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Here's a taste:
Offensive Briefing #6 [To be read unitedly.]
Table of Contents
A message we gave to the India Family
The Offensive and the recession
America discredited, and other nations emerging
What are you doing to meet the world's need today?
Innovate for success!
Envision the future
Changing the atmosphere of the Family
The story of the DTD tapes�Having the faith to try new methods
News, progress, and counsel!
GN 1278 FD/MM/FM
By Peter 3769 3/09
(Please read this Letter unitedly as a Home.)
1. God bless you! It's been a little while since we've had an Offensive Briefing, but we trust that the Feast Letters have given you plenty to think about! As a Family, we're in line for some deep change and new thinking in order to be in sync with the Spirit and to head in the direction the Lord is showing us to take for the future.
2. From all that we've heard from you, the Feast Letters are helping to open up new lines of thought and are starting to spark new ideas. That's great, because developing new thought patterns and exploring new ideas are the first steps toward discovering new ways of doing things, new methods, and taking new action, which is the goal.
3. A number of you have told us that you're already working on rereading the Feast Letters. We were glad to hear that, as there's so much counsel in those Letters that you probably weren't able to get every point the first time around. As you go back and study those Letters, the Lord will show you new things and give you more understanding of the intent and purpose for the changes ahead of us. The more you let the Lord speak to you about the principles these Letters contain, and the more you apply His counsel, the more you'll be able to grasp and flow with the spirit of where the Lord is leading and "the new" that needs to become part of our lives, Homes, and mission.
A message we gave to the India Family
4. Mama's and my year started off with a bang as we spent five weeks in India. We were very thankful to meet with the Family there and to see some of that great field during our stay. It was an experience that Mama and I will never forget!
5. While we were there, the Lord led us to give a short overview of world events and what our outlook and approach should be in regard to where the world is at (and where it's heading), and the challenges facing us as we adjust to meet the needs of the changing world.
6. It's thrilling to realize how the Lord has aligned the timing of the Offensive with current events. What's happening across the globe today is creating a worldwide hunger for truth, comfort, and peace of heart, mind, and spirit. Our challenge is to recognize the opportunity that the Lord has brought our way, and to take prompt action to meet that need while this hunger exists.
7. This is part of the message that we gave to the Family in India during our meetings with them. It applies to all of us, so we wanted to share it with you in this Offensive Briefing.
The Offensive and the recession
8. At the end of the "restructuring" period, in early 2006, the Lord showed us that we needed to have a time of strengthening and training. When He told us that, it was somewhat of a hard saying for a lot of us, because we'd just come through the restructuring and we really wanted to get on with the Offensive; we wanted to shift our primary focus to doing the job of winning the world. But the Lord said, "You need to wait. You need to have a time of strengthening and training first." So we did. We all worked on getting stronger. The boards worked hard on creating training programs in 2006, in preparation for the Offensive, and over the course of 2007, the Family participated in those programs and studied the training-oriented Word that was published.
9. Then we launched the Offensive in February 2008, at the Feast. Within just a few months, the huge economic downturn started, initially in the U.S., but quickly spreading worldwide. The real estate market collapsed, the financial markets plummeted, food prices and basic costs of living rose, credit dried up, consumer spending slowed. Manufacturing nose-dived in many countries, and millions of jobs have been lost. In less than a year the seemingly invincible worldwide capitalist economic system has imploded, and the world is reeling from the effects.
10. The world has been deceived by the "religion" of capitalism. People had put their faith in a system that promised them ever-increasing profits. They believed that the economy would grow indefinitely, that their jobs were secure, and that they could borrow and spend instead of earn and save. They believed that the value of their houses would continually rise, and that they could refinance, borrow against the value of their houses, and spend that money. They believed that if they invested in the stock market, they could continually expand their financial portfolios with virtually no risk; that the companies they invested in were economic giants which would never fall or falter.
11. The financial "high priests"�the investment bankers, hedge fund operators, and others�promised continual growth; meanwhile people, companies, banks, institutions, and national governments poured their money into investments that assured financial blessings. They believed, they had faith, and now they see that their faith was misplaced. The financial system that they believed in and thought was solid and strong was only an illusion.
