes within their Homes, etc. Everyone will retain their right of mobility and you will not lose your status.
137. During this period there will be no movie watching, TV watching, System music, novel reading, computer games, or Internet browsing (except for business purposes). Unlike the Family in Brazil, you will not be asked to forgo fellowship times and parties of more than four Homes gathered together (as was the case in Brazil), nor will you be asked to forgo drinking alcohol in moderation. This time of renewal is not a punishment, but a period designed to help you set aside distractions of the world so that you can, as an individual and as a Home, concentrate on becoming the winning disciples and winning Homes that the Lord has commissioned us to be.
138. While this might be a sacrifice, it's important to remember the many warnings the Lord has given us about the state of the Family and the consequences of us not changing. Certainly for the sake of the forward progress of the Family we should all be willing to let go of these things for a time in order to allow the Lord to change our habits—our lives‚ really. The rewards will be well worth the sacrifices.
139. More details will be coming concerning how to explain this renewal period to your children, and why the Lord is also asking them to lay aside worldly input for this time period. As was the case in Brazil, there may be certain exceptions granted for the children, which will be explained in upcoming pubs.
140. Fellow members will not be required to undergo this six-month renewal period (even though the publication cutback would affect you too), but it is recommended, of course. You who are Fellow members can pray about it and do as the Lord leads you according to your faith, desire, and circumstances.
141. (Question:) Since Brazil just went through a six-month fast of worldly input, are the CM and MM Homes there meant to participate in this renewal period as well?
142. (Jesus: ) My highest will is for the CM and MM Homes in Brazil to partake of this renewal period. While My brides in Brazil have recently undergone a similar fast from worldly input, that was part of My chastisement; this is a renewal. There is a significant difference, not only in the guidelines I have set out, but also in the blessings and spiritual treasures that will be given to those who participate in this time of spiritual cleansing‚ renewal, and refilling.
143. I challenge My Family in Brazil to look at this renewal period as the time of spiritual blessing that it is. In some ways, the Family members in Brazil have an advantage because they have already begun to lessen their hold on the things of the world and worldly input as a result of their previous fast. This will provide a secondary boost to the victories they are striving for, and I know they will not want to miss out on the spiritual blessings that the worldwide Family will be receiving from Me during this special time. (End of message from Jesus.)
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The Two–Year Plan
144. The plan the Lord gave for restructuring the Family is a two–year plan, which is divided into two periods:
The Restructuring Period
(January 2004 through December 2004)
The Strengthening Period
(January 2005 through December 2005)
145. During the restructuring period, the Family will continue to operate under its present rules. The Charter and the "Conviction vs. Compromise" GNs (including the "Show Me the Money" series) will be the standard by which Homes and individuals are judged. There will be a few amendments to the Charter so as to incorporate the MM category and other minor changes.
146. In the early part of 2004‚ the COs and VSs will work to move those CM Homes that are clearly living the FM standard to FM status. When the Missionary members statutes are published in a few months‚ the MM category will be in operation, meaning that those of you in the CM Family who choose to become Missionary members can do so. Homes and individuals who are not living up to the present CM standard, as stated in the Charter and CvsC series‚ but who aren't living the FM standard either, will be placed in the Missionary member category, where they can continue witnessing and getting the same pubs without being held to the high commitment level that is required for Charter membership. (Note: We ask that any Home or individual in the FM Family please refrain from applying for MM or CM status at this time, because information regarding this procedure is in the next GN in this series.)
147. Between now and June 2004, a number of GNs explaining in depth the various aspects of the restructuring period will be sent to you.
148. On June 1 the renewal period will begin, lasting until November 30.
149. Homes will have until their January 2005 TRF to attain the new minimum Home size of six adults ages 18 or over.
150. We've included a chart on page 24 so you can see what the restructuring period (2004) looks like on a timeline.
151. During 2004, more time, counsel‚ and prayer will go into mapping out the details of the 2005 strengthening period. There is clearly more that the Lord will reveal to us about this period as we get closer to it, and toward the end of 2004 we'll publish more of the details and plans for the 2005 strengthening period, as well as the proposed timeline, Lord willing.
