Reboot-12: TFI Member Works

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TFI Member Works

30 May 2010


“TFI member works” are works that are developed and/or conducted by TFI members, and whose mission falls within the purposes stated in the Mission Statement of The Family International. Many TFI members already have works, so this isn’t introducing a new concept. But since TFI’s focus is now more fully on the mission, changes are being made to our structure with the intent of assisting Family members’ works and projects and furthering their success.

The Family’s diversity is one of our strengths. Members around the world are reaching a wide range of people through means that those they’re ministering to can understand and relate to, according to the Lord’s leading. An important Family value is our belief that all members should follow God’s personalized leading, and use the gifts that He’s given us and the vision that He’s put in our hearts to accomplish His will. While some mission-minded organizations have a one-size-fits-all approach, as do some business models, and that can be a successful approach, that’s not the model that the Lord has given for TFI today. He wants us to reach as many people as possible in the ways that He knows will be effective, and which will meet the needs of the people we are reaching out to. He wants each of us to operate according to our faith and vision, using the talents that He’s blessed us with.

We hope this structure will provide a framework that benefits those of you who have or wish to have a professional mission work. TFI’s position on self-determination also applies to mission works. In creating a structure for works, the intent is not to put members’ works into a mold or say that they must be a particular kind of work or must be done in a particular way; this structure does not exert control by the organization over Family members’ works.

The goals of this structure are to make it easier for you to network with other Family members, to promote unity and cooperation, to further develop TFI’s good works and image (which ultimately benefits all members), and to direct TFI’s leadership focus towards providing mission-related assistance and support where it’s needed. The overarching goal is to facilitate Family members’ participation in the mission as professionally and successfully as possible, and to further our collective efforts as an organization that is a force for good in today’s world.

A TFI member work is not a specific type of work, but can be any project or ministry that the Lord shows you to do that is in line with the Family International’s mission statement, and that has a clear definition and structure. That last part—definition and structure—is what makes a TFI member work different from other witnessing that you do in the course of your daily life, whether as a full-time or part-time ministry.

Not all witnessing and mission-related activities that Family members do would be considered “works.” A work is a specific project or ministry. Nor will all members have or participate in works. All TFI members are responsible to participate in and facilitate the mission (our core purpose) in some way, but there is no requirement that Family members be part of or have a “TFI member work.”

There’s a lot of witnessing that you’ll do, or regular feeding or ministering to people spiritually, that isn’t necessarily a “work,” because it’s conducted informally rather than as part of a specific defined project or ministry. Of course, a work can include those elements as well. For example, you might have a work that consists of teaching the 12 Foundation Stones or Word classes to businesspeople, and you present and promote it as such.

We aim to be instant witnesses in all that we do, in whatever circumstances we’re in, not just within any structured ministries we might have. So a lot of witnessing will be happening in addition to the actual “works” or mission projects that members are involved in. All witnessing and mission-related activities are important, whether they’re part of a “work” or not. Some Family members will have a work; others might have several works that they’re manning or participating in; and others won’t have a specific defined work, but are participating in and facilitating the mission in other ways.

Because there’s such a wide range of projects and ministries that Family members might choose to undertake, it’s up to you to decide whether your witnessing and mission activities constitute a TFI member work, based on what you read in this document. Whether you consider that what you’re doing represents a “work” or you’re participating in the mission and facilitating it in other ways, in either case, you’re working toward TFI’s goal of fulfilling the mission.

Following is a collection of points regarding works, their definition, and the structure facilitating them. If something isn’t clear or if you have further questions, please feel free to write God bless you as you build works that will help you to fulfill the mission and share the message of God’s love, bring people into a personal relationship with Him, and help those in need.

1. TFI member works are diverse

A “TFI member work” can be any work that TFI members establish that furthers the mission in some way, whether directly or indirectly. TFI members are encouraged to build whatever work the Lord shows them to, according to their faith, gifts, means, etc. There are no boundaries or restrictions concerning what type of work is acceptable, providing that it aligns with TFI’s mission statement (whether it specifically connects to one point of the statement or does so in general), upholds the professional standard for TFI member works (see below), and does not contravene TFI’s guiding principles.

