KEYWORDS: home, coach, shepherds, coaches, home shepherds, time

Getting Stronger—Part 4


Table of Contents

GN 1134 - 1135 FD/MM/FM

By Peter FD/MM/FM 3544 5/05

Dear Family,

1. Mama and I love you very much! Wow, things are really hoppin' and we're excited about what's happening! It's truly amazing when you stop for a minute to think about all the tremendous progress that has been made. Granted‚ it's been a lot to take in, to study, and to try to implement. It's been a lot of work! My guess is that all this change has brought some confusion and perhaps even temporary chaos to your Homes. But that's okay. That happens in revolutions, and it's to be expected. We just need to "embrace the chaos," as the comical expression goes, and hang on, trusting the Lord that things are going to get better, and they will soon.

2. If you're still rocking and reeling a bit from the Feast workshops, the elections of your new Home Steering Council and criteria monitors, and the first Home review, please don't feel bad. That's to be expected. Don't worry, things will fall into place and you're probably already seeing hints of more order in your Home as you're starting to get the hang of how things work.

3. We realize that you probably still have questions, and Mama and I are sorry that we haven't been able to get the A to Z to you regarding how the new Home structure and Steering Council are supposed to work, or the coach program, or the Home reviews. We'll try to answer some of your questions in this GN, and hopefully in the next few months there will be more counsel coming, too. But in the meantime, please be patient and try to take your questions to the Lord.

4. If something seems confusing, complicated, or frustrating, don't worry about it or get upset or lose faith. Again, we expected that there would be some turbulent moments as we went into this restructuring, and we understand that things are moving fast and there's a lot of information and change coming at you. But we're pushing to try to get things in place during this year of strengthening, and it's been pretty trying for Mama and me, too.

5. Revolution is never comfy cozy; it's usually messy and seems disorganized. But eventually the dust settles and you find you've made it through the most difficult part—the breaking down of the old and the building of the new. And then you can give your attention to the finer details. We're getting to the "finer details" stage now. I bet that's a relief for you.

It's time to consolidate our gains and monitor how we're doing

6. As I said in MO Site Notice #13‚ which was posted on April 19, Mama and I have been praying about the future of the Family. We have sought the Lord personally, and we also had the help of the IBCs and others from WS who heard from the Lord as well, before the IBC meetings that we had with them during the first week of April. The Lord has not indicated that there would be more big revolutions or upheavals in the near future, but rather that He will allow us some time to consolidate our gains, and to make sure that the positive steps forward that we've all made since the beginning of 2004 take hold.

7. It's one thing to make changes, and that's difficult enough. But in some ways it's even more difficult to monitor those changes, to watch and study the results to see if they're having the desired effect, and to prevent things from "taking on a life of their own" and morphing or evolving into something different than what the intent was.

8. Most of the changes that the Lord has led us to make so far, which you have wonderfully and wholeheartedly accepted and are working to make a reality, are still theory at this time. We believe the Lord has led in these changes. He has confirmed that we "got it right‚" and we have faith that things are going as He has planned. But even if we have the right plan and program‚ we still need to make sure it's enacted properly and that any kinks are ironed out. So over the next year or so, your RSs‚ RBCs, and IBCs will be carefully monitoring how things are going with the restructuring, so Lord helping us, we can anticipate any adjustments or tweaks that need to be made. We can let things play out for a while and then take stock of how things are going in the months to come, and on a regular basis, in fact.

9. So far this restructuring is a lot like that counsel from Dad where he told us you have to get your boat out to sea before the rudder of God's direction can take effect. (See ML #3012:47‚ Lifelines 22.) Similarly, we had to launch our new sleek vessel out into the open waters of the restructuring before we could see how it's going to float and if it's going to pick up the current of God's perfect will and really take off. There might need to be some adjustments in the course or the speed, but there would have been no way to know that without first getting out of port and setting sail.

10. Now we're on our way‚ and it just remains to be seen how she sails, if she's taking on water anywhere, if the course needs to be adjusted, etc. So that's where we're at now. We're watching, checking, evaluating, and are willing to make any changes needed to be sure we make it to our destination. Praise the Lord! What a ride! Isn't it great to pioneer something new and see the fruits of change!? And we haven't seen the half of it yet.

11. Mama and I are so thankful that you've each held on through the rough waters and uncertain times. We know the Lord will bless you mightily, and we're very grateful that you've had the faith to keep believing and trusting. We are proud of you. The Lord, too, is very proud of you. Before I get into the main message of this GN, which is more on the nuts and bolts of the restructuring, I want to share with you some very encouraging words of commendation from our Husband. You really deserve this praise and appreciation, and I pray that you will believe it and realize that He's talking to you, personally.

You're claiming your place as My Endtime Bride!

12. (Jesus:) I am so proud of you‚ My Family—the Family I created for a specific purpose in this time of history, the Family that has stuck by Me through thick and thin.

13. This is My Family, those who follow Me as we enter the Endtime stage, who reform and recalibrate and renew and restructure; those who are willing to change from time to time and from season to season in order to be what I need at the time. This is My Family, those who are willing to forsake all that they have, to throw away the old and take on the new at the request of My lips. This is My Family, willing to follow Me to the ends of the Earth and to the end of time as you know it, constantly reformulating, refiguring, and restructuring so that you can stay My new, vibrant Bride, revoluting and changing so that you always meet the need.

14. And you have done it again! Yes, the new structure may look a little unsteady to you and a little unstable. To some of you, it may seem somewhat of a shambles. But don't worry about it, because for you who have obeyed, I will now bring in My spiritual strength to strengthen and stabilize that which you have done. You have done the part that you could do, and because of your obedience, because of the widow's mite that you threw in, I will now come in with My riches and power, glory and strength, and make a thing of beauty out of what may look to some of you as something that is barely standing.

15. You have made your effort. You have obeyed. You are still in need of improvement, but because you have obeyed and put up what foundation, walls and roof you could‚ I will now come in as your Handyman to help you make something strong and beautiful out of what may seem weak and shabby.

16. There is a time and judgment for every purpose under the heavens, and for this time and this purpose, in this stage of history‚ it was very important that the basics of the new structure be put in place quickly. And so you have, and I am proud of you. Why? Because you have obeyed!

17. Do you know how many people on Earth are willing to obey Me to this extent and on short notice? Not very many! Who else on the Earth, tell Me, is willing to dismantle the way their organization runs, and the way their own personal life runs, to fast from worldly input, and then to restructure almost their entire modus operandi?

18. Unlike so many of My past brides, you have revoluted and revoluted and revoluted again! Therefore you have claimed your place as My Endtime Bride, who, if you stay true, will be willing to go with Me through the rough times that we have ahead. It will be rough in the sense that there will be storms ahead, not otherwise, because your new houses will be strong and sturdy, and you will have the capability, the structure, the leadership manpower, as well as the followership, to withstand the winds and rains‚ and power on into the Endtime. You are it! You are the ones who are going to do it if you follow through closely now on what you have begun.

19. I commend you and I thank you for laying that solid foundation. I commend you and thank you for electing your Home shepherds, your Home managers, and your board criteria monitors. And I thank you for putting on the roof of your Steering Council to help oversee it all.

20. And now it is time to strengthen these walls, to nail them together fitly, to add insulation where necessary, to lay proper roofing material over the top, to join wall to wall more securely, so that when storms hit they will stand, and when earthquakes shake they will have the resilience to bend and not break. It is time to put in insulation to protect from the cold, and ventilation to keep things cool when it's hot. It is time to put on protective roofing to protect from the rains.

21. And then, after all of that, it will be time to make practical improvements. We'll need the home decorators to come in and turn your new, practical, functional house into a home, where beauty and love abound, so that it is attractive to others and where visitors and friends can come and bask in the warmth of your love—My love—and become united with you in spirit—My Spirit.

22. Then‚ My loves, I can come and inhabit your Homes in all My fullness. As you will have finally strengthened and beautified the entire house that I have asked of you, the crowning touch of My Holy Spirit will descend upon you, each and every one, and all will see that the living God fully dwells within these four walls and under these roofs, in the hearts and minds and interactions of My Family disciples. For how shall all men know that you are My disciples?—When you have love one toward another.

23. And so My lost sheep will at first come in ones and twos, and then flock in droves to your Homes, for they will find there all the spiritual nourishment and sustenance they have been lacking, and they will stay because of it. So be faithful to build‚ to strengthen, to beautify, and to be sure My love is the force that connects you‚ for this is what will make the house flourish.

24. So take heart, My loves. I know many of you feel shaky‚ and you are wondering how this is going to work and how that is going to hold up. You're wondering if that person is really the right one or the best one for the job. But let Me tell you this: Not a man or woman upon the Earth is perfect. What makes the difference is Me, My anointing‚ and his or her yieldedness. So as your new structure members learn to yield to Me, I will come down upon each of them and make them into the man or woman of Mine that they need to be for their ministry. I will anoint them, each and every one, with the holy oil of My Spirit, and even from their mistakes I will bring victories.

25. The new structure that I have put into place will stand. It will be strong and secure, and it will enable you to bring forth great fruit, and as a result you will find great fulfillment‚ great peace, and great happiness! (End of message.)

My Endtime fleet, My chosen vessels!

26. (Jesus: ) The ship has turned around in the harbor through the renewal. We have restructured it upon the proper principles, My principles. And now we have manned it with the new officers and leadership. It is now time to begin working the ship with the new controls and operating procedures that I have implemented, until such a time as I engage the throttle and move her out onto the open seas, where I will size up the situation and then power her full steam ahead.

27. You are My fleet, scattered abroad in over 100 countries on Earth. You are My nation dwelling amongst the nations. I have restructured you, and now you are in the process of becoming a seaworthy fleet, each ship with its own captains and mates and crew, ready to do the Enemy damage. We will not fail. As you keep your eyes on the flagship, WS‚ your boards, and your new structure, all following the instructions of your Queen Maria and King Peter, you will be a tightly formed battle group that the Enemy will not be able to penetrate, but one that will penetrate the defenses of the Enemy. You will wreak havoc on his System, rescuing My lost sheep, becoming the dominant power of the seas.

28. The time is coming, My loves. Small beginnings, greater ends. I build My very great enterprises on little people and what may seem to be little principles—although they are important ones. And as you have obeyed Me in the small things in your individual lives and individual Homes, as you have regrouped on My principles and formed your little cells based on them, out of these individual cells of restructured Family Homes I am able to build My Endtime fleet that will power right on into the Millennium. It will happen, if you follow Me in all the work that lies before you.

29. So take heart, My hearties, for we have much work to do! But there is a purpose, and that is to build a strong, seaworthy fleet that will pick up those drowning in the sea and take them all on through the storm and into the next phase of life on Earth—the Millennium! You are My chosen vessels, My fleet, so see that what you build now, you build well.

30. I know you have recently reviewed your performance against the newly articulated FD standard through the first Home review. That was quite a challenge to look at your lives, your Home, and your work with honesty, and to let the light of My Word illuminate the weaknesses. Every FD Home has weaknesses. No one has arrived, so don't worry so much about your scores; just do the best you can to improve. Try to resist being discouraged. All have fallen short.

31. Don't allow the Enemy to cause you to waver or falter because you have weak areas. Rather, have the faith and guts, as seasoned sailors, to take it as a starting point and reach out for the prize of the high calling that I have called you to, My loves, from amongst all those on Earth. Each one of you is chosen out of millions. So fulfill your calling, and reach the goal. I am with you to help you, and I will do miracles for you, My brides. As you step out for Me, I will put ground under your feet, and each goal you commit to Me I will bring to pass as you follow.

32. So come‚ My loves, build, strengthen, unite, for we have much work to do and great days ahead, as the veil begins to part and I possess you with the fullness of My Spirit. I want you. I need you. I love you. You are My chosen vessels. (End of message.)

33. (Peter:) I pray that you're able to do what our Lover asks in these messages, to not get discouraged or overwhelmed by the challenges He's set before you—whether it be personally, or with your new Home structure, or regarding the weaknesses of your Home that have been brought to your attention through the first Home review. Look at these things as challenges. Let them pull you up to heights and accomplishments that you've not yet attained.

34. This restructuring isn't just an exercise in yieldedness. It's not a test meant to simply throw things up in the air and then put them back together again the same way. It's designed to move the Family, that is all of us‚ forward to a better place. If we can make it through this‚ we'll all be happier; our Homes will run better; there will be adequate spiritual shepherding in our lives and Homes; our children, JETTs and teens will be better cared for; our missionary work will progress, and the Lord will bless us more. That's the purpose in all of this!

35. So let's not lose sight of these goals. Let's push and fight and not let go until we've reached them! The "worst" is behind us, and now things are going to get better and better. Praise the Lord!

What about the Word revolution?

36. I have a fair bit of counsel to pass on about the details of the coach program, but before we get to that, I wanted to address probably the most important point in this whole GN. I'm going to talk about a familiar subject. It's a shame I have to bring this up, and I really shouldn't have to. But it's so very important that I can't afford to not mention it, because it is something so serious that it threatens to tear down all the progress we've made and destroy the good work that has begun.

37. Remember that good news that the Lord told us earlier in this GN?—About how we're becoming a seaworthy fleet, a tightly formed battle group that the Enemy will not be able to penetrate? That's true‚ but there is something missing, and we need to grab hold of that missing ingredient or we'll sink again.

38. It was very disheartening for Mama and me‚ even alarming, when we heard recently through comments from those who attended the Coach Training Program seminars that many Homes and Family members were still not slowing down enough to get their required quality Word and intercessory prayer time each day. Really, what is it going to take for the Lord to get through to us on this point? We felt that the "What Is Jesus Worth to You?" GN from Feast 2003 would have been strong enough and sobering enough to motivate people to form the right habits, but apparently that hasn't been the case.

39. This one oversight or failure has potential to bring down both you and your potential winning team. This one single deficiency, if widespread‚ could be the one thing that loses the war.

40. We can't possibly restructure the Family with just criteria and Home reviews and new coaches and Steering Councils. That's all important and it's part of it‚ but without building our foundation on the Word and putting the Lord first, the restructuring will fail. We absolutely must be obedient to "What Is Jesus Worth to You?" if we hope to save the Family. But as the Lord brought out in that Letter, it's up to each person individually, it's a choice you have to make. You have to have personal conviction. You can set goals as a Home, and you should. But no one can make you do it. It's up to you, personally.

41. If you haven't already made it a solid habit to have a minimum of one and a half hours of daily quality time with the Lord in the Word, with the emphasis on quality‚ then you'd better get down to some serious prayer and repentance now, because if you can't build this habit, I guarantee that you will not be successful. The Lord will blow on your efforts. He will lift His blessing, and eventually you'll weaken and fall away. That is a law of the spirit as certain as the physical law of gravity.

42. Mama and I ask that you reread "What Is Jesus Worth to You?" and take some time to reflect on that message and see how you personally need to change. That truly is step one—getting things right between you and the Lord regarding your habits in the Word and intercessory prayer. Because if you have the right spiritual habits, if you're depending on the Lord, and that dependence is manifested by quality daily Word time and prayer, then you'll find the answers you need. You'll find them in the printed Word‚ or you'll find them as you ask the Lord and hear from Him in prophecy, and your channel will be reliable because you'll be obedient and strong in faith and the Word.

43. We asked the Lord: How serious is this problem of the Family not slowing down enough to get quality Word and prayer time daily? How widespread is this problem? How do You look at it, Lord? Does this have potential to bring down our restructured house?

44. (Jesus: ) Will the restructured house of the Family crumble if you do not have the Word as its cornerstone and foundation? Of course it will! You won't even be able to build your house if you lack the foundation. It will be like building your house on sand. When the storm hits, it will get washed away, plain and simple.

45. This is a serious problem. This is sadly still a serious lack in My Family. The fact of the matter is that many of you, My brides, have not yet realized how vital and how much of a matter of life and death it is if you do not make My Word your number-one priority. From the beginning of this Family, your Father David made it very clear that spending time with Me was to be number-one priority‚ even above witnessing. So many people think that the work is the most important thing, and when there is a motivational message sent out to the Homes about doing more for Me or doing more for the Family, automatically people figure out how they can get more done, fit more into their schedule, and accomplish more—and this is often to the neglect of them taking their time with Me. But this approach will only bring them disappointment in the long run.

46. If My Word isn't the foundation and if it isn't put in its proper perspective, this restructuring and the changes that I am instituting and bringing about this year will not last, they will not take effect, and they will not make the ultimate changes which are needed. If Homes go about building their winning teams by starting with the frame of the house first, or even the base of the house, but do not put primary effort or priority into strengthening the foundation, into making sure it's secure, sound, and strong before they begin to build, then the house will collapse. There's no doubt about it.

47. My dearest brides, you need to get it firmly fixed in your minds‚ hearts and spirits that you will not accomplish, not succeed, not overcome, and not grow stronger if you do not put My Word first. If you do not spend the time in the temple that is needed, then there isn't much I can do to give you the strength, power, vision, endurance, anointing, and change that you are looking for. You wonder how you can fit time with Me into your busy schedules, into your daily lives? You wonder how you can find time to rest in Me as individuals and as a Home? The question should be‚ how can you fit what you need to do in the day around the time you have to spend with Me? That should be the question!

48. First things first—My Word. You work out time spent in My temple, time spent in My Word, time spent hearing from Me, and then you can think about going about your day to take care of My business. I am greatly saddened that this is still a question and that people are still wondering about this and how it can be done.

49. Haven't I made it clear enough? What more can I say? I am patient. I am gentle. I will try to drive this point home. But if you, My brides, do not take the time for the Word and recognize this vital need in your lives, then My hands are tied. You will meet with failure, and you will find it very difficult to face the future that I am bringing you into.

50. I understand that it's not easy. I know how difficult it is to find the time you need to tune in to your spiritual lives when all around you there are physical matters to take care of. The physical will always "scream" louder than the spiritual, hence it will seem more important to you, but that's why I was banking on getting the point across in the messages I gave in "What Is Jesus Worth to You?"—that while it may seem to you that the physical is more important, since there will always be pressing matters and physical emergencies, the spiritual is always more important!

51. If you, My shepherds and Family members, do not put My Word first, do not do all you can to find time to spend with Me every single day—and quality time at that—you will become disillusioned with the changes that are being implemented. These changes might seem inspiring at first, and may turn a lot of keys or change a lot of hearts initially, they may give hope where there was no hope, they may make you excited, but without the true foundation of having Me and the Word in first place, you will eventually run into a dead end, a brick wall, and once again let your enthusiasm die.

52. You will then wonder if this restructuring was really the answer, when the reality will be that you did not have the power or strength to face the full changes of this restructuring because you lacked My Word. Only you who put My Word first, who make it your number-one priority to spend time with Me, who continue to cause the Word revolution to revolute your lives will receive the faith‚ trust‚ obedience, and vision needed to see you through to the end.

53. I will tell you yet again, My children, how very important this is. But please realize that My pleading with those who do not understand this or haven't gotten the point will soon end. I will not plead anymore. I will show that I mean business. I have been showing that I meant what I said two years ago in "What Is Jesus Worth to You?" I said that there would be loss for those who fail to put the Word first. This is already happening in some Homes and lives, but those who are suffering in this way don't realize that it's a direct result of their not obeying what I have already told them about putting Me first in the form of quality Word and prayer time daily.

54. It is imperative, it is vital that everyone in the Family learns how to prioritize their daily lives. It's not a matter of only needing the Word for your encouragement or for your spiritual health. Haven't you yet learned that it will be your very survival? You, My children, are not children of this world. You are children of My Word. If the Word were taken out of your lives, you would die spiritually. You would become lifeless. I am bringing you to greater dependence on Me, and when you walk this road you will find that your very survival, your very life, depends on just that—Me and My Word.

55. If you do not make the Word a priority, then you will be responsible for bringing down your part of the restructuring—your Homes. You can follow the manual all you want, but if you don't get the power needed from My Word, if you don't get the energy, the drive, the passion, the determination, the faith from My Word‚ you will not succeed; you will not be able to build the winning team you have your hearts set on building. You need My Word.

56. I cannot stress enough the importance of getting this valuable lesson down, of learning how to make the Word revolution a very real part of this Family, of how much of a matter of life and death it is to your spiritual life. If I do not come first, if My Word doesn't come first‚ then how will I be able to bless you? How can I guarantee your success? How can I lead you to your promised future if you do not follow on the path of My Word?

57. My Word has all the direction. My Word holds all the secrets. My Word will give you the strength. My Word will make the impossible possible for you. You will not be able to do this on your own, and this is even truer from this new era on. The more you walk into the future, the greater your need for this lifeline with Me. Your spiritual eyes will need to open more fully if you are to see the promises that I have waiting for you. You cannot expect to just glide right into the future on your own strength, your own wisdom, and your own resolution.

58. You can liken the seriousness of it to the need for the sun in your lives. If this world didn't receive the energy‚ heat‚ light, and all the benefits that it provides, you would die. Imagine if the sun only produced half of its light or even three-quarters of its light; you would not be able to survive. So it is if you cut the Word out of your life even a little. You must let the Word reign supreme. You need to let it dominate. You need to let it bring you the light, energy, and heat that your spirit requires, otherwise your spirit will not have the strength that it needs to face the future.

59. Things will not remain as they are. The battles are intensifying. The demands will be greater. There are and will be higher expectations. And the one and only thing that will bring you through it and help you to make it is My Word. I am the vine and you are the branches. Without Me you will bear no fruit.

60. I have already said that I will provide a way for all Homes to make the time to get into My Word. If you haven't found the time or are at a loss as to how to do it, it means you haven't been trying hard enough‚ or more likely you haven't asked Me to help you. It means you haven't grasped the importance of My Word and how much of a matter of life, success, power‚ resolution, guarantee of My promises, and reward it really is. If you really believed what I have said about My Word‚ you would be doing all you could to set all other work aside until you got connected with Me for the day. You wouldn't dare do the Master's work without the Master's power. In fact, you'd be outright scared to! Because in this new territory of the future, you will need the Word to light your path, to lead the way, to show you where to go, and to tell you how to cross the terrain. Without the Word, you will get lost, you will perish, and you won't be able to make it.

