Building A Principled Family Life - A Study in Seven Sessions for Small Groups - Henri Schauffler
For several years, I have noted that our Family Federation and Family Church communities have been in need of two important things to sustain family and community life: resources to help us build better families and ways to help build community among our families. To both these ends, I commend this book to you with much gratitude to God and Christ.
As primarily a faith and outreach community, we have used fantastic resources to help other families, communities, and, indeed, the whole world, realize spiritual, political, and economic freedom. While sacrificing together to attain many noble goals, we have often left our own selves and our families out of the work plan. Personal and family growth have been thought to be largely a personal responsibility, and perhaps that is a healthy view.
In Washington, DC, where I pastor the Family Church, we have studied and refined ideas from numerous other churches that, over the last two to three decades, have developed strategies to assist their members and families to grow and flourish in faith, discipleship, and personal and family life. Central among these ideas is small groups.
A small group is a regular gathering of 3 to 12 people who meet on a consistent, planned basis for purposes of fellowship, growth, and service to family, community, and God’s Will.
At this writing, we have over 50 such groups in the Washington, DC, area, and new ones are starting every day. Many of us have found new hope in our spiritual, family, and community life as a result of participating in a group. You may ask, “How do we put together such a group?” You hold in your hands everything you need to begin a group! There are seven sessions, and guidelines for a group facilitator and all the members of the group. All you need is a small number of interested people and one person who is willing to be the facilitator (and that person can be coached from within the booklet). We even have several groups comprised of more spiritually mature people wherein they share the meeting facilitation; a different person leads the meeting each session.
So… all you need to do is get started! I know you will enjoy the journey as much as reaching the destination: an improved family life and building community among yourselves and your families. All the while you’ll be journeying to these destinations in a powerful new way together with the members of your group. With time, you will become a spiritual family.
The core contents of this booklet comprise wisdom on personal growth, marriage, and family life from the Holy Bible, the sermons of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, and several other relevant authors, followed by thought-provoking questions to stimulate discussion, learning, and personal study. This book is appropriate for use by members of the Family Church, members of other churches, and anyone seeking a better understanding of how to live their life and build their family (even if they are presently single). I sincerely hope the contents of this book, as well as helping a small group, contribute to improving family life in our churches and in America.
I especially want to thank Kook Jin Moon for his strong support through a development loan from the Young Jin Moon Charitable Trust, and Dr. Chang Shik Yang, Rev. Michael Jenkins, Dr. Tyler Hendricks, Rev. In Hoi Lee, and Rev. Lorman Lykes for their earnest encouragement, wisdom, and support. I’d like to also thank those whose hands-on support helped with the finishing of this volume: Jonathan Gullery and Michael Ingles for help with publishing, and Vicki Phelps for editing.
Please let me know how you feel about this material after using it.