Structure and Services
The Reboot Series - Part 10 of 20; 29 May 2010
As you know, any organization, especially an international one like ours, needs structure. We want our structure to be lightweight and relatively minimal. Given the changes in membership requirements, our structure is built on the concepts of mission facilitation as well as members’ self-determination and personal responsibility.
Our structure and the services that are provided from within the organization will be primarily mission-oriented and mission-supportive. We hope to also build on the strengths of our existing network. What we need in the form of structure and services for the new Family will be significantly different from what we’ve had till now.
This document will outline:
- The principles and concepts on which the new TFI structure and services are being built.
- The components of the new structure and services.
- Elements of our former structure and services that are changing.
A note about timing
Some of the elements of the new TFI structure presented in this document will go into effect in February 2011. These will be noted in the explanations below.
[End of text box.]
Principles for structure and services
- The mission
- The driving force behind the new structure/services is the intent to facilitate the mission, our core purpose. Any new structure elements that are being put in place, anything that is being carried over from what we had before, and any additions that will be made in the future, are held up to the touchstone of: Is this making the best use of TFI’s resources to help further the mission and fulfill our core purpose?
- The services that are 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 this perspective.
- Spiritual feeding
- As we are a community of faith, spiritually feeding materials for members, for members’ children, and for those whom members are ministering to spiritually will continue to be needed and important in the new Family. Along with facilitating the mission, providing spiritual feeding will be one of the priorities to which resources will be devoted.
- Guiding principles
- As has been explained in “Blueprint for the Future,” “Membership,” and “Lifestyle,” the Family will be directed by our guiding principles—our core purpose, core beliefs, and core values. The structure will be designed in a way that correlates with those principles. There will be structure, leadership, and materials that support various aspects of the guiding principles, and that can be accessed and used according to the need, desire, and interest of Family members. The structure will be designed to be lightweight and as streamlined as possible, and focused on what is necessary and helpful in the mission.
- From international publications to field leadership, from the spiritual to the practical, the aim of all structure, services, and leadership in our Family today will be to provide members with facilitation that will make it easier to enact the mission.
- Family structure will not include leadership positions with responsibility for monitoring or ensuring that members are applying TFI’s guiding principles or that specific spiritual or lifestyle standards are upheld.
- The role of any leadership positions or services will be to provide active assistance with the goal of making it easier for you to carry out your mission projects and goals.
- Our new structure will be built in a way that moves us in the direction of nationalization. The long-term goal is that most countries with substantial TFI membership and TFI member works will be autonomous—set up to provide, from within their country, localized leadership and facilitation of the mission, as well as services (other than those provided internationally for all Family members).
- Having nationalized and indigenous works is a concept that has been promoted in the Family for a long time. However, for some time we have not had a structure that was specifically designed to move us toward that goal. For years now, our structure has been built around regional or continental areas.
- Given that our primary focus is the mission, and that the mission-related needs of each country (or in some cases, groups of countries) are different, we are changing our overall model to give more attention to developing a national structure and national leadership in as many countries as possible. This concept was expressed recently, after Peter and Maria’s visit to India, in “Offensive Briefing #6”:
- You who live in the country you are trying to reach are the ones who have to figure out how to reach its people most effectively.
- You understand or can learn about your field and the needs of the people. Collectively you who are in that nation have a much better understanding of the customs, needs, and attitudes of the people you minister to, and because you have that understanding, the Lord can show you much more specifically what will work on your field.—And that’s what you need to find out.
- You need to make the work in your country meet the needs of your country.
- You need to look at the people of your country and ask yourselves: Are we reaching them in a manner that they understand, that relates to them, and that speaks to their needs? Are we delivering the message in a way that makes it as easy as possible for people to understand it, relate to it, and accept it?
- Figure out what will work and be relatable and appealing to the people you are trying to reach.1
Initially it will only be possible to have such a structure in countries where there is a substantial population of Family members. That will be our starting point. Over time, the hope is that TFI membership in many or most countries where we have a presence will grow in numbers to the point of having such a structure—to provide facilitation, services, leadership, and materials that are tailored to the country from within their country.
