Guidelines for Best Shepherding Practice

ShepherdLoveA friend asked me (paraphrasing his question), “How may UBF communicate the best practice of shepherding?” This is my short reply.

When “shepherding sheep,” the shepherd should repeatedly and primarily employ persuasion, reason and gentle appeals. The shepherd should never resort to coercion, intimidation, shame, threats, guilt-tripping, punishment, humiliation, retribution, silence treatment, etc. Why not? The sheep/junior will feel that they have no choice but to “just obey” their shepherd—or face consequences. This is spiritually abusive. It is control and manipulation. Primarily, it miscommunicates the gospel which gives freedom (2 Cor 3:17; Gal 5:1; Jn 8:32).

Ultimately, there must be the utmost respect for the individual person’s choice, even if and especially if it goes against the wishes and direction of the shepherd or chapter director. Communicating that it is either “my way or the highway” is arrogant. It is saying to sheep/juniors, “I am God to you. You must obey me.”

This is NOT what the father of the prodigal son–the perfect shepherd–did in Luke 15:12. He respected his son’s (sheep’s) horribly destructive decision. He continued to love him with brokenness and weakness, without ever shaming him, punishing him, threatening him, or humiliating him in any way.

In brief, shepherding must communicate grace, and not UBF “law” and “core values” which is NOT the gospel.

If just this one single change and shift occurs in the way UBF “shepherds sheep” throughout the UBF world, I believe that many miraculous signs and wonders will happen by God’s grace and power.

Is this Biblical?

Should this be communicated to all UBF chapter directors, shepherds and Bible teachers  throughout the world?

Will these guidelines be accepted and embraced by UBF shepherds and chapter directors?


  1. Good question: “How may UBF communicate the best practice of shepherding?”

    Here are my thoughts. And I’m liking your 10 commandments article more and more Ben!

    1. Deal with the cult allegations openly and honestly. Until you do that, ubf is going to have a very difficult time communicating anything.

    2. Do the opposite of most of what you teach. Last year someone online complimented me and asked how I could come up with such wise words. I replied that I just think about what I was taught to do, and do the exact opposite. That direction has helped me immensely.

    3. Recognize the uniqueness of each human being. Each person is unique and requires specialized help. No one deserves to be guilt-tripped into conforming to one identity.

    4. Be aware of seasons of life. Notice that there are seasons that last for years, for months or eve just for days. Don’t fight against these seasons with “spiritual disciplines”. Instead ride the ocean of life.

    5. Cling to the buoy of grace. There are multiple gospel messages, such as peace, grace, kingdom, glory and life. These are explicitly identified in the bible.

    6. Stop. Stop and breathe. Stop making the bible an idol.

    7. And finally… have a beer or two.

    • “And finally… have a beer or two.”

      I can already see some hardliners cringe when reading this. But hey, didn’t even Jesus drink a beer or two with his friends? And when they ran out of beer, he made more. Well, ok, the Bible says it was wine, not beer, but as a German, I like to think it was beer, and maybe that’s not even so far-fetched (see

    • I think Germans know beer better than we Americans! You raise a good point to consider Chris. I’m not sure of the value of thinking about this, but it is a wonderful illustration of how to approach the bible. It’s possible and rather likely that “wine” in the bible does not equate to a bottle of 13.5% merlot that we know today. This is an example of taking bible words and ascribing today’s meaning to the words. Now wine and beer may seem harmless, but consider that the same concept is done to the word homosexual. That word as it is used today is completely unrelated to 1 Corinthians 6:9.

      But back to beer. Why did I list “have a beer” as a best shepherding practice? I should explain further. And btw, “beer” is perhaps the best way to explain where I’m at spiritually these days. If you need a bible verse, then look at Proverbs 31:6 :) These days I only attend church services once a month or so. The other Sundays I happily and peacefully blog and drink beer, and watch sports on TV and play with my youngest son.

