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Territorial and Ministerial Governance

CFC-FFL is an evangelistic and missionary community. Everything it does is about evangelization. It accomplishes its evangelistic work through a territorial structure utilizing programs formulated by three basic ministries—Family Ministries, Social Ministries and Pro-Life. According to its pastoral structure, there is governance at different levels. Further, there is territorial governance, and there is ministerial governance. Both territorial and ministerial intersect, resulting in one overall integrated work of evangelization.

What is territorial governance?

Territorial governance refers to leadership and administration over the CFC-FFL group in a particular geographic subdivision or territory (country, diocese, vicariate, parish). It involves the handling of both the life and service of all members. It is a pyramidal authority structure. From the top down, territorial governance has the following levels1 :

Servant General
MetroManila/Luzon/Visayas/Mindanao/International Mission Coordinators
Country Servant (for Int’l)
Regional Coordinators (for Int’l)
Country Coordinators (for Int’l)
Region Coordinators (except for MM)
Area Coordinators
District Servants
Cluster Servants
Chapter Servants
Unit Servants
Household Servants

The task of territorial leaders is to govern and oversee the life and mission of CFC-FFL, in all its different and diverse aspects.

What is ministerial governance?

Ministerial governance refers to leadership for a particular aspect of the life and mission of CFC-FFL. It involves the handling of the personnel or staff assigned to the ministries (Family, Social, Pro-Life). These ministries can have sub-ministries under them. From the top down, ministerial governance has the following levels:

(Ministry) Int’l Coordinator
National Coordinator (for Int’l)
District Coordinator
Cluster Coordinator
Chapter Coordinator

The task of ministerial governance is to take the lead in the furtherance of its particular aspect of the life and mission of CFC-FFL. As such, it formulates programs and pushes for their implementation while guiding and overseeing the actions and conduct of the ministry. These programs and activities are meant to enhance and move forward the evangelistic thrust according to its particular focus (family, social, pro-life). The ministries are the visionaries and “experts” in their field and have a singular focus on their area of responsibility.

How do the two intersect?

The territorial and ministerial must come together as one integral work. However, because their tasks and focus are different2, then there is a need for coordination3.

Following are basic principles:

Both territorial and ministerial, comprising the one integral work of CFC-FFL, are equally important. One is not subordinate in importance to the other. The ministries are the visionaries and experts, and they are focused, and it is right for them to push for their advocacies, according to their mandate. On the other hand, the territorial looks to the overall picture, including the availability of resources, and ensures that the community is not overly burdened or set off track from its mission.
The ministerial proposes, while the territorial disposes. That is, the ministries push for their direction and programs, but it is the territorial that decides on implementation. This is for good order. However, while approval for action or implementation is vested in the territorial, it must be clarified that the ministerial does not just cook up programs to be approved or rejected, but the ministerial seeks to push its agenda according to its mandate.
So in case the territorial rejects the implementation of an action or program the ministerial is pushing, it is right for the ministerial to insist (in a good way of course), if need be, and in case there is still no acceptance, the ministerial can appeal to the next higher level of authority for decision.
The challenge will be to work as a team, appreciating each other’s particular anointing and seeing how God might be using the other. This is where servant leadership becomes crucial. Thus it will not be about power or turf or having one’s own way, but about how we can best serve God, together with all the other seniors that form one body doing the one mission, but with various facets.
Both territorial and ministerial should have only the one interest of the whole CFC at heart. Territorial leadership must not neglect the well-being of any ministry. Ministerial leadership must not think only of its own ministry’s well-being but also look to the larger good.

Functional relationship to each other

The functions of the territorial leadership are as follows:

Ensure implementation of approved programs along the life and mission of CFC-FFL.
Have a regular service/reportorial meeting with the heads of the various ministries.
Integrate activities of the ministries in its annual calendar. Take the initiative in working out schedule conflicts.
Assign people for service in the ministries. Look for eager and passionate servants, and avoid a “left-over” mentality, i.e., assigning leaders not from among the best available, or not giving adequate priority to ministry activities including funding. After considering the inputs of the ministry leadership, it is the territorial leadership that decides on final service assignments.
Consult with the ministry leadership before making any changes in the leadership of the ministries.
The functions of the ministry leadership are as follows:
Formulate its programs in consultation and active collaboration with the territorial leadership.
Work out its annual schedule and activities, and submit these for approval by the territorial leadership.
Look for its key personnel and recommend them for approval by the territorial leadership. If the territorial leadership does not approve of a choice of the ministerial leadership, the latter can elevate the matter to a higher authority for decision.
Coordinate and clear with the territorial leadership the sending of leaders or resource persons from outside the territory for ministry activities.
Propose its annual budget for approval by the territorial leadership, and propose certain expenditures as needed from time to time.
Make regular reports of its activities to the territorial leadership.

