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Family Specials News Magazine!
FSM 234 (FN 343) DO
Copyright Mar., 1993 by Family Services, Zurich, Switzerland.
Special Issue:
Summit '92: "Loving Shepherding!" Part One of a Three-Part Series
People!--The Most Important Asset in Our Family!
Dad & Mama's Sample
How Can Our Homes Be Better Shepherded?
Reaction from Spring, Our Dear Cook at the Summit '92 Meetings
Summary of New Shepherding Requirements & Guidelines
       (While much of this FSM is directed largely to our Home & Area Shepherds, the lessons & principles herein apply to us all, because we are all our brother's keeper. We are all Shepherds, whether it be of our own little family, our School group, the JETTs & teens in our Home, or our contacts, friends & potential disciples, etc.  So if we can take these lessons & tips & learn from them & apply them to our particular situations, Lord helping us, we will all become better & more loving Shepherds.  PTL!)
       Our Homes are warm, loving, happy & enjoyable places to live.  We have wonderful fellowship, open communication, & lots of fun.  We share new challenges, exciting goals & have something to live for, which gives us great unity & strength!  Because we trust the Lord, care for one another & bear one another's burdens, our lives are relatively free from worry or stress & our loads are much "lighter" than the poor people of this World who have to struggle with so much.
       We've grown so accustomed to our lovely Heavenly Homes that we usually don't even notice or think about how "out of this World" they are, but you've probably heard people exclaim over & over again when visiting your Home, "I never even knew a place like this existed! It's like visiting Heaven!"  PTL!  We're so blessed & have so much to be thankful for!
       Not only do we lead wonderful, happy, blessed lives, but we're also extremely busy.  Our Homes are schools for children of all ages, fledgling businesses with a wide range of products, & fulltime missionary outreach posts!  It takes real diligence, hard work & the inspiration & wisdom of the Lord to organise & keep such multi-faceted operations running smoothly, & our Homes do wonderfully well!  PTL!
       Even amidst the Heavenly atmosphere of our Homes, you probably have noticed that when our schedules are tight & our responsibilities many, it's easy to get going pretty fast & become a little insensitive to the needs of those around us.  When you've got a lot on your mind & lots to do, sometimes it's difficult to take time with people--to reach out to them, to hear them out & answer their questions & take care of their needs, etc.  This is especially true if you're a Shepherd, because our dear Shepherds are often encumbered about with so much to do--business, administration, organisation, meetings & more meetings, etc.
       With all this "busyness", sometimes the scale gets tipped a little bit too much to the side of administration & the balance gets a little off, so that our Home Teamworkers don't have time for their main responsibility, which is to take care of & shepherd our Family Members!  When that happens, our Homes lose a little of the "personal touch" & the needs of the individual tend to be put on the "back burner", which sometimes results in people having battles & trials that could possibly have been avoided.  With this FSM we want to address the subject of shepherding & offer some ideas & guidelines about how our Shepherds can take better care of our dear Family!
       Since the time of the DTR, we have made lots of tremendous progress in improving the care & personal shepherding of our young people by changing our schedules & priorities to include daily Family Time, Personal Time, weekly Family Days, OHRs, more Word, etc.; & they have blossomed as a result!  Our shepherding of our young people has been very faithful & fruitful!  PTL!  However, since the adults in our Homes pour out so much & carry such huge loads, we felt led at the Summit '92 to see what changes we could make to lighten the loads of our adult Members & make sure everyone has their needs met physically & spiritually. We discussed how we can help make our Homes happier, more fruitful, & more spiritually inspired so we can all do a better job for the Lord.
       We came to the conclusion that one of the main keys to having a happy & productive Home is the shepherding of the Home.  We had a lengthy discussion about this, covering such points as:  What is the role of the Shepherding Teamworker? What are the  responsibilities of the Shepherding Teamworker?  Aren't all members of the Home Teamwork Shepherds?  How can our Home Teamworkers be better Shepherds?  What do our adult Members need to strengthen them & make their lives a little easier & more fulfilled?
       * * *
       People!--The Most Important Asset in Our Family!
       To begin with, the Lord reminded us that our most important commodity or resource in the Family is people, our own dear Family Members, those who have made a decision to forsake all & give their lives to Jesus!  As Dad said, "The worker is even more important than the work! So if sometimes you can't even get the work done because you've got to take care of the worker, then that's the most important thing to do--take care of the worker! You're more important than the work!" (ML#905:12)
       There will always be more witnessing areas & methods to pioneer, new tools to produce & distribute, greater challenges in organisation & in our work, but without people to do the pioneering or the distributing or to fulfil the plan, it couldn't happen!  
       While we have now grown into a multi-national organisation, first & foremost we are still a Family.  We're all brothers & sisters in the Lord, & this Family would not be the same without each & every person.  We are much like a watch, which has many cogs, some small & some big, all of which are necessary for the watch to function well. Each & every one of our Family Members is important & needed to make this big operation possible.
       We are making a lot of progress in many ways, but if we are failing to care for each one of our brothers & sisters, be they adults or teens or children, we are missing the goal.  Each person needs to be loved, considered & well cared for--& a lot of this responsibility falls on the shoulders of the Home Shepherds.  
       A big part of shepherding is just plain loving the sheep--loving them & feeding them & cuddling them & encouraging them, lifting them up, making them feel loved, showing them that you still love them.  As Shepherds, we can ask ourselves:  Have we leaned too much on administration & organisation at the expense of shepherding?  Are we now more into schedules & plans & formulas & computers & paperwork, rather than caring for the needs of our flock?  What has happened to the role of the servant of the Home?--The one who goes around making sure that everybody's needs are met, that their questions are answered, & that their heart-cries are attended to.
       * * *
       Dad & Mama's Sample
       This is how Dad describes a good Shepherd: "Our leaders are called Shepherds, to remind them constantly of their responsibility to tenderly & lovingly care for their flocks, & feed & protect their sheep, & nurse & cherish the sick & afflicted, & to search out the lost, strayed or stolen ones.  I want to find the kind of Shepherds & undershepherds who will live & die for the sheep!  I want to find those who really love the sheep & are concerned for them & have a heart!--Those with my love & my concern & God's Love & His concern for the sheep, who are willing to act as servants.  They must be spiritual, they must have a heart for the sheep, be a genuine Shepherd at heart & be concerned about their problems" (ML#176:62; 662:87,67,84; 1279:60).
       Let's take a look at Dad & Mama's sample.  In "Where Are the Shepherds?" Dad says, "I am concerned about the little fellows down there who work hard on the pavements, on the front lines litnessing. To me, they're our greatest soldiers & heroes! I wish I could supervise them in person.  I wish I could go visiting & see just how they do.  I would love that, because that's what I used to do when I was at TSC in our first great Colony of 250 to 300 people!  I used to go around & inspect the dormitories & the cabins & see what condition the kids were living in.  I used to insist that my meals came straight out of the kitchen so I would know exactly what the kids were eating, & if it was decent healthful food.
