—By Father DavidDFO100119/4/81
—Our New Day of Pentecost!—June 7th‚ 1981!—Hallelujah!
—The New Family Fellowship Tree!—Let's Get It Together!
1. I THINK IT WAS A PRETTY GOOD PLAN THEY HAD IN THE CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY ALLIANCE. We had a regular District Meeting of all the pastors of a local area, such as one State, or it could even be one city etc., anywhere there are perhaps two or three or more Homes in an area who should be gathering together at least once a month for fellowship, for a monthly Fellowship Day of all the Homes in the area.
2. WE HAD THIS IN THE CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY ALLIANCE & IT WAS GREATLY ENJOYED BY ALL OF US. Not only were our pastors able to get together, the heads of each Home‚ in other words, & confer & advise & counsel about problems & needs, etc., but the people also enjoyed getting together.
3. THE HEADS OF THE CHURCHES, THE PASTORS, HAD SEPARATE CONFERENCES just amongst themselves, while the whole flocks or all that could attend in this full day of fellowship had meetings with special speakers & fellowshipped together & visited & discussed things & shared reports, for example, from missionaries, & movies from the field, special visiting speakers, etc.
4. I REALLY THINK THAT OUR HOMES SHOULD GET TOGETHER IN AN AREA FOR AT LEAST A MONTHLY FELLOWSHIP DAY. Now we're having Fellowship Days weekly on Sunday of individual Homes, but I see the great need of a Monthly Fellowship Day of all of the Homes in an area who could possibly get together for that, who are within travelling distance that it would be possible for them to come in for just one Sunday a month & meet together in some Home or banquet room or a rented hotel meeting-room or whatever would be sufficiently commodious & convenient.
5. WE HAVE ALREADY SUGGESTED THIS TO FAITH & JUAN WHO ARE TRAVELLING AROUND & HOLDING THESE AREA FELLOWSHIP MEETINGS—& that perhaps would be a good name for them, Area Fellowship Meetings, because they would vary greatly in size. Some of the areas would be just one city of several Homes, others where the Homes are scarce & there might be only one Home in each city in an area, then the area would consist of several cities. Where there were several Homes in one city, the area would consist of just that one city.
6. WE STILL FEEL THERE'S A GREAT NEED FOR MORE FELLOWSHIP BETWEEN THE HOMES, not only just in the Homes. Normally all of us have good fellowship within our Homes, especially the co-op Homes of two or more families, but some Homes are quite isolated & lonely & really hungry for fellowship. So that I think really a once–a-month Sunday Fellowship Day for the Area, an Area Fellowship Day perhaps the first Sunday of each month‚ would be a good choice, or Saturday.
7. IN MY DENOMINATION, THE CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY ALLIANCE, the pastors were too busy with church services on Sunday to have them on a Sunday‚ as they had several services & they preached sermons & all that sort of thing for their local church. In a sense it was their Local Area Fellowship Meeting for their local Homes, because a church consisted of a number of local Homes.
8. SO WE USUALLY HAD THESE MONTHLY AREA FELLOWSHIP MEETINGS ON A MONDAY AFTER SUNDAY, which is usually the pastor's rest day as well as wash day, after the pressure of all those Sunday meetings & responsibilities of meeting & conferring with all the people & preaching etc. so Monday was really the best day for church preachers, so we had our fellowship meeting the first Monday of every month.
9. BUT WITH OUR HOMES & OUR FAMILY IT'S A GOOD DEAL DIFFERENT‚ since we have no formal churches with formal meetings & a number of families meeting in the same building each Sunday, therefore the heads of our Homes are not necessarily worn out from church services on Sundays. And since Sunday is the one free day of the week on which we can be fairly sure that no one has to work at a job or go to school, etc., we have chosen that day for our weekly Family Fellowship meetings of the individual Homes.
10. I STILL THINK THAT SUNDAY WOULD BE THE BEST DAY FOR AN AREA FELLOWSHIP MEETING. It would then take the place of the Local Home Fellowship Meetings of the individual Homes, & all the Homes could meet together on that first Sunday of the month for a Local Area Fellowship Meeting which would consist of the same type of meeting as is held in the average individual Home on Fellowship Day: Prayer, fellowship, praise, singing, testimonies, videos‚ etc.
11. AND IF YOU HAVEN'T GOT VIDEOS OR A VIDEO MACHINE, WHAT ABOUT SOME COLOUR SLIDE SHOWS of Homes in the areas shown by the local VSs or someone who's travelled around or someone who has gotten pictures of other Homes & of the various local ministries, their Homes in action, the kind of things we like to see on the videos.
12. AND OF COURSE IF YOU DO HAVE A VIDEO MACHINE & A COLOUR TV you'll be able to enjoy at those monthly Fellowship Meetings the marvellous wonderful beautiful colourful exciting thrilling Family videos from all over the World, from every mission field on Earth!—And they're getting better all the time! It'll be a marvellous time to get together for those videos & thereby renew Worldwide Fellowship as well as your Local Area Fellowship.
13. IT WOULD ALSO BE A VERY GOOD TIME FOR THE INDIVIDUAL HOME HEADS TO PERHAPS HAVE SEPARATE MEETINGS aside from their flocks, private meetings to discuss the major problems of individual & collective Homes & discuss needs & procedures & projects & plans of witnessing & how to take a new city or how to pioneer a new area, which will require joint cooperation & help & financing, etc.
14. IT WOULD BE A MARVELLOUS OPPORTUNITY FOR THE HEADS OF THE HOMES TO GET TOGETHER, the shepherds of the various Homes, husbands & wives, in this case without the children & without the helpers, etc. Possibly if there's quite a large number of people it's easier to discuss things in sort of an Area Committee Meeting such as that. You could call it the Area Action Committee or the Area Fellowship Committee—in other words, just the heads of the Homes, the husband & wife or individual heads of each Home to meet together in a sort of executive session with the local VSs, if there are some.
15. AND IF THERE IS NOT A LOCAL VS, THERE'S NO REASON ON EARTH WHY AN AREA CANNOT ELECT AT SUCH A MEETING THEIR OWN LOCAL AREA SHEPHERD, I'm fully in accord & agreement, in fact even enthusiastic about this suggestion which has been coming in from various sources, particularly the burden of Keda & Yasuko who cover a tremendous area in the South Pacific & Southeast Asia & Australia‚ in fact reaching all the way North to Japan, etc., & who continually see the desperate need for fellowship amongst the local Homes in various areas.
16. SOME AREAS, AS WE SAY‚ ARE VERY SCATTERED & perhaps even once a month would be too much for individual Homes in scattered cities to make the journey in to some geographical center centrally located between them all, to have a monthly Fellowship Meeting. Then they could at least have a Quarterly Fellowship Meeting, at least once every quarter, every three months, perhaps the first Sunday of every calendar Quarter, of every three–month period of the year. That way you could have'm the:
17. FIRST SUNDAY OF JANUARY, the first Sunday of the first quarter of the year, of January, February & March. Then the first Sunday of April, first Sunday of July, first Sunday of October etc., at least meeting together once every three months to have a grand Area Fellowship. Even if they have to come from quite a distance it should not be too prohibitive if the meeting is held only once every three months for those Homes which are widely scattered & would have to, some of them‚ come hundreds of miles to have that fellowship.
18. I WOULD SUGGEST THEN AT SUCH A FELLOWSHIP MEETING, FIRST OF ALL THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEET TOGETHER. This is what it used to be called in my old denomination & is why the term comes to me. I'm sorry to have to use old System terms, but that's what it was called—you can name it anything you want to. Executive means that they are an Action Committee who executes things & gets things done, & does things. It implies action.
19. AND IF YOU WANT TO USE A SIMPLER WORD INSTEAD OF EXECUTIVE‚ which is a little System–sounding & big & maybe not clearly understood even by the children, you could call it an Action Committee. In other words, they're not just supposed to be a bunch of dumb heads sitting around like bumps on a log wondering what to say & wondering what to do & they have nothing to say & no ideas & no action—such as it often was in some of our denominational meetings!
20. BECAUSE AFTER ALL‚ THEY WEREN'T GOING ANYWHERE OR DOING ANYTHING except just building church buildings & going to church on Sunday! They had very little in the way of any witnessing projects or literature projects or tract-passing projects or pioneer projects of opening up new works in new cities, much less missionary projects, although they did have a few of those.
21. THE LOCAL ACTION COMMITTEE OF THE LOCAL FELLOWSHIP AREA COULD CONSIST OF THE HEADS OF EACH HOME, the mother & father of each Home, who meet together without the children & without the helpers to avoid the bedlam & confusion that occurs when everybody gets together in one room including all the kids & helpers & singles & everybody, in which it's almost impossible to discuss anything! It's almost impossible to try to do anything but try to sing above the noise, as we have witnessed in many of the videos, & almost impossible to have a speaker speak above all the noise without a good strong PA system.
22. IN OUR OLD SYSTEM DENOMINATION, OF COURSE, THERE WAS ONLY ONE PASTOR, there were not co–pastors & the wives were not considered to have the same status as the male pastor. Therefore that situation was solved by simply the meeting of the pastors, the Pastoral Fellowship Meetings in which only the pastors got together in an Executive Committee to discuss problems & make plans etc.
23. HOWEVER IN OUR HOMES WE CONSIDER THAT OUR WIVES ARE EQUAL HOME SERVANTS & that there's no difference in the Lord, that there's no male or female in Christ Jesus, that all are one in Christ Jesus. (Gal.3:28.) And therefore we consider that the mother of the Home is just as important as the father, particularly in the individual Homes, of course.
24. OF COURSE, THERE COULD BE CASES WHERE THE INDIVIDUAL HEAD OF THE HOME MAY HAPPEN TO BE A SINGLE who's even more talented than the couples. Or it could be that the wife has so many children to take care of that she couldn't possibly be free to attend such a meeting unless she had a lot of help or is not particularly active either spiritually or in leadership qualities, & perhaps only her husband would need to attend.
25. BUT THERE SHOULD BE AT LEAST ONE DELEGATE FROM EACH HOME THAT SHOULD MEET IN THIS EXECUTIVE ACTION COMMITTEE MEETING. I don't know what kind of initials we could get out of that—EAC—or Executive Action Committee of the Area—EACA. We'll try to think of something by the time we get this Letter finished, which will be an easy handle to grab onto without too long a name, & we'll all know what we're talking about! We use a lot of alphabet soup in the Family & a lot of initials to be our code names for different things, & everybody understands'm, & it sure saves space & time & even words to use those alphabet codes.
26. BUT THERE SHOULD BE AT LEAST ONE DELEGATE FROM EACH HOME who would attend this area wide Executive Action Area Committee Meeting & that would discuss problems & plans & various actions & witnessing projects, litnessing projects, printing projects for the Area, pioneering projects & helping-the–needy projects etc.
27. BUT THE PRINCIPLE THING WOULD BE THE GENERAL AREA FELLOWSHIP MEETING FOR ALL FAMILY MEMBERS including the children, which could occur on this once-a-month or once-a-quarter first Sunday of the month or quarter, at which all could attend‚ everybody who could possibly get free & come—including couples, singles‚ helpers, children, whatever—with a good musical program, praise-the-Lord program, testimonies, etc., & with a final real earnest prayer service for various needs & the problems & the Family around the World.
28. THEN AT SOME TIME DURING THE DAY, WHATEVER SEEMS TO BE CONVENIENT, perhaps while the women are preparing the meal or during a recess of the general crowd, perhaps these Area Delegates could get together. They might not always be the Home leaders, as I say, & we couldn't necessarily even call them all pastors, so I think a good word for it would be perhaps to call them Area Delegates.
