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Board Vision Training Videos, Part 2
Transcription of Video #2

By Peter A.              CM/FM 3407 12/01

       1.God bless you, everybody! We really love you and are praying for you in your meetings. We're so thankful that you're there and you're willing to take up the torch of this new ministry, this new job that will help the Family around the world. So let's start with a word of prayer, okay? Thank You Jesus! We love You, Jesus! Praise You Lord! Thank You so much!
       2.(Prays:) Thank You, sweet Love, for all of these that are presently watching this video, who are having their meetings right now. We ask that You please, please bless them. We call on the power of Your keys for the anointing for the task, that You will help them to understand and grasp the vision, to go away from these meetings knowing what they should do, how to conduct themselves, what the job entails, and with a real vision to get out there and be a blessing and help to the Family. I pray that You help me, too. I have to sit here and try to explain things to them. I ask for Your anointing to do it. I can't do it on my own. I don't have it all written out like I did with the keynote. I have to just speak as You speak through me.
       3.So I pray that You do speak through Me, Lord. Help me to be clear and concise. Help it to be understandable for everyone. Help it not to leave them with a lot of questions, but instead to answer any questions that they may have. Jesus, please help and anoint me. I call on Your keys. I claim the power of Your keys for clarity and for articulation. I pray that You help everybody to understand. Pour out Your Spirit upon us, Lord. Help this time to be educational, and also fun, relaxing, and enjoyable. But at the same time help us to learn the things we need to, and help me to convey to these the things that You want shared. In Jesus' name we pray. Thank You Lord! Praise God!
       4.Okay, well, it always takes me a couple of minutes to get over being nervous on these videos, and to get used to talking to the camera. I like having a big audience; then you can interact and joke, and things like that. But when you joke at the camera, it doesn't laugh back, and I have to depend on my cameraman here. I told him, "Make sure you laugh at all my jokes so I'll be encouraged!" Ha! Praise the Lord!
       5.We read you the keynote and now we want to start talking about the boards. In the course of all of this we will try to explain how the boards are supposed to work, what you're supposed to do, what the job entails, what we expect of you, how to conduct yourselves in the meetings, and all the rest. It's a fair bit, and we're praying that we can make it clear and easy for you to understand.
       6.But before we start, I want to say that the boards themselves are new. It's a whole new thing that we're doing now. It's a new position for you. It's a position that hasn't really existed before, at least not in this manner. We don't really know how it's all going to work out. We've prayed, we've asked the Lord, we've theorized, we've written things down the way we think they should be and how we believe they should work. But that doesn't necessarily mean that's going to be exactly how it does work.
       7.Big pushes in the Family or changes in the Family tend to take on a life of their own once they're implemented, and how it plays out in the end we don't always know. It always kind of morphs or changes as it goes along. I'm sure that the boards will too. How you interact with the Homes, or how you interact with the other boards, or the authority of the boards--these things might have to be modified as time goes on, because the board structure might work a little differently in practice than it does now on paper or in theory. So we all have to be flexible.
       8.We've written the Board Handbook and tried to codify how everything should be and what the rules are, like we did with the Charter. But as with the Charter, we had to amend things as we went along. We saw what did work, what didn't work, what was too lax, what was too strict, what just wasn't practical, and we made amendments. And that's probably what we'll do with the board plan and structure as time goes on. But we have to start somewhere. We've given you the GNs, we've given you the Board Handbook, and we'll start with that. But we are very open to changes as time goes on, to improve, to see what works, what doesn't work, and then we'll change it accordingly. Okay?
       9.So in the course of things, when you actually start implementing the board vision and you're actually having board meetings and you're following the Board Handbook, and you find, "Wow, this thing is impractical" or "This doesn't work," well, then feel free to write us, and in time we will make the changes. That's what we did with the Charter. We got a lot of letters over the years; the COs and others had suggestions. Then we'd discuss them, pray about them, and eventually, if they had merit, we would change the Charter to fit those in. What I'm trying to say is: Please don't expect the board structure to be perfect. We won't expect you to be perfect, so don't expect the structure to be perfect. Okay? Thank You, Lord!
