KEYWORDS: board, homes, people, things, decisions, boards

Board Vision Training Videos, Part 3

Peter A.

Transcription of Video #3

By Peter A.CM/FM 3408 12/01

1. Thank You Lord! It's nice to be back!

2. (Prays: ) Lord, please bless and help us as we continue on with these meetings, these discussions. Again, I ask and claim the power of Your keys for my delivery, that You help me to get it right, Jesus, to be able to cover the points that need to be covered and to be clear. Help all these to learn and catch the vision so that they can head out from here and soon begin their actual board meetings and actually doing what we're talking about. It's a big job that they have ahead of them. So please help me to do my part to convey these various things to them in a way that is understandable and clear. I really claim Your keys, in Jesus' name. Praise the Lord!

3. We've talked about why we're setting up the boards and the pillars and the crossbeams and all of that. Now we want to talk a little bit about the job of the boards. Pretty soon you're going to be sitting at a table with other people. Maybe you'll be doing that at this meeting, or a little later down the line, or maybe you'll have a mock meeting or a preliminary meeting while you are together. But sooner than you can imagine, you are going to be sitting with other people, and you are going to be the national board of such-and–such an area on such-and-such a pillar, and the question is, what are you doing there? What are you supposed to do?

4. Well, the first thing you should do is pray, of course. Really pray and ask the Lord to help you, and hear from Him, and He'll show you what you're supposed to do in that meeting.

5. Generally speaking, one of your jobs is to identify both the problems and the needs in your area that pertain to your board, and pray about how to fill those needs or to solve those problems. Okay? You're there on‚ say, the childcare and parenting board. You most likely know the people in your area, or at least some of them, if not most of them. You're probably aware, or you can become aware of what the situations are with the Homes. What are the needs of the parents? What are the needs of the children? What's happening? What's not working? What could be working? What should be working differently? What can you do to be a help and a service to them?

6. That's your job, to identify those things and to pray about them, and to see if there are certain things that you, as a board‚ can initiate for your area that will help the moms and dads and their children; or if you're on the outreach board, to help the outreach; or on the JETT/Teen board, to help them. You've been chosen to be on these boards, and you're on these boards because you have some knowledge and experience with your ministry. And probably many of you have had years and years of experience in your ministry. Perhaps on the childcare and parenting board‚ many of you are moms and dads who have lots of kids and have lots and lots of experience with children and childcare that you could share with others.

7. You will be sitting with other people who are like-minded and with similar experiences. If you'll pray together, discuss together, and really seek the Lord and hear from the Lord about the problems and needs of your pillar within your area, the Lord will speak to you and show you what to do and what ideas might be helpful for the Homes. So you need to identify those problems and the needs of the area, the needs of the parents or the children or the outreach or the teens or whatever board you're on, and pray about how to be a benefit to them. What can you do to help your particular pillar in your particular area? Your job is to identify the problems and the needs and to pray about what to do about them.

8. Another thing is that you need to pray about and discuss these things, not just amongst the board members‚ but with others. Like I said earlier, it's not like you have to come up with all the ideas and suggestions. You live in a Home and you fellowship with other Homes. You can talk with people. Depending on which board you're on, you can talk with the parents, or the teens‚ or the outreachers. You can talk to whoever you want to talk to. You can get their ideas. They will know that you're on the board, so they might come to you with ideas. "You know, it would be really nice if we could do this or that." You can hear that input and you can bring those things to the table and discuss them officially with your board. You can pray about them and see what can or can't work, what can be implemented or what shouldn't be.

9. Communicate‚ be open, and be available to listen to the ideas of others. Because really, the national board‚ especially, is the vacuum for the ideas of people that are both on the board or around the board—people in the Homes that you communicate and talk with. People will think, "Hey, I have an idea. Now I know who to go talk to!" It has been like, "I have an idea. Well, I can write the VSs or the Folks or the COs." But now with the boards it's like, "Hey, I can go talk to the board, and the guy is right in my Home‚ or in the one right over there! I can talk to him or write him a little message."

10. You're going to have to listen to people and take note of their ideas and suggestions. Maybe you don't think it's the greatest suggestion, but it's something you can bring up in your board meeting or when you're talking with other board members. "So-and-so mentioned this … maybe we should discuss it." You need to listen to others. You need to realize that you will be a bit of a vacuum for people's ideas on your board.