There will be a wide range of TFI member works. Some works will be openly spiritual or religious in nature. For example, a student youth group in which the attendees work through the 12 Foundation Stones course and other classes, an email ministry that includes articles from Activated or other Family publications, ministering to a flock who are on their way to membership (or have become members), taking teenagers on youth mission trips, etc. Other works might not be religious in nature, but nevertheless include a fair amount of witness, such as seminars on godly parenting or stress-free living, or personal coaching. These types of works are delivery methods that can also lead to establishing a personal friendship with some of those you’re ministering to, resulting in a deeper witness and spiritual feeding.

Other works might be mostly humanitarian in nature, such as providing physical therapy for the handicapped, or coordinating and delivering aid to the disadvantaged in distressed regions. These works in their own right fulfill part of the Family’s mission statement to provide care and assistance to those in need in whatever form is possible, spiritual and/or physical. Such works can also offer the opportunity for developing personal friendships with those you come in contact with through the work, and whom you can assist spiritually as well. They are also a means of benefiting the community and can help to build a positive public presence, which contributes to the success of your overall mission. Some humanitarian works can also provide an opportunity to offer spiritual care or assistance (something we specialize in), whereas that might not be possible in other cases due to restrictions or legalities. Nevertheless, all such works are in line with the Family’s mission statement, because they’re a part of manifesting the Lord’s love to others and being a force for good.

Some works might be large scale, while others might be small community or neighborhood projects. Some might involve many Family members working together; others just a few or even one. Some might involve collaboration and networking with non-Family members or other organizations; others may be operated solely by Family members.

If members are building mission-related communities, these would also be considered works. (More about communities in the “Building Community” document.)

2. Participation in a work is not a TFI membership requirement

TFI members are expected to participate in and facilitate the Family’s mission. However, they are not required to have a work or to participate in a work. Whether or not someone has a work or is participating in one, Family members will be engaged, in a variety of ways, in witnessing, winning souls, following up on people and feeding them spiritually. Some will be doing this full-time, others part-time, depending on their circumstances, faith, and personal choices. (Of course, as mentioned earlier, feeding people spiritually can definitely be considered a work when it’s a specific and defined program or project.)

Many TFI members already have works. Others will start works or participate in other members’ works. Others will participate in the mission by doing whatever witnessing they can without having any structured mission work or project. All are participating in the mission in some way.

3. TFI members’ level of participation in works will vary

In some cases, a work might be someone’s full-time career and also provide a means of support for those involved. In other cases, a work might be a part-time project. Or perhaps the members involved in the work have differing levels of participation. For example, a couple of people might be participating full-time in the work and running the work, while other members help out part-time or participate occasionally.

Non-TFI members might also be active participants in a work. In some cases, a work might be a collaborative venture with non-TFI members who are partners in building and managing the work. There may also be occasions when TFI members might be participants or assistants in projects that are organized and run by other organizations or people who are not TFI members. Contributing to another organization’s work can also present good opportunities for fulfilling the mission. However, in such cases the project would not be considered a TFI member work, since it was not initiated by and is not being managed by TFI members; rather TFI members are contributing to another organization’s or (non-Family) individual’s work.

Some members or homes will be involved with or manage multiple works or projects. In a communal home, some members might primarily manage one work while others primarily manage another, while still participating in each other’s works, perhaps together with other TFI members (and/or non-members). Some works might be managed by a team of people who aren’t living together. Other TFI members will only be active participants in a single work, whether their own or someone else’s. Some works may grow to the point that there are many Family members throughout the country participating to some degree. As you can see, there’s a wide range of possibilities for participation in TFI member works.

4. TFI members have ownership of their works

TFI member works belong to TFI members who build and maintain those works. TFI as an organization does not claim ownership of its members’ works. (This contrasts with some religious or nonprofit organizations in which project managers or pastors are hired and funded by the organization, which then also ultimately controls the work.) Works conducted by TFI members can be seen as part of TFI’s combined worldwide activities, but TFI member works are neither operated nor controlled by TFI as an organization.

TFI’s structure has been, and continues to be, one where members are self-governing and self-financing in their mission activities. Members are encouraged to establish and manage their work as the Lord leads them, as long as it aligns with TFI’s mission statement. TFI members assume full responsibility for the purpose and activities of their works as well as for the outcome of decisions related to their work. This is why they are called “TFI member works” rather than “TFI works.”

Having said that, there may be cases where a specific work or project is established or commissioned and funded by TFI organization and leadership. Examples might include building and managing the official TFI website for a particular country, or setting up an umbrella foundation that officially represents TFI in a given country or that TFI member works can associate with. In such a case, TFI leadership, or those commissioned to operate the work, are responsible for the work on behalf of the organization, and therefore the work belongs to the organization, not to the individuals managing the work. Works that officially represent TFI as an organization will be responsible to operate in counsel with the TFI public affairs desk.

