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Some of the general responsibilities of all boards are:
Teamwork: Meet together for prayer and discussion, as well as communicate regularly via mail, e-mail or phone.
Initiatives: Pray about and discuss ways to help the Homes in regards to their pillar, and how to promote policies, initiatives and decisions made by their board and/or pillar, in the national area.
Goals: Pray about, discuss and outline pillar-specific goals and needs in their region and present these to the Homes.
Ideas and suggestions: Generate and pass on ideas (including prophecies received) for pubs, materials, and resources related to their pillar that, God willing, WS would produce for the Family worldwide.
Field questions: Answer questions from the Homes relating to their pillar.
Comments and suggestions: The chairperson of the regional board (or in the case of the VS board, the national board) will r eceive comments and suggestions (C&Ss) from the TRFs relating to his or her pillar and is responsible to hear from the Lord, respond to the Homes and answer their questions (counseling as needed with the national board chairperson of the national area that that Home is included in), or at his or her discretion pass the comments, suggestions and/or questions on to the national board chairperson to pray about and answer.
Report: Report on the happenings and activities of their board. Send minute s of board meetings and decisions made to the upper board and council on their level.
Some of the specific responsibilities of the boards:
A. Children and Parenting board
The focus of this board is to assist parents, teachers and Homes with counsel and prayer in regards to the care of their children, from birth through age 11, and offer training and counsel for the parents and teachers.
Counseling: Assist (through counsel, prayer and training) the parents and Homes in t he spiritual and physical training of their children.
Parental support: Offer counsel to the parents regarding the needs of their children and how best to meet those needs.
Childcare standard: Offer counsel to the Homes in how to maintain the Charter standard in childcare.
Missionary and witnessing training: Assist the parents and Homes in the missionary and witnessing training of the children with ideas, tips, how-tos, etc.
Projects and activities: Work with the Homes in organizing acti vities or programs for the parents and children in their country/national area.
Training: Work with the Homes in organizing seminars, workshops, or other get-togethers for training, as well as inspiration of parents and teachers.
Materials: Instruct and inspire the Homes concerning the availability and use of Word and training materials produced locally, internationally, or by WS.
B. Family Education Department
The FED board would focus on the education of the children a nd teenagers.
The responsibility to educate their children rests with the parents and the Home, but the FED boards will do all they can to provide counsel, assistance, information, and when available, resources to help the parents, teachers, and Homes with this task.
Counseling: Assist (through counsel, prayer, and training) the parents and Homes in the education of their children and teenagers.
Training: Work with the Homes in organizing seminars, workshops, or other get-togethers in volving teachers, parents, and students.
Local language materials: Research and recommend to the Homes materials for the education of the children in the local language.
FED materials: Instruct and inspire the Homes concerning the availability and use of FED materials produced locally, internationally, or by WS.
Scholastic resources: Assist the Homes in obtaining scholastic resources by providing them with information on local materials available or how to order such materials as CLE, A B EKA, ACE, etc.
CVC: Work with the JETT/Teen board to promote and encourage the use of the CVC in the national area.
Resource Center: Maintain a FED Resource Center, which would be responsible to make available educational materials and resources that they have to the national boards and Homes in their region.
Educational support for young people leaving the Family: The regional FED board is responsible, to the best of their ability, to make available educational information and counsel to the parents of young people who choose to leave the Family, and/or to the young people themselves.
C. JETT/Teen board (JT board)
The JETT/Teen board will do what they can to assist the parents and Homes in: (1) the shepherding of their teenagers, ages 12 to 17; (2) providing inspiring activities and programs for them; (3) discipleship, missionary and vocational training.
Counseling: Tune into the spiritual and physical needs of the JETTs and teens and help to shepherd, counsel, train and inspire them when possible.
Parental support: Offer counsel to the parents regarding the needs of their JETTs and teens and how best to meet those needs.
Fellowship and activities: Work with the Homes to help organize fellowships, activities, and programs for the JETTs and teens in their country or national area.
Missionary and discipleship training: Help the Homes, in conjunction with the Church Growth and Outreach board, to organize and coordinate outreach initiatives involving the J ETTs and teens, helping them find fulfillment as missionaries and disciples.
Vocational training: Generate ideas and/or programs for the JETTs and teens to get training in ministries they feel called to. Work with the FED to promote the CVC and its vocational courses to help the young people get vocational training.
Leadership training: Work with the Homes in organizing seminars, camps, training centers, and other activities, to give Christian leadership training to the JETTs and teens.
Se x education: Advise and counsel parents in their efforts to give age-appropriate sex education to their JETTs and teens.
D. Church Growth and Outreach board
The CGO board focuses on all aspects of the Family's witnessing, including disciple winning and training, church growth, follow-up, provisioning contacts, local CTPs, tool distribution, promotion of the Activated program, and reaching the world with the Gospel.
The Activated program: Promotion of the Activated magazi ne to the Homes and public.
Work with the Homes in organizing workshops and seminars in order to promote the Activated program.
Help to encourage the Homes to get Activated, collecting subscriptions, feeding their sheep, etc.
Work with the Homes to encourage the follow-up of Activated readers and other sheep.
Church growth: Assist the Homes in building a local church of believers and offer counsel in matters relating to Active members.
Work with the Homes in organizing meetings and seminars on follow-up and caring for Active members.
Look for ways to improve the care of Active members by helping and encouraging the Homes to create programs, organize seminars and host other activities for the Active members.
Tool distribution: Promote the distribution and marketing of outreach tools.
Tune into and cultivate the ideas and needs of the local distributors, generate ideas for new outreach products that are needed.
Local CTPs: Assist (through counsel, prayer and informa tion) the Homes in the organization and coordination of local CTPs.
Address questions relating to local CTP work. (Questions regarding the legal aspects of setting up a humanitarian or NGO project may be directed to the PR board.)
