Archive for June, 2012
first published May 2010
condensed version June 2012
This document contains information and details about the changes in the finance-related responsibilities of Family membership.
* * *
The Family’s tithes and gifts are used to provide services to TFI members as well as to further TFI’s mission worldwide.
The changes made to TFI structure and services as a result of the Reboot are leading to modifications in the allocation of TFI finances, in particular, concentrating on supporting more mission-focused services now.
Tithing/Giving Membership Responsibilities
One of the TFI membership responsibilities is:
- Members tithe (give 10% of their income) monthly, or give a monthly financial contribution, to WS.
- Members may also fulfill this requirement by tithing or giving a monthly contribution to a member who is tithing to WS.
One important reason for making a change in TFI’s financial requirement (so that a member can either tithe monthly or give a financial contribution monthly), is to allow for the fact that new members may need time to grow into tithing, since committing to tithe each month can be a big step for many prospective members to take.
Since our membership responsibilities are the same for all members, the policy of either tithing or giving monthly applies to all TFI members. This aligns with the conceptual change of TFI operating under fewer rules and more according to principles.
Allowing members to give or tithe makes it possible for members who find themselves in hardship situations to give whatever they’re able to that month, without concern that they might be penalized.
Tithing, or contributing monthly, makes it possible for WS to continue to serve you by providing spiritual counsel and guidance and facilitating members’ success in the mission. Your tithes also enable the Family to operate as an international organization and maintain a structure which directly benefits members and the mission. Your faithful giving through tithes and offerings goes back to TFI in services or mission-related projects. We hope that WS will eventually be able to sponsor more mission projects, and the creation/production of more materials, programs, and initiatives that will benefit members, whether worldwide or in certain countries or language areas.
Other changes made to previous TFI finance requirements
■ No more minimum tithe
There is no more “minimum tithe.” If you choose to tithe monthly, the expectation is that you will give 10% of your income (or the Lord may lead you to give a higher percentage). If you choose to give instead of tithe, the amount you give is up to you to determine in counsel with the Lord. (As has been the policy so far, the value of donations of material goods does not need to be tithed.)
■ No more required three percent “common pot” gift
The requirement to give 3%, in addition to your tithe, was instituted some years ago, after a worldwide referendum. The 3% that Family members have given has been used to support projects and services at the regional level.
In connection with changing the Family’s service and leadership structure, and scaling back on some WS services, and paring down requirements where possible to make things easier for Family members financially, the decision was made to no longer require any members to give 3% above their tithe. The services and structure provided to the Family at the national/area level will be financed by the tithes, gifts, and offerings of members, without the dependence on a required additional 3%.
Tithing to other TFI members
With the changes in membership, it was important to allow for those who have been receiving support from their (up until the Reboot) Active members to continue to do so. In fact, they are encouraged to do so, as those homes/members are spiritually ministering to them, and depend on their support in order to continue their mission work.
Building a flock that you minister to spiritually (which could include nonmembers as well as those who have become members) is an important component of the mission and a key step to growth as an organization. To allow for members to continue to benefit from the support of their flock, particularly in cases where some of their flock become members themselves, members can fulfill the financial responsibility for membership by tithing (or contributing monthly) to another member who is tithing to WS, in lieu of tithing (or contributing monthly) directly to WS. Future new members who become a part of your flock, and whom you are spiritually ministering to or shepherding.—They can tithe or contribute monthly to you or your home, as long as you are tithing directly to TFI. This counts as fulfilling the financial expectation of TFI members.
If a member is giving a monthly contribution to TFI (rather than tithing), or tithing/giving to another member, other members are, of course, welcome to give them financial donations, but doing so would not count toward the donor fulfilling the membership responsibility of tithing/giving monthly.
There are three ways in which you might give your monthly tithe/contribution:
• You might send your tithe/contribution directly to WS.
• You might send your tithe/contribution to WS via another member (your spouse, someone in your communal home, etc.; in that case, one person is sending in the combined tithe/contributions of a group of members, similar to how it works with communal homes today).