11. Another thing is that you're there to offer service to the Homes, based on your board decisions. When we were discussing the boards in the early days and what they should do and what they should be, we were quite concerned about how the Homes would receive board members, and what authority the members of the boards should have in the Homes. We debated and discussed and talked about this at length.

12. After prayer and discussion we came to the conclusion that the board members really have to offer a service. We don't want them to be "policemen." We don't want the poor Homes who already at this point have a VS coming in to check on the Home to see how things are going, to now all of a sudden have six more "policemen-type" people coming in. I don't like to use the word policemen‚ it's not the best, but from the Home's point of view they might look at it like: "Oh, man, here's Mary from the Home over there. She used to just come over and fellowship; she didn't have a position. But now she's on the board and now I'm afraid she's going to be looking around and checking for dust and seeing if the house is clean and if the kids have snotty noses." That's not the point.

13. For the Homes to accept you and the boards and the help‚ it has to come as a service to the Homes and nothing else. You have no authority over the Homes, but you need to offer them services. And what those services will be is going to be up to you to figure out and to pray about.

14. When I use examples throughout, often I suggest seminars or initiatives. Maybe you can do that, or maybe you're not going to be able to do that. So if I say that a number of times, please don't think that I'm pushing it and saying you have to do that. It's just an example that comes to mind.

15. I will use an example: Perhaps you're in an area where there are a lot of new mothers. Or maybe there are three or four young women who are pregnant with their first children‚ and they might be floundering a little bit and saying, "What do I do with this or how do I do that?" Well, maybe then a service that your board would decide to provide is a two–day get-together at a Home, to which you invite either the new moms or the new pregnant women and go over X, Y, Z with them and show them what pubs they could read‚ etc. That's a service. That's not you coming in and telling them what they should do, or that they have to read this, but you're offering them a service. I'm making these up as I go, but maybe you'll decide, "Well, so-and-so board member‚ maybe you could make a point of calling once a week to encourage the mom or to ask her if she needs any counsel, or at least let her know that she can call you any time she wants and you'll be there for her." That kind of thing. People will appreciate that. It's a service.

16. So the idea is that you as a board are supposed to offer counsel or service or help to the Homes in some way. You can't force the help on the Homes. You can't force them to obey‚ or to do what you say, or to attend a seminar or anything. It's all voluntary on the part of the Home. We debated that for quite a while and prayed a lot about that too, and felt that we've given the Homes a lot of autonomy and freedom within the Charter, and we don't want to take that away. We don't want someone over the Home coming in and saying, "You have to do this. This is what we, the board, have decided, so you have to do it." We don't want to do it that way. It'll be counterproductive. If we set it up that way, it would lend itself in time to becoming dictatorial‚ and the Homes would lose their freedoms or their autonomy. We really don't want that.

17. You can offer the services, you can suggest things, but you do not have authority over the Homes. As a board member, you have the authority to pray about the needs, to pray about the problems, and to come up with, through prayer and counsel, solutions and initiatives that you think are good. You have that right, and you have the right to inform the Homes that "these are some things that we'd like to do." But you can't make the Homes do it; that's their choice. If they're smart, they'll do it, because if you're making good decisions, they'll benefit, because it's a service. It's a service you're giving to them, so they'll probably want it. But you can't force them to do it. Okay? That has to be very clearly understood, otherwise it will go a little askew and things will go the wrong way‚ and we don't want that. We don't want people telling the Homes what they have to do.

18. Now the VS board, that's a little different. As area officers, as VSs‚ they do have certain authorities that are clearly spelled out within the Charter; they do have authority over the Homes in certain areas. But we didn't want the Homes to feel that now there's not only a VS coming to their Home‚ but the outreach VS and the childcare VS and all these guys telling them what to do! We really don't want to have that. So with the exception of the VS board, the rest of the boards offer a service, and the Homes either voluntarily accept the service or they don't.

19. Another thing we really want to avoid is that the Homes start looking to you to be their problem solvers. That's not your job. Your job description is not taking care of the individual Homes' problems. Your responsibility is to address the problems of your national area‚ doing things that will help the Homes to solve their own problems, basically. How do I explain it? Lord, help me please.