       10.We'll have to trust the Lord and take it step by step, as everything is with the Lord. You just follow along and you do what He shows you. You have to be open to change and to modification, and we are. So please, share with us anything that you feel might be better if it was done differently, or maybe something added, something subtracted. We're more than willing to hear it. And we want to hear it! We're in this together! And you're going to be the ones that are actually on the ground doing the board work, and in the end, you'll know better how it should work than we do. We've sought the Lord for the theory, but now when we put it into practice we're going to have to depend on you and your initiative to let us know. Okay? Praise the Lord!
       11.We're counting on you for that. Well, we're counting on you for the whole board plan and structure to work, and we'll talk about that as we go along. But for starters, let's discuss why we are doing the boards at all. We covered that in the GN, so this will be a bit of a review, but in any case it might be worth it to review it. And there are some other points that we wanted to share with you.

Why the Boards

       12.As we said in the GN, basically our leadership structure has reached its limits. Our structure basically consists of people in WS who do the pubs and the administration. Then there are the COs who are responsible for their continental area, basically, and everything in it. The COs have their responsibilities under the Charter of things they have to supply, like an NPC, a LIM or a Lit-Pic, the tools for the job, that sort of thing. They also are involved in directing the work of their continental area, as well as keeping everybody in line with the Charter. It involves a lot of shepherding and a lot of details.
       13.They are helped by the VSs, which is the next level of leadership in the Family. And of course, you all know what the VSs do. They visit you and try to help you all they can in every aspect of your Home, if you ask them--and I guess sometimes when you don't ask them! But that kind of becomes the end of our upper leadership structure; it's just those two levels. There are Service Homes that do service-type work, and, of course, the Home teamworks.
       14.But the Family has grown so huge in personnel as well as in complexity. The Family is much more complex today than it was in the past. We have more people. We have more ministries. Since the Charter, people are much more independent. I don't say independent in the negative sense of, "This guy is really independent." Maybe autonomous is a better word. You're allowed to decide what your Home is going to do and you do it, and that in itself brings more complexity to the whole thing. We have kids of all different ages and different levels. We have people at different spiritual levels, and all the rest. It's just a lot more complex. And it's too huge of a load for Mom and me, for WS, for the COs or for the VSs to carry the load themselves, and to do a really good job at it.
       15.We've been able to carry the load and the Family has made a lot of progress, we're moving forward, but it's taking a huge toll on the small amount of leadership there is. Everybody is kind of having to run quickly from pillar to post to take care of this emergency, or put out that fire, or to solve these problems, and we're not able to get ahead of the problems. We're reacting to problems rather than making it so that those problems don't exist in the first place. We're reactive and we need to change that. It's just too much. It's too much for us--we admit it. We are weak. We can't do it. We need your help. And the Lord showed us that it is now time for a change.
       16.The Lord does give us answers. I don't want to make it sound like, "Oh, well, the Word doesn't help us, or the Lord doesn't help us." He does, plenty! He gives us answers in the GNs. If you go back and look at some of the problems that were addressed in the "Conviction vs. Compromise" series, you'll see that most of those things were dealt with in other GNs over the last four or five years.
       17.But there is also the problem of implementing the Word, implementing what the GNs say. And again, the VSs can't go around to every Home and say, "Let's implement this and let's implement that." If the Home doesn't have the initiative to do it on its own, or doesn't understand how they can implement it, then they just don't. Or they try, but it's not good enough. There's not a structure at the Home level that helps the Homes with implementation. That's something that needs to happen, and we believe the board vision can help with that.
       18.Another reason why we have the boards is to help the Family make more progress. We don't have people at the ground level to inspire the troops or to help the Homes make progress. The VSs try, and the COs try too, but they've got so many things on their plate it's nearly impossible for them to focus on that level in the way that that level needs to be focused on, and that is at the grass roots, at the Home level.
       19.So we need people that are at that Home level for starters, who are aware of the problem, and who are knowledgeable of those particular ministries, whether it's FED or childcare, or the young people, or church growth and outreach. We need people who are gifted in those areas, who are aware of the problems, and who will pray and meet and discuss ways to solve the problems--or discuss ways to make headway in these ministries.
