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The Threat of Team and the Life Business: A Warning to Fellow-Shepherds

As a shepherd of the flock of God, one of my most important responsibilities is to be on the lookout for potential threats—those teachings or teachers that jeopardize the spiritual well-being of the flock entrusted to me by God. The author of Hebrews writes regarding shepherds, “They are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account…” (Hebrews 13:17b, ESV).

For the past year and a half in our local congregation, I have been shepherding a family who had been involved in the TEAM and its Life Business. These folks were originally attracted to TEAM because of its perceived championing of family values, the opportunity for spiritual growth, encouragement to lead people to the Lord, helping people attain financial freedom, etc. As successful people, both in the business world and in their spiritual lives, it seemed to them that TEAM was an organization through which they could help many people. However, the more time, energy, and resources they invested in TEAM, and the more they learned about the TEAM, the more they realized that something was wrong. Over the past year and a half, throughout the course of countless talks and adequate research, we have identified what we believe are the chief dangers that TEAM poses to Christians and their local churches.

What Is The Team and The Life Business?

The Team defines itself as: “a training company that provides leadership development services and business-specific training environments. The TEAM is also a group of independent community building business owners who choose to work together to create a culture of inspiration, training, and leadership.”1

They seek to realize their present goal of reaching 1 million people through the grass- roots promotion of their products, distributed through their LIFE business. The LIFE business, then, is “a direct selling company that provides a compensation plan to its members that allows them to earn income based on the sales of LIFE products to both customers and also products that are sold through a community of other members that you register (downline).”2

The LIFE products are presented visually, using a wheel diagram, designed to assess areas of needed growth in any potential customer or member. The wheel features the following 8 F’s: Faith, Family, Finances, Fitness, Following, Freedom, Friends, and Fun.

In order to achieve these goals, TEAM members and LIFE business owners distribute training materials for profit to help meet areas of deficiency in the 8 F’s in a potential customer or member. For example, if someone is struggling on the home-front, they may be given a set of CDs on marriage or parenting. If they are having a hard time with finances, they may be given a book or audio resource on simple economics or money management. If they are struggling with their faith, they would be pointed to a resource, helped personally, or perhaps both. Each book or resource that is sold produces income not only for the one who sold it, but also for the who enlisted the seller in the LIFE business.

5 Dangers with the Team and the Life Business:

While it is not my purpose to exhaust the problems with the TEAM and the Life Business in this brief article, I do want to point out five areas of deep concern regarding their overall approach and methods, which could prove harmful to Christian families and their local churches.

1. The Team is Not Christ-Centered in its Approach to Life.

The 8 f’s, including faith, are all placed on a wheel with LIFE in the center. What troubles me is that faith is a simple spoke on the wheel, rather than the center of the wheel. It’s presented as simply 1 of 8, instead of the 1 that can produce a truly transformed life. Whether purposefully or not, this arrangement leads people to believe that their family problem, for example, is not a spiritual problem or that their finances are not connected to their faith. Even more dangerous, though, this arrangement may lead people to believe that their lack of faith in Christ is not their ultimate or biggest problem, just one among many problems.

READ
Differences over philosophy of culture must always affect cooperation

Interestingly, in his epistle to the Colossians, Paul tells the believers that Christ is our life (Col. 3:4). He is not part of our life, but our very life itself. After all, Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). In that same little letter, Paul warns the believers, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Col. 2:8, NKJV).

The phrase “not according to Christ” is a descriptor of all the potential dangers listed in vs. 8: philosophy, empty deceit, human tradition, etc. Each of these could be a study of their own, but for our purposes, it suffices to conclude that Paul is warning the believers about any philosophy or system for spiritual growth that is “not according to Christ,” meaning that it is not vitally dependent upon Jesus Christ. In other words, if Christ can be removed from a given philosophy for living and if the essential elements of that philosophy remain intact, then it is potentially dangerous and should be avoided. If Christ is not the necessary center, then it is man’s philosophy, not God’s. Paul’s point in Colossians 2 is that Christ must be the center, that in Him are “hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (2:3, NKJV) and that in Him “dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (2:9, NKJV).

That TEAM has an approach which is not Christ-centered is further substantiated by their relationship with Oliver DeMille, a graduate of Brigham Young University and an ardent Mormon, who served as an LDS missionary in Spain during his studies in the late 1980’s. At the most recent TEAM national meeting, held at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee this past summer, co-founders Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady hosted a time of prayer with this Mormon. Doing some simple research on Oliver DeMille, even from his own websites, reveal that he is a proponent of family values, political conservatism, and morality. However, as a Mormon (assuming his personal theology is in line with LDS), since he does not believe in the Deity of Jesus Christ, his teaching cannot possibly flow from the true Christ, who should be at the center. But since faith is just one of many spokes on the TEAM wheel, then inviting a Mormon, who seemingly has success in all the other 7 f’s, to speak and to enjoy a time of mutual prayer is apparently acceptable to the leadership of the TEAM.

By hosting the Mormon, Oliver DeMille, the TEAM has clearly violated Scriptural principles of separation from apostasy as taught in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, 2 John 9-11, as well as the entire book of Jude. If Christ were the center of the TEAM’s approach, then training from an individual who does not believe in the Deity of Jesus Christ would not be an option.

2. The Team Tends to “Peddle” the Gospel.

As Paul wrote 2 Corinthians, he was being attacked by false teachers, who were calling into question his credentials as an apostle and minister of the gospel. In his own defense, he writes, “For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ” (2 Cor. 2:17, ESV). In other words, Paul says that unlike other so-called teachers, he and his associates do not peddle the Word, since they operate out of sincerity and in the sight of God Himself (see also 2 Cor. 4:1-2).

Certainly, a minister of the gospel is entitled to a fair wage – even a double-portion (see 1 Tim. 5:17-18). However, the Scriptures warn about spiritual leaders and teachers who are greedy for gain (see 1 Tim. 3:3; 3:8; Tit. 1:7; 1 Pet. 5:2). While many who participate in the TEAM certainly do so with the best of motives, the fact remains that many people become wealthy through the sale of their Bible-based products. That they become wealthy is not even necessarily problematic. What is problematic is that wealth is often the drawing card or the reward for initial participation in the program, while the gospel is often the prescribed means of pursuing that wealth.

READ
Not the Real Problem

In a 2011 recruiting flyer for the LIFE business, the following questions are asked to potential customers: “What annual income level would like to attain in the next five years?” and “What trappings of success would you enjoy? (cars, houses, boats, travel, services).” As people, then, sign up as members and join the TEAM business, they are working to achieve these financial success goals, while hoping to also achieve these so- called “trappings of success.” The means of their becoming financially successful and achieving their material dreams is, at least in part, their for-profit distribution of gospel- based literature.

In years past at TEAM and LIFE business meetings, incentives have been offered for those who sell the most product and enlist the most members — incentives like spending a period of time with co-founder Orrin Woodward, strolling the Atlantic Ocean on his yacht.

Certainly making a living through gospel ministry is not wrong or even questionable. However, if gospel ministry is one of many tools for pursuit of personal wealth, then it is a problem. If the goal is wealth and not people, then the goal is wrong. If the gospel is your means of gaining riches, then your treasure is probably not Christ but rather riches. As Jesus said, no man can serve two masters.

3. Team Tends to Detract from the Local Church.

The TEAM is the most successful in recruiting its members from churches where the Bible is not being taught with serious depth or where believers are longing to be discipled or mentored. Since TEAM offers mentorship through the LIFE business resources, many hungry Christians are enticed to join.

When a TEAM member becomes involved in TEAM, however, they are strongly encouraged to attend regular weekend conferences, which often conflict with participation in one’s local church. Further, they are strongly encouraged to be at weekly TEAM meetings, which are conducted in the evening, usually midweek. Again, this can easily create a conflict with the schedule of the local church, as many churches meet for prayer meeting or small groups Tuesday-Thursday. The expectation from TEAM, however, is that if one really desires to succeed in TEAM/LIFE, they will attend these meetings with faithfulness. This arrangement puts TEAM members in a position where they must choose between faithfulness to the local church or faithfulness to this organization.

The TEAM often encourages its members to counsel with their “up-link” (person who signed them up) rather than with their pastor or with an “older woman” or “older man” in the church (Titus 2). This sort of practice truncates the God-given authority of pastors within a local church and thus within the life of a believer. Beyond that, the authority structure and rules for behavior within the TEAM can cause fracturing in the local church, as those who with different “up-links” are not supposed to discuss the LIFE business together. To add further detraction from the local church, God’s ordained vehicle for carrying out the Great Commission, the leaders of the TEAM have also been known to baptize its members during conference weekends. One former TEAM member, who recognizes the importance of commitment to a local group of believers, rightly commented, “TEAM leads you to cheat on the local church.”

4. Team Tends to Place Unbiblical Expectations upon Christian Families.

One of the primary “drawing cards” for TEAM and the LIFE business is financial freedom. As new members are going through the “dream building” stage, they are pumped full of the unbiblical expectation that if they would just be faithful to the principles of TEAM and LIFE that it would become possible for the husband to stay home during the day, spending enormous amounts of time with his wife and kids.

This sort of talk programs wives and children with the expectation that if their husband/dad would just become more successful in TEAM/LIFE, maybe he would not have to work a regular job anymore. This sort of expectation robs the Christian man of the joy and honor of a hard day’s work. Further, it creates an unbiblical posture towards work within the context of a Christian home, possibly even creating tension between husbands and wives.

READ
Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 6)

5. Team Inadvertently functions through the lens of retribution theology.

The TEAM does not have a category that allows for God’s sovereign trying or testing of one of His servants, i.e. the book of Job. According to their teaching, if you follow the TEAM/LIFE guidelines for success, then no excuse remains for failure. If someone is failing in any aspect of the LIFE wheel, they must have done something wrong, i.e. they must not be obeying what they have been taught through the LIFE materials. In their thinking, obedience must always be followed by physical reward, leaving little room for God to use suffering to bring about conformity to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:17-18, 26-39; 2 Cor. 4:17).