29. THERE SHOULD BE AT LEAST ONE PERSON SELECTED BY EACH HOME TO REPRESENT THEM IN THE EXECUTIVE ACTION COMMITTEE MEETING OF THE AREA, & therefore in the privacy of committee without all the distraction of all the other people & children, be able to quietly discuss the various needs & problems, projects‚ plans, pioneering, printing & all of those things together with special prayer.
30. I THINK THE COOPERATION OF THE HOMES IN EACH AREA THAT WAY WILL BE A GREAT BOON & A GREAT BLESSING & A GREAT STEP FORWARD, a great impetus to our local areas‚ some of which have lost heart & nearly lost faith & have just sort of gone into the doldrums, stagnated, & are seemingly almost as sheep without a shepherd with no particular direction or drive or leadership or objectives,
31. JUST EVERY MAN GOING TO HIS OWN TENT & EVERY MAN DOING AS HE SEES RIGHT IN HIS OWN EYES with virtually no organisation‚ no leadership, no cooperation, no fellowship, no Family planning—of our kind of family planning which is to multiply, not to reduce the population—no general discussion of problems & projects, no consensus & agreement & voting for the area on what to do about this or that or the other. It's pitiful!
32. WE HAVE SEEN THIS CONDITION ON SOME OF YOUR VIDEOS. It was sweet to see you there at a Fellowship Meeting, for some of you the first time in a year or years‚ that the Homes of a local area or country have gotten together & had a Fellowship Meeting, & it seemed to really spark you up & cheer you up & inspire you & really set you on fire again to get moving again & to do something cooperatively together again as in the Blob days!
33. IN UNITY THERE IS STRENGTH, & THIS WAS ONE OF THE STRENGTHS OF OUR EARLY PIONEERING DAYS was our cooperative Colonies in which we had a number of families living together & working together in one Home, one Colony. Some of them were too big, they were blobs & we had to break them up to try to get them scattered & go into all the World & preach the Gospel unto every creature, but sometimes a certain amount of blobism is necessary for cooperation & united action, & unity & strength in the power of the Spirit‚ in a get-together fellowship.
34. YOU'LL NOTICE ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST THERE WERE QUITE A FEW PEOPLE! It was quite a blob in that Upper Room, 120 men there not counting all the women & the children! They spent ten days there in that room, so it must have been a pretty good-sized room, mostly fasting & praying, but I'm sure the children had to eat, & probably some of the pregnant women.
35. BUT THEY STAYED THERE AS JESUS HAD COMMANDED THEM TO: "But tarry ye at Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high"‚ until ye be filled with the Holy Ghost. (Lk.24:49.) He said, "And then ye shall be witnesses unto Me."—Not only in Judaea & Samaria & in all the surrounding territory, but to all the World! (Ac.1:4,5,8.)
36. AND AS A RESULT OF THAT ONE BIG AREA-WIDE FELLOWSHIP MEETING OF ALL THE DISCIPLES from the Jerusalem area, in fact probably from all over Judaea because some came in as far as from Galilee & other places, they had a tremendous praise & prayer meeting & were terrifically in unity of mind & heart—one mind, one spirit, one soul & virtually one body! You can imagine how close they must have all had to sleep together on the floor, they must have been wall–to-wall hippies for sure!
37. UNTIL AFTER TEN DAYS OF OBEDIENCE & IN PRAYER & TARRYING & WAITING FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT TO COME & fill them all, there was that final tremendous explosion on the Day of Pentecost when they were all filled with the Holy Ghost & spake with other tongues & interpretation & prophecy & all the rest, & it was such an explosion that the whole city gathered together by the thousands to see what in the World was going on!
38. 3,000 PEOPLE GOT SAVED THAT DAY AS A RESULT OF THAT TREMENDOUS SPIRITUAL EXPLOSION WHEN PETER THEN GOT UP—Peter the old coward who was always the blunder–buss who was blundering & stumble-bumming into so many terrible situations by not being led of the Spirit & just bulldozing his way ahead like a bull in a china shop & whatever he thought was right or should be done, come what may!
39. AT LEAST HE WAS A MAN OF ACTION & HE WANTED TO DO SOMETHING, while the rest of them were sitting around doing nothing! So he said, "Let's do so-&-so, let's do something!" He was a big giant of a fellow, a fisherman, full of energy, & he liked action. He didn't like all this sitting around theorising, theologising & philosophising, but he wanted action!
40. SOME OF THE THINGS HE SAID WERE REALLY FUNNY, some of the things he proposed were really amusing‚ & some of them were actually dangerous, like cutting off the ear of the High Priest's servant or his soldier, in other words‚ & could have got him in a lot of trouble, of course, sometimes actually doing terribly the wrong thing, completely denying the Lord!
41. SO BEFORE HE WAS REALLY FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT‚ HE WAS ALWAYS A MAN OF ACTION, but often rushing in where angels fear to tread, like a fool. But praise God, on that day when he was finally filled with the Holy Spirit, the power of God & led of the Holy Ghost, he stood up with the 11 & he preached away a sermon that really pinned back their ears & got'm under conviction, all those Jews and tourists!
42. HE TOLD THEM OFF THAT THEY'D CRUCIFIED THEIR SAVIOUR, they had killed their Messiah, rejected their King, etc., "Whom ye crucified" he said as plain as day! (Ac.2:36.) He doesn't blame it on the Romans like the Jews do‚ he blamed it on them!
43. THEY GOT UNDER CONVICTION WHEN THEY SAW THE POWER OF GOD MANIFEST IN THE UNIFIED, UNITED, FELLOWSHIPPED, GATHERED-TOGETHER CHURCH!—When they saw all these disciples together so endued with the power of the Holy Spirit that no man could deny that it was of God, & all the people glorified God that this was a miracle, especially Peter!
44. SO HE GOT UP & PREACHED AWAY, this guy that had even been so scared of a little maid's opinion that he denied the Lord three times, even to a little handful around a camp fire in the patio of the governor's palace where Jesus was being tried. He was afraid of one little tiny girl! (Lk.22:54-57.)
45. NOW HE STOOD UP BEFORE THOUSANDS & SOCKED IT TO'M & REALLY PREACHED AWAY! Hallelujah! TYJ! He really really gave it to'm & got'm under such conviction that 3,000 of them accepted Christ as their Saviour & Messiah that day, & the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved! Just a week or two later another 5,000 were saved in the Temple at the Apostles' preaching, & so it went. (Ac.2-4.)
46. THINGS REALLY SNOWBALLED UNTIL THE CHRISTIANS HAD PRACTICALLY TAKEN OVER THE CITY OF JERUSALEM & the province of Judaea in so many tens of thousands of numbers‚ they took over the Temple completely & the whole Temple area & they were using it as a campground & running the whole thing, so that the governors & leaders of the people & the scribes & the Pharisees & priests of the church were afraid to do a thing!
47. THEY WERE AFRAID TO TOUCH'M, THEY WERE SO NUMEROUS & SO POWERFUL & SO ON FIRE & so invigorated with Spirit & in such action that they were afraid to get in front of'm like they might get run over! And so it continued for quite a few months after that glorious day of Pentecost!
48. THEY HAD ONE HEAVEN-OF-A FELLOWSHIP MEETING THAT REALLY SET'M ON FIRE & set the whole town‚ the whole province, the whole country on fire! Until the point came where the government & the church authorities figured they just had to do something about it & they began to persecute'm & throw'm in jail & beat'm & threaten to kill'm, & finally did kill some of them!
49. SO THE LORD SAW THAT IT WAS TIME FOR THEM TO QUIT THAT BLOBISM & the big blob & to get out & go into all the World & preach Gospel to every creature, & He scattered them all over. Then they started going everywhere preaching, God's Word says, signs following. (Ac.8:4.)
50. THAT WAS HOW THE ORIGINAL MISSION STATION GOT STARTED AT ANTIOCH UP NORTH IN SYRIA, North of Lebanon, a big port city where some of the disciples fled & had a lot of converts amongst the Gentiles then, the first great missionary base with Paul & Barnabas & Silas & all those guys. The first real missionary base of the church was not Jerusalem, really, because they blobbed up too much there, but they finally did get scattered, not voluntarily however, it was by the sword & persecution.
51. BUT THE FIRST VOLUNTEER MISSIONARY BASE WAS AT ANTIOCH in a foreign country amongst the Gentiles on the mission field, & it was from there that the earliest missionaries made their long missionary journeys throughout Asia & Greece & Rome & all the known civilised World of that day—Thomas went to India & different ones went here & there‚ etc.
52. BUT IT WAS WITH THE TREMENDOUS IMPETUS OF THIS TERRIFIC UNITED PRAYER & PRAISE & FELLOWSHIP MEETING that they were having there in Jerusalem for ten long days until they were so full of the Holy Ghost that they absolutely exploded! It was not until then that they really got rolling there after Jesus' crucifixion, resurrection & ascension.
53. THE DISCIPLES WERE KIND OF LIKE OURS ARE RIGHT NOW, somewhat scattered & leaderless & discouraged & a lot of them had gone back to their jobs in the System, Peter went back to fishing, & they just didn't know what to do! They were virtually a bunch of sheep without a shepherd because Jesus was gone. Maybe the Lord let them go through that so they'd appreciate the Holy Spirit when He came on Pentecost.
54. THE HOLY SPIRIT CERTAINLY PICKED OUT SOME LEADERS THEN that they had never had too much confidence in before apparently, because the Holy Ghost empowered them to really become strong leaders & to really strike out & attack the Enemy & attack the job & really start steam-rollering along with the Gospel & spreading the missionary network from there throughout the World! Praise God!
55. SO THE LORD IS FOR SCATTERING & PREACHING THE GOSPEL IN ALL THE WORLD TO EVERY CREATURE, BUT HE'S ALSO FOR FELLOWSHIP, & there are times when you need to get together & not scatter. There are times when you need to unite & not just wander around listless & leaderless. There are times when you need to fellowship & share each other's problems & joys & victories & projects & plans & needs etc. There are definitely times when you need to do this.
56. AND WE'RE GOING TO SUGGEST OFFICIALLY, HERE & NOW, THAT YOU DO ESTABLISH SOME KIND OF AN AREA FELLOWSHIP MEETING for each area, & set a certain day & time for that fellowship between Homes, not just in the individual Homes but between Homes. Wherever there are two or more Homes that could be gathered together in the Lord's name, do it!—And whether they be just in one neighbourhood or one city or one small area of a province or a whole province or a whole country, depending on the number of the Homes, the proximity of Homes & distances etc.
57. IF THERE ARE TWO OR THREE OR MORE HOMES IN ONE CITY‚ THEY COULD EVEN HAVE A WEEKLY FELLOWSHIP MEETING TOGETHER & have every Sunday Fellowship together, I think would be very good—perhaps alternative Homes, meet in a different Home each Sunday. But if this is not possible, have at least a once-a-month Fellowship Meeting, the first Sunday of every month of the local Homes of a city or a local area.
58. AND IF THE HOMES ARE TOO SCATTERED & NOT THAT NUMEROUS, then they could come in from outlying areas & provinces at least once-a-quarter for a first Sunday of the quarter Area Fellowship Meeting. Or perhaps you could even have both. If the Homes are sufficiently numerous as to have a number in each city, why not have a Monthly Fellowship Meeting for the local area or the local city, at least a monthly fellowship meeting.
59. IF YOU CAN'T HAVE IT EVERY SUNDAY FOR THE HOMES OF ONE CITY IN AN AREA‚ HAVE A MONTHLY FIRST-OF–THE-MONTH SUNDAY FELLOWSHIP MEETING of all the Homes of that city or local area, plus a Quarterly Fellowship Meeting of all the Homes of the whole province or the whole country to which people could come from hundreds of miles away if necessary‚ to have a quarterly Family Fellowship Meeting of the whole wide area.