61. I know I am always telling you how you can make it. And you can; that hasn't changed. But perhaps I will get your attention more if I say you won't be able to make it if you don't give the Word the priority that it needs. The house that I am building in this new restructuring will crumble without the Word.

62. If you put My Word first, if you go to the Word for instruction, guidance, direction, and to get the strength you need, you will receive faith, and that faith will help to bring you into the future. This is the way that I have set it up to work. I have provided My Word; you must provide the time to study and absorb it. You must take the steps of commitment, faithfulness, and diligent study in order to receive My full blessing. I have done My part. Now you must do your part.

63. It will take sacrifice to lay aside other things in order to put My Word first and to spend that time needed with Me. You are just going to have to take it by faith that I will do My part‚ if you do yours‚ and your part is to read My Word, feed from My Word, breathe My Word‚ and live My Word. I remind you of My warning to those who do not obey this plea. I have said that those who are not striving to put the Word first will show the fruits of that lack. You will begin to see these sad fruits and it will become clearly evident—there will be physical manifestations exposing those who are not obeying Me or taking this seriously.

64. It's your responsibility, each of you. I have said it more than necessary. My king and queen have pleaded. The shepherds have admonished. Now it's your responsibility. You must take this step of obedience. If you know these things, happy are you if you do them. Now it's up to each one of My brides. What will you do? (End of message.)

65. (Peter:) This is a message that is very familiar to all of us. We've been hearing about putting the Lord and the Word first for years and years, all the way back to "Stop, Look, Listen" and many other Letters since then! It's possible that just the fact that the Lord‚ Dad‚ Mama and I have been saying this for so long has caused the message to have no effect. Is that the problem? Well, whatever it is, we are praying very desperately that you'll see the seriousness of this warning and recognize how vital it is that you improve in this area. I am not going to go on and on about this, as you have so many Letters on it, which I suggest you study and pray about. Also, Mama will be addressing this subject soon in the first of a very important GN series. But we didn't feel we could wait until you received that GN to mention this. You need to take this seriously, believe the Lord's warning, and do something about it, if you hope to be a fruitful disciple and a winning team!

66. Mama and I can imagine that you would feel the need to focus on the boards' criteria so much that you'd be tempted to put your attention on fulfilling the criteria even above getting your Word time. But that's not the right order of priorities.

67. If you are putting the Word first, then the Lord will work out time or ways for you to get to everything else. But I can see that it will be a real struggle at first to fit everything in, and right now the criteria have a very prominent place in your minds and priorities, almost like the "all in all" or holy grail that you're supposed to attain. You are well intentioned in pushing so hard, especially right now, but nothing is more important than your daily time with the Lord. On this subject, the Lord said:

68. "Without your daily time with Me‚ you will never be able to fulfill the criteria, as so many of the criteria points are simply good fruit of the Word and living in Me. So taking daily, faithful, consistent time with Me is actually a shortcut, because if you're soaking in the Word, then you will automatically be living the fruits of the Word, which is the essence of many of the criteria points, not to mention that I am then bound by My Word to fulfill My promises that 'all these other things will be added unto you.'"

69. Please don't feel pressured about the criteria to the point that you neglect your Word time. Nothing is more important than each one of you connecting with Jesus daily!

Praise your way out of the left–out blues!

70. Okay, on to some of the counsel I want to share with you about the restructuring. The new coach program was introduced in "Getting Stronger—Part 2" (ML #3518, GN 1109), and since that time the CS board has begun training potential coaches. Most of you are probably aware of the fact that coach training seminars were hosted in all the regions, and the RSs are going to be appointing the coaches so that they will be taking their posts by the first part of July. The purpose of the coach training seminars was to help prepare the potential coaches for the job, to help them understand the differences between the coach ministry and the former VS program, and to give them an idea of what would be expected of them should they be appointed as a coach.

71. There were other attendees at the seminars, some of whom were not in the running to be coaches. They were there to receive training so that they could do their job better—such as the case of someone who helps with the shepherding desk or someone who is the secretary of the CS RBC, etc. There were others who attended for various reasons, but all generally came to receive the training or to be brought up to speed regarding the new coach program, even if they were not going to be coaches.

72. We have heard that some of you have had battles that you were not invited to attend the coach training seminars. This seems to be the case particularly with FGAs, some of whom have written in to their RSs. Not that the FGAs begrudged the fact that unexpected people were invited to the seminars, but they felt or wished they could have been invited too—not to take the place of those who were invited, but to sit beside them in the meetings so they could also partake of the training. We understand that feeling left out or feeling like you could have really benefited from the training or the fellowship or input is a very real battle; it's something that can make you feel sad, discouraged, or as if you are being "passed over."

73. Mama and I are so sorry about this, and we have been praying about what we could do to help you pull out of that disappointment. I will share some encouragement the Lord has given for you in this GN. We also ask that you please don't hold it against your RSs if you feel you should have been invited to attend the coach training seminars but were not. The RSs were trying to find people who would be available for the coaching job, who could be trained, and they had specific instructions from Mama and me to try to actively raise up new shepherds.

74. Some of the former VSs were called into the coach program; many were not. Some FGA pillars of the work were called to participate; others were not. While it would be wonderful if the coach training could have been spread around and given to everyone, or at least many more people, it just was not practical, and some of the decisions of who would attend the seminars and who would participate in the program were practical decisions. There were so many factors to consider and pray about, as you can imagine. Your RSs sought the Lord and heard from Him in prophecy specifically through two reliable channels about each person. They did the best they could to choose those who would participate, to choose coach trainees, and then to appoint coaches, in counsel with their international board chairpersons and according to the counsel they received.

75. The RSs were given a fair bit of input from Mama and me on what qualities to look for in the people they invited to the coach training seminars and appointed to be coaches. Some of it had to do with the availability of the attendees, some had to do with the new-day qualities that the coach trainees manifested, and some had to do with the simple fact that we are trying to raise up more leadership, and we won't be able to do that by continuing to call on the same people, the familiar names that have been used in this capacity in the past, some for years and years.

76. If you're feeling sad or disappointed or have questions about why you were not involved in the coach program, we ask that you please take your concerns and battles to the Lord. Please seek Him, cast your cares on Him‚ pour out your heart to Him, and then receive, accept, and believe the counsel and encouragement He wants to give you. We are such a vast, complex missionary work; there is certainly plenty of work to go around. So please don't get stuck on feeling that you must be used in a certain way or have a specific title in order to be happy and fulfilled.

77. Here is encouragement from the Lord for you who wish you could be involved in the coach program or who feel you should have at least been invited to the seminars.

78. (Jesus:) I love each of you very dearly. There isn't one that I love or favor more than another. In some situations it might seem that I am favoring one over the other, but you can be sure that this is not the case. I do all things well and I bring about what each one needs in their life at exactly the right time.

79. I can see that some of you feel sad that you weren't invited to the coach training seminar. You feel left out, and think that this means you are good for nothing or that you've been passed over. The Enemy wants to get you to compare negatively and make you feel discouraged or worthless. Or he will try to get in with critical thoughts about the shepherds who chose the attendees, making you feel that they weren't really wise in who they chose. He will play on your pride and try to make you feel that you should have been chosen in place of some of the others.

80. This is a very dangerous road to walk down‚ My loves, and one which will cause you much pain, heartache, and eventual defeat. So I wish for you to lift up a standard against this negative comparing that the Enemy is seeking to attack you with.

81. I want you to actively use the weapon of praise when you're tempted with these thoughts. Praise Me for all the ones who did get to participate in these meetings, for the training that they received, and for how it will grow them up and mature them to be the disciples that I want them to be. As many of those who attended these seminars can testify, they weren't just a "joy ride" or "fun and games." It was a challenge, and I used this opportunity to break their bottles and stretch them in the use of the new weapons. I called them to make progress and gain victories.

82. To those of you of the older generation who wonder why so many of the younger generation were invited to this meeting, I say that this is because these young ones need the training and input if they are to carry on the revolution that you have started. In many ways, you have already received many years of this training and input, and it's time for them to take up the torch and step up into the calling that I have given them.

83. I have impressed upon My king and queen the need to raise up the young ones to come to the fore and take on responsibilities of leadership so that they will gain experience and wisdom as you have done through your many years in the Family. This does not mean‚ however‚ that you are washed up and beyond usefulness. That's not the case at all.

84. Each of you, My older veterans, holds a special place in My heart and in My service. The Family wouldn't be here if it weren't for you, and the young people won't be able to continue on without your support‚ encouragement, and commendation.

85. I wish for you to see this as a positive thing, a time that many were able to receive this training so that the Family overall could be strengthened. I could've kept these meetings to a smaller group of people, just those in line to be coaches, and this might have caused less comparing. But that would have defeated My purpose of bringing in and training more people, those who needed this input at this time.

86. I don't wish for you to be as the jealous older brother or sister, wondering why such a blessing is being bestowed upon the younger. Remember that I love you just as much as I love them, and there have been times in your life when I poured much love, training, and input into you; so now it's time for others to also receive this from My hand.

87. And for those of you of the younger generation who feel left out and feel that you never get to participate in any of these things, you can be sure that your time will soon come. As you are faithful to make the right decisions, to dedicate your all to Me‚ to prove yourself worthy and willing to take on bigger challenges and responsibility, you can be sure that your time will also come.

88. As I have said, I wish for all of My children to be shepherds and leaders, for great will be the flock that will look to you for guidance in the Last Days. So prepare now and begin imbibing My Word‚ and all the training that is contained therein, so that you will be ready for the time when it is your turn to be partakers of more specialized instruction.

89. I wish for this to be a lesson to all of you, My dear ones, in not allowing the Enemy to come in with comparing. For as I told My disciples, when one was asking about what the other would do, "What is that to thee? Follow thou Me." Are you willing to follow Me no matter what? Are you going to stay faithful in the little things even though it might seem that those around you are getting the better hand or more blessings?

90. If you're tempted to compare your "cross" with others, I wish to remind you of that little story about the person who wanted the cross of another because it was full of roses, but little did he realize that it was also laden with thorns. Then he wanted the cross of gold that another bore, but only when he received his wish did he realize how heavy and burdensome that cross was. The one in the story learned to be thankful for his own cross, because it was tailor-made just for him and what I knew he could bear. (See Good Thots 2, page 1658, #506.)

91. So don't wish for another's "more glamorous" cross to be your own, as you might find out that it's not all that it appears to be. You can be sure that I know what I'm doing in your life and I have not forgotten you or left you behind. As you are faithful to do your best for Me no matter what, you can be sure that I will reward you accordingly and bring things into your life that I know will be just what you need to accomplish the purpose I have created you for.

92. You can be sure that the time will come when I choose to tune in to you and pour into you. It might not be in the exact same way as another, because you are different‚ and only I know what will bring about the best results in you. So trust Me and know that I do all things well. (End of message.)

93. (Jesus:) I'm sorry you're having a battle about not having attended the coach training seminar. I know that it can seem unfair that some went and others didn't, and the Enemy can make you feel that it's because you're being passed over or you're not as needed as another. Please trust Me when I say that there is no difference in the way I look at and value one person over another. Each one is needed, dear, and priceless to Me, and I use My children in proportion to what they yield to Me and let Me use—in whatever way I choose‚ in whatever facet of the work I know is most needed for the individual to fulfill.

94. You might feel tempted to think that the selection of folks who went was a little odd, and yes, it doesn't necessarily make sense on the outside. But you need to trust that your RSs heard from Me—and believe Me, they did! They spent a lot of time counseling and praying about who to invite, and I'm the One Who guided them as to who to invite. Not all would be coaches in the end, and ultimately I knew that‚ but I wanted them to participate for many different reasons—each reason being unique to the individual and what I knew they needed at the time. Others were invited because they shoulder other responsibilities, and I knew the training was needed. But that's not because they are more special than you, or because what you do isn't as important.

95. It was simply a matter of logistics, in many cases‚ as to the number of people who could be invited. So in My all-knowing, all-seeing wisdom‚ I chose those whom I knew it would be most important to and benefit most. Yes, it would have been inspiring and a blessing for you too, but you haven't missed out, and I will make it up to you in other ways and with other opportunities. The growth and training of the Family is overall‚ and is happening in many different ways and aspects of the work. You are by no means left out of that just because you didn't attend this one meeting. So please, will you trust Me in this, and will you trust My leading through your shepherds?

96. I know it's a trial, and comparing is something that almost everyone battles at some point or another and to some extent or another. But I don't want you to have to fight this battle of comparing and discouragement any longer over this issue. The key is simply to say, "I trust You, Jesus. I would have liked to have gone to this seminar, but I know that You know best, and that we all have our part to play. Thank You that You have chosen me to serve You in this Family. I'm so privileged and count it an honor, no matter what role You choose for me to play."

97. That's what it comes down to—trusting Me and then praising Me! Turn those negative feelings right around and start praising Me for all that I have given you and blessed you with, and the wonderful training you have received through the years—through the Word‚ from others, from your shepherds, in so many ways. The list of things to praise Me for will be endless, and much, much longer than any list of negativity the Enemy might throw at you.

98. I love you and I dearly cherish you! Keep fighting the good fight! There's so much ahead for you and the Family‚ so much to look forward to. No one will be passed over—unless they choose to be, through unyieldedness. All those who give their all to Me will receive equally in the blessing and reward, and will receive equally in the training and the gifts of My Spirit.

99. Now, you can't look at "equally" in the pure practical sense of the word—nothing quite appears "equal" if you measure it that way‚ because I work in everyone's life differently. However, in the overall scheme of things, and in the way that it truly is in the spirit, all of My children receive from My hand all that I have to give, and the more they open themselves to Me, the more they receive—in many different ways, but each way is as precious and needed as another.

100. So don't worry! You're not going to lose out, but you will only continue to gain as you follow in My footsteps and in the path of My perfect will for you. Don't look at your brother or sister and compare with what I ask of them. What is that to thee? Follow Me! You will never regret it, and will one day see clearly the reason and purpose behind each bend and turn your road took, and you'll be so thankful that you trusted Me and yielded to My plan. Nothing will make you happier! So keep trusting! I love you! (End of message.)

101. (Peter:) When some FGAs became aware of the list of people who received this training from the CS board‚ they felt that their not being intimately involved was a sign that they were being "retired" from leadership or would never make it to a leadership "position" now. Neither of these is the case. It would be a great thing if we in the Family—and I'm speaking to both FGAs and SGAs here—could become much less title-oriented when it comes to recognizing opportunities to exercise leadership. Our Family has hundreds of positions where leadership is needed, and some of the very most important positions are those within the Home Steering Councils.

102. Yes, there will be approximately 100 coaches in place worldwide, but there are hundreds more people on the Steering Councils of our FD Homes, and those positions have a huge and tremendously important impact on the success of the Homes. Not only that, but there are boards that need to be manned, and each Home has criteria monitor positions. All those positions I just listed are very important. They require leadership, and if you're a coach you can't fill any of those positions. You may also be a pillar in your Home with an important work project or a pivotal place in your Home, and thus wouldn't have the time to invest in coaching.

103. So let's get away from looking at the titles or the few recognized "positions" of leadership, and instead see that our whole work is suffering from a huge leadership shortage. So if you have leadership experience and you weren't chosen to be a coach, then turn your sights away from the coach ministry and instead look at all the other ways you can use your leadership skills. Use your experience and wisdom to help your Home build a winning team, to strengthen your Home, to establish a well-rounded missionary work, to train the young people‚ to be on one of the other boards, etc.

104. It's not the "all in all" to be a coach. Being a coach is a ministry, just as there are many other ministries in the Family. But please don't covet that position or be jealous of those who are involved in this ministry. It's no piece of cake, it will be difficult, and it will require a real "stretching" of those who are appointed as coaches. Since many are new in leadership, they feel quite inadequate, and it's just downright scary for most.

Leadership is not about titles

105. Here is a message from our Lover that I pray is an encouragement to those of you who are feeling "retired" or passed over. That is not the case, and the Lord presents a strong explanation about how we shouldn't look at titles and position. If each person could appreciate his position and responsibility and put everything he's got into doing a good job of it, not only would most people be much happier, but our Homes would run better and everyone's needs, both those within our Homes and our outside members, would be taken care of better. But again, whether this message has any impact on your outlook and personal contentment depends on whether you believe it and accept it and let it become the touchstone by which you measure your "success." Please do that! It would make Mama, me, and the Lord so happy to know you were feeling fulfilled, challenged, and happy in your place of service.

106. (Jesus: ) Please believe Me when I tell you that in My eyes, all My children are equal. A coach or shepherd is no more spiritual, special, anointed or loved by Me than anyone else in the Family. Even though I have explained this many times in My Word, many of you still do not believe or you feel that there are exceptions to this truth. It saddens Me to see you cast away My love and confidence in you when you buy into the Enemy's half–truths and lies as a result of his attacks on you through comparison, unyieldedness, or lack of contentment.

107. Please open your eyes and ears of the spirit now as I clearly explain to you how I see things, and how this misconception and wrong mindset has both developed and taken hold within the Family. There are two main reasons why people have battles when they are not chosen to be a coach or shepherd‚ or they're tempted to get down and discouraged because they've never held a "leadership" position in all their years in the Family: The first is pride and the second is a System way of looking at titles and positions.

108. I'm sorry to say that because of System attitudes and mindsets and the human nature of putting people on a pedestal, you, My children‚ have created a hierarchy mentality within the Family that is not of Me and not according to My Word. This position-oriented mentality has been in play for years now, ever since "the Chain" days. "The Chain" is created when you look to the person and compare the talents that I have gifted them with, with yourself. In this way you create a difference between yourself and others that I have not made. Exalting that person and their responsibility is the recipe for failure for both yourself and the one you're holding up and comparing with. Remember, it's the faithful, not just the talented, that I will greet with a "well done" when they enter into the joy of My Kingdom. It's the faithful whom I will make rulers over many in that day.

109. However, instead of seeing each job and ministry in the Family as vital to the furtherance of My work and My Kingdom, great importance is put on the more "showy" jobs, such as leadership positions or musicians or singers, the ones where people are in the limelight and more in the public eye, and therefore more subject to the accolades of their public. Whereas the ministries that I have highly exalted in My Word, such as parenting‚ childcare‚ witnessing, feeding the sheep, staying by the stuff, loving and caring for others, are put down‚ minimized, pooh-poohed and shunned.

110. How many Letters or GNs can you think of where I extol leadership and say what a great job and ministry it is, and encourage everyone to get into leadership? Of course the Family needs leaders, and I highly admire those who are willing to step into that ministry, but if you were to search the Word, you'd find that time and again I stress what a lonely road leadership is, what a thankless job it is.

111. Now, think about how much I have devoted in My Word to the other ministries in the Family—the witnessers, the teachers, the parents, the childcare workers, the cooks and cleaners and those who stay home to enable others to go out and be a witness and win souls. I'm sure right off the bat you can think of many instances where I have commended and encouraged and cheered on those who are involved in all the other ministries in the Family. Do you know why? Because in My eyes‚ they are just as important as those who hold some sort of leadership position.

112. Just think about it for a minute. What does a leader do? He leads the sheep, right? He has to face problems and find solutions. He has to pray for and with people. He has to make sure they are happy, inspired, fruitful and productive. He has to pray desperately for them when they are in need of help and are battling. He has to help feed them when they are weak, and love and encourage them when they are down. He has to correct them when they go astray and be there for them when they need help and prayer. Now, take away the word "leader" and put in the word "parent," "childcare worker," "teacher," "witnesser‚" "provisioner"—doesn't each of those ministries carry the same load? Doesn't each one have the same responsibilities? Does a leader get more points in My books because he spent some time with one of his flock in counsel and prayer, trying to help them through a battle, than a parent or childcare worker with a child‚ or a teacher with a student, a witnesser with a sheep or a provisioner with a contact? What do you think?

113. I can't tell you how much it grieves My heart to hear people belittle themselves because they don't have a leadership position, or they never had one, or they had one and lost it. As I said earlier‚ much of that hurt is a result of pride, and the reason it hurts people's pride is because of the hierarchy mentality that many Family members have adopted. People's pride gets hurt when they are not considered for a coach or shepherd position because they feel that means they have not "attained‚" that they're not spiritual enough, or that they're not being as used as they could be. Because of this, the Enemy then comes in with comparing, especially those of you of the older generation: "I've spent 30 years in the Family and all I do is outreach." "I'm just a mother in the Home and the only thing I do is cook and clean and take care of the kids." "I was once a VS‚ but now I am being retired from leadership and passed up by the young people," etc. The Enemy also attacks with feelings of inadequacy and tries hard to get you to belittle yourself, to lose faith in yourself, and that also contributes to these feelings of worthlessness or being good for nothing.

114. My loves, please realize that the Enemy has got you on the cycle of comparing, and you are never going to be happy, fulfilled and content until you break out of that cycle and stop looking at the ministries in the Family from bottom to top, as if they are stacked one upon the other with leadership at the pinnacle. I want to help you to take that tower and knock it down to size, which is horizontal and level, with no ministry higher than the other. Each ministry in the Family should stand on its own and be viewed on its own, without comparing one with another. Each ministry is vital. Each ministry is important. And each Family member‚ regardless of their ministry, is precious and important to Me. Can you believe that?

115. Ask Me to give you a complete, total, radical new attitude as to how you look at leadership and shepherds in the Family. Ask Me to help you to see things as I see them, and to look at every ministry with My eyes. Start being content with the job and ministry I have given you, and stop thinking you have to climb up some ladder of success to reach the top. This is not a company or corporation where you have to climb any ladder, whether professional or social. All are equal in My eyes, and it's your attitude and what you do with the gifts and talents I've given you and the choices you've made that I judge you by.