20. In other words, with the Charter we have given the Homes responsibility to take care of their situations. They have the right to make their own decisions and the responsibility to carry them out, and to live with the repercussions of their decisions. We don't want to take that away. They've gotten used to making decisions and trying to solve problems on their own, and we don't all of a sudden want them saying, "Oh‚ great, now there's the new NAS who will tell me what to do!" Or "there's somebody here now who's going to tell me what to do! I don't have to think. I can put it on autopilot or in neutral and they're going to tell me what to do." We don't want that.

21. Your job isn't to run the Homes. Your job isn't to settle the problem between Mary and Martha who are having conflicts within the Home. That's not your problem. That's not what you're supposed to do. Your job is to offer services to the Homes that benefit the Homes. But please, avoid getting into inner-Home squabbles or trying to tell the Homes, "This is what you should do; this will solve all your problems." You offer services. They can take those services, and those services probably will benefit the Homes, but you just don't want people looking to you to solve their individual problems. Do you understand the difference?

22. Generally in your area, your young people might have certain problems. They're bored or they don't get out witnessing enough. Well, those are things that you can address. But if there's one particular individual who's causing all kinds of problems in the Home, it's not really your responsibility to try to figure out what to do about that one individual. Maybe you can offer some counsel. But that's a shepherding job. So if you're not on the shepherding board, it's really not your place. Is that explaining it clearly enough?

23. Because I'll tell you what, if you do become the Home problem solver, you're going to end up being the guy that everybody blames when things that you told them to do don't work! Or worse—really worse—people will start depending on you to solve their problems, to answer their questions. I'm talking about individual things, them personally. You don't want that, because we've spent many years now trying to get people in touch with the Lord, trying to get them to pray and hear from the Lord and to bring their problems to the Lord, and be in unity in the Home and counsel with their teamwork—all these things that we've set up to help people have their personal connection to Jesus, to get their answers from the Word and the Lord, in counsel together with their Home and with their teamwork, and to not go running around trying to get other people to tell them how to do it or make their decisions for them.

24. It's taken a long time to get people to be prayerful and hearing from the Lord about their personal situations. We don't want the board structure to pull us backwards to where we were prior to the Charter, where that's kind of how it was—the NAS told you what to do or you asked the NAS. And I'm not really blaming the NASs‚ and if any of you were NASs before, please don't feel bad; that's just the way the structure was. But we've spent a long time trying to move the Family in a different direction and we don't want the board structure to start pulling the Family back to where people stop looking to the Lord and start looking to individuals.

25. I'm sure any of you who have been in leadership in the past don't want that to happen. I know the COs and the VSs don't want to be going around telling people specifically what to do outside the boundaries of their responsibilities, because it just comes back to you and people blame you. You really don't want that. If you've been in leadership and you've been a NAS or a CRO or whatever, and over the years you've done that, you know that it's come back to you‚ and you know it's best not to do that.

26. For those of you who haven't been in that situation, take it from those of us who have: It's best not to get involved in the minute matters of individual Homes and situations. That's not your responsibility. You're supposed to look at the overall. That doesn't mean you can't offer help and support in some way. If there's a single mom in a Home and she has X amount of kids and they need some help on the weekend, maybe you can suggest‚ or offer yourself, or maybe there's somebody in your Home or somebody you know who can go help, that kind of thing. That's a little bit different. But your job isn't to go in there and start telling them how to take care of this woman and organize this or that. That's not your job. Is that clear enough? I'll probably come back to this point as there will be some questions, and I'll try to clarify it.

27. Another responsibility is that you should communicate together with your board members and keep in pretty good communication with each other. We'll discuss that a little further down the line, but keep in touch. You only have to physically meet, depending upon which board you're on, every so often; some meet more often than others. But that doesn't mean you can't communicate with each other and share ideas or just keep in touch—because it'll help the unity of your board, which is really important.

28. If you've been communicating outside of your board meetings and keeping in touch and keeping each other informed of any ideas, that sort of thing, then when you get back together with your boards you'll be up to speed and you can confer more and make your decisions prayerfully. Just keep in communication with each other if you can. In some situations it's not going to be possible‚ so if it's not, that's fine. But if you can‚ or they're close by‚ keep in touch.

29. You're also supposed to communicate with the upper boards. That's a requirement—at least for the board chairman or the secretary, however you set it up. When decisions are made at your level of board, you have to submit those decisions to the next board for review, and you cannot implement those decisions for one week. That's to allow the board above you to look over your decisions and see if they agree or if they feel something needs to be vetoed. Or they may have some counsel they'll send back to you, like, "That's a good decision—but have you considered X, Y, and Z?" In any case, you have to communicate with them, that's part of your job.

