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Several have asked about our copyright policy on the many resources available at FAST, out of a desire to pass them on to others. To answer this question, we have prepared a few brief notes to clarify our position.
First, we are thrilled you have found our materials valuable and that you want to share this information with others. Thank you! The truths of God's Word are incredible, and should be shared widely. And in fact, sharing a testimony to others that you have received a blessing, and passing on the gems you have gleaned to others are important keys to maintaining and preserving your experience. So we want you to be able to pass on what you have learned.
On the other hand, we have invested countless hours developing the specific content we offer at FAST. And we use these resources to support our ministry. This is what makes it possible for us to provide a website like this, offer support to our students, and have the time to develop even more resources. When our original content is freely redistributed, it makes it more difficult to meet our ministry needs. Rather than coming to our site, joining our community, signing up for classes, and engaging with coaches, people read the material somewhere else and we miss out on the opportunity to build a relationship with them. There is less chance these will become part of our growing support team.
In the book Counsels to Writers and Editors, there is very clear instruction on this point. Consider the following quotes from pages 162-164.
God desires to bring men into direct relation with Himself. In all His dealings with human beings He recognizes the principle of personal responsibility. He seeks to encourage a sense of personal dependence, and to impress the need of personal guidance. His gifts are committed to men as individuals. Every man has been made a steward of sacred trusts; each is to discharge his trust according to the direction of the Giver; and by each an account of his stewardship must be rendered to God...
The ability to write a book is, like every other talent, a gift from Him, for the improvement of which the possessor is accountable to God; and he is to invest the returns under His direction.
Let not authors be urged either to give away or to sell their right to the books they have written. Let them receive a just share of the profits of their work; then let them regard their means as a trust from God, to be administered according to the wisdom that He shall impart.
To us, the counsel is clear that God's divine plan is for writers to retain ownership of their intellectual property, and to seek God's direction in using any funds they receive from it, to accomplish the greatest possible good for the advance of God's kingdom. The only reason FAST exists today, is because we have conscientiously tried to follow this exact course of action.
To try and facilitate the sharing of FAST resources, we have prayerfully adopted the following basic model. We recognize it is not the only possible model, it is simply the model God has impressed us to follow:
1) Feel free to share a brief quote or excerpt on Facebook or Twitter, in a sermon, or an email, etc. We only ask for a proper citation to the source, including a link to our site. This is normal, accepted courtesy.
2) If you would like to print out materials in a course you are taking from FAST for your personal study, that is perfectly acceptable. We appreciate you registering, being engaged in our community, and contributing to the learning environment. Thank you!
3) We do provide specially formatted study guides and booklets, in our study guides area for partners. This is one of several added benefits we offer to those who choose to help support the mission of FAST.
4) Finally, we do offer an option for you to share our resources with your church or small group. By registering with us as a training center, we unlock ALL our study guides and training booklets, to every person in your church, at an extremely reasonable rate. You can also purchase printed materials from our Online Store.
We appreciate everyone's enthusiasm for the information they learn at FAST, and are humbled by the excitement and kind words we have seen in so many comments. But we do invite you to work with us in following the sharing process God has put on our hearts. We are serious about doing all we can to help finish the work, and believe we can hasten that day if we all work together. Maranatha!
PS. Want to help translate FAST materials? Please contact us directly for additional information.