KEYWORDS: family, lord, people, foundation, board, tools

That Banana There!


n The Action Series!—Part 4

By PeterCM/FM 3313 11/00

Dear Family,

1. God bless you during this Christmas out­reach season! We trust that this year will surpass all past years in your witness of the truth of Christmas—the love of God made manifest in Jesus, and the gift of salvation made poss­ible through His giving His life for us.

2. This is our first "era of action" Christmas, and we believe the Lord will make it the best ever! Mama and I, and all of those in WS, are praying that the Lord will open doors for you this Christmas as never before. We pray that you'll be able to reach more with our won­der­ful tools, and that while doing so you'll be gathering names and addresses for the Activated follow-up program, as well as leading these precious people to the Lord.

3. You have a wonderful Christmas season ahead of you! And as a result of your sacrifices—your giving of your time, effort, and energy—many will come into the Kingdom, will get to know the Lord, and will live forever in thankfulness to you. God bless each one of you! You're true missionaries and good shepherds who lay down their lives for the sheep. You're a Family to be proud of, and we are tremendously proud of you!

How Are You Faring?

4. In our last Action Series GN (ML #3308, GN 908), the Lord gave the call for each of us, as individuals, and as Homes, to prepare for our upcoming ministry of following up on, teaching and training those we lead to the Lord. He extended a challenge to each of us, and it is our hope and prayer that you personally and collectively as a Home have begun to put into practice what the Lord clearly stated in the third Letter of this series. We hope that you have gotten "Activated," and that you're participating in the Activated program through getting subscriptions and pushing the Activated books and other materials. If you're in an area where Activated has not yet been translated into your language, we hope that you're nevertheless follow­ing up on and feeding those whom you lead to the Lord.

5. We hope that you're preparing to become a shepherd; that you're making choices to follow close and not afar off; that you're embracing the Word and applying it to your daily life; that you're taking responsibility for your spiritual life; that you're becoming your brother's keeper, shepherding one another in love and in prayer; that you're fighting the negative pulls in your life; and that you're showing yourself willing to be corrected when necessary. We hope that you're all praying daily that the Lord will bring His sheep in, and that you personally‚ your Home, and the Family as a whole will be faithful to obey the Lord's commission to feed the sheep. Those were the three main categories the Lord spoke about:

  1. Getting Activated!
  2. Getting ready to shepherd.
  3. Praying the sheep in.

6. How about it? Have you begun? If so, we know you're already feeling the good effects as you get prepared for all the wonderful action and change the Lord has ahead for us! So hang on to your hats! It's coming day by day. Praise the Lord!

The Unseen Foundation

7. Nearly 30 years ago‚ in the beginning days of the Family, Dad wrote a Letter called "So You Want to Be a Leader?" In it, he talked about "that banana there." You know the story. Dad said:

That's really the way it is with most things in life. That banana there. It just appears for the moment—here today and gone tomorrow—and all the hard work of the farmer behind it is invisible! The months or years of clearing‚ planning‚ plowing, planting, growing, fertilizing, pruning, harvesting‚ transporting‚ marketing—all of this is unseen behind that little banana! All we have to do is sit down here and stick it in our mouth—enjoy it momentarily, without even thinking about the hard work behind it.

Even so‚ behind every great creation, whether of God or man, there had to be worlds of work, planning, preparation, designing, invention, discovery, exploration, organization, and cooperation, in order to produce the finished product—the thing that's seen—which does not begin to reveal the vast unseen labor and the multitudes of laborers behind it (ML #31:12‚16).

8. This is what we want to talk with you about in this fourth Action Series GN—the behind-the-scenes planning, labor and activities that are being laid as the foundation for all that the Lord has ahead of us. This GN might get a little bit technical, and may even sound business­like in parts, but we want to explain these details so that you can be informed and understand what is being planned and prepared, and what has been worked on for some time already.

9. As the Lord begins the process of transforming the Family into the expanded church that He intends for it to be, He's redesigning our building of living stones. As He does, He wants to make sure the foundation is strong and prepared to support the new revitalized building that will sit upon it. Like most buildings, you don't see the foundation, but before the building can rise, the foundation has to be laid. It needs to be strong, stable, and able to hold the building.

Shifts in WS

10. Throughout this past year, we in WS have been working on a lot of the "behind the scenes foundation" type of work. We've been trying to make changes within WS‚ as well as plan for necessary and needed changes for the Family at large, so that we will be in a better position to make the major changes the Lord is asking us to make in our outreach, follow–up, and expansion. He's moving us all forward. He's challenging you on the personal and Home level to make the necessary changes in your lives—to get on board with Activated and the follow-up vision, to become the shepherds you need to be, and to pray for your personal follow-up‚ your Home's follow-up, and the follow-up of the overall Family. Meanwhile‚ the Lord has been challenging us in WS and in Family leader­ship to find ways to do more with less—to become more efficient and to prepare the groundwork for the structural changes that need to be made within the Family so that we will be better prepared for the new ministries He has for us all in the not too distant future.

11. As you know from the second Action Series GN, "Putting Skin on the Era of Action," the Lord has challenged World Services to change, to become more efficient and effective, and to supply better services to the Family. Over the past six months we've been working long and hard to make these things happen. We've begun to revamp the way that some of our publications are done. We've interchanged a great number of personnel between our WS units in order to help the work move along more efficiently. We've begun a major revamp of our communications system, so that our communications with you can now move much more quickly. We've streamlined the communications between WS and the various offices and Service Homes around the world, which has helped make communication relating to the work and business flow more smoothly and efficiently.

12. As you will remember from that GN, which outlined WS' commitment to excellence, we asked each member of WS to seek the Lord as to whether He wanted them to remain in WS or to move on to the field or some other ministry. Over the past six months‚ 16 adults moved to the field, some because their job came to an end, others because they wanted their children to be on the field, and some because the Lord showed them it was time for them to have a change from behind the scenes. We're very grate­­ful to all of those who have moved on for the many years of service that they have given to WS and to the Family. Each one has laid down his or her life for you, and we pray that they will be a blessing on the field and in their new ministries, as they were to us in WS.