• You might give your tithe/contribution to another TFI member (who in turn is tithing directly to WS).
A special appeal
As TFI structure and services are being reorganized, and since we have discontinued the 3% required common pot gift (which helped to support the previous regional structure), we’d like to make a special request for donations, above your monthly tithe/gift, toward TFI structure, services, and mission projects worldwide.
If you’re able to, we ask that you consider giving an additional gift each month for the time being, whether it’s an extra percentage or simply what you can, in addition to your monthly tithe or membership contribution. Or, if you can’t give extra monthly, you might give a contribution every now and then as you are able.
The donations that are given in response to this request will be used worldwide, wherever they’re most needed, toward those three needs (structure, services, mission projects). What this means is that members in wealthier countries, who might have higher incomes and thus may be able to give larger donations, or whose monthly tithe is higher than average, are helping to facilitate the service expenses for members in poor countries and/or whose incomes are generally lower. Thank you for sharing with the Family worldwide, particularly those on poor and/or difficult mission fields, and making it possible for them to reach the country they’re in with the Gospel.
Our long-term goal is that TFI structure, administrational costs, and mission project support will be covered by the income from the monthly tithes and membership contributions, as well as freewill offerings or other sources. We’ll be working toward that goal, as mentioned earlier. Please pray with us for the Lord’s continued supply through an increase in members, tithes, monthly contributions, and gifts.
Thank you for considering this appeal. We know He will bless you in return for giving, and the Family will benefit as well.
Copyright © 2010 by The Family International
first published May 2010
condensed version June 2012
• Reporting monthly continues to be a requirement for all members, as explained in “Membership.” However, there is flexibility to report at any time during the month (rather than on a fixed monthly reporting day).
• Reporting is conducted fully online, via a new report form that is greatly simplified.
• Members can report either individually or collectively (as a group or home).
• All members must have a TFI member account in order to report.
• This account not only gives access to the reporting site, but to all other members-only websites and online services.
• The details and instructions on how to use the reporting site and its various features are found in the “support” section of the site (http://members.tfionline.com/support).
A new user-friendly method fully online is set up for reporting and recording witnessing stats. Its features include real-time statistical analysis of yours, others’, and TFI’s combined witnessing achievements ()
Noteworthy points regarding the stats site:
• The site is designed to assist Family members in more easily keeping records of mission-related statistics and tracking their progress.
• There is flexibility to input stats at any time (rather than on a fixed monthly reporting day).
• There are fewer requested statistic fields, in an effort to simplify the reporting process.
• Any TFI member will be able to see a running tally of his or her stats in real time. Members will also be able to edit their stats for the current quarter.
• Stats can be logged individually or collectively (as a group or a home).
• Recording stats is now optional, and no longer required as part of the monthly reporting process, as it has been thus far.
Copyright © 2010 by The Family International
(End of file.)
First Published May 2010
Abridged June 2012
TFI’s disciplinary system:
• Supports self-determination and personal responsibility, while taking into account the variety of households and living environments of TFI members.
Matters such as where or how members will live, who they live with, whether or not they will take on employment, how they will engage in the mission, etc. are matters of personal choice and responsibility and will not be mandated by the organization. Mediating disagreements or disunity between members, or giving counsel regarding members’ spiritual standard, households or living environment will not be leadership’s focus or responsibility.
• Upholds and preserves TFI’s child protection policies, and TFI’s strong commitment to the zero-tolerance stance concerning the abusive mistreatment of children.
As is stated in “A Safe Haven for Our Children,” the Family has not changed its position on child protection: “This zero-tolerance policy continues to stand, not only as our policy, but as our deeply held religious conviction.” The Family International condemns any form of mistreatment of children, and does not condone or tolerate it in TFI’s membership and leadership will continue to uphold this policy.
• Allows for alignment with local laws and societal norms.
Society is set up with civil and criminal law systems that take care of legal matters and infractions that fall within their jurisdiction. TFI will no longer provide an internal judicial system for matters that society’s laws and judicial systems already provide for. TFI as an organization will, however, have disciplinary policies and procedures that are specific to upholding TFI’s membership responsibilities and guiding principles.