Encourage the Homes to send in their testimonies and photos of their local CTP work so that they can be passed on to the PR board and WS GP department and WEB team.
Products, marketing, and distribution: Counsel and work with the production centers (SCs/PPCs) reg arding products needed for distribution in the region.
E. Public Relations board (PR board)
The PR board deals with public relations, relations with the media, religious freedom issues, persecution, and promoting the Family's good name and good works. The PR board will also be available to give advice on legal matters when asked by foundations, NGOs and other organizations that are connected to or run by Family members.
Communication: Communicate and share information with the PR boa rds of other regions.
Media: One or more members of the PR board will focus their efforts on media-related issues. (In most cases this RB member will work with, or be a part of, the media team.)
Legal and humanitarian matters: One or more members of the PR board should be knowledgeable and available to give advice to the Homes on legal matters relating to associations, NGOs, for-profit and non-profit companies or foundations.
Questions regarding local CTPs not involving a legal entity wou ld be directed to the CGO board.
Public relations: Pray and discuss plans, projects and ways to promote the Family's good name in their region, and encourage input on this from the Homes.
Receive from the Homes photos, testimonies and copies of recommendation letters as a means of documenting the Family's humanitarian work.
Proactive work: Invest time in proactive work and meeting with people who can make a difference in helping to promote and protect religious freedom, such as academics , government officials, lawyers, community and religious leaders, and others.
Persecution response: Assist the Homes in whatever way they can in the event of persecution.
F. Visitation and Shepherding
The job of the VS board would be to uphold the Charter as well as provide shepherding and visitation (spiritual shepherding of the Homes and Family members). Those on the VS board will be Area or Continental Officers.
Area Office responsibility: Fulfill the responsibi lities of Area Officers as stated in the Charter.
Spiritual oversight of the Homes: Visitation of the Homes, shepherding and offering counsel and prayer to Home members, helping to resolve with prayer and hearing from the Lord inter-Home disputes, and checking on the financial state of the Homes.
Charter enforcement: Enforce the Charter and discipline Homes or members who fail to live up to the Charter standard.
Disciplinary Committee: Investigate reported Charter infractions and excommun icable offenses, and discipline accordingly.
The national board, along with the chairperson of the regional board, make up the Disciplinary Committee for that national area. The Disciplinary Committee handles, in conjunction with the Continental Reporting Center (CRC), Probationary Notice and Partial Excommunication.
Clearance Committee: Grant or deny clearance to their national area.
The national board, along with the chairperson of the regional board, make up the Clearance Committee for that national area. The Clearance Committee handles, in conjunction with the CRC, clearance requests to their national area.
New disciples: Ensure that new CM disciples are receiving training, Word, and spiritual input by the Homes in which they reside. (The national Church Growth and Outreach board would also be involved with this.)
Young adults: Tune into the needs of young adults from 18 through 20, and help provide them with focus in their ministries and callings.
Public Relations Boa rd:
Regional and International
3.As mentioned in the first GN in this series, the Public Relations board is a bit different than the others. We feel, for the time being, that rather than having Public Relations boards at the national board level, they should begin at the regional and international levels. Our hope is that the Public Relations board, which will take care of the Family's media and legal-related matters, will also be able to do proactive work in helping to promote the Family a nd the good works that we do.
4.This is a specialized ministry which requires a fair bit of training, and at present there aren't many people qualified to take on this job. Because of this, we feel that if we begin with Public Relations boards at the international and regional levels, we can work toward training others who can, in time, take care of these matters at the national level. So for the time being, there will be no national Public Relations board; the Public Relations board will be gin at the regional level and go upward. Individuals who are gifted and have experience in these matters, or who may have the burden to receive further training in order to help in this area, will be appointed to sit on the regional Public Relations boards. In time we hope that enough people will be involved so that we can have this board operating in national areas.
5.Another exception in regards to the Public Relations board is in regards to its chairperson. As you will read later on in thi s GN, we explain that the Continental Officers are only allowed to participate on two regional boards. However, in the case of the Public Relations board, even if a CO is sitting on two other regional boards, he can also sit on or be the chairperson of the Public Relations board. We are making this exception due to the limited number of people who can chair this board. In time we hope to withdraw this exception, but for the time being we feel it is necessary.
6.Each of the board pillars has specific responsibilities and authority to carry out their duties. For example, the national JETT/Teen board members have the authority to organize fellowships, suggest outreach pushes, help the young people get training in ministries, etc. The fact that the board members are on the JETT/Teen board gives them the authority to make these types of decisions which will help to provide the services or avenues for training and progress in their partic ular field. This is the case for all the boards. However, they don't have authority over the Homes. For example, they cannot require Homes to attend the fellowships or participate in certain pushes, or require certain young people to get training, or discipline Homes for not complying with their recommendations, etc.
7.In order for the boards to be effective, they have to have both the responsibility of the job and the authority to do the job. Then, of course, they also have the accountabili ty that goes with the job. If they don't do the job, they will be held accountable, and individual members can lose their position on the board, or the whole board could be dismissed and a new board instituted.
8.While each board has the authority to vote and make decisions regarding the ministry that their board represents, they do not have authority over the Homes themselves. The one exception to this is the VS board, whose responsibility it is to visit the Homes and to shepherd them spiri tually, along with making sure they're upholding the Charter standard. The VSs (Area Officers) and Continental Officers will continue to have the authority over the Homes and our Family members which is outlined in the Charter.
9.Each board is accountable to do its respective job the best it can, but they're not accountable for the actions of the Homes. In other words, if the board is doing its job by providing opportunities for the Homes to get the help they need, and certain Homes don't w ant to participate or be involved or receive the counsel or actions suggested to them, then that's not the board's fault--they're still doing their job. If the Home's standard in the particular area that a board is responsible for--say childcare--is not what it should be, it's the Home that is held accountable under the Charter, not the Children and Parenting board. Of course, if a board is not making any effort to assist the Home, then they would be held accountable for not doing their part. B ut the responsibility and accountability for the Home to keep the standard according to the Charter requirements remains with the Home and its members, along with the VS board and Continental Council, not with the other boards.