       20.We don't have that today. We have a lot of people who would like to do that. I know the Continental Officers, the COs, would like to do that--to be able to pull away from all the problems and the day-to-day stuff that comes at them to really be able to think and pray and focus on the needs of a certain area or ministry, and be able to delve in and spend some time working on it, but they can't because they have to be responsible for all kinds of ministries. The VSs, too, who really are supposed to be just shepherding and visiting, get very involved in many things, and they just can't spend the time. It's sad, because they are very gifted and qualified people who could help the Homes more if they had more time.
       21.So that's another reason--we want to free up the COs and the VSs to focus on the things that they should focus on, and not have to focus on the other things. And we need to get other people who will focus on the other aspects of the work, because they all need to be addressed. They are important. Our young people are important. Our children are important. The FED is important. The outreach is important. The VSing is important. The PR is important. All of it is important, but we just don't have enough people in our present leadership to focus on them as they should. So now we want to change things so that you can focus on them, so that you can be the people responsible and have the authority to really work in these ministries, to make changes, and to make things happen.
       22.So we need a mechanism to use people's talents and gifts in a way to benefit the Family. A lot of you have terrific ideas. We know that. I know whenever I go out and see people, people talk to me and they have tremendous ideas, lots and lots of experience, and they come up with good suggestions. I'm sure that all of you do, and I'm sure people in your Home are like that too. They can sit around and think, "Well, you know, we ought to do this for the kids." Or, "It would really help if we would do that." But presently there is no clear mechanism as to how to get those ideas into a tangible form and a practical way to help the Homes.
       23.Sure, you can write--and people do all the time--they write WS, or they write their COs, or they tell their VSs. And that's good. We've always appreciated it and we've used a lot of ideas that have come from the field to make changes. Or they've written about problems, and after we've read over their letters and done research and prayed and asked the Lord, He would speak about those things, and those ideas generated new GNs.
       24.But there is no actual, official means for ideas at the ground level to be discussed, to be prayed about. There is no mechanism. You can write the Folks, you can write WS, you can write your COs, but that's about all you can do. Whereas we need to have a body of people closer to the ground level who are thinking about those things, who really discuss and pray about those matters and have kind of a "legal standing" to fill the needs or to solve the problems, or to at least address the problems. And that's another thing that we're hoping that the boards will do. To achieve that, we want to raise up those who have the gifts and talents in those ministries to be able to use those gifts and talents.
       25.Somebody who had visited the field was just telling Mama the other day, "Oh, I ran into so-and-so, and they are so talented! They have so many ideas. They're so alive. They can do this and they could do that, but they're kind of drifting. They're not in a place where their talents can really be used. Their ideas don't go anywhere because there is no means for them to go anywhere." And there are lots of people like that in the Family. There are a lot of you who are like that. You've had ideas, but we just haven't had the mechanism for it, and now we need that so that we can tap into the tremendous talent of all of the Family and use your gifts and talents for the benefit of the Family. That's really important!
       26.Another reason is that we need a training ground for leadership where people can learn leadership skills--where they can learn decision-making, people handling, and all the rest that goes into leadership. Mama and I have discussed this before and we've asked the question, "Why don't we have enough leadership"? Why is it that we have the Continental Officers, we have the VSs, but we don't have more? There is other leadership, too. There are people who are naturally gifted and who have taken positions of responsibility, though not necessarily officially. But in talking about it, it's like, "Well, why don't we have more people like that?" For one, there is no position to put people in. You're either a Continental Officer or you're a Visiting Servant. And if you're not one of those, there's not too much more in the way of positions where you can actually learn those skills. So we haven't provided a way for those skills to be learned.
       27.We believe that the boards will be a training ground, where people will learn. They'll be tested and you can see who really does have leadership-type qualities. It won't just be a place where you can see, "Oh, are they spiritual?" Or "are they this or that?" But a place where they are actually using their leadership skills. They're using the talents that the Lord has given them. And in the course of using them and being on a board and talking with other people, having to work together and come up with the Lord's plan and all of this, well, in the course of having to do that they will learn leadership lessons.
       28.So hopefully this will help raise up a new body of people who will be leaders in the Family. If you're on the board, you're going to be helping to govern the Family, really, and that puts you in a position of leadership at some level. But just because you're in a position where you have some authority and you have some leadership, it doesn't necessarily make you a leader. What makes you a leader is learning how to lead, learning how to hear from the Lord, learning how to make wise decisions, and all the rest. Initially you get a title, but you have to grow into the job, and you will have to do that on your boards.