      > Having a beer with someone is normally a rather harmless way to keep the Pharisees away (Note: if someone has a drinking problem this would not be a good approach, but for most people a casual drink is not a problem, just remember one simple rule: drink only when you are happy, not when you are sad. It would be wise to avoid a situation like Isaiah 28:7 :)

      > Having a beer with someone is a means of forming friendships. I have been utterly stunned to realize that the “high quality” fellowship we had in ubf pales in comparison to beer fellowship. Let me restate that: Beer buddy fellowship is DEEPER than the standard ubf fellowship of sitting in a meeting. So that is a big reason why I say “have a beer”. It means, “get to know the people around you.” I have a vision of ubf people around the world having a bonfire made out of folding chairs and drinking beer together.

      > Refusing to have a beer at a social gathering might seem like a way to witness to them, and perhaps it can be at times. But beer fellowship keeps me rooted in my humanity. I am not some super-apostle. I am human.

    • Mark Mederich

      funny how even the bible can be an idol, especially if interpreted extremely

  2. namuehling

    I have thought about this quite a bit, not just in terms of UBF, but in terms of American churches in general. I think that we have to realize that God does not need us! God can accomplish his work without us. When we maximize the importance of our work, it diminishes God’s work. However, I do believe that God, out of His abundant grace, uses people when they love others in the right way. This, of course, begs the question, “What is the right way to love others”? Ben, I liked your use of the Father in the parable of the prodigal son and believe this can illuminate this question somewhat. His love was unconditional and undemanding. The preservation of the relationship seemed to be the highest priority. In contrast, many seem to want to present “truth” as the highest priority, at the expense of many relationships. Often, this “truth” is not even Biblical, but instead some form of tradition, church doctrine, etc. Demands, expectations, etc., do not foster healthy relationships. If people could simply love one another, God will work. God will change behavior. Our job is to love others. God is the only one that can change others. When we are arrogant enough to believe that we can fundamentally change another person, I believe we are in danger of being taught humility-which is not a fun lesson.

  3. namuehling

    Brian, I think your numbers 3 and 4 also help to illuminate how to love others in the right way. People and their situations are certainly unique and the right way to love them is different. I think I learned this having children. The right way to love each of them is somewhat different. The right way to love them when they were babies is different than the right way to love them now. This should be self-evident, but. . .

    • Hey Nick, glad to hear your comments. It was great seeing you the other night! Hope to invite your family over soon.

      Yes, indeed, I’m learning that a father must learn and adapt to new ways to show love to children, especially when they become adults!

      I learned something amazing through my PhD friends lately: The point of mentoring is to raise up peers.

      I think I should repeat that: The point of mentoring someone is to equip them and guide them until you can be peers, equally working together and fully capable of challenging each other!

    • Can you believe it? We have an adult child now :)

  4. +1 Great to hear from you Nick!

  5. Maria Peace
    Maria Peace

    Nice article Ben. Your question, “Is this Biblical?” My answer is yes!!! Isaiah 42:1-3 tells us the character of the servant of God who will bring justice. He will not break a bruise reed or snuff out a smoldering wick.

  6. I recently (last few months) confronted a senior American shepherd in regards to his shepherding practices with one student from over 5 years ago. For some reason, his situation came to mind when I was examining my own shepherding practices and those of leaders around me. While this student was in our ministry (over 5 years ago) he called me and said that he was feeling A LOT of pressure from his shepherd in regards to a decision. I later called the shepherd and explained my conversation with the sheep. Not sure the exact wording, but the shepherd said he would back off. When I confronted that shepherd a few months ago, asking him about his own shepherding practices, he felt that he had done absolutely nothing wrong, and then he went into an explanation about the sheep, his problematic past relationships, especially with his father etc. I could not be sure that the practices were abusive, so all I said is that I wanted to just create awareness and just think about our shepherding practices. Just recently, I spoke with another current UBF member who was shepherded by this shepherd (until the “sheep” cut ties), and he confirmed that this shepherd was still practicing those practices and he experienced them!!! It was confirmation of what my gut was telling me. This shepherd has no idea of what abusive practices are! Today, right now. I think we have a problem.