We have a new Charter for our new Family. It’s substantially shorter and in a different format from the previous versions. The Charter of the Family International (version 4) reflects the changes being made with the reboot, as well as others that have developed over the previous year of the change journey.
Notable points about the new Charter:
- The Charter outlines the essential responsibilities for TFI membership, and the guidelines and procedures for our organization and structure.
- As explained in “Membership” and “Lifestyle,” TFI membership responsibilities are now far simpler than they have been in the past.
- The new Charter does not contain a comprehensive listing of rules for living, nor all the principles of good Christian conduct. It is expected that Family members will uphold the common Christian principles of love for God and others in their daily lives and actions, and act in accordance with TFI’s core values.
- There are many points that were in the previous Charter or Family governing documents that are not reflected in our revised, current Charter. If something is not listed in the new Charter and its official supporting documents, this is because we no longer have an official rule or requirement concerning that point.
- The new Charter is constructed differently from the old Charter. One aspect that is different is that the main body of the Charter refers to and grants authority to several official supporting documents.
One such document is entitled “Governance of the Family International,” which outlines the responsibilities and authority of all TFI leadership portfolios, governing bodies, or service positions.
Another official supporting document, “Handbook of Procedures of the Family International,” details the procedures that should be followed in carrying out various responsibilities outlined in the Charter and “Governance of the Family International.”
The Charter and supporting documents were developed this way because there will probably be further development of and adjustments in Family governance and structure over the coming year or two as TFI grows into the changes being introduced.
Additions or modifications to our structure will be reflected in the “Governance of the Family International” document and/or other supporting documents which are connected to the Charter, rather than us having to regularly update the Charter itself.
- There will be interim structure and legislation in place from June 2010 until February 2011, when all elements of the new structure are implemented. The Charter and official supporting documents that are being posted now feature that interim structure.
The regional shepherds will remain in place until February 2011. Their adapted responsibilities during this interim period are listed in the document “Governance of the Family International.” This document will be updated prior to February 2011, to synchronize with the new structure that will come into play at that time.
- At this point, official documents of TFI policy and/or governance which the Charter grants authority to and refers to are:
One big change in our structure is that we will discontinue the present board structure.
The boards have contributed immensely to Family members’ quality of life and mission efforts. They have generated many wonderful and enduring materials and programs, and some of these aids will continue to be beneficial, whether used in part or in full.
The boards have greatly benefited the Family, and the work that board members did helped the Family to grow in many ways; it directed attention to important aspects of the Family and home life. The boards were a vehicle for focus and progress in their respective pillars. The entire Family owes much to all those who gave sacrificially of their time and efforts to serve the Family as board members.
We are sincerely grateful to every Family member who contributed their time, skills, and resources to being on the boards, or to assisting or supporting the boards in their endeavors, as well as to homes that have housed board members and have significantly given toward making board events possible. Thank you!
Understandably, the boards were also limited in what they could do. Some people have probably felt the boards could have done more; some have felt that they should have done less. At times, the boards’ plans were limited by lack of personnel and resources. It was often difficult for both board members and their fellow home members to juggle their home and personal lives and participation in the mission, as well as their participation in the board structure and board events. Also, because there were six board pillars and each was active in providing materials and programs in their area of focus, this meant a lot of material and programs coming everyone’s way that required time and attention over the last few years. It has been a lot for everyone to keep up with.
Opting to discontinue the board structure has not been an easy choice. The boards have provided a lot of helpful programs, materials, and events, and we understand that not having these will be a loss, particularly in regard to having Family-generated assistance in meeting the needs of your children and youth. Even though the boards have played an important role and provided wonderful services, we have had to make the difficult decision to let go of some good and worthwhile aspects of our structure and services in order to give more focus and resources to the mission-related needs of our membership.
Our resources are limited, and ultimately, if we are to be successful in our core purpose—the mission—we have to put a priority on supporting and facilitating members in their mission goals. We also have to be realistic and come to terms with the truth that the organization and structure are unable to do everything, and do it all well. We have to focus on fewer things so we can meet those needs in the best way possible.