Such thinking leaves little room for understanding God’s mysterious trying, testing, or pruning of His servants and places TEAM/LIFE in a similar position as Jesus’ disciples when they observed a man blind from his birth and questioned, “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:1-2, ESV). In other words, to the disciples, suffering is always a cause of disobedience. Jesus replied, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:3). In other words, it is possible that suffering or failure is directly attributed to some specific sin or failure to follow biblical truths and principles; however, making that assumption in a given situation is an attempt to bind (albeit unintentionally) the hand of God from afflicting the righteous for His own wise purposes, which may not be known to man (see the book of Job, especially Job 38-42). When those in TEAM/LIFE are directed to help suffering people by telling them to go back and consider where they have failed to follow the principles of TEAM/LIFE, these counselors are coming dangerously close to the thinking of Job’s friends, who, when they saw Job’s suffering and assumed some personal sin in his life, replied: “Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert the right?” and “God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves” (Job 8:3, 11:6).

Conclusion:

Shepherds, as you watch for souls, if any in your flock or sphere of influence are involved in TEAM/LIFE, please warn them about the concerns presented in this document. If you decide to encourage them to leave TEAM/LIFE, please understand the enormity of the pressure they will face from TEAM leadership to stay within the group. Lost members equals lost financial profit. Most who are thinking about leaving will be given a recording of a manipulative talk, which lays out the top reasons that people quit a good endeavor. Shepherd these people; help them see how TEAM/LIFE: (1) is not truly Christ-centered in its approach, (2) that it tends to peddle the gospel, (3) that it tends to detract from the local church, (4) that it tends to place unbiblical expectations upon families, and (5) that it tends to operate through the lens of retribution theology.

Dave and his wife Emiley, together with a small group of believers, established Lakewood Baptist Church in fall 2009. As lead pastor, Dave focuses on expository preaching, Bible teaching, and evangelism.

About Guest Author

This guest article has been published because an editor has determined its contents to be supportive of the values of Religious Affections Ministries. Its publication does not imply full agreement between its author and RAM on other matters.



Endnotes:

  1. See the FAQ section on their website: the-team.biz []
  2. From the Member Compensation Plan booklet, dated Nov. 1, 2011. []

66 Responses to The Threat of Team and the Life Business: A Warning to Fellow-Shepherds

  1. Good article. TEAM originally came from Amway. They prey on the needy and gullible. They sell false hopes and dreams to people who are susceptible to these suggestions. My church pastor believes that most MLM's are people selling empty dreams. Some will even use God as their motivation (i.e. "Amway is a God pleasing business")

    The truth is that you cannot have two masters. You cannot serve God and money. These types of groups take the focus off God and focus that attention to money and chasing dreams that will never materialize.

    I believe many of the uplines/leaders are corrupted and knowingly rip off their followers.

  2. I was on team a number of years ago when they were still with Amway. I do agree and see the pastors point about team. However my experience was really good. I grew a lot stronger and more confident in myself. My freinds noticed a difference in me and would comment that what ever I am doing don't stop becasue you are more alive than we have ever seen you. I learned a lot from the books that I read and have put a lot of the knowledge into play in every area of my life since i have left team. My experience in team grew and strenghed me in so many areas that were needed at the time.

  3. Great article! The rave of team is the " Life " information. I recently got out and I believe in the Bible and it says to " Love God with all your heart and serve him only". The team goes against this putting their information first in my opinion. They boast of their business, but not enough about Christ. I will boast in Christ alone! To God be the glory!

    Chris

  4. Dear Pastor Dave, you make me appreciate the fact that you have pointed out the potential dangers of the Team/LIFE business from a Christian/biblical perspective and would it help if you could perhaps explain why your note seems to evoke in me a sense that you are fundamentally upset that the Team/LIFE organization is competing with the church (if at all or indeed!) for attention and hence your article?

    As for praying with Oliver DeMille, you may want to pray that this association with Team/LIFE will lead him closer to the truth, which is Jesus Himself! God Bless, Rykel

  5. Wow, maybe Team should just go back to juice or soap. I know one the leaders well, and have expressed some concerns about the business model (people losing time & money). But I do believe they are sincerely trying to spread information about the problems with the country (bad education systems and government etc) more than trying to really help people make money. Its problematic. But I don't think anyone should attack them as anything else than a business. And its wrong for them to create strife of any kind, especially with churches. The church is the center of society ideally. But it has unfortunately taken a back seat in dealing with practical every day problems that people struggle with on a daily basis, like why are people working so hard but yet are more broke and falling further behind because of a bad economic, tax and monetary systems, debt etc. Obviously the politicians are absolutely failing this country miserably. With Life, I hear alot more about leadership than anything else. You have to admit, we have become a nation of lemmings just doing as we are told by the school systems and colleges, instead of going against the system (getting a job), and venturing out to build something. A lack of critical thinking is a big reason our country has become so weak. And of course without strong faith and theology, critical thinking is lost. I have been told by an excellent pastor the reason the country is so weak is because many churches have become like the world. I agree. So what is taking her place to fill the vacccum are other things. We need stronger churches that do alot more digging into these areas biblically. If this current Life model doesn't work, or even collapses, they will end up moving their model over to something else. Hopefully get back to simple products for that people need to consume or use. I am an entrepreneur myself. It isn't easy. Let me tell you.

  6. I am a Christian who has already benefitted from this business. Is it possible that the opinions on this site are not entirely accurate? Is it possible that people's lives are being changed for the better because they have access to a better way to get information? How many readers of this website have read a whole book in the last year? How many know the whole truth about God or have a faith that they are avidly pursuing every single day?

    Is it possible that it is easier to cast stones than to look at ourselves and realize that there may be more than meets the eye?

  7. I find it interesting that "Life" or "TEAM" is compared to a church in the entirety of the article. Why isn't Walmart or someone's boat, or maybe their child, or, how about travel baseball compared to the church as well? The perspective seems to be that in order to continue to be a Christian, Christ has to be the center of everything you do or buy. When you go to Walmart do you demand that Christ be the main reason they have a store? When you go to a restaurant do you demand that in their mission statement they name the sole reason for their existence to be Christ? If so, where do you shop? Or eat out? Colossians 3:23 says, "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;" As a Christian everything I do is to be done 'as to the Lord', for His glory and for the good of others and me. The focus of my life IS Christ. But that doesn't mean that just because Goodyear doesn't have Christ in the center of their purpose for being in business or on every tire they sell that I shouldn't buy their tires or even have a Goodyear franchise. I believe you are trying to hold your congregation and others to a standard that is your own and not necessarily God's. Do you have good intentions? Probably so. Are you paranoid? Maybe. Are you trying to hold a business to the standard you would expect out of a church? It appears that you are.

  8. Dear Team Member,

    Thanks for the comments on the article above.

    In response to this thought:

    “Is it possible that people’s lives are being changed for the better because they have access to a better way to get information?”

    *The appearance of changed lives really is a pragmatic argument, i.e. the ends justifying the means. I will grant, for the sake of argument, that TEAM is changing some lives for the better. I would like to present a parallel argument to demonstrate why your line of thinking ultimately fails. I don’t know where your biblical convictions lie, but how would you feel about your son or daughter dating a non-Christian with the intention of leading them to Christ? This is diametrically opposed to the Scripture’s plain teaching in multiple places (litany of OT texts, 2 Cor. 6). However, it is possible that if your son/daughter dates an unbeliever, that the unbeliever will be saved. If this happens, do we then step back and *prescribe* that others do the same because a life was changed or do we say, “Praise God for His grace, that He saved so-and-so even though my son/daughter was disobeying His clear commands?” Obviously the latter! God’s grace overcomes our weaknesses, sinfulness, etc. but that’s hardly an excuse to prescribe the disobedience! Sure, people’s lives are being changed through Team because they distribute some resources that contain enough truth to actually help folks, but this hardly justifies the entire approach! Some lives have been changed by the Roman Catholic Church, but this is hardly because they preach a pure gospel, but rather because people in the RCC have read the Bible for themselves and amazing and graciously God’s Spirit has regenerated them.

    You also wrote: “How many readers of this website have read a whole book in the last year?”

    *I have read at least 15, not counting research. The site editor is a prolific reader! One of the contributing authors is the widest reader I’ve met! The site attracts folks who are also readers. I’m not sure how your question is relevant.

  9. Tim, not sure where you are going with this. Businesses like Walmart do not claim to be Christian. Team claims to be spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  10. Dave, I think Tim’s point is that members of Life may claim to be Christian and founders of Life may claim to be Christian but I’ve never seen it written on company literature that Life is a Christian company. Have you? Life provides information that is meant to improve people’s live’s personally and professionally.

    There are Christian materials available under the banner of
    the Faith “F” and those materials are extremely good. In sticking with Tim’s example, Walmart sells
    bibles as well and yet they aren’t scrutinized.
    Have you heard anything from Life? I would expect that their Life of Christ cd pack would be very acceptable to you.

  11. Dear Pastor and anyone else that reads this article,
    I am a Christian and a patriot. Recently I was introduced to Life Freedom cd’s and book then asked if I would like to attend a meeting. I did listen to the cd’s and was interested yet felt uneasy. I visited their website and felt uneasy. I have been praying for His light to shine on the path He would have me take. Your 5 points are well taken and I praise God He gives me grace to keep Christ as my center and the Holy Spirit as my teacher. You were able to help me put my finger on what made me feel uncomfortable. God answered this prayer in a big way. Thank you.

  12. Obviously you have not done your due diligence in researching facts before casting blame on others. Does “Judge not lest ye be judged yourself” ring any bells? I won’t waste time pointing out all of your errrors. I will however tell you all of the AGO religious material profit is donated directly to charities.

  13. Dave,

    I want to thank you for taking the time to write this essay.

    As a pastor and church planter, one of my concerns was the constant barrage of get-rich-quick scheme aimed at Christian people, often in the name of some version of faith. The big “A” was definitely near the top of the list. These schemes were invariably detrimental to biblical Christianity.

    As you’ve discovered, you’ll get beat up by the True Believers when you start to take their masks off. But for pastors who are concerned about their flocks, your warning ought to come as a refreshing breeze.

    Kevin

    PS – While I’m not sure why it’s important, I’ve read somewhere between 50 and 100 books so far this year. Can’t really say how many, though. It would be too much work to count them.

  14. Wow. Legalism and false teaching at its finest. These allegations are ridiculous. How many Life meetings have you been to? How many cds have you listened to? You are so quick to judge without knowing anything and that kind of self righteous criticism is why more people don’t go to church!