While works of TFI members are autonomous in nature and the organization does not manage their operations, all TFI members are expected to uphold a professional standard for their works, as described later in this document.

5. TFI member works may or may not be publicly affiliated with TFI

In many cases, works will be publicly affiliated with TFI, as they are today. This allows them both to contribute to building TFI’s good name in a country and to benefit from that good name. In several countries, TFI members have discovered the benefit of operating jointly under TFI’s name. Such affiliation creates a positive and credible public presence for TFI, both in the country and internationally, which many TFI members and their works can benefit from. Some countries have a national website where works affiliated with TFI in that country are promoted, and/or promotional material which all TFI-affiliated works in the country can use. One of the benefits this provides to the participating works is that it shows the public that they’re part of a larger network that is collectively accomplishing much more in the country, which enhances their activities, credibility, collaboration opportunities, fundraising possibilities, and so on.

Usually, each work has its own local name, which may or may not contain “TFI” or “the Family” as part of the name. So members might present their work as “an affiliate project of TFI” or “a project of members of TFI,” or something along those lines, whether on their website, informational materials, or in presentations to sponsors.

Having said that, affiliation with TFI is not required of works. In some countries, affiliation with TFI is not possible. Or, because of the nature of some works or projects, since TFI is known as a Christian religious movement, there are restrictions concerning affiliation with TFI. It is expected that TFI members will be open about their personal membership with TFI, but whether or not a work is affiliated with TFI is a decision to be made by those building and maintaining the work.

6. Works uphold a professional standard

It’s important that works maintain a high standard of professionalism, ethics, and integrity, both for the benefit of the individual TFI member works and to reflect positively on TFI as a whole. While there are no stipulations regarding what type of work a TFI member might do (as long as the activities are in harmony with TFI’s mission statement and guiding principles), works should uphold a basic professional standard that exemplifies the values that TFI and its members stand for.

This set of principles for TFI member works has been termed the professional standard for TFI member works, and describes the general expectations and values that members should uphold and conduct their work by. This is not a set of specific rules, nor are there automatic consequences if members don’t adhere to these without fail. Rather, it sets a standard that those who are involved with works can look to as a guide. It’s a tool to help those with works to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects our Christian values.

TFI member works should refrain from engaging in activities that hurt other TFI members’ works or that reflect negatively on the overall image of TFI. Even though the professional standard for TFI member works is not a list of rules, persistent contravention of these principles or disregard for them may result in a work no longer being considered a TFI member work. (This point is explained later in this document.)

While this list is written specifically for works, many of these basic principles apply to any mission-related activity or method of witnessing conducted by Family members, whether it’s a defined work or not.

Professional standard for TFI member works

A professional TFI member work is:

Purposeful: Its purpose is consistent with the “Mission Statement of the Family International“; the work strives for perceptible and enduring results.

Defined: It has a clear and accurate presentation of its purpose and activities.

Committed: Participants’ commitment to building, maintaining, and furthering the work is manifested by their actions.

Involved: The work is active within the community, city, or country. It strives to be a force for good in society.

Relevant: Participants are culturally conscious. They conduct their activities and projects in a manner that people can relate to and understand.

Respectful: Participants manifest respect for all people, treating them with dignity regardless of culture, race, creed, or social status.

Dependable: Participants are reliable and can be counted on to keep their word and fulfill their responsibilities regarding any programs, activities, or projects that the work is responsible for.

Principled: TFI members strive to manifest God’s love and Spirit and reflect TFI’s core values in all activities pertaining to the work. The witness and message shared are in harmony with TFI’s basic beliefs.

Ethical: The work, and those participating in it, operate with integrity. Members act responsibly in financial dealings and fundraising, and operate according to local laws and business practices.

Harmonious: Members work in harmony with other TFI members, respecting each other’s works, associates, and networks. They avoid actions that would be detrimental to another work, its means of support, growth, or good name.

7. Works have basic statutes of operation

It is important that those establishing a work agree on the basic principles of how they will manage the work and make major decisions about the work. Determining this in advance can prevent potential conflicts later. This agreement is referred to as a work’s “basic statutes of operation”—a document that lists what those establishing the work, or joining the work as main participants, have agreed concerning how their work will operate.

