KEYWORDS: children, home, homes, family, school

Tighten Up!--Restructuring the Family of the Future, Part 4

Karen Zerby

GN 1110 FD/MM/FM

By Maria FD/MM/FM 3519 11/04

Dear Family,

1. Peter and I love you very much! We pray that through the renewal you experienced greater spiritual inspiration, increased strength, and more joy in your Homes and service to the Lord. We also pray you're continuing to have wonderful times of fellowship, spiritual feeding, recreation, inspiration, and learning with your children, JETTs and teens. We are proud of you for working hard to make the changes the Lord has asked of us. Change is difficult, but you've shown an attitude of willingness, which is both admirable and necessary. You have felt the need for change in the Family and you are embracing it, even though it is a fight for you. Peter and I admire you for once again forsaking all‚ praying your "whatever it takes" prayers, and being willing to let the Lord work in your life, doing whatever He knows is necessary to help you get and stay strong in spirit.

2. Through the renewal, all the instruction the Lord is giving us, and most of all your obedience and personal decisions, the Family of today is progressing and moving forward, and it's wonderful!

The Lord's Warnings to the Family, And Our Lack of Obedience

3. We're going to talk in this GN about another big change the Lord has asked us to make, and in order to do so, I'm going to backtrack a bit and recap what the goal is in all these changes that we're making. I'm recapping this not because Peter and I or the Lord feel that we're not progressing—because to the contrary‚ lots of progress is being made, and the Family is getting stronger! But we're not out of the woods yet, and some of the changes the Lord is asking of us will require us to stretch more in some areas, and it's good to keep remembering why we're doing this, and what the consequences would be if we chose not to keep making this progress.

4. As you know‚ at the Summit meeting in September 2003, the Lord warned us once again that we need to change. He put "skin" on those warnings, making it clear that if we don't make the necessary changes, then He won't be able to use us in the way that He originally planned to, and therefore He would need to raise up a new Endtime army in our place.

5. I don't imagine that there is anyone in the Family today who doesn't understand why the Lord issued that warning. He made it clear in numerous messages that have been published in recent years that our compromises had weakened us and put us on the path that would have led to churchianity, to a compromised, cafeteria-style religion, where we would pick and choose only those parts of our religion which were easy‚ which kept us comfortable, which didn't preach or live the radical moves of God's Spirit.

6. Those compromises didn't happen overnight. That weakening was a slow process that developed over the years since Dad's Homegoing and the inception of the Charter. As Dad explained in the early Letter "Dropouts," God's movements which were born in the white-hot fires of His inspiration historically cool off and become lazy and lethargic and self-satisfied and self-indulgent‚ with a false sense of security, out of touch with the original inspired leader and his teachings, and out of touch with God—asleep, content, "rich and increased in goods and having need of nothing"—but actually "wretched and naked and blind" in the sight of God! And the most shocking thing about this condition is that they don't even know it! It's like a creeping paralysis which steals up on them—and they're dead before they know it! (See ML #42, Vol.1.)

7. Thankfully, we didn't reach that state of spiritual death, but we certainly were on the path that leads in that direction. That creeping paralysis of compromise was slowly but surely taking hold of our spirits, our lifestyle‚ our fire and conviction, and we were beginning to cool off, weaken spiritually, and return to the world, to the point that it was clear that if radical change didn't happen‚ then we would fail the commission the Lord has given us.

8. The Lord had done His part to expose our cooling off over the years through the Shakeup, the "Conviction versus Compromise" series, etc. He stressed the need to get back to the basics, to obey and live the Word, to return to the special unique qualities that make the Family different, to be more dropped out, to sacrifice more, to distance ourselves from the world‚ to take a stand to live the radical truth of the words of David, etc. These Letters had some effect, but they didn't bring about the sweeping spiritual change the Lord was looking for.

9. Why was that? Why didn't those Letters sink deep into our hearts and bring about concrete, long-lasting change in you, your personal family, your Home, and the greater Family? Certainly one reason was because we had gradually been cooling off spiritually, no doubt due to the influences of the evil demons that were fighting us and blinding our eyes—Lethargy, Apotheon, Pan, Bacchus, the Selvegion, Arakan‚ Obstacon, etc. It was easier for us to slowly float along with the currents of compromise than to fight hard to swim upstream against those currents.

10. Another reason is that so many in the CM Family used the Charter as a means of compromise instead of going by the Word, taking it at face value, and following through on what it said. While the Charter made it clear that we were to apply the New Wine in the GNs to our lives, so many felt that they could choose whether to obey or not obey, and whether to apply or not apply the counsel the Lord gave, and thus many began to pick and choose only those things that were within their spiritual "comfort level." And because there was a lack of shepherding and a lack of discipline, there were very few repercussions for those who chose not to obey.

11. Even when the Lord gave very strong counsel and correction, if CM Family members chose to continue in their previous half-hearted compromised lifestyle and not follow the counsel for full-time discipleship, there wasn't much chance of discipline as there wasn't a firm plan in place for following up and monitoring the obedience level of each Home that was supposed to be portraying a sample of discipleship‚ and there were few VSs who could travel and monitor the progress personally. The result of this was that we missed some of the significant changes that the Lord hoped would come about as a result of Letters like "The Shakeup," "Conviction versus Compromise," the "Show Me the Money" series, and others.

12. This needs to change. We must have a method of monitoring whether we‚ as a Family, are following where the Lord is leading, whether we are obeying and applying the timely new counsel He is regularly pouring out to us. In order to ensure that we don't stray from the path of His will‚ Peter and I will, in counsel with the RSs and others, make various amendments to the Charter so that the Charter will reflect the current Word and standard of the New Wine. The Charter articulates the law, which is taken from the counsel in the Word and the spirit of that counsel. However, the Lord is continually giving New Wine, clarifications, adjustments, and new challenges to the Family, and we in WS have failed in keeping on top of updating and weaving this New Wine into the existing Charter guidelines and rules so that the Charter reflects the most recent moves of the spirit.