13. Miraculously‚ so far the Lord has allowed us to keep up with the tremendous work­load—even with close to 20% less adult work­force within WS. (Some of those who have moved on were children.) It is taking us some time to fully restructure World Services, but we want to assure you that it's happening day by day. Like "that banana there," there's a lot of fertilizing, tilling, hoeing‚ etc., going on prior to the final product coming to fruition. So please pray for us and with us—that the Lord will continue to lead and guide and help us in our restructuring so that we can serve you even ­better. (Please also pray that WS can get more personnel to replace the people who've moved on. We need help urgently, and if you have the burden and the skills, please see our notice in Grapevine 98. Thanks!)

S2K and Further Tests of Faith

14. On the local Home fronts, the Lord has also been working. We've read, as you have in the Grapevine, the many exciting testimonies of things that are going on all around the world. The Family is exploding like never before! We won't get into the full detailed explanation of that in this GN, as there are some GNs in the works that will cover that in more detail.

15. The Family has continued to undergo the effects of the Shakeup‚ with a number of people still making their choices as to whether they should be Charter Members, Fellow Members, or former members. Besides each individual making his or her personal choice in regards to the S2K vision, the Family also had to make personal choices in regards to the attacks made over the past months by some disgruntled former members. A number of people who read or heard about the writings of these apostates had to choose whether to believe the dis­tortions and untruths or to carry on by faith, trusting the Lord and the Word that He has poured out to the Family, and the fruit of the Family.

16. A number of people have left the Family due to the writings of these detractors. While we are saddened that these people chose to move on, we see the hand of the Lord in it, as He used this material to test people's faith in the Family and to move those on who have ­chosen to no longer be part of us in spirit. It was certainly a case of the Lord using it, even if the Devil did bring it!

17. Throughout this year, the Lord has trimmed the Family back a bit overall. He's pruned our branches, and now we can expect an even greater harvest in the years to come because our tree is much more healthy, praise the Lord! Although it may look like there have been setbacks, the Lord is in fact thrusting us forward with greater inspiration, greater direction, and greater vision, as we move on to the greater future He has promised—a future of reaching and feeding the lost like never before!

18. In order to help everyone better understand where the Lord is leading us, Mama and I want to share with you some of the behind-the-scenes type of work that is going into "that banana" of our future. We're moving forward in obedience to the direction the Lord has given us in this era of action. In order to achieve this, a great deal of planning, preparation, logistics, business type of work, reorganizing‚ restructur­ing and revamping is needed. These are not things that can be done overnight, and in the complex world that we live in, these matters have required a great deal of prayer, counsel, time, and work.

19. There are four main areas that we want to talk with you about so that you can be brought up to speed on where things are heading:

  1. The Activated program.
  2. Aurora Productions.
  3. Family Missions Foundation.
  4. Restructuring of Family leadership.

The Activated Program

20. Let's start with the Activated program. As you know, at Summit '98 the Lord gave the vision for the Activated follow-up program when He told us to major on feeding and following up on His sheep. During the year prior to launching the Activated program, we in WS worked on developing the program‚ the Activated magazine, along with new GP booklets and books. During this time, we asked those over­seeing some of the CRO areas to begin setting up their Activated desks.

21. The Activated follow-up program is the spearhead of where the Lord is leading the Family. The part that the Activated desks play in this is providing the subscribers that you sign up with the Activated monthly magazine‚ as well as making a variety of new GP tools available to them. The part you play is in collecting subscriptions and then continuing to personally follow up on the sheep you meet.

22. Besides this‚ most Activated desks have now combined with the local Service Center and have made available to you the new GP books that have been created, as well as other tools such as the calendars‚ CD cards, and of course, the audio and video tapes that you distribute.

23. As another facet of their ministry‚ the Activated desks also provide the legal mech­anism for you to make commercial sales to companies. Some have a distributorship program whereby you make the contact with a company wishing to purchase a large amount of tools, and the Activated desk makes the sale to the company. You get most of the profits‚ and it relieves you of having to front the seed corn for the tools, and of handling the legal paperwork with the company, shipping the tools, etc. Some Activated desks are also pursuing commercial marketing themselves by attending book fairs, etc., in order to help support the Activated program.

24. In order to start a subscription service, to sell products to their subscribers‚ or venture into mass-marketing ventures, it has been necessary for each of the Activated desks to become a legal entity, set up in accordance with the laws of the country in which they reside. WS suggested that each area set up their specific desk in accordance with how they felt led to do so. In some areas, the desks were set up as standard companies, in others as nonprofit foundations, depending on the legalities in each country. Because each desk is its own legal entity, it is therefore legally responsible to make the decisions that affect it. This is different than we have done things in the past. Those who are responsible for each Activated desk are Family members who have dedicated themselves to making the Activated program work in their area. They've put their name on the dotted line and are legally responsible for these companies and/or nonprofit foundations.

25. Each Activated desk has had to jump through numerous hoops in order to get set up as a company, and we're very grateful for their willingness to do so. They aren't in it to make money. In fact, any funds that do come in to the nonprofit foundations can only be used toward the nonprofit purpose for which they are established, which in the case of Activated is to preach the Gospel and support missionaries.

26. The Activated program isn't paying for itself yet due to the low number of subscribers and the initial cost of setting up the program, so all income the desks get goes toward their expenses. Those involved with these companies have done a tre­mendous amount of work and have taken on a huge responsibility to be of service to you and to make it possible for the overall Family to participate in the Activated program and feed the sheep.

