Honorable Mention

What will 24 years of total sacrifice to an organization get you? An honorable mention. The new UBF newsletter was published online recently. The newsletter contained the usual stuff: lots of self-glorification talk, pictures of new “house churches”, detailed lists of people’s work habits around the world, etc. But this time there are some new things. New things which don’t bode well in my opinion.

An Honorable Mention

On page 22 of the UBF Newsletter, the closing of chapters is mentioned. Detroit UBF is listed as closed because of my resignation. However, why mention me? What about the other house churches who closed? What about mentioning the mass exodus of leaders from around the world? Those things won’t be mentioned of course. I am thankful that at least some facts are making their way into UBF history. However, there is a long way to go toward being truthful about reality. The latest newsletter is proof to me that UBF leaders continue to live in a “kingdom of priests and holy nation” fantasy land of perceived glory while ignoring reconciliation with real people.

A Time of Transition

On page 22 of the UBF newsletter, 2011 is identified as a year of “growth and changes”, a “time of transition”. Really… I thought 2011 was a year of exodus of leaders around the world, mass confusion as various chapters imploded and exploded, such as Toledo, Hong Kong and India. 2011 was the year of the 4th reform attempt. 2011 was (2012 continues to be) a year of public repentance by myself and by others. I thought 2011 was a year of “terrible times” where people like myself became poison to “knock down the faith of others”…



Much is touted in the UBF newsletter about growth. But the growth is “just barely”. The growth in numbers in North America is so small that it could just be a statistical anomaly. UBF ministry in 2011 in all of North America was 2,141 (again on page 22 of the UBF Newsletter). The article reports that this number is an increase of 60 from 2010 (33 from USA and 27 from Canada). Surprisingly the fact that the number of chapters decreased from 109 to 106 is included. I would not be too impressed with the 100+ number of chapters. Most of these are merely a husband and wife and a few friends; more of a cell group than an actual “church chapter”.

5 thoughts on “Honorable Mention

  1. hey, Brian! Pastor Ron mentioned that you’ve resigned as a director. What does it mean that you’ve resigned? Was it a formal procedure? Did anyone from leadership (like pastor Ron)try to stop you or something?

    • Hi David, Yes that is correct, I resigned as director of Detroit UBF in 2011. There is no formal procedure because UBF expects every member to remain a UBF member for life, and to never resign your post. To resign has historically meant “you are dead to the world and going to hell”. Now in 2012, it just means “God bless you, don’t talk to us anymore”. So maybe that is the result of 50 years of reform :)

      My process was this:

      1. I asked some questions and raised some issues (via a conference report) after observing some problems for several years and hearing the stories of coworkers in UBF who confided in me (April 2011)

      2. I received a rather harsh verbal rebuke immediately

      3. I asked more questions via email and phone

      4. I received very harsh emails (at this point it became clear I would not be welcome in UBF unless I stopped asking questions about past and current events that troubled me)

      5. After numerous attempts at dialogue (which ended in “shut up and go away” commands), I could no longer find any role in UBF.

      6. The 50th anniversary material was published (June 2011)

      7. I could not accept the new direction in the 50th Anniversary material, and told others about it.

      8. I decided to make it clear that I left UBF and resigned permanently. I had hours of in-person meetings (even with Sarah Barry) and phone calls and emails. So I sent email to over 200 UBF leaders saying I resigned (August 2011).

      So that is the 4 month “process”.

    • After this process, Chicago leadership tried to convince me to stay and find some role. I said no.

      Other leaders in UBF told me to just be a rogue chapter, and do my own thing. I said no.

      Some secret reformers in UBF tried to convince me to stay and help them secretly reform UBF. I said no.

      Our hope is only in redemption, not reform or destruction. Our family found a good grace-centered Bible-believing church locally in July 2011. We’ve not stopped going and I’m beginning to serve there.

    • “Some secret reformers in UBF tried to convince me to stay and help them secretly reform UBF. I said no.” — Wise decision. “Sneaky” or “secret” reform is not the way, even though some UBF members advocate it. It never happens anyway, and even if it worked, it would not be the right way to deal with problems as a Christian. We should solve problems openly, clearly and fundamentally. It’s very ironic that UBF leaders advocate such sneaky ways while at the same time they always demand “making a clear decisions of faith”.

    • Now I receive numerous emails saying (in essence) “Please don’t talk to me. God bless you, but no one wants to hear what you have to say. None of our coworkers want to receive your emails.”

      The last time I checked, this blog had over 3,000 unique people reading from around the world in the past 7 months. The highest volume is from cities with major UBF chapters. So I guess someone is interested in my articles :)