12. The "high priests" were repackaging toxic debt and selling it to banks, financial institutions, and nations as if it were gold. Their sleight of hand had people taken in by the belief that if you bought into their system, you were guaranteed rewards. People believed, and they acted on that belief.
13. Now they are losing their livelihoods, their houses, their savings, and their peace of mind. The giants they believed could never fall have lost their footing, and some have gone bankrupt, while other companies have a stock market value that's only a tenth of what it used to be. The stocks that many people held are worth half or less of what they were, essentially wiping out the savings or investments of many. It's a very sad story of misplaced faith.
14. Many people who had relatively stable lives with stable incomes have now lost their jobs and either can't find new work or have had to take low-paying or part-time jobs, and those who haven't lost their jobs are in fear of losing them. People's worlds have been turned upside down. It's like they've driven off a cliff and they don't know if they're going to survive the fall. They can't sleep. They're stressed. They don't know if they'll be able to take care of their families. They're fearful of the future. They're desperate.
15. This also makes them spiritually hungry.�Hungry for the truth, desperate for a rock-solid foundation instead of the shifting sands that they have built on. They need comfort and peace. They need something genuine to put their faith in that won't fail them. They need help to overcome the stress and fear they are suffering. They are desperate for answers�and we have those answers.
16. But this spiritual hunger isn't going to last forever. The recession may go on for years, multitudes more may lose their jobs, and companies and even national economies may continue to fail. But eventually things will settle down and a new "normal" will develop. Either the economies will recover and things will return in some measure to how they were before this recession, or people will adjust to the new reality of having less and will carry on with life the best they can. In either case, people will eventually lose the hunger and desperation they have now.
17. There is a period of time, a window of opportunity, in which the Lord is making it possible for us to reach people when they're more hungry than they would normally be. That time is right now, which, amazingly, is also the beginning of the Offensive for us.
18. In business terms, there is a market, a demand, and we have the perfect product�Jesus and His truth�to fill that need. But we must recognize this opportunity and get out and do something about it. The fact that we have the answers doesn't do any good if people don't know that we have the answers. Your product won't "sell" if it's not "marketed," so to speak. We have a great opportunity before us. It's like the Lord is saying, "You want to win the world? You want to have an impact on your field? You want to reach people? Now's the time!"
19. When you think about how this great need coincides with the beginning of the Offensive, then you start to realize, "Maybe the Lord is giving us a golden opportunity to build a solid foundation for the Offensive and future fruitfulness by allowing such an unprecedented vacuum in the world today. This is an exceptional opportunity to make a difference by getting out the message, by giving people the answers they're so desperate for, by ministering to people when they are in such great need." If we promote and advertise the Good News and spiritual wealth that we have to offer, people will begin to understand that we have something of great value to give them.
20. Now is the time to advertise and distribute our fantastic "product," because this window of time won't last forever. I remember when the Soviet Union collapsed and the Family first started going into Russia with the posters. People would rush up and grab the posters as if they were money! People were so hungry spiritually! But as the months and years went by, the Russian economy started improving, the people became more saturated with Western influences and materialism, and pretty soon those who had been so hungry weren't as hungry anymore. The seeds that had been sown remained, and there was lasting fruit from that time, but that time passed and the doors closed. It was a limited opportunity.
21. We need to recognize that current world conditions provide us with a golden opportunity to spread the message, and we don't know how long it will last. What we do know is that we need to go through this open door. We need to recognize the opportunity that is before us and do our very best to meet the unique need that exists today�a need that we are well equipped to fill.
America discredited, and other nations emerging
22. Another major shift that has occurred over the past eight years has been the rapid decline of America. It's been remarkable to witness that in just eight years America has gone from being the dominant world power and being looked upon as a country that knew what it was doing to becoming almost universally despised.
23. The world political makeup went from being the unipolar world of American dominance to more of a multipolar world with a number of major or up-and-coming nations gaining power and clout. Countries that had to kowtow to America in the past don't have to anymore. India, Brazil, Russia, China, and others have a much stronger voice and more influence on international affairs.
24. America can no longer say, "This is the way it's going to be." The U.S. doesn't have the financial power it used to, because its economy has been greatly weakened. America has been fighting a couple of wars and hasn't been able to win either of them, so nations aren't as intimidated by the U.S. as they used to be. The American government has discredited itself in its interactions with the rest of the world in the way it started its war with Iraq based on lies and false information, its mistreatment of its European allies, its continued unflinching support of Israel despite Israel's violations of international law, its torture of prisoners, and because of its hubris and blatant disregard for the opinions and desires of other nations.