13. By keeping the Charter current with the New Wine, and by implementing the Charter as it should be implemented‚ it should be easier for us to apply the Word in our daily lives, because, as we know, the Charter mandates consequences for disobedience. It is human nature that when we know there will be consequences for disobedience, when we know we stand to lose something important if we disobey, we are more likely to obey. So the administration team in WS, along with the IBCs, will make a conscious effort to keep the Charter more updated with the New Wine. But do remember‚ too, that even if there isn't a Charter amendment to cover every change in the New Wine‚ as FD members you are required to "Live in accordance with the Word by endeavoring to apply the spiritual and practical counsel given in the Letters to [your] daily lives." ("Responsibilities of Individual Members," D.) So between WS trying to keep the Charter updated‚ and FD members understanding their need to live the practical and spiritual counsel in the Letters, the FD Family should stay more on track.

14. Another avenue to help us keep up with the direction the Lord is leading is the implementation of "Home accountability" and the yearly Home reviews. All of the six boards have articulated the FD standard of their pillar clearly.

15. Through the regular Home reviews that will be evaluated and a "grade" assigned to each Home in each pillar, there will be a practical means of checking the level of obedience of each Home. Homes or individuals can still choose to obey or not obey, you can still choose to implement the New Wine or not, but there will be a consequence to those choices, and you will be placed in a category of service that accurately reflects your lifestyle. This means that the Lord's instruction, warning, correction and counsel will be more fully and accurately implemented by those who choose to live full–time discipleship, the FD Homes will truly be the sample they should be, and those who do not make the changes needed will not retain their place in the Family discipleship category. (Note: Please understand that the April Home review will be more of a self-evaluation. Your Home will not be officially graded on that review; it's a "test run.")

The Sample of the FD Home

16. As was explained in "Forward, Always Forward!" we will put greater emphasis on the sample of the FD Homes, for the Home is where discipleship thrives. I want to review some important points for you, as it's imperative that you understand the goal in all this if you wish for your Home to remain in the FD category.

17. To begin with, I will include an important portion of the above–mentioned Letter. Since this is such a key principle for our future growth‚ it's absolutely necessary that you understand it; therefore, it's well worth the repetition.

18. (Peter:) The starting point for nurturing and living Family discipleship is the Home. While an individual may have the desire to be a disciple, the Home is where that discipleship is lived. While there are undoubtedly individual Christians who live a form of the discipleship lifestyle according to the truth they have in the Bible, the discipleship lifestyle for us in the Family is defined by both the Bible and the words of David‚ and the unique qualities of that lifestyle can only be lived out in a Family Home. To follow the discipleship calling and provide the special sample of full-time discipleship that the Lord has given to us, the Family‚ one must live in a Family Home. Therefore the Family Home becomes the foundation or springboard or sample of modern-day discipleship as explained in the words of David, and it is the most important unit within the Family structure.

19. In order to strengthen the overall Family, we must strengthen the Homes, because the Home is the core of the Family. The Home is where discipleship is lived. … Our Family Homes show the sample to the world that true, living, applied Christianity, as portrayed in the New Testament, exists in today's world. True communal discipleship Homes show the world that there are Christians who are willing to live 100% for God, who are willing to give up the comforts and conveniences of selfish System living to live a life of service to others. Our willingness to live by faith, to witness full-time and trust God to supply our needs as we share all things, is a testimony of the existence of a living, caring, very real God.

20. The communal Family Home is what sets us apart from the majority of Christians in the world; it is what makes the Family unique.

21. The Home provides both a supportive environment and fellowship with others to help you live discipleship as defined by the Lord. Full–time 100% discipleship means to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature (Mk.16:15); to be together with those that believe, to have all things common (Acts 2:44‚45); to deny yourself and take up your cross daily, and follow the Lord (Luk.9:23,24); to forsake all that you have (Luk.14:33); to come out from among them, and be separate and touch not the unclean thing (2Cor.6:17); to refrain from serving two masters, God and mammon (Mat.6:24); to lay down your life for the brethren (1Jn.3:16); to trust that God will supply all your needs (Phil.4:19); to continue in the Word (Jn.8:31‚32); to glorify the Father in bearing much fruit (Jn.15:8); to show that you are a disciple through the love you have one to another (Jn.13:35).

22. The Home is, in actuality, a team made up of all the members of the Home. When the members of the Home live together, work together, obey together, and watch out for one another, they will form a winning team. A team that truly becomes one unit, with all members working toward the same goal of victory, will become strong; they'll be winners. The Lord put us in Homes because He knows that while it is extremely difficult to fully live up to His standard of discipleship as individuals, when we are together, united as a team and upholding one another, it is much easier. Thus the role of the Home becomes vital to living the discipleship life. (ML #3479:68,69,71‚72,76, GN 1067.)

23. (Mama:) Here are some points to consider carefully:

24.Our FD Homes are to be samples of full-time discipleship. This means the Home overall provides the sample, not the individuals alone. Based on this concept, the FD Family will be adopting "Home accountability."

25.The unique attributes of the Family‚ the things that make the Family different from other churches and new religious movements‚ can only be portrayed to the world through the sample of the communal Home rather than the sample of individuals.

26.There are changes that need to be made to bring the FD Family up to the level of commitment and dedication that will accurately reflect not only Jesus' words to His early disciples, but also the teachings of David, which are what make the Family unique.

27.There will be Charter amendments put in place that will help to define the sample of full-time discipleship and to make sure the FD Homes are what they should be.

28.Our FD Homes need to "get back to the basics" and be a better representation of the Word in such "trademark" qualities as communal living, sharing all things, being separate from the world, homeschooling our children, living by faith, and being full-time witnesses who bear lasting fruit.