       29.In any case, one of the reasons we're doing this is so that we can have a training ground for new leadership to hopefully raise up people--you--who have talent and leadership abilities, but haven't been able to use them because there was no place for it, or there was no mechanism in place. So we want to strengthen that area. We want to create the mechanism so that people can learn leadership skills, exercise leadership skills, and grow in that way. Because if there is more leadership throughout the Family, the Family will be stronger.
       30.Now, I'm not talking about leaders who go around telling people what to do. We're really not interested in that. We're talking about leadership that learns how to make wise decisions, how to work with people, how to be loving and kind, and also inspiring, to get people to follow. Not to push or drag them, but to get them to follow because the ideas the leader has or the love that they have inspires others to follow.
       31.Another thing that we want to have happen with the boards, and one of the reasons that we want the boards to be in existence, is that we need to get proactive about the Family's needs and problems. As I said earlier, we're on the defensive a lot. When something comes up, we have to fix it. We'd like to have people think ahead or try to head the problems off at the pass, put the fence at the top of the hill rather than the hospital at the bottom. That can happen at a local level, as you discuss and pray about your situation, about your Homes, about your area, about your ministry. The Lord will use you, and He will give you ideas.
       32.We have great faith in the Lord, and we have faith in your connection with the Lord, and we know from experience and by faith that when you get like-minded people together, people who have the gifts and the talents, or the knowledge and the wisdom about a certain ministry--childcare and parenting, for example--when you get some of those people together and they pray and they talk together and they discuss, we know the Lord is going to give tremendous ideas and good counsel. If they will do it right and interact with the Homes in the right manner, they will be able to really help the Homes with that counsel and with those ideas.
       33.We also have great faith that those ideas will go up the pillar. And as they do, from the national board, to the regional board, to the international board, they will come to us at WS and we'll be able to use those ideas for the whole Family. Because if it works in one area, the chances are that it might work elsewhere. And we really need that.
       34.All I can tell you is that we can't think of everything. We can't come up with all of the new ideas and with all of the new initiatives. It's just impossible, and the COs can't do it either. I don't want to sound alarmist or anything, but really, the COs are tired, the VSs are tired, and we're kind of tired, too, because of the weight of it all. We really need your help. So we need to make this change. We need to get you involved. We need to get the Family moving and getting new ideas and implementing those ideas. That's why we're implementing the boards.
       35.We prayed about it--and we have put a lot of thought and prayer into this, it's been going on for a few years--in doing so we've had to look at the Family, where it is; we've had to look at the Charter; we've had to see the autonomy that we've given to the Homes. We've had to weigh all of this up and try to blend it all together and make it work all together, because we've learned lessons from our history.
       36.If you go back in Family history, you'll see that we've tried to implement things that are similar to the boards years and years ago in the '70s and '80s. There was the New Revolution where there were various levels of leadership, and it really didn't work very well. Later on there was the Fellowship Revolution that had the LASs, DASs, GASs and NASs. That worked too, but it got off balance. In both cases it got off balance because people in the leadership levels had too much individual authority, amongst other things.
       37.It's funny, in some ways when people have a lot of authority, a little bit like dictatorship, you can make things happen. A lot of things happened in those days. People would come in and say, "We're going to do it this way! This is what's going to happen! You're going to move here! We're going to have a school, we're going to have this, we're going to get people in it," and you could really make things happen because the leader had that authority. But it wasn't always the best for the individual people who were being told to go here or there or that they were now going to do this ministry.
       38.We've tried to get very much away from that with the Charter, and we have. In some ways it swung way to the other side. People got very independent and wouldn't listen to anybody, but then things settled down after a while. The Charter has worked fairly well. It isn't perfect and there are a lot of things that people either do that they shouldn't do well, let's just say it works pretty well, but it's not without its problems. But the boards aren't going to be without their problems either. I can tell you that now. We've learned that no matter what you do, no matter what kind of major push you try to make in the Family or major change, it usually does a lot of good, but there are always some spin-offs that you hadn't expected. Or like I said earlier, things take on a life of their own, in a sense, and, well, there are some problems and things have to be corrected and changed.