    • I hear you, Mark. I think this should be the first pig topic: “What is spiritual abuse” (subtitle: How to identify and avoid the B.I.T.E model)

    • Brian, you always comment in acronyms and half the time I don’t understand what you say;)…
      MarkO I agree that there is a problem. This past weekend I was at a UBF conference and I couldn’t take the spiritual abuse. I physically felt like I was suffocating because of all the put downs and guilt trips. They were not directed towards me, but other people. Yet no one says anything and the “leader” isn’t even aware of it.
      It was a really hard weekend for me because I love all those people who go to that church and I don’t understand how they can take it. The word picture that comes to my mind is a bruised weed getting goaded to work harder and harder. It is a problem

    • “This shepherd has no idea of what abusive practices are!”

      And why was that the case? Because he lived and was spiritually raised up in an environment where such practices were considered normal, and even spiritual. And I’m pretty sure that shepherd learned these things directly or indirectly from Samuel Lee, who was considered to be a role model. Everybody tried to imitate him, even in little things like the way how he cleared his throat. That’s why talking about the abusive practices of Samuel Lee is so important – it was not just a personal problem, but a problem that affected the whole ministry because everybody learned from him, in a very effective way, because he had been at the top of the pyramid of masters and disciples.

    • MJ: ubf trained me to use cryptic acronyms, sorry! But I do so intentionally sometimes so that maybe ubfers can hear how weird they sound…

      PIG = Particular Interest Groups for the upcoming ubf big conference. The deadline for submitting articles was already passed when the announcement went public on their site. A far as I know, the topical sessions are being overseen by 2 hardliner Korean missionaries and our good friend JohnY (please pray for him!).

      BITE = Behavior, Information, Thought and Emotion control model, as developed by Dr. Steven Hassan at FreedomOfMind. He is an ex-Moonie and has much relevant info for ubfers.

    • Brian, just FYI – there is a steering committee for the Interest Groups (formerly known as my little piggies) and this steering committee includes a multi-generational group of participants. I appreciate the “shout-out” and prayers but we are working cooperatively on this in ways that energize and empower me, and not in the negative ways that you suggest. “Hardliners” are not usurping control. For now, there is mutual cooperation. Just setting the record straight there. But yeah, pray for our IG steering committee to come up with encouraging, edifying and empowering interest groups.

      Maybe a UBFriends Interest Group reunion? Finally get to know that anonymous commenter in person! Who is that Brian Karcher anyway? Who is MJ? Who is JoeCool? Who is John Y? I guess there is no way to find out unless someone proposes a UBFriends interest group.

      Deadline for IG proposals has not passed: May 15th. UBFriends are welcome to submit proposals.

    • Ah ok, I mistook the April 15th and May 15th deadlines, so there is time to submit proposals.

      I won’t be doing that because I couldn’t possibly submit something without a litany of cursing. But maybe someone could discuss “How not to be a cult?”

    • @JohnY: “I guess there is no way to find out unless someone proposes a UBFriends interest group.”

      Maybe I should submit my “ubfriends PowerPoint” that I threw together in 15 minutes because PH added my name to the list of IG presenters without my knowledge at a national staff conference? And would the IG participants be allowed to discuss ubfriends more than 5 minutes without being cut off by the IG moderator who became too uncomfortable with the topics!?

      Talk about ubfriends at a ubf meeting? Yea right. Been there, done that.

      If anyone wants to read my presentation, here it is.

    • Consider this: ubf will NEVER EVER present a PIG called “How not to be a cult” or “The Dangers of Spiritual Abuse” or “How to avoid Authoritarianism” or “A History of the Failed Shepherding Movement in the USA” or “Why Controlling Someone’s Marriage is Unhealthy” or “How to Submit to the Holy Spirit” or “Think for yourself: A Survey of Critical Thinkers” or “The Failures of ubf and What we are doing about it” or “The Incredible, International, Inspiring Impact of the ubfriends blog”….