Aurora Productions

27. Besides each area setting up companies or foundations to handle the local Activated pro­grams, we had to make sure that all of the tools, the magazines, the booklets, the books, tapes, CDs, etc., had their legal paperwork in order. In order to achieve this, in late 1998 a new company called Aurora Productions was opened. Aurora Productions became holder of the tapes and videos previously copyrighted under the name "Aurora," as well as the Treasure Attic and Kiddie Viddie copyrights, and all the new GP books and tools produced since then. As such, it could then license these tools to the Activated desks and Service Centers.

28. Having Aurora, with its solid legal foundation, holding the copyrights, has made it poss­ible for the Activated program to move forward. Since the Activated desks are also corporate entities or foundations, they had to have legal permission to use the tools they are selling or offering subscriptions to, and the only way this is possible is for them to get permission from the copyright holder. Permission of this sort is usually granted in an agreement/contract called a "Licensing Agreement." Of course, for Aurora to be able to license the tools to the Activated desks‚ Service Centers and/or PPCs, who in turn make them available to the public and to you, it has been necessary to secure all copyrights of the Family's GP materials.

29. Since the beginning of the Family, the Lord has poured out abundantly through our musicians, songwriters, scriptwriters‚ and other talented and gifted Family members. Family members have written and produced thousands upon thousands of witnessing tools in the form of songs, videos, books, tracts‚ articles‚ artwork, etc. For years now, the vast majority of the Family's distribution has been informal, noncommercial‚ one-on-one distribution to individuals‚ and therefore it wasn't so necessary to have a legal entity actually hold the copyright for each tool other than "The Family" itself. However, in order to make it possible for Family Homes to pursue commercial distribution/mass marketing of the tools‚ potentially reaching a much wider audience with the message contained in our tools than ever before, as well as to establish a subscription-based magazine like Activated and companies which can offer the products to subscribers, it was necessary to secure these copyrights. An added benefit is that Aurora offers protection from our tools being used or pirated by others without permission, as has happened in the past.

30. For the last few years the Aurora team has been steadily working away at collecting and securing the rights for the Family of all such publications and products. It's been a pick and shovel job, going song by song, story by story, book by book, etc., contacting Family members around the world, as well as tracking down former Family members whose contributions are still used in reaching the world with our message. God bless the Aurora team, they have done an excellent job! Through their faithful labors, as well as the cooperation of our creative Family members, the copyrights to almost all of our GP materials suitable for commercial distribution are now secure. (Tracts, FARs, Reflections and other GP materials that are not intended for commercial distribution are not copyrighted by Aurora.)

31. Besides securing the rights to our GP tools and licensing their use, Aurora has also begun to actively promote our tools to publishing and distribution companies throughout the world. To achieve this, the Aurora team has been attending international book fairs, where the world's publishers and distribution companies meet and do business. Throughout this past year‚ Aurora, aided by others from the Activated desks or Family Homes, has attended book fairs in London, Bologna (Italy), Chicago, Zimbabwe, Frankfurt and Guadalajara (Mexico). Their goal has been to find publishers and commercial distributors who will publish and/or mass market our material through bookstores and other commercial outlets.

32. When it comes to the Activated magazines and other books like the GP From Jesus with Love, Discovering Truth, Get Activated series and many others, Aurora has undertaken the task of printing and shipping the materials to the Activated desks. So far these productions have been done in Thailand, due to its low prices and a dedicated print team, God bless them! Rather than each Service Center or desk printing their own material, by Aurora combining productions for all desks, it means a lower price per piece, which means that you get these tools at a lower cost than if they were produced locally in smaller quantities. In fact, chances are that some of the tools you've been distributing during this Christmas season Aurora printed in Thailand. This also helps to make more tools available for the Activated desks and Service Centers, as they can purchase small quantities of some tools from Aurora, which otherwise they couldn't afford to print in such small quantities.

Printers, Desks and WS

33. The printing team in Thailand has done a magnificent job of printing and shipping all of these tools and magazines. They've been under a lot of pressure as they've needed to get the tools to each area in time for Christmas, as well as to keep the Activated desks supplied with their Activated mags and other books, print new titles as they come out, etc. They have to keep up with printing the new magazines in Eng­lish and Spanish (the Portuguese mags are now printed in Brazil), as well as reprinting the past editions. They have already done second printings of some of the Activated books and booklets, and are getting ready to print new ones. They recently ran a third printing of Mottos for Success, bringing the total amount printed to 50,000. These calendars have been a hit in ­India, especially with the new layout and a longer stand so that companies who purchase them in bulk to give to their clients can add their logo. We also edited some of the pages in order to make the calendar more suitable for non-Christian countries‚ including the Muslim world.

34. Meanwhile‚ your Activated desks and Service Centers are working just as hard to make sure that these tools get to you. They fill your orders and also produce many products locally, particularly in languages other than English. God bless them! They do a great job! Some have also pioneered the production of new tools that turned out to be hits. Special thanks to the faithful‚ hard–working team at the Brazil SC who last Christmas were the first to produce the Christ­mas CD Cards (available from your SC!)‚ based on an original idea from a friend of the Family. It turned out to be a huge success in South America, and this Christmas the CD cards are being launched throughout many other countries around the world.

35. While we're passing out credit‚ we want to mention our ever faithful and extremely hard working WS GP team. They have been burning the candle at both ends to keep up with the production of the Activated mags, CD cards, books, booklets, covers, and a host of other things. They, along with their counterparts who translate and lay out the material in the local languages, have been working full throttle so you can have these new tools for your outreach and follow-up. God bless them all!

Video Ministry and Backing

36. One of the main goals that Aurora hopes to achieve through the production and sale of new tools both to the Family Activated desks and Service Centers/PPCs, as well as through deals with commercial publishing and distribution companies‚ is funding for the production of new tools. If you look back in our history you will note that for almost all of the 1990s, about the only new GP tools produced were the Kiddie-Viddie and Treasure Attic videos, along with a number of audio tapes. There were, of course, some paper pubs for distribution and follow-up, but for the most part everyone distributed either audio or video tapes, or posters, which were produced in the second half of the '80s.