30. Besides the possibility of a veto or their reviewing your decisions‚ it's good for them to get your decisions and things, because then they can consider those ideas for their regional meetings‚ or maybe they want to pass on some of your ideas to the international board for implementation or consideration. So it's important to have this communication with the board above you.

31. Most often it will be the chairman of the national board communicating with the chairman of the regional board, or the chairman of the regional board with the chairman of the international board, as that is the chairman's job according to the Board Handbook. Within your board you will have to determine how much you will communicate together. So communication is an important part of your job as the board.

32. Another point about the boards themselves is that once we've implemented this and we've said the boards are in play, which is March 1st‚ at that point the board becomes an entity. It's not just, "Well, the three or four of us are on the board and we're the board." The board itself exists whether you're on it or not. You might get voted off later, or you might later decide you don't want to be on it, but the board will remain. It's an entity in itself. The board has certain authority, certain abilities, certain responsibilities, and whoever comes in and is part of the board collectively has that authority and that responsibility. The board itself is answerable to the board above it, but it's also an independent entity, even from the board above it. The board above it has the veto power, but the board above it can't really dictate what decisions the board under it has to make.

33. There are some things that the upper board can pass down and say‚ "Please implement these." And you should implement them, unless it's something that just isn't going to work in your area. But generally speaking, the board itself, and therefore the board members that are on the board, have those responsibilities that we've just laid out—to pray about things‚ to implement them, and you have a responsibility to wait seven days to see if the board above you is going to veto any of your decisions. If they're not vetoing your decisions, then the entity of the board has the authority to go ahead and communicate your decisions to the Homes, and to offer those services to the Homes. You don't have to wait for someone to come and tell you to do it. You don't have to wait for somebody to come and identify the problems in your area. The board has the right to do that. It has the responsibility to do that. It's an actual entity.

34. In a sense, it's like when a corporation is made. A corporation doesn't exist until some people get together and incorporate and say, "We're going to have this company." Then it becomes an entity, and then that entity has certain legal responsibilities and legal rights. It's the same thing. Once the entity of the board is there, it exists, and as board members you have responsibilities and rights and the authority to do certain things. So I guess you have to do them. Part of your job is to realize that you are this entity‚ that you do have responsibility‚ you do have some authority, and then to use it and use it wisely among you. Amen? Praise the Lord!

35. Before I get too far, I'm going to pause for a minute. I might need to go back and add a few things. We're going to cut the camera and we'll be back in a few minutes. In fact‚ you won't even notice!

36. (Peter continues:) Okay, it's nice to be able to stop and confer when you're doing this. It's not like this big speech where everybody is going to judge you if you make a big blow–it. If I haven't clarified something, I'm thankful I can stop the camera and talk to everybody that is helping me.

37. We wanted to clarify one thing about not getting involved in the individual Homes' problems. As the board, you should be available for counsel, and if people want counsel or ask for help, you can give it—providing that it is within your pillar. You're available for counsel. You're available to offer them suggestions and ideas, but that's all they are—suggestions, ideas‚ counsel and advice. You can't direct them to do such-and-such. You can't tell them that that's what they have to do, and you can't even infer it. In other words, you're a service. If you're the FED board, for example‚ and they come to you and say, "Should I use CLE or should I use Beka, or this, that, or the other?" You can point out the pros and cons and give prayerful advice or a prayerful opinion‚ but the choice is theirs. You shouldn't say, "This is what everybody else is using, so this is what you should do." There's a big difference. I hope that clarifies it.

38. Now we'll move on to the next point. Some of these I've covered, so it'll be a little repetitious. It's in my notes so I don't want to get off the line of my notes. It won't hurt to hear some of these things again.

39. The next section is the relations between the upper and lower boards, as well as between the boards and the councils. We did talk about how there is the regional council, the national coordinating council, and the continental council‚ and you have your upper levels of boards. The most important thing to understand is that with these different levels, these different boards or these different councils, it's not meant to be an adversarial role. It's not meant to be, "Well, we don't want those regional board guys telling us what to do" or "we don't want the regional council telling us what to do." That's not the point of the checks and balances.