      Isn’t that a tell-tale sign?

  7. Correction: PIG was previously used to refer to Peer Interest Groups for the upcoming summer conference. They are now being referred to as Interest Groups to avoid the obvious. I think they are a great opportunity for dialogue. But I do not think that is the appropriate forum to discuss shepherding practices. This is way too big an issue for this setting and the people who need to be there probably will not be there. When I worked at a child psych program, we had mandatory trainings, eg. proper restraint practices. We were told what was acceptable and so long as we did things that way, we were covered from any lawsuits. We were also told, if you use techniques outside of these accepted forms, you are on your own, and we will not defend you! Shepherding practices should be mandatory training led by senior leadership, which means they need to understand what spiritual abuse is and be accountable for its usage in the past, renounce it, and teach appropriate shepherding practices moving forward.

    • Good points Mark.

      “PIG was previously used to refer to Peer Interest Groups for the upcoming summer conference. They are now being referred to as Interest Groups to avoid the obvious”

      …but that’s not what the PIG Forum states.

      “Particular Interest Groups for the So Loved 2013 UBF ISBC… Welcome to the PIGs Forum. Click into the “Ideas for PIGs” and read ideas, reply, or post your own new ideas.”

      People can say it means whatever they want, but us outsiders need to rely on what is documented. Perhaps the PIG Forum website and email should be updated? Maybe like before the conference?

  8. Joe Schafer

    Mark, I agree with everything you said, except I have a slight quibble about this: “Shepherding practices should be mandatory training led by senior leadership…” In another organiztion, that might work. But in ubf, the people in senior leadership positions have long ago been desensitized. For many years, they have buried these experiences and have no idea how much they themselves have been affected and, yes, traumatized by UBF shepherding practices. They lack the necessary self-awareness. The community needs professional help from the outside. And they need external advisors to hold them accountable. For over five years I have been advocating this. For a short time it seemed that this could happen. God opened some doors, but the leaders have subsequently shut them.

  9. I understand your perspective Joe. I have not been beating this horse (notice I did not say dead) nearly as long as you have, but my prayer is that this year progress will be made. I envision a summit format, professionally mediated, that will bring the body together to address the issue.

    • Yes please. I hope there will be progress this year and professional help, especially for missionaries in the mission field who do not realize the harm they are doing, but are being praised for it.

      I also considered professional counseling for myself because after years of those long meetings and rebuke sessions it affects your self-esteem/self-worth and view of God and the church. I still haven’t come to terms with certain people, but I really would like reconciliation sometime soon hopefully. Anyways, my point is professional help is good.

  10. Speaking of the upcoming conference… anyone else notice the blatant snub in the program? Notice what John passages are being presented…

    The passages are John 4, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, and Matthew 28 of course.

    What’s missing? John 17, most notably, the singlemost needed passage for ubfers to understand :( And John 14, 15 and 16 all point to Jesus’ prayer in John 17, the “key passage” of the series. But ch.17 is purposefully left out, and most of us know why.

    Summer conference program

    Teaching Jesus’ love and jumping over John 17 and 18 into mission at the end of John is a recipe for spiritual abuse. Skipping Jesus’ high priestly prayer is like trying to do Jesus’ mission without Jesus. That is what is wrong with ubf– self-glorifying missionaries who forget Jesus.

  11. Brian, The ISBC program was originally a joint collaborative effort between American leaders and some UBF staff. I loved the program based on John 13-17. But “certain senior leaders” said, “There is no clear world mission command” in John 13-17. Seriously? That really stunned me. The present program is the result of the irresistible input of “certain people.” John 4 had to be inserted AGAIN, as though that is UBF’s gospel.

    Is this change in the program a big deal? Honestly, No. But it is this sort of “certain people” trumping others repeatedly over 50 years again and again that just takes the wind out of the sails.

    Does the wind ever still blow wherever it pleases in UBF? (John 3:8) Or does the wind in UBF only blows according to how “certain people” say it should blow?