Counsel on Merging and Expanding Homes

29. As you know‚ some of the main compromises that seriously weakened the Family were addressed in the "Conviction vs. Compromise" series. One of those was the decline of the average Home size. The Family did not‚ however, make the needed adjustments in their Homes' size as a result of that counsel, as was demonstrated by the fact that two years later, at the time we were preparing for Summit 2003, the Home sizes in the CM Family were noted as follows:

30. (Peter:) Currently, 149 of our 685 CM Homes are undersized, meaning that they contain less than four voting members. That's 22% of our Homes! And 88 of those undersized Homes are single-family Homes.

31. "Conviction vs. Compromise" also makes it clear that even a four-man Home, and especially a single-family Home, can't be a truly fruitful discipleship Home, yet presently there are another 128 CM Homes which are only four voting members, which the Lord has said are very likely to be unfruitful. All together‚ this means that 40% of our Homes are either undersized, or are, by the Lord's definition‚ not able to be the fruitful sample Homes they are meant to be. (ML #3468:81,82, GN 1054.)

32. This lack of progress in establishing larger Homes made it obvious that a change in the Charter was needed regarding the minimum Home size for FD Homes. It is our prayer that the larger minimum size for FD Homes (minimum of six members, ages 18 and above) that will go into effect in January 2005 will make a very big difference in strengthening our sample of full-time discipleship. We trust that this increased Home size requirement will allow you to not only form a much stronger discipleship base‚ but will also lend itself to being a clearer example of the teachings of Jesus and the way He has instructed us to live through the Words of David. We pray it's going well for you in finding new personnel and larger housing, as needed, to form a good winning team.

33. I'm sure that those of you in the Homes that are still undersized are praying about and working toward getting people into your Homes in order to meet the new minimum Home size rules. We first published the news about this new requirement in November of 2003, which was one full year ago. At the time of finalizing this GN, there are only two months left to meet this goal.

34. I'm concerned, as some of you are finding yourselves scrambling to get personnel at the last minute‚ which certainly doesn't lend itself to building a well-rounded team. I'm concerned that many of you are so busy trying to find folks to move in with you that you aren't considering that maybe the Lord wants you to move in with someone else. I'm also concerned that some of you, especially if your Home has been one of those "mom and pop shops," are looking to add personnel to your Home to bring the Home size up in the hopes that you can more or less continue on as you have been living without having to make the spiritual changes needed to be a true discipleship Home. Remember, the goal is to build a winning team; it's not to preserve the status quo in your Home; it's not to continue on as things are and to try to get by with the very least disruption to your routine, schedule‚ and comfortable lifestyle.

35. It's pretty obvious that if so many of our Homes were undersized, then some of those Homes will have to combine with other Homes‚ which means that some of those Homes are going to have to close. But if everyone is fighting to keep their Home open, then there are going to be a significant number of undersized Homes come January 2005. Those FD Homes that are not at the minimum Home size by the TRF of January 2005 will be moved to MM. If you are still undersized when you read this GN‚ we suggest that you seriously pray about whether your Home needs to combine with another, which means your Home closing, or both of the existing Homes closing and finding new housing and having a brand-new start!

36. I've also heard of a number of families with children who are looking for Homes to join‚ but who are having a hard time finding Homes that are willing to take them. We strongly urge you to be very careful in who you turn away from your Home, as that family with children might be the very addition to your Home that brings the sample in many areas that you would otherwise be lacking.

37. Besides undersized Homes, another compromise addressed in the "Conviction vs. Compromise" series was the lack of homeschooling our children. I will address this point in this GN, and will explain the Charter amendments that will be implemented to help us achieve the standard of the Word in this area.

Changes in Outside Schooling Allowances for Children in FD Homes

38. When the Charter was implemented, enrolling your children in System school was allowed. That flexibility for our children's education was necessary at that time because the years immediately after the Charter were turbulent; they were years of much change and instability. Further counsel was published one year later in "Our Children's Education" (ML #3066, Lifelines 23), in which the Lord explained the responsibility of you parents to invest the needed time to shepherd and spiritually train your children‚ if you chose to let them attend System school.

39. At the time of the "Conviction vs. Compromise" series, Peter and I examined the fruit of having our children in System schools and we asked the Lord about it, as it was clear that things were not going well in this respect. There was a growing trend toward schooling outside of the Home, but without the needed spiritual shepherding and cleansing of the children. As a result, the children of the Family were greatly weakened spiritually, and now we are seeing the long-term fruit of those years of disobedience. This lack was addressed with a strong rebuke from the Lord in "Are You a Disciple?" I wrote the following at that time:

40. Now let's move on to a subject that is very controversial—System education. When you older SGAs were young, the standard on education was very clear. We generally homeschooled our kids, not wanting to corrupt them in "mindless, godless schools" or turn them over as "sacrifices to Moloch." But my, how things have changed! ...There was some flexibility given about sending children to System school in the Charter and in the Letter published in 1996 called "Our Children's Education" (ML #3066, Lifelines 23).

41. It was made clear in the above-mentioned Letter that your children would suffer if you didn't devote even more time than usual to talk times and personal shepherding‚ helping them stay very close to the Lord through extra spiritual cleansing and strengthening. But most of you parents who have your kids in System schools have not obeyed that condition sufficiently, and your children have suffered.

42. We've heard from many sources the foreboding warning: "You think the older young people have problems?! You have no idea what we're going to face when today's OCs and JETTs grow up!"

43. Some of you have lost faith for the younger children of the Family, and in some cases, you're saying they're almost totally sucked into the System, clueless as to what the Family is all about, becoming very spoiled children who have no interest in studying the Word or witnessing, very rebellious and void of spiritual understanding or respect, etc.

44. Your children are your most precious "possession." But are you more interested in having leisure time, in not wanting to be confrontational, in relaxing after work, in just letting them so-called "be happy" so you don't discipline them or require that they obey? You will reap what you sow, and those of you who have put your darling children in System schools without watching very, very carefully for their souls will be sorry!

45. This is a serious, devastating situation that threatens the future of the Family. It may not threaten our future today or tomorrow, but it will eventually‚ because you parents who want to be missionaries and live for Jesus will be handicapped by rotten children who are a reproach to your witness and lives as Christians!