40. We put these things in so that there would be others who are prayerfully looking over your decisions to make sure you're not harming the Homes, basically‚ and that you're not getting out of line—not out of line with what the board above you is thinking‚ but basically that you're not doing things that are detrimental to the Homes or to the area in any way. But it's not supposed to be, "Oh, we don't want these guys telling us what to do." Or the guys up there saying‚ "Wow, we want to direct these guys and tell them what to do." You have that independence. That relationship is meant to be helping one another and being a check and balance to one another. But please, don't let it become an adversarial or argumentative type of role.

41. Basically it's there for a check and balance, and as I said earlier, as a conduit for ideas or suggestions, both up and down. The chairman of your national board will go to the regional meeting. He'll listen to what everybody else is doing in other national areas that are far away from you. He'll come back with ideas—some which can be implemented and some which you'll discuss and decide if they can work in your area. It's supposed to be everybody helping one another and working together, but not a butting of heads kind of thing.

42. Another thing about the upper boards: For those of you who are going to be on regional boards, we want to avoid things getting hung up in a bunch of red tape. We want that in every board area. You boards have a right to make decisions. The upper boards have the right to veto the decision if they have a real good reason. But if they're not vetoing them, you should be able to move along with them. The upper boards have one week to get back to you. If they don't get back to you‚ you can go ahead and implement them.

43. And you upper boards, we really don't want you to be micromanaging the lower boards. That's not the point. If we do that, it's just going to get gridlocked. "Well, we can't do this because the regional board chairman is telling us everything we have to do‚ and we don't feel we can make any decisions. And pretty soon we're just going to look to the regional chairman to tell us what to do. We're not going to do anything. We're just going to wait." Boy, if that happens, if you're a regional chairman and all your national board people are waiting around for you, you blew it! You have to avoid that.

44. We want the national boards to make the decisions. We want them to have faith to carry these things out when they've prayerfully made the decision. If the decision is really bad, then veto it; if it's just different than the way you would do it, that's another story completely. That doesn't deserve a veto. It deserves a veto if it's a harmful decision or if it's something that goes against the Word or against the way the whole regional area is moving, in which case probably the regional council would veto or call it into question. But just because they're doing things different than the way you would do it, well, let them have faith. Let them try it out. They'll see if it works or not. And if it doesn't work, they'll probably review the decision and change it.

45. But don't micromanage. Don't get in there and think, "Well, there's only way to do it, and that's my way! They're not doing it my way so we should veto it or give them a hard time about it." They're an independent entity. By the "law," you have a right to veto it, but even your veto is going to get judged by someone else.

46. We expect the veto will be used rather sparingly, but it's good that it's there, and if you really feel something is not right or is a really bad decision, or you really question it, then go ahead and veto it. Of course‚ you don't even have the final say on the veto—if the lower board appeals the veto, the decision will go to a third body where others can check it. But don't make it your life's work to veto every decision, because it just quagmires everything. And don't try to micromanage, please.

47. The other thing is, if you're on an upper board‚ you really have to be faithful to answer questions and review the decisions. Because for one, you've only got one week. If those decisions are given to you, you only have seven days to decide if you feel it needs to be vetoed, or you feel you need to send down some counsel that might modify it a little bit. If you miss out, and you're three days over the seven days, it's too late; they're implementing it and you've lost your veto power.

48. So, please, be faithful—this is mostly to you regional chairmen—when a lower board or the chairman of a lower board or the secretaries send information to you. Please read it‚ and please be very faithful in trying to answer them, because otherwise things will pass that should have been vetoed. They'll get discouraged and feel it's not working. You really have to be on the ball to take care of it. If you're in the regional chairmanship position, you're there because others feel you have those qualifications and the drive to do it. So please be faithful with that.

49. In talking about regional chairmen, we had long discussions and a lot of prayer about them and their role in the board structure, and especially vis-à-vis the national boards. We felt for now, especially initially, that the regional board chairman should have certain rights when it comes to being able to attend national board meetings and getting involved with the national boards. Originally we were going to keep it separate‚ the regional guy here‚ the national guy here‚ and not very much interaction. But we felt that initially—and whether this will continue on after the first year or not, I don't know, and I don't even remember if we decided that—but we felt that initially the regional chairman should be able to, not should be able to, but should interact with the national board, should come to the national board from time to time or communicate with them or come visit and offer counsel and help to that board.