So TFI’s structure and administration will be primarily targeting two specific needs: (1) facilitating the mission, and (2) providing spiritual feeding to the Family (including making inspirational material available for members to use with their children and youth). The aim of leadership will be to focus on the needs that cannot be supplied just as well or better by other sources.
As was explained in “Lifestyle,” particularly in the section “Life and societal needs,” we’ve made an overall change in our model. A number of things that leadership and the organization—including the board structure—once aimed to provide, will now shift to being the responsibility of individuals to provide, according to their needs, their family’s needs, and their personal choices. Making changes in our structure is something practical that can help us all to place the proper emphasis on personal responsibility for our lives and care of our families.
Some of the board pillars were focused on various aspects of the mission, and those aspects will be attended to within the new structure that we are building. Several of the boards’ focuses related to life matters, including parenting, the care of children and teens, and meeting their educational and other needs. Spiritual feeding for our children and teens will continue, although we will meet this need via different avenues. Parents of both children and teens can also access information and resources via Parenting and ThinkTeen to aid them. (More on services for our children and parents later in this document.)
For the other needs of parents, children, and teens that are of a more practical nature, members can pursue a number of options for alternate ways to meet these needs—whether by cooperating with other TFI members or tapping into resources and programs available in society, as explained in “Lifestyle.”
We pray and trust that you will continue to find and use the materials and helps that meet your needs in these areas, whether they’re Family-generated (from WS or within the network of Family members worldwide), or are created by other Christians, or are from society.
Coach program and shepherding desks
The coach program and the shepherding desks, which were under the auspices of the CS board, will also be discontinued.
As you know, the coach program was connected to supporting the home shepherds initially, and then was tasked with assisting the full steering councils. Since steering councils will not be mandated (as explained in “Lifestyle”), the coach program of today no longer fits with the future mode of operation and is not viable to continue.
Our thanks go to each of you who have given your time and energy to fill the role of coach, or SD secretary. We also thank those who have been home shepherds or home managers. We know your efforts went a long way in providing assistance to Family Homes overall. Your giving, your sacrifice, and your investment of time are appreciated.
As a step toward developing a mission-focused structure that is (or can become) nationalized, we’ll be establishing a new position, which we’ll call TFI facilitators.
Those who hold these positions will be commissioned to assist Family members within a country, or larger area, in specific portfolios, with the intent of facilitating the mission and assisting Family members who are carrying out the mission.
Following are some of the dictionary definitions of the word “facilitator,” which help to give an idea of the nature of a TFI facilitator’s role:
- One that helps to bring about an outcome (as in learning, productivity, or communication) by providing indirect or unobtrusive assistance or guidance; somebody who enables something to happen; somebody who aids or assists in a process; somebody who organizes and provides the services for a meeting, seminar, or other event.
[End of text box.]
TFI facilitators’ portfolios and their accompanying responsibilities will be centered around and focused on specific themes and duties. The intent of this is that those who hold the facilitator positions (one facilitator per portfolio) will invest adequate time and resources toward the priorities of their specific portfolios and do the job effectively.
In keeping with the changes in TFI membership responsibilities, those who hold a facilitator position will not be responsible to monitor or ensure that members, homes, or the Family in a country or area uphold specific personal and lifestyle standards. Neither will they be tasked with mediating disputes. Their role will be one of actively facilitating the work of members, particularly as they engage in the mission. Their authority will be limited to attending to the specific responsibilities that fall within their portfolio.
If the future facilitators are to have the time they need to focus on assisting the Family in mission activities, works, and growth, then we need to develop their portfolios accordingly. If they are also responsible to mediate or settle disputes, then they will not have sufficient time to devote to assisting members in furthering the mission.
Additionally, we feel that members taking personal action to amicably resolve any issues or problems they may encounter among themselves is an important aspect of personal responsibility. Therefore, mediating problems and resolving disputes will not be part of the facilitators’ portfolios.