60. WHERE THE HOMES ARE NUMEROUS YOU COULD HAVE BOTH, in local cities a number of Homes could have a Monthly Fellowship Meeting, first Sunday of every month. Then they could all gather together from all the cities, at least the first Sunday of every Quarter. And this way you could then yourselves get together & discuss, first of all in the Action Committee of delegates‚ who you think would be a good Area Shepherd, a good AS.
61. HE'S PROBABLY GONNA BE CALLED THE ASS, the poor guy who carries the load & whom some may think is an ass‚ but he bears the burdens. That's one thing about asses, little donkeys, sometimes they're kind of stubborn & single-minded but they get there! They're a little slow, but as dear Tracy's song goes, at least they get there! And they can sure carry a load!
62. AND EVEN THOUGH THEY'RE A BIT STUBBORN & SINGLE-MINDED SOMETIMES, SOMETIMES THAT'S GOOD IN A LEADER to make sure that he doesn't go off impetuously & impulsively at the jump of a gun like Peter first did before he got filled with the Spirit. He seldom had any good results then because he made so many mistakes, even though he was pretty stubborn & bull–headed. But after he got filled & directed by the Spirit he had tremendous results & tremendous fruit & really started the church rolling! Praise God!
63. SO ONCE AGAIN, TO MAKE IT TRULY DEMOCRATIC & TO CHOOSE YOUR OWN LEADERS THAT YOU KNOW & YOU KNOW WELL, you live with or live near & you have seen them in action, you know who has the anointing‚ who has the power, who has the wisdom, the love, the genuine direction of the Spirit, in that Executive Committee Meeting or the Action committee meeting, the delegates could then nominate say at least three nominees right from the Committee. They could propose or bring forward the names of three of their own number right there, the different ones can nominate each other.
64. THAT ALWAYS USED TO BE A GREAT THING IN OUR PASTORAL MEETINGS, even if we didn't expect to get elected‚ it was a kind of a flattery compliment of each other that we'd stand up & nominate each other: "I nominate Dave to be Area Shepherd!" And then I'd get up & I'd nominate him, etc.
65. IT WAS KIND OF FUNNY SOMETIMES REALLY BECAUSE USUALLY THE SAME OLD STATUS QUO, same old seven & six that ran the place always won anyhow because they had the backing of the hierarchy from above & they were nominated by the District Committee. And although you could add nominees to their list, they seldom got elected because the District Superintendent & District Committee recommended that their nominee take the slate. But anyhow, it was lots of fun & at least we tried.
66. WE WERE CALLED "YOUNG TURKS" IN OUR DENOMINATION‚ THE YOUNG REBELS & FANATICS WHO WERE TRYING TO CHANGE THE WORLD & THE STATUS QUO & the administration. We kept jumping up in these meetings & suggesting something new & revolutionary & were usually just laughed at or laughed to scorn or laughed down‚ & the MC or the chairman or the District Superintendent would kind of give a wry smile & say some nice kind word about these young boys:
67. "THEY'RE FULL OF FIRE & THEY HAVE LOTS OF NEW IDEAS, but of course we have been through the mill & we know, & we know that that's not possible & we just can't have so many missionaries because the field's not able to absorb them, we just don't have the money to support them & blah blah blah!"
68. I EVEN SUGGESTED THEY MOVE THE SCHOOL from way up in the corner of the United States at Seattle far far away from most of us when our whole Pacific & Northwest Districts covered almost half of the United States‚ Western half, & those poor people of us who were clear down near the Mexican border had to send our young Bible School students 2,000 miles away to the Alliance School in Seattle near the Canadian border!
69. WE HAD A KIND OF A YOUNG TURK PASTOR WHO WAS REALLY ON FIRE & had a tremendous witnessing program amongst the servicemen‚ the military & sailors etc. during the war in Oakland, California which was about halfway down the Pacific Coast & much more centrally located to all of us, & he had a tremendous beautiful new building with a huge auditorium & a huge separate Sunday School building full of all kinds of classrooms ideal for a Bible College.
70. HE OFFERED IT TO THE DISTRICT AS AN AREA BIBLE COLLEGE, & it was in that case where they said, "Well, no, we don't need any more Bible Schools, we have to even reconsider some that we've already got. We're producing too many Bible College graduates, too many missionaries, too many pastors. We don't have enough places & faith & money to send them‚ so we can't accept this gift of the use of this property for a new Bible School."
71. SO I JUMPED TO MY FEET & I SAID, "WELL, THEN WHY DON'T WE MOVE THAT ONE that's clear up there in Seattle, 2,000 miles away from the rest of us, down here halfway at least to Oakland‚ & close that one up & move it to Oakland California!" You never heard such a stunned hush fall over that congregation of several hundred pastors like somebody had dropped a bomb & it had exploded & had actually stunned them all!
72. BUT FINALLY THE CHAIRMAN KIND OF STAMMERED & STUTTERED & said, "W-w-w-w–well, of course, Seattle Bible Institute has been in existence for many years & is the product of one of our greatest old war–horses of faith & pioneers & we could hardly consider asking them to move a thousand miles south to such a place as Oakland when they already are so well fixed in Seattle with their lovely campus there & lovely old buildings with so many sentimental memories & traditions & where we've really become entrenched." You know what entrenched means? It means you really got stuck in a rut!
73. SO I JUMPED UP AGAIN IN THE SESSION & SAID, "I MOVE THAT WE MOVE SEATTLE BIBLE COLLEGE TO OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA TO THE OAKLAND BIBLE SCHOOL!" And a couple of my other young Turk cohorts jumped to their feet & said, "I second the motion!" And several others did the same, several seconds were shouted out by the young rebel pastors who were sick of these old deadhead fuddy-duddy old bottles who had run things so many years everything was stagnating & going to seed & the whole thing was rolling to a stop because the engine was almost dead & the driver was asleep!
74. IT WAS JUST A GENERAL MEETING, AS WE YOUNG FELLOWS USUALLY WEREN'T ON ANY COMMITTEE! Ha! If you got appointed to a committee, your first committee that they appointed you to to be a member of at all, not the head of it of course, was the Prayer Committee. You were to discuss in committee what they should be praying about. And of course that wasn't too dangerous, after all, you couldn't suggest too many dangerous prayers as a young rebel, a young Turk, a young revolutionary trying to change the status quo in the denomination! It was strictly appointees, the committees then, on the basis of appointees from the top, not suggestions from the bottom.
75. SO I REMEMBER MY FIRST APPOINTMENT IN MY DENOMINATION outside of being a pastor was at the Area District Meeting of all the churches including the people‚ pastors & all, I was appointed to become a new member of the only five-man Prayer Committee for this particular District Meeting only, & we were to meet together & decide on what all the people were supposed to pray for!—A very sensitive position & very dangerous for a young rebel & revolutionary who was trying to change the World‚ but at least the least dangerous they could think of! It was sort of like burying you & trying to keep your mouth shut by giving you something to do to keep you out of mischief!
76. WELL, PRAISE GOD, I KEPT SPOUTING OFF, & at least we young Turks managed to get that motion brought to the floor & voted on by all of the delegates. And of course the main leaders, the District Superintendents got up & the great old war horses of the faith got up & expressed their opinion that this was not wise, it would be expensive & it was not economical & it wasn't necessary & it was easier for us that live 2,000 miles away to have to go on that trip way up to the Northwest corner of the United States & go to Seattle Bible College then it was to move a whole Bible college halfway down to us.
77. SO AFTER ALL THOSE BIG LEADERS & BIGSHOTS GETTING UP & ASKING THE WHOLE CONGREGATION OF PASTORS, whose jobs were pretty dependent on them & their appointments & their recommendations to churches, etc., & especially when they voted not by secret ballot but by a standing vote or a show of hands so they could see who was voting for what & against what, when they called for a show of hands you know how the vote went!
78. OF COURSE, THE YOUNG REBELS WERE VOTED DOWN, the resolution was nixed & shelved. They put it away kind of nicely on a shelf. They said, "Well‚ we vote to shelve the motion for further discussion." Well, believe it or not, the System is slow to change‚ it's hard to make the status quo even swerve slightly off the beaten path much less make a turn, certainly never a complete turnabout or U-turn, but a few years later long after I'd left my denomination, guess what?
79. I HEARD THAT THE DEMAND HAD FINALLY BECOME SO GREAT FROM THE BOTTOM FROM THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES, & the prospective Bible College students were starting to go to other Bible Colleges instead much closer & nearer by & even better, & even getting out of their denomination as a result, it finally shook'm up, so they decided they had better move their school South to a more central location where people could more easily attend. And they did then finally move that Bible College from Seattle to Oakland, California, the last I heard. So praise God!
80. YOU MAY NOT ALWAYS GET THE RESULTS THE FIRST TIME, BELOVED, BUT DON'T QUIT TRYING! Keep screaming, keep yelling‚ keep pounding away! Keep fighting for your rights & for what you think is right & what you want to get done, & eventually a constant dropping sometimes wears away the stone, & by your importunity—like the old lady in the Bible who kept pestering the judge until she finally got what she wanted just to get rid of her (Lk.18:2-5)—you may finally convince somebody & a few more & a few more until finally there's such a demand that the System will just have to yield & make some slight changes.
81. WELL, YOU HAVEN'T GOTTEN THAT FAR IN OUR FAMILY HOMES & AREAS YET AS FAR AS I KNOW, but that is just a little preview of some of the church politics that goes on behind the scenes which most of the people don't know about & is hush hushed so that the general run of the mill will not realise there's any dissension or a difference of opinion in the denomination, that everything is well—all is well, all is peaceful, all is flowing smoothly & everybody's in absolute agreement—when we weren't always in agreement.
82. SO SOMETIMES SOME OF US YOUNG RADICALS HAD SOME GOOD NEW IDEAS WHICH SOMETIMES THEY FINALLY LISTENED TO. It took'm years sometimes, but they finally did. Of course by the time they did they were growing so dead it didn't do much good. I think they finally decided they were so dead that not much could hurt'm, so they tried the changes. The poor old Alliance has grown so dead that there's not too much that they can do about it now, & we sprang out of it as a new radical revolution & protest movement, almost a civil war against the other churches in order to get something accomplished, praise God!
83. BUT ANYWAY, AREA FELLOWSHIP MEETINGS I THINK ARE A TREMENDOUS NEED, not just a good idea but an absolute must! So I'm going to hereby proclaim & officially issue the Royal Decree that in every area where there are two or more Homes in a city or even in a local area or a general area, a province or a State or a whole country, whatever, that they ought to get together at least once every month, quarter or year!
84. NOW IF THAT SEEMS TO BE IMPOSSIBLE, you're really so far apart, hundreds or maybe thousands of miles apart like you could be in Australia, etc., 2‚000 miles wide, or the U.S., 3,000 miles wide, Europe 2,000 miles wide, etc., you couldn't all get together very often. Maybe then you could at least have a country–wide meeting or a tremendous continent-wide meeting once or twice a year, perhaps every six months or at least every year, that you'd send delegates at least, one person from each church.
85. THIS IS THE WAY WE HAD OUR NATIONAL CONVENTIONS IN THE ALLIANCE. We of course couldn't usually afford to send even both the pastor & his wife‚ although some churches were rich & could afford it, & they'd not only send the pastor & his wife but several board members, & pay their own way to the National Convention, as they called it.