10.It's important to understand that while the boards exist to assist the Homes to the best of their ability, the responsibility to meet the Charter requirements is still the Home's responsibility. If, for example, a child in a Home isn't up to par educationally accor ding to the Charter, the Home can't blame the FED board for this problem. It's the Home's problem and they are at fault, as the Charter clearly states that it's the parents' and the Home's responsibility to supply the child with an adequate education. The FED board is there to help make your job of educating your children easier, but they are not responsible to provide that education; that remains the responsibility of the Home and the child's parents.
11. Some of you might get the impression that the boards are there to solve all of your personal and Home problems, but that's not the case. Our hope is that the boards will be able to help everyone move forward--to do new things, come up with new solutions, without getting bogged down by individual Homes or personal problems.
12. Our hope is that each Home will endeavor to find solutions to its own problems by praying about them, searching for the answers in the Word, hearing from the Lord in prophecy, and then implementing what t he Lord shows them. That's the first step you need to take when you're faced with challenges and needs within your Home. The board vision doesn't change that.
13. The national boards are there to assist you in any way they can, but they aren't responsible to solve your Home's problems. Their mandate is to focus and pray about the needs of the national area, and to offer suggestions and help that will enable the national area as a whole to progress. They will do what they can to help those in n eed, but the first step to problem solving will still have to be taken at the individual and Home level. (For some good guidelines on how to solve problems, see "Problem-solving Steps" in GN 908, page 26-28.)
Role and Responsibility
Of Board Members
14.When discussing and praying about the board structure, we determined that it was best for each member of a board to focus strictly on the responsibilities of their particular ministry and not get involved in matters outside of their board p ortfolio when communicating or interacting with Homes. We did not feel it wise to give board members the authority to come into Family Homes and have the same type of authority that a VS or CO (Area or Continental Officer) has.
15.The idea of the boards is to offer services to the Homes to assist them in doing a better job. Board members will not have the shepherding type of authority over your Homes that an Area Officer or a CO has, except for those on the VS board. They don't have the autho rity to spiritually shepherd Home members or step in to resolve Home problems. They don't have the authority to step outside of their particular pillar when offering advice and counsel, as their job is to offer their services within their ministry to the Homes. They are there to assist the Homes, to offer counsel relating to their pillar or ministry, and to make suggestions that would be helpful to the Homes.
16.If a board member is invited to your Home, or comes for some reason, that person isn't there in a shepherding capacity--unless he or she holds an Area Officer title. For example, if a member of the national Children and Parenting board comes to your Home, you're welcome to talk to them about any childcare problems or ideas that you may have and get their counsel on the matter. But they're not visiting your Home to solve conflicts not related to their field of expertise, discipline Home members, check on your Charter standard, or counsel you about your marriage. They're ther e to help you in matters relating to childcare and parenting. If they're asked for counsel on other matters, in most cases their answer should be, "That's not within my ministry. If you need counsel on that, please get in touch with the proper board." That's not to say that they can never offer you advice when asked, but that advice would only be given as a friend or brother/sister, just like any other Family member could give, and not in their capacity as a board member.
17.We believe our Ho mes will openly welcome the boards' services, and can greatly benefit from their help. However, we do not want to create a structure where every board member who comes to or communicates with your Home takes on the role of a VS, checking your Home out, nor as a shepherd, offering counsel about everything. We are trying to find people who are gifted to work within certain areas of expertise, but who are not giving counsel on matters that are outside of the responsibilities of their board. And yo u, as a Home member, should not expect that of them.
18.If there are spiritual or shepherding problems within your Home, then you need to communicate with the members of the VS board. If you're experiencing problems with educating your young people, then the members of the FED board are the ones to talk to, not the Children and Parenting board members, or the Church Growth and Outreach board members.
19.We really don't want to create a structure of whole new groups of people coming in and checking out every aspect of your Home, with every board member turning into a shepherd or VS who is coming to check on you and correct you or give you advice on a myriad of topics. The board structure is not for that purpose. It's meant to create a mechanism whereby those who are gifted and talented in certain areas can teamwork together to give advice and counsel, to help find solutions to problems within their specific ministries, and to help the Family to blossom and make headway and progr ess in each of these different areas.
Following What the Boards Decide
20.A national board may decide to hold a retreat or a witnessing excursion for the young people in your area, but they have no authority to force the members of your Home to attend. It's voluntary. We're establishing a way for those who are gifted in these ministries to offer their services and counsel when needed or requested, but whether you participate in those local initiatives or accept and apply the counsel will be entirely up to you. The board members have no authority to enforce the board's recommendations.
21.This is a very important point that I want to spell out in black and white. We're not trying to have more people tell you how to run your Home; that's your responsibility. You still retain all the decision-making power given to you in the Charter regarding the goals and running of your Home. Aside from the VS board, these boards are ministry boards, being set up to assist you wi th counsel, tools and resources, and to organize activities concerning their ministry.
How Do the Boards Tie in
With the Charter?
22.In setting up the board structure we have not dismantled the Charter or modified it in any significant way. We have not taken away any of the rights or responsibilities which the Charter granted to you as an individual or as a Home, nor are we attempting to add extra layers of spiritual leadership on top of it. The boards are a service structure to assist yo u in your service for the Lord and help you have a fruitful and happy Home. We hope that the boards will enable your Home's ministries to flourish, because there are people at ground zero--at the national level--who are thinking and praying and trying to help organize those particular ministries within the national area, which you can then benefit from.