116. If you will accept My calling for you and learn to be content in the ministry I have given you, you will find your life of service to Me incredibly fulfilling, satisfying and fruitful! And you will ultimately be able to do a better job for Me, because you will be able to put your all into whatever job or ministry you have, knowing that in My eyes it is important and vital to the running of My Kingdom. It's not the position or ministry that I look at, but how you do the job, how much of your heart and soul you put into it. That's the way I "measure" your "position," by the position of your heart and your willingness to give of yourself to get the job done, without being swayed or influenced by man's way of looking at things.

117. You just need to have a glory in the thing you do! Your attitude and efforts are what determine your reward. Whatever place of service I have called you to, don't worry about title or position! Just worry about pleasing Me and doing your best for Me. I am the One who will then highly exalt you‚ and it won't be there on Earth; it will be Here in Heaven, where My eternal rewards await you. (End of message.)

Give the "newbies" a chance!—Be welcoming and full of faith!

118. (Peter:) That brings me to the next point: Some of you might wonder why the RSs chose the coaches they did. As I said, some will be new in leadership, and most are not former VSs. Quite a few are from the second generation.

119. We anticipate that they'll have a bit of a rough go when they take on their new jobs. Not only will they be learning the ropes, which is difficult enough, but they will be coming into their anointing and learning to have faith for the job.

120. We pray very desperately that these new coaches aren't met with resistance and skepticism from those they're trying to serve. This would be a natural carnal reaction, because there are many of you who will have a coach who is younger and less experienced than you, whom you might feel doesn't "deserve" to coach you. You might feel that you should be telling the coach what to do and how. In fact, you might even be offended that such a "newbie" has been chosen to be your coach.

121. If you feel those things‚ please get desperate with the Lord and ask Him to give you supernatural humility and an ability to "flow" with the situation. Because if you communicate that lack of faith, unwillingness to work together‚ resistance to the "youth" of your coach, or resentment that you are being coached by someone who you think is your "junior," then things will not go well. Obviously, that will be very difficult for your coach, and will certainly take the joy out of the job for him, to say the least. But not only that, the Lord will not be happy with your attitude, and He won't be able to bless you or your Home fully.

122. Mama and I understand that having a coach that is inexperienced and fresh and green could easily be a test for many of you. But please understand that this is the way the Lord's working. He is raising up new and/or young leadership, because we desperately need more leadership! These are the coaches that the Lord has anointed‚ the ones who are receiving the training in this new ministry, and you absolutely must look past their flesh and lack of experience and youth and anything else that makes you doubt their ability, and just trust the Lord!

123. Mama and I implore you to please let the Lord speak to you, be sensitive to His Spirit, and walk in the fear of the Lord! Don't fall prey to criticism, pride, or resentment. See your coach as the one the Lord will anoint to help you. Remember that the Lord often chose unlikely characters in the past; in fact, we're all "unlikely characters" in some way or another! So don't put God in a box by thinking it has to be this way or that way‚ or He has to work this way or that way. He's doing a new thing, and He'll be watching to see who are the new bottles that can accept this new program and flow with it and even enjoy it!

124. We're not just imagining that there's a tendency for older brethren‚ those who have been in leadership before or who are older and more experienced, to be resistant to those coaches who are from outside their "circle." In fact, we recently received a plea from one of the RSs asking us to address this subject, as this shepherd feared that these cliques of the past and older leadership could threaten to bring down the new coach program. And you know, that's possible. Things might not be this bad in all regions, but it's a very real problem and threat in some regions that merits attention and prayer. See what you think when you read these observations.

125. (From an RS:) How can we actively encourage and promote faith in the coaches as individuals and discourage tearing down the individual coach through lack of faith, old-bottle mindsets, negative attitudes, gossip, character assaults, etc.? How can we educate the Family to understand that tearing down the coach is tearing down the coach program, which tears down the Family, which tears down Mama and Peter's leadership, which tears down the Word?

126. I'm wondering if there would be a way to stress to the Family the importance of having a positive mindset not only about the coach program, but about the coaches themselves. With the very clear instruction the Lord is giving about the need that present-day leadership has to bring in new leaders, it's very possible, in fact most probable‚ that we will end up with some very "new" or "raw" leadership as coaches.

127. Maybe we just have some very old bottles here in our region, but there are still people who continually tear down leadership and sow division, albeit very subtly. There are still some "voices" that very subtly and cleverly sow division, specifically about leadership. You might think this is a sensitive reaction on my part, but I'm not talking about RS leadership, but rather any and all leadership—from someone with the drive to initiate something new, to Home shepherds and managers, board chairmen, and all the way up.

128. Focusing specifically on the new coaches: I can see coaches who are new to leadership and are already making a sacrifice to take this on (in what amounts pretty much to experimental circumstances)‚ becoming discouraged. Or even if they aren't affected personally, having their usefulness as a coach snuffed out by one of these subtle—or not so subtle—opinion-spreaders.

129. I think it would be crucial to the success of the program that people speak faith about the coaches. It's a complex situation, because it will be difficult for the Family to have brand-new leadership—but it's good for them, and that's the whole idea.

130. It's not that we want to set it up so the coach—who will make mistakes and won't be perfect—becomes untouchable because no one can say anything to them or about them. (I think that's the point right there: There's a big difference between saying something to your leadership and saying something about your leadership to the wrong people.) The coaches will have a lot to learn as they go.

131. These opinion-spreaders are very witty and spin their gossip very "wisely," and the sad fact is that most people don't "catch on" enough to do something about it. It's pretty sad. We sure need a shepherding revolution, and thank God it is underway.

132. Anyway, looking at our list of potential coaches, the Family—and in particular some of these "patriarchs" who assume they know how everything should be done, and who are vocal about it and who tear down anyone who doesn't do things their way—are going to have to realize two things: (1) The coaches are here to stay! Changes are here to stay! Revolution is here to stay! God's new plan is here to stay, and they'd better love it or leave it. (2) If they decide to "love it" and stay, then there has to be a very big mindset change that is proven by vocally supporting the changes coming our way, including a new coach who may be years younger in age and in the faith but who has God's anointing!

133. I'm looking at our coaches and I know it's going to be a step of faith for them to accept the Lord's calling and anointing. It's not just we who are RSs who have had a wrong mindset and too high an expectation for new leadership. I think the Family in general has too high a standard set for who the Lord can or can't choose and use in leadership.

134. So it's going to be a big step on the coaches' part to believe that they are called and chosen. (I'm sure they will be happy and fulfilled by it, but it will take faith.) It would totally break my heart to have that become a more difficult step, or add to the weight of the job‚ or even contribute to destroying their usefulness through the expression of lack of faith, or minimizing their anointing. (It's not like people are outright mocking or criticizing, but they are in the spirit and in very subtle ways, so then others start adopting their doubts without even realizing it.)

135. When I prayed about the whole coach idea when first hearing about it a while back, the Lord told me to liken this to one of the tests that the Lord gave Gideon's men, and in another prophecy He told me that this would be a year of division between those who really believe and those who continue doubting. I'm sure that the Lord continues purging us all as individuals and as a Family. I also have faith that who the Lord appoints He will surely anoint, and they will be able to stand up to such obstacles and overcome them.

136. I don't doubt the power of the keys to wash away these lying vanities that spread themselves through the ranks. Prayer and the keys are indisputably the first line of attack! It seems, however, that it could also help to have a warning of some sort about the need for faith in the coaches to be shown, voiced, and expressed in order to give the Lord room and time to accomplish His goal through this coach program. I don't think people would have the nerve to hit the coach program directly, but it's the individual coaches themselves that would be targeted. But is it safe to say that those who don't support the coaches aren't really supporting the coach program, and therefore aren't really supporting the Word or Family leadership?

137. I'm not trying to make a mountain out of a molehill either, and the idea isn't to strike fear in people's hearts and make the new coaches mini-Napoleons. The idea is to express the need for people to have faith and patience. Faith in the Word and the program, and faith in the people the Lord has appointed; patience to let people learn, and patience to let the program develop; patience and faith that the Lord is allowing this to touch their lives and that it's part of His plan.

138. This is stating the obvious, but I felt I needed to express that I feel burdened that people know that they must see the coaches through the eyes of faith‚ and they need to be very careful about gossip and tearing down faith in those who are taking on this new job. Again, I don't think it's the program that will be targeted, but the coaches themselves.

139. We have allowed old bottlism to flourish, and I'm so thankful the Lord is pouring out lots of New Wine to keep us young in spirit! I know the Lord wants to bring this revolution about in a very loving way. It's really exciting, and the more we pray about coaches, and those in general who could benefit from the training‚ it's awesome to see how much people power we have—our second-greatest resource. (End of comment from RS.)

140. (Peter:) This commentary makes me sad. I can only imagine how difficult it would be for an idealistic‚ young, fresh, new-bottle coach to come up against that kind of subtle criticism and gossip. That is very dangerous, folks! Not only is this behavior clearly indicative of not being flexible, humble, and flowing, but it's also divisive and destroys what the Lord's trying to do. You can't both hold on to the past and embrace today and the future. We know those principles from Dad's early Letters, and they're true. You're either fresh and flowing with today, or you're stuck in the past and headed toward being a has-been!

141. We don't expect the new coaches to be perfectly trained. In fact, they will be fresh out of boot camp and will have a lot to learn. Many will be quite lacking in confidence, and they will undoubtedly make some mistakes. So prepare yourselves for that. But all of the above does not mean they're not fit for the job, or not the ones the Lord has called, or that they don't have a lot they can teach you.

142. So much of the success of the individual coaches and the program overall depends on the attitude of the Homes, and particularly the Home shepherds. If you're sweet, open‚ welcoming, full of faith, flexible, communicative, and patient, things will go well and fall into place. On the other hand, if you're doubtful, skeptical, judgmental‚ critical, resistant and proud, things will not go well, and in fact, your bad attitudes could cause the Lord to lift His blessing from your life and Home. I don't say this as a threat. This is a true warning from the Lord based on spiritual principles that we're all familiar with. He is very concerned about your attitude and faith. He will see how willing you are to trust Him! And as you trust Him‚ you'll trust Him in your coach.

143. The CS RBCs will also be monitoring your reactions to the coaches. While we do expect that if there are some serious mistakes or problems with your coach that you'll communicate with your CS RBC, we also don't expect that you'll be hard to work with, unbending, uncooperative‚ or unwelcoming of your coach. And we especially do not expect that you'll be spreading gossip or criticism, for as you know, working in unity and not sowing division is a crucial point of the CS board criteria.

144. Mama and I believe that some of this criticalness and gossip is a result of bad habits that some of you in some fields have developed. Some of you "veteran" Family members in some regions have lived in the same country for so long that it's become your Egypt, and there's so much "history" there between you and others, so much past conflict and resentment or even bitterness that you don't even realize what you're doing when you criticize and gossip‚ or if you do, you're so used to doing it that you don't realize how wrong it is!

145. Dear brethren, please be warned and take it to heart that you desperately need a new start and a deliverance and cleansing through the power of the keys. And some of you might need a change of location, to go somewhere different where you don't know all about the "dirty laundry" and history of everyone in the country. Please seriously consider this!

146. The Lord issues a serious warning to those who would stand against the coach program, even subtly through gossip and criticism of the coaches. This is a very serious warning, and it exposes the Enemy's next major attack through the Selvegion! Please‚ dear Family‚ if you have bad habits of criticism and gossip, take time to desperately seek the Lord and ask for prayer and the laying on of hands for deliverance. This weakness of pride, criticism, and gossip is not a "light thing" that you don't have to worry much about; it could destroy your work, your Home, and your own future for the Lord.

The Selvegion's next ploy—to destroy the structure!

147. (Jesus:) I want to warn you of something very serious. The Family was in need of a revolution, a complete change from the way it had largely stagnated, in order to start it rolling once again toward My plans for it for the Endtime. It had to get put back on the right track, and it has now made that leap and started to roll again.

148. This has entailed a complete restructuring of the Family, starting with WS itself. Then the Continental leadership was regionalized into Regional Shepherds, and the boards were put in place. Then the restructuring was brought home as each individual Family member was asked to base his life on the proper foundation starting with the renewal. Then the structures of the Homes themselves were refigured and redefined, until now, finally, the shepherding structure is being replaced, sweeping out the VS program and bringing in the coach program.

149. As you know, "new brooms sweep clean," and the entire Family from top to bottom was in dire need of a sweeping. So I have directed your queen and king in what is virtually a restructuring of the entire Endtime movement of the Family from top to bottom. One of the last stages of this restructuring is the bringing in of an entirely new shepherding system‚ one that will take some getting used to, one that will take some positive thinking about, and one that will require your full support in order for it to take root and be the strength that I want it to be for you, and that you need it to be.

150. But My warning is this: There is often a subtle penchant in the carnal nature of man to criticize and resist that which is new, or that which causes change, or that which does things in a new way, or a way that isn't understood, or that perhaps doesn't seem to be best or right, that which is different than the way you feel it should be done or how it's always been done.

151. But I am warning you now in advance, at the beginning, that things are going to change, that there will be new leadership stepping in to do things in a new way. I am calling you to be prepared to fight against criticalness and to support and to help the structure to grow and to succeed.

152. I'm telling you in advance now so that you will be a step ahead and be able to cut off self-righteousness and criticism before it gets a foothold in your ranks. The Selvegion are fighting the Family and do not want the new coach program to work. They know that many of the new coaches are young, they will do things new ways‚ and that the Family is desperately in need of new blood and new leadership. They also know that many of you are older‚ you've been around a long time‚ you've seen lots of leadership come and go, and you have stored up lots of information and knowledge about what you feel is right or wrong.

153. The Selvegion feel that it will be fairly easy for them to use your personal points of view about the way you feel things should be done, coupled with man's penchant to resist change‚ in order to stop the successful implementation and growth of the new coach system, especially since many of the coaches will be relatively young and inexperienced compared to many of you in the Family.

154. The Selvegion's commission is to stop the Family by sowing division, and their next ploy is to stop the success of this new program. It is extremely important therefore that the Family is warned in advance that the Enemy will be fighting the new CS structure and that he will try to use you if he can to resist it and tear it down and criticize it and murmur about it, both in your hearts and aloud to others, in whatever way you will let him and to whatever degree you will yield.

155. Therefore, as Shepherd of My flock, I am coming to you beforehand to warn you of his tactics, what his plans will be, so that you can be armed ahead of time and claim the insulating power of the keys to help you to resist that which he will try against almost every one of you, in order to try to weaken the new structure wherever he can. Don't you be his fool!

156. It is extremely important that as the new coach shepherding changes are implemented, that the cement of unity that the Family needs on this front is poured in fully and sets completely. Otherwise, any of you who allow cracks of criticalness and division will be undermining My plans and My structure that desperately need to be solid for the dire times that lie ahead. You don't want to be guilty of allowing cracks in the foundation of the new structure—the structure that is needed to see you into the Endtime. So My warning is to beware of the Selvegion, and to seal up any cracks of criticalness or disunity before you become guilty of being one of the ones standing in the way of the Revolution moving forward.

157. The Revolution will go forward. The new blood has to be infused into the operating structure of the Family, or the Family will not survive. The new coaches are here to stay, and woe be unto those found to be standing in the way.

158. I don't mean that you can't be free to speak out to your shepherds, and free to speak your opinion. But you should know by now from your time in the Family, and from the preponderance of the Scriptures and the Letters written, about the subtle differences between speaking the truth in love and speaking it not in love. That is a big difference, My friends, and sadly there are many of you who have yet to learn this very important difference, and who have been deceived by the Deceiver into voicing his words and thoughts and letting the disunity of his spirit into your midst through the guise of "truth" and "honesty."

159. My warning, therefore, is against the deception of being "truthful" and "honest" when it tears down the truth of My work and fights against the honesty of what I am building. Discern the spirit you are speaking in, consider the thoughts you are thinking and what they might lead to, and have the wisdom to not allow yourselves to sow or harbor seeds that result in cracks in your wall of defense and that allow division in the Family in general, and most importantly now, in the setting up and functioning of this new structure.

160. If you have something to say‚ be sure it is said in love and in the spirit. If you're not sure, then save it for your shepherds who will have the anointing to discern the good from the bad, and who can help you to choose the good and to eschew the evil. By the scent and the fruits of your thoughts and the effect they have on you, you will know them—whether they unify and build up, or divide and tear down. The Selvegion are out to destroy the structure. Don't be their tool.

Don't be lured into the subtle current of criticism

161. There is a subtle current that runs deep in the heart of man, and I've warned you about this many times in the past. But it is a difficult current for man to get past because of his pride, which the Enemy uses to prick and thus to deceive from the truth of My love. It is the current that lures you to criticize those you don't like, or those who don't do things the way you would do them‚ or those who you don't understand‚ or those who have idiosyncrasies that bother you, or those who offend you or others for whatever reason.

162. It is a deep current and it often runs right beside the current of truth, but just one step behind, so that when something happens the Selvegion can use the so-called "truth" of the situation to get you to be "honest" in order to lure you out of the current of My Spirit and into the current of murmuring, criticism, disgust, old-bottlism, and even hatred, if it can get you that far off the truth.

163. It is a very insidious, subtle current that the Selvegion use. They take any event or any series of events, or any way a person is acting, and they begin to talk to you about it, how it wasn't right, or how it bothers you, or how it wasn't the way things should be done‚ or how it wasn't the way you like it or you think it should be done, or how it hurt you or another, or it offends you, or it wasn't fair; and slowly‚ ever so slowly, very subtly they get your attention and manage to shift the boat of your thoughts off the current of My truth and love and into the current of their criticism.

164. At first it's only criticism based on "truth," just slight criticism or being annoyed, but eventually as you yield more and more, it mounts into a stronger and stronger current that can eventually result in raging division, which forms cracks in My work and threatens to defeat it. This is how the Selvegion work, and this is what they are about to do to you, My Family, if you give them the chance.

165. I'm not saying that you cannot speak up about things if you feel they are wrong. You always have the right of redress and you can talk to your shepherds. But I want you to understand that there are many, many in My Family who still yield to the temptation to depart from the spirit of love and unity over something that is seemingly "true," or that they don't agree with, or that they feel was not done the right way or the best way or the way they would have done it.

166. The important question here is: When is it ever right to depart from My Spirit? If something, even something that is seemingly true or fact or reality, causes you to get out of the current of My love, patience, understanding, long-suffering, gentleness, kindness, and faith, then what do you think that is? If you let yourself drift over to the current of murmuring and criticizing even over something that is true‚ do you think that drift is of Me? Of course not!

167. Do you have the strength to resist murmuring and criticalness even when you're basing such thoughts on something that is supposedly true? Do you have the understanding of the Spirit to realize that anything that causes you to get upset or bitter‚ critical of others and gossipy is not of Me, even if to all your senses it seems true? Are you that strong in My Spirit, so assured of Me and convinced of the righteousness of staying positive, that you can make that stand?

168. Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just‚ whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Now you may take the first three qualities here—truth, honesty, and justice—as license to foster your criticism, doubts, or gossip. But that is unwise and is in error in not following the preponderance of the Scriptures and of all that I have taught you through the Letters for decades and even for generations now.

169. This verse, My very Word, is telling you to think on the things that are true and honest and just and pure and lovely and of good report. Are the things you think on all of these? Or have you been guilty of using the first part of that verse to literally leave My Spirit in order to indulge in the so-called "truth" and "honesty" of the Enemy's foul spirit? Are you that immature in spirit? I dare say that many times many of you have been lured into his place of habitation through the subtle current of criticism riding right there next to the current of My truth and love, and you have justified yourselves for it. But your justifications will not be able to stand in My presence, for My love is righteous, and any lack of love that you have harbored simply will not be found righteous with Me.

170. Have you switched currents? Are you criticizing? If so, the time to repent and to come back to My arms and to learn this lesson is now, for you are needed as a strong soldier in My army, not fighting against My army! I understand the weakness of man, and that is why I am giving you this warning now so that you can take stock of your attitudes and line them up with what is truly righteous in My sight, and not what may seem right in your own sight.

171. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes‚ but I weigh the spirits. That means I judge what spirit you are in when you present your reasons for how you are. Are you in the spirit of love? Are you doing things out of love? Do your thoughts and words build, encourage‚ and lift up? Or are you dividing, breaking down, and hindering My work? Woe be to the person who is found to be fighting Me.

Support and lift up the new coaches—don't be critical!

172. Many of you have been in the Family for a long time, and some have developed subtle ways to spin your views so that they seem innocuous. Yet I tell you this, your views, your attitudes‚ your words will all be brought into judgment by Me, and will be found either to be helping to support and build the new structure, or to be hindering and tearing it down.

173. Many of you feel you know the best way to do things and that you are in a position to judge those who are your new shepherds, especially if these leaders are young and new at the job. But beware lest you be found to gossip against My anointed ones, as did Miriam and Aaron‚ who murmured against Moses (Numbers 12). Beware lest you make one of these new coaches fall, or cause others to stumble because of your thoughts and words.

174. If you have untoward thoughts and words, say it to the coaches or to their shepherds or to your own shepherds, but don't say it about them behind their backs. There is a difference between talking to them about what you don't agree with, and talking about them about what you don't agree with. Beware that you are not doing the latter. You have no idea how easily your gossip spreads. And woe unto you who cause any of My lambs to fall.

175. And to the Family in general I say, beware of those whom you have so easily been swayed by in the past, but who are not supporting the new structure. My loves‚ you need to discern between those who are supporting My work and those who are tearing it down. And as the field leader said: "To tear down a coach is to tear down the coach program, which tears down the Family, which tears down Mama and Peter's leadership, which tears down the Word." That is very true. That is not an exaggeration. It is a serious thing to criticize those whom I have anointed, and those found to be doing so will have to explain to Me.