  15. Dave,

    Your article is very well written and you have genuine concern. As a current life member who has been around many different businesses and owned a few. I must say that some of the things you brought up are true and could be pitfalls. That however is the case with all businesses or jobs. Life is not a Christian company but it is based on christian principles. Ultimately it can not and will not take the place of the church. I have hundreds of people in my group and would not council them away from a church or a solid grounded spiritual mentor. Personally i have never been mentored to ignore my spiritual leaders, and i have gotten so much help in Self Discipline or as my preacher calls it Self Denial and Obedience.

    I must say that if I have to choose between going to work with a group of people at the local business establishment, or working with a group of people that want to have there time back. I will choose to work with a group of people that want to have there time back, time back to serve others and make sure there are living there life by there convictions and not there obligations.

    Once again, thanks for writing this article from the heart and I agree with the overall dangers of this and any other thing that might take our eyes off of Jesus.

  16. As I am doing my research on both the negative and positive I sense a spirit of pride in everyone who seems to bash this LIFE company. Most of the responses are bitter, down right childish and honestly can’t believe they are even adults. The responses from supposed “Christians” are what are steering me TO this LIFE program. What I have heard and learned from this organization is very simple. They are seeking resolution to problems. Period. On purpose. With CHRIST CENTERED principles. It seems LIFE is a Leadership/Business development company not a church so I am not sure why this article is in “defense mode” in fear of competition (PRIDE) to the “local church” .For those who don’t want the faith part they will still “hear” and be lead to truth where they would NEVER listen to it from a Christian or go to church. I have friends who were NOT “Christians” before but through this program have been lead to Christ which brings me to this question. When you referred to Oliver as “the Mormon” Dave, (Which I will pray that you ask God to reveal the coldness of your heart to even address anyone created in His image as this as opposed to simply addressing him RESPECTFULLY by his name. Honestly, that was the first RED FLAG towards YOUR heart and spirit behind your post), is your thinking more ) was your thinking more along the lines of “He’s a Mormon!!! RUN!!!” (which COMPLETELY contradicts John 6:37) or is your thinking more along the lines of “Be fishers of men” and praising GOD for this organization leading Oliver and all and any other “Mormons” the TRUTH of and in CHRIST?

    “You honor me with your lips but your hearts are far from me”….

    Romans 10:14 “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?”

    I will leave you with this.

    The church is FAILING. Marriages ore being given up on as opposed to the ACCOUNTABILITY of working on them (Small social “small groups” don’t always work) and it is perfectly acceptable.

    It is “normal” and “acceptable” to be in debt which is bondage, affects health, relationships and relationship with God.

    There is no “accountability” in most churches and in many ways the “church activities” keep people just as busy as what you are accusing TEAM of doing”

    What are you, as a shepherd, doing to FIX THIS? Or is it “business as usual” for you and just play the part and sweep the failing finances, marriages, families and decline of this nation under this rug?

    I can’t help but think how much more beneficial it would have been to PRAY for this concern and all the people your “concerned” about than to try to tear down another brother in Christ on a public forum. That is the difference between following “religion” and following CHRIST…..

    Be Blessed….

  17. I could spend a lot of time commenting on every point, but suffice it to say that LIFE is being analyzed as a Religious Organization. It is a business, not a religious organization. Yet, the founders and LIFE Members value the information to improve all aspects of one’s life.

    The idea that LIFE Detracts from the church is simply not true. Yes, LIFE Members are encouraged to attend weekly meetings on Tuesday nights Just like any sports organization, a job, or any other activity that meets on a particular night, sometimes there can be conflicts with a scheduled church event. Would you say a person should stay home from work to go to a Tuesday night Bible Meeting?

    One of the founders said, “Don’t use your church to build your team. Use your team to build your church.”

    The fruit on the tree gives testimony to the good that LIFE is doing in people’s lives.

    Jim

  18. Oliver Demille also went to Coral Baptist University, does that make him a Mormon Baptist. Your article is completly based on opinion and it shows. Its clear you have not done your due dilegence and are making assumptions. I respectfully ask that you recant this article because I believe you are creating a stumbling block for believers in the future who are looking to put their efforts into something that could help save marriages, help financial situations and yes ultimatly help people even become aware the need for Jesus in their life.

  19. Sir,
    I mean no disrespect, but I agree that there is not adequate information applied to this article. I have worked in many churches, youth, activities, counseling, etc. And what I saw was a generation coming forward that would stray away from Christianity because of people acting like something they were not. I have watched fathers be able to lead worship on Sunday, but be a abusive father during the week, I have watched broken families cause issues within their children’s lives, to which the church threw up their hands and would rather play judge then to disciple a hurting family to the love of Christ. As a youth leader I have watched youth stray away from God because what they were taught was love, was actually condemnation. When Christ walked this earth, he walked with love toward everyone he came in contact with. So why is the church more interested in playing politics instead of following the commandments of love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love your neighbor. You will be known by your fruit. The Life business teaches principle, it is not your salvation, it does not preach that it is your salvation, Christ is your one and only salvation. As a believer in Jesus Christ, in the Life Business I see a generation of people that do not know how to take responsibility for themselves, Which gives root to socialism and when socialism fails to give one what they want, rebellion is inevitable. The Life Business is meant to teach one the importance of principle vs. just going along with whatever one says. I grew up with “whatever one says” and I fell away from the Lord for a time and for this reason, my faith was not my own, I did not know why I believed what I believed because I only was told what I believe, not taught the importance of understanding principle. When I grabbed on to the Life Business, the material taught me to figure out what I believe and why I believe it (Faith) category which restored a deeper understanding of God’s Word and His love. I am not here to bash either side, but to say, we have a problem abroad and if Leaders do not stand up and lead by their fruit, we will continue on a destructive course to which we are responsible for. But thanks be to God for the grace He pours on us that we have the opportunity to change and the grace to fall back into his arms when we fail. Afterall “failure is a event, not a person” -Orrin Woodward. So many people in this life believe they are the failure, so again where is the love? Where is the commandment being fulfilled to love your neighbor. The church needs to stand on principle, but not judge with it. I think of the story of Jesus before the Pharisees and the prostitute and the question was asked to Jesus, the law is that she should be stoned for her trespasses, what do you say we do, to which Christ said let the one who is without sin cast the first stone. But we are so quick to throw the stone of judgment before asking, how did this person get here? What issues are going on in their lives that we can encourage them with? When working in a youth group I watched as a young adult came in as a visitor wearing immodest clothes according to leaders, she never came back, due to the judgment she faced. I found out just prior to her visit she was raped, to which her parents did not even care. Destruction of one’s life is not over night, it is truly a slow fade, so as followers of Christ, are we being watchmen? Looking for the signs of the evil one, or are we more interested in puffing ourselves up and judging? I’m not taking sides, because truly it is the actions of the evil one to create sides. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (NIV) Let my fruit exhibit that in whatever I do, whether I be the leader in the Life Business or whether I be a leader in my church. And as far as the Life business, you must understand that their are levels where people are still learning and gaining the fruit in their lives, just because one person in the Life business gives you a foul view, it does not always reflect the intent of the business. Just as I had said before we have a problem here and we as people are that problem in need of a Savour. And just to clarify who the Life Business is meant for:
    Although leadership is for everyone, not everyone will equip themselves. Therefore, it may be helpful to consider a list of people for which the LIFE materials don’t apply. LIFE leadership training materials are NOT for those who:
    LIFE Founders
    Refuse to take 100% personal responsibility for their results in life.
    Would rather fix blame than fix problems.
    Want an easy, comfortable life without having to earn it.
    Already know everything and are therefore unteachable.
    Have character issues they refuse to address.
    LIFE is for those who earnestly seek a better life, are interested in the strenuous process of personal growth, are driven to succeed in significant ways, and are committed to a life of excellence for a higher purpose.
    We are not a salvation company, nor do we deter anyone from working in their own local churches, in fact we promote it. A branch of our business is donated to AGO (All Grace Outreach) which is focused on missions. So Sir I hope this did not come across disrespectfully, it was not my intent, but taking a handful of experiences and throwing Scripture on top of it does not justify the true intent of the Life Business. Thank you

  20. I notice you’re selling books and have a “donate now” button on the right? That is a mistake right? I mean because who would tear down brothers and sisters in Christ for selling materials then sell materials on THEIR OWN wedsite and ask for money???????????????????????????????????? 0_o
    “Woe to you scribes and pharisees, hypocrites!…..”

  21. Dave Marriott,
    You have not replied since July 30th. More than one commenter has brought forth valid points that deserve a response. If you refuse to reply to all of these comments, then I also demand you recant this column. I also ask that you apologize to Life members and also to Latter-day Saints.

  22. Somehow I have not been receiving updates on this posts’s comments.

    *I was thrilled to hear Gina’s comments regarding God’s using this short article to help her see through the mirage that is Team. For each negative comment posted here, I have received at least three phone calls or emails those who either desire further counsel, who have been deeply hurt, or who have left Team for similar reasons.

    *Dr. Bauder, thank you for your encouraging words.

    *To those challenging the contents of the article, I have read through each of your critiques and in some cases I wondered, “Did they read my article carefully?”

    *To those demanding that this post be removed, that is a decision for the administrators of RAM. To those asking for apology from me, let me state that my conscience will not allow me to offer one. I stand by the opinions stated in my article.

  23. Wow is all I can say!!! The Life business and its info. are amazing, what you do with it is up to you. I am afraid our churches are failing miserably!!!! Are we not to plant seeds, water and harvest!!!!!!! I have been in the business just over 2 years and am nearly ready to retire my conventional job. I have met some really great people and watched them blossom for Christ and in their own life as well. (even lead one to Christ) Yes I have invested time and money. Show me a business where you don’t. Very rarely do I miss church where I am VERY involved!! I know in any type of business there are negatives and positives!! Many people get into many businesses and fail so is it because they are not following GOD. I follow GOD daily!!! I am in this to help others more than anything, and then to get back my time and freedom. This world is a mess and ANY help in the faith area from the life materials can plant seeds (Several leading Christian Authors Books are promoted as well and may well be in your very own library).
    Not everything will work out for the best but what are our motives. What is your motive in a response to these articles… I really debated on even justifying it with a comment. Sooooo people please remove the plank from your own eye before you try to remove my speck. Signed– One of Christs followers just trying to do my best!!