    • Joe Schafer

      It seems to me that every ubf conference has two main purposes.

      1. To remind the senior missionaries of what they learned 40 years ago.

      2. To remind everyone else who attends of what the senior missionaries learned 40 years ago.

    • Joe: LOL!

      Ben: Ben, you’re confusing wind with water. Wind blows in all directions, but water only flows downwards. So, to paraphrase John 3:8: “Water flows in a downwards direction. Once you hear its sound, you know that the same thing is coming as has always come. So it is with most conferences in UBF.”

    • @Ben: “John 4 had to be inserted AGAIN, as though that is UBF’s gospel.”

      No comment, because I can’t comment without swearing.

      “Is this change in the program a big deal?”

      Yes, it is a big deal given what you just wrote, Ben. If the leaders specifically took out John 17 and replaced it with John 4, that is a resounding statement that ubf rejects JA’s teaching (based almost exclusively on John 17) and pushes on to uphold the legacy of ubf’s teaching (based almost exclusively on John 4).

      @Joe: I think you described the purpose of the lectures at the ubf conferences. And Joshua nailed the paraphrase translation! But the purpose of a ubf conference is clearly the following:

      1. To renew ubf member’s commitment to upholding the ubf wishdream fantasy called Kingdom of Priests and Holy Nation (KOPHN). The actual program practically says this verbatim.

      2. To get a group photo. The group photos are the prize of every conference in ubf. It shows who is “in” and who is “out”. And it will be posted on as a slap in the face to anyone who was “out” of the picture.

    • Mark Mederich

      we can try to “mission” the world & it’s slow going at best; but if God “spirits” us who knows how much good influence that will have..

    • That’s the same thing that happened at this conference this past weekend. Everyone in the church wanted the conference title to be “V Kontakte s Bogom.” (V Kontakte is the Russian equivalent of facebook so basically “Facebook friends with God.”) But the leader didn’t want it and of course he got his way even though he claims “to have handed leadership over to native shepherds.” I don’t understand why every conference has to follow the same prototype its been following 10 years ago. What is the logic behind I don’t get it…

  12. I know how some “holy” people will respond to Brian saying honestly that “I can’t comment without swearing.” His honesty is refreshing, while some “holy” people’s dishonesty and sanctimony is truly far more nauseating as though there is no sin in their “holy righteousness” (Isa 64:6).

  13. What JohnY is doing with the IG is very good, I believe. But if the “certain people” of the ISBC is truly willing to allow UBFriends-type open discussions, then yes, I would be for it. Some relevant topics of interest might be:

    1) True shepherding (without abusive authoritarianism).
    2) True “marriage by faith” (without being controlled by others).
    3) Telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
    4) The 10 Commandments of UBF (which will cover 1,2,3 and more).

  14. What I would find interesting would be an IG on parenting that is NOT about how to indoctrinate my children to ensure that I will maintain a strangle-hold control on their life/career/marriage/family/children so that they become a life-long “coworker” in my ministry. I remember attending a parenting seminar at a conference where a adult-aged, male 2nd-gen stood up, tears in his eyes, and basically said, “You’re not talking about raising children, you’re talking about how to control their lives for your own ends.” His statement and the (lack of) response it produced was heart-breaking.

    • Joshua, that has happened at a couple of these pigs/igs/peer group/panel discussion/whatever you want to call it. ubf trains people to suppress emotion, and when emotions show up at a meeting, they either 1) nervously laugh or 2) quietly ignore it. Usually someone says “Let’s pray.” and the meeting finishes without ever addressing or even acknowledging the emotion.

      Speaking of emotion… sometimes I wish “Donny Dynamo” would return :) Anyone remember him? Probably not, but I like to laugh at my own jokes. Just imagine a Friday testimony with a body-building student running around the room shouting that he is a prophet… oh the good ol’ days of Friday sharing!

