FOUNDATION FOR FAMILY AND LIFE
FRATERNAL HOUSEHOLDS IN CFC-FFL
pastoral structure of CFC-FFL is such that
every member belongs to a household for personal
support, and every member is under the pastoral
care of a leader.
are two types of households in CFC-FFL. One
is the led household, the other is
the fraternal household. A led household is
a cell group where there is a Household Servant.
A fraternal household is a cell group
where there is no one Household Servant, but
where all the members take pastoral responsibility
for everyone else in the group.
ordinary and most common type of household
is the led household. Within a chapter, which
is the pastoral subdivision of the one community
that is CFC-FFL, basically everyone belongs
to a led household. Members belong to a household
led by a Household Servant, household leaders
belong to a unit household led by
a Unit Servant, unit leaders belong to a chapter
household led by a Chapter Servant, and chapter
leaders belong to a household led by a Cluster
Servant. This is the most common pattern,
though subject to some variations.
that the structure is pyramidal. But if you
continue moving up the pyramid, you will reach
the top, where there is no longer any household
available for the top leader. Also, there
is no longer any other CFC-FFL leader who
can exercise headship over this top leader.
in CFC-FFL we believe that every member, no
matter how mature and high in leadership,
still needs regular pastoral support that
is found in a household. We also believe that
every elder needs to have someone over him
who can help and support him in his continuing
personal growth in the Lord and in CFC-FFL.
is this possible then for the person at the
top of the pyramidal pastoral structure? The
solution is to have a fraternal household.
In effect, we are cutting off the very tip
of the pyramid and flattening it a bit. Instead
of one person at the very top (or tip), there
will be a group of seniors who in effect will
act as heads over each other. They will have
a fraternal pastoral relationship.
fraternal household is normally only established
in a mature CFC-FFL area where there are already
a number of seniors (seniors are Chapter Servants
and up). By its very nature, fraternal relationships
work well if the members of the fraternal
household are mature in their spirituality
and in their appreciation of the life and
mission of CFC-FFL. Otherwise, CFC-FFL members
are better off in a led household, where there
is one clear leader who moves the members
forward in spirituality and community life.
maturity though is not an easily definable
quality. And we do not need to define it for
our purposes. For us in CFC-FFL, the preferred
type of household is the led household, even
for those who are already seniors. There is
no set level of spiritual growth where we
then say that one “graduates”
from a led household to a fraternal household.
In fact, a very mature senior may be placed
in a led household for certain pastoral reasons.
Thus it is possible for a senior who is in
a led household to be more mature than another
senior who is in a fraternal household.
basic reasons then for establishing fraternal
households are the following:
provide a support group for top leaders,
in line with our pastoral principle that
everyone, no matter how high in leadership,
ought to be in a household for personal
support and to be under headship to another
allow top seniors in a mature CFC-FFL area
to handle other seniors under them, not
necessarily those directly under them in
the next level of leadership.
To provide support to the top leader in
a new or growing area, even if that top
leader would not otherwise qualify to be
in a fraternal household in a mature CFC-FFL
us expound further on the last two items.
have said that the preferred type of household
is the led household, even for those who are
already seniors, and notwithstanding their
spiritual maturity. If so, then in every CFC-FFL
area, there would have been only one fraternal
household, the one composed of the very top
seniors. One disadvantage of this is that
these very top seniors (for example, District
Servants) will always be handling the same
group of seniors in the next level in the
pastoral pyramid (that is, Cluster Servants),
with this second group of seniors handling
still again the next level of seniors (Chapter
Servants). In this case, Chapter Servants
will never have the opportunity of being led
by more mature and more experienced seniors
(such as District Servants). Thus, if the
Cluster Servants, instead of being in a led
household under the District Servant, are
placed in a fraternal household together,
it will become possible for the District Servant
to take on a cluster, and thus to head a led
household composed of Chapter Servants.
third basic reason given above for establishing
a fraternal household has to do with the establishment
of CFC-FFL in new areas, and their initial
development. When we bring CFC-FFL to a new
area (a distant one), we start with a CLS
and after the CLS we form households. The
CLS Team withdraws and leaves the new group
to themselves as far as their day-to-day life
as CFC-FFL goes. Households are formed according
to our pastoral pyramid. CFC-FFL in the area
will continue to grow through the years as
it conducts CLSs and integrates new members
into the body. Now the problem is that the
top leader, whether he is just a Household
Servant because the new CFC-FFL established
is just a small group, or whether he is a
Unit Servant or even later a Chapter Servant
as the community grows, will have no household
to belong to and will have no one as pastoral
head. Thus in this situation we can also establish
a fraternal household, even if the fraternal
household members are still immature in their
personal spirituality and in their appreciation
of the life and culture of CFC-FFL.
in all the above is that a particular CFC-FFL
area will initially have only one fraternal
household as it is first established and begins
to grow in size. Then as the CFC-FFL area
grows even more, when there is already more
than one cluster, there can be more than one
to summarize, fraternal households can be
formed in a CFC-FFL area to provide pastoral
support to the top leader, notwithstanding
the lack of spiritual maturity normally required
for fraternal relationships.
fraternal households may be established in
a mature area as a way of allowing the very
top seniors to directly lead and form other
seniors in the area.
in a fraternal household is for both husband
and wife. Just as in any CFC-FFL household,
the men and women relate to one another as
brothers and sisters in Christ. In addition,
in a fraternal household, the men exercise
headship over each other. The women exercise
leadership over each other, headship
over them still being exercised by their respective
of fraternal households are expected to take
responsibility for one another and for the
life and vibrancy of the household. More specifically,
they are expected to:
Be totally open about their life and willingly
bring up for discussion any areas needing
improvement (remember that there is no one
pastoral head who will be regularly monitoring
one’s life in the Lord).
Actively support and encourage one another
in the Christian life and in faithfulness
to the life and mission of CFC-FFL.
Confidently give advice and direction whenever
deemed helpful, even when such is not solicited.
Actively work to strengthen personal relationships
within the group.
any member when necessary.
attend all meetings of the group, and call
on one another to faithfulness.
available for one-to-one meetings with any
group member upon request.
a practical level, the host (the man in the
case of a couple) for a particular fraternal
household meeting is the one tasked with deciding
what to take up for that meeting. In addition,
he leads the worship and facilitates the time
of sharing and/or discussion. Of course, the
whole fraternal group could agree and decide
on what to take up for the meetings. But in
the absence of any such agreement, the host
every fraternal household, there is a designated
functional head, who is a member
of the household. The functional head is not
the pastoral head of the fraternal household,
and he, just like the other men, is under
headship to the others. His responsibilities
include the following:
To see to it that the household meetings
happen and that there is good order in the
To continually evaluate the vibrancy of
meetings and fraternal relationships, and
if lacking, to bring this up to the group
for discussion and action.
To see to it that the group members are
holding one another accountable for the
life of the group and for their individual
faithfulness to the life and mission of
bring up to the attention of the functional
overseer any matter that needs a higher
senior to take care of.
is a functional overseer designated
for every fraternal household. This would
be a top senior, who is not part of the household.
His responsibilities include the following:
To be available to the group and to any
of its members for any pastoral input or
discussion, upon request by any member.
handle major correction.
occasionally inquire as to the vibrancy
of relationships within the fraternal household,
and to conduct pastoral visits whenever
To direct the group to take up a particular
topic for discussion or to do a particular
activity, as he deems helpful or necessary.