       "I supervised my sheep closely.  I tried my best to see what state my flocks & fields were in before I built my own house. (Prov.27:33; 24:27)
       "I think I was a faithful Shepherd, even when we were on the road.  I used to go around at night & visit all the vehicles & cars & trailers that the people were sleeping in, making sure that they had ventilation if they had heaters inside. I made sure they had a comfortable place to sleep, were warm, had enough blankets, clothes, etc.
       "I believe I was a faithful Shepherd even when I was just a nobody, just a humble Shepherd of a little flock of stray sheep running around the country together.  I did my best to take good care of them.  Thank God!
       "I believe they knew I loved them & was concerned about their welfare, as much, if not more than my own.  Way back in our first little Soul Clinic schools, I was always checking on the students to make sure that they were comfortable & cozy." (ML# 662:7-12.)
       Dad shepherded his sheep very closely; they knew that he loved them & was concerned about their welfare, both physically & spiritually. He didn't just take it for granted that they were okay, he meddled, he got in there & found out how they were doing & if they needed anything. And Dad has not changed, he still shepherds his personal little flock in his Home as faithfully & lovingly.  In spite of the huge responsibilities that Dad & Mama bear with the direction & administration of our whole worldwide Family, they have never lost that personal concern for the individual. They are true Shepherds, not just administrators.  
       At the Summit Meeting, Peter shared the following:  "Dad & Mama make you feel comfortable & encouraged & loved.  When you're around them, you sense their concern for you & for the Family. Their shepherding is a personal thing, it's not simply a mechanical `to do list'.  Many times I come to a meeting with Mama with a stack of papers concerning important worldwide situations or problems that need to be discussed & prayed about, but sometimes the Lord leads Mama to temporarily put aside those `big' issues, & she zeros in on some little personnel problem in our Home, or she takes time to work out the details regarding a change in the regular weekly shopping trip (because the shopper is extra tired or has a headache & therefore the normal plan & schedule needs to be changed).
       "Dad & Mama's constant concern for these little things is a living sample of how important each one of our dear Family Members is, & how we need to care for them properly. The Lord will take care of all the `big & important issues' if we commit them to Him in prayer, but what can't wait is someone's headache or someone's urgent need, someone who needs help or prayer or encouragement.--This can't wait, it needs to be attended to right away."
       Dad & Mama are very concerned about people's needs & all the little details of shepherding.  The examples of their loving shepherding are so numerous, we could go on & on!  They truly are good Shepherds who lay down their lives for the sheep!  (Editor's note:  For more examples of theirs & others' loving shepherding, see pages 14-15 of this FSM & Part 3 of this "Loving Shepherding" series.)
       * * *
       How Can Our Homes Be Better Shepherded?
       Dad & Mama have written many wonderful Letters about shepherding.  They have covered the subject from "A to Z". If you're really serious about wanting to be a better Shepherd, one of the best things you could do would be to immerse yourself in Dad & Mama's counsel by doing an in-depth Word study on the subject.  They are the best samples, the most loving Shepherds, & it behooves us all to continually look to their direction & leading.  Such classic Letters as "Prayer of a Good Shepherd" (ML#813), "Where Are the Shepherds?" (ML#662), "Training & Shepherding Babes" (ML#734), "Prayer for Love & Mercy" (ML#75),  "Baby the Babes" (ML#18), "Prayer for a Queen" (ML#181), the Techi Series, "Love Is the Answer" (ML#1396), "Getting the Victory over Deep-Rooted Problems" (ML#1887) & many others are so precious & so loving & so perfectly clear that our own experience & what we could say about shepherding is very limited by comparison.  But we pray that the following specific & mostly practical tips will help you to better apply the principles that Dad & Mama have taught us, & that with the Lord's help & by working together, we will all become better Shepherds & more like Dad & Mama each day.  PTL!
       Efficiency vs. the Personal Touch
       Often, in order to handle the huge volume of work that we're faced with in our Homes, we seek the most efficient way to do things. While this may be necessary, it has some drawbacks.  If we go to the extreme in seeking efficiency, our contact with others can become a little cold & mechanical.  Or our Homes can become a little too "perfect" with all the schedules & rules & the need to "keep the standard", so that the freedom of the Spirit is squelched & people are just going through the motions without real communication, inspiration, unity & joy of the Lord.  Efficiency is important, because otherwise our Homes would be in chaos, but we just have to watch that with all our planning, practicality & productivity, we don't lose the value of the individual, the personal touch!  While the Lord may give your Home many plans, projects & goals to shoot for, what is most important is that the individual feels the touch of love & personal concern, & this is one of the Shepherd's most important jobs.
       We may need to readjust our shepherding priorities.  As a Shepherd, you do have to take care of administration & there is a lot of planning & details to take care of, but the whole purpose of that administration & planning, etc., is to take good care of the sheep.  Love & concern is what matters most when it comes to shepherding.  There are many challenges & problems that face a shepherding Teamwork, but if the Shepherds will get closely involved with their individual Home Members, a lot of the problems will be ironed out more easily.  This requires a lot of work, time & effort, but as Jesus said, "The good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep" (Jn.10:11).  
       Shepherds Must Have a Strong Connection with the Lord!
       We are going to cover some specific practical shepherding tips, but following these different tips & guidelines would only be a work of the flesh unless the Shepherd is close to the Lord.  That's the only way a person can have the love & the important spiritual qualities that are essential to shepherding.  Probably many of you who now have shepherding responsibilities or who have had them in the past have experienced the sad results of trying to shepherd & care for people & manage your many responsibilities without really leaning on the Lord & having a strong connection with Him.--It usually results in leaning to the arm of the flesh & legalism, which is detrimental to good shepherding.Only the Lord & His Word can help us be loving, prayerful, forgiving, trusting, Spirit-led & full of faith.  To pass on love, concern & encouragement to the sheep, a Shepherd must first spend time alone with the Lord.
       "The main job of a Shepherd is to keep in touch with the Lord--to begin the day with sweet music, praise & fellowship. We have to learn how to first of all rest at the Lord's feet. The secret of that calm & peace & rest & patience & faith & love is that resting in the Lord!--Getting calm before the Lord & praising the Lord & seeking the Lord first. And then you just impart this to the sheep--it's a spirit--you impart that very atmosphere.
       "This is why you cannot even make a move until you first have found that place of rest & calm & sweet peace in the Lord, & have sat down & played your pipe to the Lord. It's all a spiritual thing. If you try to do it in the flesh, you might as well quit. Your own flesh will get you down. That sweet rest is a sign of real faith, which brings patience. As your harp begins to play sweet music, it communicates to the sheep. We comfort others with the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted.
