Greetings! We are very glad and excited that you have expressed an interest in becoming a part of a little flock! There is much work to do...work that we hope will have not only a significant impact on the people around us, but also positive eternal ramifications. Equally important, we hope this will be a place where we can get to know our Father and Master better, and experience (and contribute to) the agape-love that our Father intends for His people.
We earnestly hope that the next chapter in your life, if you choose to try to be a part of our Family, will be a very satisfying time of growth and learning.
Prior to your arrival, we think it is important to review a few important matters.
First, it is very common for people to read an article or two on JoshuaFamilies.info and feel they have found what they are looking for based on those articles. It is essential that you read the articles under Foundational Articles, and that you are in agreement with Joshua's teachings in the content of those articles. This is a requirement before you visit.
And here is the sum total of what those articles are trying to say...
...that Joshua is the Leader and Teacher of his disciples, we who try and follow him care deeply about what is true and right and we seek to live the Life and love he speaks of.
Many make the mistake of looking to a man or woman for spiritual guidance instead of to Joshua. It is normal for us to be grateful to the person who helped us either come to the Master in the first place, or helped us get to know him better. Being grateful is good, but if those people who helped you are doing it according to the Master's Way, then they are merely trying to live out and repeat Joshua's Words and teachings, and thus primary gratitude should be directed towards the proper Person! So, it is very important to know that the only spiritual authority here is the Father's anointed one, Joshua (or Jesus), and that you should not look to others as spiritual leaders...
Brothers and sisters and mothers, yes.
People who will try to love you and support you as you seek to follow Joshua, yes.
Perhaps good examples to experience at times, we hope so!
People who might remind you of teachings of Jesus now and then, yes.
People who might challenge you to use reason and logic well, yes!
More mature disciples who can help you understand the Master's teachings better. We hope so.
Leaders or Teachers who wield spiritual authority, NO. There is only one Master and we are all to be under his authority only.
Second (but very much related to the first point above), it is also very common for people who are helped spiritually by another person (either personally or by their words or writings), to view that person who helped them as somehow better than they are, or 'more holy', or some other such thing. It is very important to understand that we all have faults and weaknesses, and thus you should not expect to find perfect people in a Family! If you expect to find perfect people, you will be sorely disappointed! Yes, we are seeking to be perfect as Joshua teaches, but we have NOT arrived yet! Therefore, love-agape must be each individual's primary concern as we become part of a Family...each of us looking to give and forgive, to humbly help and to serve is the only Way the Family will thrive. We must look in the mirror first before seeking to help another overcome something. Expressions of self-pride and fear and selfishness ('its about me' attitude) will only bring contention and relational destruction.
Again, please carefully review the articles on our Foundational Articles page to make sure you believe you are in essential unity with us regarding who we are placing our trust in, how we can know the Way Home, and how we ought to be living our lives after the Life. Please contact us if you have concerns or questions.
Also, it is a requirement that you listen to reason and not be guided by emotions. If you are unwilling to listen to reason, then you are saying you don't want to learn. This is sure sign of a person being stuck in self-pride. People who cannot get past self-pride cannot learn and will generally be detrimental to those around them. Joshua teaches that humility is essential to be a successful follower of his. He also makes a pretty big deal about "truth", and truth is found and identified through reason and logic.
If you don't know if you can reason well, then please visit this wiki page and study these logical fallacies and then talk with us. Joshua says, "Those who are of the truth listen to my voice". We can only know if something is true if we are able to reason well, and if we reason well, we will be lead right to the Light especially when we ask the 'why' questions well. Sadly, both religious as well as non-religious people in general, do not learn to reason well, even thought they have been given a mind for that very purpose. Not being able to reason well leads to ignorance which is a lesser form darkness. As disciples or students of the one who, among other names, called himself "the truth", it is unacceptable to reject reason or to not be willing to learn to reason well.
If you are an emotional person, that is OK. This topic is not about some perfect personality type, because there is none! Rather, if you are an emotional person who tends to make decisions based on 'feelings', then you will need to change that and start making decisions based on reason and truth, not feelings.
A Few Practical Matters:
First, we encourage you to make an initial visit on a temporary basis. People come from all different kinds of back grounds and experiences and beliefs and it is important to truly have some core things in common. The way we try to live might not fit into your expectations, and thus it is important that you 'try us out' before committing. We recommend a few week initial visit to get to know us and what we are trying to do...to understand the way of Life that we believe is honoring the Life.
Key to the success of unity among disciples is having been rejected enough by the world that we will have essentially grateful hearts and thus seek to practice selfless ways - seeking to serve others instead of ourselves. If we have experienced some level of rejection from the world due to our faith in Joshua, and thus speaking his unpopular truths, we should be VERY grateful for others who want to be our friends. If, in contrast, we are just angry at the world and complaining about things while not being willing to learn and change, then we will not be beneficial to the Family.
The greatest among the followers of the Light will be the lowest servants of all. Please honestly consider the following:
If you are unwilling to evaluate yourself to see how much self-pride or fear or selfishness are playing a role in guiding your words and behavior, then you are not ready for little flock life.
If you are unwilling to listen to reason, then you are unwilling to learn and are not ready for little flock life.
If you are still in a pattern of selfishness and caught into the sad state of thinking mostly about yourself and having your perceived 'needs met', then you are not ready for little flock Life.
If you see yourself as worthy to be served, you are not yet ready for little flock life.
If you find it hard to be thankful for other's help and service, then you are not ready for little flock life.
If you are a taker instead of a giver, you are not ready for little flock life.
If you have strong beliefs about religious things that have no reasonable basis in Joshua's teachings or no reasonable basis in reality (by observation), then you are not ready for little flock life. Examples of religious things would include sabbath observance or a set way or frequency of 'communion observance' or wanting to pray in front of others, etc. Examples of wanting to believe things which do not bear out in reality would include God performing miracles today or God answering prayers for physical things, etc. Clearly these things do not happen so it would be delusional to say they do.
If you have strong attachments to natural or legal family members who are not followers of Joshua, then you are not ready for little flock life.
Second, you must understand and agree that all members of the Family must work as a primary way as expressing the teachings of serving one another and doing the work we are called to. There is the greater work and the lesser work. The greater work is bringing our Father and our Master to others and trying to build the Kingdom and thus the Family. The lesser work is working to provide food, clothing and shelter for ourselves and others. Everyone can and should contribute to this work.
You ought to be willing to work on average at least 7 hours a day on either the greater or lesser work. Being lazy and free loading (being selfish and thus taking advantage of others) is simply not compatible with the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth regarding helping and serving one another. If you feel working a minimum of 7 hours a day, five to six days a week is too much for you, then we don't believe you are ready for little flock Life. (If you have some real physical limitation that would prevent you from working at least 7 hours per day, then we are willing to listen and hear your story.)
Perhaps most importantly, if you think that following Joshua is easy...that living selflessly is easy...that speaking his teachings to others and taking the rejection that comes with following Joshua is easy...that living to serve others without concern for yourself is easy, then please, speak his words and live his Way a bit more clearly and faithfully in your life where you are now, and get back in touch with us after you have experienced what he says will happen to those who do those things.
Finally, get excited about living out the teachings of Joshua! They are not easy, but what of enduring value is easy? The reward for those who sincerely try their best, is to see and experience others enter into the Life of Truth and Love, and finally, Life Everlasting with our Father who loves us with an everlasting and perfect love!
Peace to you and safe travels : )