176. I'm not saying that the coaches will be perfect. You all know they will not be. And it's not that the coaches will be untouchable because no one can say anything to them or about them. But rather I am warning you about an old-bottle tendency to criticize and tear down and lead others to do so‚ all of which is an abomination to Me and which I hate.

177. What I am asking you to do is to have open minds toward the new coaches, to cut them some slack and not get uptight if they do things differently or not as you would have done them, and to not yield to old-bottle tendencies to be critical because the new coaches are young and are maybe not part of the leadership that's always been there, always done the job. The coaches will have a lot to learn, as will the Homes, so please, My loves, give them love and grace and slack just as you would want to have if you were in a new job and a new position that you were unfamiliar with, but which I had asked you to step into. Think of it that way.

178. Support, don't tear down. Uplift‚ don't criticize. And if you have something you're not sure you should say, don't say it to just anybody, but take it to your shepherds or to the coaches themselves. You don't want to be found stumbling My sheep and fighting against the work. That is My warning.

179. You need to realize that the new coaches won't do everything right. You also need to realize that they won't do everything the way you think it should be done. But they are anointed to be part of the structure that will help guide the Family into the Endtime, and you need to beware lest you be found to be tearing down this structure in favor of your old way of seeing things.

180. This is a very dangerous and a very serious topic at this point in time where the Family desperately needs the influx of new blood. The new coach system is something that is here to stay, so if you don't understand something‚ or if you don't agree with something, the big question is, are you going to subtly tear it down?—Or are you going to support it anyway, and work with it and watch Me bring a victory out of what seemed to you was maybe something done wrongly?

181. Do you have the faith that I am guiding the coaches? Are you mature enough and strong enough in spirit to be positive and to see My hand and My anointing in this new structure? Are you looking to Me or to man? Those are the questions you must each reckon with yourselves.

182. The coaches will be desperate, too, and because they are doing things in a new way, and perhaps a way that you don't understand, you need to seriously guard yourselves against murmuring, criticizing, and tearing down. For if you are tearing them down, you are tearing down the coach structure, you are working at tearing down My Word, My Family, and yes, you are fighting against what I am doing. So beware.

183. You've known for years that whatsoever is not of love is not of Me. You know for a fact that sowing division is an abomination to Me. You know for a fact that whatever, I repeat, whatever is not according to My Word, or whatever causes you to be discontent or bitter, dissatisfied or unhappy or critical of others is simply not of Me. And if you've been tricked into thinking you can speak the truth at the cost of love, you are direly misguided and the Selvegion have certainly been able to work their spells on you. They have deceived you into thinking that because something might be true or because you feel you have the right to be "honest," that you can therefore criticize and break down My work.

184. If this has happened to you, you have erred. You have been deceived into switching from the current of My love and truth to the current of the Enemy's hatred and falsities, and you have changed horses onto an untoward spirit—untoward in that it is not going toward where I am going, but it is a deception that has hoodwinked you and is attempting to use you to foster division and thereby ruin My work.

185. This is a serious thing. It's not so serious that you can't be delivered, so don't let the Devil hoodwink you into condemnation and hopelessness either, which of course he'll try to do, for that's just what he does. He tempts you to sin, and then when you follow him he condemns you for it! He's a monster and a liar and the father of lies, so don't listen to him even if you have failed, for there is always mercy with Me, and I accept you back the moment you repent.

186. You are My brides and My loves and I am married to you, and I always, always‚ always accept you back into My arms with great joy and mercy and thankfulness to My Father for bringing you back each and every time. If you've found yourself yielding to the Enemy's murmuring, then you must simply rebuke the Enemy in Jesus' name and by the power of the keys when he tempts you with these negative thoughts‚ and return to My arms where I am waiting for you.

187. My Word is like a hammer, and it is a sharp-toothed threshing instrument to root out, to pull down, to throw down and cast down everything that exalts itself against Me. And because I see the potential in the heart of man to fight against this change, and because I have already heard rumblings, I now give you My Word to direct you and for you to use to root out anything in your own heart that would exalt itself against this change.

188. I love you. You are My brides. I wouldn't give this warning if it weren't necessary. But because I have seen old-bottlism and resistance to change cropping up in your camps, therefore I have sent My Word to heal you, and as both a warning and a crutch—a warning to leave the old ways of thinking behind, and a crutch to help you move into the Family of the future. You may need both the warning and the crutch now, but because of your love for Me and desire to please Me‚ I know that when you are healed you will strengthen the brethren. You always have in the past. I'm trusting you to do it again in the future. So come, let's go! We have much work to do! (End of message.)

What if coaches have very little past experience in running a Home?

189. (Peter:) Along with some of the coaches being new in the job of leadership and the tendency some of you might have to look at them skeptically, or at least to have a standoffish "let's wait and see how this goes" attitude‚ there is the legitimate question of how it can work if the coaches have had very little experience running a Home, or if they might not even be very good at running a Home.

190. That is the case with some coaches. Others are former VSs or they have had experience running a Home‚ working with an RS, etc. But there are some coaches who are pretty new to leadership in general, and who have little or almost no experience running a Home, especially a large Home. So it's natural that you'd wonder how in the world a coach with so little experience can do a good job being a coach.

191. Mama and I realize that this could be a bit of a mind-bender for you, and I will answer this question. But before I do, I want to explain that in some cases it was absolutely necessary to raise up coaches with little experience, because if we had kept only the people who are deemed "experienced," our choices for coaches would have been very limited. How many people are there in the Family who you would deem truly "experienced" in leadership? There are the former VSs, but even some of them are not very experienced, and many of them were not in the running to be a coach because they already have big jobs, are on other boards, need a longer time of spiritual renewal, or the Lord is just doing something different in their lives at this point. There are some RBCs, NBCs and other board members who have some experience, but most are already where the Lord wants them and are not available for these new positions.

192. So when you really look at it, we are faced with a huge shortage of leadership. We have lacked leadership for years, and Mama and I have been working with the RSs and have been trying to do all we can to train and raise up more leaders‚ but we are still desperately short.

193. So we had two choices. We could either just keep using the same people, overloading them, and allowing them to try to do two or three jobs. Or we could not allow the coaches to be on Home Steering Councils and boards, knowing that then we would be forced to raise up quite a few "newbies." We went with the latter.

194. The Lord showed us we had to do something drastic to raise up more leadership, and frankly, we have to start somewhere. Leaders don't just grow on trees; they're trained, and they're usually trained while they have the job. It hasn't worked to try to first train people and then give them the job. So we have cut right to the chase and have had to take the tack of raising up the leaders and trusting that the Lord will train them as they go, as long as they have the right spiritual qualifications to begin with. So that's the stage we're at now. Many of the coaches are new leaders, many have little experience in leadership, but the RSs and CS IBCs feel that the coaches have the spiritual depth, obedient spirits, and the desire to learn that qualify them for the job.

195. Yes, there will be a pretty stiff learning curve for the coaches, but again, we had no choice. We absolutely must have more leadership for the boards, the restructuring, and at the Home level. So the Lord led to restructure the Family in such a way that it literally forces us to raise up and train more leaders. If we're really honest with ourselves, we'd have to admit that if coaches could be board members and Home shepherds, we'd be having the same few people who have been in leadership for quite a while taking all those jobs, wouldn't we? That's because we're comfortable with those people. We know them‚ they've been around, they're "experienced."

196. But that has to change, because our work is too complex and the demands for leadership are too great; we absolutely must have more leaders. And now we do have more leaders, as we have a lot of new coaches, plus new people being raised up to fill the positions that some of the coaches held previously on the boards or in their Homes. The coaches will grow into their jobs, just like the Home shepherds and managers will grow into their jobs.

197. We're all learning all the time. You can't expect someone to know everything when they're first given a job. Aren't you still learning in your ministry? Life is a continual learning process. So we shouldn't be unrealistic and set the expectations for coaches too high. They'll learn, they'll get experience in the job, they'll continue to be trained, and we trust that things will go well.

198. Of course, as I mentioned briefly already, the coaches do need to have certain qualities. It's important that they have manifested the qualities of a shepherd and that they've had some experience in shepherding others, even if they have not had the title of a shepherd or VS in the past. They also need to be obedient‚ they need to be new bottles who are willing and eager to follow the New Wine‚ they need to be open to training and desperate with the Lord, they need to be utilizing all the new weapons. There are many spiritual qualifications, and the coaches do need to be strong in those areas. If they have that foundation, the other hands-on experience in this particular job will come with time.

199. Also, it's good to remember that the job of a coach is a new job. In light of that, a case could be made that past experience could actually work against the coaches. People with past experience have to UNlearn a lot of things to go into the coach program. For example, it will take a miracle of the spirit for former VSs who are now coaches to let go of their former way of operating where they had to know everything going on and be involved with everything and everybody. That has been their way of operating for years for some of them, and to let that all go and adopt the new way of the coach program will not be easy for them. Please pray specifically for the former VSs who are now coaches, as they face unique challenges in adjusting to and sticking within the parameters of the new program.

200. Here is a message from the Lord that helps to clarify what kind of experience a coach needs, and how much.

201. (Jesus:) I will start off by answering the question as to whether a coach is in need of prior experience in shepherding a Home. The brief answer is yes and no. A coach does not need experience in "running" a Home‚ since running a Home is not what the coaching job is about. The coaching job is training the Home shepherds, who in turn have the responsibility of shepherding those in the Home and making sure that the Home stays on track spiritually and in obedience to the Word. When it comes to the coaches' involvement with the Home shepherds, it will center around spiritual shepherding, people handling‚ finding the balance between shepherding people and rooting out compromise, being spirit–led and not letter of the law, obedience to the Word, handling difficult situations in the Home, etc.

202. So a coach does not need to know how to properly run and manage a Home, or for that matter a coach does not even have to have been on a Home teamwork. But a coach does need to have had some experience in shepherding others in some capacity. Coaches don't necessarily need years and years of experience, but if they are going to be a guide to others in helping them to shepherd those in their Home, they have to have gone before them to some degree.

203. Experience is not their most important quality by any means. The most important qualities are their connection with Me, their ability and willingness to hear from Me about situations and follow the counsel that I give, their faith in the Word and their faithfulness to go to the Word for help and solutions, and wisdom and discernment in how to apply the Word.

204. This last one is very important, because the counsel that I give in the Word, since it is directed to the Family at large, outlines the general principles. Usually I cannot deal with how to apply those principles to each situation since that is varied and each person and situation is different. If coaches or Home shepherds apply the Word without wisdom, discernment, and seeking Me carefully, they will become letter-of-the-law shepherds without the Spirit, and the effect on the Family will be negative rather than positive.

205. This is where a measure of experience in some capacity in applying the Word in shepherding others would be helpful for the coaches to have, in order to be able to guide and train the Home shepherds in the same. Many Home shepherds, because of a lack of training or a lack of time, and because it's easier‚ don't put enough prayer, thought, counsel‚ and hearing from Me as to how to apply the Word—having carefully "searched the Scriptures"—into the situations they face. They either apply it in a letter-of-the-law fashion without much thought‚ or they rely completely on past experience and figure that if it worked then it should work now. Both of these approaches are dangerous, and this is where the coaches must help the Home shepherds.

206. Having said that the coaches need some experience in shepherding others (even if they haven't had the title of shepherd before), at the same time, that experience can be a hindrance in some situations if they rely too much on that or are set in their mindsets. You RSs need to look for those who are new bottles in the spirit, who are changing and growing and not stuck in a rut‚ who are already applying the Word in their current situations and shepherding others—whether they have the title or not. That's the kind of experience you're looking for and need to find. Many of these folks will already have been Home shepherds because those around them will have appreciated their help and shepherding and asked them to fill that position—but some may not be.

207. The scenarios encountered in life are not always the same as those found in training manuals, and that's where hearing from Me and knowing how to apply and adapt the training, and which training to use, is important. This is why even in the army, the sergeant who came up through the ranks is often a better leader of his men, a better "shepherd," so to speak‚ than the lieutenant fresh out of military academy, who has the book training but no hands-on application with the men.

208. In the Family's case, a combination of both is ideal: Those who have risen from the ranks, so to speak, simply by their dedication to Me and doing the job at hand (the job of shepherding others) whether they had the title or not—coupled with the "academy" training and input from seasoned officers. (End of message.)

209. (Peter: ) So, dear Family, there is a fine balance here between a coach having enough experience to be given the appointment, and trusting that he'll gain in experience in this new job as he goes. (And‚ dear ladies, in referring to the coaches as "he," we're not trying to exclude you. We have some wonderful female coaches. We're just using "he" here and in other places in this Letter because it's simpler than saying "he and she.") We're not expecting that things will go perfectly or that there won't be any hiccups for the first while, but we do believe that the problems will get ironed out with time and that the coaches will grow into their anointing quickly.

210. Some of the coaches might not be known "shepherds"; they might have gained their experience without even having a title, such as in shepherding young people or shepherding their peers or being their brother's keeper. Therefore it would be beneficial not to "measure" your coach's experience by a rigid standard, as the Lord has demonstrated a lot of flexibility in this aspect when outlining the qualifications for coaches. Thank you for your patience and faith in this regard.

The issue of no visitation

211. One of the biggest differences from the former VS program and the coach program of the future is that visitation will be greatly minimized. We're not building the coach program on the concept of visitation. Over the years, while visitation has had its place, we've discovered that it's been time-consuming, expensive, and hasn't proven to yield the best results as far as long-term, solid shepherding of Homes. So in our original discussions with the RSs about the coach program, the Lord kept leading us away from depending on visitation as an essential avenue of shepherding, or thinking that it had to be a major part of the coach program He was creating. Instead of visitation being the major focus of the coaches of the future, it will be a minor method of training the Home shepherds that can be used when necessary, but not necessarily regularly or extensively.

212. The concept of de-emphasizing visitation considerably in our new coach system was quite a mind bender. None of the RSs at the discussion meeting pushed the idea that coaches would be constantly traveling. But rather‚ a number felt it would not be possible to effectively train the Home shepherds without the coaches being directly involved with the Home. Even toward the end of our CS workshop meetings in August 2004, after we had defined the basic general plan for the coaches‚ and it was clear the Lord was leading us in the decisions we had made regarding minimizing visitation, there were still some unanswered questions.

213. The main questions were: How can the coaches know how to shepherd the Home shepherds if they don't see the Home in operation, talk with the Home members, hear their problems, and watch how the shepherds interact with their Home? How can a coach train the Home shepherds without having contact with the Home members‚ without getting the "other side" of the story from the Home members, without seeing the shepherds in action and being involved at the grassroots level?

214. There were two pretty strong schools of thought. Some felt that for the coach to get involved with the Home and Home members, even with management by wandering around, was promoting the old way‚ falling back into the previous VS mindset, and if we were to do that we'd not make the changes needed. Others felt there was no way for the coaches to properly train the Home shepherds by just hearing from the shepherds themselves.

215. We realized that if indeed the Lord wanted the coaches to just focus on the Home shepherds—the concept that the coaches train the two or three Home shepherds and then those two or three people spiritually shepherd the Home, which is the core of the coach program—then we needed a good explanation from the Lord about this question of whether it's going to be effective, even if it does not include some of the tried-and-proven good shepherding methods of the past. We needed something strong enough to convince us of the need to move away from our old mindsets regarding the need for the coaches to be involved with the Home members personally; we needed a strong explanation from the Lord about how it would work and be fruitful for the coaches to only focus on the Home shepherds, if that concept was indeed to be a key part of this new program. We imagine that you might be wondering these same things. These are legitimate questions.

216. At the time of the CS meeting of 2004, we asked the Lord if we were seeing it right regarding de–emphasizing visitation, and here is the Lord's explanation to the RSs on why radical change is necessary and that this new approach is the right way to go about it, which will answer some of the questions you also might have.

217. (Jesus:) I know it's a big change of mindset. I know that you wonder how it can work. There are some very good, natural, logical reasons why it doesn't seem it would work. In some ways it flies in the face of very basic principles that you've adhered to in your shepherding for many years—the investigating, hearing all sides of the story, seeing for yourself and judging the spirit of things. You've been faithful shepherds‚ and I highly commend you for this.

218. But now it's time for a change in the Family.—And not just a little change, a little adjustment in direction, but a major turnaround. As My good shepherds who love the sheep, I ask you to trust Me, as the Master Shepherd, the One Who knows each lamb by name, the One Who paid with His very life to redeem each one from the hireling. You must trust Me that I know where I'm leading.

219. The way I'm leading, My loves, is for a total change and break from the previous VS program. Otherwise, it will not be effective for the Family of the future. There are several major problems with it, which not only will not support the Family of the future, but which threaten to tear it down.

220. I know that thinking about having very little visitation is alarming to you. You wonder if the system is doomed to fail. You wonder if some of the sheep will be hurt, if the coaches will give the wrong counsel. If the coaches try to shepherd with the former mindsets, then yes, they probably will. But if they're willing to let Me give them new mindsets‚ if they're willing to change and adapt to the ways that shepherds of the future will operate, then I say that this plan will work, and it will work well. It will fit the needs of the Family of the future, and will result in tremendous strengthening.

221. You have all discussed the pros and the cons extensively. But I want to tell you a few of the things that I see as pros, that I know are necessary for the strengthening of the Family:

222. Through this plan I'm literally forcing each Home to get their act together on their own, pretty much‚ guided by the Word and the solutions found therein. I'm forcing the Home members to give and receive shepherding from each other if they want to bring the standard up and pass the Home reviews. I'm forcing them to work things out amongst themselves without having an outside force come in and mediate things. These things are an essential part of teaching Home accountability‚ and it's important enough that I'm willing to implement this major change in order to make it happen.

223. The Homes must be strengthened. They must be strengthened as units, and they must work as a unit to strengthen each individual. As long as there's an outside authority coming in and telling them what to do, as long as there's someone who people can go to and skip over the Home shepherds, they won't really get it together like they need to.

224. This plan of the coach program (including the goal of very little visitation) will train shepherds—both the coaches and the Home shepherds. If the coaches were still visiting the Homes to see the Home members, people wouldn't get the point that they have to go to their Home shepherds, the Home shepherds would pass too much on to the coaches, and the coaches would again be overburdened and would be interfering with the Home accountability concept.

225. The Family is so lacking in shepherds at the moment that it will take a radical change of plan to raise them up, and when they are raised up I don't want them learning the old way of shepherding—I want them to be new day shepherds, shepherds who can meet the needs of the Family of the future—and by that I don't just mean the Family of 2005, but I mean the Family that will march strong into the very Last Days and be My beacon to the world, My warning to the wicked, My shepherds of the lost, My Endtime witnesses. In order to do this, the shepherds must learn to stop shepherding by their physical senses and start using their spiritual senses to discern the needs. So stopping most visitation, most involvement at the grassroots, thus limiting what they observe on the Home level, is a part of this plan.

226. I know it sounds extreme, but it will work. The sheep will not suffer, if you will appoint as coaches those people who are desperate, humble, willing to use their gift of prophecy again and again, those who are willing to really listen to the Home shepherds and ask Me their questions, use their spiritual senses, use the spiritual weapons‚ and prayerfully, patiently and carefully, work to train the Home shepherds.

227. Breaking the chain and rut of so much visitation and involvement on the Home level with individuals will help the Homes and individuals learn to look more to the Word for their standard. It's just human nature for people to look to physical leadership rather than looking to the Word and doing the hard work of lovingly applying it. It's much easier to just look at a person, see how they do it, and content yourself with that. Taking the focus off of visitation will help everyone—Home members, criteria monitors, Home shepherds and managers—to study the Word more, to pray about how to apply it. The result will be that they will be much more up to a spiritually healthy average than if they're looking to man for the answers and grading on the curve.

228. I want to reassure you that I have considered all the options. I want the coach program to succeed even more than you do. I care for the sheep with a love that you cannot fathom. And yet I know that this is the best route to take. It's the route that will bring about the most strengthening in every way.—And right now, that is the priority.

229. The new coach program isn't perfect‚ because it will be carried out by imperfect people. But I have faith in you. I have faith in the coaches I will call. I have faith in the Home shepherds who will be raised up and who will learn to become shepherds. I have faith in My king and queen and their yieldedness and obedience to give My Words. I have faith that the Family will adjust and that the needs of each person will be met—most of all, their need to look to Me more, to find their answers in My Word, to learn to work together with their fellow Home-mates through the rough times, their need to learn to shepherd one another. These things cannot be accomplished through keeping up a visitation program like you have been. At this point in time‚ visitation directly contradicts and frustrates these long-term goals.

230. So while some people will miss the visits, while sometimes coaches will be sort of in the dark about things and not as informed as they'd like to be, while there will be mistakes made, overall this plan will bring about strengthening at every level. And that is My goal, that is the priority for this time in your history.

231. As you bravely follow Me, knowing that even though you can't see exactly how it will work, I do, you will see miracles come to pass. I will part the Red Sea, and you will have dry land to walk on. For you are My chosen ones—chosen to go through the days of great darkness as My shining lights; chosen to lead the lost into the new world that I will set up, a world of love and justice and peace. You are My chosen‚ and I am working to strengthen you and prepare you for all that you will face. Let your hearts be at peace. Come now, and follow Me. (End of message.)

232. (Peter:) Mama and I realize that the VSs were good shepherds who cared for the flocks. They wanted to serve their flocks, help them, and care for them. They did their best to follow the shepherding training in the Word and learned some good leadership skills over the years, and those skills were good for that time. But things are changing now. The Lord has a new plan and purpose, and He can't accomplish the changes He wants to bring about if the coaches continue being involved with the Home members as the VSs were in the past. Not that what the VSs did was bad when they watched the Home shepherds in action, looked at the state of the Home overall‚ and talked extensively to individuals in the Home. It's not that it was bad; it's just that it's not what the Lord needs for today.