       "We cannot nourish others unless we ourselves are refreshed & nourished & can minister unto our babes of the strength which Thou dost supply. So help us to remember that we need rest & we need nourishment & we need refreshing & we need inspiration. We cannot feed them from empty shells, Lord, from an empty cupboard, an empty heart, an over-burdened heart, a strained body that has not even enough for itself, much less for others. Help us never to forget that the first place is for You, Lord, & we must drink of Thee & Thy Spirit if we're going to have enough not only for ourselves, but to overflow upon others." (ML#98:4,5; 606:3,5)
       Dad & Mama are, again, a wonderful sample of looking to the Lord, praising Him, thanking Him, trusting in Him & acknowledging Him in all their ways. They exude a spirit of faith, trust, peace, thankfulness & acknowledgement of the Lord's presence, which is conveyed to their flock.
       All Teamworkers Are Shepherds
       While our Shepherds do have a lot of love & genuine concern for their flocks, they may lack training in the practical side of how to actually shepherd them.  They just don't always know how to consistently take care of people.  They either find it hard to communicate with their flocks, or else they have difficulty finding the time to do so.  So how can we better the situation?
       Well, to begin with, it seems we need to clarify that all the Home Teamwork members are Shepherds & they all are responsible to help shepherd the Home spiritually.  They're each a part of the overall shepherding Teamwork, & each of them must be spiritually-minded.
       Perhaps we sent a wrong signal when we originally named one member of the Home Teamwork the "Shepherding Teamworker", as this may have implied that the other Teamworkers are not supposed to be Shepherds.  When discussing the need for better shepherding at the Summit, we realised that none of the three Teamworkers should be called the "Shepherding Teamworker", because shepherding is a responsibility that all Teamworkers have.
       The principal job of the Home Teamwork as a whole is shepherding. Of course, one Teamworker concentrates more on the childcare aspect of the Home, & another concentrates more on the business aspect, but all members of the Home Teamwork are Shepherds. The original reason for separating the areas of responsibility between the Teamworkers was to make sure each of those main areas in the Homes would be properly shepherded.
       To clarify this point, we feel it would be best to change the titles of the Teamworkers, & we suggest that they now be referred to as the Childcare Shepherd, the Business Shepherd & the Personnel Shepherd.
       An Avenue for More Communication
       When shepherding, you have to have a vehicle to reach out to people, some way to communicate with them & listen to what they have to say & what they're feeling or going through.  You can't just wait for people to come to you to seek help, because many people are just too shy or reserved to make the first move or take the first step.  So our Shepherds need to be more available. There needs to be a way for them to talk with people & find out more about them & how they're doing & how things are going for them.  
       How do you know what people need if you don't talk with them & ask them.  It's not enough to casually say to someone in passing, "How's it going?"--because usually the person will tell you it's going fine.  You have to do a little probing & listen & allot sufficient time to talk & really see what's going on.
       Some of the Area Shepherds who recently visited the Homes in their Area noticed that even though they came around with a vision, a well-defined programme, & a lot of inspiration for all, what the individuals were most thankful for was the personal "talk time" or fellowship that those Area Shepherds spent with them individually.  Of course, with time, the Home Members may feel the effects of a plan or programme that is put into effect by their leaders, but if you ask them what they remember & appreciate the most, they will remember when you sat down & talked with them, or you set up your schedule to go on a get-out walk or have some intimate fellowship with them.
       But this is something that has not been a specific part of our Shepherds' schedules.--And even though most of the Shepherds have spent time with the individuals in their Home, it has been sporadic & irregular.  That is not to say that the Shepherds have been failing or purposely overlooking this aspect of their responsibilities. It's just that whatever is not actually scheduled in our Homes is easily overlooked.  That's natural.  It happens to everyone!--When you're very busy, you usually default to doing the things you have to do first, & then if you have "extra time" you try to fit in everything else.
       We feel our Shepherds' responsibilities need to be defined in order to allow a specific time in their schedules for more hands-on shepherding & direct contact with their flocks.   After praying about how we could go about this, the Lord reminded us of a very successful method that we use to increase the personal shepherding of our young people--Personal Time.
       Personal Time for Adults!
       Let's consider how our 9-to-20 year olds have responded to Personal Time.  Has it been beneficial?  Do they feel they have an avenue to share their hearts & have their questions answered?  Have they learned lessons of openness & trust?  Have they gotten the help, direction & encouragement they need?  We've heard tremendous responses from around the World about what a blessing Personal Time has been for our young people.
       When we considered how much Personal Time benefitted our young people, it made us realise that our adults, those who do the teaching, shepherding, pouring out, & ministering to our young people, should also have a regular opportunity to talk with their Shepherds, to express their needs, & share their hearts about their problems, heart-cries, victories, etc.  We really expect a lot of our adult Members & we need to make sure they're getting what they need in return.  
       Of course, at present our Home Teamwork members do spend a lot of time talking to people.  They participate in lots of meetings & are almost constantly in communication with the department heads of their Home, etc.  But, those are the people the Shepherds "do business with", they're the ones they have to talk to in order to keep the Home running well, etc.  But what about the dishwasher, the cook, the provisioner or the person who hardly ever crosses the Shepherds' path for more than a few minutes here & there?  It can easily happen, especially in big Homes, that many people don't see their Shepherds that much, except for united meetings.   It's pretty obvious that a specific time needs to be scheduled for the Shepherds to meet with people to talk about their needs, problems, lessons, ideas, etc.
       Therefore, we concluded that it would be beneficial to suggest that the Shepherds of all our Homes schedule their time so that  all adults would receive at least one hour every other week of Adult Personal Time (APT) with one of their Shepherds.  This time would be quality, heart-to-heart, personal contact, not a business conversation about their ministry or work-related matters (unless, of course, that's what the person needs to talk about).  It's personal time, a time when they know their Shepherd is not in "business mode".  It's during this time that you as a Shepherd are going to find out from your Home Members' point of view if the schedule is working, if their needs are being met & what their problems are, etc.
       People need to communicate. They need to be listened to & they need counsel & encouragement & the warm love of their Shepherds.  If our administration is so tight that there is no time for that, then something needs to change, something's gotta go!  The Family is made up of people, not phone messages or computer files or schedules for new programmes in the Home. And while we do need to attend to the administration side of things, it should never supersede the shepherding & the personal contact, which we need to have more of in our Homes.  We're not slaves to all the rules & schedules & everything! Jesus made this principle clear when He said, "The Sabbath was made for Man, & not Man for the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27).  These things are important, but nothing is more important than the people.  It's all nothing without the people.
       Dad says, "We should never lose this personal touch, so that we become so swamped that we lose an appreciation of the value of the individual! If you haven't got time to spend with your flock, beloved, you're too busy! You're no pastor if you're not spending time feeding & pastoring the sheep. I don't mean some kind of a stiff, cold, formal, dutiful Bible reading & a dutiful, cold, stiff prayer, I mean really loving them up, even if you have to go to bed with them--which I do every now & then!"  (ML# 47:6; 1436:180)
       We believe this Adult Personal Time will bear lots of good fruit in better communication, more unity, & less personal problems. All the adults will be happier & more inspired, & in turn they'll get along better with one another, their jobs & ministries will go better & they'll be able to pour out more & better care for the children, JETTs & teens that they are responsible for.