Practical aspects

All are subject to the direct authority of the territorial leadership. This is a pastoral and governmental relationship, which includes their life and service. On the other hand, those assigned to the ministries are also subject to the authority of the ministerial leadership but with regard to their specific service in the ministry.
Ministry coordinators should not implement any program or activity without the express approval of the territorial leadership.

Service structure

In accordance with territorial governance, there is a solid-line authority structure as follows:

Under the Servant General are the International Coordinators for Family Ministries, Social Ministries and Pro-Life Ministry.
Under the District Servant are his Cluster Servants and the Family Ministries District Coordinator (DC), Social Ministries DC, and Pro-Life DC.
Under the Family Ministries District Coordinator are the KFL, YFL, SFL, HFL and SvFL District Coordinators (apply to SocMin and Pro-Life as appropriate).
Under the Cluster Servant are his Chapter Servants and the Cluster Coordinators for KFL, YFL, SFL, HFL and SvFL.
Under the Chapter Servant are his Unit Servants and the Chapter Coordinators of KFL and YFL and the Chapter Servants of SFL, HFL and SvFL.

In accordance with ministerial governance, there is a dotted-line authority structure as follows:

Under the Family Ministries International Coordinator (FMIC) are the International Coordinators for KFL, YFL, SFL, HFL and SvFL. The FMIC is assisted by the Young Ministries Coordinator for yCFC, KFL, YFL and SFL (apply to SocMin and Pro-Life as appropriate).
Under the International Coordinators are the National Coordinators.
Under the National Coordinators are the Regional Coordinators.
Under the Regional Coordinators are the District Coordinators.
Under the District Coordinators are the Cluster Coordinators.

The exception to the rule

It has been said that the Ministries (Family, Social and Pro-Life) function as staff. However, the Ministries can also have their own operational functions as the need arises. Examples of these are:

Morning Star schools run by EFI.
Outreach to Indigenous Peoples run by EFI.
Legislative advocacy by Pro-Life.

In these, the Social Ministry leads, while drawing support from the membership and territorial leadership.

The approval for such initiatives is subject to the SG.

The role of fulltime pastoral workers

Among other things, the fulltime pastoral worker (FTW):

Will be the point person when cascading the ministry programs into the district (District Servants should determine which ones are relevant or need to be prioritized).
Will bring with him/her a host of activities that support the programs, but will coordinate at the district level on which of these are suited to the needs.
Will be invited to attend district meetings, and will be involved in ensuring ministry events/activities are communicated and supported, while district/cluster/chapter events are also noted, so schedules are in synch and participation is maximized.
Will coordinate closely with the FamMin/SocMin/Pro-Life Coordinator of the district to ensure that all communications directed through both the District Servants and Chapter Coordinators pertaining to the programs and activities are known and any gaps are closed.

A note on being parish-based

CFC-FFL seeks to establish itself in the parishes and dioceses and be a servant to the Church. At times the parish will have its own programs and priorities, while CFC-FFL has its own basic charism, mission and programs. What if there is a conflict?

Our guiding principles, as CFC-FFL, ought to be as follows:

We seek to serve the parish or diocese according to our particular charism. As such, we should proactively offer our programs.
If the parish priest or bishop desires us to serve in a way that is not part of our current programs, then we should consider this. This is then studied by both the ministerial and territorial in order to come up with a mutually acceptable program.

A note on households

The territorial and ministerial governance relates to service. But part of the pastoral structure is the existence of households. These are pastoral groups intended to support and enhance the spiritual life of members. Every CFC-FFL member belongs to a household for personal pastoral support.

Households are different from service groupings, though at times the two might intersect. Households are formed by bringing people together who can help enhance each other’s spiritual growth, while service groups concern themselves with the conduct of one’s service. Households should not normally be formed just according to service groupings.


To clarify the inter-relationships more, the following attachments are provided:

Pastoral-organizational structure
Service structure

1 Certain levels may not be required in a given territory because of size of membership, so it is not necessary that all these levels exist everywhere.
2 Though both are always in line with the overall vision and mission of CFC-FFL, and enhance the basic thrust of evangelization.
3 Tension may come, as each looks to its own responsibilities. Such tension is not necessarily bad, as it can result in different points-of-view and even contrary opinions coming together to result in a better thought-out, discussed and discerned decision or action.

Approved. Dec 4, 2008
Revisited June 17, 2009

Copyright 2008 Couples for Christ Foundation, Inc.
Apartelle 12, Star Mall, Edsa corner Shaw Blvd.
Mandaluyong City 1550, Philippines
Tel. Nos. +63(2) 718-2213 * Fax No. +63(2) 718-2213
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