86. AND PERHAPS YOU COULD HAVE EVEN ONE OF THESE EVERY SIX MONTHS OR AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR as we did in the Alliance, which I thought was very good, as at this time they did not just elect local delegates & local Area Shepherds, local District leaders or District Superintendents. At this National Meeting they elected the National officers the National leaders of the whole National Church. They were nominated by these official delegates & voted upon & selected.
87. OF COURSE IT WAS REALLY FUNNY HOW THE SLATE OF THREE PREFERRED NOMINEES ALWAYS WAS HANDED DOWN FROM THE TOP from the World Executive Committee. It was proposed at the National Meeting that these were their selections, & no matter how many nominations came locally or from the floor or from the National Committee‚ these top boys nominated by the World Committee always seemed to manage to get the vote.
88. WELL, I HOPE OURS AREN'T RUN THAT WAY! We don't insist that you select the persons we particularly nominate or appoint, in fact we haven't had any organisation at all lately‚ ever since the RNR. Since the RNR we've been almost without any organisation & without any leadership, very little leadership except me your King & Chief Shepherd—Jesus of course being the Great Chief Shepherd.—But here on this Earth about all you've had is to let the Letters be the leaders.
89. WE GOT SO LED ASTRAY BY LOCAL LEADERS IN THE OLD JETH/DEB/RACHEL CHAIN & THEIR HOUSE OF SAUL that it nearly wrecked the whole Family & God's plan & nearly ruined us! So we had to just completely abandon the whole House of Saul & its Queen & all of its leadership & start all over again from scratch from the bottom with no leaders, no organisation, no Chain of Command or Chain of Cooperation, nothing but finally Visiting Servants besides the local Home leaders‚ Home heads, Home Shepherds or Servants.
90. SO WE WENT TO THE OPPOSITE EXTREME FOR AWHILE TO CLEAN OUT ALL THE RUBBISH & all the false conceptions & wrong way of doing things of the old Saul Chain or Chain-Saul. It sounds like a Chain saw, doesn't it? Chain saws really cut things to pieces, & they were really cuttin'm to pieces!
91. WELL, WE JUST THREW AWAY ALL THE PIECES & STARTED ALL OVER AGAIN, & since that time, several years ago now‚ we've had virtually no organisation, very little leadership & have almost been leaderless as sheep without shepherds & without fellowship as well, & I believe some of our Homes have suffered as a result. Some of our disciples have suffered as well, & some of our areas have suffered, & worst of all, the work has suffered.
92. THE FURTHERANCE OF THE WORK OF GOD IN EVANGELISING VARIOUS AREAS‚ CITIES & COUNTRIES HAS SUFFERED THROUGH LACK OF FELLOWSHIP, lack of cooperation, lack of united action, lack of support, lack of planning, lack of working together, lack of any form of unity, everybody going off to his own tent in his own direction doing what was right in his own eyes & following nothing but the Letters.
93. THANK GOD FOR THE LETTERS, THEY HAVE BEEN THE ONLY LEADERS YOU'VE HAD, & they have at least kept you close to the Lord & in the Family & in fellowship with the Family World around & with me, until now I think we have thoroughly purged ourselves from this old Chain-Saul leadership & that really did saw us apart‚ & we have developed an entirely new leadership & many new disciples & multitudes of new Homes.
94. THANK GOD WE'RE GROWING IN SPITE OF OUR LACK OF FELLOWSHIP & LACK OF LEADERSHIP! We're growing anyhow just as a result of my leadership & the leadership of the Letters! You're going out & winning souls & disciples & going into all the World preaching the Gospel to every creature, establishing new Homes, new bases & growing families, until now we number more than we ever have before!
95. WE HAVE MORE HOMES THAN EVER BEFORE‚ we have more Family than ever before, & are reaching more countries & people than ever before & the Lord is blessing our missionary effort & our evangelisation of the World in Spite of our lack of organisation & in spite of our lack of leadership‚ & in spite of our lack of fellowship.
96. BUT I BELIEVE NOW HE'S TRYING TO DRAW US TOGETHER MORE. I feel a great burden along this line. I've been greatly concerned about it, prayed about it, worried about it for some time now, & we've had pleas & appeals & begging from various sources & leaders around the World: "Please do something about it, we've got to have something more official in the way of fellowship & Fellowship Meetings & Area Leaders or District Leaders or Area Shepherds & more united actions, more local cooperation, more consistent planning & some type of more cooperative fellowship, leadership & actionship."
97. SO I'M CALLING TO YOU TODAY TO‚ BEHOLD, ASSEMBLE YOURSELVES TOGETHER! "Neglect not the assembling of yourselves together!" (He.10:25.) This is a dear old favourite hobby–horse ridden to death by the preachers to get you to come to church on Sunday. That verse is absolutely worn out by the denominations to insist that it's a law of God, a law of the church that you must go to church every Sunday.
98. WELL, WE'VE SUGGESTED TO YOU THAT YOU HAVE A GOOD LOCAL FAMILY FELLOWSHIP AT LEAST IN YOUR HOME EVERY SUNDAY. We haven't said that you were a dire sinner & lost because you didn't come to church on Sunday as the churches do, but we did use that verse on you I think then. And now we lower the boom again & we tell you that it certainly is a command of the Lord by the Holy Spirit through His Apostle that you should assemble yourselves together!:
99. "NEGLECT NOT THE ASSEMBLING OF YOURSELVES TOGETHER!" That is a law of the church, in a sense, it is part of the Law of Love to have fellowship together, to cooperate together. "Behold‚ how these Christians love one another!" "Love one another! Bear ye one another's burdens & so fulfill the law of Christ." (1Jn.4:7; Gal.6:2.)
100. YOU MUST GET TOGETHER, BELOVED, FOR MORE FELLOWSHIP & MORE UNITED PRAISE & PRAYER & COOPERATION & action & planning & printing & projects for witnessing, more united unified action & helping with the needs & discussing & praying over & solving the problems & all the rest! You've just got to do it!—It's a MUST!
101. WE'RE GOING TO GIVE YOU A VOLUNTARY CHANCE TO ORGANISE YOURSELVES FIRST IF YOU CAN, but if you just can't make it we'll have to send somebody in to try to help organise you‚ like our dear roving World Ambassadors, Faith & Juan. They can't take care of the whole World, but they can visit wherever they are. Dear Keda & Yasuko go around doing the same thing‚ & we have a few others that are trying to do the same.
102. SOME OF OUR TOP WORLD LEADERS SUCH AS DAVE & CARMEN who are head of the Latin American & Iberian work consisting of many nations, are now going around visiting you & trying to find a new locations closer to you to shorten the cord, have more fellowship & easier distribution of the Letters & printing, etc., & establishment of the Spanish MWM. We are trying now to get it together & to become more closely associated & in closer fellowship & more united action, more cooperative functioning & a little better organisation worldwide.
103. THE EARLY CHURCH HAD AN ABSOLUTE MINIMUM OF ORGANISATION, but they did have some, & it consisted of a number of Apostles, the spiritual leaders, as well as the Deacons, the temporal leaders etc.‚ & they did have Bishops so they probably had Archbishops. And they did have local Pastors or Shepherds which we once had.
104. BUT NOW WE HAVE JUST BLOWN THE WHOLE THING AWAY because they were already so corrupted & polluted & contaminated with the leadership & teaching & training of the old Chain-Saul & the Saulites, that we just had to dump'm all! But that doesn't mean we don't need some. So we're going to suggest a new plan, a new procedure to be built from the bottom up by you from right where you are, & charity begins at home, right there in your own Home first of all!
105. ACCORDING TO THE PAST SUGGESTED RULES YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO HAVE ALREADY SELECTED A HOME SHEPHERD OR HOME SERVANT. Perhaps he's been made too much of a Servant! We had to get rid of that dictatorial attitude & idea & bossiness of the old Chain-Saul‚ so we eliminated the term "Shepherd" entirely, or District Shepherd or Bishops, etc., anything that sounded like some kind of a boss. We eliminated all that terminology & all those offices, in fact all the officers, until we had almost none, & the poor Home Servant became such a servant that he was nothing more!
106. I'M GOING TO RECOMMEND KNOW THAT WE CALL OUR HOME SERVANTS SHEPHERDS to let the local Home know & feel that they have a little authority & that they are their Shepherd of the sheep‚ they are their Pastor, which is a Latin word meaning the same thing as Shepherd. In the New Testament church they had Shepherds, Pastors, Deacons, Deaconesses, Bishops, Apostles, all these various officers.
107. SO I THINK WE NEED TO GET BACK TO THE NEW TESTAMENT PLAN AGAIN & NOT BE SO COMPLETELY OUT OF FELLOWSHIP, out of leadership & out of organisation that we're just like a bunch of dumb sheep drifting around the World hardly knowing where we're going, just as the wind bloweth where it listeth, being led of the Spirit & the Letters as best we can, with very little synchronisation or very little cooperation or very little organisation of our moves or plans or projects or printing or pioneering or anything!
108. WE NOW NEED TO GET IT TOGETHER! Maybe that would be a good title for this Letter, "Let's Get It Together!" We really need to get together more now. We have become strong now again in the Spirit & in the Letters, the right spirit, the right leadership, going the right direction doing things the right way according to the Letters & my leadership under the Lord.
109. I THINK NOW IT'S TIME THAT WE SHOULD HAVE SOME GOOD LOCAL LEADERS who have developed outside the Chain-Saul & not all cut up by the cruel teeth of the Chain, but free of that terrible tyranny & its horrible extortion‚ & free of their training & leadership! We still have a few of those old Chain–Saul bottles hanging around, but we've tried to break'm up so that maybe they can then pick up the pieces & try again, & we have reclaimed quite a few of those old Chain-Saul members.
110. WE'VE RECLAIMED A FEW OF THE TEETH & FILED OFF A LITTLE BIT OF THE SHARPNESS & put'm back into operation again‚ not as a chain-saw to chop up the people & devour the people & their income, but as servants of the people‚ as individual helpers & Home Servants & even a few KQLs left, the King's & Queen's Local Lim Servants, so that we have been developing a whole new generation of leaders.
111. THE RNR OCCURRED THE FIRST OF 1978, SO NOW YOU'VE HAD NEARLY 3 1/2 YEARS OF PURGING! Almost every great political & revolutionary movement, even the Communists, have a purging now & then, governments have purgings, purges. We had a real purge at the time of the RNR to purge & flush out some of that horrible leadership that we had then‚ & its damaging influence & a lot of its badly-trained leaders & disciples, three-and-a-half years was the length of Christ's ministry, if you want a Scriptural example for it! Hallelujah! You've had three-&-a-half years of direct leadership from the top‚ of me in person, so to speak, by the Letters only.
112. NOW IT'S TIME FOR OUR DAY OF PENTECOST! Who knows? I may be leaving pretty soon & I'm going to only be able to lead you by my spirit, the Spirit of the Lord & the Letters, & you are going to have to get together in a tremendous effort & move toward united fellowship of one mind, one heart, one spirit‚ one body in one place of fellowship to get organised & get it together, a new Pentecost!
113. HAVE YOUR NEW DAY OF PENTECOST & HAVE YOUR NEW LEADERSHIP STAND UP! There might not be more than 11 left‚ like there was on the Day of Pentecost after Jesus was gone, but boy, I'll tell you, they started rollin', steamrollin' right away, & soon things got so heavy & the business so vast that the Apostles had to start appointing deacons to take care of it all & serve the meals while they did the spiritual shepherding. They got so numerous they took over the city & then the province & then the whole country‚ & finally the World!
114. SO IT'S TIME TO GET IT TOGETHER! IT'S TIME FOR A SECOND PENTECOST! Hallelujah? Praise God? Amen? Did I wake you up? Are you awake? Did you say amen? Praise God? Hallelujah? Are you ready for another Pentecost? Are you ready for another outpouring of power on a united church, a united disciples, a united Family, a strong united unified organised cooperative fellowshipping, working together fighting together Family! Are you ready for it? Hallelujah! GBY! I think we are!—It's time!