       Of course, this will be a big change, especially for the Shepherds! It will be a sacrifice too! But we can look at it as an investment.  An investment costs something, especially at first, but it's worth it in the end.  At first it was hard to get into the swing of personal time with JETTs & teens, & the kids didn't know what to say, & they weren't used to opening up, but now it's much easier & it's become very natural to stay in close communication. It's been an investment, & now we're reaping the benefit of that investment.
       Explanation of Adult Personal Time (APT)
       If you're a Home Teamworker, you may be wondering how in the world you'll be able to add this new responsibility of APT to your already bulging schedule of personal to-do's.  We anticipated this would be a problem, so we prayed about any changes that are needed in our present mode of operation.  Hopefully, the following modifications will make APT more feasible.
        Share the Load between All Shepherds
       To begin with, we want to clarify that the Personnel Shepherd will not be the only Teamworker to participate in Adult Personal Time.  The adults should be divided between all the Teamworkers.  It doesn't necessarily have to be divided up exactly evenly, but all Teamworkers should help carry the load of APT.
        12 Adults per Teamworker
       If we look to the Word, we see that Jesus had 12 disciples.  And Dad has said 12 people is the most that any one person can properly shepherd. (See DB4, 61:16.)  So to make sure no Teamworker has too big a burden, we suggest your Home Teamwork consist of a minimum of three people (as explained in GN 465, "The New Home Requirements"), & no less than one Teamworker per 12 adults & EAs.  If you have a very large Home, you can vote in another Teamworker or two as needed.  Perhaps you should consider adding an EA to your Teamwork.In some cases, additional Teamworkers will be appointed, in which case your Home can confirm the appointment or elect someone else after two months time.
        Have Quality APT
       APT can be cumulative, meaning you don't have to spend one complete hour all at one time slot. It can be broken up into different segments, but hopefully over the period of two weeks it would total approximately one hour.  However, be sure the time is quality time by allowing enough time to really make contact.  Sometimes it takes time to "warm up" your conversation & relax etc.  If you repeatedly have only a few minutes here & there of shallow conversation over the course of two weeks, you might fulfil the letter of the law of one hour of APT, but it won't fulfil the goal or bring forth the desired fruit spiritually.  So we suggest that you don't divide up the one hour too much, if possible.
        Finding the Time
       You can have APT while you do something else.  For example, you can combine APT & get-out by having walkie-talkies.  That's often convenient & is more time efficient than just sitting somewhere talking.  (But there may also be times when you will want to sit in some quiet private place where you can be undisturbed & undistracted.)  You can talk while riding public transportation, if it's quiet & private enough.  You can have APT over lunch or coffee, or when you are out of the Home doing business.  You can have APT during personal fellowship time, or even during an extended date.
       Tips for Adult Personal Time
        Finding the time for APT may be one thing, but knowing how to do it is another!  You might wonder what to talk about or how to get started.  Hopefully, the following suggestions will be a help:
        Sometimes the adults you talk with won't have a whole lot to say, but that's okay.  APT is not just to talk about problems.  It's also a time of fellowship, conversation, friendship, closeness, encouragement, etc. Even if someone doesn't really have much to say, just knowing that once every two weeks they are going to have an hour with their Shepherd will inspire them.
        If there's something that you as a Shepherd would like to talk with someone about, sometimes it helps to write & ask the person a few questions in advance, so the person can be thinking & praying about his answers ahead of time.
        Because you have limited time during APT, at times you might want to try to do some of your communicating beforehand. For example, if someone has something they'd like to talk about, you could ask them to share their heart either via OHR or with a short report on tape, so you could have a chance to generally hear them out before your time together. By doing this, you can more effectively use the Personal Time you have together. Then when you do get together face-to-face, you will be able to listen further, if the person has more to share, & you'll also be able to more fully & concisely share any counsel you have, having had a chance to pray about it.  This little bit of pre-communication may help to make your APT conversations more meaningful. Otherwise, if someone has a lot to talk about, it's easy to spend most of your time listening to the person pour out & then you run out of time or have very little time left to counsel or encourage the person.
        APT is a fruitful avenue to share anything the Lord has shown you through reading OHRs, etc.  You can ask your Home Members to answer a specific question on their next OHR.  Then you can pray about the answers & see if that opens the door or gives you any helpful leads for APT.  (Please see the sample OHR Questions in Part Two of this series.)
        You can also ask questions during your Personal Time to steer the conversation to a deeper subject.  Sometimes you have to "dig" a little deeper & prime the pump with a few questions to encourage the person to pour out whatever is on his heart.  
       One of the leaders at the Summit wrote about a lesson they had learned in their Area regarding how important it is to probe a little during Personal Time & not just look at the surface.  In the particular situation cited, it was a teen having Personal Time, but the same lesson can be applied to adults. The scenario was that a Shepherd was having Personal Time with a teen girl who is very positive, on the attack, cheerful, very dependable, etc.  She rarely has problems, always gets positive reports from her Shepherds etc.  For the first 40 minutes of Personal Time she was fine, she talked about the work, she talked about the children, she laughed, joked & on & on, & she appeared to be carefree & doing great.
       But her Shepherd had anticipated a situation that he felt might be bothering her deep inside, so after 40 minutes of Personal Time he said, "I want to know what's on your heart.  Let me guess . . . " & he asked her a question about this particular situation & if it was making her feel bad.  She promptly burst into tears.  She had a whole trunkful of questions & feelings that she needed to pour out, he just had to push the right button.
       The same holds true of adults.  If you feel there's something someone wants or needs to talk about, but they're having a hard time getting started, you can try asking some questions to see if that makes it easier.
        You could consider taking some polls in your Home, which might also generate some good conversation starters for APT.  For example, you could ask your Home to comment on how they feel the Sunday Fellowships are going, or if they feel the Home schedule is efficient & a good sample of redeeming the time, or if the men feel the women wear too much make up, or if the women feel the men are well groomed enough, etc.
        You shouldn't be limited by the APT requirement.  In other words, if someone needs help, you shouldn't put off giving them the shepherding they need because they've already had their two hours of APT for the month!  You will need to be Spirit-led, & as was mentioned earlier, one hour every two weeks is the minimum amount of time suggested.  Some people might at times need more care & attention, depending on the situation & what they're going through, etc.
        We pray that you will find APT to be a warm & enjoyable time, & not just a dutiful fulfilling of the requirements.  In order for APT to be something everyone will look forward to, it is important (under normal circumstances) to avoid using APT too many times in a row to give correction. Hopefully you'd be able to use APT more often to help your flock feel loved & to get to know them better or more intimately, or even as a time for loving and reassuring someone after a time of correction.