233. There are specific changes the Lord knows must come to pass, and if the coaches insist on working as our VSs did, they will hinder the Lord's long-term plan. They might appear to be bearing some immediate fruit‚ as they sort things out and get in there and meddle in the Home and get involved with Home members and try to offer opinions and counsel on all kinds of subjects, but in reality they would be thwarting the long-term changes that the Lord is looking to bring about—training more shepherds, strengthening the Home shepherds, the reality of Home accountability, unity between the Home members and the Home shepherds, all Home members looking more to the Word and the Lord through prophecy, Home members depending on their Home shepherds for counsel rather than going to outside shepherds‚ etc.

234. So while this will be a big change and will take some adjustment in your mindsets, it's a necessary change. The coaches will need a new approach if they have been VSs before, and the RSs who chair the regional CS boards will also need to make a conscious decision to consistently direct the coaches to not get involved in Home matters and with Home members directly, but rather to work through the Home shepherds. This could be a real mental wrench for you coaches‚ if you're used to implementing and promoting the "management by wandering around" leadership approach, because this new plan and directive that the Lord is giving us now is very different. That was a good approach and it served us well in the past, and it is still very good for Home shepherds‚ but that is not the leadership style that the Lord is leading the new coaches to adopt.

235. The question of visitation is the main issue that, if left entirely unchanged, will set us right back to square one, back to where we were for years with the VS program, which didn't do the job sufficiently of training Home shepherds. While visitation is helpful, and the Family likes it, the result it had of the Homes looking so much to the VSs and becoming dependent on their counsel and intervention is by and large the main reason why our VSs became so tired, spent spiritually, and were unable to keep up with all that they had to do.

236. So the Lord showed us that we needed to be willing to break out of the box and explore a new method of shepherding the Family—one that didn't depend solely on or even rely heavily upon visitation. But we understand and agree that the new coach program will have some element of visitation involved. We're not saying that there can be no visitation whatsoever or even that there should be no visitation whatsoever. Our conclusion was that while the new coach program will not be built on visitation, there will be some visitation.

237. Of course, how often the Lord leads a coach to visit the Home shepherding teams that they coach will depend on a number of factors. How far away do they live from the Homes that they coach? How much visitation is really needed? Can the needs of the Home shepherds of the Homes in the coach's circle be taken care of via e-mail? And as you know, whenever coaches do visit the Homes, they'll only be counseling the Home shepherds, not the Home members themselves. This is also a big change from the previous visitation mindsets of the VSs and Family members.

238. So in summary, the new coach program is a program with allowance for visitation. When needed, the coach may visit the Homes that he or she is coaching, in order to meet with the Home shepherds for personal training, to attend their Home shepherd meetings or to attend spiritual-based Home meetings (for the express purpose of training the Home shepherds, not to get involved with the running of the Home)‚ etc. That's within the jurisdiction of a coach. What is not within a coach's jurisdiction is visitation for the purpose of checking out the Home overall, getting involved with counseling the Home members, or stepping beyond his boundaries of training and shepherding the Home shepherds.

239. We imagine that there will need to be some measure of visitation. Likely, at the onset of the coach program, new coaches will need to visit their Home shepherd teams, as they're able, to meet with them, get to see their situation, establish a bond, etc. The need for coaches to visit their Home shepherd teams, and the frequency and length of such visits, will vary from area to area, depending on the need, the distances involved, etc. The CS RBCs will be in close touch with their region's coaches and will be able to counsel and help them in such matters.

Thank you to those Homes housing coaches

240. (Peter: ) Before I go on to some specific questions and answers about the coach program, Mama and I want to thank those of you who have been willing to have one of your Home members become a coach. We understand that it's a sacrifice for your Home to have one of your Home members, one who used to carry a full load in the Home, become a coach. Now part of that person's time will not be invested in your Home, but will be invested in coaching your Home shepherds and those of other Homes. You who are housing a coach are clearly giving; you are allowing one of your talented and needed Home members to focus some attention and time on other Homes.

241. Mama and I are so very thankful for those of you who had the faith to make this step, even though it probably looked like you might really lose out or it might make things more difficult for you. We know you did it in order to support the coach program, to get behind the changes the Lord is initiating, and to do what you can to save the Family. And in your case it's not just talk of doing something sacrificial to make the restructuring work. You are consistently giving up part of one of your Home member's time, some of their time that would otherwise have been invested in your Home in the area of raising finances, training the children and teens, follow–up, and many other ministries and duties.

242. Thank you very much for being willing to do that, and for having the faith to trust the Lord. We know He will bless you‚ and we will be praying to that end and calling on the keys of supply, miracles‚ unity, joy and fruitfulness for you. Here is a message especially for you who have a coach living in your Home, a message of thanks and appreciation for your willingness to make this sacrifice to help strengthen the Family overall and fulfill the Lord's plan.

243. (Jesus:) The new restructuring is going to work because it's My plan and because the Family is behind it one hundred percent. You will see the fruits of My will and My anointing upon the coaches. You will see fruits in your Homes, in your outreach, your personal lives, your witness, your children. Not because the coach will do everything for you, but because they will play an important part in helping you to be the best Home and best winning team you can be. You will find that they are a valuable part of your success and forward progress.

244. The Homes who have agreed to have a coach reside in their Home are making a sacrifice for the sake of the progress of the Family. This is because the coach will not be on full-time duty in the Home; they will only be permitted to give part of their work time to the Home due to their coach responsibilities, and this means sacrifice for the Home. It's also a sacrifice on the coach's part, because they would love to be more involved in the physical running of the Home, the outreach, the fundraising, etc. In many ways it will be difficult for the new coaches to accept this job, knowing that it could mean more work for their Home in some ways. But because of that, you can look forward to their willingness to give it all they've got‚ not only in their coach job, but also on the days when they are free to give to the Home.

245. They're not going to be sitting back lackadaisically wasting time, knowing that you and your Home are working hard. If anything, seeing the sacrifices that you are willing to make in order to make their job possible will make every coach all the more eager and ready to do whatever they can for your Home within the guidelines I have laid out for them. When it's time to contribute to the Home, you can expect they will be there with all their hearts, giving one hundred percent, contributing quality work and service in whatever way is needed.

246. Like Gideon's band of a few good men, so will your resident coaches be quality Home members and people you can count on to give it their best when the time comes to contribute to the Home's needs. You won't have their help in the Home seven days a week, but the days that you do have their help will be quality help. That's a high standard that I'm requiring of the coaches, but I know they can do it because I will anoint them for your sakes and for the sake of the success of the coach program and the strengthening of the Family.

247. I'm proud of you Homes who have accepted coach residents. You're doing it by faith out of obedience to My will even though you may not see the blessings and fruits right away. Trust Me, you will not suffer as a result, for there are blessings to be had, and you will eventually reap them and be glad for your decision. Many of those blessings and rewards will be unseen at first, for they will be spiritual blessings for your willingness to sacrifice and obey My will. You will reap the blessing of greater faith that comes with yieldedness, the peace that comes with knowing you are doing My will, the blessing of My protection as you do My will. Because you are in the center of My will and making sacrifices to move the Family forward and helping to strengthen the Family, you will also reap My blessings of a stronger Family right within your Home. All that your Home gives and sacrifices in order to house a coach is credited to your Home in helping to strengthen the Family, and you'll receive blessings as a result.

248. The extra duties that fall on the other Home members will be rewarded in some way. As your Home faithfully goes on outreach while your coach is faithfully doing his coach ministry work, I will not only bless and anoint the coach in his work, but I will give you a supernatural anointing as well. You will feel My hand of extra anointing and blessing upon your outreach, whether it be more souls won, your friends and contacts making more progress, new outreach doors opening, or a new zeal in reaching the lost. Whatever it takes, My loves, I will send you spirit helpers and the anointing to help your outreach become a strong pillar in your Home.

249. This will apply to every area of your Home life. My blessings will touch every area, every pillar. You are willing to give and so I will reward you. You will see it and feel it, not because you are better than other Homes, but because you have made a sacrifice and are willing to give to your own hurt. Those who give much will be rewarded with much. That's a promise that you can count on, My loves‚ in all of the areas you give to Me.

250. Even if you don't see the fulfillment of My promises right away, don't let that discourage you or worry you. I will not fail to provide for you, to make up any lacks‚ to fill in the needs and cause your Home to blossom with fruit, unity, love and joy.

251. Thank you for your willingness to go the distance. Thank you for your desire to play an active part in strengthening the Family. The Family will be strengthened, and those Homes which are sacrificing in order to have a coach reside in their Home will feel the resultant blessings from My hand in direct proportion to their giving. This holds true for all Homes that are sacrificing, because I ask each Home to give in different areas—some more visible and others less visible, but all sacrifice brings down My blessings when you give cheerfully and in faith. (End of message.)

Questions and Answers

252. (Peter:) Quite a few questions have come up about the coach program, either from the RSs or those who participated in the coach training seminars. When we first put forth the idea of the coach program‚ Mama and I realized that there were lots of unanswered questions. We would have liked to have gotten to those questions sooner, and please forgive us if the lack of clarity has caused you to worry or wonder. As you know, some unexpected emergencies have come up this year, which have taken a fair bit of our time and attention. However, in this GN I'll try to answer a number of the questions, and while I won't go into great detail, I pray this is a help. I'll address some of this in simple question and answer format. I'm sorry if this comes across rather bluntly. That's not my intention, but it seems sometimes it's easier to get the points and remember them if they're short and straightforward.

What will the coaches actually do?

253. As has been explained‚ the coaches will help counsel, instruct, guide and train the Home shepherds of the Homes in their coaching circle. They will do this by staying in touch with the shepherds, either by e-mail, phone*, or seeing them personally. They will meet, discuss, and pray together, as needed. The coach will offer counsel or help to direct them to the printed Word. The coach can help remind them to hear from the Lord on shepherding matters‚ but he has no authority over the Home's decisions. He is not to direct the Home shepherds regarding the direction of the Home, but rather he's to give counsel to the Home shepherds regarding fulfilling the CS board's criteria and to ensure that they're doing their job of making sure that the spiritual aspects of the other boards' criteria are fulfilled in the Home. He also helps to spiritually shepherd the Home shepherds. *(Note: Any counseling done by phone would need to be within any security guidelines your area or region has instituted.)

254. The coach isn't to be involved with the Home managers, nor is he supposed to personally counsel or shepherd the Home members. The coach's job is to help the Home shepherds do their job, which is to shepherd the members of the Home.

255. There are times when the coach can approach something with a hands-on clinical method of teaching. For example, if the Home shepherds are not very good at conducting or overseeing the quality of the spiritual meetings of the Home—devotions, prayer meetings, Loving Jesus inspirations, etc.—then the coach can help the shepherds plan such meeting(s) and even help them to lead the meetings by participating himself. The idea is not that the coach comes into the Home and just does it himself, but rather that he helps the shepherds do it. And the goal is for him to train the Home shepherds so that eventually he doesn't have to help anymore. In the event of neither Home shepherds nor the coach being very experienced or trained in these things, they can teamwork together to counsel, pray, and research the Word regarding it.

256. If a Home shepherd is inexperienced and needs help in learning to personally counsel someone, the coach might sit in with that shepherd while he talks with that person. The idea is not that the coach is the one doing the talking and counseling the person, but rather he is observing the Home shepherd, maybe saying a few things here and there to direct the conversation or help the Home shepherd know what questions to ask or to clarify something‚ and then afterwards helping the Home shepherd see how he could improve. Again, the point is not that the coach is teaming up with the Home shepherd for such personal counseling sessions over a long period of time‚ but only long enough for the shepherd to be able to stand on his own.

257. Coaches will also be required to study and fulfill certain assignments that they will receive via the CS RBCs or the coach site (from the CS IBCs), and they will be expected to write a report at least once a month. They might be asked specific questions by the RBCs, which could result in additional written communications.

258. In order to wisely help the Home shepherds, coaches will need to spend time studying the Word and hearing from the Lord. That is in addition to their daily personal Word and P&P time. That study and prophecy time is part of their work. They're not just taking it easy, hanging out, or getting in the Word for their personal edification when they spend extra time in the Word. If they hope to do a good job, they absolutely must have time to pray and study about the needs of the Home shepherds and how they can help the shepherds tend to the spiritual needs of their Homes better. Please remember that when they're reading, studying, praying‚ hearing from the Lord, reporting, writing communications, etc., they're doing their job!

259. We in the Family are very work–oriented, and some have a rather narrow idea of what "real work" is. If someone is praying or hearing from the Lord, some people don't think that's work. But it is work for the coaches, and that's their job. So in light of that, you might see them at their computers quite a bit during their coach work time, and we'd appreciate it if you wouldn't give them flak for it or try to pull them away from that work.

260. The better your coach does his job, the more he'll be able to help the Home shepherds in his circle, including the shepherds of your Home. So please be supportive and encouraging when you see your coach praying, studying, writing, reporting, taking a conference day, etc. It will not be easy for the coaches, especially for those who are used to a more active lifestyle. They might feel guilty at first that they're not doing more around the house, or they might sense that others are getting critical of them. I hope that's not the case. That would be sad, because the coaches are going to try to do the best they can. It's a new job assignment and they're just finding their way. So please help them to succeed by being supportive of their efforts.

What authority do the coaches have?

261. Coaches do not have the authority that VSs had, and are not area officers. The Charter is being updated to reflect the many changes in our governing rules with the implementation of the coach program‚ and you will find the coach authority detailed in the accompanying addendum. The WS administration team will post an online version of the updated Charter as soon as they can. Please pray for those working on it. Thanks so much!

262. In brief, the coaches have authority to offer counsel to the shepherds of the Homes in their circle. Coaches do not have a vote in matters of discipline initiated by leadership, such as probationary status and PN. The RSs may ask the coach's opinion when investigating a matter regarding the discipline of a Home or individual, and if a coach feels PN is needed in one of the Homes that they coach, they can suggest it to the CS RBC.

263. Coaches also cannot initiate Home Censure (as that's a disciplinary measure initiated by the Home shepherds and enacted by the Home Council), although if someone in their own Home were to be recommended for Home Censure (or another status) by the shepherds, they would have a vote as a member of their own Home Council.

264. Coaches will have authority to act in the event of ongoing conflict in a Steering Council within their coaching circle. (See question and answer on this last point later in this GN.)

Are the Home shepherds required to do what the coaches say?

265. No. Home shepherds are under no obligation to enact the coaches' counsel or suggestions. It is our hope, however, that coaches and Home shepherds will work together as teammates, that it will be a give-and-take relationship. The coaches will play the role of counselors, prayer partners‚ facilitators, another "eye" when counseling about situations, etc. We trust that the Lord will give the coaches good ideas and that they'll have good input, so we expect that Home shepherds will at least be open to what the coaches share.

266. But when all is said and done, the Home shepherds are not required to do what the coaches suggest. The principle of Home accountability stands, and the Home shepherds need to do as they feel led of the Lord in counsel with their Home. The Home members will be accountable for their decisions and the spiritual state of their Home, not their coach (unless the coach is a member of that Home). If the Home sinks, it will be a matter of Home accountability.

What influence does a coach have within the Homes he's coaching?

267. The coach has no authority over the Homes he's coaching. He is a counselor to the Home shepherds. He helps the Home shepherds do their job, and he offers them personal shepherding and encourages them to shepherd each other, which is the ideal and the goal. He is not a counselor to the Home managers or the Steering Council as a body. His main job is to help the Home shepherds learn to spiritually shepherd the individuals in the Home, to give counsel to the Home shepherds regarding the implementation of the CS board criteria, and to check up on the Home shepherds to make sure they are doing their job of ensuring that the spiritual aspects of the other boards' criteria are fulfilled in the Home.

268. Since the coach is on the CS board, he can help the Home shepherds to fulfill spiritual aspects of the CS board criteria through monitoring the results of the Home review in the CS board criteria. (The CS RBCs will send each coach the results of the CS board Home review for each of the Homes in his circle.) The coach can also ask the Home shepherds how their Steering Council has divided up the spiritual and practical matters of the other boards, and see that they're following through on whatever plan their Home's Steering Council decided on. However, he is only responsible to see to it that the Home shepherds are doing their job; he's not meant to do the job for them. The coach is not responsible to be knowledgeable in aspects that relate to the other boards or know how to fulfill the spiritual aspects of those boards if the questions the Home shepherds ask him involve more than general shepherding principles. If the Home shepherds have questions about the implementation of the spiritual aspects of the other boards' criteria‚ the coach can and should direct the Home shepherds to write the relevant board with their questions.

269. The coach is not a personal shepherd to the individuals in the Homes he coaches. He does not play the role that the former VSs played when they got involved with the individuals in the Homes and in every aspect of Home life. Thus‚ the coach's influence within a Home is focused on offering spiritual shepherding to the Home shepherds, teaching the Home shepherds how to spiritually shepherd those in their Home, helping the Home shepherds to ensure that the CS criteria is being fulfilled, and checking that the Home shepherds are doing their job of ensuring that the spiritual aspects of the other boards are being fulfilled.

So does that mean that the coach never gets involved with the Home managers or the Steering Council as a whole?

270. Because the job of the coach is to counsel the Home shepherds in the spiritual shepherding of the Home, there is no need for him to get involved with the Home managers or the Steering Council overall. That would detract from his primary focus, which is the Home shepherds, as naturally he would then become embroiled in the practical side of the Home, which is not his mandate.

271. However, in the event of ongoing conflict or disunity in the Steering Council, and after attempting to resolve the matter through the Home shepherds, if the conflict persists, the coach has the authority to communicate with the Steering Council as a whole to help them solve the conflict. The Charter procedure for this is outlined in the accompanying addendum.

272. It could potentially play out something like this:

273. There is a conflict in the Steering Council, and first they do everything possible to resolve their conflict without calling on the coach. The Home shepherds can talk with the coach‚ and he can offer counsel in an attempt to help them resolve the problems they are facing in the Steering Council. The Home shepherds would then try to apply the counsel the coach gives them to their situation in the Steering Council, passing on his counsel and trying whatever spiritual or practical suggestions they received from the coach.

274. If, however, the conflict or disunity continues, and the shepherds and managers reach an impasse‚ as a last resort the coach can, with the approval of the shepherding desk‚ involve himself with the Steering Council as a whole, to help them overcome their problems.

275. At the time that the coach becomes involved with the entire Steering Council‚ he would also inform the Home Council that there is conflict or division in the Steering Council of their Home, and that he has become involved. If the conflict is not resolved within 21 days, then the Steering Council will be dissolved and within seven days the Home must hold new elections.

How can a coach live in a Home where he's supposed to be coaching the Home shepherds, and yet he's a member of that Home? Who is "in charge"? Who decides how the coach will spend his time? How does it work?

276. This was a tricky point, as the coach does need time to do his job, yet there has to be some order in the Home and it doesn't work very well if the coach is always unavailable, never able to contribute to the Home, and constantly working independently of the Home schedule.

277. The coach is still a member of his Home when it comes to Home accountability. In other words, the coach needs to feel a sense of responsibility for his Home; he needs to participate in the Home as much as he can so that he also helps to carry the weight of the Home and he can help the Home succeed.

278. The coach is not immune to reclassification if his Home is moved to MM. In light of that, the coach will need to participate in Charter-required meetings, attend devotions, help formulate the goals and direction of his Home, and help contribute to the running and support of the Home, etc., as would any other member.

279. The coach does have another job‚ however, and he can't try to do that job with little bits of time here and there, just squeezing in a few minutes in between his Home duties. He will need some concentrated quality time to be a coach. As was explained in "Getting Stronger, Part 2," being a coach is a ministry that will take time if it's going to be done well. In order to accommodate both his Home responsibilities and his coaching ministry, a coach will be asked to give three full days each week to his coach job. (The three days would include a half-day conference day each week. Or he could take one full conference day every other week, in which case one week he'd give two and a half days to his coach job and the next week three and a half‚ but it would average out to three days a week.) The rest of his time is to be devoted to contributing to the Home where he lives, as well as any time needed for parent day, W&R, etc.

280. It was difficult to come up with this three-day plan, because when we counseled with the RSs, some felt it was too much time while others felt it wasn't enough. There are a lot of factors that come into play—if the coach is a parent, how many Homes he has in his circle and how much help the Home shepherds of those Homes need‚ how much his Home depends on his help, etc. In the end, after much prayer and counsel, the Lord confirmed that it's best to start out with a minimum amount of time for the coach work, because the tendency in the past has been to minimize spiritual shepherding and to not give that ministry sufficient time, but rather to take care of other things first and then try to "fit in" the spiritual shepherding. That approach won't work for the coach program, just like it hasn't worked in the past.

281. Of course, the coach would want to work out when would be the best time to take his coach work time with the Steering Council of his Home. There has to be flexibility in the way it's planned, so that it's as efficient as possible all the way around. A coach can't be "untouchable" in the Home to where the Home never knows when they can count on his help or when he'll be there or be gone. Neither can the Home be operating in a haphazard fashion so there's no order in the coach's schedule.

282. It's the coach's responsibility to work out his activities in counsel with the Home Steering Council, as he's still very much a part of the Home, but we do ask that there be some advance planning, as much as possible‚ so that the coach knows when he'll have time to do his coach work. For example, you could have a general plan that you basically stick to each week, such as every Monday, Wednesday and Friday would be coach work days for the coach, or every morning/afternoon. Or if having a general plan doesn't work well, we suggest you at least plan with the coach his general schedule by the weekend for the following week, so he can plan ahead. The reason for this is that the coach might need to interact with the Home shepherds of the other Homes in his circle, and in that case he'd need to make plans in advance. The coach would also want to be able to hear from the Lord about his coach work, and that's best done with some advance notice, rather than only on a day-by-day basis, which is generally not as effective.