It doesn’t need to be a complicated or elaborate document; a simple agreement between those building and/or involved with the work would suffice. Such agreements wouldn’t necessarily have to be made before the work begins, but it’s good to do this in the early stages of a work. It’s often much easier to talk about certain things beforehand rather than later when problems come up.

Your work’s basic statutes of operation can contain as many or as few points as you feel are necessary to establish in regard to how the work operates. However, they should at least include agreements on the following two points:

  • How decisions are made on major issues that affect the work, its goals, purpose, and primary focus. (Certain financial decisions can have a major impact in this regard.)
  • How the work’s assets and liabilities should be divided in the event that the work dissolves at some point or a participant who made significant investment in the establishment of the work chooses to depart.

There is no required or formal process by which you must identify and establish your basic statutes of operation. It’s recommended that those establishing the work decide in advance on the procedure for changing the agreement as well. Your basic statutes of operation may need to be modified later, as circumstances change or people join or leave your work. For some established works, determining your basic statutes of operation might be a matter of simply confirming what’s already been agreed on before. In other cases, you might be discussing these things for the first time.

Here’s one example of why it’s helpful to have an agreement regarding how major decisions are made about the work:

When a member joins an existing work, it should be clear to that person, and to those already involved in the work, whether the new participant has an equal say in major work decisions. For example, you might decide that for the first year that a member is involved with the work or project, the person wouldn’t have a vote on major decisions regarding the project. You might also agree that after a year, the individual would become an equal partner with those already doing the work and be involved in making major decisions.

Establishing agreements of this nature at the onset can help avoid conflict when decisions that could alter the future of the work must be made. It can help those who have started the work, or who are currently responsible for it, to be assured that new people joining won’t take the work in a different direction without their consent, and it can also help those joining the work to know that after the agreed-upon amount of time, they’ll have a say in the plans and future of the work.

The topic of how a work’s assets would be divided should the work dissolve, or should some full-time participants in the work leave, is probably not one that you’d feel like discussing when you’re just getting established. The point may seem irrelevant because the work is just being created. But this is a point that is easier to discuss earlier rather than later. It doesn’t have to be the first thing you decide when building your work, but you should talk about it in the early stages.

Perhaps the work doesn’t have any assets or isn’t the type of work that would normally have assets. For example, if the work consists of teaching 12FS classes to groups of university students, the work might never have assets of its own. Other works may by their nature need more materials or garner assets over time (e.g., vehicles or property) that further the work’s projects or activities.

If the work doesn’t have any assets, and you don’t know when you’ll get any, your agreement might simply be that if a major asset (e.g., a vehicle, property, or equipment) is donated to the work or purchased by the work, those involved with the work at the time would decide what would happen to those assets if the work disbands, or if some or all of those who are significantly involved with the work leave. You don’t need to have every detail worked out in advance (which would be difficult anyway), but you should establish some general points or guidelines that make it easier for you to make decisions if the need arises.

Your work’s basic statutes of operation don’t have to be legally binding or a formal document or contract, although they should be put in writing and signed, so that everyone is clear on the conclusions drawn, and can refer to them as needed, rather than relying on people’s recollection of the agreement.

In addition to the basic statutes of operation mentioned here, some works may be incorporated as an association, foundation, company, or other formal entity. In that case, there may be certain agreements that are required by law, or which determine who is legally responsible for the work (for example, the board of directors of a foundation). Any such formalities and legal requirements should be followed accordingly.

(Note: When you list your work on the works website [see below], you’ll be asked to confirm that you have drafted such statutes [which should include at least the two points mentioned earlier], or are working on them. This question is on the website to help remind you to establish these agreements, at least on these two major points. However, you don’t have to submit details of what your statutes are to your TFI works facilitator [the role of the facilitators will come into play in February 2011]. The details of the agreements are up to you and can be a private matter.)

8. Listing your work on the (internal) TFI member works website

A website will be available ( for members to list their works in an easy and simple manner. This site will only be accessible to TFI members, not the general public.

One of the aims of this site is to bring TFI member works together internally, in order to facilitate networking between members and to share information that can benefit other members and their mission works and activities. It will also be a means through which the national or area works facilitator can stay updated on what works exist in the country/area, and what projects the works are involved in. This will make it easier for the facilitator to provide assistance to the works in the country/area.

The goal is to get this site up and running as soon as possible, so that you can start using it, if you wish. It will tentatively be ready in a few months. (The ideal would have been to have it up already, but that wasn’t possible due to limited time.) The site is expected to be a work in progress, with more added to it over time, particularly the repository for information and resources. Many of you have works already, so once the site is up, please go ahead and list those.