50. The reason we felt that is because most of the people that will be on the regional boards will be COs; not all of them, but a number of them will be. They have experience in working with people and interacting with the Homes. There are certain things over the many years that they who have been in that responsibility have learned, and we felt that it would be wise and helpful if they could interact in that way. So they can and should and will come from time to time to your area and talk to you as a board or as individual board members and try to offer you counsel and help as well.

51. They have the right to attend your board meeting, but they do not have a vote. And you as the board members do not have to vote the way your regional chairman, be they a CO or not‚ suggests. When they're at your board meeting they're really there just to offer counsel and help, if they can. But at the end of the day, you are the entity of the national board. You are the ones who have the vote and who have that responsibility. Of course, you also have the accountability for your actions in the sense that you might vote a certain way and put a certain thing into effect and it doesn't work. Well, you're responsible for that.

52. So it's probably a good idea to listen—to listen to the Home members, to listen to other people, and to listen to your regional chairman when he or she comes‚ because they're really there to help you. And I caution you, regional chairmen, you're not there to dictate. You're not there to tell them what to do. You're there to assist them and to help train them, in a sense. So you should offer them your counsel and your help‚ but you also have to be very careful to not be directing them as to what they should vote, or what they should do or how they should do it. Because again, if you do‚ they're just going to start looking to you completely, and that's not going to work so good either.

53. It's kind of a training time, and that's why we set it up so that the regional chairmen can come and coach you, in a sense‚ at the national board so they can get involved a bit. The purpose for that is that you will get extra help. You are interacting with the Homes on a new level that you've never interacted with them before, and you might need some counsel and some help on your interaction with them, or on your decision-making, or you could perhaps benefit from their wisdom. They're not going to be down there every time. They're not going to come to every single national board meeting, but they will come around from time to time and help and be available to you for counsel. So please use that counsel.

54. But also, don't be intimated by them either. And regional chairmen‚ don't be intimidating. You don't have a vote, and they don't have to take your advice. But our prayer is that you will give them good‚ prayerful advice and that it would be good and they probably would take it, but they are not bound to. If they don't want to, and they vote a certain way, then it's hands-off.

55. If it's a really bad decision‚ you have the right to initiate a veto. But like I said, if it's just that they feel it's a certain way in their area, well, let them have faith. Yes, they might make mistakes, and they will. But that's how we learn‚ too, and hopefully because you are checking over the decisions, if it doesn't work out so right, it's not something that is going to collapse the whole work or the whole area or do so much damage.

56. We want to have a balance. The regional chairpersons are like coaches. They'll come and they'll help and you can counsel with them. But we don't want you to feel that they're there and that you have to do everything they say, because when it comes to your board‚ you're an entity and you don't have to do it. You're the ones who have the vote. When it finally comes down to it and you raise your hand, it's the collection of you all raising your hands, and of course going to the Lord for a confirmation, that is going to make the decision—not what the regional chairman says. He doesn't have a vote. He can only initiate a veto if he feels very strongly about it. So it's very important that you understand that.

57. We really want you to have that independence, but not in a negative way—kind of a responsibility, in a sense‚ to direct your entity, your board‚ and to have the faith for the decisions you make, and the implementation of those decisions. So please don't be intimidated. But don't be proud and cocky, either, and think, "Oh‚ well, we don't have to listen to this regional guy. What does he know?" He knows a lot, hopefully; that's why he's a regional chairman. He or she has experience in things, so you should be open to learning from them and listening to them, but you don't have to feel bound that you have to implement all of their advice.

58. The next section I wanted to discuss is a little bit about board members. I'm going to read you a few things that the GN said about you:

59. "We need those who have specific gifts and talents to use those talents—not just for their own Home or their own children or their own young people or their own sheep, but for other Homes and others' children, and other young people and others' sheep."

60. "We need more people who are concerned and focusing on the different aspects of our Family life, who are praying and asking the Lord's guidance and instructions to help us make progress, and who are involved in the decision-making at all levels. We need people who are willing to take responsibility and accountability. We need people who are willing to give more of themselves to serve others. We need people who are willing to help find and implement solutions to the problems we face."