  24. The truth is Dave, your church organization is a business just like my life organization is a business. The difference is that we are open and honest about being a business. I suggest you focus on your ministry and ill do the same with the one God gave me:)

  25. If you pastors would do your research and understand leadership you would see that so many of you are following the traditional model that the State Catholic Church set up for church systems by demanding of your members instead of leading by relationships, and for those of you that think you lead by example wouldn’t feel threatened if you truly have a relationship because that is what will prevail in the end. So if your leading people to the truth than praise God and encourage them to excell to their greatest potential, and if they get truth from another source than praise God and encourage them to excell to their greatest potential. I don’t understand why you feel as if you all of a sudden have been given the authority to play God when you’ve only been given the authority to encourage people in finding and following the truth.
    You guys really need to read more books, and here are a couple i have read and been blessed with, Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkenson, Servant Leader by James Hunter, Bringing out the Best in People by Alan Loy McGinnis, to name a few. And if think this is a bunch of malarkey then i would suggest that you pick up the book Resolved 13 Resolutions for Life by Orrin Woodward, And see if this world wouldn’t be a better place with more people following this for a compass than whats out there already.
    Understand me please you guys have a great responsibilities as pastors to teach and preach the truth, but if you are cynical and judging than i would question you on having taken the path that the Scribes and Pharasees had taken by the time Jesus came to bring them the Good News.
    Life Leadership Is about getting people around the truth thru offering them asscociation books and cds. And whats so not good to be found in that Brethern?
    A Rescued Fellow Believer

  26. Charles Burner,

    Stop all of. The. Negativity , the team, and life business are

    Here. For a long. Time, its changing. My life for the. Good

    If you are not involved. You have no voice :)))

  27. This article is disappointing. It astounds me that a company is being bashed for reasons such as these. LIFE is a business not a church. It is however, made up of the church. I think its important for Christians to gather around the business sector. You see Christians around the pillars of arts and entertainment, media, education, family life, politics, why not business? I think that most of the problems we face as a nation today are result of lack of focus there. LIFE teaches leadership. plain and simple. We love learning. As I have attended a variety of churches this past year being new to an area, I find that the reason some may not quite see where we fit (business not church), is because our modern day churches are starting to focus on creating sermons and materials that feel more like leadership talks and seminars to a customer then they do intimate observances of your relationship to and the character of Christ. The church should be teaching the character and significance of Christ. Basic leadership principles should be left for further curriculum. That is where LIFE comes in as everybody needs to develop things like people skills, influence and much more. I noticed comments above about prosperity, dream building and mentor-ship being of concern. All I can say is that unlike some commentors, I am actually apart of LIFE so I can give a real and honest perspective vs someone who is just giving their opinion and judgement. My favorite part about doing this is that I get to draw out peoples dreams or you could say purposes, in fact I get to ask people and draw them out for a living. That alone is the most humbling and awesome experience. If their dreams fit into making a difference in the business world then there is a fit, if not I love to hand out material that can help them with whatever they need as far as professional growth is concerned. God places those dreams there and I love to see what He wants to do with people. From a business perspective, we are a real business, i got to leave my job last summer. My future children will appreciate that as my old source of income would have never provided this option. Its nice to not have my sales be pushing alcohol to people while working on Sunday. Now they are geared towards material that help people like Dave lead better congregations as churches usually all have leadership development material/ education budgets. Prosperity, lets see… what I love are Christians who want to provide financially for the causes of the kingdom and understand where their blessings come from. Having been with LIFE I know my blessings come from the Lord and that He has used LIFE to make that possible financially, relational and personally as I have learned and had to change in order to be prospered in all of those areas. Lets just say when God uses this business, He doesn’t let you stay idol. You can’t lead thousands if you aren’t staying sober minded and pure in everything you do. I LOVE THAT.
    So I read my Bible and then let God use people through books, talks and association to fortify. I think that’s so so powerful here. Finally mentor ship. Lets just say on fb this year, I have seen numerous church leaders posting about their favorite tv shows (mostly garbage), less than encouraging opinions and I notice that in some of these congregations there is really no one who qualifies to mentor me:( I have high standards. Garbage in garbage out. What I love about this LIFE organization is that people start applying the word and watch what they allow into their minds. They don’t gossip, they are dreaming again and are actually modelling it. If you are reading this article to try and see where you fall in your decision to join along I suggest these few things: Follow people who encourage one another, display the fruits of the spirit, see if the dreams God have given you can be accomplished through anything that LIFE offers whether it be in the form of finances, knowledge or both. see if your life would be sanctified and made stronger in Christ being apart of LIFE verses not. For me it had as before joining I never read my Bible,didn’t want to develop relational skills, was always comparing my success to others, overspent and was a tv junkie. I hope all of these suggestions help you to be able to make the right decisions. God Bless.

  28. This is a message for whoever wrote this website. I am 30-year-old A father to three boys and a beautiful wife I got involved with the life business at few years back only to make some extra money. had no faith but because of the information and opportunity help me with my finances which led me to better my marriage . And today I try to be the best leader in my family that I can. but aside from the money that I make if it wasn’t for this opportunity I would not be a Christian. If somebody would’ve came to me and try to approach me with faith I would’ve ran away. this business is amazing for leading people to information sometimes if you lead with faith you scare people off that’s why we lead to help people where they need it most but eventually everyone realizes that the only way to have balance in life is to have faith in God. The only reason why I’m sending you this message is cause if you’re a true believer in Christ you wouldn’t deter people from him and I know you don’t mean any harm and you’re just trying to protect people but if it wasn’t for this opportunity I would not be saved. I have been able to help so many people with this opportunity better their lives in so many ways I am truly building this business to lead people to the right information. I hope you understand what I’m trying to get at it just hurts me when someone I sit down with and is struggling in so many areas of life because the media has Inundated them with such bad information and then they go onto the Internet and see information like you have on your site and it deters them from the best opportunity that could possibly ever come to their plate . If I would’ve been on the site like yours before I got involved I would not be a stay-at-home dad my wife would not be a stay-at-home mom we probably wouldn’t even be married anymore. I’ve watch so many people my friends my family get involved with this opportunity some of them atheist and now become true Christians. And not just a Christian on Sunday every day. balanc in life is so important and when you’re focusing on a different areas like you mentioned the ships wheel faith is definitely the most important thing that’s why it’s at the top but like I said in the beginning if thay would just lead with that a lot of people would not be interested. I am working very hard to lead people to truth in Christ you’re just making it a little bit harder for me . If one person can be saved from this opportunity I don’t think you should be against it I think you should Be for it. the person writing this message is saved. It was not easy but God never said it would be. I left my email I would love to hear back from you.

  29. What kind of a leader would run an organization where 99% of its “team” loses money every month while a select few make millions?????

  30. I am a follower of Christ, I have been for many many years. I worked hard to raise my family of 4 children with Christian values and morals. It took every dime I made to get by, and I am not complaining. I couldn’t save for retirement, and I prayed and prayed about this and everything else as I raised my children. I always knew God would provide something for me to help me. When I was introduced to the LIFE business last year, I just knew in my spirit this was what God had for me. I was so excited. I am unsure where Doug gets his figures, from… but the numbers are not accurate in the Life business. I have made money from the very first month in the business. Life is working hard to distribute the money down to the ranks not just the few at the top. Our founders make money the same way we do. I have never seen a compensation plan like this one before and believe me I have been approached by many companies down through the years. I am unsure why anyone would bash a group of leaders who are helping people improve their lives and bringing many to the saving knowledge of the Lord, Jesus Christ. I don’t know why people think making money at a 9-5 (and sometimes many times longer!!) is more holy than making money in the Life Business. I don’t know why they think it is more holy to leave your children to be largely raised by secular schools & daycare out of necessity and bash people getting free to live their lives by their convictions and spend more time together as a family. Many of the Life members are able to home school, or at least have more input into what is being taught to their children. People often bash what they don’t understand. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. I only wish the Life business had been around 20 years ago when I was younger& was in the trenches raising my children. I like that you get paid by what you do… not who you know, or by doing just enough to get a paycheck. I have learned so much, things that every American should know about leadership, freedom & yes faith. Life does not draw me away from my local Church, but teaches me to be a servant leader, everywhere but especially to participate in my local church. Dave, I am praying for you as I feel you have been greatly deceived & unfortunately deceiving others. And since you are a minister of the gospel, I am hopeful that is not your intention.
    God Bless.

  31. Interesting article and I do agree with some points. I’m assuming that you are not or never have been a life member.if you were to listen to the material you would realize that the leaders in this organization give all their success to Christ.you are right about it not being in the center of the wheel but what other company even promotes faith. Look at any corporate America mission statement and 99% will not mention faith whatsoever. Should this mean I should quit my job. Life business is meant to enhance a person’s life and the faith aspect does bring people closer to God. I did not read this whole article because I have better things to do with my time besides criticise a business. Iv never seen a statute dedicated to a critic.

  32. My church and my Celebrate Recovery group has been infiltrated by Life Leadership. They are particularly active in the Celebrate Recovery movement as many people attending CR are vulnerable in some way. CR is a Christ Centered 12 step group similar to Alcoholic Anonymous and its offshoot groups. The difference is simply that CR is Christ based and AA is secular providing its members the ability to simply believe in a Higher Power. Much to my dismay Life Leadership members are embraced by my church and the CR groups. This is soul wrenching for me as they actively prey on vulnerability of the CR participants. Ready willing and most ready to solve our harms, hurts, and hangups with their series of cd’s and dvds. Anonymity is destroyed as they actively recruit members to their cause based on what is shared in the meetings. My husband and I declined their sales pitch seeing thru the BS for the pyramid scheme that it is. But others are greedy for the perceived profits. If the material is so life altering AND CHRISTIAN BASED why not serve all by charging a smail fee for production of the materials. BUT IT’S NOT ABOUT THE MATERIAL IS IT…. IT’S ALL ABOUT HOW MANY WARM BODIES CAN ONE RECRUIT. From this standpoint, even Judas was an evangelist for delivering Christ for 30 pieces of silver. SO FRUSTRATED that evil has infiltrated my beloved church and CR study group. Praying for better days.