46. I understand [that] many of you parents opted to put your kids in System school because you wanted to give them a good education, which is a good reason. I certainly am not advocating that our children be uneducated or that you slack off in your schooling of them. But you parents are also responsible to train your children spiritually and to protect them from harm! We don't believe in ungodly education in an ungodly setting from secular teachers, while surrounded by often ungodly peers, who teach or pass on all sorts of other attitudes and lessons that tear down our beliefs and way of life, while you parents do nothing or not enough to protect, nurture, shepherd and spiritually strengthen your kids against the negative input!

47. Of course schooling your kids at home is the best! We've had years to test the freedom the Lord gave in the Charter and "Our Children's Education," and we now have plenty of proof to show that sending our children to System school and not investing the needed time to strengthen them through shepherding is damaging their spiritual lives; it's undermining their faith and destroying their character!

48. So from now on, Peter and I want it to be known that we are not in agreement with System schooling for our children. We do not feel it's fruitful! We believe it's causing more harm than good! The majority of you parents have proven that you're not willing or able to keep your end of the bargain and give your children the additional spiritual shepherding and training in the Word they need, and consequently that System schooling is hurting much more than it's helping!

49. (Jesus: ) You'd better believe I'm upset about this! I'm furious! You have no idea how angry it makes Me when I see these, My darlings‚ My babies, My precious creations of love, put into the hands of total strangers to be educated, without the parents being watchful‚ prayerful, and diligent shepherds who care for their souls, not just their education! That is nearly inexcusable!

50. The children of David are without excuse! You've had the Word for over 25 years. David exposed the evils of the school system from the beginning‚ and it's only gotten worse—much, much worse! You have no idea how dangerous they are. You might as well throw your kids into the fires of Hell, because that's what it is spiritually. Those damned schools are the seat of atheism, lies, skepticism, materialism, homosexuality, perversion, and everything you'd want to protect your children from if you were responsible parents!

51. If you're too lethargic to see your sins today, you will see them one day, and you will weep! Everything you think you gained by abdicating your responsibilities as Christian educators of your children, you will see as nothing but husks! (End of message.)

52. (Mama: ) When I asked the Lord if Peter and I were seeing it correctly that nearly all CM parents who have their children in System school at present are out of God's highest will‚ because they have failed in their responsibilities that come with that decision, He said:

53. (Jesus:) That is definitely true! The reason is that they're not obeying; they're not doing what was laid down as their responsibility if they were to make this choice. They've fallen asleep spiritually, they've become derelicts, and it's only the beginning of sorrows‚ for these problems with the children will spread as nothing you've seen before, if not stopped. (End of message.)

54. (Mama:) After considering the reports we've heard over a long period of time, and seeking the Lord's confirmation, the conclusion we've reached is that most CM parents who are not homeschooling their children are not in the Lord's highest will, not because having your children in System school is inherently wrong, but because you are not giving your children what they need spiritually and you're not obeying! This greatly displeases the Lord and us! I'm upset about it. It makes me very sad to think of the devastating consequences that you'll have to pay in the years to come. The most important and effective years to train your children will have slipped through your fingers, and you'll be lamenting, but with no one to blame but yourselves! (ML #3365:90, 92-94, 96–97, 100, 103-104, 107, 110, 112-114, 118, GN 963.)

55. (Mama:) What you just read was published in September of 2001. Some of you may have improved in the shepherding of your children; others have taken your children out of System school. But because this was highlighted as a serious problem and compromise, and because we must protect the future of our children, we looked at the Charter allowances regarding our children's education very seriously at the Summit. We went back to the proverbial drawing board regarding some of our present-day Family policies and practices to see if we needed to tighten up the options so as to encourage greater adherence to Dad's original teachings.

56. We saw the need to seriously look at this part of our discipleship lifestyle—keeping our children separate from the world through homeschooling—in light of the Lord pulling up the standard of the FD Family. We sought the Lord desperately to see if His warnings in the "Conviction vs. Compromise" series concerning the education of our children had had sufficient effect, or if it was time for a change. Our children have always been one of the greatest "proofs of the pudding," as Dad said. We need to get back to the point that our children are a testimony of the fruit of living for the Lord, being raised in the knowledge of the Lord, and growing up as witnesses for Him.

57. Obviously, our children are an extremely important part of our witness; they should be an important part of our sample of full-time discipleship to the world. Are you in FD Homes training your children as you should?

Why we're emphasizing homeschooling for FD Homes

58. During the Summit, a subcommittee of some of the RSs discussed and prayed about whether any adjustments were needed in the Charter allowances regarding the education of our children in outside schools. The two options were: Keep the policy as it was stated in the Charter and strengthen the enforcement‚ or change the policy for the FD Family. After counsel‚ discussion, prayer and asking the Lord, it was clear that the policy regarding children of FD members going to System school needed to be changed. Here are excerpts of the prophecies received:

59. (Jesus: ) I wish to make changes in the System schooling rules and allowances for the FD Homes. I have given the Family a lot of time to test their faithfulness, and it's high time for a change. There needs to be more impetus to homeschool your children. There needs to be a change‚ to make it stricter, to close the door on the compromise.

60. There are some legitimate reasons why people could choose to send their kids to outside schools, but those reasons are much fewer than what are presently cited by FD members. The reasons need to be legitimate, and the onus must be on the parents to prove that they need this option and that they're being faithful. If they can't prove that, then they can move to Missionary membership if they want to have their children in System school.

61. If there are fewer openings for sending children to System school, there will be more drive to get into bigger Homes and to co-op on the training of the children. If things remain the same for the schooling of the children‚ and parents can so easily put their children in System school without having to answer to anyone and without having to give account of their faithfulness to fulfill their end of the bargain, then the younger generation will only deteriorate further, and with time, your children will be corrupted to the point of total ruin.