37. The production of the videos was a monumental and very expensive undertaking. Those who worked on those productions did an incredible job, and we should all be very thankful for their work, as they helped provide the tools the Homes needed to keep themselves afloat financially.

38. The reason it was possible to produce the videos‚ as well as most of the audio productions, is because dear Johane and Lydia financed the program. It would have been totally impossible for WS to cover the cost of all of the personnel, equipment, housing, film work, mastering, etc., for the 10 years the video ministry was active. There simply wasn't enough income from Family tithes to support it. Had Johane and Lydia not given out of their great love for Jesus and the Family, there might never have been any video distribution by the Family. Because of their giving, over 1.5 million videos have been distributed, millions of lives have been changed, and countless souls have been won to the Lord. And most of the GP audio tapes were also produced by the JAS team living at the HCS, also fully supported by Johane and Lydia. God bless you, dear Johane and Lydia! You've made a tremendous impact on the Family and the world through your giving unto the Lord. We couldn't have done it without you.

39. The completion of the second series of 13 Treasure Attic videos, making a total of 29 epi­sodes avail­able (including 3 specials), brought an end, at least for the time being, to our Family-financed video ministry. The Lord also showed us that we were to move on to producing books, booklets, and other paper products, as well as new audio productions. Those who previously worked in video production have opened an independent TV/video production company and are working hard to produce Christian television programs and videos for children via the commercial markets and TV broadcasting. They're using the talents the Lord has given them to witness and preach the Gospel in this manner. God bless them, they're doing a great job.

Why Licensing Fees?

40. Producing new tools of any kind is expensive. Besides the creative costs, there are the initial production costs, the costs of printing or duping, binding, packaging‚ shipping, etc. All of these funds must be invested in the product before any copies are made available to you. Someone has to make this investment, and for now, that someone is Aurora. It uses the income it receives from the sale of tools to Activated, the Service Centers, and to other publishers to create (or purchase the rights to) and produce the new tools, which are then made available to you. The success of this business plan or strategy is evident in the 67 new GP and follow-up tools that are now available, plus many more that are in the works.

41. As a publishing company‚ when Aurora licenses someone to print or publish its materials—whether they're a System company, Activated desk or SC/PPC—it charges a licensing fee. This is standard business practice for any publisher. When Aurora prints and ships its own material to distributors, such as the Activated desks or Service Centers, it adds a small markup to its cost price much the same way that the SCs/PPCs have been doing for years now. All of this is the normal cost of doing business. In ­order for Aurora to be able to create, pay for, print and ship new materials; for them to secure the copyrights; to print in large quantities in order to keep the prices low, they must add a small markup to their cost price. Just like any company, they must do business in the manner that is acceptable to the government authorities. They must pay ­legal and accounting fees, overhead, taxes‚ etc. They must keep afloat financially or the authorities will place them in bankruptcy. Plus‚ they have to set money aside in order to create new tools for you to distribute. In some cases this might make the seed corn on certain tools a little higher than in the past for Homes in some countries, but in most cases it hasn't because of combining production to keep costs down, streamlining expenses, etc.

42. The benefit to working with Aurora is worth the expense. Operating in this manner has made a great deal possible, has helped to further our overall work, and provides the means whereby Family Homes can expand into commercial distribution on a larger scale than they have been able to in the past, and opens doors which would otherwise not be available. The greatest benefits are yet to be reaped.

43. It has taken a few years of behind-the-scenes labor by a lot of people who have set up companies or other legal entities to help lay this foundation. Without this initial "tilling, planting, and watering" there would be no "banana."

44. Getting Activated—which I'm using as a general term to include feeding the sheep with the Activated magazine, personal follow-up‚ and a greater distribution of our message–filled products both through commercial and non­commercial means—is the direction the Lord is moving us in. We are going to expand. We will be following up on, teaching and training many new converts, as well as working side by side with them. In order to grow in this way we must make some changes as a Family, and these initial behind-the-scenes steps that we have taken over the last two years have started us on this path.

45. Moving into the arena of companies and business is something we have prayed long and hard about. We have heard from the Lord countless times about it, and have received repeated confirmations. We have had to let go of some deep-seated mindsets and a lot of hitching posts, but it's necessary if we want to move forward into the future the Lord has for us. Praise the Lord! It's exciting‚ but scary! It's a major faith trip, as we are trusting the Lord for His leading and guidance each step of the way. But as always, He never fails, and we're already seeing the fruit of following and obeying where He's leading.

Family Missions Foundation

46. Another unseen project that we've been working on over the past year has been the setting up of a European-based nonprofit foundation called Family Missions Foundation. It has been in operation since July 2000. There are two goals for this foundation, both on the short term and the long term. FMF's immediate short-term goals are:

1) To aid in receiving some of the Family's tithes (gifts), which would then be used for the following two points:

2a) To make it easier to support Homes on the poorer mission fields who presently receive WS gifts. (A good portion of the tithe funds that come into WS go directly to Homes on the mission field, in places where it is not possible for them to raise sufficient income.)

2b) To more easily fund translation centers, Service Homes and other special ministry Homes that provide the Family with a particular missionary–related service via grants from the foundation. (WS pays for a lot of translation work on the mission field which allows GP and follow-up pubs to be translated into languages like Chinese, Russian, Thai, Vietnamese, Hindi, Arabic, etc.)

47. Through FMF, Homes in some areas will be able to more efficiently send in their tithes. Financial help to Homes on the poorer fields and missionary Service Homes can then be given directly from this foundation.

48. The long-term goal of FMF is to use this foundation to solicit financial support from donors. Presently, FMF does not have the personnel to pursue donations, and we don't see that happening for quite some time yet. However, we hope that somewhere down the line, through donations and by other means, FMF will be able to collect and set aside funds that can be used in the future to offer some measure of financial aid to Family missionaries when they reach retirement age.