  33. Wow!! Obviously the person that wrote this blog did not do much research. I am not a member of the TEAM Life business but have heard, researched & read both positive and negative information about this business. My educated opinion after doing my research is that this is a legitimate multi-level marketing business that can be very successful for those who like & want to be in basically a sales recruiting business. It’s not for everyone & it’s not for me, but I believe it is a good business. The fact that they choose to even have Christ & God incorporated in their business is extremely commendable especially in these days. Not many businesses will come right out and say that. From what I gathered on the research I did, this business is not trying to replace existing religions, but rather enhance the beliefs & faith people put in Christ – or even turn some to Christ. And as for the “mormon” you claim that does not believe in the Deity of Christ – really?? I’m not a mormon, but I have researched this religion among others and I know for a fact that Christ IS the center of their faith. I’ve been to their meetings, read their book of mormon, and have had their missionaries teach me about their religion. The teachings of Christ are taught from the book of mormon as well as the bible, they’re sermons are centered in Christ and pretty much everything they do religiously is done in the name of Christ. You have no idea what you are talking about. I challenge you to simply read their book of mormon with an open mind and then you can pass judgement on whether you believe mormons believe in the Deity of Christ. There is absolutely no way you could say that after reading that book. Even the official name of the mormon church is the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. I didn’t join this church because I’m just not ready to commit to living their faith at this time in my life, however, it is one of the very best Christ centered churches I have investigated thus far. Please do your research & check your facts before putting down any business or religion.

  34. See my responses after your comments, I’ve re-entered them and responded in kind to each comment to keep from having to go back and review your comments each time.

    1. The Team is Not Christ-Centered in its Approach to Life.

    “What troubles me is that faith is a simple spoke on the wheel, rather than the center of the wheel. It’s presented as simply 1 of 8, instead of the 1 that can produce a truly transformed life.”

    David, the point needs to be made here that LIFE Leadership is a “Business” and not a church. When you comment that it is presented “simply” one of the 8; please know that it first needs to be presented. And as one of the 8 areas to develop, it isn’t the ONLY area needed to be developed. The points on the wheel reflect balance and indicate the need to develop every area of life. Had they not included “Faith” as one of the areas in a persons life that needs development, the big question at that point would be to ask “why would” they NOT include it? As you point out, it is essential to producing a transformed life. Without this “Faith” point, a person will never fully develop.

    In my opinion, it is one of the most important points on the wheel. As a believer, Christ is the foundation, which is a moral compass, to guide our thoughts, attitudes and behaviors. Many companies out there do not adapt a philosophy that incorporates a moral principle foundation to teach their employees, staff, or associates. I’m glad to see LIFE take the position to include this is their business model, and make it a foundational area in which people need to become better.

    How could this be misconstrued and be considered a danger? If they didn’t make this a central point, then we should be concerned, for there are far too many companies out there that have none, that could be recruiting people from your congregation. Be glad that LIFE teaches its members to have faith and be an example of a good leader in their own local church community, by reading the word, contributing to church needs and regularly tithing.

    “Whether purposefully or not, this arrangement leads people to believe that their family problem, for example, is not a spiritual problem or that their finances are not connected to their faith.”

    David, your statement “leads people to believe that their family problem, for example is not a spiritual problem or that their finances are not connected to their faith.” lets me know unequivocally that you have not been introduced to LIFE’s Financial Fitness material.

    Principle # 2 of the 47 principles taught in the Financial Fitness Pack is that “Money is a gift. It has a specific use. This means you have a stewardship. You are to use your money for something that matters, for your family and beyond.” Stewardship? isn’t this a biblical principle, and connected to God’s purpose for an individual to make wealth, which incidentally comes from Him. Would this be a good place to insert Jesus’s parable of the talents?

    Life training materials do exactly what you claim they do not do in your statement above for example:

    Principle #6 teaches to pay 10% of your income to tithing.

    Principle #11 teaches people to never sacrifice their principles for money or possessions, to be honest, and keep your integrity, with your priorities in order.

    Principle #36 “Get right with God, apply true principles in all areas of your life including finances, pursue your stewardship, serve others-and leave impressing others in God’s hands.”

    How could this take someone away from their faith, but rather increase it? If LIFE’s principles are biblical centered why would you ever think LIFE would make people think that their problems are not connected to their faith?

    “Even more dangerous, though, this arrangement may lead people to believe that their lack of faith in Christ is not their ultimate or biggest problem, just one among many problems”

    David, the opportunity is presented to help people develop in all areas of life, if LIFE leadership offered a plan that only offered development in one area to people that are already successful in that area, obviously there would be no point of getting involved with LIFE.

    As a strategy for business, diversified markets is key to growth, just look at Wal-mart they make none of the products they sell themselves, but have a diverse range of products to offer different people with different areas of need, and did I mention they are very successful? Why would the marketing strategy be any different for a leadership development company to not help people improve in other areas of their life that is giving them problems?

    I’m sure you would agree and know from counseling many sheep that problems are not specific to one area and usually connected to several other areas, some people may feel free to talk about one thing but not touch the root issue. Giving people options to develop in one area leads to helping people develop in other areas. This approach is non threatening and helps people be encouraged to find ways to better themselves, for me, ultimately the goal is to get people right with God.

    Think about it for a moment, non believers, that don’t go to church, or would ever have an opportunity to hear the gospel, now through a mentor or materials in the Faith category can lead a person to make those changes in their life which in turn will them around, and figure it out. Those are people that probably would never, ever step one foot in Lakewood Baptist church. Be glad that someone is reaching them. “Who is for us is not ever against us.” do I recall those being Jesus’s words recorded in Mark 9:38?

    Interestingly, in his epistle to the Colossians, Paul tells the believers that Christ is our life (Col. 3:4). He is not part of our life, but our very life itself. After all, Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). In that same little letter, Paul warns the believers, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Col. 2:8, NKJV).

    The phrase “not according to Christ” is a descriptor of all the potential dangers listed in vs. 8: philosophy, empty deceit, human tradition, etc. Each of these could be a study of their own, but for our purposes, it suffices to conclude that Paul is warning the believers about any philosophy or system for spiritual growth that is “not according to Christ,” meaning that it is not vitally dependent upon Jesus Christ. In other words, if Christ can be removed from a given philosophy for living and if the essential elements of that philosophy remain intact, then it is potentially dangerous and should be avoided. If Christ is not the necessary center, then it is man’s philosophy, not God’s. Paul’s point in Colossians 2 is that Christ must be the center, that in Him are “hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (2:3, NKJV) and that in Him “dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (2:9, NKJV).

    David, I find it interesting too, that you would quote Paul’s letter to the Colossian brothers as a means to say that LIFE is cheating believers, thorough philosophy and empty deceit, when Paul uses this letter to remind those already saved in Christ to not be turned away from their salvation which is in Christ alone. Remember the chapter before leads to this point explaining the supremacy of Christ, and that nothing more needed to be done. No rules or regulations needed to be met devised by traditions of men, the barriers had been brought down and regardless if you were circumcised or not, free or bond, male or female, there was no difference as all were equal in Christ, in Him alone. This scripture is not about LIFE business members detracting believers out of their faith, and making them follow a different God. However, I do believe you used it well to platform your next statement (seen here below) regarding Oliver DeMille, whom you have obvious doctrinal differences with.

    “By hosting the Mormon, Oliver DeMille, the TEAM has clearly violated Scriptural principles of separation from apostasy as taught in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, 2 John 9-11, as well as the entire book of Jude. If Christ were the center of the TEAM’s approach, then training from an individual who does not believe in the Deity of Jesus Christ would not be an option.”

    David, I just want to remind you that LIFE is not a church, but points people to get right in their faith with God.

    Your statement surrounding Apostasy is suggesting that “the Mormon” Oliver DeMille is an immoral person, and denies the deity of Christ is pretty strong. And according to your text reference you also quote there should be a separation of people by not being “yoked” together. Yoked which can also mean married, and in other references further represented as not yoking together an ox an a donkey. For practical purposes both have different goals, makes sense that it would lead you in a different direction and no work could be accomplished through that union. But, Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 5:9-10 a different viewpoint regarding this completely. Paul is making it understood that if believers, set apart, were to not associate with the immoral, etc., we’d have to be taken out of the world because the world is so full of them. It wasn’t too long ago that there but for the grace of God go I. We have to go out and associate rather than stay at home or church, if we ever expect to reach the lost.

    I see nothing of this separation among LIFE members with regards to faith, only that you have faith, and that you work it out daily. LIFE members associate and interact regardless of a persons faith or lack there of. LIFE leadership isn’t a Baptist Business, a Jewish Business, or Mormon business, the fact remains is that it is Business, and in a people business you need to accept people, love on them and build relationships with them. Just enjoy life! It has been my experience that churches have a theology agenda and LIFE leadership does not because it is not a church. From what I have observed LIFE members know, greet, work & play and fellowship together better than some cell groups, or small groups in regular churches.

    1 Corinthians 9: 1-27 Paul’s use of Liberty, makes it clear that he associates, with those that are not the same as him as a means to save those that are lost. If you do not associate, how will they even hear the gospel? How will they come to know the truth, if no believer carrying the word of life is able to connect with them, where will they learn of the saving knowledge? Would they end up at Lakewood Baptist Church because the sermons are just so awesome? I mean they probably are, but what are the chances of that happening?
    2. The Team Tends to “Peddle” the Gospel.

    “However, the Scriptures warn about spiritual leaders and teachers who are greedy for gain (see 1 Tim. 3:3; 3:8; Tit. 1:7; 1 Pet. 5:2). While many who participate in the TEAM certainly do so with the best of motives, the fact remains that many people become wealthy through the sale of their Bible-based products. That they become wealthy is not even necessarily problematic. What is problematic is that wealth is often the drawing card or the reward for initial participation in the program, while the gospel is often the prescribed means of pursuing that wealth.”

    Unless there is a church of LIFE, your statement would be valid, but there isn’t. The sale of Bible-based products? Faith, is one of 8 areas, and represents only a portion of the materials used.

    Your statement promotes that gaining wealth (which comes from God incidentally Ecclesiastes 5:19 & 6:2 ) should be problematic? The real problem with gaining wealth is that it doesn’t often fit with the poverty preached gospel idea that in order to become spiritually rich you have to be pocketbook poor. Referring back to the ten talent parable, again Jesus’s parable, I cant help but ask, wasn’t the person that did nothing with the money he had been given suffer the most, and at the hand of the Master?

    Who doesn’t want to be relieved of bill collectors calling, about mortgage payments and car payments? Why would that be wrong to want to be debt-free, scripture teaches that we should owe no man anything and that the debtor is slave to the master that holds his debt. It’s because people have been schooled to live well beyond their means and so the idea of being free is a worthy goal. There should be no condemnation for someone that wants to make better of his/her financial life.