       39.But in any case, we want to be very careful. We've really talked about this, and we've prayed about it, and everybody agrees that what we don't want is to create a whole bunch of little dictators that are going around telling the Homes what they have to do and saying "it has to be this way" and "it has to be that way." That's kind of our fear, to be honest, of what could happen with the board structure if it goes awry. That's why we've put in various checks and balances, and that's why the board above you can veto your decisions if they feel it's necessary. And some of those on the crossbeams also have the option to veto. Of course, they don't have complete authority either; it has to be two bodies out of three. In other words, we've tried to put in safeguards and balances so that we don't create new bodies of authority within the Family that start ruling everything. That would be really bad. We don't want that. Please, don't do that.
       40.But as we wrote years ago, the Family swings. About every five or six years the pendulum goes one way or the other. Five or six years ago, maybe a little more now, but prior to the Charter we had the NASs and that program, and people were stymied, and the Family needed a change. So we made the Charter, and then whammo, it swung way over. Everybody was going everywhere, doing everything! Well, it's swung back to the center a bit and it's working pretty well. But now this is a swing of the pendulum to gather people in to work a little more together, to be more united, as the Lord says we need to be, for the Homes to work more together. And that will, God willing, happen with the boards.
       41.With you from different Homes discussing and praying about different matters and making suggestions to the Homes and starting initiatives and things like that, we believe it will help the Homes work closer together. There will be more unity. Hopefully people will accomplish more because you'll be there offering suggestions, offering services, and that sort of thing.
       42.So those are the basic main reasons for the boards--and there might be others covered in the board GNs. I hope you've read these GNs recently before watching all of this, because there's good stuff in there that explains it pretty well. In any case, we are hoping that as the board structure gets implemented that you will do a good job--that you will help us to implement all of these things that I've just been talking about, and that you will operate in love. We'll talk a lot about that. We'll talk a lot about your interaction with the Homes and with the boards as time goes on in these videos, because you are going to play a very important job--you personally. You, as a member of the board, will play an important role in making it work. Okay?

Board Vision Letters to-date

"The Board Vision, Part 1," ML #3352, GN 949
"The Board Vision, Part 2," ML #3353, GN 950
"The Board Vision, Part 3," ML #3387, GN 983

       43.So those are basically the reasons why we've set up the boards, and we're just praying, "Lord, please help the boards to work, and please help these that are going to be on them to really do the job and to help to bring these things to pass. Thank You for them, and please anoint them as they learn how to be good board members." Thank You Jesus!

Review of Board Structure

       44.I still have more time on the tape, so let's move on to the next section. If you're in this meeting, you should already know the structure of the boards, but I thought it might be nice to review a few minutes about the boards themselves.
       45.As you know, and as we explained in the GN, we broke it down into six pillars of Family life. There's the children and parenting board, the JETT/Teen board, the Family education or FED board, the church growth and outreach board, visitation and shepherding, and public relations. I guess all of you that are there [watching these videos] are going to be sitting on some of these boards, and you've been chosen at this point because it was felt by the COs and others that you had gifts and talents within one of those six pillars.
       46.As you know, and you can see if you have your first GN, "The Board Vision--Part 1"--I won't hold it up here because the poor cameraman will have to refocus and everything--but you can see on page 8 how the pillars work. You have the national pillar, on top of that is the regional pillar, and on top of that is the international pillar. It's pretty self-explanatory. We'll discuss the relationship between each of the pillars later on. It's also discussed very thoroughly in the GNs.
       47.Again, the theory of it is that if the national boards have certain ideas or try certain initiatives, if they're communicating with their regional boards--which they have to do--then the regional boards will see, "Oh, well, national area number one over here is doing that--that seems like a pretty good idea!" When the regional boards meet they'll discuss that, and the national board chairmen that are sitting on the regional board, when they go home they might implement those ideas as well, or modifications of those ideas. So in a sense, all the national boards are working together and they hear from each other through the regional boards.