25. America is no longer regarded as an example of a nation with high moral standards. It is seen as a bully, as hypocritical, as a nation that is only concerned with its own interests, and to hell with everyone else. And for much of this decline they can thank George W. Bush and his administration.
26. America has lost much of its military standing, its moral standing, and its economic standing. This has brought change in the balance of world power. Emerging nations are gaining clout, and as they do, the power structure of the world is shifting. It's hard to imagine that in just eight years such a seismic shift in the political makeup of the world has occurred.
27. When you put all of these factors together�the recession hitting and people becoming more spiritually hungry; emerging nations moving to the fore and their citizens being eager to grow, to change, to find their place in their country's society as well as in the world community; and American dominance heading downhill, resulting in a change in the worldwide power structure�you realize that the world is experiencing major change, the likes of which we haven't seen in our lifetime.
What are you doing to meet the world's need today?
28. Being in India and seeing how dynamic a country it is, how energized a large segment of its people are, how driven they are to advance, and knowing that that same dynamism exists in other rising nations like China, Brazil, and others, drives home the fact that the world is changing and that we will need to change to reach it.
29. This brings me back to my earlier point: The Lord told us to wait to launch the Offensive, to start it at the beginning of 2008 instead of some time in 2006 when we originally wanted to. Clearly He wanted to sync up the Offensive with the very changed world, and the resurgent hunger for truth, peace, and comfort that these changes are causing. His timing is impeccable.
30. In addition, we spent six months praying for the Offensive, both for our preparations and for the preparation of people's hearts. We know that the Lord answered those fervent prayers. While the decisions of greedy, selfish men brought the recession, the Lord wants us to recognize the increased spiritual hunger and do our part to fill it! He has put us in a position to provide the answers, the comfort, the spiritual truth, that we have in such abundance, and become known for it.
31. So here we are in April 2009. The world political situation has changed, the economy of the world is in decline, and people are searching for stability, peace of mind, and truth.
32. We must ask ourselves: What are we doing about all this? What are we doing about the fact that people are worried, even fearful, and desperately looking for answers? What are we doing to connect with and reach the people of these emerging nations? What are we doing to make the Family International known as a force for good and to make our message applicable to the needs of today's world? How are we using this opportunity that's before us?
33. Well, for one thing, we can't keep doing the same things we've been doing in the same old ways. The situation has changed. The world today isn't the same as it was a few years ago. We need to understand that the market has changed, that new conditions exist, and that, if we're going to be successful, we need to recognize these changes and present our message in a way that appeals to the new market conditions and needs. We must give the world the message that is needed today, that relates to what they're experiencing now, while they're experiencing it. The world is changing and moving forward so rapidly; we have to realize that unless we pick up the pace, we are going to get left behind.
34. You must recognize the changes that are taking place in your country and adapt your work, your outlook and attitudes, your means of delivering the message, and in some cases the packaging of the message itself, so that you are relevant to those whom you are commissioned to reach�the people of the country you live in. We all need to bring our work, our message, and our approach up to date for today's world and today's need.
35. As we've been saying�and it's almost become our mantra about change: "We can't keep doing the same things we've always done and expect different results." We're not going to meet the needs of today's changing and dynamic world if we continue on as we have been. The world is changing and we need to change. We need to find ways to effectively reach the world of today, and that means you need to find ways to effectively reach your field.
36. What's the population of the country you live in? How many Family members live there? Probably not many compared to the total population. Maybe there are fifty of you, or a hundred or a few hundred, including Active members. The reality is that you few Family members are responsible to do your part to reach the millions or hundreds of millions of people in the nation to which the Lord has called you as His messengers.
37. We know that until now you've done a good job in your field, because you're witnessing and giving people Jesus; you're teaching others to teach others. That's excellent! But have your efforts so far been enough? Are you satisfied with how you're reaching your country? You've certainly achieved a measure of success, but is it enough success? Do you feel that by continuing on as you have been, you will effectively reach your field?
38. This is how Mama and I see it: If we continue as we have been, doing what we've done till now, we'll continue to have the same rate of success we've had thus far. Is that enough for you? Is that success rate sufficient to reach the harvest the Lord has put before you?