We hope that this site will make it easier for works to communicate with each other, network together (especially if engaged in a similar type of ministry), assist each other when possible, benefit from the assistance of the works facilitator, find needed personnel, and promote their activities to Family members worldwide who might be interested in collaborating with or supporting them.

This site is a means of sharing information between members, not for promoting TFI member works to the general public, and is therefore only accessible to TFI members. Promotion to the public would be done through the works’ own sites, or by being highlighted on official TFI sites (such as or national TFI sites, or both), at the request of or with the permission of the work.

The fact that a work is listed on the TFI member works site does not necessarily mean that work is publicly affiliated with TFI. As explained in Point 5, it’s understood that some works may not be publicly affiliated with TFI. Listing on the site has no relation to public affiliation with TFI because this site is internal, not available to the general public.

Another feature of this site is a repository for information and resources that could be of assistance to works worldwide (or to certain types of works), or links to where those resources can be found on other sites. In the future, it might include a way for members to exchange resources they create.

Each work will have its own page where information about that work can be posted. Members can list as many works as they want, although each work should only be listed once, even if different homes and members are participating. The information requested will be very basic, and generally consist of the following: a description of your work, contact information for those responsible for the work, a list of those actively participating (so it’s clear whose work it is), and a confirmation of your understanding of and agreement to uphold the professional standard for TFI member works, and to have, or be working on, your basic statutes of operation, as explained earlier.

On your work’s page you’ll also be able to post other information about your work, if you wish. For example, you’re welcome to post your public mission statement, or photos, brochures, or newsletters.

There’s no process whereby someone will approve your work before you can list it on the site; you can just go ahead and do so. (Of course, your work should align with the Family’s mission statement to remain listed on the site.)

One of the most important pieces of information is the definition or basic outline of your work. If you don’t already have this formulated on paper, you’ll find it very helpful to define and document exactly what your work is. This will help you to better explain your work to others, and is useful in developing a public mission statement and/or promotional material.

Also, if you don’t have a public mission statement, we encourage you to create one. (Once the facilitators are in place, feel free to ask for assistance from the TFI public affairs facilitator in going over your draft and helping you to find the right wording and fine-tuning your presentation.) By sharing your mission statement with others (for example, through posting it on your work’s page), you can help them to draft their own. You can benefit from others’ mission statements too. Exchanging promotional materials can be a valuable resource for all works.

There may be certain information about your work that you might want to share only with TFI facilitators and not with all TFI members. On the site, you’ll have the option to select who to share information with. You could even choose to not make your work visible to other members at all, other than to your national/area facilitators. (However, there are some disadvantages to this, as it means that other members wouldn’t be aware of your work, and therefore you might have fewer opportunities for collaboration and networking with other members.)

Also, TFI members who pass through a city and want to fundraise or request goods or services from local businesses will be expected to communicate ahead of time with the works in that city. If your work isn’t listed and visible (at least the contact info), members cannot be expected to know that your work exists, and thus would not be obligated to communicate with you.

The national/area TFI works facilitators are tasked with providing assistance and service to the works in their country/area. They’ll be using this site to stay informed of which works are operating in the country or area. In order to help them better serve you, please list your work as soon as you can.

Once the TFI works facilitators are in place, you can contact them if you have any questions about the site, or if you need assistance in defining your work, etc. You can find a brief description of the TFI works facilitator’s responsibilities in “Structure and Services.”

9. Activity updates

In order to keep the TFI works and public affairs facilitators generally informed of the activities of TFI members’ works in the country, each work is requested to submit a simple activity update twice a year. This isn’t a review of your work, nor will your work be evaluated or graded. This is simply a means of keeping the national/area facilitators updated on the progress and needs of works in the country/area so that they can better provide assistance to the works in their country/area. (It can also be beneficial to you in helping you keep track of your goals and progress.) With up-to-date information, the facilitators can provide better counsel when necessary, as well as promote TFI’s good works and help to build a positive national presence (which in turn benefits all the works). It will also help facilitators to identify positive trends or new potential ministries that could be highlighted and helpful to the rest of the Family.

(Note: Although these updates are going to the public affairs facilitator, this doesn’t mean that information about your work will be included in promotional materials created for the public, unless you have requested or given permission for this. When you send your updates, you can indicate what, if anything, you deem publishable to the general public. When possible, we encourage you to include information that can be used in promotional materials or TFI websites for the public. This can be to your benefit, as it gives you positive public promotion and adds to the Family’s international public presence.)