115. I THINK WE'VE HAD THREE-AND-A–HALF YEARS OF PURGING & THAT'S ENOUGH! I think you've had three-&–a-half years of nothing but my leadership through the Letters & almost no other leaders, & I think that's long enough, maybe it has been even too long! Maybe a lot have been lost by the way because of a lack of leadership & a shortage of Shepherds. So Lord help us now in Jesus' name to re–unite!
116. WE ASK THEE TO LEAD & GUIDE US & HELP OUR FAMILIES TO GET IT TOGETHER & to learn how to fellowship & learn how to strengthen each other, strengthen the brethren, hold each other up so that if one stumbles the other will lift him up. Help us now to feed each other & bear one another's burdens & share one another's cares & share each other's ideas & projects & promotions & printing & pioneering & cooperative efforts of all kinds & self-help of the needy & all the things that need to be done in cooperation & done together in unanimity by unanimous consent & cooperation & united effort & fellowship, etc.
117. LORD JESUS, HELP US TO PUT THIS ACROSS & HELP US EACH ONE TO GET THE BURDEN, to have the conviction that is of Thee, Lord, that we have gone too long not assembling ourselves together. Now it's time to fulfill & obey Thy commandment by Thy Apostle who knew how necessary it was, that we are not to neglect the assembling of ourselves together.
118. HELP US, LORD, IN JESUS' NAME TO GET BUSY NOW & GET IT TOGETHER‚ to start organising our local fellowship in local neighbourhoods even. Anywhere where there are even two Homes near enough to get together for Sunday Fellowship, they should start fellowshipping every Sunday together, or at least monthly.—Amen!
119. IF IT'S DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO FELLOWSHIP TOGETHER EVERY SUNDAY or you're too far apart in the city or the province, county or whatever, at least the local area Homes can get it together one Sunday a month, the first Sunday of each month in a Local Area Fellowship Meeting. And if not, at least in a once-a-Quarter, first Sunday of the Quarter Fellowship Meeting.
120. IF YOU'RE NUMEROUS ENOUGH TO DO BOTH‚ the Local Homes can meet together either every Sunday or the first Sunday of every month, & then the area-wide Homes, province-wide Homes‚ county-wide, State-wide, country-wide Homes can meet together perhaps at least the first Sunday of every Quarter month, or every six months, or on their New Year's Fellowship Sunday, the first Sunday of the New Year!
121. OR YOU CAN MEET TOGETHER ON OUR BIRTHDAY ANNIVERSARY DAY—which of course doesn't always fall on Sunday because I was born on Tuesday & it rarely ever falls on a Sunday—but perhaps you could choose the Sunday just before February 18th & make that your Happy Birthday Dear Family celebration as well as your yearly meeting of the whole country, area, continent‚ State, province or whatever's possible, depending on the numerousness of the Homes, the distances & what the local Homes decide to do. Praise God! Hallelujah!
122. ALL RIGHT, YOU READY? LET'S GO! HERE WE GO! First thing you've got to do is, "Where any two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them. If any two of you shall agree touching anything you ask of the Father in My name, I will give it." (Mt.18:19,20.) So you 2 or 3 Homes that are closest to each other‚ why don't you decide to get together every Sunday for your Fellowship Meeting & alternate Homes. Meet one Sunday in your Home & one Sunday in their Home etc. if you can.
123. THERE IS A LOT OF FLEXIBILITY IN HOW TO DO THIS. But you get together & you decide on how to do it, what is possible & what's not, & what's convenient & what's not, what's the best thing to do & what is not. I'm just giving you a little general rundown summary of what I've been saying now, how to do it explicitly & from the ground up.
124. YOU 2 OR 3 HOMES THAT ARE NEAREST EACH OTHER START MEETING TOGETHER EVERY SUNDAY IF POSSIBLE, all the Homes that are closest to each other. Start having at least a Local–Homes Sunday Fellowship Meeting every Sunday. I think that would be very good. Not just one little local Family meeting & just one little local Home of just that Family that lives there—unless you're so many hundreds of miles away from others that there's no other Family you could possibly fellowship with every Sunday.
125. I WOULD SAY THAT IF YOU'RE WITHIN AT LEAST A FEW MILES OF EACH OTHER, WITHIN AN HOUR OR TWO TRAVELLING DISTANCE EVEN, that it shouldn't be too difficult for you to be a Sunday driver & get out there on the Sunday highway like everybody else & take a Sunday outing & drive a couple hours if you have to go to somebody else's Home to have fellowship with them that Sunday.—And for them to drive to your Home & have fellowship with you next Sunday.—Unless you're so short of gas & so short of money maybe they have to help you do it.
126. I'D SAY THAT IF YOU'RE AT LEAST WITHIN AN HOUR OR TWO OF EACH OTHER, YOU CERTAINLY OUGHT TO GET TOGETHER EVERY SUNDAY. That's not too hard for a Sunday drive, a nice outing for the family & the kids. Maybe the poor wife hasn't been out of the house all week & she'd like to see a change of scenery. You get out & get around more than she does maybe, & she doesn't really get much chance to get out.
127. MAYBE SHE'D LIKE TO GET OUT & SEE SOME NEW WORLDS TO CONQUER! And there'll not only be new Worlds to conquer, as Michael sings, but there are new Worlds to conquer right now! Your World‚ your local part of the World, & we're going to do it! We're gonna conquer it now! Praise God!
128. I WANT YOU TO GET TOGETHER NEXT SUNDAY, FROM THE MOMENT YOU RECEIVE THIS LETTER! I want you to phone up that other Home or get word to them somehow as quick as you can. If neither of you has got a telephone & you're miles apart & you've got to write them a letter—or pay'm a visit! Do have a visit! Go over & have a little fellowship on Sunday! Drop in on'm by surprise!—If you've got no way of notifying them or warning them in advance‚ then say, "Well, we just got kind of lonesome & we just decided to come over." Or,
129. "WE JUST GOT THIS LETTER FROM DAD, I guess you read it in the Magazine too, & we decided to come over & have a little fellowship with you. We didn't hear from you‚ we thought maybe you couldn't get in touch with us, & we came over!" I hope you don't cross each other's paths on the way & each one wind up at the other's Home & find nobody home!
130. SO YOU'D BETTER TRY TO GET IN TOUCH WITH EACH OTHER FIRST so you don't make that mistake, & agree together to meet in one Home or the other, those two Homes or three Homes, whatever Homes are closest together within an hour or two drive. I'd say that's reasonable.
131. ANY HOMES THAT ARE WITHIN AT LEAST AN HOUR OR TWO DRIVE ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON, should be able to hop in their car Sunday afternoon after a good sleep-in, maybe right after lunch so you won't be a burden on the other family for lunch. Set your time for your Fellowship Meeting at about three o'clock, mid–afternoon. That'll give you time to eat lunch & drive an hour or two to the other Home or Homes & drop in on them for a wonderful afternoon of fellowship which can end with a kind of picnic supper: Come to dinner, you bring the dinner! Everybody brings a different dish.
132. WE USED TO HAVE WHAT THEY CALLED "POT LUCK SUPPER"! It meant that everybody brought whatever they wanted to bring to the supper—a salad or pie or a meat dish or a potato dish or something. Those pot luck suppers were really quite a surprise supper we had about once a month at our church for fellowship when we would have kind of an outdoor picnic together as a church & family with all the kids, & have fun & fellowship outside the church somewhere.
133. IT WAS A FUNNY THING HOW MANY DIFFERENT DISHES WERE BROUGHT TO THAT MEETING! We didn't get all salads or all meat—in fact, the meat dishes sometimes were a bit scarce because they're more expensive—& we didn't get all pies, but we got a pretty fair variety of food at those pot luck suppers. Nobody knew what anybody else was bringing unless they happened to get in touch with each other.
134. WELL, ONCE IN AWHILE WE DECIDED A WIFE WOULD PHONE AROUND & ASK EACH ONE WHAT THEY WANTED TO BRING & they would give her an idea. And by the time she got done phoning all the different wives she had a pretty good idea what was coming‚ & if there were too many salads she would phone back & suggest maybe they could fix potatoes or a vegetable instead or something like that. Or if we had too many pies & cakes she'd phone back & ask them couldn't they bring maybe something that didn't cost anymore but maybe something cooked or something in the way of a different variety. Well, you can do it any way you want to, there's just a few practical suggestions.
135. BUT I SUGGEST THAT BEFORE NEXT SUNDAY YOU TRY TO GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR NEAREST HOME & arrange to have a Sunday Fellowship Meeting together‚ probably three o'clock in the afternoon. We always found that was the easiest time for us throughout our history of Schools & Colonies & Camps etc., because then it gave even those friends & outside kings & fish & visitors that went to church on Sunday morning a chance to go home & have their own private family dinner at Sunday noon or shortly thereafter, & at least then by either one or two they had time to drive an hour or two to our Family Fellowship Meeting at three, which began with mostly music & songs & dances & testimonies.
136. MY GOODNESS, THIS IS REALLY GETTING LONG, PTL! But it's important! This is going to be a turning point, a milestone, a classic in our Worldwide Family organisation, & methods & procedures!—I think it's very necessary, don't you?
137. WELL, EVEN IF YOUR DISTANT FRIENDS & RELATIVES & FISH & KINGS & CONTACTS OR OTHER HOMES FIND IT DIFFICULT TO GET THERE BY THREE, if they get there by four they've only missed the music etc. They miss some of the fun but they get there for the meat: the Bible Study‚ class, special speakers‚ special movie, special slide show, special video‚ special missionary visiting, roving ambassador, VS, Area Shepherd or whatever. And as I say, everybody bring a little food with'm.
138. IF YOU'VE GOT A BIG ENOUGH PLACE TO MEET that has a big enough house to have you meet in their living room, fine. But don't try to crowd in too many people in a small living room, especially in a hot country where it's very difficult & everybody gets groggy & sleepy & out of oxygen & there's hardly any room for anybody to sit on the floor—try the yard or patio.
139. TRY TO HAVE IT IN A COMMODIOUS ENOUGH PLACE THAT EVERYBODY'S COMFORTABLE‚ everybody has a seat or a chair if possible, even if you have to go to the local mortuary & borrow a bunch of chairs or rent'm or go down & get some canvas stools or something to have something for everybody to sit on, or pillows at least! That old floor can get pretty hard after an hour or two or three—& that's about how long those meetings usually last!
140. YOU'VE GOT THREE TO SIX O'CLOCK TIME FOR MEETING: First hour music & all kinds of special things, praise & prayer etc., & then the next hour for all kinds of testimonies, special speakers & whatnot, & sometimes that usually runs into about two hours with your pictures & videos & all the rest. But finally wind up at dinnertime about six.
141. HAVE A SET TIME WHEN YOU'VE GOT TO CUT IF OFF. These interminable endless unending meetings get really tiresome for some of the poor hardworking folks & mothers & children especially. I think it's just cruelty to poor dumb animals to carry on & on & on for hours & hours non–stop without any chance to rest or stop or get out of it. And yet they feel like if they leave the meeting they're disloyal or some kind of a backslider or something!
142. I SUGGEST THOSE SUNDAY FELLOWSHIP MEETINGS SHOULDN'T BE MORE THAN TWO OR THREE HOURS IN LENGTH in the afternoon, from some time between three & six when people have time to get there from afar after their dinner. Then we used to always feed the folks there or they brought food or money or something so that we could all eat together, either outside or inside depending on the country & the climatic conditions & the facilities. And be sure there's just plenty of room for the size congregation you're gonna have‚ the size meeting you're going to have, the number of people you're going to have‚ & be sure there's plenty to eat! Praise God!