39. When you have very few "salespeople" and a huge "market," you've got to be innovative. You've got to find fresh ways to get the job done, more effective ways to reach, win, teach, and train others who can in turn help to reach the nation you live in. As you look at your "market" and determine your strategy, plan for the long term so that the decisions you make today will put you on the path to reach your big, long-term goals.
40. Something you need to understand is that those of 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're going to have to get it from the Lord, work in teamwork and counsel with your fellow laborers and regional leadership to figure out the details, and do it!
41. Mama and I can't tell you exactly how you're supposed to reach your country. We don't know that. We don't live there, and we don't minister to the people of your nation. We can give you general direction, and spiritual and practical guidance, but we can't tell you how to relate to, be relevant to, or reach the people of your nation, because each nation and its people are different.
42. We don't know exactly how you should reach the people in your country, but we believe that you know, or that you can find out, because you live there. 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.
43. The Indians, Brazilians, Hungarians, Japanese and people of every nation have the same need and hunger for lasting joy and peace, for Jesus and His love and salvation, but how that hunger can be most effectively filled will be particular to each field. We can't reach the people in India by using the exact same methods and modes of operation that we use to reach the people in Australia, or to reach the people in South Africa. The people are different, their culture is different, the way they look at life is different, their beliefs are different�everything is different.
44. You need to "nationalize" your work�that is, to make yourselves and our message to the world relatable to the people in the country that you are trying to reach. You need to make the work in your country meet the needs of your country. We need the work in Taiwan to be just what the Taiwanese need. We need the work in Great Britain to be just what the British need. We need the work in Uganda to be just what the Ugandans need. What will speak to them? What will reach them? What answers are they looking for? How can you package those answers in a way that they'll receive and appreciate?
45. To answer those questions effectively, you're going to need to look at things differently and be open to adapting and changing your present methods so that you can be a more effective and professional witness. Wherever you are, whatever field the Lord has called you to, you have a responsibility to reach those people, and you need to find the best ways to do it.
Innovate for success!
46. Any company�especially a successful company�knows that it has to be innovative. A company might have a product that's extremely successful today, but within a year or two that product could be obsolete, because the needs of the customers change. Companies always have to be thinking of new ways to grab people's attention, and looking for new products that people want or new ways to package their product.
47. We also need to start thinking that way�as individuals, as Homes, as countries, as an organization. It's hard to change our thinking, because we have some set ways of doing things, but as they say in the business world, "Change or die." If you're not satisfied with the results you're getting in reaching your city or your nation, then you need to find a better way to do it. You have to let go of what doesn't work and find what does. You have to think in new ways. You have to translate that new thinking into action, so that you can reach your field in the way that it needs to be reached. Experiment, find what works, and implement those methods.
48. During the first two weeks that Mama and I were in India, we took our yearly vacation. We wanted to be well rested and prepared for the meetings we would hold with our dedicated Family there. This also gave us the opportunity to be out and about and to meet people. As usual, whenever we're away from home, Mama goes great guns in passing out tracts and giving people a witness!
49. We were staying in Goa, so we had tracts and Activated mags in Hindi, English, and Russian, as those were the main languages of the nationals and foreigners who vacation there. We passed out quite a few tracts during those first two weeks, and had some very nice exchanges and witnessing experiences with some of the beautiful people the Lord led us to.
50. After several days there, Mama started wondering if the main tract we were passing out actually spoke to the Indian people. It was clear that it would speak to somebody who understood Christianity, but was it really the right message, presented in the right way for India? Our GP products are excellent, but one size rarely fits all. Our time in India got us thinking about this, and it's something you should be thinking about too, as you look at reaching your country with the message.
51. India is a vibrant country with diverse cultures. It's unique, and the people are unique. We told the Family in India that it's important that they reach the people there in the way that they need to be reached, delivering the message of the Lord's love and salvation in a way that the people of India will relate to and grasp, and will say, "Yes, this is what I want!"
52. This counsel applies to any field the Family is in. 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? Are the tracts that we have, the Family products that we use, the methods and modes of operation that our Home employs, the ones that are the most suitable for our country and our target audiences? You're the ones who need to pray about and ask the Lord if you're using the right tools and methods to reach the people in your field.