While semiannual activity updates are requested, this does not imply that the national/area facilitators exercise control over the works or have authority over them. As explained in Point 4, works are self-governing (unless originally established and funded by TFI organization or officially representing TFI). The updates are simply a means of gathering information in order to be able to provide service to the members conducting the works.

The activity update can include any stats related to your particular work (e.g., X number of classes taught, or X number of medical camps held serving X number of people). Please note that these stats wouldn’t take the place of the general witnessing stats that are logged via the TFI stats site. Please include any general witnessing stats (souls saved, personal witness, etc.) from your works together with your other witnessing stats on the TFI stats site. The reason for including stats in your work’s update would be that they are specific or unique to that particular project.

For the sake of convenience, there will be a place on each work’s page on the TFI member works website where you can post your semiannual updates. However, they will not be visible to other TFI members (unless you choose to make them so). By default, only the national/area facilitators will be able to view them.

10. Starting a new work

Members don’t need permission to start a new work, unless it’s in a mission-activity restricted country (formerly called “sensitive countries”). However, if you plan to start a new work in a city or metropolitan area that has existing works, you must first communicate with those works.

One of the expectations of works in the professional standard for TFI member works is that they respect the works of others, as well as their means of support, contacts, and so on. Part of showing respect is by communicating with those who already have works in the city, in order to avoid miscommunications, overlaps, and conflict.

For example, if it’s a small city and there’s already a work that conducts school seminars, there may not be enough of a “market,” so to speak, to sustain a second work doing the same thing. After communicating with the existing work and realizing that they are already focusing on the same audience you had hoped to, you would probably conclude that the more considerate course of action would be to not set up the same type of work there, and either move to another city or switch to another ministry or project that wouldn’t directly compete with the existing work. (This would not only be considerate, but also good business sense, in a situation in which there’s little room for two very similar works to flourish.) Or, you and those with the existing work might agree to join forces and collaborate on the existing work, or reach an agreement on how to both operate with the same ministry.

On the other hand, there are many occasions when a new work opening in a city will not negatively impact or be in competition with existing works, either because they’re doing a different type of work, reaching a different demographic (or the same demographic in a different way), or because the city is large enough to sustain a number of similar works (as many cities are).

Existing works would not have the right to forbid a new work from opening in their city. The goal is to encourage the development of new works, and in most cases, because of the great diversity in the types of works or projects TFI members may be engaged in, new works opening in a city shouldn’t be a problem. At the same time, prospective new works should act with love, respect, and consideration, by communicating sufficiently with the existing works in the city, finding out what they’re doing, what advice they have, anything those with the new work should try to avoid in order to not hinder or conflict with the existing works, etc. Doing so not only shows love and respect, but can be profitable for all, as it opens the door for collaboration that can benefit all the works involved (particularly those with a similar focus).

The decision to open a new work, whether in a city that already has works or not, is a decision you should make after prayer, hearing from the Lord, informing the TFI works facilitator (who may have additional helpful info), and, if there are already works in that city, communicating with them, and applying Christian principles of love and consideration. Existing works likewise need to exercise those same principles of prayer, love, and communication, and welcome those who want to help reach their city.

(Please note that this step of communicating and counseling with existing works is required only when opening a new work. It doesn’t apply to moving to a city in order to simply live there, even if other members already live in that city. This point is specific to works. The reason for this step is to avoid problems that could result from a lack of communication and unity.)

When you’re planning to open a new work, we ask that you notify the TFI works facilitator by listing the work on the TFI works website mentioned earlier. This is just for informational purposes, since it’s not necessary for you to receive approval from the TFI works facilitator to open the work. (There will be a place on the webpage for you to indicate that your work hasn’t launched yet. Later, if you decide not to open the work or decide to modify your plan, you can delete your listing from the site or change the description on the page.) You can choose to make your plans visible only to the facilitator, or you can make them visible to other members as well.

If you’re planning to open a work in a city that has works, the works facilitator will notify the existing works in the city to ensure that they’re aware and to facilitate communication between all concerned parties. However, it’s still your responsibility to communicate directly with the existing works. The facilitator might also contact you if clarification is needed regarding your work’s definition or purpose. If necessary, the facilitator can also provide counsel on how to define your work and how to identify whether its purpose aligns with the Family’s mission statement.