Qualification for Board Members:
Gifts and Talents
23.Those who sit on the boards have been selected because of the gifts and talents tha t they have in that particular ministry. They are not expected to be shepherds or spiritual leaders. They may or may not have those qualities, but you shouldn't expect that they do. Their job is to offer the Homes the services of their board; spiritual shepherding comes from those on the VS board.
24.In the case of the VS board, they are your shepherds. Those on the VS board must reflect the qualities of a shepherd and Visiting Servant, and will carry out the duties of an Area Officer as outl ined in the Charter. With the exception of the VS board, people will be chosen because they are gifted within their ministry, not because they are shepherds or great people-handlers. (Some may be good shepherds as well, but others may not.)
25.If we require every board member to have shepherding qualities, be a good example in all or most areas, be well-rounded and have good people-handling skills, then it may be difficult to find enough people to sit on the boards! The above-listed qualifica tions are the same ones that we require for VSs and COs, and it can be difficult to come up with people who have all those qualities, are available for the job, and can fill those roles.
26.We're not looking for "spiritual giants" to be board members. What we're looking for are people who are filled with the Holy Spirit, who are gifted in these particular ministries, and who are living in the Charter Member Family. It's worth noting that sometimes people who are really gifted in one ministr y might be lacking in many other ways. They may not, as we said, be good people-handlers or shepherds, but that doesn't disqualify people with regards to sitting on the boards. The goal is to find people gifted in specific ministries to be praying, counseling, advising, organizing, and coming up with ideas that will assist your Homes.
27.We don't want to restrict ourselves by not using people who have the gifts and talents for the job but aren't completely well-rounded, or who might have stro ng or abrasive personality traits, or might not have very good people-handling skills. We want to be able to use people's gifts, and we don't want to limit a person's usefulness because they lack in other areas. If you expect board members to have the same shepherding skills as your COs or VSs, then you're going to be disappointed. Board members will be chosen because they're gifted in a particular ministry, and we want to be able to use people's gifts to benefit you and your national and region al areas.
28.Of course, we hope that those on the boards will be humble, loving, prayerful, wise,faithful to hear from the Lord, and continually striving to live the Letters in all areas, just as we hope that of every Family member, including you.
Limited to Involvement
In Two Boards Only
29.One of the main reasons we are setting up the board structure is to spread out the leadership load and to help those who are gifted in certain ministries to be able to focus on those ministries. W e are applying these principles to the CO level of leadership too.
30.Presently, some of the COs have their fingers in many pies--not because they want control, but because in our present Family structuring they're forced to be intimately involved in many aspects of the work. Therefore they aren't able to focus on the one or two areas where their greatest gifts and talents can be put to the best use.
31.Some of our COs, for example, are very good in childcare and the educational aspect of the Family, but perhaps they're not gifted in business or outreach. In other cases, some COs have good business acumen, but perhaps they know very little about childcare. Or perhaps they are very strong in both areas but don't have the time to give both the attention they deserve. Under our present structure, these COs are expected to be able to give counsel on a wide array of topics, even though some of the things they're asked to give counsel on are not their forte or an area they're very invo lved in. This, along with the tremendous spiritual pressure that is placed on the COs, is one of the reasons we want to change our leadership structure.
32.In order to help each of the COs and others to focus on the ministries in which they're gifted or called to, and not to have to spread themselves so thin, we've limited their participation to two boards at a regional level. This means that Continental Officers can only participate as board members on two different regional boards (as menti oned earlier, the one exception to this will be a CO sitting on the Public Relations board). They can be the chairperson of two separate regional boards; they can be the chairperson of one regional board and sit as a board member on a second regional board; or they can be the chairperson of neither and sit as a member of two regional boards. But that's all. They are limited to sitting on the boards of two different pillars at the regional level. (As a regional board chairperson they will automa tically sit on the Regional Council, and as a Continental Officer they will be a member of the Continental Council.)
33.We have made the same stipulation for national board members. The one difference is that a national board member can only be the chairperson of one board. He is allowed to be a member of no more than two boards at a national level, and he can only be the chairperson of one; if he sits on a second board, he cannot chair that board also. A chairperson of a national board will automatically sit on the regional board, which does not count as one of the two national boards he is allowed to sit on. (Note: There are some exceptions to this, as specified in the Family Board Handbook.)
34.We want people to focus on the ministries that they're gifted in. This will hopefully help people to not get involved in ministries that they're not so gifted in, or to realize that it's just too much to take on a third, fourth, or fifth ministry. Rather than someone, or a number of so meones, having their fingers in multiple pies, we want to have people focus where the Lord is leading them to invest their talents, and put the time, prayer, effort and work into it that is needed to move things forward. It doesn't work so well when you're trying to move three or four completely separate ministries forward; something is bound to suffer.
35.Our prayer is that those who are on the boards, whether they are COs or not, will be able to just focus on the one or two ministries that they are most gifted or talented in, or feel the most called to, and give those their full attention.
36.For example, this means that if a CO is the chairperson of the regional Children and Parenting board and the chairperson of the regional FED board, that CO cannot sit on any of the other boards. He or she, therefore, has no vote in the decisions made by the JETT/Teen board or what goes on in the Church Growth and Outreach board. Nor can they sit in on those other board meetings (unless th e board decides to invite them to an occasional meeting to give input--but as a nonvoting member).
37.As a chairperson of a regional board and as a member of the Regional Council, he or she will get the minutes from the other regional boards in order to be kept abreast of the decisions of the other boards. However, they're not involved in the decision-making process of the other boards. Basically board members will "stick to their knitting," focusing on their boards and letting others manage the other boards.
38.In other words, this chairperson will now be focusing on the one or two boards that he or she is involved in, and will give those boards his or her 100%. They won't have to worry about young people, church growth, outreach, and all the rest. In a sense, the board structure is limiting the COs' authority, but that's not the main reason we instituted this change. The purpose for only allowing the COs to sit on two boards is to free them to be able to focus their talents and energies on the areas in which they're most gifted or which the Lord is calling them to, without having to be burdened with all the rest. This holds true for those on the national boards as well.