       48.If they're really good ideas and things, the regional boards can pass them up to the international board. If the international board says, "Wow, that's working here and it's working there, that's a tremendous idea," they can then bring it back to their areas. Or they can ask WS to write about it, to make it either a worldwide policy or a worldwide suggestion for the Family. So everybody can benefit. So some board on a national level can actually help us to come up with new ideas for solving problems, and for doing new things that will help whatever particular board is involved. So we're hoping and praying that this will actually happen. It will help us to be better able to serve you.
       49.It's like Dad said years and years ago about pumping people power, that the water in the well is the ideas from you. We're just the pump that has to bring it up and disperse it to everybody. And that's really what we need. We need you! We need your ideas. We need your gifts. We need your talents. We need your prayers and your praying about and hearing from the Lord on how to solve certain things. Because you're right there where the problem exists, and the Lord can show you what to do. And this is really our faith, that the Lord will show you how to solve some of these things, or what to do to make it better for the Homes or for that particular ministry. And we believe it'll come right up the line, that good things will spread and that we will be able to get information from you and counsel from you that we then can convey to the whole Family, and it will benefit everybody. That is the idea.
       50.That's why we have the various pillars going up--as well as for a check and balance, which you've read about and we'll discuss a little bit more later, about how the board above you has the opportunity to look at your decisions to determine if there are any that they consider really detrimental, thus they can veto them. But our hope is that that's not going to be happening too much--too much vetoing. But those mechanisms have to be there to protect the whole Family, to protect the people in the Homes that the boards are having contact with or influence over. So thus we have the pillars. It's the channel to bring things up and to spread them out to the whole Family. It's also the check and balance.
       51.Then, as we explained in the GNs, you have the pillars going this way, and then you have the various crossbeams, three levels of crossbeams.--The first being the national coordinating council, which, as you know, is made up of the chairmen of the national boards. Their responsibility is basically to get together, or at least to communicate about what each of the boards in the national area are doing, and to solve any conflicts between the boards.
       52.I'll read from the GN what it says. It says, "The national coordinating council is not an authoritative body. National coordinating council members would not infringe on board matters or make any decisions that are the boards' to make. The main purpose of this council is to keep each of the pillars informed of the other pillars' progress and plans, and to iron out any potential conflicts that may come up between the various national boards" (ML #3352:109).
       53.Okay? So these people on the national coordinating council, the chairmen of the national boards, if they don't meet very often, at least they'll be communicating as to what's going on in their board. For example, if the childcare board says, "Well, we're going to hold a seminar from March 1st to March 7th," but the church growth board has already said they're going to have a seminar at the same time, then there is a conflict there and it has to be sorted out. Otherwise the Homes get a letter from one board saying, "Between March 1st and 7th we're having a meeting," and then they get another letter saying that between March 1st and 7th this other board is having a meeting, and so on all the way down the line. The poor Homes!--There's nobody left in the Homes to do anything because everybody is supposed to be going to these meetings.
       54.So we want to have a coordinating council, that, as it says, cannot infringe on the board matters, or make decisions that the boards are supposed to be making. So the national coordinating council just coordinates. Okay?
       55.Here's another bit from that GN about the national coordinating council. It says: "The chairperson of every national board will need to keep the other national chairpersons abreast of what their board has in the works as far as activities, excursions, general meetings, etc. When there are these types of conflicts, the national coordinating council will need to discuss, pray, and see how to work things out so that confusing signals aren't being sent to the Homes. This coordinating council will not have any say over the Homes, or the decisions of the boards themselves. Their only mandate is to help the different pillars keep in touch with each other, working together smoothly and helping to resolve planning and scheduling conflicts" (ML #3352:110,112).
       56.So the national coordinating council really doesn't have authority. It's just basically to work things out between the various national boards so that there are no conflicts of planning or scheduling, that sort of thing.
       57.Now, when you get to the regional council, which sits across the regional boards, that's a little bit different. The regional council is made up, of course, of the regional board chairmen. The GN says, "Unlike the national coordinating council, the regional council will have more responsibility. Besides sorting out scheduling conflicts between the various regional boards, the regional council will also be responsible for the overall direction of the work within the region" (ML #3352:114).