        There are some situations where it is acceptable to talk to two adults or EAs at the same time, if you prefer.  An example of this would be a married couple.  Maybe you first had APT with each person alone & then you felt led to talk to them together the next time. Or there may be situations where you would talk with two people who work together in the same department--for example, if they needed help working something out between them.   This should, of course, only be done if both people are in agreement & want to have their APT together.  It would not be good to always have APT with a married couple together--as they may also appreciate having some time that is more private.  Also, it would be best, if you're going to have two people in APT, that you find out beforehand if they both want to discuss the same topic(s), otherwise your time together might not be quality time or you'd be spreading yourself too thin in trying to cover too much.
       Using OHRs to Help Shepherd
       The OHR goes hand in hand with APT.  OHRs can be a very effective vehicle for shepherding & communicating.  Below are some tips on how to make OHRs work for you in your shepherding.
        Be sure to read &/or review a person's recent OHR(s) before having APT with them.
        When possible, ask people to write on their OHRs what they would like to talk about at APT so you can pray about it in advance.
        You can try dividing the reading of the OHRs between all the Teamwork Members.  Preferably, you should each read the OHRs of the people with whom you have APT.  Of course, that's not to say that only one person on the Teamwork is allowed to read someone's OHRs.  If the other Teamworkers have time, or if there is something of particular interest, a special prayer request, or something all the Shepherds should be aware of, then you could circulate the OHRs among all of you.
        Up until now it has been a DTR Requirement for all adults to write OHRs twice a week. We are now reducing that requirement so that adults only have to write one OHR a week. If all the adults in the Home write their OHRs on the same day of the week, the Shepherds get a "flood" of OHRs once a week. To make the reading of the OHRs more manageable, you could stagger the OHR schedule so that different adults write on different days.  This way each Teamworker only receives a few OHRs each day, which might be easier to keep up with.
        If your schedules allow, all the Teamworkers might want to read the OHRs they're responsible for at the same time in the same room.  This is not to say that you would read the OHRs unitedly or out loud. Instead, you would simply sit together & quietly read & pray about the OHRs, but you would have the option of bringing up to your co-workers on the spot any special prayer requests or anything you feel needs to be discussed & prayed about urgently.  Doing it this way has the drawback that there are more interruptions & reading the OHRs might take a little longer, but at least you make solid progress in praying about any problems, illnesses, situations, needs, etc., & you can make decisions about what to do or what counsel to give, which might help your shepherding be more effective in the long run as things will get taken care of more quickly.
       Or, another alternative is to read the OHRs separately, making notes of what needs to be discussed or prayed about together with your Teamwork, & allow a specific time to discuss those points & have prayer together for any needy situations.
       Another method is to mark the OHRs with your comments or questions for your other Teamworkers, & then pass them on to your Teamworkers for them to read & pray about at their convenience. You can note on the OHRs which points you'd like to discuss & pray about together.  But don't procrastinate & put it off too long!
        Be sure to follow through on any counsel or encouragement, etc. that needs to be given in response to people's OHRs.  If it's not convenient to talk with the person right away, you can possibly grab a dictaphone & share any counsel or encouragement you have on tape.  It's good to try to do this while their OHR is fresh on your mind, & after you've counselled with your Teamworkers, if needed. Remember that if a person has bared their heart to you or confessed something, they often may be awaiting your response a little nervously. So try to get back to them as soon as possible, to encourage them, or at least acknowledge their OHR & let them know that you still love them & if they need counsel, you'll pray about it & respond to them as soon as you can.
        Discernment is a key in shepherding & reading OHRs.  We should all pray for the gift of discernment.  But to go along with discernment we need a prayerful spirit & we need to be willing to get quiet before the Lord for His direction.  Sometimes the Lord may try to get through to us about something & we block it out, we don't take the time to pray about it or see what the Lord's trying to show us.  So along with having discernment to see if there's something wrong, you also need to be open & allow yourself the time needed to hear from the Lord about it.  And after the Lord has shown you what to do, follow through!
        Also, on the subject of discernment, some younger Shepherds over-spiritualise or jump to conclusions when reading OHRs.  Sometimes you can suspect something or "read between the lines" or speculate, but if you think there is a problem but you're not sure, it's better just to ask the person about it!  If you think the Lord is checking you about something, then you need to be curious & ask questions.  Of course, it's easier to be lazy & depend solely on what you think you've "gotten from the Lord", instead of talking to people & hearing other sides of the story to safeguard your discernment & to doublecheck to see if what you felt is indeed right.  Even if you do have a gift of discernment, you can often be wrong in your conclusions about people or situations if you don't know all the facts.  Discernment & talking to people to get the facts & all sides of the story should go hand-in-hand & work together in loving shepherding.
       The gift of discernment is like a key to a door.  The Lord can use it to get you started, but you have to take it from there & do a little investigating.  You can't judge things too harshly or abruptly based solely on your discernment.  You might get a little inkling that there's a problem & you might get a check or discern in the spirit that someone needs some help, & maybe there's even some pretty strong "evidence", but you should still talk with those involved & get a clear picture of the whole situation. Discernment is just a starting point.  Don't lean entirely on your "gift of discernment".--As Grandmother once said of someone: "What some people regard as a gift of discernment may just be a critical spirit!"--Or if it is the real thing, it still may be rather vague or "muddy" & need  clarification & specifics, which may only come through talking to the folks involved & counselling with others.  As Paul said, "For now we see though a glass darkly" (1Cor.13:12).--And we need all the help we can get to make the picture as bright & clear as possible & not depend on our "revelations" alone.
        On top of discernment & communicating with others to get the facts, you have to pray!  The key to Teamworking is prayer, the key to shepherding is prayer, prayer & more prayer.  There is no way you can properly shepherd at any level without prayer!--Prayer for people, prayer for direction, prayer for everything.  A lot of conflict or worry or concern can be taken care of through prayer!
        To generate deeper OHRs, you can ask people specific questions that they can write about, or you can ask them for their opinion about something.  Some people just aren't naturally very communicative, or sometimes it's hard for people to think of what to write about, because everything is "going fine".  So if you ask a question, it helps make it easier for people to have something to think about & write about.  (Please see possible OHR Questions in Part Two of this series.)
       Other Shepherding Tips
       Take care of little things!  Tending to little things & little needs is very important in shepherding because it really shows people that you love them & care for them.  It touches people's hearts & makes them love the Lord & know He really loves them & cares about them.  That's the whole key & point of shepherding. (For more on this point, please see Spring's reaction, page 14.)
       As Shepherds, you should have a specific time designated to pray for your Home Members.  We suggest you designate one Teamwork meeting each week to pray for people.  
       It's easy to get caught up in all the problems you have to handle if you don't take them to the Lord in prayer.  If you find you're getting critical of people or burdened or upset, you need to take it to the Lord in prayer.  If you pray for people, the Lord can change them & work in their lives, as well as your own!