National Board Members--
Elected or Appointed?
39.I'll now explain how someone gets on a national board. When discussing the board structure and trying to plan it out, we had numerous discussions and prayer about whether people should be elected or appointed to national boards. Our final conclus ion, after much prayer and deliberation, was that for now they should be appointed.
40.Some of you might feel this is not democratic. You might feel that you should be able to vote in those who will sit on the boards. You might feel that if board members are just appointed, that the board vision is simply the COs making all the decisions by putting in the people that they like and who will do what they say. You may feel that you won't be chosen because the COs don't like you, or someone els e will be put in because they're on better terms with the COs, etc. Well, we've clearly instructed the COs concerning selection of board members--that they must not pick people just because they like them or work well with them. Their mandate is to search out the people who have the gifts needed for those various pillars and who will be the greatest help to the Homes.
41.In time, we would like for board members to be elected. However, while trying to build, set up, and implement the structure --which will take a great deal of work for the first year or so--we felt it would be best to not have to at the same time figure out the whole election procedure and try to hold elections. It's also difficult to hold effective elections when not everyone knows each of the different candidates, nor all that they will be required to do.
42.We would like to appoint people to the boards for at least the first year. During that year we'll attempt to work out the kinks within the board structure, a nd then evaluate whether it's beneficial and works well; if it doesn't, we can always modify it, or even disband it if necessary. We do believe that if we all put our hearts into it, the board structure will work and benefit the Family. But it's going to take a lot of tweaking, instruction and guidance during the first year or so to make sure that it functions the way it should.
43.Each board member's tenure will be for one year. We want to give board members enough time to get adjusted to th e job and for all of us to find out exactly how it's going to work before we evaluate whether certain board members are doing a good job or not. This will allow us to try the structure out for the first year and to see how things go. After that time, we can pray about and consider holding elections for these various posts.
44.This doesn't mean that we don't want your input regarding who should sit on the boards. We do. After reading these GNs, if you think of people who you feel would fit wel l on a national board of a particular pillar, or if you yourself have the burden to help and feel you have talents which could be used, please send your recommendations to your COs no later than September 15, as they will be thinking and praying about the selection of the national board members. We need your input to help us find those with the needed gifts and talents to sit on the boards. If you feel you have the needed gifts, or you know someone else who does, please hear from the Lord in pro phecy about your suggestions and send your recommendations to the e-mail addresses below, depending on what continental area you live in. The COs will prayerfully take your suggestions into account as they pray about and decide who should be on the boards.
Please send your recommendations and suggestions to the e-mail address that corresponds with your area. The PGP keys for each Continental Office can be found on the MO site.
ASCRO : email@example.com
45.Of course, not every talented or gifted Family member will sit on a board. Each one of you has special gifts and talents, and if we used every talented person on a board, the boards would have thousands of members, making the structure unmanageable and unworkable! Since there will be a small group of people sitting on each board, it means that most Family members won't be on a board, which is as it should be. The boar ds are a means to an end; they are being set up to assist the Family in preaching the Gospel and caring for those who have dedicated their lives to this mission. We're not trying to set up a structure that the majority of our members devote their time to. The load needs to be spread on many shoulders. Witnessing, reaching the lost, and teaching discipleship remains our most important responsibility to which we're all called if we're in the Family. This is our primary goal, whether we are also pa rt of the board structure or not.
46.If you are not chosen to sit on a board, it does not mean that you lack the gifts and talents. Whether or not you're on a board is no indication of your worth. Being a board member is not the ultimate goal; reaching the lost, being in the Lord's will, and faithfully doing the ministry the Lord has called you to is the goal. Most everyone in the Family is qualified to sit on one board or another, but it's not possible to have everyone on boards. Realistica lly, only a few people can sit on the boards, so if you aren't chosen, please don't let it affect you negatively! Just keep on doing your primary job, which is the most important job we have to do, and pray for those who have been chosen to sit on the boards--that they will do a good job and help enable the Family at large to move forward.
47.We hope and pray that you understand this decision to appoint board members for at least the first year rather than electing them. We're not trying to s et up a structure where we can fill the boards with people that we like, but we are trying to be pragmatic about it. It's been a huge undertaking to get this far, and by getting the structure up and running and sort of experimenting with it for the first year, it will allow us the time to develop future methods for putting people on the boards. We don't want to bite off more than we can chew, and at this point we feel that elections would be more than we could handle if we hope to get the boards up and running this year.
48.This whole change of structure is a pretty big deal, and it would even be hard for you to elect people to the boards without having a complete understanding of exactly how the boards are meant to work. The COs have been immersed in planning for the boards for quite some time now and have been very involved with the details of building this new structure. They have a good understanding of what the goals of the board structure are, and what type of people could, at least initially, sit on the boards.
49.We will review this decision in a year, after the tenure of the first board members comes to a close. But in the meantime, we would like to focus on getting the structure up and running, tweaking it, experimenting, and seeing if it's actually going to work before we open up the board structure to general elections.
50.Our hope is to have the board structure fully in place by January of next year. With these GNs we are explaining the board vision and how it will work. The Family Board Handbook, which is being published at the same time as these GNs, contains detailed information as to how the boards will function--their authority, the rules for the board meetings, etc.
51.The next step in implementing this structure is for you to send in the names of those you feel might be possibilities for board members and for the COs to pray about and select those they feel would be able to best do the job as national board members. They will also select the chairperson of the national and regional boards. Following that, those who would like to accept these positions will need to get the agreement of their Home members before being appointed.
52.Once appointed, the board members will attend local seminars held by the COs for training and to gain further insight into their roles as board members. The timing of these seminars will be left up to the COs, but they will have to be completed before t he new year. Lord willing, some time in January 2002 the first national board meetings will be held. Please pray for this timetable and implementation.