    Is the church promoting good financial fitness, teaching that people should be good stewards of what God has given? they should be, and if there are some products out there such as Dave Ramsey’s Financial peace why would it be considered bad if another course like LIFE Leaderships Financial Fitness came about to offer even more for less?

    “Certainly making a living through gospel ministry is not wrong or even questionable. However, if gospel ministry is one of many tools for pursuit of personal wealth, then it is a problem. If the goal is wealth and not people, then the goal is wrong. If the gospel is your means of gaining riches, then your treasure is probably not Christ but rather riches. As Jesus said, no man can serve two masters.”

    David, you said it well, “…if gospel ministry….if the goal is wealth and not people, then the goal is wrong.” You hit the nail on the head. LIFE leadership is a business, not a “not for profit” church. So there will be wealth obtained and probably end up in the offering plate at Lakewood Baptist Church. We don’t sell the gospel, but I do see several churches that do. I see churches spend millions of dollars on nice seats and facilities, but I don’t see LIFE leadership storing up wealth for itself. Currently, no profits are made by the company, and all of the profits from member generated sales goes back to the community that moved the merchandise(other than what is used to facilitate the production and shipment of goods). I guess that’s why it’s called a “compensated community”.

    When the focus turns away from the wealth and onto helping people in their development, the compensation is secondary, but it does come. It is the same with preaching the gospel and counseling someone, people can see if you are genuine or not. Try not to confuse the genuine concern for people from someone in LIFE leadership with a sales tactic. Would you believe someone in LIFE couldn’t have a genuine interest in someones character or marriage? Who is assigning motive, or ill-will? That is a self-righteous position and one of the worst characteristics of the self-righteous sinners of Jesus time. Accusing someone of being disingenuous is just as bad, how could anyone judge another man’s heart?

    Please understand, I’m grateful for your concern for your flock, and you should be, but I think you’ve been painting this with some bias for some reason not explained here.
    3. Team Tends to Detract from the Local Church.

    The TEAM is the most successful in recruiting its members from churches where the Bible is not being taught with serious depth or where believers are longing to be discipled or mentored. Since TEAM offers mentorship through the LIFE business resources, many hungry Christians are enticed to join.

    Yes, you point out a major problem in our society and that is mentoring. The older men and women helping to teach and give example to the younger generation. Part of this comes from the broken marriages we are seeing, and yes even more so in the church. Good godly men and women getting divorces and children crying in their beds at night because of it. Should I start blaming the church about this? I don’t need to Dr. Emerson Eggerich, author, and creator of Love & Respect already has made it clear that we are all suffering from the breakdown of relationships in marriage, and especially in the church. The church missed it. Mainly because of pastors in churches misinterpreting the actions of the couples they shepherd.

    Dr. Emerson & Sarah Eggerich have helped thousands of people to understand the Crazy Cycle, to recognize it and get off of it quicker and build up your spouse in ways that are meaningful to them. Should people in the LIFE business be berated because hurting people looking for help are not getting help from their local church pastors, but instead of an interested LIFE coach? I’m glad they do get help and incidentally, Love & Respect is a great teaching material, if you haven’t taken the course or been to a weekend workshop, you should. And if your church isn’t promoting Love and Respect, you need to start today. I did, and even after 30 years of marriage my wife and I still benefited from Emerson’s teachings. (Love & Respect is also some of the material offered from LIFE leadership)

    When a TEAM member becomes involved in TEAM, however, they are strongly encouraged to attend regular weekend conferences, which often conflict with participation in one’s local church. Further, they are strongly encouraged to be at weekly TEAM meetings, which are conducted in the evening, usually midweek. Again, this can easily create a conflict with the schedule of the local church, as many churches meet for prayer meeting or small groups Tuesday-Thursday. The expectation from TEAM, however, is that if one really desires to succeed in TEAM/LIFE, they will attend these meetings with faithfulness. This arrangement puts TEAM members in a position where they must choose between faithfulness to the local church or faithfulness to this organization.

    This point here David, is where I really think the crux of the matter lies with your disapproval of LIFE leadership. Let me explain why. Doing anything well in life will require sacrifices and time commitments, for it to really be worthwhile and successful. Whether it be spending time in the word preparing for a great message series, associating with youth programs, worship leading, going to school, drama programs, childcare, benevolence, or studying for a doctorate, all of these require work and time away from family or church. But why is a person or couple that decides to start a business like LIFE any different? Why would we not expect them too, to have commitments?

    Anyone can look at a snapshot in time along our lifeline and find some pretty selfish attitudes, and actions, so much that if we were to define a person by that single snapshot we’d be wrong most of the time. (For Love & Respect folks recall the Marital Bus Ride story). So why is it in your thinking, not wrong for a person to be guilted into thinking the choice they made to pursue a LIFE business is not as good as faithfulness to the local church? Why would you put that person in that position instead of encouraging them on their journey that they can be what they set out to become, whatever their goal is? Could this really just be that someone is making a different choice to do something exciting in their life to improve and develop themselves, and in order to do that they no longer can attend that small group, or watch the kiddos in the nursery on Wednesday night? What would ever give me the right to decide for a person what is and what isn’t important to them? Could I be an influence for their good vs. my good?

    The TEAM often encourages its members to counsel with their “up-link” (person who signed them up) rather than with their pastor or with an “older woman” or “older man” in the church (Titus 2). This sort of practice truncates the God-given authority of pastors within a local church and thus within the life of a believer. Beyond that, the authority structure and rules for behavior within the TEAM can cause fracturing in the local church, as those who with different “up-links” are not supposed to discuss the LIFE business together. To add further detraction from the local church, God’s ordained vehicle for carrying out the Great Commission, the leaders of the TEAM have also been known to baptize its members during conference weekends. One former TEAM member, who recognizes the importance of commitment to a local group of believers, rightly commented, “TEAM leads you to cheat on the local church.”

    David I must point out, as you mentioned that if churches that are not living up their mentoring duties can cause church members to find a mentor elsewhere.(which is weird, because they probably are another church member to start with, but for sake of discussion) I’ve not ever seen counsel given, that is correctly communicated to ever miss-align with advice that would be given by a deacon or elder, because they have the same purpose in mind, and that is to benefit the mentee and not the mentor.

    When you say God-given authority, I’m already nervous, because authority that God gives is for good and is not deviate of truth, and not your own. Otherwise you might seek a prophets reward should you be wrong about anything. You speak of a term known as “cross-lining” and it is in place for good reason. Would y wouldou give different advice to each of your children as they asked about the birds and the bees depending on their comprehension and personality? So why would it be any different with people in a business that are mentored by the same leader, who is mentoring different groups at different levels? The Mentor needs to keep growth specific concepts at the level of that persons growth not to cause stress or anxiety for the mentee.

    With regard to baptisms at conferences? Why would someone getting baptized into the faith ever be an issue? Wouldn’t you want to see someone make an outward profession of their faith? I mean, isn’t that a good thing? Is it because they weren’t baptized at Lakewood Baptist Church the problem?

    When you say “Former” Team member, that speaks volumes to me, and the way I look at that: Those players that are in the game have a bigger say about how the game is played than the spectators sitting in the bleachers. It’s easy to give blame rather than admit quitting on yourself.

    4. Team Tends to Place Unbiblical Expectations upon Christian Families.

    One of the primary “drawing cards” for TEAM and the LIFE business is financial freedom. As new members are going through the “dream building” stage, they are pumped full of the unbiblical expectation that if they would just be faithful to the principles of TEAM and LIFE that it would become possible for the husband to stay home during the day, spending enormous amounts of time with his wife and kids.
    This sort of talk programs wives and children with the expectation that if their husband/dad would just become more successful in TEAM/LIFE, maybe he would not have to work a regular job anymore. This sort of expectation robs the Christian man of the joy and honor of a hard day’s work. Further, it creates an unbiblical posture towards work within the context of a Christian home, possibly even creating tension between husbands and wives.

    Being financially free allows a person to have more control of their time, what they choose to do with it is up to them now, rather than the schedule of a job. Notice I used the word job, not work? Being free doesn’t mean you no longer work, but it does mean you work hard at whatever you choose to do, and you can use your time an money to do things that people stuck in a rut job never can do. How is being free un-biblical? Jesus gives us the perfect example. He is the reason that we are free is all about in the first place! He who the Son sets free is free indeed! He came to set the captives free, (btw, we were the captives).

    The principles that LIFE leadership uses to gain success works. So the statement to stick to the principles and you’ll reach your goals is true. 100 % of Everyone who has ever quit, always never reaches their goal. If the players on the basketball, football or soccer team walk off, you can rest assured the other team is going to win.

    5. Team Inadvertently functions through the lens of retribution theology.

    The TEAM does not have a category that allows for God’s sovereign trying or testing of one of His servants, i.e. the book of Job. According to their teaching, if you follow the TEAM/LIFE guidelines for success, then no excuse remains for failure. If someone is failing in any aspect of the LIFE wheel, they must have done something wrong, i.e. they must not be obeying what they have been taught through the LIFE materials. In their thinking, obedience must always be followed by physical reward, leaving little room for God to use suffering to bring about conformity to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:17-18, 26-39; 2 Cor. 4:17).

    This is not what LIFE teaches, failure IS part of success. When a person is learning they try, and try again if they don’t get the results they are looking for. Are they a failure because they didn’t get it right the first time? Thomas Edison, was he a failure because everything he tried up until it worked, was he wrong? Failure isn’t permanent unless you give up. David, Job’s life was a delight to God before anything happened to him, and Job’s life afterwards was a delight to God as well. The point is, that is doesn’t matter where you find your self God is sovereign and you have no place to question His trials and testing in your life, you and I are clay in the potters hands, or metal being tempered with fire, but the purpose is to make us better and stronger and wiser than we were before, and acknowledging that God is looking out for us, and wants the best ultimately for us.

    God does use life’s trials to refine us into His image, and God restores all things, it just might not be the instant after you go through a nasty divorce, or lose a spouse, it may take a person a while to recover and apply what they’ve learned through the struggle. I don’t hear LIFE leadership mentors teaching that there is no room for God in any area of development.