       We all have so much to do, & trying to do it in the arm of the flesh is not the answer.  We've got to tap the power of the Lord to do it!
       Teamworking Tips
       In the past, it seems that many Home Teamworkers have drawn the conclusion that the "Shepherding Teamworker" was automatically the senior member of the Teamwork.  This is not necessarily the case.  In fact, because Home Teamworks receive so much instruction, guidance & supervision from the Word & other Teamworks in the Area, it's sometimes not necessary to even have a senior member on the Teamwork. In Area leadership Teamworks, it might be somewhat more necessary to have a senior member, someone who is more responsible to "steer the ship", but considering that so much direction is provided both by WS via the Word, & through local leadership, it seems the need for having a senior member on the Home Teamwork is greatly lessened. So for Home Teamworks we suggest, unless specified otherwise by your local leadership, that each person has an equal vote, & there be no senior member.
       We want to encourage all the members of Home Teamworks to operate at their full leadership potential.  The ideal situation is that all Home Teamworkers pray & get things from the Lord together. The key to a well-functioning Teamwork is that every Teamworker feels that they "own" part of the "company". They aren't working for somebody, nor should they have a foreboding feeling that if they "step out of line" they will get "fired". Everybody's interests should be to make the company work & get ahead. That's not to say that nobody on the Teamwork should be praying for direction; you all should be praying!  In fact, it should become the habit of a Teamwork to pray together often & to pray about everything as the key to finding the needed solutions to whatever problems come your way.
       Other Changes & New Requirements for Better Shepherding
       Along with receiving more personal attention from their Shepherds through APT, there are also other ways that the quality of life for the adults & EAs in our Homes can be improved.  We want to therefore suggest that the following changes be adopted which will help to ensure that our adults get the Word & rest that they need to keep up with their very demanding responsibilities & schedules.
        One Hour of Word Time Required--It seems to be a very big battle for our adults & EAs to get their Word time. It's a common mistake with all of us, it seems, that when we get real busy, the first things that are cut from our day are our get-out & our Word time.  Of course, we all know the importance of the Word in our lives.  "That's the secret!--THE WORD!--The secret of power & victory & overcoming & fruitfulness & fire & life & warmth & light & leadership, everything, is the Word!--And the lack of it is the secret of backsliding & failure & coldness & darkness & weakness & dying spiritually.  So that's the secret!--It's the secret of victory or defeat! It's the secret of success or failure!  It all depends on how they treat the Word & how they live in it & live on it or try to go without it, that's the secret!"  ("The Word!" DB1, page 302.)
       We would like to propose a new Home Requirement that all of our adults & EAs have a minimum of one hour of Word time daily.  It would be best that this hour be private quiet Word time, apart from devotions, if possible, but that is not absolutely necessary. Whether your Home Members would have an hour of private Word time apart from devotions would depend on the length & quality of your devotions.  We understand that some Homes have very short devotions that consist of the reading of a few Daily Mights & having prayer for the day.--In that case, of course, the Home Members would need to get their one hour of Word at some other time in the day.  On the other hand, it has been reported that some Homes have an hour of united Word during their devotions, which could serve as the one hour of Word time for that day.  As another alternative, we have heard that some Homes have quiet study halls for one hour at their normal devotions time instead of united reading, which gives the Home Members variety & time & opportunity to choose what they personally want to read privately during that time.  This type of one-hour quiet study hall would also fulfil the Word time requirement.
       Of course, if your schedule is real busy on a certain day & you just can't seem to fit that hour of Word time in, then you can make it up throughout the week.  So this requirement could be fulfilled with six hours of Word time per week.  Of course, we recommend that you try to get your Word time consistently day-by-day, as much as possible, & not put it off so that you end up reading for hours & hours on your Word & Rest Day, just so you can fulfil the requirement.  It might be helpful to actually schedule a specific time during which the adults in your Home will feel free to take their Word time.  This might make it easier for people to comply, knowing that a specific time has been allocated for them to get in the Word. This may be especially important for childcare personnel or people who spend their days out witnessing, provisioning, or doing business.  (A reminder:  As was explained in Summit '92 FSM 228, "Follow-Up!", you no longer have to fulfil the daily schedule requirements on weekly Family Day.)
       BRACRO shared the following tip, which they had learned from a report Marianne had written. They found this tip to be very helpful. You might want to try it as well & see if it makes it easier for your adults to find the time to get this one hour of Word time.  BRACRO reported:  "We have found that one way to make it easy to have more time in our Homes' schedules is to have the required childcare meetings & even the witnessing meetings during our morning devotions time, so as to free everyone from having long night meetings. If Homes try not to have meetings at night it gives people extra time for the Word & to catch up on the many wonderful new pubs.  
       "We have expanded our morning devotions so we are not just reading the new GNs & having prayer time, but also scheduling one morning for a childcare meeting where we read about childcare & pray for the children, & one morning for a witnessing meeting where we read about witnessing & pray for the witnessers & our contacts; then the other mornings of the week can be free for reading the new wine & having other Word studies together in devotions. This schedule frees your nights, which is a tremendous liberation for the Homes & allows a slot of time from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. for private quiet time & reading the Word.  This has been a tremendous help to us & every Home that has tried it has been sold on it."
        Reread New GNs & Instructional FSMs--When new GNs arrive, many of our Homes usually read them unitedly, while this is not always mandatory, it is  wonderful for unity & it enables everyone to hear the new Letters fairly soon after they arrive.  However, one drawback to united reading is that most people don't absorb nearly as much when hearing a Letter read in a group as when reading it privately. Therefore, in order to fully benefit from the new Letters, we suggest that all adults, EAs & teens reread the GNs & instructional FSMs privately.  This does not include such "story" GNs as "Bible for You" or "Now It Can Be Told" which are quite easy to understand when hearing them read.
       You do not have to read these pubs silently when reading them the second time.  They can be read in a small group or with your mate or reading partner, etc.
        Our national disciples often hear the GNs translated verbally when they first arrive, & from what we've been told, it seems that many people miss about 50% of the message when hearing the Letters translated this way. Therefore, in order to make sure our national disciples fully understand the new Letters, it will now be required that they reread the GNs & instructional FSMs when they receive them in their native language from their LIM or LIT PIC.  There can be an exception made to this requirement for any nationals who speak English very well & who usually read the Word in English.--Those nationals do not have to reread the GNs in their native language, but they should try to reread them in English a second time privately.  (Exceptions to this requirement should be approved by the Home Teamwork.)
        Required Word & Rest (W&R) Days--We still have a difficult time making sure all our adults & EAs get Word & Rest Days.  Again, these days of Word & rest seem to easily get squeezed out or postponed, so we would like to propose a new Home Requirement that all adults & EAs have at least one full Word & Rest Day every two weeks.  A W&R Day should be approximately 24 hours off, where the person doesn't have to be involved with children, work or meetings, etc.  If it works out better for your situation, rather than having a full day off every two weeks, you could also have the adults & EAs have a 12-hour break each week--meaning time off from evening (or after dinner) until the next day at lunch.  Of course, it is perfectly fine (even better) to have full W&R Days weekly if your schedule allows it!