Concerning reporting offenses to TFI leadership
The Family no longer has a clause in its disciplinary policies that requires members to report membership offenses to leadership. Members are subject to the laws of the land, including laws that require that people who have knowledge of a serious crime to report the matter to the appropriate local authorities.
Members have the responsibility to manage their lives and households and conduct in a Christian, ethical manner, in accordance with the laws of the land, and their personal faith and conscience.
TFI’s Disciplinary Policies and Procedures
The two forms of discipline that directly relate to TFI’s faith and membership responsibilities which TFI will maintain are:
Revocation of membership. A member of the Family International may have his or her membership revoked for persistently contravening the responsibilities of Family membership, or for conduct or activities damaging to the Family International or its mission, or toward TFI member works or communities. (Charter, Chapter II: Membership, Article 10.)
Excommunication. A member of the Family International will be permanently excommunicated from Family membership for sexually or physically abusive mistreatment of a child, committing an egregious* crime or life-threatening violent act, or for activities that foster schism with the intent of undermining or damaging the Family International. *(Egregious: extremely and conspicuously bad.) (Charter, Chapter II: Membership, Article 11.)
The remainder of this document will outline the policies and procedures that relate to these two forms of discipline.
1. Revocation of membership
Revocation of membership is defined as loss of TFI membership and services, as well as loss of access to TFI members-only websites. Individuals may reapply for membership at a later date, once they have rectified the cause for their revocation of membership. The focus is not on the length of time of the revocation, but on rectifying the behavior that led to the discipline.
It can only be initiated for: persistent contravention of the responsibilities of Family membership, or for conduct or activities damaging to the Family International or its mission, or toward TFI member works or communities.
Excommunication will only be applied to three serious offenses, two of which can be prosecuted by law (the exception being schism, which is an internal matter). Because of the serious nature of the offenses warranting excommunication, all excommunications will be permanent.
Following is the outline of offenses that TFI deems excommunicable.
1. Sexually or physically abusive mistreatment of a child.
The Family International has a zero-tolerance policy in regard to the abusive mistreatment of a child. Any member deemed guilty of sexually or physically abusive mistreatment of a child will be excommunicated.
2. Committing an egregious crime or life-threatening violent act.
As TFI members are subject to the laws of the land, what constitutes an “egregious crime” will be defined by local laws.
Minors under 18 years of age who commit sexually or physically abusive mistreatment of a child, or an egregious crime or life-threatening violent act will be permanently ineligible for Family membership or participation in Family International community activities or TFI member works.
3. Activities that foster schism within the Family, with the intent of undermining or damaging the Family International.
Schism in this context only refers to extreme and rare cases when someone is actively engaged in fostering schism, with the intent to divide the church, to undermine and damage TFI. (1 Corinthians 12:25) — This does not refer to expressing doubts and skepticism; the exploration of new thought, ideologies, and philosophies; or to questioning or debating doctrine.
If a member believes that an egregious crime has occurred, he/she is ultimately responsible to take the action that he/she deems necessary in the situation, which may include reporting the matter to the authorities.
* Prosecution by law
Members have the right to take legal action or to have a crime investigated by the authorities according to and by the law enforcement and/or judicial system of their country of residence. This option is available to all citizens in society when a crime has been committed against them. If the offender is found guilty by law, TFI will automatically excommunicate them, based on the conviction. It will be up to those involved to determine whether they will prosecute.
Terms of Excommunication
Within TFI, excommunication is defined as permanent loss of TFI membership and TFI services, including loss of access to TFI members-only sites; disallowance from participation in TFI community events, gatherings, TFI member works, or from distributing TFI/Aurora products.
* Access to TFI publications
TFI as an organization will not make publications available to excommunicated individuals via access to members-only sites or by any other means. However, there aren’t limitations on excommunicated individuals receiving publications via other sources—such as from spouses, friends, or relatives who are members.