       58.Now that was a big discussion point when we were praying about how to set up the various councils, and did we need these cross sections. You know, it's funny, every little thing that's in the boards, like all the pillars themselves and what they should be called, and what pillars there should be, and then the cross pillars, it took a long time to figure all of that out and to pray about it, and then to discuss it at the summit meeting with the COs, because we wanted to make sure it was right. We didn't want to put in layers that we didn't need, and we didn't want to just keep adding layer after layer after layer of leadership. It gets too top-heavy that way. But we did feel it was important on any level--regional, continental, or national--that the chairmen would be communicating with each other.
       59.At first we thought, well, the regional board will be a little bit like the national coordinating council; they'll just take care of conflicts of interest. But as we discussed it and prayed about it further, we saw that the regions were going to become more important in time. Right now it's the continental areas, the CO areas, that have been the most important level of leadership in a sense. They are responsible to look over the whole area. I'll use EURCRO as an example. The COs of EURCRO are responsible for Africa, they're responsible for all of Western Europe, they're responsible for all of Eastern Europe, and they're responsible for Russia, which actually goes out to Asia. So that's a huge area to be responsible for!
       60.But the fact is, you've got people on the ground or in those areas who live there and are more aware of the needs or the problems that they face. The problems that the Family in Russia face are a lot different than the problems that the Family in Africa face. Well, I shouldn't say "problems" all the time, but rather the challenges. Russia and Africa are pretty different. Western Europe is really different than Eastern Europe in many ways. So rather than have the Continental Officers who are over all of this big area try to be responsible and to figure out the things of Africa and Russia and Eastern Europe and Western Europe, for example, we felt that by making a regional council which would consist of the various chairmen of the regional boards, if we could make that a body that has more to do than just figuring out little scheduling conflicts, that it would help to really strengthen the various areas.
       61.So taking EURCRO as an example, Africa is a region within the EURCRO area. So you've got your national boards, and then they come up to the regional board, and you have those regional chairmen who are part of the regional council who are now responsible for the overall direction of the work of Africa. So the COs that live in Eastern Europe will no longer be responsible to help with the overall direction of Africa. Instead, it will be the people who are there, some of you, as well as some of the COs who will sit on those regional councils. They will be collectively responsible for the direction of the work of the region. That's a big change.
       62.As we discussed it with the COs, we all basically came to the conclusion that possibly someday the regional areas will become the main areas, and maybe the continental councils or the continental areas would be done away with. Maybe it will, maybe it won't, but you could see it going that way. If Eastern Europe and Russia are a region together and they know what the situation is in their area, they're focusing on it, their regional council is making sure that their area is functioning and that the direction of their area is going in the right way, well, they may not eventually need the whole continental council overseeing it. We might eventually take it down to the regional levels. But we'll see.
       63.In any case, it's much better if the people that live there, that are involved, that know the situation, are setting the overall direction. So that's why we've put in that crossbeam, the regional council, and have given it more authority than we have, say, at the national level. We're expecting that to be a level that will grow in stature. This is theory, but possibly then the continental council will diminish. But we'll see. We didn't want to say, "Okay, let's can the continental council now because we think this is going to work the other way." That's not good business. We want to see how this is all going to work. We want to see what grows out of the regional councils first before we diminish the role or take away that continental council level.
       64.Besides which, the continental council has responsibilities under the Charter, and those responsibilities again include the NPC, the translations, the PPCs, a lot of the business structure of the Family. We didn't want to take that responsibility and push it down to the regional level where they might not be ready for it. Again, I'm using Africa--and you folks from Africa, I'm not picking on you, it's just that you came to mind, ha, to use for these examples. But at this point I don't know that the African Family or the leadership there wants to be worried about having an NPC and getting a printing press, and printing all the pubs and mailing them all out. It's going to take personnel. Whereas presently that can be happening at the continental level; the structure is there.
       65.So we want to build the new without tearing down the old, and we can just gradually change it if that's what the Lord shows us to do. He may not. He may show us that the continental office and the continental council need to remain intact for years to come. We just don't know. We're taking it a step at a time. This is a gradual shift of some responsibility away from the continental office and the continental council to the regional level at the regional council.
