3. RIGHTS OF THE INDIVIDUAL: WITHIN THE HOME
Voting members have the right to:
You have the right to elect your Home teamwork. Under
the Election Rules section of the “Fundamental Family Rules” you'll find
the explanation of what steps must be taken to elect the Home teamwork.
(See page 308.)
A. Freely and regularly elect officers of the Home in which they
reside, in accordance with the Election Rules in the “Fundamental Family
In the past, Home teamwork elections were held every
three months. Many have commented that it takes almost that much
time for a teamwork to settle into the job and to work well together. So
in order to make things more workable, Home elections will now be held
every six months.
Three months after each election there will be a
vote of confirmation, at which time each Home will vote to confirm or not
confirm their present teamwork for the second half of the six- month term
of office. This is explained more fully in Election Rules, C. page 313.
˛ I suggested ... long ago that the local Colonies
should choose their own shepherds when they are old enough and experienced
enough and sufficiently established in the Lord and the work to do so.
In other words, when the children had grown up, they should be fit and
trusted to govern themselves (ML #328C: 41).
As financial matters are a very important part of the
running of the Home, and can in many ways make or break a Home, it is imperative
that all voting members of the Home, except those ages 16 and 17, be involved
in the financial decisions. In order to make sound decisions, the voting
members must know the complete state of the finances, so it is up to the
teamwork to keep them informed of such.
˛ We want you to be able to choose your own Home teamwork,
people you love and trust and respect as good shepherds, those who have
courage to make the difficult decisions which shepherds need to make, who
can encourage you to do your best for the Lord and His work, and who can
correct you when you're not doing your best. These elections are not popularity
contests, and you have a serious responsibility to desperately pray for
the Lord to lead and guide you to choose those whom He wants to shepherd
the Home. The elections should be accompanied by united prayer for the
Lord's help and guidance (ML #2865: 69).
B. Know the complete financial state of the Home in which they reside,
including knowledge of all of the Home's financial assets, liabilities,
income, expenditures and debts.
As you read through the Charter, you will notice
that there are a number of financial matters that need to be decided upon
through voting; and a two- thirds majority, instead of just a simple majority
of 51%, determines all financial votes.
Knowledge of the exact locations of Home funds and
bank accounts is limited only to the Home teamwork and others they feel
may need to know. It is the Home teamwork's responsibility to keep the
Home's finances safe and secure. But the details of the exact amounts of
assets, liabilities, income, expenses and debts are to be made known to
all voting members. (Although there will be a greater knowledge of Home
finances within the Home, Home members should take care not to discuss
such financial matters with outsiders, or where the Home's children can
Although 16- and 17 -year -olds do not have a vote
on financial matters, they still retain the right to know the state of
the Home's finances. Likewise, they should still engage in the discussions
regarding finances, and their views should be heard and considered.
Throughout the Charter, there is quite a bit said
about finances, and especially about debts. Unfortunately, sometimes a
Home has debts, and when it does, this can cause problems, which must be
solved. We have attempted to give guidelines by which to solve those problems;
in doing so, it has meant having to write a great deal on the subject.
The goal, though, is to keep your Home out of debt, and if you do,
then many of the portions of the Charter concerning Home debts will not
˛ I want to reveal to the [members] the state
of their finances: Where it goes and how it goes and so on! I want them
to know everything they can possibly know about, due to the fact that it
is their business, it is their money, it is being spent on them and their
business and their work (ML #301A: 24,46).
All financial decisions and obligations belong to the
Home as a whole, and the voting members are collectively responsible
to pay these obligations. The financial stability of the Home will be determined
by how much the Lord blesses the Home, most likely based on their prayers
and obedience, and how wise they are in how they use the funds the Lord
supplies. Homes which are praying for finances and are obedient to the
Lord's leading will most likely do well. As Mama said, “Everyone can work
in some way to help support the Home.... Everyone can pray and search the
Word for direction!” (ML #2929: 43.) But how prayerful and obedient the
Home is will be determined by the decisions of its voting members. If your
Home has financial difficulties there will be no one to blame but yourselves,
because the majority of the Home members will have made all the decisions,
and unitedly you must all bear the responsibility of those decisions.