    • joshua, the same sad complaint “You’re not talking about raising children, you’re talking about how to control their lives for your own ends.” could be made by students fished by UBF, when you replace “children” with “disciples”. But thanks for pointing out that it is not only the students who suffer from that treatment; the children of members are another large group that is suffering, often silently. Though the abuse is certainly less extreme because after all they are children of their parents who do not want to hurt them, on the other side it is certainly even more difficult to bear for a child. I have seen several children of UBF missionaries struggling or becoming resolute atheists because of such treatment and the distorted picture of God they were raised up with.

    • “I have seen several children of UBF missionaries struggling or becoming resolute atheists because of such treatment and the distorted picture of God they were raised up with.”

      I have experienced the same thing. At least one confided in me that he doesn’t believe anything about Christianity or God. Yet he is able to “obey” and “be loyal” to all ubf activities.

      All this is the result of trying to obey Jesus’ “world mission” while leaving Jesus behind. ubf ideology is a form of godliness that denyies its power.

      So it is not the parents fault if their children don’t believe, but it is the parents fault for not knowing.

  15. Ben,

    how about a UBFriends open discussion Interest Group led by you and Joe , 2 senior leaders and a mediator (John Armstrong)? I am currently leaning towards not attending the summer conference, but I would definitely consider attending if there was more open and honest discussions like this.

    • Good idea. That is the kind of meeting I’ve been talking about having in Toledo the past 2 years. Maybe if it happens we could have someone tweeting or blogging real-time with real-time interaction from people like me who wouldn’t ever attend such a conference? Maybe even a remote Skype Q&A session? I’ll be a P.I.G. in the air :)

  16. Mark Mederich

    excellent shepherding article; maybe the father learned from once having been a prodigal himself, how to help his son..

    • Excellent thought, Mark. It is likely both sons reflected parts of their father. Intriguing viewpoint, thanks.

  17. Maria Peace
    Maria Peace

    My daughter is a beautiful person who is well educated, talented in music and art. She speaks three languages fluently Russian, Turkish and English and two not so fluently. She is a very accomplished person. She is well read and loves Jesus very much. But what she thinks about herself is so low. As a mother my heart aches. The abused that she received is still haunting her. I advised her to go for professional counseling. Her former chapter director told her his mission in life is to rebuke and train her. Every Sunday before we pulled her out of that ministry was a session of rebuking her. Her sister was in tears to have witnessed it. Our prayer was that our children will be a blessing to the Muslim world to show them the love of Christ. But there was no love of Christ in that UBF chapter where my daughter attended. John and I met Christ in UBF and we are loyal UBF members. I love our UBF people and also those who left our ministry. There is good in this ministry but we have to cut the bad before it destroys all the good. We need major surgery without it there will be nothing left to save. It will take courage from our leaders to do it and they have to do it soon. Gangere left untreated will lead to death. Joe I am thankful for this website and for all who comments here. It is a good place to talk and share what we think and what we have experienced.

    • Joe Schafer

      Thank you, Maria. Peace be with you!

    • Thank you for sharing, Maria. My heart aches too at hearing this.

      You hit on a common theme of leaders who are leaving, especially the mass exodus that occurred in Toledo: We left for the sake of our children. There are many other reasons yes, but that thread of thought is common among us. We simply don’t want our children to experience the dark side of ubf.

      My approach went one step further. I endeavor to give my children a certain kind of protection. If they are invited to ubf bible study on campus, all they have to say is: “My dad is BrianK.” :)

      Side note: I pity the fool who messes with the children of John and Maria!

    • namuehling

      I can attest to the truth of Brian’s statement. Some (certainly not all) of the reason I left Toledo were concerns about my children. I still cannot understand how ignoring your own children can be rationalized as OK, even Godly. Yet, it was encouraged to attend all of the meetings, which means babysitters would have been raising the children God had given me. Sandy and I had prayed for children and it took a few years to conceive-how could I then justify letting others raise them? I felt it was seriously squandering the grace that God had shown my family. I thought for a while that changes could be instituted, and that as I lead CBF, I could make an impact in the lives of my own children and others. Perhaps, in a small way, I did. But I found that I could no longer sustain spending so much time trying to help children know Jesus while simultaneously hearing a message every week that labeled me a loser for not “feeding college age sheep”. Seriously, hearing that weekly has an impact. Sacrificing children is not a Christian practice-instead it is the practice of the Ammonites and Canaanites who worshipped Moloch. Jesus welcomed children, while Moloch demanded they be sacrificed to the fire.