* Access to TFI/Aurora products
In order to preserve the integrity of TFI product distribution and TFI representation, and considering that excommunication will only occur for very serious offenses, excommunicated individuals will not be allowed to distribute TFI/Aurora products.
Excommunicated individuals cannot attend TFI community events, fellowships, or gatherings, nor can they be involved in TFI member works. TFI as an organization will not be associated with excommunicated individuals. Whether or not TFI members have contact on a personal basis with an excommunicated individual, and to what degree, is a personal decision to be made at the discretion of those involved.
Safeguarding TFI members and communities
* Being informed of someone’s excommunication
The member care facilitator will inform TFI members when someone in their country or area has been excommunicated. Those who have been excommunicated will be listed in a classified document (an international dossier). Anyone applying for a TFI member account online will be screened through this list of excommunicated persons.
* When a prospective member has committed an offense (that TFI would deem warrants excommunication) prior to knowing TFI
When it comes to prospective members wanting to join TFI, if it is brought to light that the person has been convicted of child abuse, that person will not be eligible for membership. TFI will not accept new members who have been found guilty of abusive mistreatment of a child.
If a person has committed some other type of crime, has served his/her sentence, and wishes to become a TFI member, if those ministering to the person have no cause for concern, then that person could be eligible for membership. However, TFI reserves the right to deny membership when the nature of an individual’s comportment would pose a risk to members
Ultimately, TFI members are responsible for the safety of their children, their households, and collectively, their TFI community. It’s up to each member to exercise wisdom and discretion when considering whether to bring someone into their circle of friendship, fellowship, mission work, home, community, or to invite them to join TFI membership.
For the Charter procedures referred to in this document, please see the Charter’s “Handbook of Procedures for the Family International.”
Copyright © 2010 by The Family International
Making the world a better place for children
The Family International’s Child Protection Policy
Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord (The Bible).
Every child deserves a bright future—one of hope and opportunity. As Christians, we believe that human life is sacred, and that every child is a unique being, worthy of respect and dignity. Children are meant to be loved and cherished and to grow up in a healthy, happy environment.
We believe that every child has the right:
—To be treated with respect and dignity
—To receive responsible care and to be handled with kindness
—To be encouraged and nurtured emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually
—To have their physical needs adequately met, including nutrition, housing, and medical care
—To receive a good education that provides competence and empowers them to be self-sufficient
—To be taught good values and morals to guide them in life
—To learn about God’s personal love and care for them
—To be taught boundaries and self-discipline
—To be empowered to realize their full potential
—To be prepared for the responsibilities and challenges of adulthood
—To develop their individuality
—To be treated fairly and justly, without discrimination
—To be in a safe environment; to be protected from harm and danger
We believe that children are entitled to the best care possible, in an enabling environment where their needs—physical, educational, intellectual, moral, and emotional—are amply met. Children should receive a competent education that empowers them to become self-sufficient and prepares them for adulthood.
Safe from harm
Every child has the right to be protected from abuse and neglect of any kind, whether physical, emotional, sexual, or educational. We consider that the abusive treatment of a child is not only a crime, but a sin in the eyes of God. The Family International has a zero-tolerance policy regarding the abusive treatment of children, and will permanently expel any member who violates this policy.
Members are subject to the laws of their country of residence regarding reporting crimes of this nature to the appropriate authorities. The Family International is committed to the well-being of children and considers it the moral responsibility of any adult caring for minors to protect them from harm.
We believe that children should be educated to recognize and deal with potentially harmful situations, and instructed to communicate with their parents or other people responsible for their care. Successfully preparing children for life includes instructing them on safety and empowering them to discern and protect themselves from situations of potential harm.
Every child is precious in God’s eyes and deserves quality and responsible care, and to be loved, nurtured, protected, and enabled to develop their full potential.
Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.—John F. Kennedy (1917–1963)
TFI Standard for the Care of Children and Teenagers
Standard for the Care of Children at Events and Mission Works of the Family International
The following code of conduct outlines expected standards of behavior of TFI members responsible for the care of children and teenagers at TFI fellowships, programs, classes, camps, activities, or in projects or programs related to TFI member works that involve minors. It has been developed with the best interests of children as the primary consideration, and should be applied with common sense.