˛ Communication will help shift the burden of the finances
off the shoulders of just a few people in the Home teamwork and onto the
shoulders of all the mature members in the Home. This way everyone's faith
and prayers can pull together to seek the Lord for the Home's needs. Everyone
will be aware of the Home's financial needs and will be able to pray specifically
and desperately! (ML #2813: 21.)
1. All financial obligations belong to the Home as a whole,
and the Home unitedly determines how to meet them. Should a member decide
to move out of the Home, the member is personally accountable for, and
must pay, their portion of the Home's debts and/ or liabilities. (Portion
equals the amount of debts and liabilities divided by the number of voting
members 18 years of age and older.)
a) 16- and 17 -year -old members are exempt from all financial decisions
Our Family policy has always been against
being in debt. Dad has written a number of Letters about paying your creditors,
those whom you owe money for rent, utilities or whatever. He has always
advocated “cash and carry”— that you pay for what you buy, and if you don't
have the money for it you don't buy it. Dad said, “If there's
anything you need to learn, it's how to live on a businesslike basis. —
Common sense, no credit, cash and carry.... Live within your income day
by day, or week by week or month by month. Don't spend money you haven't
got” (ML #701: 23,67).
Generally our Homes have adhered to this practice
and have paid their bills on time. Unfortunately, there have been times
when Homes have gotten into debt. Usually these same Homes do not do so
well spiritually or organizationally either, and often end up closing,
and their members move on to other Homes. However, the last ones remaining
in the Home have often been stuck with the unpaid bills. “Brethren, these
things ought not so to be.” So although it is against our general policy,
debts do sometimes occur, and thus we must deal with the problem in this
In order to enforce our policy of no debts, there
have been some changes made on the TRF Report
Form that clearly reflect whether your Home is in debt. If your Home
reports being in debt for two consecutive months, the Home will automatically
be put on Probationary Notice, which means your WS mailings will be stopped.
So as you can see, not paying your bills on time, thus being in debt, will
have serious consequences.
Probationary Notice will be explained more fully
in the Procedures for Placing a Home on Probationary Notice, page 204.
For the purpose of this document, we will differentiate
between being in debt and having liabilities. A debt
is when you have a bill to pay and the payment is overdue. For example,
if your telephone bill is due on a certain date, and you don't pay it by
that date, then it becomes a debt, because it is the non- payment of a
bill. If your rent is due on the first of the month, but you find that
when the day comes to pay your rent you don't have the money, then you
are in debt, because you have an unpaid bill that is past due.
A liability is when you owe a certain amount
of money that you promise to pay back over time, paying a certain amount
at a given time each month. For example, perhaps your Home took out a Home
loan of $1,000 with the agreement to repay it at $100 per month for ten
months. Although you now owe $1,000, it is considered a liability,
not a debt. You have agreed to pay your “bill” at the rate of $100
each month. However, if one month you do not pay your $100 bill, then the
payment of that “bill” would be late, and that $100 would become
a debt. The remainder of the $1,000 to be repaid would still only
be a liability unless any part of it also becomes due.
Another example of a liability would be in cases
when a Home receives outreach tools from their PPC on credit, and promises
to pay for these tools at a specific rate per month. As long as they are
faithfully paying the agreed amount each month, then the total amount they
owe to the PPC is a liability. Liabilities only become debts when they
are not paid on time, and are then the non- payment or late payment of
If your Home has liabilities, you won't
be put on Probationary Notice, providing you are staying current on your
payments of the agreed- upon amounts.
While you remain part of the Home, you— collectively
with everyone else— are responsible for the debts and liabilities. This
doesn't mean that each person in the Home has to bring in a certain amount
of money to pay the debts or liabilities, as in some Homes there will be
those whose main ministry is outreach, while others care for the children,
and so forth. Those on outreach would generally be the ones to bring in
the finances, while those in childcare make it possible for the outreach
teams to go out by caring for the children.
Hopefully Homes will stay out of debt; however,
if yours doesn't, and you wish to leave your Home that has run up debts,
then you are responsible to pay your portion of the debts and liabilities
before you leave, 16- and 17 -year -olds excluded. Your Home came to a
united agreement on its financial decisions, and thus you are responsible
for a portion of these debts and liabilities. If the result of those decisions
is that your Home goes into debt, you must share in the blame.