Board Positions and
53. It seemed only fair to give Homes the right to decide, by a simple majority vote, whether one of their Home members can sit on a board, since that person will need to give some of their time to their board work, which will be time that they are not devoting to the Home. This will be a sacrific e on the Home's part, and because of this, they should vote on whether to allow that person to sit on the board or not. However, the only way the board structure will work is if enough Family members agree to participate by sitting on the boards, and enough Homes vote to allow those members to participate.
54. In theory it seems that national board members (with the exception of the chairperson) won't spend so much time on board work. They will need to attend board meetings at least every thr ee months and be in e-mail or phone communication with each other, but those meetings will probably be one- or two-day affairs, though sometimes they may last longer. They will make decisions at those meetings, and some of those decisions might require them to personally do some work related to those decisions, while in other cases no work will be required. Though we can't be sure at this point, considering the role of most national board members, it probably won't require more than a few days work per month.
55. Of course, if a board decides to launch a local initiative, its implementation might require more of each board member's time, but most likely it will also require time from members of some or all of the Homes in the area. At this point there really is no way to know exactly how much time board members will need to devote to their board duties, because we don't know what kinds of decisions the boards are going to make. A board might meet and decide that for the next three months there will be no initiatives that require their time; the next time they meet they may enact an initiative that takes more of their time. In any case, it will be a sacrifice on the part of the Home to let a Home member sit on a board. However, unless Homes are willing to make that sacrifice for the good of their area and the good of the Family as a whole, then the board vision won't work.
56. The national board chairperson will have more work than a regular board member. He or she will be responsible to see that the various decisions made at the board meeting are carried out, and will probably be the one handling the communications, writing the Homes in answer to their questions, etc. The chairperson will need to keep in communication with the other board members, and will most likely need to do some follow-up work on the decisions made, as well as report to the regional board. He'll also need to attend the regional board meetings, since as a chairperson of a national board h e is a member of that pillar's regional board. The regional boards will meet twice a year. He'll also need to communicate with those on the National Coordinating Council.
57. Because the position of national chairperson will require more time and work, we hope to be able to give each national chairperson a small monthly gift.
58. The national board chairpersons are members of the regional board. They will meet twice a year, so their duties as regional board members should not require a grea t deal of work. However, the regional board chairperson's job will be a very busy one. Part of their job is to keep up with all the decisions of the two or three national boards in their region. They are also expected to visit the national board members and to help them in any way they can. They are expected to help implement the decisions made at the regional level, and to assist the national boards as much as they can.
59. Some regional board chairpersons will chair two regional boards, so t heirs will basically be full-time jobs and they will therefore need to receive greater support.
60. Besides these stipends, we'd like to make some finances available to the overall board structure for projects to be undertaken by the boards, such as meetings, fellowships, workshops for Homes, educational resources, etc. Again, this is on our wish list, but exactly what money will be available remains to be seen.
61. For the past five months, WS income has been low. Each year our February th rough May income is generally low, but this year it has been lower than normal. This has meant that all of our WS Homes, COs and CRCs (Continental Reporting Centers), LIMs, Lit-Pics, missionaries in poor countries, and anyone else who receives a monthly gift has had their gift cut by 10% during this period.
62. In spite of this lower income, WS has been trying to set aside finances for the board structure, in order to help finance the training seminars for those who will sit on the boards. We are also restructuring some of the monthly budgets in order to be able to give toward each board chairperson receiving a monthly gift.
63. The financial side of the board structure is still a work in progress. Judging by the way things look now, WS will be able to cover the regional board chairperson's expenses by reapportioning some WS funds and redirecting payment of the current CO gifts and transferring those to the regional chairpersons. However, WS is not in a position to support those on the VS board, as it is the one board on which all board members, and not just the chairperson, will need financial help, just as today's VSs do, in order to do their job properly. We also aren't in a position to help cover the costs of local programs and initiatives.
64. In light of this, we are asking the COs to look over their financial situations and to pray about ways to cover these costs from the funds they receive from you via your local Common Pot 3% gift. In most areas the Common P ot covers some of the VS expenses and helps as much as possible toward any local projects, such as camps, meetings, etc., which would be basically the same within the board structure.
65. As explained above, the financial side of the board structure has not yet been determined. We are working with the COs on this, and any change in the expenditure of your Common Pot funds will be made in consultation with you and decided upon via a referendum. We just wanted to explain the situation to you, a s it stands at present, so you can know what possibilities we're thinking about--and most of all, so you'll be informed of the great need and can pray fervently for finances for both WS and the board structure, as well as all our precious Family Homes worldwide. Thanks!
The Family Policy Council
66.In order to help Mama and me with decision-making in regards to overall Family policy and other matters, Mama and I are also going to set up what will be called the Family Policy Council. The Fa mily Policy Council's main responsibility will be as an advisory body to Mama and me. This council will be made up of some members of WS and some Continental Officers from around the world, and allows us to meet on a regular basis with members within and outside of WS who we can talk with, work with, pray with, and make decisions together with.
67.This council is different than a board. The Family Policy Council itself does not have authority in the same manner that the boards do. Each board has a certain amount of authority to make decisions and implement them within the sphere of their responsibilities; this council is different in that it does not have the power to make and implement decisions on its own.
68.When various boards suggest new policy pertaining to their ministry, this council will be able to review these policy suggestions and make their recommendations. Mama and I would then make the final decision. Having such a council will be a tremendous blessing to Mama an d me, and we hope to you as well, through their wise counsel which will be reflected in the future policies of the Family.
GP Production Board
69.Over a year ago, Mama and I set up the GP Production board within WS to make the decisions regarding the creation and production of new GP tools. This board is made up of members of WS who work on GP productions, as well as one CO from each area. This board will continue to function within WS and will work in conjunction with the international Ch urch Growth and Outreach board to continue the flow of new GP productions to the Homes.