49. Of course, we don't know if that will be necessary‚ as the Lord may return before then‚ but in the event that we do have more time, we want to be in a position where we can at least offer some financial aid to older folks. This is something that we have been concerned about and which we are planning for. However, please understand that this is a long-term vision and a long-term goal. As much as we'd like to‚ we aren't presently in a financial position to help in this way. But then again, most of us have a good ways to go before we're ready to retire! So please pray for the success of the FMF‚ so that we will have the funds necessary when the time comes to help those who have given their lives to reach and care for the lost.

FMF's Function

50. The function and operation of Family Missions Foundation is somewhat different than Family Care Foundation, which is a U.S.-based public benefit foundation. Though both are nonprofit foundations, one of the main differences between the two is that those who donate to an American foundation like FCF can write their donation off of their taxes. With FMF, this is not the case. While FMF does not have to pay taxes on the funds it receives‚ those who donate to the foundation do not receive a tax break. (The laws are structured this way to make it more difficult for people to set up foundations for the purpose of tax evasion.) However, FMF's main purpose at this point is not receiving donations, but rather providing an agency to which you can donate your monthly tithes‚ and through which these funds can then be given to Homes on very poor mission fields as well as those who offer services that further FMF's mission statement of preaching the Gospel and helping those in need.

51. In order to head off any rumors that Mama, I, or anyone else is planning on running off with the money collected by FMF, let me explain a few ground rules about foundations, and in particular about Family Missions Foundation.

52. When a foundation is established‚ those who are setting it up must submit to a local governmental authority the purpose of the foundation and what any funds that come into the foundation are going to be used for. Because the government is going to allow these funds to be collected without tax being paid on them, they want to determine that the purpose of the foundation is truly nonprofit and of a charitable nature and purpose.

53. In addition to outlining the purpose of the foundation and what the funds are going to be spent for, those setting up the foundation must also write the bylaws of the foundation. These bylaws explain how the foundation's finances are collected, who is responsible for them, how they will be allocated, how decisions are made, etc. A board of directors must also be set up in order for the foundation to be functional. Generally this board consists of a president, a secretary, and a treasurer, among other board members. This board then has the authority to make decisions regarding the foundation.

54. The nonprofit foundation's finances are strictly governed by laws which prevent any individual from personally profiting from the foundation. No one—board member or not—can receive funds from the foundation for any other purpose than those set down in the foun­dation's bylaws and approved by the government of the country. That means that no one on the board can walk away with the money or benefit from the foundation in any inappropriate way. Neither can the foundation give money away unless it fulfills the foundation's mission statement.

55. In the case of the Family Missions Foundation, the purpose of the foundation is to help Family missionaries, the Family's mission work, to preach the Gospel, and support humanitarian projects. This is monitored by governmental authorities, and FMF will be audited on a regular basis to ensure that the finances that are collected are being used only for the purposes stated within the bylaws of the foundation. So if you're tempted to worry that somebody might run off with the funds‚ lay it to rest. It can't be done.

56. We believe that the establishment of FMF will, over time, be a great benefit and make it easier in regards to receiving tithes and the paying of missionary gifts. This foundation will most likely limit itself to the goals expressed here and will not endeavor to provide an umbrella program like FCF has done. The FCF missionary umbrella program has proven very successful, and we encourage any Family members who want to find out more about this program to contact FCF directly.

57. There are still many details to work out with the Family Missions Foundation, including having Homes donate their tithe to the foundation. As this progresses and the details are sorted out, we will inform the Homes in the various areas that will be participating. In other words, once FMF is fully functional, we will inform you and keep you abreast of its activities.

Restructuring of

Family Leadership

58. In the second Action Series Letter, we talked about some of the major problems and challenges we face as a Family. One of them was the leadership load, which is too great for our present structure to uphold. As we explained in Action Series #2 and 3, we invited some of the CROs for two sets of meetings, the first held in February and the second in June‚ in which we discussed ways to solve the Family's problems, and more specifically, how to lighten the leadership load so that the leadership of the Family would not be spread so thinly amidst so many needs‚ so that each of our shepherds can do a better and more effective job of serving and assisting you.

59. We also prayed about how we could tap in more to the wonderful resources that we collectively hold as a Family. Our most valuable resources are you‚ our wonderful Family members! Each of you are multi-talented and multi–gifted, and you use those gifts on a daily basis in your work‚ in teaching and training your children, in reaching the lost, and in running your Homes. The Lord showed us that we need to find a way to tap into that pool of talent and to use it to help bear some of the load‚ as well as the decision-making, within the Family.

60. Presently our CRO and VS leadership are very busy and very burdened. They're responsible for the full functioning of the Family in their areas‚ from childcare to young people, to GP pubs being produced, translations, upholding the spiritual standard, discipline, clearances, Charter infractions, visitation, counseling‚ the collection of stats, reports and tithes, making sure the NPC is getting the mailings to the Homes, overseeing Web sites, making sure the SCs are producing the tools, and on and on the list goes! It's a huge job, and no matter how many CROs each area may have, there are never enough to carry this heavy burden.

61. Basically, our CROs are collapsing under the heavy load. Some of them have been doing the job for 10 or 15 years and they can barely hang on. They carry too many weights. They are spread way too thin, and the result is that they're running out of steam and they aren't able to do as good a job as they want to and need to.

62. When you have too many things to do, you tend to give a little bit of time to a whole lot of things; thus you're not able to fully focus on any one particular thing. The end result of this method of operation is that no one thing gets done really well. A lot of things get a little attention, but not as much as they should get, and the job isn't done as well as it could be if someone were fully focused on only one or two things rather than a dozen or more. Yet we have our dear CROs pushing themselves to the point of physical, spiritual, emotional and nervous exhaustion, trying to be responsible for so many different ministries when there is a tremendous labor pool of extremely gifted and talented people who could be tapped into to help the CROs. And you guessed it! This labor pool is you!