       We received the following tips from ASCRO, which may be helpful to you in organising your Word & Rest Days:  "Considering how `stretched' for personnel our Homes usually are, we have found it works well in large combo situations to stagger W&R Days so a couple of people are off nearly every day.  This schedule does not disrupt the normal run of the Home. In smaller Homes it may work out best to designate one day per week for W&R & give half the Home time off one week & the other half time off the next week.  Those people who are on duty on W&R Days stand in the gap on the most essential duties, even if not their normal ministries.  The former plan has worked well at our large Training Centre, while many of our field Homes have adapted the latter."        (For a summary of the new Shepherding Requirements, please see page 16.)
       Time Frame for Implementing the New Shepherding Requirements
       We realise that you may not be able to make all these changes right away. It really does take time, & we want to allow you sufficient time so that you don't feel pressured or burdened.  This also goes for the new witnessing requirements that were outlined in the Summit '92 Follow-Up FSM.  We previously suggested the new follow-up requirements be fully implemented by March 1st, & we were planning to send a new updated TRF in time to be used for your March 1st report.  However, we would like to make an extension on that time frame, so that you will now have until May 1st to fully implement the new witnessing requirements put forth in the Follow-Up FSM, as well as the new shepherding requirements put forth in this FSM.  Your progress in implementing these new requirements should be reported on the new updated TRF, which will be coming your way by May 1st, D.V.  There will also be a three-month grace period following the instalment of the new TRF & there will be no mailings held for not complying with the Home Requirements until August 1st.  We pray this will give you sufficient time to fully implement these new requirements, without feeling burdened or worried that your mailings will be held.
       If you need help or have questions, please contact your Area Shepherds.  They will be able to offer assistance wherever needed.  
       Thank you so much for being willing to undertake more new changes & Home Requirements!  We realise that these, along with the new Home Requirements for follow-up, will probably cause quite a big shake-up in the Homes.  Things may look a little topsy-turvy for a while, but we pray that everyone will be patient, & we trust that after a short while we'll all be flying even higher than before!  We want to say a great big "thank you" to all our dear Home & Area Shepherds! You carry a huge load & are doing a marvellous job!  We appreciate so much your willingness to "lay down your lives for your friends", & we know a Shepherd's job is a 24-hour-a-day job, as Jesus said, "But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant" (Mat.23:11).  All these changes won't be easy, there will be sacrifices & a time of adjustment as you & your Home take on these new responsibilities, but it will be worth it.  When our dear adults are even more lovingly cared for, they will be happier, & you'll probably find that the rest of the details of your Home & schedule will work out more easily & run more smoothly.
       We pray this instruction & these changes won't in any way discourage or overwhelm you!  If you hang on & do your best, we know the Lord will bless you & your flocks, & your lovely Heavenly Homes will be even more Heavenly!  PTL!
       As it says in "Have Mercy":  "Please take care of your sheep in love with a true Shepherd's heart, having mercy & compassion on them. Remember, each one is a Member of our precious Family even if they're causing problems or going through particularly hard times at this moment. The Lord called them & chose them & they forsook all & they joined & they're following Jesus just like you are. They love the Lord & they love the Folks & they love the Letters & they love the Word, even though they may have fallen on particularly hard times at the moment. They may just need your counsel & your help & your love. You are their local Shepherds & you need to love them & tenderly gather them in & care for them, which above all is your main responsibility, to shepherd the sheep, to love them, to care for them, to encourage them & to inspire them. So above all we ask that you please love your sheep, shepherd them in love, lead them in love & they will in turn accomplish more for the Lord, out of love!" (ML#1818:18)
       We'll close this FSM with a true-life example of how very far a little love can go.  Following is a reaction from Spring, who was the cook at the Summit '92.  It's proof of the beautiful creative power of love & the wonderful fruits of good shepherding & the "personal touch"!  PTL!
       * * *
       Reaction from Spring, Our Dear Cook at the Summit '92 Meetings
       (Excerpts from a taped reaction by Spring)
       God bless you, Dad & Mama!  I'm super thankful for this opportunity to share the different reactions that I have to being here.
       Loving Caring Shepherds
       At first I was extremely nervous, especially before everyone started to arrive, & even more so when I knew that Peter would be here.  I was not so nervous knowing Gary would be coming, because I had met Gary before, but knowing that Peter was coming, I was really nervous.  But the moment that I met him, all the anxiety & nervousness just seemed to fade away.  He was so sweet, so warm & so natural, after meeting him I couldn't even imagine being nervous around him at all.  He just made me feel so comfortable, God bless him!
       By being even a small part of what's going on here, & being around Peter & Gary, getting to know them, I've felt so much closer to you, Dad & Mama.  It's helped me to know more of what you're like.  I know that in the Letters it's pretty clear, but seeing a sample is different.  They've been so sweet & loving & concerned, especially for us as the staff. They're always asking how we are doing & if we need anything or if we're being overworked or if we need help or whatever.  They're also very appreciative of everything that we do.  They have been very faithful to thank us for everything.  Peter hasn't failed to thank me for every meal that's cooked, even trying to lighten my load whenever possible.  They both have been a real sample of loving Shepherds who really care for the flock.
       Something really special happened to me that I wanted to share with you, to show you just how sweet & caring they have been.  My schedule had been quite busy over the past couple of weeks, & I had just started my period, then I was cooking a special, big dinner & it was a bit tight.  I had been working quite hard, which was fine with me, because I really enjoy my work, I enjoy cooking.  I'm just so thankful to be here, to be able to be of service. But then sweet Peter came to me & he said that they had planned to give me some time off so that I could go to a little local hotel to get some rest.  (Editor's note:  It was more convenient to have Spring take her W&R day at a little nearby hotel, because she roomed with several other staff members & they were going to be busy with their regular work schedule that day, so the atmosphere would not have been very conducive to resting for Spring.)
       I was honestly just overwhelmed with his loving concern because he even saw needs that I didn't even realise I had.  He saw that I needed time away & time to rest.  For me my work wasn't like a sacrifice or it wasn't a burden in any way. I just felt, "Well, this is what I'm here for & this is my job & I want to do it wholeheartedly."  And rather than a sacrifice or a burden, it is an honour & privilege to partake of the spirit of what is happening here & to be a part of it & to be able to help.  I felt like I'm just an unprofitable servant, I'm just here doing what is my duty to do, & I'm so thankful to be able to just do that duty.  