Any TFI member responsible for the care of children and/or teenagers at TFI events or mission-related works should:
• Treat all children and teenagers with dignity and respect in attitude, language, and actions.
• Be inclusive and involve all children without exclusion on the basis of gender, culture, disability, ethnicity, or race.
• Be fair in their relationship with children. Avoid favoring particular children to the exclusion of others.
• Never develop relationships with children or teenagers that would be deemed inappropriate or abusive.
• Be particularly careful, as a male adult, of any interactions with forward young females. Female adults similarly need to be careful with forward young males.
• Whenever possible, have two adults present with a group of children.
• Avoid being on their own with a child or teen. When confidentiality is important (e.g., counseling a child or a teen), ensure that others know that the session is taking place and that someone else is in the vicinity.
• Avoid taking a group of children off the premises with fewer than two adults.
• Allow responsible teens (under the age of 18) to assist only under the direct supervision of an adult responsible for the oversight of the children.
• Be wise in their physical contact with children. Physical contact is discouraged in circumstances where an adult and child are on their own.
• Avoid doing things for children of a personal nature that they can do for themselves (such as dressing, bathing, etc.).
• Never smack, hit, or physically discipline a child. A child may be restrained only if there is an immediate danger of personal injury to the child or another person.
• Avoid behaving in a manner which could be construed as inappropriate or sexually provocative.
Safety and environment
• Be mindful of the safety of the children at all times, and in all circumstances.
• Develop clear rules to address specific physical safety issues relative to the local physical environment of a project or program (e.g., for programs based near water, heavy road traffic, railway lines, etc.).
• Never condone behavior of children which is illegal, unsafe, or abusive.
• Be aware of the potential for peer abuse (e.g., children bullying, discriminating against, victimizing, or abusing other children).
• Be aware of high-risk peer situations (e.g., unsupervised mixing of older and younger children).
Every child is precious in God’s eyes, and whenever children are in our care, they deserve quality and responsible care and loving attention.
Children are our only hope for the future, but we are their only hope for their present and their future.—Zig Ziglar
Copyright © May 2010 by The Family International
By David Brandt Berg
Download Audio (14.1MB)
God wrote the 66 books of the Bible through about 40 men who were yielded to His Holy Spirit. As Peter said, “The prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21).
The fulfilled prophecies contained in its books are the greatest proof that the Bible is the Word of God. Some outstanding examples of fulfilled prophecy are seen in the Old Testament predictions about the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
There are approximately 300, all written four to five centuries before His birth. Micah 5:2, Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6 foretold that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem of a virgin and was to be called “the Prince of Peace,” who had been in existence “from everlasting.” His betrayal by Judas is seen in Zechariah 11:12–13 for “thirty pieces of silver,” crucifixion in Psalm 22:16,18 (“pierced my hands and my feet”), and resurrection in Psalm 16:10 (“will not leave my soul in hell”).
These prophecies, of course, are merely a few of the literally thousands of fulfilled prophecies about empires, individuals, and world events which the biblical prophets have predicted and which prove the Bible’s divine authorship.
As Jesus said of His own prophecies, “These things have I spoken to you … before it come to pass, that when it is come to pass, ye might believe” (John 14:25,29).
What the Bible means to us
The Bible is God’s plan for eternal life: the solid, genuine foundation of truth on which we’re building, whose giver is God. It is the Bible that gives genuine and eternal immortality through the resurrection, to everlasting heavenly bliss with God. The Bible is the greatest book in the world, with the only author in the world who can guarantee life and love and happiness and heaven forever.
The Bible is our foundation, our guide, our standard, and the rod of measurement whereby we judge all things, even the words that God gives us today.
“The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide” (Psalm 37:31). If it isn’t in his heart, his steps will slide and he’ll get off the right track.