63. One of the reasons that this labor pool has not been tapped into until now is because of the way that the leadership structure of the Family is set up. In order to have the authority that you need to oversee such Family ministries, you basically have to be a CRO. And not very many people can qualify to be CROs, because in order to be a CRO you have to not only have the gifts and talents for a certain practical job, but you also have to have the spiritual gifts and anointing for the spiritual side of the job. Besides that, you have to be a good sample and a good shepherd to an entire field, someone who is constantly pouring out and giving of themselves to many others day after day, week after week, month after month.

64. In my book, to be a CRO you basically have to be a saint! You have to be willing to lay down your life and live unselfishly‚ to be constantly available‚ and to give of yourself to ­others‚ often to the neglect of your loved ones and children. You have to be on call 24 hours a day, willing to give up your personal time and sleep to take care of the needs of the sheep. And if even just one sheep is bleating for help, you have to go tend to it.

65. Being a CRO is a tremendously sacrificial job. It requires tremendous people-hand­ling skills, shepherding skills, listening skills, comforting skills‚ as well as practical skills in managing virtually all of the business of a continent, and in some cases‚ more than one continent.

66. On top of this, you have to be willing to take a lot of blame, because people tend to blame the CROs when things don't go well. You also have to take risks in giving people counsel that they may not want to hear. There are times when you have to correct people‚ put Homes on probationary notice, or excommunicate someone. You have to be a judge, a policeman, a spiritual doctor‚ a business manager, a childcare expert, an inspired speaker, a leader of people, and someone who relates well to young people and teens. You have to have a tremendous amount of stamina to carry on with this day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. And quite frankly, it's just too much to ask of the wonderful people who have given their lives for you as your CROs. The time has come to relieve them of some of the heavy burdens that they bear, and the way the Lord has shown us to do this is to take some of that load and spread it out onto many other shoulders.

National, Continental and

International Boards

67. We hope to restructure the CRO team­works in a way that each member will only have to focus on one or two ministries, without having to involve themselves in anything else. To do this, we hope to utilize the gifts and talents of you, the Family, in the ministries that certain of you are proficient in, although we're still trying to figure out the details in how to best do so.

68. So as you read this‚ please understand that what we're sharing with you in this GN is not by any means the final conclusion of the matter. It's simply to let you know where things are heading. We're not imparting the complete plan here, just the overall picture. No one is expected to put this into practice now, as it's still in the initial stages. Once all the multitude of details of this leadership restructuring are sorted out and the foundation is in place, we will present the plan to you in its entirety.

69. We've been counseling about this and have made some proposals to the CROs, and in October each of the CRO teamworks met together and viewed a number of hours of videos explaining this restructuring vision and board program. Each CRO teamwork met for a week to 10 days to discuss and pray about it, and to offer their suggestions, opinions, and potential changes, which we're praying and counseling about, so that when we present this plan to you, it will be well-rounded, well-thought through, prayed over, and will be a good, working, fully functioning program.

70. Here's an example of how things might work: If a CRO teamwork member is especially gifted in childcare, that person might focus their full time on the childcare needs of the area. They would no longer be involved in shepherd­ing, caring for teens, or managing the office, etc. If another CRO is especially good at relating to and working with young people, they would fully focus on young people, and would also no longer be responsible for the childcare situation, putting Homes on probation­ary notice, office management, translation teams, etc.

71. In order to achieve this, the general plan is to create committees or boards for each major Family ministry. For example, let's take the childcare board. The way it would work would be that in a national area or a regional area, three or four people would be named to be the national childcare board. (The term "national" would in some cases apply to a group of countries. For example‚ if there are only a few Homes in a country, it would be joined with another country, or several countries, into one "national" area.) These people would focus on the childcare situation in their national area. They would communicate with each other via e-mail or phone, and meet occasionally to pray about and discuss the needs of the children in the area, and would formulate ideas and programs and ways to help the parents and teachers in the area with their children.

72. Above the national childcare board would be the continental childcare board. Those who would sit on the continental childcare board would focus their attention and energies on the overall childcare situation within the whole area. The continental childcare board would work with the various national childcare boards. They would communicate with each other, and if the national board had questions, it would counsel with the continental board. If the continental board had suggestions or ideas that might work on the national level, they would communicate that to the national board. So rather than childcare matters or questions being sent up to the CROs, the local childcare matters, questions, ideas and suggestions would instead go to the national board. If the national board is unable to answer or implement them‚ the questions would then be passed on to the continental board.

73. Sitting above the continental board would be an international childcare board. Those sitting on that board—mostly made up of representatives from each of the continental childcare boards—would be responsible for the worldwide childcare situation. They would be thinking and praying about worldwide Family policy regarding children, as well as what kind of publications to put out for our children. They would have a direct contact and link with the continental boards and the national boards. So you would have people on the national level thinking about childcare, children‚ and their needs. The national board would be communicating with the continental childcare board, which would also be totally focused on the needs of the children of the whole continent. In turn, the continental childcare board would be in communication with the international childcare board.

74. This will result in a whole line of people thinking, praying, and counseling together about the needs of the children. Childcare would be their main focus. Some‚ like those on the national level‚ would be giving part-time attention to it, as those sitting on the national board would be individuals like you, who still have Homes to run and other ministries.—Whereas some of those on the continental and international level would be giving their full time to it, as with a bigger area it will require much more time‚ attention‚ and coordination with other areas or ministries. This will hopefully create a climate where many more people will be focused on, praying about, and counseling together about the local, continental and international childcare situation.

75. The goal of this, of course, is that all this input and counsel will create definite childcare advances in each area and greater assistance to the Homes. Childcare needs that up until now in some areas have not been taken care of, due to the fact that the dear CROs have had to juggle them among thousands of other matters, will now be able to be presented before a board that specializes in childcare matters—and they will both have the burden and be responsible to do something about it.

76. The idea would be to take that structure of pillars—the national, continental and international boards of childcare—and replicate it in every other main ministry within the Family, such as a young people board, an edu­cation board‚ an outreach and follow-up board, a GP production/marketing board, a visitation/shepherding board (the VSs), a public relations board, humanitarian outreach board (CTP), and possibly others like fund­raising/provisioning, etc.

