Back to School

stYesterday we sent off our second daughter to college. Wow, time flies so fast! My wife and I are so thankful there is no ubf chapter there :) To celebrate this back to school season, I have three gifts for you!

First, to celebrate the new semester, all three of my books that detail my journey of recovery from UBFism are FREE on Kindle this week, from 9/1 to 9/5.

Rest Unleashed: The Raven Narratives – FREE
Goodness Found: The Butterfly Narratives – FREE
Unexpected Christianity: The Penguin Narratives – FREE

Second, my new book, Identity Snatchers, is being published this weekend! I want to express my gratitude for numerous former and current members who helped shape this book. The book is my attempt to deconstruct UBFism and to redeem my personal identity.

Third, here is an incredibly accurate song that I like to listen to when school starts. This song says what I want to say to all ubf shepherds as the new semester begins:

You sound so innocent
All full of good intent
You swear you know best

But you expect me to
Jump up on board with you
And ride off into your delusional sunset

I’m not the one who’s lost
With no direction oh
But you’ll never see

You’re so busy makin’ maps
With my name on them in all caps
You’ve got the talkin’ down
Just not the listening

All my life
I’ve tried
To make everybody happy while I
Just hurt
And hide
Waitin’ for someone to tell me it’s my turn
To decide.

Who made you king of anything?



  1. How do you find such cool lyrics, Brian? I’ve never seen or heard of the singer. Guess I need to be more dope!

    Let me suggest some errors of those who think they are the shepherds and saviors of others:

    * Thinking they are indispensable. That without them the whole world is going to hell in a hand basket.

    * Disregarding the fact that God might already be working in them, but NOT through them.

    * Wanting to save others with a spirit of conquest and domination, rather than with the spirit of humility, respect and gentleness.

    * Promoting conformity to be like them, rather than allowing them to discover their true selves by the work of the Holy Spirit.

    Of course, not everyone is like the above. But sadly there are those who are. Sadder still, this is rarely ever, if ever addressed. So it is likely to continue.

    • Joe Schafer

      Toh is dope.

    • “How do you find such cool lyrics, Brian?”

      Well I am keenly aware of any song or media that portrays reactions to undue influence. Sara’s song reflects that in a big way. She is singing about a boyfriend relationship, I think. But since UBFism teaches shepherds to “fall in love” with sheep, her song works well in a shepherd/sheep breakup, which is very very similar to boyfriend/girlfriend breakup. Or when the shepherd/sheep relationship progresses (as in my case) the shepherd/sheep break resembles a divorce.

      Katy Perry has SO many songs that speak to this, probably because she grew up with “born again” parents. For example: I used to sit quietly…you’re gonna hear me roar”

  2. bekamartin

    Brian, Congrats on the new book! You are so brave to take UBF head on like that. I think Andrew’s book must be like that (I didn’t read it).

  3. forestsfailyou

    Yeah the start of this semester seemed so strange. This is the last full semester I will have, and I have been at the same college campus for 7 years now. As I see all the new freshmen its reminds me of how I was when I first came to college, and how all my struggles were so different back then. I loved it when I first came to SIUE but after all these years I realize what I came to love about the place was the people, and now that they are all gone it feels empty and hollow. I realize I just really hate this place. I realize I just have no attachments here anymore. It’s weird, It makes me wonder how these UBF people can keep going back onto the same campus year after year after year, even as all the people that join their group leave them.

  4. Joe Schafer

    “It makes me wonder how these UBF people can keep going back onto the same campus year after year after year, even as all the people that join their group leave them. – See more at:

    Yes, when your life is all about campus mission, it is hard. You don’t get to know your neighbors. You ignore the churches down the street from you because you are trying to start your own. You tell yourself that everyone at those churches is a compromised, worldly, substandard Christian, not mission centered like you. You ignore the community where you live, because your loyalties lie elsewhere. You feel like an alien and a stranger, because you behave like an alien and a stranger. You act weird and have no room in your life to welcome people, unless those people are willing to become your sheep and join you in your quest to build a UBF colony (unlikely). We tried that for almost 20 years. It’s a bizarre and unnatural way to live. So glad we stopped.

    • Charles Wilson
      Charles Wilson

      In the LA chapter I was part of a planning committee and we discussed this issue from time to time. It would be reported that people were tired, burdened, feeling disconnected, lacking zeal and vision for the campus ministry, keenly aware of the lack of fruit, and busy with their jobs and families. Weekly 1:1 and Sunday worship attendance numbers and tithing were low and still decreasing. Morale was low. The “solution” each time was to gear Sunday messages and conferences (or whatever program) in order to get these burdened people to do the very things that burdened them even more. This was done by three approaches, mainly:

      1. Guilt. Call people American dream chasers, lazy, greedy, worldly, immigrants (not missionaries), not true disciples, and people who need to learn to sacrifice more.
      2. Renew false hopes and values. Tell people that their labor in the Lord is not in vain and they’re precious living stones shining the light of salvation in the world although the while ignoring all of the other problems and burdens.
      3. Make a call to faith in God. A passage such as, with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible, to inspire action to challenge the situation and lack of fruit at the campus or in your fellowship and give even more of yourself than before.

      What was not accepted? Suggestions to stop the conferences and trainings and pushing (as they were), and to take the time to earnestly listen to people, especially those who felt burdened and tired.

      In part it showed how influential are those who have been accepted as spiritual leaders, teachers, seniors and servants of God. And yet those who voiced these kinds of approaches the loudest were those who were more well off financially, had the bigger houses and nicer cars, and who had seemed to be living the dream while showing a face of spirituality and handwork. Not to say that they didn’t work hard on the campus as well, but the message was confusing.