152. During the restructuring period (2004), which began with the publication of "New Year's Challenge for 2004" (ML #3468, GN 1054), a great deal must happen at all levels of the Family. Following is a list of these things:
The Home Front
*153. Homes must work toward building a winning team by raising the CM Home size to the amount of people needed to build a well-rounded missionary work. (Minimum six adults ages 18 or over, deadline January 2005 TRF.)
*154. All CM and MM members undergo the renewal period‚ using this time to review all that the Lord has shown us over the past few years and be strengthened as a Home and individually by putting an emphasis on spiritual growth, obedience‚ and forward progress.
The CO and VS Front
*155. Overcome lenient mindsets in practical terms by applying proper discipline for errant Homes and members; work toward moving Homes and members to their proper level of Family membership.
*156. COs meet with their area's VSs to show the video Peter made for them at the Summit, to give them a greater understanding of the changes which will be made and the job facing them throughout the restructuring period. (These meetings took place in December 2003 and January 2004.)
*157. Meet with Regional Councils to discuss the overall plans and initiatives of the boards to ensure that they conform with and complement the Family restructuring.
*158. Counsel and pray about Homes and individuals, visiting where necessary, to determine which Homes are CM, MM, or FM.
*159. Set up a Regional desk in each region.
The International Board Front
*160. Each board will finalize and publish the criteria and checklist for their pillar‚ for use in the Home review.
*161. Each board will compile and publish its handbook to assist the Homes in how to meet their board's criteria.
*162. Each board will devise a grading system for their pillar to be used as part of the Home review.
*163. In some cases it will require the international boards to meet to accomplish these goals.
Mama‚ Peter, and WS
*164. Produce the needed GNs to explain all aspects of the changes ahead, including "collective accountability," the renewal period, the Home review and grading system, etc.
*165. Finalize and publish the MM statutes with all the beliefs, responsibilities, rights and rules.
*166. Publish more information explaining changes decided on at the Summit that concern our outside membership of all levels (including Active members, live-outs, etc.)‚ in order to better integrate them into the Family structure and to assist the Homes in better caring for and feeding them. This will be published in the next couple of months‚ Lord willing.
*167. Write Charter amendments needed to reflect the various changes and new levels of Family membership.
*168. Work in conjunction with the international VS board to create the program, classes, and other material regarding the job of the Home teamworks and the VS board's role in training the Home teamworks.
*169. Modify the Tele-TRF to reflect needed changes.
*170. Write a computer program to help in the processing of the Home reviews.
*171. Assist the international boards in publishing their criteria, checklists, and handbooks.
172. As you can see, restructuring the Family is going to take a lot of participation and work on the part of every level within the Family. Mama and I recently told the WS Homes, "Accomplishing this restructuring will take a tremendous amount of work on the part of WS‚ and all of this work will need to take priority over our normal work in the months to come. It will mean that most departments will need to shift their focus to matters pertaining to the restructuring of the Family. All of our resources and all of our efforts need to be focused on these changes. We will need all hands on deck, everyone working to help keep our ship from sinking."
173. It's going to be plain hard work for all of us. But hard work is necessary when you are in an emergency situation as we are. If we are going to become winners, then hard work, and lots of it, awaits us—but so do many victories and blessings.
174. (Mama: ) One thing to bear in mind is that the Enemy isn't going to sit idly by as we build our defenses, train our troops, and prepare an attack which will defeat him. He's already been attacking us in many ways since the Summit's end and will continue to do so, in an effort to defeat us if he can. He wants to stop the Family now, before we can launch this major offensive on the strongholds he's had within the minds and hearts of so many Family members. The following is a prophecy given at the end of the Summit, which explains what's ahead:
175. (Jesus:) This time is going to mean great changes, great difficulty, great battles, and great cleansing, but none of these things that I will ask will be too great for My sheep to bear.
176. Through all this, your flock will become stronger. Many who have allowed themselves to grow weak through compromise because nobody was expecting anything better of them, will repent and be encouraged by these changes and will dig out the mantles of their anointing of being David's mighty men and will put them on again, forsaking their sins and their half-heartedness, and moving forward with Me.