283. You can find what works best in your Home through counsel, prayer, and working together, but in general there needs to be advance planning. This will not only help the coach but also your Home.

284. A coach would normally be able to attend most Home devotions and required meetings, although there might be times when that will not be possible due to his coaching obligations, such as if he's visiting another Home to meet with the Home shepherds. But generally speaking, he should participate in the meetings in his Home, unless there's a very specific reason why he would not be able to.

285. There will be instances where your Home is involved in unusual activities such as SWIFTs, vacations‚ or members of the Home are attending a board activity, or there might be some kind of emergency, such as a lot of people in the Home being sick. In those times, the coach might need to bend his schedule to accommodate the Home's needs during that particular time, which is fine. Also, there will probably be times when the coach is called away from the Home for a seminar or meeting with the CS RBCs, or he could possibly be asked to be a designated representative. In that case, he might need to be away doing coach work for more than three days in a given week. That would be a case where you'd want to try to work things out the best you can to accommodate both the Home and the coach's needs. Possibly he could give a bit more time to the Home before he goes and when he returns, if needed.

286. There is also the possibility that a coach might live in a Service Home that doesn't depend on his help so much, or possibly he doesn't have children so doesn't take a parent day, so there might be instances where a coach could devote more than three days weekly to his coaching job. There is also the fact that some coaches will have more Homes to coach than others, and there are other factors that could affect how long it takes for a coach to actually do the job, even something as simple as whether he can type and is very skilled in using a computer. So there are some cases where a coach might need to and be able to devote more time to the coaching job, and that's great. But three days a week is the minimum. Again, it doesn't need to be full days—it can be half-days, or a combination of full days and half-days—but it must add up to an average of three days each week.

287. It's impossible to lay down precise rules on how it should play out with the coach's time. But the point to remember is that the coach does need time to do his job of coaching, but he also will need and want to contribute to his Home. The goal is that when he's allotted time to do his coaching work‚ as much as possible it should be quality uninterrupted time. And when he's allotted time to do his Home work, he should really put his all into that and not try to do both at the same time.

288. There will be times when a coach will be away from his coach work‚ such as when traveling to visit relatives, going on a SWIFT or vacation, etc. During this time, a coach would not be expected to devote three days each week to his coach work. But it would be good for the coach to try to plan ahead when he knows he'll be away from his coach post for a while, so that he can try to answer any questions the Home shepherds might have before leaving. And it would be important for him to communicate with his CS RBC(s) to let them know how long he'll be away from his coaching job.

289. Mama and I realize that this might be a pretty big deal for your Home, having to allow a resident coach to spend approximately half his work time devoted to his coach work. This is a big sacrifice for you, we're sure. We know the Lord will bless you and make it up to you, through miracles if need be. He will reward your giving. Here is some encouragement from Dad on what you stand to gain through giving one of your valuable Home member's time for the greater good of the Family.

290. (Dad:) Every great movement requires some sacrifice to keep it going, and some of you dear Home members are probably being faced with the fact that a valuable member of your team has been asked to be a coach, and you're probably thinking about all you're going to lose by letting this person devote their time to being a coach. Well, I want to ask you to consider something else: What do you stand to gain? You're probably looking at this tapestry from the wrong side, and that's why it's looking pretty messy and like things are just going to fall apart without this person attending to what he had been doing up until now. If we flip the tapestry over, suddenly there's a whole pattern of blessings to be received, and believe it or not, you could actually be begging to let this person be a coach because of all you stand to gain from it.

291. If you take a look at the positive side of having a coach in your Home and the strength that it is going to be to your Home and your Steering Council, you might be surprised at how that's going to help you personally. Your Home will be stronger, the spirit of your Home is going to be better, and here's where it gets really good—the Lord's blessings will be greater because of your sacrifice.

292. Now I'm not saying that you'll have an easy time covering the bases the coach will be vacating at first, but you'll find that you can rise to the occasion and you will grow and become stronger and be able to do much more than you thought you could.

293. It takes faith to believe that somehow everything's going to get done, but that's what your service for the Lord is based on. He's not going to let things go to pot and downhill because you were willing to give up that person to the Lord's will. He's going to raise up people to fill in and take the responsibilities that your resident coach once held.

294. You and others in your Home will be more fulfilled and more inspired by doing more. And help will come from the most unexpected places. The Lord will raise up others to carry the load, and your Home will actually be strengthened by people seeing the need and "taking up the slack," so to speak.

295. The benefit of this is that you'll grow as disciples and learn to do more for the Lord, and that opens avenues of greater service to you. The stretching is a bit uncomfortable at first, but as you grow into the new ministries the Lord has for you‚ you will find that you are happier and more fulfilled, and in fact your Home will run better and things will go better.

296. So don't worry. It takes faith, but once you saw that limb off, God will supply for you. Do you believe that? Many times I had to do that when I was with you on Earth. Sometimes the Lord would call a member of our staff to help shepherd an area, and I'd think to myself, "How on earth are we going to fill the hole they're going to leave?" However, as time went on I got the point that when God calls someone to a different place of service for Him He always, without fail‚ sends someone to take their place.

297. Or sometimes He helps others around grow and absorb the space that that person has left. Or He may bring in others to do your job so you can do theirs. But no matter how He does it, He always does something to fill the need. That's His job‚ right?

298. Our job is just to follow His lead‚ and if He decides to move the person on the chess square next to you into another position, don't worry, He's got someone in mind for that square. It might be you! He might want you to grow in size to be able to take up two squares, or He might pull someone in from the sidelines who hasn't really been doing all that much in the Home and help them to fill the hole.

299. Stretching and growth are awesome blessings from the Lord because it moves you into places you wouldn't have gone on your own, and it helps you do things you never thought you could do. You'll be more fulfilled if you let the person answer the Lord's call and trust Him for how things will work out. Trust me, they will work out.

300. Even though it takes faith and you may not see how you can afford to sacrifice this person to the Lord's call, I guarantee that the hole will be filled if you're yielded to what the Lord wants to do in your life and Home. If you're open to whatever the Lord has for you‚ the hole will be filled somehow, even supernaturally; your Home will survive and actually flourish because of it.

301. So my point is that it's a really good thing when you're faced with something that will make you stretch and grow. And that's the way it is with a coach pulling half of their time out of your Home to do the Lord's will for them. It makes room for those in your Home to grow and expand and grow taller and stronger through it.

302. You may be surprised what you or others in your Home can do if you'll let the Lord work through you. I'm excited to see how some of you are going to grow because you have been willing to give a Home member to the Lord's work in coaching. In a little while you will look back and be able to smile at how the Lord has brought you along and how much more fulfilled you are than you were before.

303. And most of all, remember that the Lord's in control. He's the chess Master and He knows how to run His game, and believe me‚ He wants you to win just as much as you want to win. So trust the Lord and watch Him work. It's exciting, and the benefits are going to be felt all around in your Home.

304. Let the Lord move you into greater service, doing more‚ and being more fulfilled. Let Him raise up your young people and teens into ministries which need to be covered. Let Him use you to your full potential. And an excellent way to do that is to let Him make space for you to grow by moving someone else over and giving you their previous responsibility.

305. I look forward to seeing where you'll all be six months from now. I look forward to the praises you'll utter when you see how far you've come! Even if it's a sacrifice now and you're not sure how you'll cope, if you trust and do what the Lord shows you, I guarantee that it'll pay off in every way imaginable. (End of message.)

What is the coach's relationship with the Home shepherds of the Home where he lives? Are they responsible to shepherd the coach?

306. The relationship between the Home shepherds and the coach should be similar to the relationship that the Home shepherds have with each other, that they are open to receiving counsel, safeguarding, instruction and correction from one another. This means the coach can help to spiritually shepherd the Home shepherds, and they can spiritually shepherd him. And the Home shepherds spiritually shepherd each other. So yes, the Home shepherds are responsible to shepherd the coach in their Home, just as they shepherd each other and any other Home members.

307. If there is a problem with the coach that the Home shepherds of his Home cannot handle, or the coach is not responding to the shepherding they are trying to give, then they should communicate with the CS RBC via the shepherding desk.

308. The CS RBC will possibly also give the coaches some spiritual shepherding, but that might not happen very often, since the RBC might not see the coach very often or see how he interacts with others in his Home. So it's not healthy for the coach to only receive spiritual shepherding from the CS RBC or some other RS.

309. The coaches are also subject to being put on Home Censure, or other disciplinary measures‚ if needed.

310. A coach should not protect his mate and children from the Home shepherds by saying something like, "Oh, yes, they're having problems; I'll take care of shepherding them." The shepherding of the other Home members, including the coach's mate and children, is the responsibility of the Home shepherds.

Why do coaches only coach the Home shepherds, and not the Home managers too? Does that mean that Home shepherds are in a higher position than Home managers, or at least more important in the Lord's eyes?

311. The spiritual shepherding of Family Homes has been neglected over the years, and physical, practical‚ and business needs have taken priority. Therefore, the coach program was created so that the Homes can be helped to raise and maintain the spiritual standard. The fact that the coaches only coach Home shepherds does not mean the Home shepherds are above Home managers. It's simply that the coaches are trained in spiritual shepherding matters, not practical matters, and therefore their mandate is to coach the Home shepherds.

How will a coach conduct himself in his own Home?

312. It will be difficult for the coaches to learn how they should act in their own Homes. It will take some getting used to, and they will probably feel awkward at first.

313. But for starters‚ please remember that the coach is not the one who has the last say or who calls the shots in his Home. As a Home member, he has no more authority than the other Home members. He is subject to Home accountability, which means he sinks or swims with his Home just like everyone else.

314. Even though a coach is a member of his Home, that does not mean that he is available to personally shepherd the members of his Home. Please do not seek to pour out your heart to your coach even if that coach lives in your Home. Please seek the counsel of your Home shepherds.

315. Of course, this doesn't mean that you can never talk to that person in your Home who happens to be a coach. Chances are you are friends. You might be close. You might be lovers. You might be married. It's very natural that in the course of daily life—when you're on get-out, while driving in the car or riding on the bus, while out witnessing‚ while having dates, etc.—you'll talk to your coach. Maybe you just naturally "click" with him or her, and of course we don't expect you to just ignore that friendship that you have. And if you talk to your friend who is now a coach, he can pray for you and listen to you.

316. What will be different is that if the coach deems it important that you communicate with your Home shepherds, he will direct you to them. Even if he used to counsel you personally or used to be your Home shepherd, he will now direct you to your Home shepherds. It won't be his responsibility to try to counsel you, instruct you, hear from the Lord for you, etc. He is not responsible to personally do anything with what you tell him except pray for you, of course, and encourage you to talk to your Home shepherds. The Lord will help you with this transition if you'll really seek Him, and He'll help you develop close bonds with your Home shepherds, even if it's an adjustment and test of faith.

317. You can, of course, continue your deep friendship with someone in your Home who becomes a coach, and you can talk with them and confide in them. (Or you can become friends with someone in your Home who is a coach if you didn't know them so well before.) But the coach will not be your designated avenue for receiving shepherding or counsel. That would be through your Home shepherds. Please understand that and don't take it personally when your friend-now-coach asks you to communicate with your Home shepherds. Again, that's just part of his job, and it's important to establish the parameters of the program in the beginning; otherwise things will get off on the wrong foot, and then it's very difficult to correct the course.

Does the coach have the last or final say in the Home where he lives?

318. No, the coach does not have the final say in the Home where he lives, or any Home, for that matter. A coach is a helper and counselor to the Home shepherds‚ but the Home's goals and major decisions are established through the Home Council, and the daily carrying out of those goals and decisions is the responsibility of the Steering Council. When you elected the Steering Council in your Home, you empowered them to take care of the daily organization and spiritual direction of the Home, in an effort to make the Home goals that your Home Council decided on a reality.

319. This was explained in "Getting Stronger, Part 2," and since this is such an important principle, I will include a few paragraphs from that GN here, as a review.

The Steering Council is two separate entities, but together they form the body that determines the general plan for the implementation of the overall goals and direction set by the Home Council. When the shepherds and managers sit together, they make decisions that help to ensure that the Home is upholding the FD standard and fulfilling the board criteria and the Charter. …

After decisions are made in the Steering Council meetings, the management team is responsible to carry out the practical aspects of the decisions made‚ and the shepherds the shepherding aspects. The Steering Council makes the collective decisions, based upon the already established will of the Home Council, but the responsibility for the implementation of those decisions is divided between the practical and the spiritual, with the managers taking care of the practical and the shepherds taking care of the spiritual.

Question: The Charter states the following: "After agreement is reached in a Home Council meeting, the decisions of the voting members are to be implemented. So even if the Home teamwork [a.k.a. Steering Council] feels the Home should do one thing, but the voting members vote to do something else, then the decision of the majority of the voting members is what should be carried out."

Is this still the way things will work? Or does the Steering Council now have more authority than the Home Council?

Answer: The Steering Council does not have authority over the Home Council. The Home Council is the ultimate Home authority, and according to its decisions, the Steering Council is then empowered to carry out those overall decisions on a day-to-day basis. The Steering Council is empowered to enact, and they are also empowered to recommend a course of direction to the Home; yet the ultimate authority‚ as per Home accountability, remains with the Home Council as a collective entity. The Home Council remains the body with the power to determine the policy and goals of the Home. The Steering Council will help to formulate the overall decisions, goals, and policies made by the Home Council into daily, weekly, and monthly workable plans. (End of excerpts of ML #3518:106,107, GN 1109.)

320. The coach has no authority over the Steering Councils of the Homes he coaches. His job is to help the Home shepherds do their part of directing the Home spiritually and shepherding the individuals, but the decisions the Home shepherds make are ultimately their choice. The Home shepherds do not have to do what the coach says. Granted‚ the coach will probably have good input and ideas, and if they're wise they'll at least be open to considering the coach's counsel and putting it in the "prayer pot," but they are not obligated to do as the coach suggests.

321. This applies to the Home where the coach lives as well. Because the coach is not on the Steering Council of his Home‚ he does not have any more say in the decisions that the Steering Council makes than the other members of the Home have.

322. If the coach is unhappy in his own Home, if he's dissatisfied with the way things are going or the decisions the Steering Council is making, he can try to talk with the Home shepherds about it, within his role as coach. But he cannot control their decisions. So that means that if he isn't happy with the way things are going in his Home, even after he's tried to counsel the Home shepherds, then he as a coach doesn't have any more authority after that to influence the decisions of the Steering Council than the other Home members.

323. In that case, his options would be to: 1) bring the point in question up for discussion and vote in a Home Council meeting to try to resolve the problem, or 2) pray about it and see if the Lord leads to just let it ride for a while and see if perhaps the Steering Council was led of the Lord in their decisions, if things improve or if there's another opportunity to counsel the Home shepherds and possibly influence the direction things are going, or 3) consider moving to another Home, if he feels it's serious enough and his Home is sinking and his hands are tied as far as helping things to improve.

How can a coach help the Home shepherds without being involved with the Home members, hearing all sides of the story, etc.?

324. This is a good question, and the coaches not being involved with the individual Home members is something that's core to the coach program, and a very big departure from the VS program. In the past, the VSs were very involved with investigation, hearing all sides of a situation, counseling individuals personally, and getting into the nitty-gritty of sorting out problems. That is not, however, the job of a coach.

325. I'm sorry I keep saying this over and over, but that is one of the biggest changes with this new program‚ and it's absolutely crucial that this change takes root. We all need to really get our heads around this. If we somehow miss it on this part, if this change is not firmly established, then the coaches will not be focused on their job of training and helping the Home shepherds‚ the Home shepherds will not learn how to care for their own Home members, and the Home members will not learn to go to their Home shepherds for spiritual counsel and help‚ but the same pattern from the past will continue.

326. One of the very fundamental goals of the coach program is to change the way Family members have been shepherded, so that each Home is an independent unit in which the individuals therein are actually shepherded spiritually. For that to happen, we need a lot of shepherds, and those shepherds are the Home shepherds. In order for each person to get sufficient consistent personal shepherding‚ there needs to be a small ratio of Home members to each shepherd. With the new Steering Council plan, that is possible. But it's only possible if the Home shepherds do their job, and that will only happen if we all realize that the job of knowing all the details and getting into shepherding individuals falls to the Home shepherds‚ and only to them. And to help them do that, the coaches will be their advisors‚ helpers, facilitators, and counselors.

327. Now that brings us to the crux of this question as to how the coaches can be advisors and counselors to the Home shepherds if they don't know all the details in the Home, they haven't heard all sides, they haven't talked personally with the individuals involved, etc. The past method our shepherds used was "management by wandering around," which means you make it your business to know everything that's happening, you poke your nose in the classroom, you look in the lit cupboard, you talk with everyone, you know the state of the finances, etc.

328. Well, we've changed that. Now a lot of what VSs used to be concerned about as they "managed by wandering around" is not their job at all. In fact‚ they're not managers, period. They're the spiritual shepherds and it's their job to find out the details regarding spiritual problems or challenges. It's not the coaches' job to find out those other details.

329. There are two or three shepherds in each Home. From their insight, input, and prayerful analysis of what's going on, the coach will offer counsel to the Home shepherds or take things to the Lord to hear from Him in prophecy. The coach will not be jumping the "chain of shepherding" by going to find out all the details himself from the Home members.

330. The coach will not be making the decisions or telling the Home shepherds what to do. He will be helping them to go to the Lord and the Word, he will be helping them to formulate good P&P questions, he will be helping them learn to have better people-handling skills, he will be reading their prophecies to see if there are other questions that they should bring to the Lord‚ etc. He will be an additional counselor, and it's not necessary for him to investigate "all sides" personally or to verify what the Home shepherds tell him, although he will be encouraging the Home shepherds to do that.

331. The Home shepherds are wise enough to know that if they don't shepherd their Home and Home members well, their Home could sink in one of the next Home reviews. They don't want that to happen. Therefore‚ you can be pretty sure they won't have personal agendas or grudges or axes to grind. They'll want the best for their Home, they'll want to succeed. In light of this‚ you'll need to trust the Lord that your Home shepherds will be representing your situation and needs well to the coach‚ and they'll all be very desperate to find the Lord's will.

332. I want to clarify a point that was brought up when this GN was read by the RSs before it was published. This is a little off the subject, but it's an important point. An RS commented:

333. I feel it needs to be brought up that the Home shepherds' job is to shepherd the Home members in conjunction with the CS board criteria and the Charter and the printed Word. In other words, it can sound like if the Home Council didn't make a decision about something, the Home shepherds don't have the authority to enact it, so a Home member can feel like, "Where are you coming from?" when a Home shepherd tries to correct him on his discipleship standard or attitude that's not in accordance with the Word, just because it wasn't something that was discussed at a Home Council meeting. Here on the field, with legalistic, "fight for your rights" type people, when they read again and again the quotes that say that the "Home Council is the ultimate Home authority, and according to its decisions, the Steering Council is empowered to carry out those overall decisions on a day-to-day basis," it kind of sounds like the Steering Council doesn't have the right to tell them anything unless it's a Home-voted goal. But really there is tons of other counsel in the Word that will probably never come up in a Home Council meeting that the Home shepherds need to abide by in shepherding and managing the Home. (End of comment from RS.)

334. (Peter:) Yes, this is true. The Home shepherds will be shepherding you according to the CS board criteria, the Word‚ and the Charter. Each shepherding initiative does not need to be "cleared" through the Home Council‚ as it's understood that when you elect your Home Shepherds, their job is to spiritually shepherd the Home in accordance with the Word and the CS board criteria and the Charter. They don't need a special mandate from the Home Council to do that—you've given them the right to do so by electing them, and the Word and the Charter give them the responsibility to do so. It's also understood that as an FD Home you are committed to living the Word and the Charter, and fulfilling the board criteria. That's a given.

Can coaches help mediate when there are problems between Homes?

335. If there is conflict between two Homes in a coach's circle, then he can counsel the Home shepherds of both Homes. If there is conflict between a Home in his circle and a Home in another coach's circle, then he can communicate with the other coach in an attempt to resolve the situation. Then after the coaches counsel, they would each offer counsel to the Home shepherds of their circle. In an effort to help the situation, the coaches could ask the Home shepherds of the Homes involved such questions as: Have you discussed the problem in your Steering Council? Have you prayed about it? Have you asked the Lord about what your Home's fault is in the disunity? Have your Home members asked for forgiveness? (And the coaches might suggest further questions for the Home shepherds to pray about.)

336. Coaches do not meet with Home shepherds from another circle of Homes. It is not the role of the coaches to meet with the Home shepherds of two different circles to mediate a problem. If the coaches cannot help to resolve the problem by counseling together and then offering counsel to the Home shepherds of the Homes in their circle, then they can refer the problem to the CS RBC.

337. That is the extent of the coaches' authority in inter-Home conflicts.

Can I, as a Home member, communicate directly with my Home's coach if I want to share my heart or talk to him about something related to my Home?

338. Coaches are not meant to be the personal shepherds of the members of the Homes they coach. That is the job of the Home shepherds. Therefore, it's recommended that if you want to share your heart that you talk with your Home shepherds. You are not‚ of course, forbidden to talk personally with your Home's coach. But please be advised that his first question will be to ask you if you have talked to your Home shepherds. Next, if necessary, he will go to your Home shepherds and explain to them, as much as he deems necessary, what you talked with him about, and he will encourage the Home shepherds to talk with you. For example‚ he might tell the Home shepherds, "So-and-so talked with me about his problem with jealousy, and I suggest you touch base with him, as it's really difficult for him when such-and-such happens."

339. What this means is that if you talk with your coach, please don't say, "I need to pour my heart out to you, but please don't tell anyone." That is very ineffective‚ and we're making it clear that personally shepherding the Home members is not the job of the coach, so please don't put your coach in that position by asking him to keep whatever you're telling him confidential. This might be a change for you if you have expected shepherds to keep everything they were told confidential. But we just can't operate that way.