Following is a working draft of the portfolios for each of the facilitators. The facilitator structure is set to be in place in early 2011. Between now and then, the details of what falls within each portfolio will be further developed. More information and details will come your way by the last quarter of 2010, before the new structure comes into being.
We welcome suggestions or recommendations you might have regarding the facilitators’ portfolios. Any feedback that we receive from you over the next couple of months will be considered when finalizing their job descriptions. (More information will be coming as to how to send in this input.) By early 2011, the official portfolios of the facilitators will be outlined in the document “Governance of the Family International.”
- Church growth and community
- Facilitate Family members’ witnessing and ministering to others spiritually. Facilitate/coordinate retreats and other witnessing events. Assist with the development of mission-related communities and community events and projects.
- Facilitate the establishment of new TFI member works, assist existing works, and provide information on practical/business matters pertaining to works. Assist in coordination of large-scale mission/charitable projects or events. Manage administration/business matters that pertain to TFI structure in the country or 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 needs of members being met within our community of faith—particularly spiritual needs. Facilitate the care and feeding of new members (generally by working with those who directly shepherd them). Assist with procedures governing membership infractions. Coordinate fellowships and spiritually uplifting/inspirational events for members.
The specific ways in which facilitators would assist Family members in these realms will vary according to their portfolio and the need in the country or area, but here are some ideas of how they could provide facilitation:
- Coordination of events—meetings, workshops, fellowships, etc.
- Coordinating the creation of websites, brochures, and other materials—or adapting and localizing internationally created materials.
- Communicating with and visiting members as needed or requested, to assist in matters within their portfolio.
- Assisting in setting up networks between Family members.
The individuals who hold facilitator positions will initially be appointed. However, 18 months after February 2011, a means will be in place for TFI members to have a say in whether the facilitators in their country/area continue in the positions. It hasn’t yet been determined whether an election model or appointment with vote of confirmation will be used, but both are being considered. In any case, Family members in the country or area will have a voice in who holds the positions. Any individual who holds one of these facilitator roles will be expected to adequately perform the job in order to retain the position.
Getting started. More to come.
The portfolio outline for the facilitators, as listed above, is a framework which we expect may need modifications over time. As our new Family grows and develops, we may find that we need additional or modified areas of focus and facilitation. Down the road, we can make additions and changes accordingly, resources and personnel permitting.
One example of this is that we hope to, in time, be able to build in facilitation for faith-based and mission-related youth and children’s activities and needs.
In the meantime, while there isn’t an official facilitator position for this focus, if there is someone in a country or area who is gifted in and willing to fill the need of coordinator for youth or children’s events, the facilitators are encouraged to assist in the endeavors of these people through whatever means they can.
Of course, a great deal can be done to advance the mission at the individual, home, and country level that is not connected to facilitators or dependent on them. The facilitators will help as much as they can when they go into action next year, but the driving force of mission progress is the action taken by each Family member.
Family members have done and can continue to do much, based on their personal initiative, vision, faith, and inspiration. This is especially true when it comes to mission growth and progress. When it comes to exploring the concept of building community, or determining (along with other members in your city or area) what are effective methods for reaching people in your city or country, we are confident that Family members will forge ahead, following the Lord’s leading.
National and area facilitation councils
As mentioned earlier, the goal is that, in time, all countries with considerable TFI membership will have their own national structure.
Initially, we will begin with a national structure in four of the countries where we presently have the largest TFI membership population. These countries will have facilitators for the positions listed above, and together they will form a national facilitation council (NFC).
Other countries will be grouped together into five larger areas of several countries within a similar geographic and/or cultural zone. Each area will have a facilitator for each of the above-listed positions, and together they will form an area facilitation council (AFC).
Countries that start off as part of an “area” have the potential to develop a full national structure—again, this is the intent, over time, for as many countries as possible. (At what point the transfer would take place from being part of an area to having a national structure, and how it would happen, are matters that will be looked at more in depth once the new structure is in play.)
The facilitators in the national structure positions together make up a national facilitation council. The intent is that facilitators focus primarily on providing assistance and service within their own portfolio, and that they also have adequate communication and cooperation within the national facilitation council to coordinate resources and events as needed.