    Such thinking leaves little room for understanding God’s mysterious trying, testing, or pruning of His servants and places TEAM/LIFE in a similar position as Jesus’ disciples when they observed a man blind from his birth and questioned, “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:1-2, ESV). In other words, to the disciples, suffering is always a cause of disobedience. Jesus replied, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:3). In other words, it is possible that suffering or failure is directly attributed to some specific sin or failure to follow biblical truths and principles; however, making that assumption in a given situation is an attempt to bind (albeit unintentionally) the hand of God from afflicting the righteous for His own wise purposes, which may not be known to man (see the book of Job, especially Job 38-42). When those in TEAM/LIFE are directed to help suffering people by telling them to go back and consider where they have failed to follow the principles of TEAM/LIFE, these counselors are coming dangerously close to the thinking of Job’s friends, who, when they saw Job’s suffering and assumed some personal sin in his life, replied: “Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert the right?” and “God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves” (Job 8:3, 11:6).

    Does improving your communication with your spouse or children through reading, associating and listening to good counsel mean that you were a failure before? or you just weren’t really that good at it? Does having financial fitness principles help you become debt-free, and in so does this mean you were supposed to suffer before that? Could some of my problems just be related to ignorance? If I took a snapshot of Job’s life before, during and after, we could technically see three different situations, but the character of Job remained the same. That is the point isn’t it? The contrast with Job’s wife “Just curse God and Die!” attitude and Job’s are starkly different. Job’s viewpoint of where God was in all of this was very different than his wife’s, or his friends.
    Conclusion:

    Shepherds, as you watch for souls, if any in your flock or sphere of influence are involved in TEAM/LIFE, please warn them about the concerns presented in this document. If you decide to encourage them to leave TEAM/LIFE, please understand the enormity of the pressure they will face from TEAM leadership to stay within the group. Lost members equals lost financial profit. Most who are thinking about leaving will be given a recording of a manipulative talk, which lays out the top reasons that people quit a good endeavor. Shepherd these people; help them see how TEAM/LIFE: (1) is not truly Christ-centered in its approach, (2) that it tends to peddle the gospel, (3) that it tends to detract from the local church, (4) that it tends to place unbiblical expectations upon families, and (5) that it tends to operate through the lens of retribution theology.

    My conclusion is that if you are reading this blog and see the context in which this is written, I hope you will agree that Pastor David Marriott, has a very biased, small and uninformed understanding of LIFE leadership and the principles that make it such a great opportunity for regular folks to become independently wealthy, highly educated, for a fraction of the cost, and improve their lives in many areas. The applied teachings will expand your thinking and educate you in several areas. You will find a compensated community of like minded individuals that are consistently striving for excellence, and encouraging others to do the same. People in LIFE leadership are generating residual income that will be a legacy for their families long after they are gone.

    1) LIFE Leadership is a Business, not a church and not trying to take place of the local church, please go to your place of worship and get involved, 2) Life members are improving their Faith as a result of improving all 8 areas of the points, and are becoming more likely to share the gospel with others as they learn they can be empowered by God to do so in their circles of influence, 3) LIFE leadership encourages pursuit of your goals and dreams even when the struggles to get there come, and that it is worth the time commitment as any important endeavor in life that you set as a goal. The sacrifices you make will give you benefits and freedom of choice that you will never have with being stuck in a job. 4) LIFE leadership teaches principles that encourage working hard at reaching your dreams and goals, and to reset those goals once you achieve them. 5) LIFE leadership recognizes that failure is part of the process to succeed and quitting on yourself is the only true failure.
    ​Vinny Yero

  35. I don’t know anything about TEAM and only know a little bit about LIFE. I do know there is at least one huge error in the article that has hopefully been corrected in the author’s mind by this point. We members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) believe Jesus Christ is literally the Only Begotten Son of Heavenly Father, meaning that God the Father is literally the physical, mortal father of Jesus Christ on earth. I’m not sure there is a much stronger statement of belief in His deity than saying He is literally the physical Son of God just as we are each literally the physical sons and daughters of the men who provided half our DNA on this earth. Read all about it here: http://www.mormon.org/beliefs/jesus-christ

  36. Pastor Marriott, I thank you for your very accurate description of the Life business. I was deeply involved with this group for too many years, I know most of the leaders intimately, and I believe that they have strayed far from their original goals. Let me just say that your analysis is right on.

    For those of you who have a problem with Dave Marriott’s opinion, let me tell you that I witnessed first-hand how Orrin Woodward treats anyone who does not agree with him 100%, including family members and his own best friends. His method “conflict resolution” with his own former pastor was shameful and nasty, to say the least.

    The Life business has one true purpose: to cultivate brain-washed, loyal, and unthinking sycophants who are willing to part with their last dollars to pursue an unreachable dream. The success of the Life business is only because Orrin Woodward and the leadership are good at spinning webs of lies. They weave elements of truth in their scam to make it difficult to see the corruption.

    Dave Marriott is fully justified in attacking the Life business, not because it is a church, but because it is portrayed as a Christian organization that will lead people to Christ and the truth.

    As for how many books Dave Marriott has read, I think that is a question designed to change the subject and has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not the Life business is a worthwhile pursuit.

  37. One more comment I have for those of you who are defending the Life business:

    How many comments can you find on any one of the Life leaders blogs that are not 100% in agreement with them? Doesn’t that tell you anything about those people? You are free to disagree with Dave Marriott openly on this blog, but no one is ever allowed to disagree with the Life leadership. Why not?

  38. Ok, just to get the 800 pound gorilla out of the room. LIFE stands for Living Intentionally For Excellence. The Baptist church does not have Christ in their name!!! Is it hypocrisy to blame a business for not having Christ in their name? I go to the Church of Christ. Christ is in our name. Why not yours? If you claim to be Christ centered then your name should reflect it Mr. Marriott. Like the saying goes, ” don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house”. I noticed that this article is about opinions. I’m so glad that we live in a country where we can speak our mind and not be persecuted for our opinions. Even if your opinion is not accurate. Maybe I should write an article about your church and all the deception and false doctrine that you are brain washing people with? My opinion is that the Baptist church has strayed far from the way Christ wanted us to worship and live our lives. I have never read in the bible where a band is to be played during worship. I have never read in the Bible where you can be saved once and you will always be saved no matter what kind of life you live. I have never read in the Bible where it is ok to have a store in the church building, no matter if you are selling books, or water or anything. John chapter 2 deals directly with that. In Revelation 22:18 says not to add or take away from the words of this book (Bible). The Bible talks about the Church of Christ!!! Romans 16:16, 2Cor 8:23, Gal 1:22 and 1Thes 2:14. I don’t see any mention of the baptist church anywhere. If you want to refer to John the Baptist and you want to put John the Baptist as your center than that makes sense of your name. I am sure that you can see my accuracy towards the Biblical references that are contrary to what the baptist church believes. I am sure that you are thinking now “how do I get the rest of my church to change to what the the Bible says and to forget what I have been preaching for so long is not true.” I know it will be painful to your pride and your confidence at first. But, when you strictly follow the Bible you will find that it is worth all the pain to do what God wants you to do. Just think, it won’t be as bad as what Jesus went through when he did the right thing. I will pray for you Mr. Marriott. I am sure you will change and do the right thing. Or will you?

  39. I stumbled on this article after attending a meeting introducing me to Life Leadership today. You had me until the “Mormon bit.” Then you lost all credibility. Do some research. Do you realize the official name of the LDS or Mormon church is The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Ladder Day Saints?

  40. I think I’ll start me a church and call it something like “Gina’s church of Jesus Christ” and start reinventing who Jesus says he is. It must be true if it has “Jesus Christ” in the name of the church. May God forgive me for how much I laughed at this comment. And could someone else talk to Teresa about the “Ladder” thing. Know Jesus. He wants you to know Him. I am sorry I laughed at someone so sincerely messed up. Teresa, I am sorry. Ask Jesus Christ to reveal Himself to you in real and profound ways.

  41. I did say I was sorry. My comment was about you saying or I thought you were saying that because the words “Jesus Christ” was in the name of the Mormon Church that must mean it is about Jesus. I thought that was funny.

    My critique of “reinventing who Jesus says he is” is based on what others say your teachings include. Does your church teach

    1) that Jesus’ incarnation was the result of a physical relationship between God the Father and Mary (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115; Mormon Doctrine, p. 547).

    2) that Jesus is a god, but that any human can also become a god (Doctrine and Covenants 132:20; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345–354).

    3) or that salvation can be earned by a combination of faith and good works (LDS Bible Dictionary, p. 697).

    If so, this is a different Jesus than who He says He is.

  42. The following comment is not true:

    However, as a Mormon (assuming his personal theology is in line with LDS), since he does not believe in the Deity of Jesus Christ, his teaching cannot possibly flow from the true Christ, who should be at the center.

    In fact the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon Church) mission, purpose and teachings is ENTIRELY built on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    I do realize that it is hard to understand something when you are not a part of it. Organized religion and the multitude of splinter groups that came about as a result of the apostles being murdered (and none being ordained to take their place) left the world without”Spirit guided” leadership and no one who really understood the nature of God/Jesus Christ/Holy Ghost and their divine purpose for creating the world and all the sons and daughters God – To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man[kind]. There is no other God in the Mormon church – just to be clear.

  43. I think ALL pastors need to go before the Lord and ask Him to clarify the role of “Shepherd” – Jesus never gave up the Position of Shepherd; He simply said that the pastors would be a type of “hired hand” to tend and feed HIS sheep – not the pastors sheep!
    Pastors ARE NOT Shephers. This is such a problem in Amerca’s churches. My dear pastors you are NOT the Shepherd, you are the servant of the Shepherd, just like the rest of us.
    You are however held to a higher degree of responsibility if you get this wrong.

  44. Dear Jeff did you read the post before your post.
    the mormon church does NOT recognize Jesus as the Jesus in the Holy Word of God – the Holy Bible – requires. I have friends in LDS and they take the position that the book of mormon is not in conflict with God’s Word – not true – don’t even have to read too much of it to see there is no harmony in the 2 books. Read God’s Word and ask Him to reveal the Truth to you and HE promises to do so, but it will not be with reading any other book. God’s Word is the only Word that is alive and that became flesh – Jesus. God was never a man and you will never be a god. In fact, that is why Satan was removed from the Heavan because he wanted to be god. I hope that you will seek God’s Truth -Jesus – with all your heart, mind, body and soul, and don’t let pride or any man distract you.