177. That's why the Enemy is so frightened. That's why he's attacking so ferociously. He knows that this particular revolution, of all revolutions the Family has experienced in recent times, will be the single most devastating blow to his kingdom and his strongholds within the hearts of My children.
178. He knows that many eyes are about to be opened; that a fresh infusion of My Spirit is about to be poured forth that will obliterate every foothold he has gained in recent years.
179. Oh, he thought he was so strong. He thought he was so secure. But now I'm pulling out My big guns‚ and he's suddenly realizing how weak his position really is. His attacks now are moves of desperation; they are becoming much more overt, much more obvious. But this is also his doom, because it's bringing much more militant action in prayer against him.
180. He knows his doom is sure, but in the meantime, in a frantic, last-ditch stand, he's going to try to disrupt as much as he can and take as many as possible with him in this downfall.
181. The faith of many will be tested‚ sifted as wheat, but I have prayed for them, that their faith fail not. And when the first are converted, they will strengthen many of their brethren—just as after Peter was strengthened, though he had fallen lower than any of the other disciples except Judas‚ he became a powerful witness who got all the others back on their feet and moving in the right direction.
182. There are many Peters in the Family right now who may have denied Me and their heritage of discipleship, but who will be strengthened by these revolutions and will rise up to strengthen their brethren once they have been converted and the power of My Holy Spirit descends upon them once again.
183. There are also Thomases and Matthews and Nathanaels and Johns, some who are doubting‚ some who are working, some who are simply sitting under a tree waiting to be called, waiting to be given the clear call, "Come and follow Me." And they will hear it, and they will come, and they will follow, and they will be disciples once again. And when they are all in one place, of one accord, I will pour out My Spirit upon them, and the anointing for the ministry that will come will fall on them‚ and they will go into all the world and be known everywhere as My true disciples of this Latter Day. (End of message from Jesus.)
184. (Mama:) What beautiful promises! How about it, you Peters, Thomases‚ Matthews, and Nathanaels? Will you take up your heritage of discipleship once again? Will you dig out the mantles of your anointing of being David's mighty men and put them on again? Will you take up the challenge of being part of a winning team? Will you do whatever it takes to make your Home a winning Home?
185. Will you do your part to make the Family what God wants it to be? Will you prayerfully and realistically find your place of membership within the Family and be content there? Will you live to the best of your ability within your membership level?
186. Please remember that part of this restructuring means that you will need to prayerfully evaluate your place within Family membership. The new Missionary membership‚ which is very similar to CM without some of the requirements and restrictions, is for you who want to serve the Lord and be an active part of the Family, but who‚ for whatever reason, can't or don't choose to live the full CM discipleship life. Missionary membership means more commitment than Fellow membership. There are clear requirements—you must witness and bring forth fruit, you must uphold a high spiritual standard, there are rules to obey, and failure to do so will mean losing your MM status. It's an active level of service, a place for "doers."
187. Peter and I believe that many of you, especially you who have been barely hanging on to your place in the CM Family, would be much happier, more fulfilled, and even more productive in the MM Family. You will still get the GNs and a variety of Family services. There will be less pressure and fewer restrictions in the MM category, and it will allow many of you to operate at a standard that is more in line with your faith and personal preferences. And those of you who are presently FM and have remained active in your service for the Lord (and meet the MM requirements) may qualify for this new level of Family membership.
Why be CM?
188. Some of you might ask why people would want to remain in the CM Family, with all that it entails, when they could be in the MM Family and it would be much easier. Or maybe you wonder what are the benefits of being CM over MM. And if there are no significant benefits, then why be CM?
189. The reasons for being CM are personal, between you and the Lord. It's not like you get extra pay; you don't. In fact‚ you are expected to fight harder, sacrifice more‚ maintain a high spiritual standard, overcome weaknesses, live unselfishly, dedicate yourself fully to reaching the lost, and much more. Why would you want to do that‚ when you can get pretty much the same benefits if you don't?
