First edition published January 1995 and second edition published November 1998 as The Love Charter. Third edition published September 2009 as The Family Discipleship Charter. Fourth edition published June 2010 as Charter of the Family International.
- Chapter I: Core Purpose
- Chapter II: Membership
- Chapter III: Governance
- Chapter IV: TFI Member Works
Chapter I: Core Purpose
The core purpose (mission) of the Family International is to
- Share the good news of God’s love, truth, and salvation. Translate God’s love into action in a way that brings a touch of the divine to someone’s spirit, and leads people to the discovery of a personal relationship with Jesus.
- Seek to improve others’ spiritual quality of life. Share God’s Word and truths to enrich others’ lives. Apply spiritual principles so as to help meet others’ needs, whether spiritual or practical.
- Provide an environment that nurtures faith. Support and assist individuals in growing in their personal relationship with Jesus, and in their efforts to share God’s love and truth with others, according to their unique calling.
Chapter II: Membership
The combination of core beliefs, core values, and core purpose make up the guiding principles that direct and inspire the Family International as an organization and serve as a standard for expectations of members. A member of the Family International allows the guiding principles to motivate his or her actions in living his or her faith and dedication to God and in responding to the call of the Great Commission. To this end, the Family International is committed to fostering a community of faith that is welcoming, relevant, progressive, contemporary, and that gives members the inspiration and confidence to enact their dreams and plans for God; to act on God’s will for their life, whatever path or career it leads them to; to grow in Christian faith, belief, discipleship, or missionary service; to find effective means of participating in and facilitating the mission of the Family International.
A new member of the Family International:
- Has received Jesus Christ as his or her personal Savior.
- Is 18 years of age or older.
- A 16- or 17-year-old who wishes to be a member of the Family International may become a member with at least one parent’s consent.
- Has completed “Procedure I: New Members” in the “Handbook of Procedures of the Family International.”
The Family International reserves the right to deny membership to an applicant whose activities are incompatible with Family membership or who is deemed ineligible to be a member of the Family International.
A member of the Family International is responsible to:
- Accept the collective beliefs that define the faith of the Family International as listed in the “Statement of Faith of the Family International” and commit to grow in his or her understanding of those tenets of faith.
- Model his or her life around the principles embodied in the “Core Values of the Family International.”
- Cultivate a personal relationship with God through the reading of God’s Word, personal communion with Jesus, and prayer.
- Conduct him- or herself ethically and with integrity in his or her personal and professional life, and refrain from activities that reflect negatively on the Family International or its mission.
- Participate in and otherwise facilitate the mission of the Family International.
- Tithe or give of his or her income monthly to the Family International or to a tithing member of the Family International.
- Report monthly, directly or via another member who has agreed to report for him or her.
- A member of the Family International who is a parent is responsible to love and care for his or her children; raise them in a godly manner; impart to them a knowledge of God; see that their physical, educational, spiritual, medical, and emotional needs are supplied to the best of their ability; and protect them from all forms of abuse, including physical, sexual, or emotional.
- The welfare and protection of children is of vital importance to the Family International. All members are expected to abide by the policies outlined in the “Child Protection Policy of the Family International.”
A member of the Family International has the right to individual choice, self-determination, and expression in all matters, including his or her participation in and facilitation of the mission, and regarding to how he or she lives his or her faith.
- A member who is visiting a city and wishes to fundraise or request goods or services for their mission endeavors should communicate his or her intentions to those who have listed TFI member works in the city, and respect their contacts.
- Where a mission-related activity may conflict with the political, religious, or otherwise sensitive nature of some countries, it may be required that the activity be restricted in accordance with “Procedure IV: Mission-Activity Restricted Countries” in the “Handbook of Procedures for the Family International.”
- A member visiting or moving to a country that has been designated as mission-activity restricted must abide by the established mission-related guidelines for that country.
- A member of the Family International must receive the consent of the international public affairs desk before engaging in a legal agreement on behalf of the Family International, or participating in a national or international media interview, documentary, website or forum, movie, book, written or verbal rebuttal, press release, or article on behalf of the Family International.
- A member of the Family International must receive the consent of the international public affairs desk before publishing online or distributing to the public Family International publications that are not designated for the public.
A member of the Family International is subject to the laws of the country in which he or she resides.
A member of the Family International may have his or her membership revoked in accordance with “Procedure V: Revocation of Membership” in the “Handbook of Procedures for the Family International” for:
- Persistently contravening the responsibilities of Family membership as outlined above in Articles 4–5.
- Conduct or activities damaging to the Family International or its mission, or toward TFI member works or communities.
A member of the Family International will be permanently excommunicated from Family membership in accordance with “Procedure VI: Excommunication” in the “Handbook of Procedures for the Family International” for:
- Sexually or physically abusive mistreatment of a child.
- Committing an egregious crime or life-threatening violent act.
- Activities that foster schism with the intent of undermining or damaging the Family International.
- In the case of a lesser schismatic offense, the member may be subject to revocation of membership under Article 10.2.
- Minors under 18 years of age who commit sexually or physically abusive mistreatment of a child or an egregious crime or life-threatening violent act will be permanently ineligible for Family membership or participation in Family International community activities or TFI member works.
Chapter III: Governance
The “Governance of the Family International”:
- Delineates the principal and subsidiary bodies of structure, governance, and service within the organizational structure of the Family International.
- Defines, establishes, empowers, or terminates, as may be necessary, national or international portfolios, governing bodies, or service positions.
- Defines the authority of a body to adjudicate questions of membership and matters that reflect on the Family International and its mission, and the disciplinary actions that may be applied to member misconduct.
TFI Services will manage the tithes and gifts sent to the Family International to support publications, services, and structure; for projects or investments that further the mission of the Family International; and to assist mission projects and members.
Chapter IV: TFI Member Works
A TFI member work is a project, mission activity, community, congregation, association, or organization, incorporated or otherwise, founded and/or managed by a member of the Family International who is listed with the Family International.
A TFI member work:
- Has basic statutes of operations, and a defined purpose that is in alignment with the “Mission Statement of the Family International.”
- Maintains a standard of professionalism as outlined in “Professional Standard for TFI Member Works.”
A member listing a new TFI member work should refer to “Procedure II: TFI Member Works, Article 1” in the “Handbook of Procedures for the Family International.”
TFI member works are encouraged to form a city mission forum in accordance with “Procedure III: City Mission Forums” in the “Handbook of Procedures for the Family International” for the purpose of coordinating, collaborating with, and/or assisting one another’s efforts to further their works and the mission of the Family International in a city or metropolitan area.
A TFI member work may be disassociated from the Family International in accordance with “Procedure II: TFI Member Works, Article 2” in the “Handbook of Procedures for the Family International” if in persistent or blatant contravention of Article 2.
- Disassociation of a TFI member work from the Family International does not automatically affect the membership of the individuals involved.
Official documents of Family International policy and/or governance, which supplement, support, are authorized by, or refer to this Charter of the Family International are:
- “Governance of the Family International”
- “Handbook of Procedures for the Family International”
- “Statement of Faith of the Family International”
- “Core Values of the Family International”
- “Mission Statement of the Family International”
- “Professional Standard for TFI Member Works”
- “Child Protection Policy of the Family International”
- “Standard for the Care of Children at Events and Mission Works of the Family International”
The Charter of the Family International, version 4, and its supporting documents took effect June 2010.
1. The Charter of the Family International, version 4 was updated February 2012.