143. AND THEN AFTER YOUR FELLOWSHIP DINNER & EVERYTHING, YOU DON'T WANT THEM GETTING HOME TOO LATE & so long after dark that the drunks are careening the highways & it's dangerous & they get to bed too late & the kids have to get up to go to school in the morning or the husband to work all worn out!
144. SO I SUGGEST YOU TRY TO CLOSE YOUR MEETING AT THE END OF THE DINNER so that people who don't necessarily want to stay for dinner & want to get an early start home, can leave after the late afternoon hours about suppertime. They can either go, they don't have to stay for dinner, or they can stay for dinner & continue to fellowship, those that want to do so voluntarily as long as they want to.
145. I NOTICE DEAR FAITHY HAS A SPECIAL LITTLE GIMMICK that she says: "Now all of you who'd like to stay & see the video after supper‚ you're welcome to stay"—& of course everybody wants to see it so everybody stays! Well, that's pretty tough irresistible bait & almost taking advantage of you poor people.
146. I SUGGEST YOU HAVE EVERYTHING TOGETHER IN THE AFTERNOON, get it over with & dismiss for dinner. Have a good dinner & say goodnight & everybody get home early in plenty of time for a good night's rest or their favourite TV show or a Bible Study with the children.
147. EARLY TO BED, EARLY TO RISE, MAKES A MAN HEALTHY, WEALTHY & WISE, THEY SAY. I don't know, because I never tried it! I never get to bed early till about three or four o'clock in the morning, therefore I have to sleep in in the mornings! But that's just my quiet time & when I get a lot of inspiration, PTL!—And watch a lot of your videos too, TYL!
148. BUT ANYWAY, THAT'S A SUGGESTION THAT THAT'S HOW YOU SHOULD GET TOGETHER ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON. Start with the first of your two or three Homes, as many of them locally as you can get together weekly, every Sunday afternoon, each time in a different Home. I think that's very good. If you're close enough for two or three or more Homes to get together every Sunday afternoon, then I think you should.
149. IF YOU'RE TOO FAR FROM EACH OTHER & IT'S TOO DIFFICULT, then I suggest you get together all of that area at least once a month, the first Sunday of every month. And those areas where you're really scattered & really hundreds of miles apart, perhaps you could make it just once every Quarter, the first Sunday of every Quarter.
150. ALL RIGHT, NOW I'VE TOLD YOU A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT TO DO, fun & fellowship & the meetings & dinner & movies & all the rest, & at this first Local Fellowship Meeting I want you to get together those two or three homes—whether they be only two homes or a half-a-dozen—& I want you to have an Executive Action Committee Meeting, a Board Meeting—I don't like to call it Board Meeting, sometimes you get too bored at those Board Meetings—but an Action Committee with all of the elected Local Home delegates meeting together.
151. FIRST BEFORE YOU LEAVE HOME YOU'VE GOT TO DECIDE ON WHO IS GOING TO BE YOUR REPRESENTATIVE, YOUR DELEGATES: Either you Home Shepherd or Shepherds‚ male or male & female or female or whatever it is, at least one delegate from each Home. Of course, preferably the Home mother & father if possible. And come together as a special separate meeting sometime during that Fellowship Day, you Delegates.
152. PERHAPS YOU COULD HAVE YOUR COMMITTEE MEETING DURING ONE OF THE RECESSES, if there is a recess, & maybe you ought to have a recess after about an hour or an-hour–&–a-half! Maybe you should declare a half-an–hour or one-hour recess so people will have at least a chance to go to the toilet‚ & have your Committee Meeting, so that your plans, programs, nominees, projects, proposals & promotions can be brought together afterward before the whole Family for their approval at the second half of your afternoon Fellowship Meeting.
153. I SUGGEST YOU HAVE GOOD HOT ONE-TO-ONE-&–A-HALF-HOUR FAMILY MEETING, & then have a Committee Meeting while the rest of the Family just relaxes & fellowships or takes a nap or goes to the toilet or plays ball! Maybe you can have a special Children's Meeting during that time too for the childcare workers while mothers have a meeting. Have a Children's Meeting & a Mother's Meeting while then the men or the leaders or the delegates have their Action Committee Meeting.
154. AT THAT COMMITTEE MEETING YOU SHOULD NOMINATE AT LEAST THREE PROSPECTIVE AREA SHEPHERDS. From now on the leaders of each Home are going to be called Home shepherds, local fold Shepherds, & then the leaders of two or more Homes are going to be called Local Area Shepherds. At that first meeting you should have your Committee Meeting & nominate at least two or three different nominations for the Local Area Shepherd of two or more Homes.
155. NOMINATE AND SELECT THOSE NOMINEES, so when you get back together as a Family as a whole, announce to the whole Family the two or three nominations that have been made of suggested Area Shepherds, & have each adult member of 12 years of age & over vote by secret ballot on scraps of paper, just scribble in the name of the one that they prefer. Secret ballot so nobody will be pressured by social pressure into voting for this one or that one or have a special following or fan club. 12 years of age & over we consider adults & able to vote & have full membership in our Family—adults!
156. YOU SHOULD VOTE BY SECRET BALLOT FOR THE LOCAL AREA SHEPHERD. We'll call it the Local Area Shepherd for lack of a better name‚ the let's hope it's not an alas alas, but a nice lass or laddie, one or the other, & not a mere ASS!
157. IF NO CANDIDATE GETS A MAJORITY OF ALL OF THE QUALIFIED VOTES, more than half of the possible votes of all of-age members of the united families who are meeting at this united meeting, then I suggest you have a run-off vote between the two top candidates who got the most votes‚ a plurality of votes, & decide between those. And whichever one of those candidates wins a majority of total votes then will be your Area Shepherd. I presume you understand what I mean.
158. LET'S SAY THERE ARE 20 MEMBERS & THERE ARE THREE CANDIDATES, so you have to have a majority of at least eleven if there are 20 voting members. You have to have a majority of at least eleven against nine to select by a majority vote your Area Shepherd. I suggest then that if not one of the candidates gets 11 votes—let's say one of them gets ten & another one gets six, another one gets four—then have the two who got ten & six have a vote between them, everybody voting again & voting for the majority to see which of the two gets a majority vote.
159. YOU CAN DECIDE IF YOU WANT TO WHETHER THEY SHOULD BE VOTED BY A MAJORITY OR BY A TWO-THIRDS MAJORITY OR A THREE-QUARTERS MAJORITY. It's pretty hard sometimes to get a unanimous vote, but of course in the long run it would be nice to make it unanimous, to all agree that that was a good choice. But anyhow‚ vote!
160. NOMINATE AT THE COMMITTEE MEETING AT LEAST TWO OR THREE NOMINEES, possible selections—if you can't think of more than one, OK, just one—& bring it before the united families at the United Area Fellowship Meeting that same day, & ask them to vote on this nominee or these nominees until somebody gets the majority or unanimous or whatever. And that man or woman or couple are then to be your Local Area Shepherds of those Homes who met together & chose him or her or them to lead & watch over them.
161. IN NOMINATING CANDIDATES EACH HOME ACTUALLY SHOULD HAVE A CHOICE at the Action Committee Meeting, even if they send a couple as their delegates or more. But you won't usually run into this problem until you get to larger meetings with more people. At the Local Home meeting, each 12–year-old member or above should be able to vote in the Local Home. Then in the Local Area meeting of several Homes‚ it should be again all members however many there are. In larger Areas it may be according to Delegates, because they may represent all the adult members of distant Homes, all of whose members may be unable to attend, or can bring their block votes by numbers, as in a Corporation Shareholders' Meeting.
162. THEN HAVING ESTABLISHED A LOCAL AREA FELLOWSHIP‚ also having discussed in Committee Meeting how often you're going to meet & where, bring that before the whole Family at the closing Meeting Session after your Action Committee Meeting during the recess of the Family, while the women are having a meeting & the children are having a meeting, etc.‚ & you men or men & women are having your Area Delegates Committee Meeting.
163. NOT ONLY BRING FORWARD & SELECT AN AREA SHEPHERD, BUT SELECT AN AREA MEETING TIME & PLACE. Preferably if possible, if you could all meet together every Sunday, fine. If not, decide on at least a once-a-month, first Sunday of the month meeting. And if you can't even do that, then decide on a first Sunday of the Quarter meeting when you all meet together, all the families, all the Homes, everybody that can.
164. NOW IN CASES WHERE THERE ARE GREAT DISTANCES TO BE COVERED & perhaps whole families can't come they may only send one or two Delegates to the meeting, the Family Shepherds, or even Mama have to stay home & take care of the kids while Papa goes. If it's a great distance & it's expensive & you have to go by maybe train or bus or otherwise, then you might not be able to all of you attend, you'll just have to send Delegates to a very large Area Meeting.
165. OF COURSE, IF THERE ARE FAMILIES WHO CAN AFFORD IT & have cars & they can all drive in together, all the better! Everybody should attend who can. But at least in those very much larger Area Meetings where you perhaps have to travel hundreds of miles or more, at least have a Delegate from each Home come if possible, & maybe some of the rest of you can help them a little bit on their fare or their expenses or their gasoline if they have to come an especially long ways & it's particularly difficult for them.
166. TRY TO MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR THEM TO COME‚ GIVE THEM A LITTLE EXTRA HELP, those of you who didn't have to come so far & it didn't cost you so much. You should be able to share with them, take up a little offering for them who come from afar or give them a little gift in the hand to help them. Take up an offering for those who come from the greatest distance, etc. Of course if they're rich Homes that can afford it, you don't have to help them.
167. AS YOU'RE ORGANISING THESE FIRST LOCAL AREAS, in the more numerous Local Areas where there are a number of Homes‚ quite a few people, you might even want to have several different Area Officers. You may not only need an Area Shepherd, you may want to elect a businessman who's good at business & money & banking to be your Area Treasurer to handle your area finances, special Area Fund for pioneering or printing or the needy etc.‚ things which require a united effort & united support.
168. IN THE MORE NUMEROUS AREAS WHERE THERE ARE MANY HOMES & LOTS OF MEMBERS & you may need more personnel, officership to help to guide the Area & communicate etc., you may even have to also elect an Area Secretary for correspondence with the various Homes etc., & to take care of the writing of letters or notices & various secretarial work, keeping the minutes of the meetings & the business meetings & what went on each time, a log of each business session, committee session & all of it.
169. SOMEONE PERHAPS SHOULD BE SELECTED AS THE AREA SECRETARY, preferably somebody who can write shorthand & jot down quickly things that are going on in a meeting, as well as type letters etc. for the Area. It's not really a Local Area unless you've got at least two Homes & if you've only got two or three Homes you don't really need that much personnel & perhaps the Area Shepherd can handle it all—he can be the Shepherd, Treasurer & Secretary, or his wife, & take care of all three jobs.—But,
170. IN EXTREMELY POPULOUS AREAS WHERE THERE ARE SCORES OF HOMES IN A SMALL AREA & HUNDREDS OF MEMBERS, you may find you even need more officers than that. You may need a number of Committees & Secretaries to handle the various things, like a Meeting Committee to decide on the times & places of meetings & who's in charge & who's responsible for the food & the entertainment & the inspiration & the music & all that sort of thing, the Program Committee.
171. THEN YOU MAY HAVE TO HAVE A COMMITTEE WHICH IS IN CHARGE OF PRINTING & ITS NEEDS, & pioneering & its needs‚ pioneering new areas, various special projects etc. You may have several different committees to handle these various projects & various jobs in an extremely numerous Area where there are many Homes & many many members.