190. That is a question only you and the Lord can answer. What is God's calling for you? Are you called to the CM discipleship lifestyle? If you are, then you will want to fulfill that calling. Are you called to actively serve the Lord as a Missionary member? If so, then you will want to fulfill that calling.
191. Until now‚ many of you who want to actively serve the Lord have had only two choices within the Family, CM or FM. For many of you, the gap between the two was too wide. You wanted to be more than FM, but in your hearts you knew that the CM life was a bit too much for you to continue maintaining. However, you didn't want to stop being active in your service, and since there are such differing levels of dedication and commitment within the FM circle‚ many of you have felt that a move to FM equaled the end of your active service.
192. While there are those in the FM Family who do their best to uphold the standard‚ are faithful witnesses, and very active in Family service, that is not the case across the board, and this has been a source of discouragement for some of you who were faced with the option of being either CM or FM. Now there is a very good option for those of you who don't feel you can continue in the CM Family. Missionary membership is a place where you can actively serve, where a lot is expected and even demanded of you‚ but not as much as has been expected of you as a Charter member.
193. (Question:) So are there no extra benefits to being CM, whether physical or spiritual?
194. (Jesus:) Of course there are particular benefits to being CM, and those of you who live the CM life in its full discipleship color will enjoy a magnificent array of blessings. However, at this point in the restructuring I'm calling you to obedience by faith, not to obedience because of rewards or benefits. Remember, obedience comes before the blessing, before the reward. Now is the era of obedience.
195. The highest blessings and benefits come as a result of total obedience‚ yieldedness, and following Me closely. That's what discipleship is all about. So before you start inspecting your bagful of blessings, rewards, and perks, be sure to inspect your standard of discipleship. Once you're living it to the full, the rewards, blessings, and benefits will follow, and I promise they will trail after you in great abundance. (End of message from Jesus)
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196. Peter and I want you to pray as an individual, and even as a Home, to see where the Lord wants you to serve. We also want you to be open to your COs and VSs if they suggest that the discipleship lifestyle in the CM Family is not for you. In some cases‚ people will voluntarily choose to become part of the MM Family; in other cases, your area officers will take proactive steps to move you to that place of service, as it's possible that some of you who are now in the CM Family don't realize that you're not and haven't been living up to the requirements of discipleship.
197. Now is the time to ask yourselves (and ask the Lord, of course): Should our Home be a MM communal Home? Should our family be a MM single–family Home? Should I as an individual be a Missionary member? Is my calling serving as a Missionary member? If so, then follow it. Commit yourself to serving the Lord in this level of membership and do it with faith, with the knowledge that you are in the Lord's will.
198. If you are called to serve the Lord as a Charter member, then do it with faith, with the knowledge that you are in the Lord's will. If you are called to serve the Lord as a Missionary member‚ do the same. In either case, do so with all your heart. Don't strive to be CM just out of pride, or because you've always been CM. Make the choice based on your calling, on what the Lord has called you personally to do. If CM is not your calling, be an MM winner‚ or an FM winner. If you try to hang on to the CM title while not living the CM discipleship lifestyle, you'll find that won't work, and the Lord and your shepherds will help place you in the appropriate place of service for you.
199. We need both Charter members and Missionary members. You are both in active service, you are both preaching the Gospel‚ you are both reaching the world, and that's what the Family is all about. Many of you Fellow members fall into this category as well, and as you will see in the next GN in this series‚ you too will eventually be eligible for Missionary membership, if you meet the requirements.
200. Our goal is to win the world for Jesus, to be winners at every level. We need winning Charter members, we need winning Missionary members‚ we need winning Fellow members. From this point on, we will be winners as a Family, because we are determined to spiritually strengthen each level of Family membership. We will not lose the war against Satan. We will not let him weaken and destroy us. We will no longer put up with those who tear down and destroy the Family from within, through compromise, disunity, disbelief and dissension. We are moving forward. We are going to have winning Homes filled with winners, who together are going to win the world like never before!
201. We love you and will be praying for you, calling on the keys of conviction, faith, perseverance, and forward movement as we enter this era of obedience and this time of restructuring.
Much love in our Husband,
Mama and Peter
Copyright © 2004 by The Family
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