62. You can't look at this as a "slight Charter adjustment." You need to get seriously concerned about how your children are being corrupted and polluted by the System‚ and see it for the horrible inroad of the Enemy that it is. As you pray further about the changes in the FD Family, you will begin to see more clearly why it's so important that very few of your children in FD Homes go to System school. You will see that there are important and far-reaching reasons for this, and you will be thankful that you closed this gaping door to the System for your young ones.

63. The emphasis on bigger Homes is extremely important for many reasons which you're already aware of, but one is the greater ability to have home schools, to share talent, to teach your children together with all the adults in the Home contributing their talent and time to training and educating the children.

64. A very important reason that I want to minimize the System schooling in FD Homes is that it will bring disunity if there are children from one family in System school and others from another family being homeschooled. That will be a case of, "How can two walk together unless they be agreed?" Homeschooling and sending your children to System school are two very different things that create very different attitudes‚ and it will be extremely difficult for the Homes to be united in such cases. Those circumstances will be a serious and debilitating inroad of the Enemy's division, and it will weaken your FD Homes greatly. It will make it much harder for teams to get together and stay together.

65. It is My will that you go as far as you can in disallowing System schooling without making it a completely closed door. There will be exceptions, but they should be exceptions baked into the rule, rather than making it look like homeschooling and System schooling are equal options. There are some legitimate reasons for System schooling‚ but it should not be a permanent situation.

66. If people are insistent on sending their kids to System schools, and yet they don't qualify for this exception in the FD Family, then they can simply choose to become Missionary members. You can't have the attitude of, "Oh, they'll lose their FD status over such a little thing as having their kids in System school?" This is one of the major compromises, right up there with undersized Homes and System jobs, and it must be stopped. (End of message.)

Charter amendment regarding children's education in FD Homes

67. (Mama:) A proposed change for the Charter was presented to all attendees of the Summit, and when preparing this GN‚ Peter and I again had the RSs and other board members go over it, at which time we received further comments that were prayed about. The following Charter amendment was agreed upon and will go into effect July 1‚ 2005.


The FD Home:

68. Provides an adequate education for its resident children by allotting sufficient time, opportunity, and educational materials for them to become competent in a manner appropriate to their age‚ ability, and aptitude in the skills of reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies‚ science, practical-life skills, and other curricular subjects. It is the Family's belief that homeschooling is the best way to educate the children of Family members, and thus parents who choose to live in an FD Home also choose the homeschooling method of educating their children. There may be cases when a child (or children) with "special needs" may require additional education outside of the Home members' capabilities. In this case the parent(s) could, with the Home's agreement, seek outside professional assistance or schooling to meet their children's special educational needs. Regular and thorough records must be kept of the shepherding and spiritual counseling and guidance given to each child with special educational needs who receives parts or all of their education from a non-home–study learning environment.

69. Raising our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord is a foundation principle of the Family. It is our firm belief that homeschooling our children in a loving, united communal Home is the best way to educate the children of Family members. (There are instances where the children of Family members might have to attend a local "umbrella"* type of school for a very limited amount of time to be granted homeschooling rights. Please counsel with your FED board regional chairperson to determine if such required classes are acceptable.)

*(Umbrella school: Umbrella schools act as representatives for homeschool parents with their local authorities and maintain the student's records. These schools usually provide facilities for testing and counseling, and offer curriculum recommendations. They sometimes require attendance in certain classes, in order for the student to be "enrolled" in their program. In addition, homeschoolers can often participate in sports programs, band, drama‚ and other electives offered by these schools. These umbrella schools are usually private, Christian schools or correspondence schools.)

70. There may be rare cases where a child would have special educational needs that the Home could not supply through homeschooling. In this case the parents, together with the Home, should decide how to ensure that their child receives an adequate education—either at home with private tutors or trained personnel‚ or in outside educational facilities.

71. The Charter explanation defines a child with special educational needs as follows: Children who are mentally challenged; have physical disabilities or learning disabilities; those who enroll in outside school, on a temporary basis, for the purpose of becoming competent in the national/local language, after other avenues of teaching them the local language have been thoroughly explored.

72. There might be other rare circumstances that would cause a child's schooling to fall within the special needs category. In such situations, the granting of permission for outside schooling will be handled by the FED board regional chairperson, who will evaluate the situation.

73. Children of Family members should become competent in the local language, for the purpose of becoming more effective missionaries and Christian samples. National children living in their own country or language area must be given the necessary time to learn to sufficiently converse, read and write in their national language. The Home and parents should discuss and pray about how to best accomplish this. It is therefore permissible for parents to enroll their children in a local outside school, on a temporary basis‚ for the purpose of learning the local language, provided the Home is in agreement, and the guidelines in "Our Children's Education" are adhered to. However, placing children in outside school should be a last resort, considered only after reasonable time, research, and effort have been made to teach the children the local language, through such means as tutors, local language courses, classes from nationals in the Home or other Homes‚ classes with live-outs or Active members, etc. These other means should be given sufficient opportunity and time before enrollment in an outside school on a temporary basis is resorted to. There must be a detailed record kept of how the other possible means for teaching the child the national/local language were explored for a reasonable amount of time, without success, if your Home expects to prove that your children have special needs in this regard. If a child is put in outside school for the purpose of learning the local language‚ it can be for one year. (If more time is required—i.e., in the case of very difficult languages—then special permission is to be sought from the FED board regional chairperson.)

74. We recommend that you counsel and communicate with your national/regional FED board when determining if your children have special educational needs that would require education other than homeschooling.

75. In the rare case that a child in an FD Home enrolls in outside school, it is the responsibility of the child's parents to keep regular and thorough records of the spiritual shepherding/training of the child, as well as records of the academic progress he/she is making. [Please see the suggested report forms at the end of this GN.] The Home must ensure that such records are maintained on a regular basis (monthly or twice a month) so that it can be determined if the reasons for enrolling a child in an outside school are being reached, and to make sure the required shepherding is being given the child. These records should be made available to the CP/FED boards upon request. These records will be considered when your Home is reviewed.