       But I was just so touched by Peter's overwhelming love & concern.  He suggested that one of the other staff members & I go to a little nearby hotel so that I could get a good night's sleep & good rest the next day so that I wouldn't get run down.  He also suggested that we have a nice dinner out.  He told the person that went with me to please take really good care of me.  He was so sweet about it & so concerned, so sincere, that it really touched my heart.  It was just super special.  I know I didn't deserve it at all, but I knew it was a real token of their love & the Lord's Love & appreciation.  I knew that it was such a sample of what he's seen in you, Dad & Mama.  It really was beautiful, God bless him! And Gary too, I know that Gary was behind it all the way also.
       It reminds me of that verse,  "We have not an High Priest [EDITED: "or a Shepherd"] that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities."  I knew that he knew how I felt & that he saw that I was under a bit of pressure at times, & he more or less just put himself in my shoes.  It was really sweet, TYJ!
       Another example of Peter & Gary's love & concern for us as the staff is that they are constantly reminding everyone to show appreciation & love to us, & being a real example of that themselves.  They never pass you by without giving you a hug or some word of appreciation or encouragement, God bless them! It really is contagious, their sample is really spreading in all of us. Everybody is showing so much more love & appreciation & encouragement, giving hugs & kisses & sweet words of kindness.  It's really beautiful, TYJ.
       I also want to share just how comfortable I feel here, how much like a real Heavenly Home we've all become here, & I feel like such an important part of what's going on.  We as the staff have been included when possible in certain meetings or times of prayer like Sunday Fellowships, & Peter & Gary have made sure to explain certain things to us where possible so that we understand a little bit about what's going on, because we do hear different conversations or see different bulletins or hear different announcements throughout the day.  So they've been real faithful to "explain explain explain" whenever they can, whenever possible, so we understand a little bit about what's going on.
       To me, this has shown real faith & trust in us, & a real concern that they explain different things whenever they feel it's needed.  This has really made me feel more of a part & drawn me in more, & I haven't felt left out or awkward at all at any time.  I'm reminded of a little quote that says, "Love begets love & faith begets faith."  When people show faith in you, it increases your faith, it encourages your faith to want to do even better for you, Dad & Mama.
       Personal Prayer, Love & Thanks!
       All in all, I just want to share with you what a wonderful experience this has been for me & how I feel so much at home, even more "at home" than I think I've ever felt.
       My personal prayer is that I can follow this sample I've seen of being a more loving & caring Shepherdess & to have more of a tender heart for the sheep & to care for them as I've been cared for here.  I also pray I can grow more in my dedication & love & yieldedness & that I can learn to forsake more of me so Jesus can live & work & move more in me.  Everything that's been happening here just makes me want to love Jesus more & to love others more & to do more because He loves me so much.  And my Shepherds here have made me feel so loved & it's made me want to do the same for others.  I guess it's helped me to understand the Lord's Love more.  It's been more defined in my mind exactly what that spiritual love is, the Lord's Love, because I know that my love gets in the way so often & I have to be careful not to draw people to me but to lift up Jesus more.  It's helped me to learn more about how to do that since being here, & to love people more with His Love. TYL.
       I love you so much, Dad & Mama, & I'm really eternally thankful to be part of God's Family.  I want to thank you for your sample of love & dedication & sacrifice for us & for the whole World.
       As I was starting to close this tape, the Lord reminded me of a song I learned while here. Some of the words are: "Shepherd of Love, you knew I had lost my way, Shepherd of Love, you cared that I had gone astray. You sought & found me, placed around me strong arms that carried me home.  No foe can harm me, or alarm me, never again will I roam.  Shepherd of Love, Saviour & Lord & Guide,  Shepherd of Love, forever I'll stay by Your side."  
       Dad & Mama, I pledge my love & loyalty even more than ever before.  I really love you & I'm so thankful to have such sweet & caring & loving Shepherds as you & all of these here.
       Love, Spring
       * * *
       Summary of New Shepherding Requirements & Guidelines
        Home Teamwork Set-up
       The members of the Home Teamwork will now be called the Personnel Shepherd, the Childcare Shepherd & the Business Shepherd.  All members of the Home Teamworks are spiritual Shepherds, responsible for caring for the Home Members spiritually.
       We suggest Home Teamworks consist of a minimum of three people & no less than one Teamworker per 12 adults & EAs.  If need be, you can vote in more Teamworkers.
       It is recommended that Home Teamworks do not have a senior member, except where specified by CRO Shepherds.  The ideal is if all Teamworkers can pray & hear from the Lord together.  In the cases of no senior member, all Home Teamworkers should have an equal vote in decisions made.
        Suggested Adult Personal Time (APT)
       It is suggested that all adult Members have at least one hour of quality, heart-to-heart sharing with one of the Shepherds bi-weekly.  This is a minimum of time that each person should receive; some people may need more, depending on the circumstances.
       All Home Teamworkers should participate in APT.  The adults should be divided between all the Teamworkers.  It doesn't have to be divided up exactly evenly, but all Teamworkers should help carry the load of APT.
       APT can be divided into two or more sessions, rather than the full hour all at one time.  However, APT should be quality personal time!  It is not a time for a business discussion!
       There are situations where you can share APT with two people together, providing they agree & want to do so, & providing you have something in common to discuss with both people.
        Required Adult Word Time
       All adults & EAs will be required to have a minimum of one hour of Word time daily (except on weekly Family Day).  This requirement can be fulfilled with six hours of Word time per week.
        Suggested Rereading New GNs       & Instructional FSMs in English
       In order to fully benefit from the new Letters, we suggest that everyone reread the GNs & instructional FSMs privately.This does not include such "story" GNs as "Bible for You" or "Now It Can Be Told" which are quite easy to understand when hearing them read.  This second reading does not need to be a silent private reading. They can be read in a small group or with your mate or reading partner or on prayer vigil (if the subject of the Letter is conducive to prayer vigil).
        Required Rereading of New GNs       & Instructional FSMs in Nationals'       Language
       In order to make sure our national disciples fully understand the new Letters, if they hear a new Letter translated verbally when it first arrives, it will now be required that they reread the GNs & instructional FSMs when they receive them in their native language from the LIM or LIT PIC.  Exceptions to this requirement are any nationals who speak English very well & who usually read the Word in English.  (These nationals do not have to reread the GNs in their native language, but they should try to reread them in English a second time privately.)  However, if the national disciples hear a pub read aloud that arrived from the LIM or LIT PIC already translated & printed in their national language, then in that case they are not required to reread that pub, but as with the English-speaking brethren, it is suggested that they try to do so.
        Required Word & Rest Days
       All adults & EAs are required to have at least one full Word & Rest Day every two weeks.  A Word & Rest Day should be approximately 24 hours off, where the person doesn't have to be involved with children, work or meetings, etc. Rather than having one full day off every two weeks, you can also have the adults & EAs have a 12-hour break each week--meaning time off from evening (or after dinner) until the next day at lunch.  Also, it is fine (even better) to have full W&R Days weekly if your schedule allows it!  
End of FSM.

Copyright 1996 The Family