An Introduction to Lessons from Travis

wOne of the problems that comes with teaching is knowing what was previously taught to your students. If you assume they know too much then you will expect too much, if you assume they know too little you will waste your time reteaching things. It is important as a teacher to determine the level of the student upon becoming his teacher.

This is why it has been particularly hard to “disciple” me. Because I have already been “discipled” and not only that but in many cases the new teachings I have received directly contradict the old teachings. We have seen how hard it is to change someone’s mind once it has been settled, especially about people who have been strongly influenced and changed the lives of many.

The truth of the matter is that UBF is right when it says that a personal vested interest of a mature Christian can vastly impact a person’s lives. In fact sometimes it impacts their life so much they fail to see it. Like the grammar we use in our language it becomes so much a part of us that we forget it exists. Like the glass window out of which we view the garden, we know it so well we forget about it.

But then there comes a time where we hear incorrect grammar or a bird crashes into a window and we are jolted to the realization that something is present that was previously forgotten about. For me that something is Travis Peterson. In the following weeks (as time permits) I will share some lessons I have learned from Travis. I will try to have them posted every Friday. Travis was not the only person God used in my life at this time, but his teachings have come to be the most valuable in my time here in UBF.

The author makes no claim as to the exact memory of events, they will be only as he remembers them. Sometimes the lessons will be only stories, other times they may be essays on quotes from him. To many readers these lessons may be well known, to others they may provide examples for your own ministry. At the very least they will give a glimpse into what made me who I am today.

Michael Lanier


  1. forestsfailyou

    To be more clear, Travis was my youth pastor when I first became a Christian when I was 13-14

  2. Thanks for that clarification Forests. There is a basketball player with that name…was that your youth pastor?

    This looks to be an interesting series. I am glad you have not cut off your pre-ubf self. The norm is that ubf shepherds condition you to view your pre-ubf identity as sinful, unspiritual and just plain bad.

    One of the best counseling words my wife and I got from our Christian pastor was to re-connect with our pre-ubf self and to find our authentic narrative. Only then can we participate in a healthy way in community. If we all wear masks and cut off our genuine identity, we build a community that is not sustainable.

    That pastor advised us that one big issue with ubf training (very noticeable to him) is that they give you a new identity and ignore your pre-ubf life. That is a big red flag to identify a cult.

  3. Something stood out to me, forests, as an odd wording in your article:

    “…UBF is right when it says…”

    Why is UBF personified? And why use the “it” pronoun? This speaks to what I’ve been saying: ubf leaders condition you to submit your self to the UBF ideology/training system.

    The UBF system exists for people to serve the the system of thought and behavior. The harmful teaching propagated by ubf leaders is this: you exist to serve the ubf mission. This is like the Office Space slogan “What can you do for the company?” The better teaching is: the ubf mission exists to serve you.

    • forestsfailyou

      As far as I know Travis is a real estate agent in Kansas, so if he is a pro basketball players that’s the best part time gig ever. I personify UBF, because it is an organization whose members tend to have a (mostly) uniform set of beliefs. I am not alone in this distinction, as I have heard some pretty broad sweeping generalizations about this organization in here. UBF is an organization that holds an ideology that is unique. Interestingly when people want to point out that ubf isn’t bad they start making claims that their ideology is the same as other groups (like the navigators, or -and I am serious here- the Catholic church), but when people want to make ubf appear good then suddendly the ubf methodology and ideology is unique. That ubf heritage website is full of reasons why ubf is unique and how we need to return to what makes us special. This type of contradictory reasoning is elsewhere present. Ubf is a small part of the body of christ; ubf is worldwide. Ubf churches are small and humble; ubf has over 7000(!) members. Ubf is back to the bible; use the ubf daily devotional, otherwise it’s not daily bread, etc.

      I think the approach John Lee uses has wisdom. I never heard the term “ubf” until I changed chapters and was asked at the first sws how long I had been in ubf. I was highly confused by that question.

    • I think the approach John Lee uses has wisdom. I never heard the term “ubf” until I changed chapters and was asked at the first sws how long I had been in ubf. I was highly confused by that question. – See more at:

      Intentionally withholding the name of your parent organization from new recruits. Is that really a wise practice or is something else going on?

    • forestsfailyou

      In my experience the term UBF can barely be applied to that chapter. They do not do any sort of the practices that lead to abuses. In fact I suspect he has come under fire from hardliners for this break from tradition.

  4. forestsfailyou

    Although come to think of it, since I left he registered the group with the college under the name UBF.