70. For the most part, ideas and suggestions for new outreach products will be generated through the Church Growth and Outreach board. Generally speaking, it's our witnessers who have the suggestions and ideas for new outreach products. It will be those who are doing follow-up, using the Activated materials, and teaching and training new disciples and new Family members, who will have the suggestions and re commendations for what new material is needed to feed these sheep, or what products would best provide for the Homes' support.
71.This flow of suggestions will, like others, go from the national Church Growth and Outreach board to the regional board, and on to the international board. When these ideas are agreed upon at the international board level, then they need to be passed on to the department within WS that is going to take responsibility for the actual creation of the product, wheth er it be printed, audio, video, multimedia, etc.
72.There are a lot of factors to consider when creating a new product. For one, it's important to make sure that the product being created fits the area for which it is being created. There are marketing issues to be addressed, and whether it will be primarily for regular Family distribution, will be marketed through System channels, or both. Will there be sufficient demand? What will the impact be on other products already in stock? Does this target a certain area, or is it usable worldwide? And then there's the financial issue.
73.While we create our outreach products as witnessing tools to get out the message, it's still business, and these kinds of decisions have to be made taking into account all the various business factors--evaluating sales, inventories, and availability of resources both at the creation, duplication and marketing levels. There's the question of whether there are sufficient finances at the local production c enter (Service Center/PPC) to reproduce such material. Is the product in question really what that particular area desires, and is the presentation of that product going to go over well in that particular area or country? To find out all this information and more requires a fair bit of communication, discussion, prayer and counsel with those outside of WS--the Service Centers, local outreachers around the world, etc.
74. When the international Church Growth and Outreach board has suggestions and requests for various GP products from WS, these requests will be sent to the GP Production board. The GP Production board will be responsible to direct the WS GP department, or others outside of WS who help with tool creation, as to what products to create.
75. The GP Production board will also communicate with Aurora and the production centers (SCs/PPCs) in their areas in order to help fine-tune the particular product needs for each area. It will be up to this board to also determine, i n counsel with the SCs, if enough finances are available to create, produce, and stock a certain tool. In other words, the GP Production board will be responsible to take the ideas from the international Church Growth and Outreach board and work on the nuts and bolts of those ideas--to see if the ideas are feasible, if there are funds to produce the tools, if the tools will hit the mark, etc. Once this is determined, then the GP Production board will instruct the WS GP department concerning what to create and what it needs to be. Basically, the GP Production board will be the body that oversees the business of creating, producing, distributing and marketing new products, both for Family distribution by the Homes and for GP marketing through System companies.
76.This particular board will only exist within WS, and it will work closely with the Church Growth and Outreach board. We felt it was better to separate the business/financial side of our outreach and follow-up operations, to b e managed by those talented in this area, so that the Church Growth and Outreach boards can concentrate on the needs of the sheep. The COs who sit on the international GP Production board would also be responsible to support and work together with the production centers (SCs/PPCs) and Activated offices in their area.
The Regional Board
77.As we explained earlier, the chairpersons of the national boards will sit on the regional board. That means if your region has three national areas, then the three national board chairpersons will sit on the regional board of that particular pillar, along with a chairperson appointed by the Continental Council.
78.The job of the chairperson of the regional board is to manage the day-to-day operations and communications of the regional boardand to oversee the implementation of the decisions made by the board. He or she would also chair the regional board meetings. However, this job also includes meeting and working with t he national boards of that pillar. The regional chairperson may come to a national area to see firsthand what the needs of the area are. He or she can meet together with the national board to help them with questions that they have. They have the right to sit in on the national board meetings of the pillars that they're involved with, though they have no vote on the national board.
79.Their job is to train the national board chairpersons and other board members, and to help assist the nationa l boards in any way they can. For the most part, the national board members, while very gifted in their particular ministry, may not have a lot of experience in working with others, people-handling, or attending these types of meetings and bearing the responsibility of the decisions that they make. The regional chairperson will be there to assist them, help them, and train them, sort of like a coach, advisor or helper.
80.This makes the regional board chairperson's job a fairly full-time one , especially if this person happens to be a chairperson of two separate boards. They will not only chair the regional board meetings, but will be personally involved in helping to strengthen and assist the national boards and their ministries.
Board Website Forums
81.We're hoping to eventually be able to set up both e-mails and websites for the various boards. This would enable the national boards in one area to get input from the national and regional boards of other areas. We'd like to h ave a forum where board members can exchange ideas, get information, and generally be able to see what's happening someplace else that might be helpful for or applicable to their area.
Your TRF Comments and
82.Our prayer is that, in time, when a Home sends in a comment, suggestion, or expresses a problem on their TRF,this portion of their TRF will go to the appropriate regional board chairperson. Eventually it will be the responsibility of the regional chairperson to either answer the question or pass on the information to the national board chairperson as needed. It will also be the regional board chairperson's responsibility to teach and train the national board chairperson in how to handle those questions, suggestions, etc.
83.We want to direct questions to the appropriate boards so that those sitting on the boards can answer those questions, instead of those questions coming to a Continental Reporting Center or to WS, where it's much more difficul t to get around to answering them because of both the big workloads, lack of time and manpower, and even full understanding of the situations. The ideal would be, in the future, for the national boards to answer those questions which come under their pillar and give you counsel which could help you to solve those problems. However, we don't feel at this time that your comments, questions and suggestions, sent in via the TRF, should be sent directly to the national boards. Instead, in time, the y will go to the regional board chairperson, who will work together with the national board to try to answer your questions. (The VS board is the exception.)
84. This means that, in time, if you write a question regarding childcare on your TRF, it will automatically be forwarded to the regional chairperson of the Children and Parenting board. If you write a shepherding question, it will be directed to the national chairperson of the VS board. Relevant portions of your comments and suggestio ns will also be sent to WS. Of course, you're still welcome to write directly to Mama and me, the various pubs teams, your COs, or to those on the VS board.