53. If you feel that in order to hit the mark for the people you're trying to reach you need a new product or tract, or need to adapt an existing one, here's what you, as an individual or Home, can do about it.
* Figure out what will work and be relatable and appealing to the people you are trying to reach. Perhaps it's the creation of a new tract or witnessing product, or perhaps it's modifying an existing one. Do some homework on the subject. Counsel together as a Home, with your AMs, with other contacts and friends who might have valuable input and be in a position to advise you. See if other outreachers, follow-up shepherds, or distributors feel you've hit on something that will work.
* Do a mockup of what you envision will work, if you have the means or ability (or ask someone else who does have the means or ability to help you).
* When you hit on a concept that you believe could be a winner, write your regional CGO board or regional council, and see if they can help you to take it further. (If you don't have the means to create it yourself, send them your research and the information you've put together so that they get a clear picture of what you feel is needed.)
* Be willing to work to see the vision become reality. Don't just write your production center, your RSs, RC, or CGO board and say that you need such-and-such, and expect them to do all the footwork. How much are you willing to put into making it happen? Are you willing to fundraise for the project? Will you give your time (as an individual and as a Home) to make it happen?
54. It's in your court to be thinking and praying about how to reach the people in your country. Your RC will help all they can, but the responsibility is also yours. As someone so wisely said, "Ideas are cheap; execution is difficult and costly." We need men and women of faith and vision who have both the spiritual and practical savvy to recognize a need, and who are willing to work hard to get it filled�which in this case would mean doing the research, finding solutions, getting advice from your sheep and friends, and taking it as far as you can. Are you one of those men or women?
55. You need to find ways to change the face of the Family in your field, so that when the people you're ministering to, your supporters or anyone, looks at the Family in Nepal or the Family in Mexico or the Family in Italy or the Family in your country, they'll say, "Wow, these people have something to offer us! These people have answers! These people are of value to our country!"
56. That doesn't happen just because you're living in that country; it happens because you're doing the kinds of things that people recognize have value. They see you meeting the needs of their country, including giving them spiritual truth, in the ways that they relate to and understand. That's what makes you valuable.
57. So realize that you have to find those things that work in your country, in your situation�that will get out the message, that will attract people, that will give them the answers they're searching for. Your present methods may be working okay, but could they be more effective? You need to examine your present methods and find more innovative ways to reach your field, to make the Family and your work more relatable to the people of your country.
58. It's imperative that you give this thought and prayer now, and take action accordingly, because, as I said earlier, the Lord has set the stage for us. He has made conditions near ideal for us to fill the need and get out the message and become a force for good. What are you going to do with this opportunity?
59. If you have found something that's working for you, send it in so that others can benefit! Send it to other Homes, or send it to your RC, or both. For example, say you present a seminar on a certain topic and it's well received. Share the wealth!
60. The Family needs innovation. We're interested in new ideas, new methods, new presentations, new techniques. We are excited about seeing what the Lord leads you to do! If you discover something that has potential, the Lord might lead you to collaborate with others who can help to further develop that idea.
Envision the future
61. I want to ask each of you to take some time�maybe on your next rest day, or when you have a bit of time to meditate�and ask yourself some questions. I want you to think about the future. Think about the future of the Family in your country. Think about what you would want that future to look like. How do you envision the work in your field expanding? What do you see the Family in your country doing or becoming? What do you think would be "success" for the Family in your country 20 years from now? What would you want to see?
62. If you can envision those goals and how different the future will be when you reach them, it will get you thinking differently, and that will help you to act differently. If you start thinking about and envisioning what you see your work, your Home, or the Family in your country being in the future, then you can start asking questions like, "How do we make that happen? If we want to be that successful in 20 years, what do we have to do tomorrow to start on that journey? Where do we have to be in three years? What about in five years, or in ten?" As you look at and reevaluate your strategy plan and progress thus far, this is a good angle to consider.
63. Here's something Mama and I suggest you do: Spend some time thinking about the future of the work in your city and your country. Then talk about it as a Home, discuss your burdens and dreams and visions. Whatever you have the vision for, realize, "We can start building on it now. It's not going to happen overnight and it's not going to happen on its own. But we're going to make a plan, and we're going to work toward that plan."