Those wishing to open a work in a mission-activity restricted country should also notify the TFI works facilitator, but must wait for approval from the TFI works facilitator before they can proceed with their work. Once approved, they could list their work on the site. 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).

(Note: The facilitator positions will not go into effect until February 2011. While members opening a new work cannot notify the works facilitator until that time, members wishing to move to a metropolitan area and open a new work there are still required to communicate and consult with existing works in that metropolitan area. If the new team doesn’t know whether there are members or works in that city, they can request information from their RSs via the regional desk. In this interim period before February 2011, works wishing to open in a mission-activity restricted country should request approval from their regional shepherds.)

11. Disassociating a TFI member work

As mentioned in Point 9, it’s not leadership’s responsibility to monitor or evaluate the activities of TFI member works. However, if the national/area works facilitator becomes aware of or receives complaints that a work is persistently and/or blatantly contravening the professional standard for TFI member works, and this is causing problems for other works or TFI’s image overall, and the affected works have been unable to resolve the situation themselves through communication with the work in question, the works facilitator has the authority to contact those responsible for the work and ask them to correct the problem or refrain from the problematic behavior.

If those managing the work refuse or fail to correct the issue(s), and/or the work casts a negative light on TFI, or results in ongoing problems for the other works, the work may be disassociated from TFI. A work might also be disassociated from TFI if its purpose or activities contravene TFI’s mission statement or TFI’s guiding principles (purpose, beliefs, and values).

Disassociating a work from TFI means that that work is no longer considered a “TFI member work.” It cannot be associated with TFI because its operations contradict TFI’s mission statement, guiding principles, or TFI’s professional standard for works, which negatively reflects on TFI. The work would be removed from the TFI member works site and asked not to operate in the Family’s name or in association with TFI until the situation is rectified. In some situations, if damage is being caused to TFI’s name, it may be necessary for the TFI works facilitator to inform other works in the city or country that the work is disassociated from TFI and not considered a TFI member work. (In such a case, the members’ membership may also be in jeopardy. See “Membership Accountability.”) Also, TFI public affairs would be able to officially state, if questions arise, that that work is not associated with TFI.

The decision to disassociate a work from TFI is made jointly by the TFI works and public affairs facilitators. Once the facilitators have received assurances that the issues have been rectified, they also have the authority to reinstate the work as a TFI member work, in which case it would again be listed on the website and be allowed to affiliate with TFI.

The disassociation of a TFI member work does not automatically affect TFI membership of the individuals who are participating in the work. (Their membership would not come into question, as long as they’re not contravening the responsibilities of TFI membership.) It’s only the particular work that can no longer be considered a TFI member work or affiliated with TFI until the problem is corrected. Having said that, if the problem is a very serious one and is causing damage to the Family, and if the members involved refuse to correct the issue, it’s possible that they would be subject to loss of membership. (Loss of membership is a separate procedure, however.)

It is our hope that disassociating a work from TFI will be a rare occurrence, but this option is necessary for situations where the activities of some could be damaging to the mission efforts of other members or TFI’s overall work in a given country.

12. Disagreements between works are to be resolved locally

In the event that disagreements arise between works, it’s the responsibility of those involved to resolve those differences through communication, prayer, and love. The people involved may also discuss the matter at the city mission forum if necessary (see next point). But they should not turn to the TFI works facilitator to mediate the dispute, or send their complaints to the facilitator and expect the facilitator to decide who is right.

The TFI works facilitator’s job is to provide assistance to works, not to mediate. He does have the authority to ask a work to refrain from a certain activity if it’s damaging TFI’s good name or the other works in a city or country, and, if necessary, to disassociate the work from TFI (in conjunction with the TFI public affairs facilitator). But that’s a matter that pertains to TFI’s overall image and mission, rather than to disputes between works.

13. Participation in city mission forums

If there is more than one work in a city, it’s recommended that they form a city mission forum, where those managing or participating in works can meet periodically to talk about how their works are doing, explore ways in which they may be able to collaborate or assist one another, pray together, encourage each other, share testimonies for inspirational purposes, etc. This is not a requirement, but it’s encouraged, due to the many benefits it can generate. If a city mission forum is created in your city, participation is voluntary, but again, highly recommended. Even though city mission forums are not required, it’s important that they do take place where possible, to enhance both networking and unity, to contribute to the success of each work in the city, and to avoid problems that can arise from a lack of communication.