Other Appointed Board Members
85.As explained earlier, the regional boards consist of the chairpersons of the national boards and the appointed regional chairperson. There may be some instances where someone who has a lot of expertise in a particular ministry will not be able to sit on the national board for one reason or another. Per haps they have other duties or a large family, and they don't feel they can bear that responsibility at the national level. However, it would benefit the area if their expertise could be used in that ministry.
86.In such a case, the Continental Council has the right to appoint to the regional board additional members who are not national board chairpersons; however, they cannot appoint a majority of board members. For example, let's say that the regional Children and Parenting board has thre e national chairpersons sitting on it, plus the appointed regional chairperson. The Continental Council in such a case can appoint two more members to the regional board, but no more, as if they appointed more, then they would have appointed the majority of the board.
87.In a case like this, there would be three national chairpersons sitting on the board, and three other appointed members of the board--the appointed chairperson and two additional appointed board members. This will be the ex ception rather than the rule, as we believe that in most cases the people who are gifted and talented in these ministries will be members of the national boards. However, we foresee times when circumstances will arise in which someone who has the gifts and talents to be on a board won't be able to give sufficient time or attention to a national board, but could participate at the regional level, since the regional board will meet much less often. In such a case, they could be appointed to sit on the regional board.
Attending Board Meetings
88.All boards, by a majority vote of the board, can invite others to attend their board meetings. Boards may want to invite someone to speak to the board on a subject the board is deciding on. There may be a visitor from another area who might have helpful information to share with the board, or they may want to invite a number of others from their area, whether CM, FM, or otherwise, to give input on a subject. Those invi ted to sit in on a board meeting would just be guests and would not have a vote on the board.
The Details Are in the
Family Board Handbook
89.Trying to explain every detail of the board structure in two GNs is a difficult task. We pray that the general overview we've given through these GNs has been a blessing, and helps you to understand the need for this new structure and generally how the structure will work.
90.The details and the governing rules of the boards themselves are covere d in the Family Board Handbook; this will be the official guidebook for those who are board members. We will be making some minor amendments to the Charter to include the boards, and within the Charter, reference will be made to the Family Board Handbook. In order to understand all the details and have a clearer understanding of how the boards actually function, what board members do, and a more comprehensive definition of their responsibilities and authority, please be sure to take the time to study the Family Board Handbook.
It'll Take Patience, Faith,
Prayer, and Time
91.We realize all of this may be somewhat overwhelming. It's a lot to absorb and it will require study to completely understand it. It may seem a little unclear or confusing for a while, but in time the pieces will settle into place and you'll have a better grasp of the whole structure. We pray that this explanation hasn't been too lengthy and detailed. If you're finding yourself a little lost in the explanatio n, don't worry. Keep your eyes on the overall goal. The details will become clearer as the board structure is implemented. Once you see it come to life in your area, it will be much more comprehensible.
92.The main goal of the board vision is to help you, dear Family. It will enable us--WS and your Family leadership--to serve you better. It's a mechanism that we hope will allow you to get more help, counsel and support at the ground level in the main pillars of daily life in the Family.
93.It's also a mechanism whereby you can participate more in the governing of the Family. Even if you are not on a board, that doesn't mean you can't participate. You can have open and direct lines of communication with the members of your national boards so you can share your ideas. You can write your national boards with ideas, suggestions and considerations, which they will take up and discuss and pray about at their meetings. If you need advice, help and counsel, you can communicate with y our national board members and get it.
94.In essence, the board vision creates a service structure, making members of the boards servants who are trying to be a blessing and a help to you and your Home on a regular basis. We believe this will make your lives easier and the overall Family more fruitful.
95.We believe that the entire board structure--with the vertical pillars going from the national to regional to international level, and on to WS; the horizontal crossbeams, the National Coo rdinating Council, the Regional Council and Continental Council--will help us to serve you better. It will give us regular input on these specific pillars which will help us to be able to better answer your questions, produce on-target pubs and respond more precisely to the needs of the Family.
96.We are your servants. We live each day of our lives trying to serve you, to be a blessing, to find out your needs, and do our best to meet those needs. We believe this structure will help us to do t hat, and our prayer is that you will participate. We hope that if you are called upon to sit on a board, that you will serve; that as a Home you will cooperate with the boards; that you'll share your ideas with them; that you will listen to their advice and counsel so that together, as a Family, we can grow and prepare for the future that the Lord has for us--the future that is beginning now.
97.We hope that the board structure will be a wonderful help to you, to your Home, and to the entire Family. And it can be if each Family member will do his or her part to make it work. Most of all, please pray. Pray for the setting up of the structure, and pray for your Continental Officers, who will be hoping to hear from you with your recommendations of who should be on the national boards in your area, and pray for those who will be asked if they are willing to be board members.
98.Please pray for the board vision in its entirety, as it will probably take one year for it to be fully se t up and functioning smoothly and well, as it should, to where it is truly benefiting the whole Family. It will take time for the national chairpersons to receive the training needed to be fully effective. It will take time for our overall Family to adjust to this new structure and way of operating. But we believe it's worth it. Mama and I have prayed and sought the Lord countless times about this new plan, and the Lord has assured us that launching the board structure is His highest will and wh at will help you as an individual and us as the Family to bear more fruit than ever.
99.As we embark on this new pioneer venture, Mama and I want to thank you in advance for helping to bring to reality the board vision. Thank you for your willingness. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your love. Thank you for having the faith to follow the Lord. Thank you for being willing to let go of the old and take hold of the new things He shows us. And thank you for continuing to fulfill the co mmission the Lord has given us--to reach the world, preach the Gospel, win disciples, follow up on and feed the hungry, which is our ultimate goal. God bless and keep you!
Mama and I love you, and we're so proud of you.