The area facilitators will be responsible to serve those in the countries within their area, in a similar manner—though, granted, it will be somewhat different, in that they will not live in the same country as all of those whom they are serving. The area facilitators are to give equal service and attention to Family members in all countries in their area as much as possible, regardless of what country the facilitators base from. Again, the area facilitators would each focus primarily on their specific portfolio, though as an area facilitation council they will also counsel concerning services and events that need synchronization.
Facilitators who serve on a national or area council will receive funding from TFI to allow them to devote adequate time and focus to fulfilling their duties.
(There will also be international facilitators, with roles that correspond to the facilitator positions that will exist on the national and area facilitation councils. The responsibilities of the international facilitators and the services that they will provide will be filled out down the line, in keeping with the further development of the facilitators’ job descriptions.)
Below is the listing of countries and areas where we will initially set up NFCs and AFCs. Current member populations of each country or area are also noted. (These represent FD, MM, FM, and AM, 18 and up. Figures are taken from the April TRFs.)
- Brazil. 911.
- Mexico. 508.
- Japan. 394.
- India. 353.
- Europe. 1,197.
- U.S./Canada. 810. This would include U.S. territories.
- Americas. 730. This would include Spanish-speaking South America and Central America. (Mexico and Brazil have NFCs, and the U.S./Canada are another AFC.)
- Asia/Oceania. 639. Two countries with large membership in this part of the world—Japan and India—will start with a NFC.
- Africa/Mideast. 476.
During the interim period from June 2010 to when the facilitators take their positions in February 2011, there will continue to be regions according to the current divisions, and regional shepherds.
In keeping with the numerous changes that are happening throughout the Family at this time, a transitional portfolio has been developed for the RSs. Some of the previous RS duties will remain, but they will be carried out in accordance with the new concepts that are guiding TFI, and with procedures adapted according to the updated Charter.
One such change that will occur is that it will not be part of the regional shepherds’ responsibilities during this interim period to mediate problems or resolve disputes. 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.
The responsibilities/authority of the RSs during these interim months (before the new structure begins) are outlined in the document “Governance of the Family International.”
During this interim period (June 2010 to February 2011), the RSs will also assist with the transition of present regional Family services and operations to the Family’s new structure. After February 2011, there will no longer be regional shepherds.
Those who have held the RS job have done much and given wholeheartedly to help the Family, often at great personal sacrifice—and they have done so for many years. They have helped numerous Family members, and the regions overall, in a number of ways. Their dedication, service, and efforts are greatly appreciated. We are also grateful for their ongoing assistance and service to the Family during this time of transition. Thank you, regional shepherds.
Regional councils and regional desks
The regional councils, which consist of the regional shepherds, regional board chairpersons, and additional members appointed by the RSs, will discontinue as of June 2010.
Our thanks go to each of you who have given your time, efforts, and talents to assisting the regions through your role on the regional councils.
There will continue to be regional desks for now, although they will have a new portfolio. These desks will be in place from now through early 2011.
The primary purpose of the regional desks during this interim period is to provide an effective regional contact point for members who need assistance (for example, with communications, the new reporting system, relaying communications to or from the reporting office, and so on). The regional desks will also be available to assist the RSs with communications with Family members in their region, as needed.
A big thank you to the RD secretaries, as well as to those who will assist with the new portfolio.
Come February 2011, when the regional areas and regional shepherds no longer remain in place, 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.
The details of the changes and modified structure will be presented within a few months. In the meantime, Aurora products will be available from your PC, according to each PC’s ability. You can continue ordering products in the same way that you have been thus far.
(If you have suggestions regarding Aurora’s product creation/distribution structure of the future, you can send them to email@example.com.)
There will no longer be a designation for service homes in the Charter. In the interim period while there are still regions and RSs, the RSs will be responsible to make arrangements with individuals to provide any necessary services in a country or region.
Those providing services to the Family will not be expected to relinquish certain aspects of self-determination, or to adhere to different or additional membership requirements beyond those for all members. They will be expected to fulfill their part of the agreed-upon arrangement or contract, by providing whatever services they have committed to.