61. Another quote: "[We need people] who are focusing and thinking about the responsibilities of their board and the needs of their area." "The idea is to get the people together who are gifted in a particular ministry and give them the responsibility to think about, discuss‚ and pray about the needs of that particular ministry within their national area. We've lacked people in positions of responsibility who could focus their time and energy on just one aspect of our Family life, and we hope that this board structure will allow for this focus."

62. "We need people who will be thinking, praying‚ discussing, and seeking the Lord for answers to the problems, for ways to move forward. We need people who have the faith and vision to act and be part of the solution, rather than waiting for solutions to come from WS or from the CROs. We need people who are willing to sacrifice their own time to help bear the responsibility for these vital pillars of Family life and help move the Family forward."

63. "We need people who are gifted‚ who are willing to go the extra mile, do the extra work, get involved, sit on these national boards and think, pray, and discuss together, and to take the initiative to offer various services to the Homes within their pillars that will help and benefit their national area, or to give advice and counsel to the Homes who request it‚ within their realm of responsibility" (ML #3352:23,26,48,74,85, 134).

64. A lot of words like initiative‚ time, sacrifice, prayer, discussion, getting in there and doing the job. That's another reason you were chosen. Not just because you have the gifts or the knowledge or the talent in your various ministries‚ but because you are go-getters. You are people who hopefully will take the initiative and will step in and really do something.

65. This is going to be hard work. It's going to take time. It's going to be a sacrifice. We're thankful, really, super thankful that you're willing to do this and that you've accepted. Of course, maybe after you hear all of this you may rethink your acceptance. So be it. But just so you know, there is certain work to be done here, there is responsibility, and you're going to have to have the drive and the initiative; otherwise the boards won't work. Your particular board will be inactive if you're not doing your part.

66. What is it that we want you to do? We want you to take initiative. We want you to pray. We want you to hear from the Lord about the situation in your pillar, in your area. We want you to discuss and come up with workable ideas that can help the Homes in your area, and then to implement those ideas. To put it down on paper or to communicate it to the Homes, however you're going to do that. To offer those services and to be available to make those services work, whatever they may be.

67. Now some of you guys aren't going to be able to do as much as others. You have a home life, and you have a Home, and we'll talk about that more later. You're not going to be able to do everything. You're not going to be able to do everything all at once. Take initiative. Take small steps. Do what you can, but don't be afraid to come up with a solution and to really pray and seek the Lord about it and then to implement that solution and work towards making the solution really work. We need you to take initiative. We need you to pray. You need to hear from the Lord. We need you to work with the Homes.

68. Like I said earlier, listen to what people in the Homes have to say about this particular pillar, or their ideas, because that's where you'll get a lot of your ideas. You'll get a lot of your ideas from others. Again‚ we're creating a place, your board, where people who have ideas about the ministry that your board is involved in can go with those ideas. So don't shut those out. Listen to people. That's part of your job—to listen—and then if it has merit, to bring it up to the board and to discuss it and pray about it.

69. Again‚ you're not expected to know everything. If you're really smart, you'll learn to listen to the counsel and ideas of others and you can bring that to the table and incorporate that into the bigger solution that you're looking for.

70. You have the authority to make decisions and to enact them, so please make decisions and enact them. The entity of the board has that authority; so don't be afraid to do it. But, of course, you have to understand that you're not dictating to the Homes. The Homes have a choice in the matter. So be prayerful. Be loving. Be sweet.

71. Another thing is, the board has those rights and responsibilities to make and enact decisions. So you don't have to wait around for instructions from the COs or your regional board guys or regional councils; you can make decisions. Again, it's initiative.

72. It's kind of scary. Here you are, you're going to be in your first board meeting and you're going to pray about this and that, and you're going to think‚ "Well, you know we could do this and this would be really helpful." It's not going to be like, "Well, we could counsel with the VS or we could call the CO or write a letter and see if we should do it." That's not the way it's going to be. If it was going to be that way, then let's leave everything as it is. Instead it's like, "We've prayed, we've agreed‚ we've heard from the Lord and He's confirmed that we should go ahead and try this." Well, then‚ go ahead and try it!

73. I know the first time you do it you're going to hold your breath like, "Okay‚ here we go!" Praise God! You'll see that some of the things you do will really work and will really help people. Some of them won't help. Well, praise God! Find out why it didn't work‚ modify it, or pray for something else and some new solution.