    • Thanks Nick. Very sad and sorry to hear this. Very sad and sorry that many in UBF have sacrificed their children on the altar of mission. Making an idol out of mission cannot possibly please God. I have been trying to make a plug for getting rid of the sick phrase “family-centered” by equating it and alluding it to being selfish.

    • joshua

      But Ben, if you get rid of “family-centered”, what will we say to guilt trip people who want to responsibly teach and raise up their children in the Lord as commanded in Scripture? “Bible-centered”?

    • “…if you get rid of “family-centered”, what will we say to guilt trip people…”

      Not to worry Joshua. We have plenty of other words like “couch-potato demon” or “Satan” or “nominal Christian” or “hallelujah Christian”…

    • Don’t forget there’s always “selfish Americans” (and Canadians too!)

    • Speaking of “being too family-centered”…if you are planning to attend the ISBC this year, check out these directions:

      “Any attendee who is not yet in college must room with at least one parent. Family housing has a minimum of 3 registrants of the same gender.

      IMPORTANT: Families are strongly encouraged to avoid family registration. If at all possible, arrange rooming in such a way that the parents split up to room with the children of the same gender going through the non-family registration process. If you opt for the family registration, your rooming and group Bible study arrangements will be made manually.”

      (source: ubf isbc information)

      Families are strongly encouraged to avoid family registration… what!?

  18. Thanks for sharing Maria. I am in near tears reading it, even though I already know of it from before. I am moved by your heart of a mother. If she comes to Chicago this summer, hopefully we might hang out, share stories, and chill! May the God of grace, mercy and peace be with her and all of us.

  19. Thanks, Maria. “We simply don’t want our children to experience the dark side of ubf”. I wrote about this a year ago I suppose. I wondered how you had stayed in ubf. The ubf leader you are speaking about has been “the best example” for all Russian leaders in ubf. He is doing his best to be “a good disciple of SL”. Actually I pray for him. He doesn’t know what he is doing. The missionaries gave him the “point” and the same name “point” so I suppose it will take much time for him to come to his senses. He is fully busy following the point. ubf supports him very much with giving him much honour. But I think that his leaving ubf one day will destroy the whole CIS ubf. More than that he will crush all the cult leaders who abused him and through him.

    Once I was in Turkey along with CIS ubf directors and leaders. We were walking and watching some old buildings or caves. The leader was translating from Turkish. Some other shepherds were talking. Suddenly the leader shouted, “Shut up! Listen attentively!”. I was the only one who laughed because I thought it was a joke, not a threat. But all the rest became very quiet and obeyed (they were from Ukraine and knew him better). I know that the same leader “rebuked” many people in Russia as if he had an authority. I agree with Brian that he is “a fool” by now. But let’s pray. (btw I believe that your leaving ubf would help him (and many others) a lot).

    • “But I think that his leaving ubf one day will destroy the whole CIS ubf. More than that he will crush all the cult leaders who abused him and through him.”

      Hint to Korean ubf missionaries: Don’t tick off the Russians…you might survive pissing off the Germans, the Americans, the Canadians and even the Koreans, but once you hit Russians you might not survive…

  20. @MarthaO I am not sure about doing a PIG at the ISBC (they will not welcome the “cute” topics I propose). But how about organizing it in Toledo, I would gladly come anytime! Topics: Shepherding, “Marriage by Faith,” Telling the truth, Be accountable, the UBF 10 Commandments, etc, which are related to all my recent articles. Oh, they are also all of my old articles as well!