We are thankful for each of you who have been serving the Family through your role in a service home or a service ministry. Many of you have faithfully done so for years, and have given up a lot in order to serve in this way. Your efforts and services and sacrifices are appreciated. We also want to thank in advance those of you who will continue to, or begin to, assist with providing services in the future.
Approval by leadership to move to or live in a particular country, in the form of clearance, is no longer needed.
If a member wants to visit or live in any country, no prior notification needs to be given to any official Family entity. If you have changed locations, you can update your TFI member account with that information. We ask that you do make a point to update the location field on your TFI member account if changing locations, as it will be helpful for the facilitators in a country or area to be aware of members living there.
(The matter of how members start a new work in a city that has existing works is covered in “TFI Member Works.”)
Mission-activity restricted countries*
- (Previously referred to as sensitive countries.)
While there will continue to be countries designated as mission-activity restricted countries (previously “sensitive countries”), the Charter does not contain additional or different lifestyle requirements for members living in restricted countries, nor will there be certain aspects of self-determination that they are expected to relinquish.
The only specified differences are in regard to members who wish to start a work or engage in mission-related activities in a restricted country.
Starting a work in a mission-activity restricted country requires approval, as is explained in “TFI Member Works.” In the long term, this approval would be given by the TFI works facilitator. In the interim period of June 2010–February 2011, those wishing to start a work in a mission-activity restricted country would obtain permission from the regional shepherds before doing so. (See “Handbook of Procedures of the Family International.”)
“This extra step is necessary in mission-activity restricted countries to avoid complications with works starting that could seriously jeopardize themselves or any existing works or TFI’s presence in the country, because of the unusual circumstances in the country (for example, strict laws against Christian mission activity)” (“TFI Member Works”).
There could also be mission-based guidelines for a restricted country, which members would need to abide by. (For the time being, existing country guidelines for restricted countries will remain in place, and will be revised as needed by the regional shepherds. Country/regional guidelines for countries other than restricted ones are no longer effective as of the reboot.)
International spiritual feeding resources
Devotional material online
Devotional and inspirational content for Family adults, teens, and children—including material from Maria and Peter, and created by entities appointed by them—will all be featured and made available online.
Having all Family devotional material online should be conducive to providing frequent, user-friendly, and timely material for your inspirational reading and spiritual feeding.
TFI’s library of past publications will also be reorganized and updated. (More details on this in the upcoming series addressing the Word.)
News is included below regarding websites for children and parents. Material for teens will, for the time being, be posted on MyActivatedLife.com.
Paper publications discontinued
The website(s) featuring new TFI devotional material will replace paper publications altogether. The last printed mailing will reach you during the month of June. After that, you will find all new Family feeding material online only.
One of the reasons for this change is to be able to reallocate the finances that have been used for printing/mailing publications toward other services that directly enhance the progress of the mission. Printing, storing, and mailing the monthly paper publications to all our members worldwide has been costly. Many Family members have said, including via the Family services survey last year, that they feel that printing and mailing publications is not the best use of the Family’s tithes.
The idea of discontinuing printed publications is one that had come up many times in the past, and was seriously considered each time. In times past, though, whenever this suggestion did come up, concerns as to whether everyone would be able to access the pubs online kept us from making this change.
With the world increasingly becoming connected online, even in remote areas, it’s now rare that individuals are not able to get online. From the information we have gathered since the survey last year, we believe that there is adequate opportunity for TFI members to access feeding material this way.
Since the launch of the HIM site, we have also found that most Family members access Family material online, and many of us have become accustomed to receiving spiritual feeding and news in this way. (Additionally, in the event that someone cannot get online, other members in the city or country could pass the material on to them.)
While many members have requested that printed publications be discontinued, we realize that some of you would prefer to have spiritually feeding material, or at least Family devotional materials for your children, in printed format. While some of you are able to print out paper copies from the files you receive online, that’s inconvenient or costly for others. Internet access and speed are not equal in every country. We realize that this change might come as a hardship to some of you, and we apologize for that. However, due to the lack of feasibility of continuing with the printing operation we have been running, coupled with the need to reduce costs and redirect finances toward mission needs and projects, this is a necessary change.