76. It is not necessary for parents to seek the counsel of their FED board before allowing their children to attend an outside extracurricular course. Parents may want to or find it necessary to supplement their children's education, missionary or ministry training with extracurricular outside courses, such as art‚ music‚ elementary ballet and dance, first aid, swimming, physical education, computer/layout, cultural culinary courses, certain sports, etc. The main criteria in seeking the Lord about enrolling your child in such a course are such things as: Will it develop talents and skills that will help them be well adjusted in life? Will it help them be better missionaries and disciples, and will learning this skill enable them to do more for the Lord? Will it fill their needs, which the Home would not otherwise be able to meet? Will it interfere with their missionary training? Will the parents/Home be sure to give their children the shepherding required? (Courses such as karate, tae kwon do, kickboxing, other martial arts, etc., would not be considered courses that enhance our children's educational and missionary or ministry training.)

77. As much as possible, extracurricular activities our children are involved in should be opportunities to be a witness, or to be a good sample of Christian training and homeschooling. While we want to limit the compromise that seeps in through our children's unsupervised and unshepherded exposure to worldliness, it's important that we don't isolate them or deny them sufficient opportunity to socialize. If their interaction with other children is shepherded and overseen, then extracurricular activities can be positive experiences that facilitate learning the local language, encourage self–esteem, uplift and highlight their good Christian training‚ teach them to stand by their convictions, build their confidence in the Word, and teach them to witness through their sample. The goal is to teach them that though they may be in the world, they are not of the world.

78. The counsel regarding the children's spiritual and shepherding needs given in "Our Children's Education" (ML #3066, Lifelines 23) should also be followed for children attending such extracurricular courses. The parents, along with the other Home members, are responsible and accountable to see that this is followed‚ and to monitor the spiritual effect of attending such outside courses on the children.

79. If parents fail to spiritually shepherd their children with special needs who are in outside school or their children who are enrolled in outside extracurricular courses, they risk losing their FD status. If having children in outside school brings disunity, the parents or Home could be moved to Missionary membership.

80. The Home must be in agreement with any children in the Home taking outside courses or activities or attending outside schools, in accordance with the Home Life Rules, J., page 267. If the Home is not in agreement, the parents can use their Right of Mobility or move to Missionary membership to remedy the situation. (End of new Charter amendment.)

81. (Mama: ) This amendment to the Charter will go into effect July 1, 2005. You have until then to work on building an acceptable, effective means of homeschooling your children if you wish to continue as an FD Home. The exceptions have been outlined above in the definition of "special needs children."

82. The intent of this amendment is that as you form bigger Homes and winning teams, you will make the care and educational needs of your children a priority. Our children are the Lord's heritage and our "national treasure," as our Husband recently pointed out. It is important that you as a parent‚ and your Home, have the personal conviction to do all you can to successfully homeschool these precious children.

83. We originally set the deadline for earlier in 2005, but in counsel and prayer moved it to the middle of the year so that children who have to finish their current school year in outside school can do so if it's not possible to start homeschooling them by the beginning of the year. Please seek our Husband for His direct counsel for your specific situation. He has His children's best interests at heart, and that is that they receive a good‚ well-rounded, godly education within our Homes.

84. There could be other unusual circumstances that could qualify under the "special needs" clause. For example, someone joins the Family with children from a previous marriage in the System, and the ex-mate (outside the Family), due to the legal arrangements made‚ can demand that the children go to System school. That's one valid example in which it could be legitimately unavoidable. Such cases can be discussed with your FED regional chairperson if necessary, to decide if it would warrant an exemption from the homeschooling requirement under the clause covering children with special needs.

Homeschooling is realistic, especially in larger Homes

85. You might feel you aren't qualified to homeschool your children‚ and we understand why some of you parents who have been living in such small Homes would not have had the time or energy to homeschool your children. But when we look at the Family of the future with bigger communal Homes, it becomes clear that this is a realistic goal, as you can join forces to train all the children in your Home, and you'll have other adults and young people to help with the homeschooling schedule and requirements.

86. (Jesus:) If you think about the Family of the future, it will be possible for a great majority of the children to be schooled at home and to get a proper education and maintain their grades. While some parents, such as new disciples on foreign fields, may not really know how to homeschool their children, the predominant reasons our parents have leaned on System schooling are laziness and letting in the spirit of lethargy. Because if people were really desperate, even though it would be a sacrifice and investment, they could learn how to homeschool their children and make it work, with all the counsel that is available to them.

87. With all the Word that has come out about the dangers of education outside of the Home‚ why would anyone want to send their children to System school? The danger is much‚ much greater and more subtle than any seeming advantages.

88. Putting your children in outside school should be a last resort, when you have exhausted every possible method and means of schooling them at home. It is true that some parents are not very strong on the educational side of teaching, but within the new larger FD Homes, there should always be one or two people who are knowledgeable in this area. You can also contact your local FED board, who can recommend homeschooling courses and offer teacher's training courses which are made available by different homeschooling programs. (End of message.)

The importance of educating our children; yearly educational evaluations or checklists

89. (Mama: ) An extremely important aspect of this change that you will want to keep in mind is that the Lord doesn't just expect you who live in FD Homes to pull your kids out of System school, but He also expects you to homeschool them, to educate them! Our children need to be educated; they need to be up to the appropriate level academically. That means you in FD Homes will need to shepherd your children spiritually and train them in missionary work and discipleship, while at the same time educating them in the various academic subjects appropriate for their age.

90. Just as an FD Home will lose its FD membership if the children are in System school but do not fall under the "children with special needs" clause, by the same token, if the children are not receiving an adequate Home education, that too would be cause for being moved to another category of service. So you see, it's not an option to pull your children from System school and not educate them. We need both the spiritual strengthening and shepherding that comes with homeschooling and the academic education that comes with a defined consistent program. We cannot let the educational standard of our children decline in our FD Homes.