64. We have to look ahead and think differently, envision what's possible so that we have faith to invest in the future, and then plan and work accordingly. When you realize that you and your local work could be around for a while, it gives you more faith to invest in the long term. Investing for the long term is a fundamental change that the Lord wants to bring about in your thinking and actions.
65. As individuals you should be thinking and praying about the future of your city or country's work; then discuss your hopes and goals together as a Home. Then you may want to discuss these ideas with the other Homes in your city or country. If you were to set united goals as a city, or as a country, or even as a region, it would require a definite mindset shift from today, but it would make your efforts much more effective and fruitful. The more of you there are working together, the more you'll be able to accomplish, the more professional a presentation you'll be able to give people about why you're in their country and what you're doing to make a difference.
66. Part of what will make the Family stronger and more fruitful will be Homes and Family members in countries and regions "networking" in getting the job done. The cooperative efforts of Homes, and Family members in your country, working to make the Family relatable and pertinent to the people of your country will help to create a united and successful work which will have a much greater impact and cause you to bear much greater fruit.
67. We need fruitful winning team Homes combining efforts with other fruitful Homes to create winning team cities, then winning team countries, then winning team regions, culminating in a successful, fruitful, growing, strong, winning Family.
Changing the atmosphere of the Family
68. As we've told you, we must work together to create an atmosphere where there is more acceptance of new ideas and of changes. We want the environment of the Family to be one that encourages and promotes willingness to try the new, without those feelings that, "Someone's not going to like it," or, "The Home over there is going to criticize me," or anything along those lines. Each one of you plays a vital role in manifesting this spirit of openness, and bringing about this atmosphere of faith that encourages and inspires others to step out in following the Spirit and doing the new.
69. Mama and I are very desperate with the Lord, and we're working hard to do the part that we can do�and that is examining the Family and what needs to change overall. As we told you in "The Change Journey" and "Change Champions" (ML #3737-3738), because change is a process and involves counsel with leadership and a lot of prayer and thought, it will take time. The changes we're thinking of and working on are not going to be immediate. It will be an ongoing process over the next few years.
70. However, in the meantime there is a tremendous amount of change that is in your court to start thinking and praying about. Namely, what do you need to change in order to reach your city or country more effectively? What do you need to change in order to work better with the other Homes in your city and country, in order to be more effective overall? What do you need to change, personally or as a Home, in order to help to create an atmosphere of openness and faith? What long-term goals do you want to shoot for in your country? What do you envision the work in your field being like in 20 years? How are you going to get there?
71. If you don't feel that your Home is doing the job effectively, or if you don't feel that you have the right tools for the job, or if you don't feel that you're using the right methods to get the job done where you are, get involved and do something to help change it.
72. Someone wrote Mama and me not long ago, explaining that they had asked their Active members and friends to constructively critique their personal presentation as witnesses and follow-up shepherds, as well as the general interactions and deportment of the Home members. God bless these particular Active members and friends of the Family who spoke up and shared a number of points that had been on their hearts. The points ranged from simple courtesy points and cultural matters that the Family members had generally overlooked or weren't aware of (but which were offensive to their guests and friends), to the desire to be fed more "meat" and be trusted with more responsibility in their new life of faith.
73. I thought that was a good move on the part of the Home to ask for that input, and a sure way to find out how you can improve. Your Active members, friends, and supporters are in a good position to help you to learn how to better relate to the needs of the people of your country. Consider asking your Active members, or some of your friends, if they've noticed things you do that either offend or rub people the wrong way, or that make you or your presentation less attractive to those you are trying to reach. As you identify aspects of the way you operate that need to change to make it easier for people to understand you or to be willing to associate with the Family, or to be enthusiastic about being part of the Family, bring those points to the Lord and ask Him to show you what to do about them.
74. The main point is to discover the needs of the people in your country. Your goal is to reach them, so it's in your best interests to put the necessary time into praying about, counseling, and discussing as a Home and/or city what methods and means will strike the most receptive chord in the hearts of those you're aiming to reach. Get creative. Be willing to try something new. The Lord wants to lead us to more effective methods, for greater success.
75. I want to note that some of you already have works that have been and are very successful.�In which case, you should be investing your efforts in your existing works, using those good works to expand your witness and positive influence in your city or field. I'm not saying that everyone needs to let go of the works they've established so far in order to "do the new." Some of you have already pioneered very innovative ministries and you've found your niche. If your witness and ministry is very successful and you're following God for today, keep it up, and work to make it even more successful!