(The regional desks have been working to encourage and assist Family members in getting online and set up with their individual user logins, so that they are able to access Family sites and feeding materials online. If you are having difficulty in setting up your TFI member account, or accessing TFI websites, please let your regional desk know, and they will do what they can to assist you.)
We would like to take this opportunity to convey thanks to those who have handled the printing and mailing of the paper publications over the years—it’s been a big job, and has provided the Family with a vital service all these years. Thank you for your faithfulness in this great task!
It’s our hope that online feeding will meet the needs of the majority of Family members in an equal or even superior manner, and we pray for supply for members who need better computers or Internet setups for going online to get the Word.
Children’s site and online parenting resources
In place of monthly printed magazines for children and parents, two sites have been launched: My Wonder Studio and the Parenting site.
My Wonder Studio is dedicated to online publishing of Christian and character-building materials for children of Family members in a reader-friendly format, while also providing an avenue for multimedia presentation of content. The content is geared to children ages 0–12, and the site is also open to the public (making it a great resource to share with those you’re spiritually ministering to).
Posted on the site is a comprehensive scope and sequence covering Christian life and faith concepts and character-building principles. (A scope and sequence is the content overview of a curriculum or course. The scope articulates the information or skills that are to be taught on a given subject, and the sequence is the order in which the information is taught.) A team is working toward researching and creating materials that will correspond with all the learning objectives outlined in the scope and sequence. This will be a work in progress as content is developed. In the meantime, the scope and sequence can act as a guide for parents and teachers in directing their children’s Christian and character education. (See "Getting Started" for a detailed overview of the site.)
This site will likewise be an avenue for providing you with updated older Family publications for children. Since some content in our older books and publications for children is no longer relatable or in sync with the positions or views we hold today, there is a need to update these publications.
In order to make content readily available, rather than revising older books or publications in full before releasing the content, we will revise individual articles within the books or publications which correspond with TFI’s current views, and post them on the site as articles are completed. Our goal is to eventually print books of the content on this site, so that parents will have hard copies of the site content to use with their children.
The Parenting site is an information resource of updated materials pulled from previous Family publications and content from a variety of sources on the subjects of parenting and child-rearing, education, health, exercise, marriage and relationships, pregnancy, and more. The site contains a comprehensive A–Z index referencing all the material posted on the site for easy research.
In light of the Family reboot and the new concepts, guiding principles, and structure coming into play, over the next months the services and publications that WS provides to the Family will be reevaluated. Changes will need to be made so that the materials and services provided by WS align with the principles outlined earlier in this document—the top priorities being to provide resources and assistance in the mission, as well as spiritual feeding for members. More information on WS publications and services of the future will be coming within the next few months.
Other structure and services points
- For information and all pertinent details on the facilitation structure for Family members’ mission works, please see “TFI Member Works.”
- For specifics on mission forums, which are a recommended part of the new structure, please see “TFI Member Works” and “Governance of the Family International.”
- For the procedures governing membership infractions, please read “Membership Accountability.”
- Here is a listing of other websites that are in the works for TFI members.
- For information and details on reporting and statistics-keeping, please go here: "Reporting and Statistics".
As was noted, some aspects of the structure that are presented in this document will come into effect February 2011. During the period between June 2010 and February 2011, these aspects of our future structure will be further developed and fine-tuned. Personnel will also need to be found and appointed to fill the roles of the new structure.
During these next months, we will solicit input from you, our Family, on aspects of the structure. We want you to be a part of these decisions, part of the development process. We believe that you will be able to give us input that will help us to refine elements of the new structure before it comes into play. (More information will be coming in the near future regarding how this dialogue will take place.)
This document presents the framework of our structure and services as things stand today. We hope to build on and improve it, with your help, in the months and years ahead. This won’t be the end-all. Rather, it’s a platform that we can build on and modify as the Lord leads us into the future together.
Copyright © 2010 by The Family International