91. It would be irresponsible for us to make a change to require homeschooling our children in FD Homes if we did not also institute a means to follow up on it and make sure the FD members are fulfilling their responsibilities in this regard. Therefore, the children's education and their spiritual shepherding and growth will be evaluated when each Home is reviewed in the year-end reviews. The CS, CP‚ and JT boards' review will focus on the spiritual state of your Home and children and young people, and the FED board will focus on the children and teens' academic levels.

92. The new Charter amendment will go into effect by July 1, 2005. That means that by that date, all the children in our FD Homes, except for those who fall under the "special needs" clause‚ will be homeschooled. In the review that will be conducted in April of 2006‚ it will be required that your children be generally at the appropriate grade level of their academic education. Your homeschooling students may be strong in some subjects and weaker in others, but their homeschooling needs to show steady progress toward the Family's education goal.

93. In the case of a considerable gap between the age and grade level, you would need to have proof that the student is making academic progress‚ and you would need to be working toward the goal that has been set through counsel with your FED board as to when your child or young person will have reached an appropriate academic level.

94. If your children are lacking academically in April 2006, if they're generally not up to the appropriate level, or if they're not making "provable progress" as per the arrangement you have made with your FED board, these lacks will mitigate against your Home, and could cause your Home to be moved to another category of service. (For more details on the educational requirements for children and teens, please refer to the "Scholastic and Schedule Rules" in the Charter and the "Charter Amendments 2003" GN [GN 1033].)

95. This is an example of how Home accountability could come into play, because, although the parents are ultimately responsible for the education of their children, the state of the children overall is an important part of the sample of your Home and it's an indication as to whether you've been living the One Wife vision with all of you taking responsibility for the care, training, and education of the children. The Home's learning environment needs to be a happy one‚ where the children and young people make steady and satisfactory progress in the spiritual, academic and vocational aspects of our education program.

What about System school to learn the local language?

96. Regarding putting children in outside schools for the purpose of learning the local language, the Lord said:

97. (Jesus:) One of the goals of parents who have chosen their mission field, where they and their children will reside and invest their labors for years to come‚ would be to learn the local language. The Home members should discuss and pray about how to best accomplish this‚ and for children, the downsides and negative pull of attending System school should be weighed in the equation.

98. I wouldn't disallow it as an option, although other means should be tried before full-time System schooling is resorted to. It should be a last resort. Reasonable time and research and effort should be made so that the language can be learned—such as tutors, classes from nationals in other Homes, or classes with live-outs or Active members—without the System influence accompanying it. It is important to fight for this requirement of learning the local language and not fall prey to the lies of the Enemy that it can't be done, as many missionaries before have proven that it can be done! Imagine, they have translated whole Bibles into the local language! So claim the keys of faith and soulitude, because you can do it!

Text box:

(Dad:) Learn to focus your thoughts, focus your prayers, focus your spirit, focus your mind, focus your soul, focus your whole "soulitude"! What is soulitude? That's soul plus attitude—your whole being—your soulitude! Focus it on the Lord, focus it on the power, and then shoot that prayer beam with pinpoint accuracy and blast the Devil to bits, blast the sickness to bits‚ blast the Enemy to bits, blast the problem or the obstacle to bits! Whatever solution you need, it's there through your prayers in the power of the keys, but you've got to focus on it. (ML #3433:396, GN 1016).

End of text box.

99. A goal could be made of a child learning the basics of the language within an acceptable amount of time of being in the country, and if this isn't being achieved by other means, then the Home can consider outside school in order to reach it. Learning the local language enables the child to then continue their growth and development in vital aspects of missionary training, such as leading others to Me, in–depth witnessing, follow-up and teaching classes. So I do consider it vital, and will allow it under the category of special needs, if other avenues of meeting this need have not proven successful. (End of message.)

100. (Mama:) We included some of the specifics of the Lord's counsel from this message, as well as other confirming messages‚ in the Charter amendment you read earlier.

101. This topic of children attending System school in order to learn the language was also addressed in "Are You a Disciple" when I wrote:

It's one thing if you put your children into System school for a limited amount of time so they can learn the local language and be a good testimony and witness deeply. That could‚ under the right circumstances and with the Lord's confirmation, be a legitimate option. But even in that case, you parents still need to do your part to properly shepherd your children; you still need to obey the guidelines put forth in "Our Children's Education‚" because if you don't, even if you have a good reason for having your children attend System school, which is to learn the language, they will still be hindered and corrupted spiritually. (ML #3365:119, GN 963).

102. To be in System school for the express purpose of learning the language is not a permanent arrangement. This should be for the maximum of one year. (If more time is required—for example‚ for learning a very difficult language—then special permission will need to be given.)

Homeschooling our children is part of full-time discipleship

103. This change in the Charter regarding educating our children is not unfair. This is simply a new requirement for Homes that wish to be in the FD category, just like having a larger minimum Home size is required. Homeschooling our children is part of our sample of full-time discipleship. As disciples we are to raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, we are to teach them to be missionaries and disciples, and we are to educate them in a way that is acceptable and appropriate for their age. The new Charter amendment says: "It is the Family's belief that homeschooling is the best way to educate the children of Family members, and thus parents who choose to live in an FD Home also choose the homeschooling method of educating their children."

104. The point is that by choosing to live in an FD Home‚ you are also choosing to not have your children in System school. If you don't agree with that, then that's perfectly fine. No one is forcing you to take your children out of System school; Peter and I are simply putting the choice before you, explaining the options. If you feel you must keep your children in System school and they don't qualify as children with special needs, that's fine, and you can still be in the Family, but you would need to do that as Missionary members.

105. This policy will be monitored to see how it's going, to see if it's having the desired effect, which is to enable our FD Homes to provide the full sample of discipleship as explained in the Word, including protecting our children from the influence of the world while still providing them with an adequate education through homeschooling. This policy will be reviewed and adjusted if necessary in 2006. In the meantime, however‚ if you wish to continue as an FD Home, please think and pray about this important new requirement.