  45. I read your entire article. I appreciate your concerns and your heart. I have been involved with Life for about 3 years. I can understand how you could come to some of your conclusions, but there are some pretty fundamental things you have wrong about them. First, Life does not do sales competitions around the faith products. I have only ever seen that on products that are meant for business or financial development and all the corporate profits go to helping orphans and widows. Second, they have never practiced retribution gospel. I’m not sure where you got that one. They recommend certain activities for success in the business because they have been proven to work. But never have they given the impression that God is judging someone because they don’t have success. Learning any new thing takes time. 3rd, Oliver Demille is not brought in to talk on matters of faith. He is brought in to teach freedom principles. He is very well versed in freedom. I have never heard him on a faith audio. As a business that is only trying to spread truth. You may want to take a deeper look.

  46. To those that claim to be Life leaders how many people have came into Life based on your words that all could change for them if they listen to 3 cds a day, read a book each month and attended all the meetings plus look for others to fill the pipeline! How many fell away?? The average of people that quit or fail at this kind of business are much higher than the successes! Due to they were never business owners in the first place, you just filled thier heads with dreams without truly showing them what it takes to succeed! All of the founders and Coordinators and above are from a previous company called Quickstar (Amway) that brought over their down lines into Life. This is NOT truthful business! If this company is so wonderful why don’t they post the people that started from the launch of Life in 2011 brand new, that didnt have a down line carried over from QuickStar?? Why because those people have failed and have left the company, NUMBERS and FACTS don’t lie. MLM, Network Marketing, Pipeline, no matter what you call it it is unethical. I can hear the excuses that life leaders use to justify why people quit to protect themselves from being accountable. If Life Leaders would truly show new people what it takes to be successful, how many phone calls to get an appt, how many appts lead to a presentation and how many presentations lead to a sale most would never sign up! You can only talk to so many of your friends and family members. Numbers don’t lie!

  47. Hello Pastor, I would think most ministers would be happy a business actually includes faith in this Godless world as part of the important things to be considered when building a business.
    I must say I’ve never seen a pastor not pass a collection plate looking for money…does this also mean they are serving two masters and should be abandoned as well?
    I am looking at the Life business and notice the 8 F’s list starts at the top of the list with Faith –something you rather noticeably ignored. My own commitment to Christ is not conficted by a business that recognizes Jesus as the Son of God. And I am concerned about any association with the Mormon faith, which I consider a cult if you look at its history.

    But complaining about the Life Leadership, who preaches Christian faith, is unfair. Do we demonize Dale Carnegie’s courses, Joel Osteen’s hope-filled messages that are reaching more of the un churched than possibly your judgemental diatribes are? Start with NBC CBS ABC & FOX TV networks if you really want to complain about Godless media…finish up with WalMart and any number of multinational corporations that reap multi-billions on the backs of poor people. Finish up with the government of the dictatorship of the People’s Republic of China, who do not recognize God at all as being the center of your world

  48. I am a fellow shepherd who has read through this article and am grieved by the article and responses. My wife and I have known the Woodward’s personally for over 15 years in various roles.

    I have attempted to make contact with the author of this article in an effort to resolve the differences that he seems to have with the Woodward’s and LIFE. He has not responded to me so it has put me in a position to respond here publicly.

    My concern is, as a fellow shepherd, that this article violated the very principles that the author espouses to believe. He wrote this article based on his opinion in order to protect his flock. What fruit has been produced from this? A divisive and contentious conversation has continued on for nearly two years. Was God honored in this? It is evident that the author has a heart to serve his Savior faithfully. For that I commend him. It is concerning though that he showed no level of concern for a fellow brother by posting this article without first being careful to verify facts. Every person is entitled to their opinion but when it comes to accusing a fellow brother we need to be very careful to observe the principles that have been set down in Scripture. The very first step is if you have a concern about the actions of fellow believers you need to go to that person first one on one and plead with them with a heart of reconciliation and restoration (Matt. 18:15; Gal. 6:1). This has not taken place with the author nor with many of the people leaving comments.

    I would urge everyone to read this article by Kevin DeYoung and to be more careful before posting anything that can be potentially damaging to another person:

    http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2015/04/21/god-of-justice-hates-false-reports/

    For the sake of the gospel and for the expansion of the Kingdom please take these words to heart and remove the article and comments.

  49. Personally sir I see no facts whatsoever in your artical. As a long time team member I have never witnessed anything but the highest level of integrity from the leaders. I have pursued a closer walk with Christ (using these leaders as examples) than I ever have in church. I have attended church for most of my life and am 50 years old.in Lifeleadership we are tought to first seek to understand then be understood. I dont beleive you have done this as is expected by any so called shepard. I am using this term very loosely being that you have never had any first hand experience with Life Leadership you are not qualified to judge their motives. The ten commandnents tells us not to bear false witness and you sir have done exactly that. Life Leadership does not put itself out there as a Chritian business. It does however have a great group of leaders with a heart totally for our Lord Jesus Christ and are never shy about acknowledging that. I would have a word of advice fir your sheep. Be very careful about what is being preached to you because your shepard doesnt deal with facts. I would check every passage preached to seek first the truth.I take it very personal the slandering of my business and am very disappointed in your actions. I have personally lead people into this business who have pursued a walk with Christ their creator who otherwise would probably neever have pursued one. You should be ashamed of yourself and ask God for forgiveness for all of the souls your comments have left in satans hands

  50. Dear Pastor Marriott:
    I would like to begin by expressing my concern that this article could be sited as Deformation of Character; which most would agree is highly questionable in your profession. Furthermore, although scripture was quoted to backup your points of concern I feel that those sited only skimmed the surface, offering little to really address those issues of reference.

    The “Team/Life” are not Christ centered… Galatians 6:10 instructs us to do good to all men and uses the term “household of faith” however, does not say faith in Christ… Your bases of your concern is regarding Oliver DeMille’s religion of Mormonism and that he prayed. We are commanded by God to love one another and not just others believers for its by our love we may show the love of Jesus and in doing so making an eternal difference in the lives of unbelievers. Is our God so small and ineffective that He is incapable of using evil for good? Not hardly I personally suggest you read Habakkuk 1:5-11 followed by Romans 8:28. I cannot begin to express how disconcerting it is that you actually compared what Orrin and Chris did to that of dating (which to a Christian is for the purpose of finding a mate) a non believer in hopes of converting them.
    Peddling the Gospel – Out of all your concerns this one is the most absurd… Sir you offer books and even a donate now button on this site so what exactly does this mean?
    Remember Pastor this is a business presented to those who are perspectively looking for another way not a church that is preaching come to Jesus He will make you wealthy then proceed to pressure people into buying what you call “the Gospel”.

  51. Hi

    Thanks for your insitful reading. I have seen a real change in our church and not for the better The problem i have come up with in life leadership is our Pastor is heavily involed in life leadership and he has involed many members of the church. I have been able to get a few people from joining or leaving life but so far a losing battle.

  52. I read the article my opinion is the fact of reading into the business to much “example” when u mentioned faith being one of the spokes well maybe if u redirect ur thinking there not spokes but the things that surround ur thinking which is u are the middle and the outside is ur rays of light which in turn has faith in it. now another thing is if u listen to the audios that are in the business there is always god and jesus references and yes there is more to it but just like god he doesnt turn his children down weather in full faith or non at all he loves us all the same but in this business we dont turn our backs on eachother nor do we judge for it is not our place all we can do is inspire one another and in turn they may see the light maybe even the the light of faith and love towards our heavenly father and our brother or his only begotten son… does this business turn me from god no it actually drives me to want more of him and jesus in my life also this business gives us time by changing our way of thinking to gain a passive income so we can have time to do more for our faith to apply charity in our lives but going into anything if u believe and have faith it should stay unless u urself loose it and thats all based on the individual

  53. Michelle,
    This is an old post, which is likely why you’ve not gotten a response. Was reading through it and a lot of the comments so I thought I’d give it a shot.
    1. When claiming (I assume) defamation of character, who are you saying is being defamed? The business as a whole or some specific people?
    2. Are you a TEAM/LIFE customer or seller? Just curious.
    3. What specific passages of Scripture cited do you find most out of line?
    4. The point about “household of faith” not referring to faith in Christ is an unbelievable statement. No serious student of the Bible would prooftext in such a way. As if any faith is just fine. You need to rescind such a comment.
    5. Let’s stay in Galatians to talk about your understanding of Mormonism. “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8; feel free to look up the context.) Of course we’re commanded to love our Mormon neighbors, but implying to my Mormon colleagues/friends that we believe the same thing and worship the same God is quite possibly the most unloving thing I could do to them. It’s widely understood that the Mormon “church” is trying to identify more and more as some offshoot of Christianity, but it couldn’t be further from it. Affirming a false gospel is a damning thing to the affirmer and to the affirmed.
    6. Concerning prosperity gospel: “Orrin and Chris” are absolutely promoting a prosperity gospel. I challenge you to compare their message with that of Joel Osteen. They come from the same stock.
    7. Peddling the gospel doesn’t mean selling books. Peddling the gospel means establishing a gospel relationship by monetary means: “I’ll disciple you if you join my up-line.” It’s pitchy, it’s false, and it’s not of Christ.
    8. Can’t imagine what you could mean by “another way” in your last paragraph. Michelle, as concerning the gospel and the true church that Christ established: there is no “other way.”

  54. “The truth is that you cannot have two masters. You cannot serve God and money. These types of groups take the focus off God and focus that attention to money and chasing dreams that will never materialize”
    @Team Buster: And if you read any of their material, you’d realize they teach you that money should serve YOU, not what you have wrongly asserted. Stop lying.

    “But I do believe they are sincerely trying to spread information about the problems with the country”
    @Dale: You BELIEVE? What facts are your beliefs based upon?

  55. We all have choices, if you choose to make a living in Direct Sales, among a predominantly Christian organization that encourages self education, then why would that not be better than working in Corporate America where morals seem to not exist? It might not be for you, but it is for some and those that fail, do so because they don’t do the work. Any job, if you don’t work, you don’t succeed and most likely are fired. The Bible says not to judge and it is particularly concerning for a Pastor to do so in a public article. Particularly a Pastor that is involved himself in Direct Sales, selling similar materials as Life, out of his own church. Organizations that are a tool to lead folks to Christ, should be commended not condemned.

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