340. Coaches will not talk about the things they hear from the Home shepherds or individuals with others, such as their mate or friends. They will abide by the rules of confidentiality when it comes to that. But within their professional ministry, we are not holding them to confidentiality. If you want to talk with them, they will facilitate your talking with the Home's shepherds by going to the Home shepherds and letting them know that you will be coming to them to talk, or by asking them to get in touch with you. They will not necessarily do this immediately; they will allow time for you to go to the Home shepherds of your own accord.

341. For example, if you pour out your heart or write a message to your coach, you can say you plan to talk to your Home shepherds. In that case, the coach will wait for a reasonable time before he says something to the Home shepherds. But he will follow up on it, and if after a while you have not taken the initiative to communicate with your Home shepherds yourself, he will take a step to facilitate that communication.

342. The same principle applies if you write your RSs. If you choose to share your heart with them in the form of an OHR, they will read it and pray for you. But please don't expect to hear back from them or to have them shepherd you personally. During the first six months of 2005 when there were no VSs, we clarified that the RSs would not take the place of the VSs‚ in that they would not become your personal shepherds. That will stay in place indefinitely. What that means is you can write your RSs personally, you can pour out your heart to them, and they will read your letter and pray for you. But it is not their responsibility nor their job to write you back or shepherd you personally.

343. If you write your RSs about a situation or complaint related to your Home or Home shepherds, your RSs will refer the letter or situation to your coach. If you write with a complaint about your coach, the CS RBC will look into the situation regarding your coach. But in all of this, there is no guarantee that your letter or complaint or name will be kept confidential. It might or it might not. That's up to the RS.

344. (Any official right of redress as defined in the Charter needs to be sent to the shepherding desk, and it will be investigated as per the Charter guidelines.)

345. When confirming this confidentiality issue with the Lord‚ He had the following to say:

346. (Jesus: ) In order to strengthen My Family, I need all to be willing to give and receive from each other and to not hide behind anonymous reports. In the past, many of My shepherds' hands have been tied because someone didn't want their name disclosed, but as a result the person who had the problem couldn't receive all the help they could have if the real-life examples that were given could have been used.

347. This fear of a brother being offended is something that My children need to get over‚ for if you are to be true friends and mates to your brothers and sisters‚ you have to be willing to speak the truth in love. It would be ideal‚ of course, if the individuals could go to each other themselves and share these things, but if they feel they can't, and they instead go to their overshepherds, they need to understand that these things will be shared with those who need to know, in order to solve the problem and help the one in need of shepherding.

348. I don't wish there to be any more of this business of requesting that the shepherds not pass on the specifics of a report or mention names. In some cases it won't be necessary to mention names‚ and if that's the case, then the shepherds can handle it without getting too specific. But in the majority of cases it helps to mention the name or specific example that was shared so that the person can get a real true picture of the problem and what needs to be rectified in their life or interactions with others.

349. The only situation where the RSs or the coaches would not need to pass on the report is if individuals say that they are going to personally be sharing their comments with their Home shepherds. Sometimes it takes a while for individuals to collect their thoughts and present the situation to their immediate shepherds‚ who may be more sensitive about the issues if they're intimately involved. Because of this, many have defaulted to writing their overshepherds.

350. But if the person who reported makes it clear that they plan on sharing this with their Home shepherds, then they could be given opportunity to do this on their own without the overshepherds passing on their report, as maybe it wasn't written or said in a way that is well presented but was simply to share their heart and to kind of let off steam to those who aren't so intimately involved in the Home and situation. However, the overshepherds should follow up on this to make sure that the individual does follow through and share these things with their immediate Home shepherds, or let them know that they (the overshepherds) will plan to do so within a certain amount of time. (End of message.)

351. (Peter:) I understand that this might make you feel quite uneasy, and the tendency could be to just keep quiet, to not talk to people, and to not share your heart, for fear of who will find out. You might also be very reluctant to tell someone about a problem or Charter infraction. I can understand your not wanting to report something, knowing that you might be involved or that your name might come up as the one who reported the situation. That's very natural and I don't fault you for that. But please ask the Lord to show you how important it is that you not allow the Enemy to convince you to hold back and not be honest or report things that are wrong and that hurt the Family, as it would be a great hindrance to the strengthening of the Family if you were to react this way.

352. It's also possible that you have been hurt in the past when something you shared was passed on to someone else in the wrong way. You might have vowed to yourself to never do that again, to protect your heart by not opening up to others. Please ask for cleansing and deliverance from past hurts, and from any ways the past would prevent you from trusting your present shepherds and embracing the way the Lord wants to work today.

353. (Jesus: ) I know this is a big change. People might worry that it will come across hardline, that it will lend itself to gossip if the coaches are not kept in check with rules of confidentiality. This is a concern, and it will need to be a point of training, but you can't tie the coaches' hands by continuing to allow the level of confidentiality that the Family has become accustomed to. It's just not healthy; it won't lend itself to building winning teams.

354. The confidentiality concept does need to be adjusted, because as of now people have the impression that they can say anything to a shepherd and then say, "Don't tell anyone," or "don't say anything that would indicate that I told you about this, any details that would lead to me," and that's it. They're not even really accountable for what they say, because they know it won't go any further. It's like useless time and effort‚ because often when people say "don't tell anyone," it's because they're talking about someone else or something that happened, something that needs follow-up, but they don't really want follow-up, they just want to talk, to be heard. Or they don't want to be implicated in the "telling," which is really compromise and not true love. Well‚ being heard is important‚ but it's not enough if the coaches can't do anything about it.

355. There has to be some mechanism for the coach to be able to do what I show him is needed. Not that the coach will run and tell someone else right away in all cases. There will be cases when he won't feel it's necessary. But in many cases it will be necessary. And if the coach doesn't have that option, people will continue to talk to the coaches, and if the coach gets in the habit of listening, eventually the coach will even seek out that confidential information. But that's breaking the chain of shepherding, and it's a small point that could have big ramifications in undermining the coach program by having the coaches get too involved with individuals.

356. So even though it will be difficult for the coaches and the shepherds and the Home members to make this change, it's important that it's done. You don't want to scare people, but it should be said, and then instructions should be given about not gossiping. (End of message.)

357. (Peter:) As the Lord brought up, this new procedure does not in any way give Home shepherds or coaches license to gossip. There is a very big difference between sharing something that someone told you with the right people for the right reasons, after praying about it, and sharing something that someone told you in a flippant, gossipy manner. Coaches, Home shepherds, and even RSs might have to communicate about something you have told them in order to help you or someone else‚ but they will only do so when it's necessary.

358. We will monitor this to make sure things are going as they should in this regard. This will be a subject of ongoing training, but since we're on the subject in this GN, I want to try to impress upon you coaches and Home shepherds to please be very desperate with the Lord to keep your tongues in check and to not gossip. If there is a need to tell anyone something personal about another person, it should be with the express purpose of helping that person.

359. And equally as important, you should only talk about something personal with those people who need to know. That means you Home shepherds should not just be "sharing the news" of all the personal information you might be privy to with the managers. They don't need to know the nitty-gritty details involved in the spiritual shepherding of the Home members. And certainly your mate and friends do not need to know such personal details if they are not also a Home shepherd of your Home.

360. And coaches, if you feel you need to communicate with the Home shepherds about something personal that a Home member told you, please do so very prayerfully and don't fall into gossiping. Also, don't try to seek out the "juicy details" about people's problems or confessions or whatever. The point is that Home members build a bond with their Home shepherds and that they learn to communicate with them, so please do all you can to help create and encourage that bond. And please do not share personal information with another coach who is not involved.

361. Trust is something that's built and earned, and one of the quickest ways of destroying trust is to talk about confidential information with the wrong people or in the wrong way. For this coach program and the restructuring to work, there needs to be trust, and you Home shepherds and coaches will need to work hard to be worthy of the trust of the Home members. Once you have that trust, you'll need to be very prayerful and careful to protect it. Please understand that gossiping will undermine the trust you are trying to build.

362. (Dad:) We just cannot afford to have gossip at this level of leadership if it's going to work. The difference between gossip and the necessary sharing of details has a lot to do with the following three things: 1) who you're talking to, 2) why you're telling them‚ and 3) what they can do about it.

363. The people you should be talking to about it are the Home shepherds—not your mate, girlfriend‚ boyfriend‚ good friend, really good friend, bosom buddy, etc. The right people are defined by point three—what can they do about it? Is it their job to be involved in the situation? If not, then you're talking to the wrong people‚ and that is gossip.

364. Why you're telling the people also plays a big part in whether or not it's gossip. If you're telling them because you want them to "see the need and respond," and if they are meant to be doing something about what you're telling them, then you're talking to the right people. But if you're just making casual conversation with a friend and the spirit is‚ "Oh yeah, did you hear what so-and–so did? They told me…." Wham! You've just crossed the line into gossip.

365. Well, I could go on and on about this, but I hope this warning is sufficient. If you love the Lord, if you love me, Mama and Peter‚ and this Family, you'll take this warning to heart.

366. Be prayerful and never take the sharing of any details of someone's private life that has been entrusted to you lightly. I have faith in your conviction and loyalty, and I expect you to obey 100% in this area. Thank you! (End of message.)

Will the Homes of the coaches receive any financial remuneration?

367. Just as the VSs of the past received a small gift to cover their expenses, the same will be provided to the coaches. This should help offset some of the expenses the coaches will incur, such as phone bills, etc.

368. We realize that this small gift will not make a big difference in your Home's budget. We are very sorry that we can't give you more. If we could, we definitely would. But with about 100 coaches worldwide, it adds up, and the money is provided by your region's Common Pot, which is limited.

Why do the coaches take conference days?

369. Coaches are required to take two conference days each month to help them avoid the burnout that many of the VSs of the past experienced. This is similar to the requirement that Mama and I have given the RSs, except that they're required to take a minimum of three conference days each month, with four recommended.

370. Mama and I ask that you please respect your coaches' time when they're having a conference day. This is part of their job, it's not a luxury, and they're required to do it by Mama and me. So please don't make them feel bad by saying things like, "Why do you get a conference day when you're not any busier than I am?" That could very well be true, and it would be wonderful if everyone in the Family could take conference days. In fact, Mama and I are praying about how to introduce such a practice into the Family at large. But in the meantime, while that policy is being finalized, we will go ahead and put the requirement for conference days into place for the coaches.

371. Please make it easy for your coach to take this time. Encourage him to do it; try to provide a place that's quiet where he can have Word‚ prayer, and meditation time. It will only help him to do a better job, to stay stronger spiritually, and to be a bigger blessing to your Home. You will only gain by helping your coach to be faithful with his conference days.

Can a coach be voted out of his position?

372. If Home shepherds are unhappy with their coach, they can write to their CS RBC. The RBC would probably first try to work out the difficulties. If that were not possible, then the RBC might try to work it out for that Home to have a different coach.

373. If there is general dissatisfaction with a coach, the CS RBC can call for a vote of confidence for the coach. If a majority of the Home shepherds of the Homes in the coach's circle vote for another coach, then the coach will be moved from that position. That doesn't necessarily mean that the coach will be removed from being a coach, but he would be moved from that circle of Homes.

374. There is a vote of confirmation every six months for coaches. Only the Home shepherds vote, not all the Home members, since it's the Home shepherds who will be working with the coach and therefore they are in a more informed position to vote.

How can coaches work effectively on their own? The VSs used to work in teamwork with one another and they'd counsel together. How can coaches know they're doing the right thing‚ giving the right counsel?

375. Coaches will mainly be asking the Lord, going to the Word, and discussing matters with the Home shepherds of the Homes they coach. Coaches aren't meant to be the all in all or to know everything. Each is simply a coach, and by definition, a coach is someone who trains, helps, instructs. If a coach needs help, he will counsel with the CS RBC. The CS RBCs will continue to train the coaches‚ and they will be the coaches' teamworkers. That means that if the coaches have questions or they want to run a message or prophecy by someone before sending it to a Home shepherd‚ they can counsel with their RBC(s).

376. This is a departure from the way the VS program worked, as the VSs counseled a lot with each other and they often lived together, so they teamworked closely. But in this situation, the Lord has led for the coaches to not teamwork with each other, because they would then be pulled into having to know details about other Homes that are not within their circle of coaching.

377. If coaches were to counsel with each other extensively, that would make the job much larger‚ as with time it could evolve to where each coach isn't coaching three to five Homes, but rather six to ten (counting the Homes of the coach that he counsels with). We want to avoid that, so that the coaches can have a balanced life, they can stay spiritually strong, they can participate in their own Home‚ they can go witnessing, have sufficient time with their families, etc.

378. This new arrangement will take time to get used to, both for the coaches and the Homes. Please try to have patience and confidence in the Lord as things get ironed out, as especially in the beginning your coach will probably be counseling more with his RBC, and that takes time. So please try not to be in a hurry or to pressure your coach. It takes time to pray about things and counsel, so try to slow things down and not get rushed.

What if two coaches live in the same Home? How would that work?

379. We are not closing the door completely on one coaching circle (of a maximum of five Homes) having two coaches. That is not disallowed, but neither is it encouraged. There could be, however, different circumstances in which two coaches would work together. One might be, for example, if you have a team in Latin America of two coaches in a circle and one is very potential but is not bilingual, so you could team that one up with another who is bilingual. In that case, they could possibly teamwork in their coaching, in which case they'd share the financial remuneration that would normally go to a single coach.

380. What we are aiming to avoid, however, is two coaches teamworking together, and instead of having three to five Homes, they'd have six to ten Homes in their circle (the thinking being they're two instead of one, so why not give them a double load of Homes). That would make the job much bigger, even if they are two people.

381. One Home could have two coaches residing in it. There is the possibility that you could have a married couple in a Home and they're both coaches. In that case‚ the norm would be that one of those people is the coach for the Home where they live, and the other is not. They would each have different Homes that they coach, and they'd each give three days of their time to the Home where they live.

If Home shepherds are shepherded by each other and the coach, who shepherds the managers?

382. The managers are shepherded by the Home shepherds, as are all the members of the Home. The managers are not shepherded by the coach.

Will there be any "protection" for the Home shepherds getting bombarded by too many assignments or to-dos from their coach?

383. Ideally the coaches and Home shepherds should have open communication, and if a coach suggests some idea to the Home shepherds that's not realistic, the shepherds could explain why it's too much, given their other responsibilities, deadlines, etc. There should be a give-and-take dialogue between the coaches and the Home shepherds. The Home shepherds can keep the coach informed about the happenings in the Home, and they can work together on what's realistic to do.

384. If there is a problem repeatedly and the Home shepherds can't communicate to the coach that what he's suggesting is not possible, or the coach and the Home shepherds are not able to come to an understanding, then the Home shepherds can write their CS RBC and explain the dilemma. The RBC will then communicate with the coach.

385. Again, the Home shepherds are not required to do what the coach suggests. But there should be open exchange, and we hope the working relationship of the coach and Home shepherds will be communicative.

Will coaches be part of the CS board?

386. The CS board will be restructured now that things have changed. At this time it seems this board will be structured similar to the PR board, in that there will no longer be national boards. All the coaches will be part of the regional board, and they will meet with the CS RBC once a year, minimum. The Family Board Handbook will be revamped for the Coaching and Shepherding board, making it clear which responsibilities stay with the RBC and which are passed on to the coaches. Generally speaking‚ however, the coaches will not be involved in administration, nor will they be involved with Homes outside their coaching circle. The purpose of the yearly regional board meetings will largely be to train the coaches further. The details of the revamp of the CS board will be ironed out and published later.

Will there be any safeguards or Charter procedures put in place to protect the Homes against coaches abusing their power?

387. We pray this will not be much of a problem as the coaches don't have much "power" to abuse. They do not have the authority that VSs had as area officers. Coaches are to be helpers, guides‚ facilitators, counselors, and co-workers for the Home shepherds. However, if anyone feels there is a coach that is not conducting himself appropriately, please feel free to bring up your concerns to the coach. That is the preferred course of action. If, for whatever reason, you don't have the faith to do that, or you have done so and things have not changed to your satisfaction, you can write your CS RBC.

In the past‚ the VSs used to organize area-wide Family camps and fellowships. Then the other boards would organize activities for the different age groups, sort of piggybacking on the VSs' initiatives. Will the coaches do that too?

388. No‚ that is not the responsibility or mandate of the coaches. They will not provide this service as the VSs used to. This would be left to the NCC to organize (with the various national boards); or if it's a larger camp or fellowship, then it would fall to the Regional Council to organize.

389. Similar to this question‚ if a coach were to attend an area-wide camp or fellowship, he would not be expected to have personal time with the Home members of the Homes within or outside his coaching circle.

390. A designated representative from the CS board could be appointed to help on the planning committee of a major fellowship. (That appointment would be made by the CS RBC.) But that person would be working as a DR, not as a coach. If there are conflicts at the fellowship, the organizing committee would be responsible to resolve them. The DR from the CS board might be involved in that, but that would be done in his role as part of the organizing committee, not as a coach.

Previously with big area fellowships, the VSs were pulled into the shepherding side of it, and any touchy things that would come up, people would expect the VSs to sort out. Is that something that coaches would do?

391. No, this is outside the coaches' authority and mandate. They will not be filling the role the VSs filled in the past. If there are personnel conflicts or problems that come up at an area fellowship, it would be the responsibility of the Home shepherds of those brethren to work out the conflict and shepherd the individuals, if the shepherds are attending the fellowship. If a coach were involved, he would be counseling the Home shepherds (if it were a Home in his circle), not the individuals. One exception to this would be, as stated above, if the coach were at the fellowship as a DR from the CS board and part of the organizing committee, in which case he could work with that committee to resolve conflicts or problems with the individuals.

Will there be a time for some occasional open forums within a Home with the coaches? Often when the VSs visited a Home they would hold a Home meeting and people could ask different questions, and it was a blessing to get input from someone outside the Home. Will that be possible with the coaches?

392. No‚ the coaches are not prepared or trained for this type of situation. This falls outside their mandate. This would fall more in the portfolio of the RSs, if they have the time and choose to do so. Please do not expect the coaches to fill the role that the VSs used to fill in the Homes. They have a very different role to play.

Once the coaches get appointed, who decides which Homes they will coach? And will they coach the MM Homes?

393. Your RSs will decide which Homes each coach is assigned to coach. Of course, the RSs will work together with the coaches, and will try to work it out conveniently for the coaches, but it's ultimately the RSs' decision.

394. At this time the coaches will only service the FD Homes.

Will Service Homes have a coach, including Service Homes where an RS or RSs live?

395. This has yet to be worked out in detail, but generally speaking, Service Homes will have coaches. We are still communicating with the RSs on this, and there might be some adjustments or leeway in this, but if possible‚ we feel it would be advantageous for Service Homes, including those where RSs live, to have coaches.

Encouragement and counsel for the Steering Council

396. Now I want to move on to some specifics regarding the Steering Council and how it works. Mama and I pray that you are starting to get a feel for the new structure of the Steering Council and the criteria monitors. We expect that it will take some time before all the kinks are ironed out and you're operating very smoothly and efficiently, but we pray it's coming along, slowly but surely.

397. As you might recall, in "Getting Stronger—Part 2" I explained how the Home shepherds and Home managers are to work together as equals. As a review, I'll include a couple of paragraphs from that GN here‚ and then will elaborate a bit more on this point.

While we are trying to protect the Home shepherds from becoming embroiled in the physical running of the Home, to avoid their neglecting the spiritual shepherding that they should focus on, that doesn't mean that we're setting the shepherds up as the "elders" or de facto heads of the Steering Council. All the members of the Steering Council should work as equals when it comes to making decisions.

The members of the Steering Council are to work in good teamwork, which is characterized by openness, good communication‚ willingness to listen to others, mutual respect‚ prayerfulness, asking the Lord and taking matters back to Him as needed, etc. If those in the Steering Council have disagreements about something, the Home shepherds do not have the last say. Differences of opinions need to be worked out through further prayer, discussion‚ and asking the Lord. If the members of the Steering Council are unable to come to a decision about something, if they have a tie vote and are deadlocked, then the decision in question would need to be brought to the Home Council.

When we sought the Lord about this, He confirmed how important it is that the Home managers and shepherds work as equals so as to maintain balance in the Home. For a Home to operate smoothly and efficiently, both the spiritual and the practical must work together. Both are important for the Home to be a success—for the Home to develop as a winning team. Equality among the Steering Council members helps ensure that this balance is maintained. This concept of equality for the Steering Council members doesn't change the roles or realms of responsibilities of either of the two bodies; it's just that when the two bodies sit together‚ they are equal, with all members of the Council having an equal vote. (End of excerpts from ML #3518:157-159, GN 1109.)

398. That sounds good in principle, but we are concerned that this equality will be thrown off when the Home shepherds begin receiving input and training from the coach, and also because they are receiving training from the Home Shepherd Training Program that has been produced by the CS board and WS. Let me explain a bit about the training program.

399. I mentioned in "Getting Stronger—Part 2" that the CS board and WS would be preparing a Home Shepherd Training Program. That program has now been launched as an online program on the MOv3 site; it can only be accessed by Home shepherds. Each Home shepherd has a personal logon, and they have been instructed that the material on the site is for Home shepherds only, unless it's the portions of the program that are posted on the general CS board section of the MOv3 site, which is available to all.

400. There are some portions of the Home Shepherd Training Program that will also be available to the Home managers, counsel that relates to the Steering Council as a whole or other instruction that is important for managers to partake of. But still, there will be portions of the training program that are only for Home shepherds. Mama and I know this has potential to be a trial for those who are not Home shepherds.

401. It's never fun for others if some people in the Home receive training that is unique to their ministry; it's natural for others to wish they could receive either that same training or something similar for their ministry. There is a good possibility that some of you will feel bad that you can't access the Home Shepherd Training Program on the MOv3 site. We feel bad about that too, but we have prayed about it and the Lord has confirmed that it's not the kind of program that we can provide across-the-board for the entire Family.