Review of our System schooling allowances for children

106. To review, here are a few points that we ask you to consider, so that you understand the policy change:

107. • By July 1, 2005, the children of FD Homes should be homeschooled. The exceptions to this rule are "children with special needs." (See definition in paragraph 71 above.)

108. • You do not need permission to have a child enrolled in outside school (other than that of the Home, as specified in the "Home Life Rules," J, in the Charter), but if it is determined that your child does not have "special needs" as defined in the new Charter amendment, and that you have not followed the counsel in this GN, you risk losing your FD status.

109. • Please counsel with your national or regional FED board to see if your child qualifies as a "child with special needs."

110. • Children and young people who are homeschooled in FD Homes must generally be at their appropriate academic level by April 2006. In the case of a student with a considerable age/grade gap, your Home would need to provide records to show that there has been "provable progress" in that student's academic level, and that you're keeping up with the goals that have been established in counsel with the FED board.

111. • If children enroll in outside school to learn the local language, other means of teaching them the language should be tried first, and a record of these endeavors must be kept. If the other methods of teaching the local language are not successful, outside school can be an option. There should be, however, an agreed–upon time limit for children who are in System school to learn the local language; the maximum time is one school year.

112. • If your children are in outside schools because they're children with special needs or for the purpose of learning the language, you must follow the counsel in "Our Children's Education" regarding their spiritual shepherding. In such situations, you are required to keep records of the spiritual shepherding of your children.

113. • When you invite or accept new personnel to your Home, please consider the needs of the children and the personnel you will need in order to have an effective homeschooling program.

FD Members Must Be Full Dropouts

114. Again, it's extremely important that you remember as you read this GN that we're not demanding that you abide by these new requirements. This is only for those who want to continue as FD members. If you don't want to make these changes, if you don't have the faith for it or don't feel it's the Lord's will for you, that's fine. Then you can become Missionary members, which is a very good place of service, and you can continue as you are. There is no shame in that!

115. What Peter and I must do, however, is to put forth the message, to establish the method of monitoring the needed improvements, and to implement the Charter amendments needed to ensure that the FD Family will provide the sample to the world of what full-time discipleship is for today.

116. There might be very few Homes that retain their FD membership, but that's okay. We're not looking for quantity. We'll be very happy for those Homes and members who stay in or move to Missionary membership. We truly are pleased with this new category and believe it is a wonderful place of service. But the MM category is not required to portray the sample of full-time discipleship regarding the unique attributes that have made the Family different, and one of those attributes is full-time service for the Lord‚ living by faith, and practicing Acts 2:44 and 45.

117. We who hope to be FD members absolutely must return to the foundation of the Family's dropped-out lifestyle. If you have the title of Family disciple, then as you understand, much more will be expected of you. So Peter and I urge you who wish to remain FD to continue to strive to make the changes needed in your Homes, schedules, lifestyle, and priorities.

118. And if you don't have the faith to live up to the full requirements, or if you don't want to, then you can still be fruitful, happy missionaries in the MM Family. There is plenty to do to keep everyone busy. So find the place the Lord wants you, seek Him and find His will, and then fight for it with all you've got! Do what the Lord wants you to do, and with time we'll see a stronger FD Family and a stronger MM Family.

119. We love you very much and appreciate you. We will be praying for all of you, and know that our wonderful Husband will supply all of your needs and give you joy and fruitfulness in your labors. We will be wielding the weapon of praise on your behalf, using it to defeat the Enemy's attacks. We know great victories will be won, and we look forward to the future with eager anticipation of the miracles we'll see. Praise our faithful Husband.

With love and prayers,



Monthly report for FD parents to fill out and retain, to assess the shepherding given to their child/children who are enrolled in outside school. (This form should be made available by the Home to the CP/FED boards upon request, for consideration during Home review.)

1. Name and age of child/JETT/teen

2. Please define your child/JETT/teen's disability or special education need.

3. How many hours of outside school does he/she attend per week?

4. Is the child/JETT/teen accompanied by a Home member while at school?

[ ]Yes [ ]No

5. Does he/she have his/her own teacher and does the child receive individual attention?

[ ]Yes [ ]No

6. Is the child/JETT/teen in a group setting?

[ ]Yes [ ]No

7. Is this attention helping them to make progress in the needed areas?

[ ]Yes [ ]No

8. Are you having good‚ regular, open communication with your child regarding how things are going during their time at school‚ and are you answering any questions they may have?

[ ]Yes [ ]No

9. Have there been any negative effects or problems that have arisen this month? Please explain.

10. How is the child/JETT/teen progressing in his/her spiritual life?

11. When problems arise, have the children been pointed to the Word and given Word-based counsel? Were they receptive? Please explain.

12. Do you have regular communication and good interactions with the teachers of the outside school?

[ ]Yes [ ]No


Monthly report for FD parents to fill out and retain‚ to assess the shepherding given to their children who are enrolled in outside school. (This form should be made available to the CP/FED boards upon request, for consideration during Home review.)

1. Name and age of child/JETT/teen

2. Are you having good‚ regular, open communication with your child regarding how things are going during their time at school and are you answering any questions they may have?

[ ]Yes [ ]No

3. How is the child/JETT/teen progressing in his/her spiritual life?

4. Have there been any negative effects or problems that have arisen this month?

[ ]Yes [ ]No

5. Are they progressing well in their academic or language studies?

[ ]Yes [ ]No

6. Have you been able to keep up with their required daily quality Word time?

[ ]Yes [ ]No

7. Are they fulfilling the other spiritual requirements, such as memorization, hearing from the Lord, prayer and praise?

[ ]Yes [ ]No

8. Are you counteracting the child/JETT/teen's exposure to worldly influences with a Word program? Please explain.

9. Do you have regular communication and good interactions with the teachers of the outside school? Do they consider your observations and comply with reasonable requests?

[ ]Yes [ ]No

10. Do your children/JETTs/teens in outside school have sufficient witnessing opportunities and do they receive training in the life of a disciple?

[ ]Yes [ ]No

(End of File)