Why we need God’s Word
If you think you don’t need the Word now that you have the Spirit, let me tell you, Jesus said, “My words are Spirit and they are life” (John 6:63). I didn’t find the truth until I began to heed His Spirit, but it was the voice of His Spirit in His Word. For “Thy Word is a lamp into my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).
It is impossible to have faith unless you have the Word, because your faith is something that is built by faithful study of God’s Word. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). The main thing is to know the Word; that’s the contract and the law. That’s why you can claim it and command the Lord to fulfill His promises. You have to quote the terms of the contract (the Word) to the contract maker (God) and hold Him to it.
Faith in the Word not only heals our souls, but also our bodies. “I am the Lord that healeth thee.” “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.” “He sent His word, and healed them.” “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature” (Exodus 15:26; Psalm 103:3, 107:20; 2 Peter 1:4).
The Word is our weapon against the Enemy and his strongholds on people’s minds and hearts. “For the weapons of our warfare are (spiritual) not carnal, (and) mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4). When the Devil tempted Jesus and lied to Him, He just quoted the scriptures: “It is written” (Matthew 4:3–10). The Devil is a liar and the father of it, and he knows it and he can’t take the Word. “Resist the Enemy and he’ll flee from you” (James 4:7). He’ll turn tail and run. Take up the white-hot sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and cut the Devil to the heart! Lay it on him. Sock it to him. Drive him away! Tell him he has no part in you, and that he’s got no business there.
The Word also gives us examples of how God has worked in the past. What is always the first thing you should think about when you begin to think and pray about God’s answer? Think about similar situations in the Word: What did they do then? “All these things happened unto them for ensamples” and “were written for our learning” (1 Corinthians 10:11).
We are going to be teachers of the world, as the prophet Daniel predicted. “They that understand … shall instruct many” (Daniel 11:33). This should cause you to study and memorize, not only for your own sake and to be a better witness to many, but also to be able to teach them to teach others, to teach others, to teach others, to teach others, to teach others, to teach others.
Obeying the Word
If you obey what you know God wants you to do, then He will show you more truth; and when you obey that, He’ll give you a little more, and step by step, as you follow Him, He shows you more and more. It’s like Solomon said, “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18).
The minute we begin to listen to the Lord’s recorded, written Word, immediately we put ourselves in the position of being willing to listen, so then the Lord begins to speak and give us the living Word.
Jesus said, “If a man love Me, he will keep My words (written words): and My Father will love him, and we (the living Word) will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23).
Originally published September 1974. Updated and republished June 2012.
Copyright © 2012 The Family International.
first published May 2010
condensed version April 2012
n the new Family International, there will no longer be any divisions of membership. Family membership will encompass all pre-Reboot Family members who wish to transition into the future Family.
TFI’s goal with this change is to foster an environment that is inclusive of all forms of commitment to participation in the mission
The expectations for Family members will be much simpler. There will be no detailed lifestyle or spiritual requirements that members must adhere to, or that leadership will monitor and enforce.
The Goals Behind Simplifying TFI Membership
The main goals behind simplifying TFI membership requirements are: 1) to promote greater inclusiveness, so that people can more easily be a part of the Family and contribute to the mission; and 2) to provide Family members with more options and freedom to follow their faith in fulfilling the mission and the personal calling they believe the Lord gives them.
One of TFI’s goals is to have an ever-expanding network of both professional missionaries and contributors who are passionate about the mission, and willing to give some, or a lot, or all of their time, energy, and resources to fulfilling the mission and sharing God’s truth and love with others.
TFI Membership Expectations
(Please see the Charter section on membership for the official wording on these points and further details.)
If people wish to become TFI members, prior to doing so they will have to:
• Receive Jesus as their Savior.
• Be of the minimum age for membership – that is 16 with parental permission (from at least one parent), or 18 years of age and older.
• Acquire a basic understanding of what the Family is as covered in the updated “Introducing the Family International”.
• Understand the responsibilities of members, as articulated in the Charter.
• Complete a short reading course that will introduce them to some of the fundamentals of TFI’s faith.