402. For one thing‚ not everyone needs to invest their time in studying the program‚ as lots of Family members have other ministries. Also, the program is not balanced or complete enough to be able to make it available for everyone; if it were, then we might as well put it out in GNs, but there is not time to prepare it to that extent, and also there are other important revelations and counsel that we need to introduce via the GNs. However, Mama is working on a series of training GNs for Homes, which will be available to all. Please pray for this.

403. The other boards have prepared handbooks, which will be available on the MO site over the next months. (Some of the handbooks have been delayed as they are much longer than the boards originally expected. They will be posted on the MO site as soon as possible. Please pray for the completion of these important projects.) There is a managers' checklist that some members of WS are working on, as was mentioned in "Getting Stronger—Part 2." These pubs will be a wonderful means for other board members and criteria monitors to receive training. So there is training available for all the boards, it's just presented in different formats.

404. So Mama and I ask that you please stay positive, wield the weapon of praise, and take full advantage of all the training that is at your fingertips. Please don't feel sad or left out just because the Home Shepherd Training Program is not for everyone. The Lord knows what you need, and He will provide each of you with the training and inspiration you need to do your job for Him.

405. I explained earlier that much of the weakness of the Family was allowed to enter our ranks due to lack of spiritual shepherding. Spiritual shepherding is a much-neglected part of our Homes, and we need to remedy that problem. For this reason the coach program was born, and the Home Shepherd Training Program. We pray very desperately that the Home shepherds will benefit from the input they receive from the coaches and the online training program, and that even though the program is not 100% complete, that coupled with the coaches' input and monitoring and the continual stream of New Wine in the GNs, that they will be able to receive the training in the spirit so they can do a good job.

406. We pray that the Home shepherds will not let their having access to an online course minister to their pride or make them feel they have some kind of "inside connection to the top." Unfortunately, this could be the reaction of some‚ so I want to again reiterate that Home shepherds and Home managers work as equals on the Steering Council, regardless of the fact that the Home shepherds get input from their coach and the online Home Shepherd Training Program. Here is a message from the Lord on this point.

407. (Jesus: ) I have made it clear that as a whole, the Family is in need of strengthening‚ especially in the spiritual aspects, and this requires spiritual shepherding. This is an area that over the last few years has been severely lacking.

408. In many cases, in the post-Charter era, people neglected spiritual shepherding. The reasons for this were varied; an attitude crept in where many felt that no one had a right to meddle in their lives, they wanted to break completely free from the heavy-handed shepherding that happened in some situations in the past, and as such they refused all forms of guidance and input.

409. Because of this, many shepherds backed off from shepherding. They wondered where the line was drawn‚ and they didn't want to be seen as being stuck in the past, so they veered too far to the extreme of being so lenient and, I will even say, negligent in their job of shepherding. Consequently, many abdicated their responsibility to shepherd.

410. It has been the nature of My Family to swing from one extreme to the other. I wish to bring a just and perfect balance in all things. However, in order to bring the element of spiritual shepherding back to where it should be, My shepherds need training in how to be the new day shepherds that I need them to be and that you, My dear Family, need them to be so that they can continue the strengthening of the Family.

411. The strengthening of the Family needs to be at the grassroots level, and because of this I'm investing training into those who are in your Homes, those who are on the ground level and who can help you put into practice and live the New Wine and My instruction for this new day. This Home Shepherd Training Program is one part of that "grassroots level" training and strengthening.

412. It's not an easy job to be a shepherd, especially at this time when I'm emphasizing how vital this job is for the survival of the Family. For some, unless they were to receive this training on how to shepherd in love and with tender care for the flocks, they would revert back to the old style of shepherding where things were more regimented, controlled, and even rather harsh. I do not wish for My shepherds to revert to these methods, for this will not bring about good fruit.

413. There needs to be a greater emphasis on spiritual shepherding, and the Home shepherds do need to get involved in people's lives and help them to gain the victories they need, but this needs to be done in love and with the guidance of My Spirit. This is a fine line to walk, and for many this line has become blurred because of the two extremes that there has been, one of being very overbearing and the other of being way too lenient and not upholding the standard of My Word.

414. My Word is clear, and each Family member has access to it. It's not that the Home shepherds are receiving any incredible revelations of the spirit that aren't being made available to My Family at large; rather, they are receiving specialized training in how to do their job and how to encourage you to strive to uphold the standard that has been clearly outlined in the Word.

415. Some of you may feel left out that you're not receiving this specialized training, but you shouldn't allow the Enemy to cause you to compare with your brothers or sisters who are going through this course at this time. You should instead be thankful that they are receiving this training and input so they can better know how to shepherd you and handle your heart with love and care. Don't you want those who you've elected to be your Home shepherds to shepherd you well? I know you do, and it's for this reason that I've led for this course to be created.

416. There may be a time when you're called to fill the role of Home shepherd and then you'll greatly appreciate this input and training so that you can better do the job that you're called to do. Until then, pray for your shepherds. Pray that they will be able to absorb and greatly benefit from this course, because as they do, you too will benefit through receiving their input and loving shepherding. Don't envy the cross that I have asked them to bear at this time, for it is a great weight upon their shoulders. In order for them to bear it well they need this training as well as your prayers, your encouragement‚ and commendation for the big job that they have. (End of message.)

Shepherds and managers: Different callings but equally important

417. (Peter: ) It's important to understand that the Home shepherds have their realm of authority in the Home, which is the spiritual shepherding, and the managers have their realm of authority, which is the organization and practical running of the Home. When I say these two bodies work as "equals" on the Steering Council, I don't mean that the shepherds can take over the management of the Home, or that the managers can control the spiritual shepherding. These two bodies should "stick to their knitting."

418. But the tendency could be for the Home shepherds to think that they have the final say in all Home matters, because they're getting additional training. That is not the case. The Home shepherds are getting additional training for their portfolio, but that doesn't entitle them to tell the managers how to do their job, or to feel that everything has to be done their way.

419. As I said, there could be some situations where the Home shepherds start to feel they have the "edge," because they're getting some advice from other quarters that the managers are not privy to in full. Home shepherds should not lord the extra input or training that they receive over the Home managers. The onus is on the Home shepherds to handle this shepherding training wisely and maturely, and to humbly present their points during Steering Council meetings. It's the collective responsibility of the Steering Council, or whoever is chairing the meeting, to make sure that each member is being given equal opportunity to speak their piece; the Home shepherds shouldn't have more opportunity to speak or more influence just because they're the shepherds.

420. If there are differences of opinion about matters that are discussed in the Steering Council, you just need to continue to communicate, ask the Lord, and vote until you reach an agreement.

421. If you Home managers feel something is getting out of whack within your Steering Council due to the training and input the shepherds receive from either the site or your coach, please communicate with your coach, who will then look into it with the Home shepherds.

422. The coaches and the CS RBCs will monitor how this is working‚ and we will pray desperately that the Lord gives you Home shepherds and managers unity and humility in your Steering Council. Here is a word from our Husband on this:

423. (Jesus:) To you, My Home managers and My Home shepherds‚ I have given special callings; they are different callings, but each is equally important. For unless there is a team of people focused on the practical‚ day-to-day running of the Home, the Home will not function properly; the schedule will not operate in an organized fashion; things will not get done; bills will not get paid; the children will not be cared for well. So it's very important, and you whom I have put in the management role are very important, and you need to see your job as such.

424. By the same token, the Home shepherding role is equally important. For while you can have a perfectly run Home—one that is very well organized, with everything taken care of, not a single thing out of place—unless the Home members are spiritually strong and receiving the spiritual input and shepherding that they need, it will not be a fully effective and true discipleship Home.

425. So I need both of you. I need you shepherds and I need you Home managers to fill your important roles within the Home, so that you can make a winning team. I have given you both a different set of gifts and talents, a different anointing for your jobs, and you should see and respect that anointing in your fellow co-workers. And as you sit together on the Steering Council, I wish for you to appreciate and to value the gifts, talents, viewpoints‚ and anointing that each member brings to the table.

426. You, My Home shepherds, should not feel that you are superior and that the Home managers should just yield to whatever you propose or whatever you say. While you are receiving input and training from the coaches, this is specifically in relation to your shepherding ministry. This input and training is needed so that you can do your job of shepherding properly. However, this should not make you feel superior or that you carry more weight or clout in the Home because of this outside input and training. It should not make you feel that you have the edge on your co-workers when you sit together as the Steering Council.

427. If you were to do this, if you were to lord it over your co-workers in a haughty manner, because of the training and the input that you receive from the coach, this only shows a lack of maturity on your part. You would in a sense be operating as a novice, one who prides himself in his position. So let this be a warning to you, and remember that those who think they stand must take heed lest they fall.

428. When you sit together as a Steering Council body, it's very important that there is equality, mutual respect, good communication, and teamworking amongst you. If you are divided, you will not stand. If you're divided at the Steering Council level‚ can you expect your Home members to be united? No, you cannot. You are responsible to help steer your Home, but unless you're steering in the same direction, the right direction, My direction, it won't work.

429. Picture yourselves in a car. I'm at the steering wheel. But you, as a Steering Council, have a say in which direction the car is going. If you push Me aside and fight over who will steer the car, and pull the steering wheel in different directions‚ you are headed for a pretty serious accident. You could very well be in for a head-on collision.

430. So what I wish for you to do is sit back, let Me steer‚ and as we all sit together in your meetings, remember that I am right there in the midst of you. Acknowledge Me, seek Me‚ look to Me for guidance, look to Me for the direction that you should be leading your Home in, look to Me for the goals that I wish for you to make and to aim for. As you do, you will be united, for I will unite you as one.

431. It's important that you Home managers feel free to speak up and to say what's on your mind. You should not feel inferior or that what you have to say is not as important as what a Home shepherd on your Steering Council may have to say. Mutual respect is needed. Just as you would want someone to listen to you and to your ideas, so you should listen to the other person. And just because you Home shepherds have the responsibility to spiritually shepherd the Home, that doesn't mean this gives you more "mike time" during your meetings, nor does it make what you have to say or your opinions hold more weight.

432. I wish for you to work together in humility, meekness, and love—for as you do this, you will be able to more clearly hear from Me and get My leading, direction, and guidance. I have a wealth of wisdom to give you; all you need to do is look up, seek My face, and ask for it‚ and I will pour it down without measure.

433. Since you are focused on different aspects of the Home‚ with the Home managers being focused on the practical side and the Home shepherds being focused on the spiritual side, it's important that you both share your viewpoints and opinions, and that you represent the responsibility that I have given you. In order to have a well–balanced Home, both sides—both the practical and the spiritual—must be duly represented. All the needs of the Home, both the spiritual and the practical, must be met. You can only do this by having a free flow of communication by the Home managers sharing what is needed on the practical side and the Home shepherds giving insight into the spiritual side.

434. While you present the needs of your portfolio, you must do so in a spirit of humility and meekness, not pushing your program, not railroading your point of view, or coming across so strongly that you are overwhelming your co-workers. You must humbly present the way you see things, the burdens that I have placed on your heart‚ and then talk together about them and seek Me for My guidance and best solution.

435. I am with you. I have promised that as two or three are gathered together in My Name‚ I will be there in the midst of you, and I will be there in your discussions. I will be there to lead and guide you. So the most important thing you can do is look to Me‚ for as we sit together at this table, I do not see one differently than the other. I do not see one as more important than the other. Nor do I heed the opinion or viewpoint of one over the opinion or viewpoint of the other.

436. At this table you are all equals, and as you counsel together, I will lead and guide. I will steer you in the right direction. And as you ground your discussions, your councils, your meetings in prayer, I will make My will and path clear before you. I will lead and guide you. And as you follow Me step by step‚ together we will come into the dawning of a new and brighter day. (End of message.)

More on Home shepherds not being above the Home managers

437. (Jesus: ) I'd like to address the attitude a lot of people have, that because the Home shepherds are getting training in their ministry, this then makes them superior or more spiritual or they have seniority over someone who has not had this specialized training.—That because someone is put in the position of a Home shepherd and they receive extra input or classes or attend certain shepherding meetings or seminars and spend time with the coaches‚ then they are somehow "just a little bit above" the rest of you on the Steering Council, or they have an edge over everyone else.

438. Let's say for the moment that you work in an advertising company and your area of expertise is layout. You work alongside artists and copywriters, and every day you get together to brainstorm your ideas, your strategies, and to touch base with each other and to see what progress is being made in your advertising campaign. All participate equally in these meetings, for all are skilled in their area of expertise and all know that their contributions are important in the overall scheme of things and to the success of the advertising campaign. In other words, there is a give and take in all areas, and each one is open to the suggestions, comments and ideas from the other, and because you are open to each other, this makes you a very successful and sought-after team in the advertising world.

439. Then let's say the artist is invited to take a concentrated course where he has a chance to learn new mediums, techniques, and computer skills in order to improve his art and update his knowledge in his field. He knows that this will enable him to be a more useful team player; he'll be able to contribute more to his job, and his increased skill makes his artwork of even better quality. You have an interest in art as well, and even though your area of expertise is layout, you also enjoy learning what you can about art and different methods and art mediums, and you would like to improve your art skills as well, but you don't have much time for it, because your job is layout. You therefore find yourself a little jealous of the artist and this opportunity he has been given.

440. The next time you gather together for a meeting, you find yourself deferring to the artist, because after all‚ he has just completed a course to improve his skills. Therefore, by default he must know more than you and it causes you and the others to stop giving your ideas and suggestions in your brainstorming meetings, because surely the artist is now the expert. He has the upper hand over the rest of you, because he has had "the course." And if he's had this specialized course in art, therefore it stands to reason that he must now be more of an expert in layout and text as well, for he is the one who had the special opportunity to learn new things‚ while the rest of you had to carry on and continue in your jobs in his absence.

441. Do you see what I'm getting at here, My loves? Do you see how unsubstantiated that line of reasoning is and where it leads to? All that the artist gained from his course are art skills that will help him do his job better. The fact that he took that art course should have nothing to do with his rank or seniority amongst his peers, and it certainly does not make him an expert in text and layout. That sounds pretty ridiculous, doesn't it? However, this is what you do when you in your carnal reasoning and understanding figure that since the Home shepherd has received some specialized training in his ministry, this therefore makes him an expert in all things, and he should automatically rise to the rank of senior officer or senior member and be deferred to, or have the last say. So it is with those who are coaches and Home shepherds. Their training and any specialized input they receive is only for the purpose of bringing them up to snuff so they can do a better job at what I've called them to.

442. So don't allow the Enemy to make you feel cheated, or intimidated, or subordinate‚ or less skilled, or inferior to those coaches and shepherds who are receiving concentrated training or will be getting further input in their ministry. It's for a purpose: to strengthen the aspect of spiritual shepherding within FD Homes, which has been a very weak area of Family life. And remember, just because they have had this input, it is still up to them and their choice as to whether or not they are going to make full use of it.—Just as I put the choice in the heart of each of My brides as to whether or not they want to read, study, absorb and put into practice the Word they have been given. It's there for you, too, so use it! (End of message.)

443. (Peter: ) Please remember that when you meet in the Steering Council‚ you are equals. You who are Home shepherds need to make sure you really believe that, and please make it clear to the Home managers that you understand that you're equals. You should articulate this regularly, remind each other, say it in your prayers before your meetings, until you really get it down. And Home managers, please don't be intimidated by the Home shepherds. You don't need to be. That doesn't mean you should be forceful or come on strong, but don't be intimidated. Sometimes the Home shepherds want to work together as equals, but others allow themselves to be intimidated or they defer the decisions to the Home shepherds. If that's the case, that's not the fault of the Home shepherds. So managers, please don't allow yourself to be intimidated, but instead work together in sweet unity and equality.

Disunity in the Steering Council

444. I want to come back to a subject that was touched on earlier: What if there's ongoing disunity in your Steering Council? I explained that your coach will not be involved with your Steering Council unless some conflict or division is ongoing and you can't resolve it yourselves, after having received the coach's input via the Home shepherds.

445. It is our hope that you'll be able to work together well‚ because as you know, if there's division or serious conflict in a Home's Steering Council, it can pretty much bring the progress of the Home to a standstill. When there's division in the Steering Council, it's a serious problem; a lot of time is wasted, the Home members will notice it, and even the people you're ministering to will often notice it.

446. Please try very hard to avoid ongoing conflict. It's one thing to have misunderstandings that get worked out through honesty, love, communication, prayer, and forgiveness. But when something is wrong and it goes on and on, then you have a real mess on your hands, and that can cause your Home to sink.

447. Here is some counsel from the Lord about how to resolve such problems. We pray you'll take this to heart and will not have to have your coach get personally involved with trying to sort out your problems.

448. (Jesus:) In these matters, just as in many such matters, the simple "love, prayer, humility—and communication" formula is the basis in overcoming any disunity. There will be rough spots as the Steering Council members learn to work together in love and unity. That's almost to be expected. And just to encourage you further: The important thing is that even though misunderstandings and miscommunications and disunity will happen from time to time, if your desire is toward unity and you are willing to make the sacrifices involved to maintain unity, then even from such times I can bring fruit and growth.

449. So when there are conflicts or disagreements, you should always follow the "love, prayer, humility—and communication" formula in solving any problems. That means these things need to be sorted out in love, bathed in prayer, and everyone claiming the keys of humility and meekness of spirit.

450. I expect you all to pray and hear from Me personally when such things arise. Exercise your channel in hearing from Me on what steps or measures would work best in your situation and in your Home. However, practically speaking‚ there are a number of basic steps you can take in order to resolve conflicts and restore unity:

451. When conflicts arise, the first thing you should do is to hear from Me. Seek Me as a body for what I know is best. Remember the Scripture: "I have made both one, and have broken down the middle wall of partition between you." This is a good Scripture to always keep in mind, because it is My plan that both bodies—Home shepherds and Home managers—work together as one body, a body fitly joined together. This is the only way you are going to be able to effectively steer your Home in the right direction. Both parties must be of one mind, one vision, and one accord, striving to live and work together in love and harmony.

452. And one of the first and fundamental ways you are going to break down any middle walls of partition between you is to have no walls. That means you must all take the time to hear from Me together, so you are all of one mind and one heart‚ and you all know your vision as a united Steering Council. You must know where I want you to go, and you must know how I want you to work together in order to fulfill My vision for you as a Home.

453. When there are disagreements or issues that come up‚ you will all need to get together and talk about these things, taking the time to share your hearts in love and honesty, rather than letting things build up or defaulting to not communicating. Communicating is a sacrifice, but if you take the time to meet regularly as a united body—both managers and shepherds—it will go a long way in establishing preemptive and proactive measures, dealing with any molehills before they become mountains.

454. However‚ once there are already conflicts and disagreements, then it's very important that the Steering Council meets as a body and works things out in love and prayer right away; otherwise the whole Home will suffer. If there are conflicts and disagreements where there is a division of opinion, then you must bring these matters before Me, as the Great Mediator. Of course, in order to truly bring such matters before Me, everyone needs to be fully yielded and open to My will most of all. This means laying any pride, preconceived ideas, and even personal opinions and issues on the table. It means praying for and earnestly desiring humility and the willingness to flow with what I know is best.

455. Each member of the Steering Council needs to feel free to share their heart‚ their burdens, their impressions, their questions and even their differences of opinion without intimidation or fear of reaction or reprisal in any form. Without this free flow between you, then there will undoubtedly be problems.

456. Once you have heard from Me as a body, if anyone has anything they've personally received from Me on the matter‚ it's important to also share this with the other members of the Council. This way, even if some are not so practiced in receiving prophecies publicly with others, they at least have this avenue of sharing what they've received from Me personally on the matter, and this can then be brought before Me in your decisions as a body. If all sides in an issue and even a conflict are heard and considered and prayerfully weighed and respected, then this goes a long way in helping people feel included and like valuable, needed, and respected members of the Council.

457. Along with hearing from Me and open discussion, researching My Word will provide you with the balance and answers you need on certain issues. As a proactive measure, regular times of reading My Word together on key elements that help your teamwork run smoothly, such as unity, love, prayer, hearing from Me, humility, and even practical measures in organization, etc., will help.

458. Once conflicts and disagreements have been settled, it's very important that both parties leave those conflicts and disagreements behind and look at them as part of growing together and learning to work as a well-oiled team. This is when I again stress the importance of taking preemptive, proactive measures right from the beginning of your working together as a Steering Council. This is where you right from the beginning should go on the attack‚ nipping any potential problems in the bud, rather than taking the defensive tack of regularly having to put out little fires of disunity.

459. Make sure you have fun, fellowship‚ and down time together outside of your working relationship. Planning times when all members of the Steering Council can meet without interruption or distraction is the ideal. Taking time to meet as a body—both for work and fellowship—on a regular basis is imperative.

460. Of course, having good united prayer together claiming My key power is a must before you plan your day or week, but taking that extra time together outside of the boundaries of "work" is one of the things that will make you a tight and loving unit. This is needed for the rest of your team too. This is where the "love" side of the formula can really help cement you as a team and as friends. I want My Steering Councils and all of the Home members to be more than just workmates, I want them to be joined together in love, camaraderie, and sincere friendship and appreciation for one another. (End of message.)

461. (Peter:) Dear Family, I pray this counsel and questions and answers have been a blessing to you. I know it's very long and it's not easy to absorb so much information at once. Mama and I will pray fervently and call on the keys of study, focus, concentration, spiritual hunger, and understanding that we trust will enhance your times of study of this material. Please do try to take sufficient time to read these GNs so that you'll understand well the workings of the coach program, as well as the dynamics of the Steering Council.

462. We love you very much and are praying for you! "Seize the keys in full faith and walk boldly and bravely into the light of a new day!"

Love in our Husband, Peter