172. BUT DON'T TRY TO CHANGE THE WHOLE WORLD AT ONCE! Start with your Home & the folks next door‚ the nearest Home, the Home nearest to you. Select your Shepherd, which one you think is best qualified to sort of chair your meetings & guide your inspiration & act as your local shepherd & leader, even if there's just two Homes. You can decide on which one has the most qualified leadership for guiding the other one, or alternate.
173. I WANT THIS DONE IN EVERY AREA. You know your Areas best & how close you are. Maybe some of you leaders might want to get together beforehand, even before your meeting‚ etc., & discuss it & decide on where to have the first meeting & what Homes are to participate & which areas, etc.
174. FINALLY, AFTER LOCAL AREAS HAVE CHOSEN THEIR LOCAL AREA SHEPHERDS this is sort of akin to what we used to call our Local Districts, I believe. It's a very local District where they're not far from each other & where two or three or more Homes can meet every Sunday. I would call that the basic building block of the area, a Local Area, very local, for the immediate locality.
175. WHERE TWO OR MORE HOMES MEET TOGETHER EVERY SUNDAY, THAT CAN BE ESTABLISHED AS THE LOCAL AREA FELLOWSHIP & should have a Local Area Shepherd, an LAS. A Local Area Fellowship, an LAF. Maybe it'll be a laugh sometimes as you get started, but it can get pretty serious as you go on. And if you call it the Local Area Fellowship Meeting you can really LAFM off sometimes so you don't take yourself too seriously but enjoy it, praise God! I would call that the Local Area Fellowship Meeting.
176. THEN, THE NEXT BUILDING BLOCK IN THIS FAMILY FELLOWSHIP OF MEETINGS & ASSOCIATIONS, I would say when two or more Local Area Fellowships decide they want to get together perhaps at least once a Month or once a Quarter, when two or more LAFs want to get together for not just a LAFM but for a District Area Fellowship Meeting, then you can DAFM!—They may be a little daft sometimes‚ but they should be lots of fun & fellowship & you should get a lot accomplished & better work done together.
177. WHEN TWO OR MORE LOCAL AREA FELLOWSHIPS, TWO OR MORE LAFS, DECIDE THEY WANT TO GET TOGETHER for a United Meeting at least once a month, the first Sunday of every month, then that should be called a District Area Fellowship Meeting, a DAFM—a District Area Fellowship Meeting, DAFM! When two or more LAFs want to get together it's a DFAM! Hallelujah! Praise God!
178. WE'RE KIND OF CRAZY & SCREWY, AREN'T WE?—And sometimes I guess you figure I'm a real laugh, but at least it helps you remember, doesn't it? When two or more LAFs want to get together in a DAFM, well then DAFM & have a DAFM, a District Area Fellowship Meeting of two or more, LAFs at least once a month on the first Sunday of each month or Quarter.
179. I WOULD SAY IT WOULD BE WELL TO TRY TO PERHAPS LIMIT THESE LOCAL FELLOWSHIPS TO ABOUT TWO OR THREE HOMES or not too many more so you don't get the house too crowded every Sunday. The LAFs could consist of two or three, maybe four Homes, something like that. Or if you've got big enough houses in the area, more‚ five or six, as many as is convenient.
180. BUT THEN THE DAFs SHOULD CONSIST OF SEVERAL LAFs & meet in a large enough Home that at least if not all the people, at least the official Delegates from each Home will have enough room to meet & talk & visit & eat & carry on the Lord's work & your committee meeting & your programs & your plans & projects & printing agreements & pioneering efforts & all the rest.
181. FIRST THE LOCAL AREA FELLOWSHIP MEETING, LAFM, that's two or more Homes meeting together regularly every Sunday. Next, the District Area Fellowship Meeting, the DAFM, that is two or more LAFs meeting together on the first Sunday of every month if possible. If not possible, at least the first Sunday of every Quarter if you're really scattered. But I would say on the general plan the DAFs should meet together at least the first Sunday of every month.
182. FIRST THERE'S THE LOCAL AREA FELLOWSHIP, THEN THE DISTRICT AREA FELLOWSHIP‚ THEN WE COULD CALL IT THE GREATER AREA FELLOWSHIP consisting of two or more DAFs, & that'll be the Greater Area Fellowship Meeting, the GAFM! First you LAFM, then you DAFM, & finally you GAFM! Sounds like fishing, doesn't it? Praise God! Hallelujah! LAFM, DAFM & GAFM! This is the way we're gonna Fellowship'm! PTL! A LAFM consists of two or more Homes meeting every Sunday. A DAFM consists of two or more LAFs meeting once a month. And a GAFM consists of two or more DAFs meeting at least once a quarter.
183. WE ABANDONED THE CHAIN THREE-&-A–HALF YEARS AGO, BUT NOW WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO GET IT TOGETHER so we can have a little more united action, a little more fellowship, a little more unity‚ a little more power & cooperation & organisation & synchronisation for united action! Praise God! Hallelujah! Amen? Do you like this idea? Are you enjoying this? Well, you need it, like it or not!—And GHU, we're gonna have more Fellowship & united action & cooperation!
184. OK, WE'VE HAD THE LAFM, that's two or more Homes meeting every Sunday, the Local Area Fellowship Meeting. We've got the DAFM‚ that's two or more LAFs meeting together once a month, first Sunday of every month, the District Area Fellowship Meeting. Then there's the GAFM, the Greater Area Fellowship Meeting consisting of two or more DAFs meeting together at least the first Sunday of every quarter.
185. AND FINALLY NOW THE NATIONAL OR LANGUAGE AREA FELLOWSHIP MEETINGS on a larger scale such as national or nationwide at least once a year. Now in Europe where there's some very small countries & the distances are short, you might want to have a yearly Scandinavian Area Fellowship Meeting, that'll be a SAFM! You might want to have a Germanic Area Fellowship Meeting—since that begins with a G & so does Deutsch begin with a D, you might have to name it something else—but where you have people in several different countries speaking German as in Germany & Switzerland & Austria.
186. WELL, ACCORDING TO TONGUES‚ WE COULD CALL IT A TAFM! It would be a tongue Area Fellowship Meeting, so for lack of a better term for the moment I'll just call it a TAFM or NAFM. This will be a National Meeting which will meet at least once a year on the first Sunday of the year, God willing, & it should be even a weekend–long meeting or perhaps even a week-long meeting, your National Convention or your Language Areawide Convention.
187. IT SHOULD PLAN TO BE SUCH A LARGE MEETING & people coming from such long distances that they don't want to just stay for an afternoon, but be prepared to stay for at least a three-day weekend, or even a week. Which reminds me that in your GAFMs also‚ your delegates may be coming from such great distances that they won't want to just come for an afternoon or a day, but at least a two or three-day weekend. That's your Greater Area Fellowship Meeting consisting of two DAFs & a number of LAFs! We're real funny on this one‚ not so serious as Bishops & Archbishops & all that sort of thing!
188. AT EACH OF THESE SUCCESSIVE LEVELS, BY THE WAY, SUCCESSIVE STEPS, you'll not only have a Local Area Fellowship Shepherd who LAFS a lot—the LAFS, the Local Area Fellowship Shepherd of two Homes or more meeting weekly, Sunday—but at your DAFM or District Area Fellowship Meeting, you should choose a District Area Fellowship Shepherd‚ a DAFS, who will be the overseer of the other two Local Area Shepherds, of two or more. He's not to be a dictator, he's not to be a tyrant, he's not to be an extortionist, he's just to be a sort of a friendly counsellor & guide to sort of counsel with & to fellowship with & ask for guidance & leadership for your general District Area.
189. THEN AT THE GAFM‚ THE GREATER AREA FELLOWSHIP MEETING, THERE SHOULD BE A GREATER AREA FELLOWSHIP SHEPHERD CHOSEN who will be over the GAF‚ the Greater Area Fellowship of two or more DAFs. At each successive step then you will choose, & your Family Meetings will choose, your Area Meetings will choose their particular Shepherds for that particular area—either Local Area, District Area, Greater Area or National or Language Area: LAFS, DAFs, GAFS & NAFS.
190. AND WHO KNOWS, THE DAY MAY COME WHEN WE'LL EVEN HAVE A WORLD CONVENTION‚ A WORLD AREA FELLOWSHIP MEETING, A WAFM!—And that's probably going to be pretty close to when the Lord is going to come & waf'm all up to glory, waft'm up to the Heavenlies to be with Jesus in the Resurrection & the Rapture! That may be our World Area Fellowship Meeting then!—In Heaven!
191. BUT IF WE GET TO THE POINT WHERE WE CAN SOME DAY, all of the National or Language Area Fellowship Areas can afford to send at least one delegate each to a World Conference, a World Convention—which shouldn't be too difficult if we get that far—then we can have a World Convention of delegates at least from the National Area Fellowships, the NAFMs‚ which are two or more GAFMs, which we called TAFMs: Tongue Area Fellowship Meetings.
192. THEY CAN EITHER BE NAFMs OR TAFMs DEPENDING ON WHETHER IT'S BY TONGUE OR BY NATION. They will be the ones that are above the GAFMs, the Greater Area Fellowship which are composed of two or more DAFMs, District Area Fellowships, which are composed of two or more LAFMs, which are Local Area Fellowships, two or more Homes. Get it? That's the stair-steps of the ladder of the successive levels of fellowships & their Shepherds.
193. THESE ARE NOT A DICTATORIAL CHAIN-OF–COMMAND OF TYRANNY OR EXTORTION, but simply a matter of sweet & lovely voluntary Family Fellowship where we enjoy each other for a short time—the local ones every Sunday‚ the District ones every month, the Greater Areas every quarter, & the National or Tongue & Lingual Areas every year. Then we may get around to a World Convention every three years, or representatives from each NAFM, National Area Fellowship. God willing, we'll see.
194. BUT WE DO NEED A LITTLE MORE FELLOWSHIP, A LOT MORE FELLOWSHIP!—A little more organisation, a little more unity, cooperation, synchronisation of effort, a united promotion of projects of printing & pioneering & helping needy areas, needy churches‚ needy missionaries & all that sort of thing. PTL? Good idea? You like it? OK, let's try it, shall we?
195. LET'S HAVE YOU LOCAL HOMES START MEETING TOGETHER NEXT SUNDAY! I don't know how fast we're going to be able to get this Letter out to everybody because the next Magazine doesn't go to press until some time in May. But we hope the first Magazine of May, the 1st May issue, that you'll get this Letter on "Let's Get It Together!" So you can hardly have your first Local Area Fellowship Meetings sooner than sometime late in May, but I suggest you start them as soon as you get this word, as soon as you get the Magazine, the next Sunday!
196. YOU SHOULD HAVE LOCAL AREA FELLOWSHIPS ORGANISING NO LATER THAT JUNE 1ST, & sometime in June we should have District Area Fellowships meeting & organising & choosing Shepherds throughout the World! I would say June would be the deadline for that, if possible. Some of you will get the word in May & be able to start then, others won't get it until later & will not be able to even organise locally, Local Area Fellowship Meetings between two or more Homes weekly, until maybe sometime in June.
197. I WOULD SAY THE DEADLINE FOR ORGANISING LAFMs SHOULD BE NO LATER THAN THE 7TH OF JUNE—THE DAY OF PENTECOST! Hallelujah!—Amen? Once you Local Area Fellowship Meetings are rolling & you local Homes have gotten together, we should be able to somehow have communication through some office, perhaps your CRO will be the best office to write to or WIM or whatever area you report to, your Reporting Office.