Following are TFI’s membership responsibilities/expectations:
- Accept the “Statement of Faith of the Family International” and the “Core Values of the Family International,” and commit to grow in belief and practice of the same.
Practicing every doctrine listed in the Statement of Faith, however, is not a requirement for membership.
- Participate in and facilitate the mission of the Family.
But there are no minimums, measurements, or time requirements attached to it, except keeping with the “Professional Standard for TFI Member Works” document.
- Strive to maintain a close connection with the Lord through reading the Word and communing with Him.
- Conduct oneself ethically and with integrity, avoiding activities that reflect negatively on the Family International or its mission.
- Tithe (give 10 percent of their income) monthly, or give a financial contribution monthly, either directly to WS, or to a member who tithes to WS.
- Report monthly, either directly or by being accounted for on the report of another member.
Position papers outlining TFI’s official views on various doctrinal, policy, and moral issues will assist members in better understanding the values and principles that are important to the Family.
The Charter also outlines the responsibilities for parents and members in relation to the care and protection of children.
TFI will not bear responsibility for members’ choices and actions concerning their personal lives. As is the case for all members of society, Family members are subject to the laws of the land in which they live.
Family members are encouraged to be sensitive and respectful of the customs and culture of the land in which they are living or serving, both in their mission-related actions and activities and in their lifestyle choices.
TFI’s Statement of Faith
When people choose to become Family members, they choose to adopt the Family’s collective beliefs that define TFI’s faith.
The “Statement of Faith of the Family International” expresses TFI’s core beliefs.
Some of the Family’s beliefs are basic and common to most Christians, such as salvation (and receiving salvation is a requirement for membership). Other beliefs, such as the keys of the Kingdom, are doctrines specific to the Family. Members are not required to affirm or practice every belief, yet it is understood that they have an affinity to at least a majority of the beliefs listed in the statement.
If a Family member finds that their beliefs are not in accord with the Family’s beliefs, they are free to discontinue their membership and travel a path that they feel fits better with their personal faith, conviction, and belief system.
• TFI members will continue to report monthly. The new procedure is greatly simplified, automated, and online only.
• TFI members will use a personal TFI member login to access the new reporting site.
• TFI members will be able to report either individually or collectively (as a home or team).
Loss of TFI Membership
In situations where a member’s actions or conduct are harmful or damaging to Family members, TFI member works, or the organization of the Family International, he or she will be in jeopardy of losing his or her membership.
Loss of membership is not permanent. Once members have rectified the situation, they may request reinstatement.
There are also certain offenses that would warrant excommunication. Excommunication from TFI membership will be permanent, and TFI would not allow that person membership at any time.
(See “Membership Accountability” for more on the topic.)
Children and Teens of Members
Children and teens of TFI members will be considered “children of members” rather than automatically being counted as members themselves. The intent of this change is to address the need for children and teens of TFI members to feel at liberty to personally determine, when they are of age, whether they would like to become Family members, and if so, when.
All children/teens of members will continue to have access to the material, publications, and websites that TFI makes available for their age group.
These changes in TFI membership take the organization another step forward in actualizing what was said in “The Mission” document:
The Family International is an equal opportunity organization when it comes to serving the Lord. Each Family member has equal opportunity to give as he “purposeth in his heart” (2 Corinthians 9:7), according to what he considers before the Lord to be the best of his ability, or what he is willing to give.
Copyright © 2010 by The Family International
first published May 2010
condensed version April 2012
Principles for Structure and Services
The mission. The services provided for TFI members, the projects and endeavors in which finances and resources are invested, and the role of leadership will all be looked at from the perspective of facilitating the mission, TFI’s core purpose.
Spiritual feeding. Providing spiritual feeding for members, members’ children, and those whom members are ministering to spiritually will be the other priority to which resources will be devoted.
Facilitation. Family structure will not be responsible to ensure that members apply TFI’s guiding principles or uphold spiritual / lifestyle standards. The role of leadership or services will be to actively assist TFI members in carrying out their mission projects and goals.