77. Each of these boards would consist of people who are gifted and talented in these particular areas. Some people might sit on a couple of boards, but not too many so as not to spread themselves too thin. Each set of boards would meet on a regular basis (some more regularly than others, depending on logistics) to discuss and pray about ideas, needs, improvements that could be made, new programs to implement, pubs to create, training seminars to hold, resources to make available to the Homes, etc., which could then be implemented on the national, continental, or international level. These pillars (the various boards on a national, continental and international level) will help to hold up the structure of the Family.

Board Criteria

78. The individuals chosen to sit on these boards will be chosen because of their gifts in those particular ministries. They will not be chosen primarily because of their spiritual aptitude‚ or because they are great shepherds or are stellar samples. (The exception would be boards that have a lot to do with shepherding, like the visitation/shepherding and young people boards.)

79. A lot of people have a specific talent or ability. Perhaps they are great in follow-up, or they're a super disciple winner, or they're tops in childcare, but they're not very well-rounded and they have a difficult time focusing on anything but their particular ministry. Or perhaps they have a number of talents but maybe they're not very good as a shepherd; they sometimes offend people or step on others' toes.

80. At present, we often are unable to use certain people's talents to the full in serving the Family, because in order to use their talents, they basically have to be CROs or VSs. And if they're going to be a CRO or VS, they have to be well-rounded, good people-handlers, good shepherds, good samples, etc. Therefore many of the powerhouse type people who have tremendous ability or talent in a specific ministry can't be used. Under the board structure, their gifts and talents would be able to be used.

81. In other words, these people would be chosen to be on a specific board not because of their shepherding abilities but because of their particular talent or gift within that ministry. They would have no authority over the Homes. They would not be shepherds or leaders. They would be servants—people who get together, pray about, discuss and formulate ideas and suggestions in regards to one specific ministry, the ministry of their particular board, and who give assistance to the Homes within that area of responsibility.

82. These people won't come to your Homes to check you out to see if you're obeying the Charter or not. The only ones who will be doing that will be those who are on the visitation/shepherding board. Many of your present CROs and VSs will be members of the shepherding board, though not all, as they might be better suited to one of the other boards. We want to find a way to both utilize the tremendous talent pool of the Family and also to help those who are presently CROs and VSs to be able to focus on the particular ministry that they are best qualified and suited for.

83. Some of our present CROs are tremendous shepherds, they have a heart for people‚ are terrific counselors and prayer warriors. If you have troubles, heartaches, and heartbreaks‚ they're the ones you pour out to. These CROs would be on the shepherding board.

84. Other CROs are much more business oriented. They're able to keep the NPCs and the PPCs and the XYZs all rolling smoothly, the way they should. They're good at business matters, but in some cases they're not so good with people. Their gifts obviously lie more in administration or another specific ministry. Those CROs would work in administration or the specific ministry that they're gifted in‚ and they wouldn't be involved in the shepherding of Family Homes.

85. We're trying to get people to focus on what they're good at and not feel the burden of having to focus on everything. This change will take a tremendous amount of pressure off of the CROs, as every Family member who looks at a CRO basically expects them to be almost perfect—but they're not. They can't know and do everything. They're human just like we all are‚ not superhuman. They do a good job now‚ with the Lord's help, and they'll do an even better one once they can concentrate more on their areas of expertise. Enabling our CROs to focus on the ministry where their gifts and talents can be most used will help them to be much more effective, and we‚ as a Family, will be able to progress as we need to.

The Big Picture

86. As you can imagine, this is a very complicated structure to set up, and we need to make sure that it functions properly. We don't want to just toss out the idea and say, "Okay, let's figure out how to build it" while we're trying to implement it. Instead, we are praying, counseling, and researching how to set up the structure beforehand, in counsel with all of the CROs, so that when the final product is presented to you, the Family‚ it can be implemented in decency and in order, and without taking a lot of time to figure out how to set things up as we go. Of course there will still be a period of adjustment, but we'd like to make it as smooth as possible.

87. We also need to set up the boards so that they work hand in glove with the Charter. We don't intend to drop the Charter or throw it out as our governing document; we intend for this new structure to work within the Charter. So for all those reasons, this is taking us some time to put together. So far we've met twice with a num­ber of the CROs to formulate the basic plan. We then presented this plan via video to every CRO teamwork in October. Each team gathered, watched the videos, went over the paperwork, dis­cussed and prayed about the plan, and have sub­mitted their questions and suggested changes.

88. In November we again met with one repre­sentative from each CRO teamwork to go over all of these questions, comments, suggestions and ideas in order to further rework the program, trying to foresee any potential problems it might create, and hopefully ironing out any kinks and fine-tuning it into a usable program that will benefit the Family as a whole.

89. In December we'll be taking all of the points brought up at our November meetings and re­working the program on paper. And at the next Summit meeting we plan to meet with all of the CROs in order to further fine-tune, pray about, and Lord willing, finalize the full program so that within the first half of next year we will be able to present the program to you and begin its implementation.

90. It is our prayer that as more Family members become involved in carrying the load, those who are particularly gifted in certain ministries can focus solely on those ministries and give them their full input. As we work more closely with you at the local level, it should make things much better all the way around. You will be able to give your input in a much easier manner, in a way that is more focused. You will know exactly who to talk to or who to write about your ideas for a particular ministry, or about the problems you're encountering in which you and your ministry need help.

91. This plan will fulfill Dad's vision from years past of pumping people power. More people will be involved, more people will be giving ideas, more people will be praying about solutions, and therefore, more of the problems will be solved, more new ideas will be implemented, and more people will be involved in helping to uphold the Family, and we'll all be working together to make the Family what it needs to be!