198. WE SUGGEST THAT AS SOON AS YOU HAVE ORGANISED A LOCAL AREA FELLOWSHIP MEETING THAT YOU NOTIFY YOUR REPORTING OFFICE‚ whatever office it is that you report to. And if you don't know who your other Homes or LAFs nearby are, then you can always ask your Reporting Office if they have received any word of other LAFs being organised & who are they, who are they led by, where do they meet‚ what's their address, how can we get in touch with them so we can have a District Area Fellowship Meeting. This'll all work out in the wash‚ I'm sure, somehow, but if it comes to that, if you don't know who your neighbours are & what they're doing, then write your Reporting Office & ask them, they should have a report from them.
199. BECAUSE JUST AS SOON AS YOU HAVE ORGANISED A LOCAL AREA FELLOWSHIP, we want its Shepherd or Secretary or whoever to report in your next Monthly Report what your Area Fellowship is & what its name is. If it's Oshkosh Local Area Fellowship, OK, then it's the Oshkosh LAF & all the Homes in Oshkosh are meeting together. If it's Caracas Local Area Fellowship then it's the Caracas LAF. That ought to cheer you up with all these LAFs, Praise God! Hallelujah!—So you don't take yourselves too seriously‚ but do be sober in the serious business you have to do.
200. SO THE LAFs SHOULD ALL BE ORGANISED & MEETING TOGETHER & OPERATING AT THE LATEST BY THE 7TH OF JUNE. You should definitely start as soon as you can, don't wait till then‚ but whenever you get your LAFs organised, start getting together in your DAFs, District Area Fellowship. As soon as you have those meetings together & organised & decided on monthly meeting dates, preferably the first Sunday of every month, notify your local Homes & your Area Homes etc., but also please notify your Reporting Office along with your report that you have been chosen the Area Shepherd of that Local Area‚ District Area, Greater Area or whatever.
201. THE LOCAL AREAS SHOULD ALL BE FELLOWSHIPPING TOGETHER BY THE 7TH OF JUNE, the District Areas by the 1st of July, the Greater Areas by the 1st of October, & the National or Tongue Areas sometime about the first of next Year.—And maybe some of you will move even faster than that! Then certainly by the end of next year we should have enough of these Fellowships going & organised, fellowshipping & working together so that perhaps we will be able to choose delegates to even a World Area Conference or Convention or Fellowship by the first of 1983!—D.V.
202. THIS WOULD BE A VERY GOOD THING TO HAVE, I think‚ & a very wonderful thing to be able to get our heads & hearts together in one place with one spirit, one mind, one heart & one meeting or more & be able to discuss & share & pray & praise & plan for our Worldwide Work for the distribution of the Wonder Working Words! The World wide Work for distributing the Wonder Working Words. That'll be the WWWWWW! Hallelujah! Praise God? TYL!—Ha!—Make you stammer?
203. THE COMMUNISTS STARTED OFF WITH A BIG WORKER'S UNION CALLED THE WW‚ the Workers of the World Unite! We can start off with more W's than that!—The Wonder Working Words in a World Wide Work, PTL! The WWWWWW! I love you! Thank you for having patience with me & my crazy ideas, some of the funny things that come to my mind & some of these funny titles & names, but it helps you remember, doesn't it? You don't forget'm, I hope!
204. SO LET'S GET THE LAFs & THE DAFs & THE GAFs & THE NAFs OR TAFs ROLLING RIGHT UP TO THE WAFs by the end of 1982, God willing, so we can have a World Delegate Conference Meeting by the first of 1983, God willing, if we can. PTL! Hallelujah! TYJ! Doesn't that sound good? You like the idea? Amen, hallelujah? Praise God!
205. THIS IS GOING TO BE A MARRIAGE OF OUR FAMILY AROUND THE WORLD, a get together, "Let's Get It Together", let's all get married in body, mind & spirit & have a wonderful time together & much greater fellowship & much greater unity & much greater power‚ much greater cooperation for projects & promotions & pioneering & printing & distribution & all the rest! Praise God? Hallelujah? TYJ!
206. SO HERE'S TO YOUR GREATER FAMILY FELLOWSHIP, our World Family Fellowship, which we already have, thank the Lord, through the Magazine & the Letters & the Videos etc., but we want to have some in person, praise God? We want to see meat, for it is not meet that you neglect the assemblying of yourselves together! We want to see a little more meat, I mean, meetings of your meat! Praise God! Hallelujah? It could be an ambiguous double meaning in more ways than one, hallelujah! Most of our meetings are not only a meeting of the mind & hearts & spirits & souls, but also bodies, TYL! So hallelujah!
207. PRAISE GOD! DOES THAT SOUND GOOD? IT SOUNDS GOOD TO ME! I like the idea, I hope you like it too! And I want to see you get busy with it! I want to see those reports of the LAFs rolling in about the last of the month of May. And I want to see them all in by the 7th of June—Pentecost! The DAFs in July‚ the GAFs in October, the NAFs or TAFs in January etc. until we can finally have a WAF & WAFM, a World Area Fellowship Meeting of this whole area of this whole World by maybe the first of 1983! Amen? God willing! PTL! Hallelujah! TYJ!
208. LORD, THIS MAY SOUND FUNNY, FOOLISH & SILLY TO SOME with all the funny little names we call'm to help remember these simple little alphabetic names & alphabet soup, but Lord, it's nourishing & we need it, & we need the fellowship & we need the greater cooperation, unity, power‚ strength, organisation, synchronisation of effort of simple little things like printing & pioneering & problems, helping the missionaries etc., & maybe the funny names'll help keep us all humble, unlike the proud Chain-Saul of big titles!
209. SO WE ASK YOU IN JESUS' NAME TO HELP EACH ONE OF THEM TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY! It's not just a LAF, it's not just a DAFfy GAF, TAF, NAF, WAF, whatever, but those are simple little names to help designate the areas, & they're not intended to be funny but that's just the way it turned out. Hallelujah!
210. SO WE ASK THEE TO HELP THEM TO TAKE SERIOUSLY THIS NEW EFFORT AT FAMILY FELLOWSHIP AROUND THE WORLD & greater cooperation together, better leadership & supervision & counselling together‚ better guidance of Shepherds, each step or level selecting their own Shepherd for that particular group of Homes or Districts or Greater Areas as soon as possible.
211. WE ASK THEE IN JESUS' NAME, LORD‚ TO GIVE THEM WISDOM, to give them great soberness & seriousness of mind as they select very seriously their leadership who's best qualified, who's not just the most popular & the easiest going who will be the easiest on'm‚ but the one who really has the best spiritual leadership, best leadership qualifications who is already a leader & has already been proving himself to be a good Shepherd of his own Home & even helping other Homes, this man or woman or couple are worthy of being Area Shepherds of whatever size the Area.
212. WE ASK THEE IN JESUS' NAME TO HELP THEM MAKE WISE CHOICES, to nominate not foolishly or fools, but to nominate the serious & well-qualified wise leaders & Shepherds to lead their flocks & to get this done quickly & as soon as possible, Lord, so that we can have a Worldwide Fellowship which is closer & tighter & with more communication & cooperation & unified effort, synchronisation & a fighting front that will be strong & unified & working together, fighting together & planning together to reach the whole World with Thy precious Gospel of Love as quickly as we can before it's too late. We feel we have just a little time left, not much, so we need to do more to work together in order to do it. In Jesus' name we ask it for Thy glory. Amen.
213. LET'S GET IT TOGETHER, AMEN? GBY as you begin to fellowship more frequently & more closely & more cooperatively & more effectively. And please let us know about it as soon as you can. Will you let us know the effects, the results, the victories, the trials, the problems, the projects, the accomplishments & how it's working? PTL? And I want you to start from the bottom up‚ you Local Homes, & work your way up to those greater fellowships, each level selecting a new Shepherd for that particular level of fellowship, until we have your chosen leaders & representatives all harmonising!
214. WE'RE GOING TO TRY COMPLETE DEMOCRACY RIGHT FROM THE BOTTOM UP THIS TIME hoping that the old Chain methods have died out & the old Chain-Saul will have worn out & is long gone by this time & its teeth gone. I think I stripped the teeth out of it myself. When it tried to saw the Rod of Iron of my Word‚ it ripped its own teeth out, & the Word had stronger teeth & sank in deeper & got ahold of your hearts & minds so that we ripped you off from the rest of that House of Saul & the old Chain & got rid of them so that you could follow the Letters & your true Leader, the Lord. PTL? Hallelujah! TYJ! Amen.
215. THAT'S IT, TWO-&-A-HALF HOURS OF IT, IN FACT! I'll let you work out the details now. Go to it & see what you can do! Praise God? TYJ! Lord bless & help'm in Jesus' name! Amen.
216. WE'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO YOUR REPORTS OF YOUR NEW FAMILY AREA FELLOWSHIPS, YOUR FAFs, all of them, from the LAFs to the DAFs to the GAFs to the NAFs & TAFs & to when we can finally get a WAF rolling, praise God! Hallelujah? TYJ! Thanks for your time & patience & for listening, & most of all for obeying. Get out there now & get it together & go to work for Jesus unitedly!—In Jesus' name, amen!
217. I'M JUST A PROPHET, AS I SAY, I JUST CATCH THE BALL & THROW IT TO YOU, & now it's in your court & your baby & you guys gotta work it all out. I don't even care to get into the details. I want you fellows to throw it to them & let them work it out. This is all a purely voluntary association & fellowship now‚ & the local Homes are going to have to work it out themselves. We just want to know about it, we just want to hear the news about it, we want to hear your reports & how it's working, PTL!—Amen!—Let's go!
218. AND IN AREAS WHERE YOU HAVE FULL-FLEDGED CHURCHES OF LOVE EVERY SUNDAY THAT ARE GOING VERY WELL & it would be out of the question for your fish & friends who come over to go any long distance & go from house to house, & in some cases perhaps bad security & you wouldn't want them to meet the other Family members, you could decide to have the Fellowship Meetings on a Monday or perhaps a Saturday or some other day. Or you could change your Church of Love to another day or even an evening or Saturday afternoon.
219. SATURDAY AFTERNOON MIGHT BE A GOOD TIME FOR THE BIG FELLOWSHIP MEETING OF ALL HOMES, because most people are off & people are not working usually, children are home from school. These things are purely voluntary & should be adapted to your own particular situations & what you can do & what's best for you in your own situation & location. There will be no penalty for not doing this & no approbation & no excommunication‚ it's purely voluntary. You can do it if you want to & if you think it will work for you, & if you don't or can't, then you don't have to!—But,
220. WE NEED TO BALANCE BETWEEN THE TWO: THE NEED FOR SECURITY & THE NEED FOR FELLOWSHIP. I think that we're going to have to strike some kind of a happy medium & not go to one extreme or the other. We started at the one extreme of total public fellowship & wide publicity, & we went to the opposite extreme of no Family fellowship, isolated Homes & no publicity & total security. And now we have got to learn to have some kind of Family Fellowship‚ even at some slight risk of security. The urgent need of fellowship in some cases is more than the need for security.
121. I THINK THAT WE CAN HAVE FAMILY FELLOWSHIP IN SECURITY IF WE'RE WISE. We spent three-&-a-half years on security & now it's time to have a little fellowship! (Maria: And perhaps this might be a way of even improving their security by getting together & deciding what they can do as units to be more secure.)
222. THERE WERE ALWAYS JUDASES IN THE CHURCH, you'll never be able to get rid of all the Judases. There will always be spies & traitors & backsliders. We cannot hinder the Work of God & stop the progress of the machinery just for the sake of a few mutineers. The best thing to do is just chuck them overboard & keep on going if you find them‚ but not just stop the whole ship & never go anywhere or sail anywhere or reach any goals or harbours or havens just because you're afraid to let your crew know where you're going or what you're doing!