Nationalization. TFI’s new model will give more attention to developing a national structure and leadership that provides facilitation, services, leadership, and materials tailored to the country from within the country.
In the new TFI Charter (version 4) TFI membership responsibilities are much simpler than in the past. There is no comprehensive listing of rules for living or good Christian conduct. The main Charter body grants authority to several official supporting documents, which will also reflect any future developments in Family governance and structure.
TFI as an organization will discontinue the previous board structure, and instead invest its resources in (1) facilitating the mission, and (2) providing spiritual feeding to the Family. Things that leadership and the board structure once aimed to provide, will now shift to being the responsibility of individuals.
Coach Program and Shepherding Desks
Since steering councils will not be mandated, the coach program no longer fits with the future mode of TFI operation and together with the shepherding desks will also be discontinued..
TFI is establishing a new position, called TFI facilitators, whose role is to assist Family members in carrying out the mission within specific portfolios. They will not be responsible to mediate in disputes, nor to ensure that members uphold specific personal and lifestyle standards.
* Facilitator portfolios
Church growth and community: Assist with the development of mission-related communities and community events and projects, coordination of retreats, and facilitation of members’ witnessing initiatives.
Works/administration: Facilitate the establishment of new TFI member works, assist existing works, and provide information on practical/business matters pertaining to works. Assist in large-scale mission/charitable projects. Manage TFI structure administration and business matters in the country/area.
Public affairs: Promote understanding of TFI and assist in building the Family’s public presence. Provide assistance to works and communities in their public relations and presentation. Provide a TFI public affairs desk to handle public, media, or official inquiries.
Member care: Facilitate the spiritual needs of members being met within TFI’s community of faith. Facilitate the care and feeding of new members. Assist with procedures governing membership infractions. Coordinate fellowships and inspirational events for members.
TFI may in time build in facilitation for faith-based and mission-related youth and children’s activities and needs as well.
National and Area Facilitation Councils
The facilitators within one country will form a national facilitation council (NFC) . Other countries will be grouped together into five larger areas within a similar geographic and/or cultural zone. The facilitators within one area will form an area facilitation council (AFC). There will also be international facilitators, whose duties will be outlined in time.
After February 2011, there will no longer be regional shepherds. The reboot changes in regard to the increased scope for self-determination, and leadership not monitoring or directing members in spiritual and lifestyle matters, go into effect immediately.
Regional Councils and Regional Desks
Come February 2011, the present regional structure will end altogether and the new setup with the facilitators will come into play.
The structure for the creation and distribution of Family/Aurora products is being reevaluated and revised, in keeping with the overall changes that the reboot is bringing into play.
There will no longer be a designation for service homes in the Charter. Those providing TFI services will not be expected to relinquish any aspects of self-determination, or to adhere to different membership requirements .
If a member wants to visit or live in any country, no prior notification needs to be given to any official Family entity. If TFI members have changed locations, they can update their TFI member account with that information.
Mission-Activity Restricted Countries*
Starting a work in a mission-activity restricted country requires approval by the TFI works facilitator . The Charter no longer contains different lifestyle requirements for members living in such countries, nor expects them to relinquish any aspects of self-determination. There may be mission-based guidelines to abide by to avoid complications, because of the unusual circumstances in such countries.
International Spiritual Feeding Resources
* Devotional material online
Devotional and inspirational content for Family adults, teens, and children will all be featured and made available online. TFI’s library of past publications will also be reorganized and updated.
* Paper publications discontinued
As of June 2010 all new Family feeding material is online only.
* Children’s site and online parenting resources
My Wonder Studio is a new site dedicated to online publishing of Christian and character-building materials for children of Family members, geared to ages 0–12. The site is also open to the public.
The new Parenting site is an information resource of updated materials on the subjects of parenting and child-rearing, education, health, exercise, marriage and relationships, pregnancy, and more.
* World Services
WS materials and services will be realigned to provide resources and assistance in the mission, as well as spiritual feeding for members.
Copyright © 2010 by The Family International