74. You don't have to worry too much about making decisions that don't work out as well as you thought they would. You just have to keep praying, keep counseling, keep seeking the Lord and listening to others. If the Homes are implementing a decision, then listen to them. If they say, "Well, it's not really working that well," then go back to the drawing board. Go back and pray further. But just don't wait around for somebody "up there"—except for the Lord Himself—to come and tell you what to do! Don't wait for others to make the decisions for you or to tell you what you're supposed to do; that's not the point.

75. Again‚ you're supposed to try to bring about change and initiatives that are going to help the Homes in your areas. That change or those initiatives, or whatever, are going to be different in every area. But that's okay. You just do what you feel is best. And if you've counseled and prayed and heard from the Lord and you're in agreement as a board, then you just move forward by faith. Hopefully, and usually, it will probably work out pretty well.

76. But another thing is, in your decision-making—and this is really important, folks—you have to be prayerful, very prayerful. You really have to hear from the Lord, and you do have to confirm your decisions with the Lord. But besides being prayerful, and we'll talk more about that later‚ you have to be realistic about your initiatives or your plans. You have to be realistic about what you can achieve and about how fast it's going to work. Rome wasn't built in a day. So you can't think, "Oh, wow, now that we're on the board, man, I've got all these ideas. We can change this and that." That's good. It's nice to have that kind of enthusiasm, but Rome wasn't built in a day. You can't try to fix every problem in your first meeting. If you bite off more than you can chew, it just won't work.

77. If you're flooding the Homes with all these initiatives and ideas and things that you're suggesting, it's going to be too much for them. Because, remember, it's not just your board they're hearing from—there are four or five other boards too. Just take it a step at a time. Maybe identify the first one or two big problems or things that you can do and pray about those. You'll have another meeting some months down the line and you can pray further about other things then and implement them.

78. But you have to be realistic. You have to figure, is it possible for the Homes to actually do what you're suggesting they do, and are they going to want to do that? Are they going to want to get involved with it? Are they going to want to do that? Because if you come up with ideas that are way out there or unrealistic, it's not going to help anybody.

79. I've told the administration department and the different people we counsel with to, "Think globally. Think globally." Because they would come up with a good idea‚ but it wasn't an idea that could be applied to the whole Family, so it wasn't really an idea that was going to be that useful.

80. You have to think about things that the Homes are really going to be able to do, and make it as easy as possible for them to do it—suggestions that are good for them and that they're going to want to do. Otherwise you're not going to get anywhere.

81. So don't expect everything to happen all at once. Make sure that your suggestions to the Homes are doable and are easy to manage. As I said earlier, you're offering a service; you can't be dictating to them. So please, be very careful about trying to impose your decisions on the Homes. You can't do that. They have the right not to accept. So you have to work to make your suggestions good ones, prayerful ones, ones that they will want to implement, and ones that will really help.

82. Another thing to remember, and we'll talk about this more at length: How you interact with the Homes as a board member both officially when you're passing on the suggestions and the services you're going to offer, and personally when you see them on a day-to-day basis, is going to make or break your suggestions or decisions. If you're pushy with them‚ either officially or even unofficially when you're just visiting with them, and you're offending them, well, a brother that is offended is harder to be won than a strong city. So besides being on the board, your personal interaction with people is going to make a difference. We'll talk about that next time around.

83. Another thing, if you're going to be on the board‚ be committed to doing the job. If you don't want to do it, don't get on the board. You need to contribute. You need to be there. You can't just come and say, "Well, I didn't read the notes. I didn't read the agenda. Well, you know, I'm just here."

84. In other words, if you're there‚ if you're on the board, if you said, "Yes, I accept this," then you've got to work at it. You've got to have some passion for it. You've got to come to the meetings. You've got to participate. A lot of people say, "Oh, well, I don't know why I'm here. I'm not so smart, and these guys are smarter." You're there because people prayed about you being there and they believe you have some good things to say, and undoubtedly you do. So say 'em. Feel free to speak up. We'll talk about that, too.

85. But if you don't want to have the initiative or you don't want to get involved, simply resign from the board. They'll find somebody else to take your place. We really need the commitment. We're in this together and we really need you. We need your ideas, we need your support, we need your prayers‚ we need you discussing and communicating and talking with the Homes and seeing the need and trying to find solutions. We desperately need it. So if you're in there, please do the job. It's really important, and we really need you.

86. I really love you! That's the end of this tape. God bless you.

(End of file.)