City mission forums cover the city or metropolitan area where the works operate, regardless of where the members live who participate in those works. In other words, members might live in a town 20 km from a larger city, but if their work operates within the larger city, they would participate in that city’s mission forum even though they don’t live there. In large metropolitan areas, it might be better to create two or more city mission forums, if a single mission forum is too large, and if members and homes in different parts of the city are, for the most part, operating within their respective sections of the city. (In the case of a work that operates primarily online and therefore in many different cities at once, those managing the works would participate in the city forum of the city where they reside.)

City mission forums can be informal, fellowship-style gatherings, or structured formal meetings. There’s no specific format or protocol required, and there are no rules governing how often the forum should meet or how the meetings should be conducted. The people involved in each city mission forum should determine its structure and meeting frequency. Some might meet quarterly; others might find it helpful to meet more often, or less often. Those participating in the forum are welcome to elect someone to organize and chair the meetings or events, or they may decide to take turns doing this. It’s recommended that meetings are scheduled and someone is responsible to organize them, or chances are they won’t happen. But participating members can decide what works best for them.

City mission forums are open to all TFI members in the city, not only those participating in works.

City mission forums have no authority over individual works or members. Works might reach agreements on what they will or won’t do in the city (and that’s a good idea), but the city mission forum doesn’t have the authority to enforce or require works, or TFI members, to do or not do certain things.

A great benefit of city mission forums can be collaborating on citywide provisioning or fundraising ventures (especially where members’ efforts overlap). Coordinating efforts of this type is of great value to all the works in the city. Conversely, it can reflect negatively on TFI members, or make them appear unprofessional, if different works which are affiliated with the same organization (TFI) are approaching the same people for help for the same types of projects.

This isn’t to say that no two works should ever contact the same company for help. If the works are presenting different projects, that probably wouldn’t be a problem. But that’s different from, say, two homes approaching the same company to sell Family products. That can come across as confusing and disorganized; people would probably wonder why the same organization is sending different salesmen or representatives, both presenting the same products or making the same pitch.

If one home or team is pitching their work of educational seminars for teachers, and another is pitching their work of youth counseling, there’s probably little chance of conflict or confusion. The overlapping point of the two projects would be that they are both affiliated with the same international organization (TFI), but they are still two independent projects offering different services.

Having said that, it’s good for members to be generally aware if certain companies or individuals are regular supporters of another TFI member work, in which case other members should refrain from approaching them for assistance without first counseling with those who are regularly ministering to them. That’s part of being respectful of others’ donors and fundraising avenues, one of the points listed in the professional standard for TFI member works.

In the same vein, works with the same or similar ministries may decide to divide the city between them to avoid potential conflict or appearing unprofessional to the people they approach. For example, if there are two works that conduct seminars in schools, it might be a good idea for them to agree on which school districts they’ll each take, rather than approaching the same ones (intentionally or not), which could be detrimental to both works. Another example of where agreeing on areas of operation could be beneficial is in the distribution and marketing of Family products.

Overall, since there’s great diversity in the types of works that members might do, it would not automatically be necessary to divide the city between all the works for all purposes. Again using the preceding example, while the two works holding school seminars might divide school districts between them, there’s no reason that a work hosting programs for single mothers couldn’t do so in the same parts of the city where one of the school-focused works is operating.

City mission forums provide a means for members with works to keep in touch with one another, to stay generally abreast of each other’s projects, and to assist each other and collaborate when possible. (A city mission forum might want to set up an easy way to communicate with those who are part of the forum and members in the city, to announce upcoming meetings, etc. For example, they might use a free online service such as Google Groups or Yahoo Groups.)

City mission forums are meant to be proactive. But should problems or conflicts arise, the city mission forum can also provide a platform where those involved in works can talk about issues and find ways to resolve them.

The TFI works facilitator has the authority to call city mission forum meetings when necessary. This might be for the purpose of helping to jump-start communication within a city, or to assist in cases where there are serious problems between works in a city that affect the overall mission in the city, and where those involved aren’t working out the issues and trying to find a solution. (Again, as mentioned earlier, the TFI works facilitator is not responsible to mediate between works or make the call on who is right or wrong. Their role, if they choose to call a meeting, would be to encourage the parties involved to talk, pray, and resolve their differences together, for the sake of protecting members’ works and TFI’s work as a whole in that country. The facilitator does not have authority over the individual works, nor does the city mission forum have authority over the works and members in the city.)

Copyright © 2010 by The Family International