If you choose to leave a Home, your portion of the
Home debts and liabilities will have to be determined. The following is
the formula for this: One portion equals the sum of debts and liabilities
divided by the number of voting members 18 and over. So if you have 10
voting members (who have reached the age of 18) and your Home is
$1,000 in debt, then your portion is $100. (A debt or liability of $1,000
divided by 10 voting members over the age of 18 equals $100.) So before
you can leave the Home, you need to contribute $100 to the Home to cover
your portion, unless for some reason the Home votes to free you from this
This is by no means a license to run up debts. We want to reiterate that
it is not Family policy to have debts; but if your Home does get
in debt, then such debts must be paid off.
Debts also include overdue payments on money borrowed
by the Home from another member in the Home (for example, from personal
funds raised to move to another field, or funds that he had brought with
him to the Home and which the Home had agreed that he could keep upon joining
the Home) or from a member of another Home. When the money is first borrowed,
it is a liability; but if you default on paying the funds back within the
agreed time, then it becomes a debt. Therefore all rules pertaining to
the paying off of debts would apply.
For example, someone is raising funds to move to
another Home, and the Home’s car breaks down. The Home doesn’t have enough
funds for the repairs, so it borrows some of the funds that the person
had set aside for their move (in accordance with the Charter), and promises
to pay the person back before they leave. At that point, the funds borrowed
are a liability. However, once the person leaves the Home, and the repayment
is thus overdue, it becomes a Home debt. At that point, if the Home is
in debt for two months, it would be subject to Probationary Notice, as
with any debt.
It is because of this clause that we have set the
voting age limit for financial matters at 18. Originally we were going
to allow the 16- and 17 year -olds to vote on and be responsible for the
financial issues, including the Home's debts and liabilities. If we had,
this would have meant that you 16- and 17 -year -olds would be responsible
to pay your portion of the Home's debts and liabilities before you could
join another Home. After much prayer and counsel, we felt that while you
could participate in
financial discussions in your Home council meetings
and give your opinions, it would be best for you if you were not allowed
to vote on financial matters. And thus not be responsible
for the outcome of the decisions. This way you could learn about how the
Home deals with its financial concerns so that you will have a full understanding
of it by the time you are responsible for them when you reach 18.
˛ All the adults in a Home should in some way
bear the responsibility of the support of the Home. All adults should be
aware of the financial state of the Home. And that means all the adults
should know the specifics concerning how you're doing financially— how
much money is on hand, how the money is being spent, how your Home budget
and buffer are doing, what bills are owed, etc. — not just percentages,
but actual amounts. All adults should feel responsible for the support
of the Home, not just your outreach teams or your poor Business teamworker!
(ML #2929: 39.)
˛ It will [work] if we all work together and each do
his part and carry his share of the load, as well as receiving his share
of the benefits! — Like those who solicit donations in return for our literature,
“Muzzle not the ox that treadeth out the corn,” and “The laborer is worthy
of his hire,” and “They that preach the Gospel shall live of the Gospel”!
From each according to his ability— unto each according to his need, according
to Acts 2 and 4! (ML #176: 84.)
C. Determine, through voting, the Home's expenditures and other financial
matters in accordance with the Responsibilities of the Charter Home: Regarding
Financial Matters, page 102.
1. 16- and 17 -year -old voting members have no vote or
responsibility in their Home's financial decisions.
D. Bring up any matter in the appropriate Home council meeting
and have it brought to a vote. The matter must be discussed and voted on
within 15 days.
While it may be most appropriate to suggest topics for
Home council meetings prior to the meeting, allowing for a predetermined
agenda to be followed in the meeting, you are free to bring up any matter
that you want to in the appropriate Home council. However, since the meeting
will probably be following a predetermined agenda, it may be inappropriate
to stop everything and discuss and vote on that matter right then. The
person chairing the Home council meeting will make that decision. In any
case, the topic needs to be discussed and voted on within 15 days.
After agreement is reached in a Home council meeting,
the decisions of the voting members are to be implemented. So even if the
Home teamwork feels the Home should do one thing, but the voting members
vote to do something else, then the decision of the majority of the voting
members is what should be carried out.
˛ We all ... need to listen to each other, counsel
together, agree together, decide together and then work it out together.
If we're going to be an effective body, every member must work together
with all the other members— not just one, not just a few, not even the
majority, but with all working together as a body, which Christ described
as His Body, the Church, and with Himself as the Head (ML #263: 76).
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