92. It will no longer be people looking to a handful of CROs and VSs to solve all the problems; instead, they will be part of the problem-solving mechanism. It will no longer be people looking to the CROs for the new ideas for their area or their ministry, but rather those who are gifted in those ministries will be thinking, praying, and coming up with ideas and suggestions. The overall vision and plan is that the Family will be working together more, will be pumping more people power‚ will be solving more of their own problems, and will be involving more people. As we move forward into this era of action, our goal is for the Family to become an even better, well-oiled machine that can function more efficiently and effectively in order to do the job of reaching the world in a way that we have never done before.

It's a Huge Job!

93. We're facing many new challenges. We're trying to restructure many things within the Family. We're trying to "get Activated" by setting up our new follow–up program so that our "church" can take in more disciples and outside witnessers, and better feed and train the sheep. We have limited time. We need to reach the world and we need to begin in a greater way today.

94. Mama and I‚ and all of us in WS, as well as your CRO leadership, have been praying desper­ately about these matters. We've been taking steps, as you can see, to build a solid foundation so that as we make these changes to the overall structure of the Family, the foundation will be strong and able to uphold it.

95. At the same time‚ the Lord has been strengthening the spiritual foundation of the Family through the S2K. Also, the recent criticisms from our detractors have served to strengthen the majority of the Family, while purging out some who were no longer serving the Lord in full faith with us. The Family, for the most part, is now made up of people who have chosen to be here‚ who have made their decision. Now the Lord wants to change things. He wants to use each of you to make the Family a better place—to teach, to train new members, new disciples, and new followers‚ even if they're not living within our Homes.

96. Tremendous challenges lie ahead of us, and the Lord is calling each of you to participate in this, no matter what particular ministry or role He has for you. Not everybody is going to be on one of these boards. Not everyone is going to be involved in these kinds of decision-making procedures, but every single one of us will be called upon to do our part—to teach and train and win new people, to witness the truth of the Gospel, to follow up on people, to teach them‚ to give them the Word, to train them to become disciples themselves.—If not live-in disciples, then live-out disciples, or even just members in a general sense, who work with us in some way.

97. We are no longer going to be just plodding along step by step, each Home doing its own thing. We are uniting with a common ­vision‚ and we're going to build a structure so that every­one can be pumping their ideas, suggestions, prayers, and solutions through the body, so that the whole body will be energized and enabled to do more than ever before.

98. There's a lot going on! There's a lot to do! If you find yourself being attacked by the Enemy, feeling down and discouraged and like you're having to fight as never before, well, join the club!—Because many of us in WS have felt the same way. The Enemy is angry about what's happening. He has brought in his reinforcements and he's trying to defeat us now. But the fact is, he's not going to defeat us because God is with us, and we're following Him into this promised era of action.

99. The Lord has raised the standard and we're all looking toward that standard: the Activated standard, the outreach standard, the follow-up standard, and the dedication standard. We're marching together toward that standard and, Lord helping us, we will not fail. It's up to each of us to do our part, and we know that we can count on you to do yours.

100. When we asked the Lord to give His confirmation on this GN at the close of preparing it for you, He gave the following message, which we pray inspires and motivates you to help make these changes and shifts within the Family come to pass.

101. (Jesus speaking:) The foundation of the Activated ministry has been laid and set. It is one which is built on faithful follow-up and feeding‚ no matter what country you live in or what people you minister to. The building is steadily rising. It will be strong, and it will last. It will be a good house‚ a good work‚ one that will house the Family and multitudes of believers. It will provide your needs and will serve as a powerful avenue to reach the world and to make disciples of all nations.

102. There is more building going on. The structure of the inner Family is being reevaluated, revamped, and plans are being drawn up to strengthen and remodel. These are not frivolous plans; they are not for the sake of beautification. These changes will set you on a strong foun­dation and will enhance the Family tremendously. It will create more personal satisfaction, fulfillment, and it will help bring to pass many of the ideas, hopes, and dreams that so many have had. It will provide channels and conduits through which people power can flow. It will set into place pipes and spouts‚ so that the water of new life, new ideas, and new ways for this new day can flow throughout the Family. It will be wonderful!

103. It will also be a lot of work. It will take time, patience, and much prayer. It will take a great deal of work and effort for WS and the Family's leadership, but it will also require a great effort of prayer on the part of the Family at large. Prayer will support this monu­mental endeavor and bring it to pass, nothing less. Patience is also a key‚ for though these changes will come, they will take time, and once they come, it will take some time to adjust, to fine-tune‚ and to redirect and channel all the matters of the Kingdom in the new direction‚ the new way, the new modes of operation.

104. So, for this coming year, remember these two things and you will help this great foundation and structure to be laid and built, while remaining happy and content, doing your job. These two things are prayer and patience. Lift up these changes, improve­ments, and tasks at hand in prayer, and have patience while you pray. This is an unbeatable combination, and will bring the answer to many of your prayers and your hearts' desires.

105. It is with great joy and happiness that I direct the building of My new Family from the Heavenlies. I see the master plan and the final outcome. Even if you only see one brick being laid upon another, trust Me. Continue to pray and trust, and you will‚ I promise, see the great rewards that your obedience to Me will bring about for each one as an individual, for each Home collectively, and for the Family as a whole. The final outcome will be well worth it! (End of message from Jesus.)

106. (Peter:) Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to make these changes, revamp these structures, put out pubs about follow-up and follow-up tools, finalize these various programs to present to you, and do our job for the Lord. We need your prayers! We need your help! We need your support! And we're counting on you to do your part, which is to implement the Word, to begin now to feed your sheep, to send in those Activated addresses, to get out the Word and the tools‚ and to get on board with these upcoming changes! Each of us has to do our part to make all of this happen so that we can become the body, the church‚ and the organization that God wants us to be.

107. We've heard the trumpet sound, and we're marching forward. Are you with us? We sure hope so! God bless and keep you and give you a great Christmas outreach and a wonderful Feast at the beginning of the New Year. God bless and keep you all!

Love, Peter