76. But for the most part, I imagine that many of you would feel that there's room for improvement in your witnessing, winning, and public profile. If you feel that your Home could do the job more effectively, or if you personally could be more effective, or you want to try something new, those are changes that are up to you to make. That is in your court. You, and the Homes in your country, have to find what's going to work for your field.
77. The main points to focus on are: The Lord has given you the job of reaching your country. To do it effectively you need to:
* Have a longer-term vision (which involves thinking differently).
* Translate that vision into action.
* Let go of any fear of failure.
* Be willing to try the new.
* Find the best ways to reach your country, to be relatable and relevant to those you're trying to reach.
* Work together with the other Homes in your city and country to do just that.
The story of the DTD tapes�Having the faith to try new methods
78. I want to tell you a story that makes the point of having the faith to step out and try something new.
79. Around '83 or '84, Dad and Mama and their Home were living in the Philippines, and Mama got a letter from a Home in Indonesia. They said that they'd been compiling recordings of Family songs on cassettes and selling them to people, and that people really liked them. In those days, that was a new idea; nobody had done that.
80. Mama could have said, "What are those guys doing?! They're getting out these old recordings to people in Indonesia! Who said they can do that? These are Christian songs being given out in the largest Muslim country in the world. Is that safe?" But instead she said, "What a great idea!" And she started working with the MWM team and got the project rolling to create what eventually became the DTD tapes for the whole Family to distribute. In time that birthed the video ministry, and the creation of our CDs and DVDs, which, as you know, became tremendously successful and have played a huge role in supporting the Family over the last 20 or so years.�All because one little Home tried something new, and Mama had the wisdom to pick up on it and say, "Yes, let's do it," and it changed the Family. It changed the way we financed ourselves, it changed our outreach, and it made a huge difference.
81. If one little Home could do something like that 25 years ago, so can you today. I don't suppose that this particular Home was filled with "towering giants of winning ideas" or the most spiritual people in the whole Family. It was just a Home with people who had the faith to try something new in order to reach their field. They looked at what the people in their country would want, what they would find appealing, and they gave that idea a go�and it resulted in great success!
82. You can do that. And you need to. We all need to.
83. * During the prayer drive, we asked the Lord to set up the right conditions for us to launch the Offensive, and the Lord is using the circumstances that the present economic downturn has resulted in to answer our prayers. The world is changing. The recession has created a need that didn't exist before. People are hungry, and we have the answers.
84. * This season of heightened spiritual hunger won't last forever, so in order to make the most of this opportunity, we need to be innovative and find out what's going to work today to reach the nations we live in. That is in your court to do for your field.
85. * Think long term when it comes to reaching your field. For example: What do we want our work here to be like 20 or 30 years from now? What do we need to do to get there?
86. * Innovate for success. Step out and try the new. Ask the Lord for new ideas. Ask your Active members and friends for tips and ideas on how to be more effective in your witnessing and reaching your target demographics. Brainstorm as a Home (or with other Homes). Experiment, innovate, and share your ideas with others.
87. * Your work will be more fruitful and far-reaching if you can unite as a city or country around some specific goals and visions for the long-term work in your country. If you work together toward long-term goals, you're likely to have a bigger impact and see lasting fruit!
88. We'll be praying for you as you look at your local work, your methods, your goals, your frame of reference, and adjust it to be more long-term and forward-thinking, more relatable, and thus more effective in fulfilling our mission.
89. Mama and I are proud of you, dear Family! The Lord knew what He was doing when He called and chose you to serve Him. Thank you for answering His call. You're the men and women for the job! God bless you!
* For radical change in our thinking; to be forward-looking and innovative; to have the wisdom to know what to change and what to stick with till we see fruit.
* For increased unity as Homes work together more to reach the people in their field. For fulfillment, joy, and contentment in our labors as we work together to reap the harvest today, while preparing for the harvest of tomorrow.
* For continued and abundant financial supply for the Family all around the world, including for WS and the boards. For miraculous provision for our Family and friends in countries that have been hardest hit by the recession, and where there is political instability as a result.
Copyright - 2009 by The Family International