       66.All right, now on the continental council: There's not too much to say about it. It's made up of all the Continental Officers. No matter where those Continental Officers are placed within the board structure, if they're a Continental Officer they are on the continental council. Thank God! Thanks, folks, for doing it--for being willing to remain at that level and to continue to take on those responsibilities. We do need you. We need you at both levels. Most of your work will be at the regional level. As chairmen of some regional boards you will be on the regional councils of your areas. But you still need to get together, at least for now once in a while, to look over the whole continental work, as well as to make sure that the services that the continental office is supposed to render to the Homes--it's your responsibility to make sure that happens.
       67.In the GN we basically said that the continental council will have the authority and the responsibility of the continental office as outlined in the Charter. So you have all of those responsibilities. But, COs, our prayer is that all of the folks that are sitting around you right now listening to this are going to take a lot of your work, or at least the regional fellows will, and that it will help to lighten your load, which is one of the main things that we want to do with all of this. We've made it so that you'll be able to sit on two regional boards so you can focus on two of these pillars, and you don't have to worry about the other pillars. That will be a big change for many of you, and one which we hope will cause you to be able to focus more on a few things. "Do few things and do them well!"--That's our hope and prayer!
       68.While we are talking about these cross sections, I want to talk a minute about the limits of the authority of the councils. I'm going to read from the GN. It says, "So although the regional council and the continental council are responsible for the overall direction and spiritual health of either the region or the continent, they themselves do not have the authority to arbitrarily dictate to the boards how the boards should conduct themselves, what the boards should discuss, and what decisions the boards should make. The regional council and the continental council may make suggestions to the boards, but they would need to be discussed, prayed about, and agreed to by the individual boards before they can be enacted" (ML #3352:122).
       69.This is very important. These councils--regional and continental--cannot dictate to the boards. The boards are independent within their ministry. The national boards and the regional boards have authority to identify problems, look for solutions, they can pray about these matters, they can discuss them, they can make decisions, and if the board above them does not veto their decision, they can enact their decision. That's it. That's your responsibility, that's your authority. All these men and women sitting on the regional council can't say, "Hey, national board X or regional board X, you have to do this or that." It doesn't work that way. You are independent in that sense.
       70.Now, as we've said, we have checks and balances. If the regional council thinks that the decisions of a board, be it a national board or a regional board, are way out there or they are detrimental to the Family or detrimental to the regions, they have the right to veto, and then there is a process for that. If the governing bodies in that particular veto agree with the regional council, then the decision is vetoed. But if the governing bodies do not agree, then the regional council cannot veto it. So that's where they have a little bit of say. But they can't come and dictate. They can't come and say, "Well, you really have to do this."
       71.If you're wise as a board, you'll want to listen to the counsel of others, you'll want to hear what people have to say. You're not going to be the all-in-all. You're not going to get all the ideas. People in the Homes, people that you talk with are going to have ideas. The boards above you are going to have ideas. And they might even have modifications of your ideas that make your ideas better. So you want to listen to people. But really, the bottom line is that you are responsible for whatever pillar you're in, in whatever level of the structure you're in, and you are the decision-making authority in that. You have the right to implement those decisions if they're not vetoed.
       72.We've set up these crossbeam councils, but we don't want them to be running things. Okay? There are some things they are responsible for, like the overall direction. But we're not expecting the regional council to come and say, "Well, the childcare board needs to do this, and this is how they should do it, and these are the decisions they should make." That's not their responsibility. The people that are on the regional council are not experts in childcare. Maybe one is, because the regional chairperson of the childcare board is there. Neither can the regional person of the childcare board be telling the church growth board what they should be doing.
       73.We're trying to get people that are gifted in their fields to use those gifts. We don't want the good outreach/church growth people trying to tell the childcare people how to do their job and vice versa. We want people to stick to their knitting and what their gifts are. Then we've put the checks and balances in to keep things flowing smoothly, and to make sure that some board isn't making all kinds of weird decisions that are hurting the Family in their area. So we have the checks and balances, and none of the crossbeams, none of the councils, have direct say over the boards. They're there to work together with the boards. They're there to keep harmony, but the boards themselves are the ones who have to make the decisions of the boards.
       74.I hope that's clear. We're going to change tapes and I'll discuss it with those that are here with me to see if there are any other points on this that need to be discussed. Okay? God bless you! See you in a bit!


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