Let’s dive into the facts that show how Life Leadership is not a “cult”, but a fantastic “culture” that is making a difference in people’s lives around the world. Here is the link to part 1 of this article –>
Ways to identify a real “cult”:
- Who do they identify their source of Authority?
- What do they believe about the trinity?
- What do they believe about Salvation?
- They oppose critical thinking and discourage people from thinking for themselves.
- They dishonor the family unit.
- They isolate members and penalize them for leaving the group.
- They seek loyalty to a leader above loyalty to Jesus.
- They cross biblical boundaries of behavior.
- They encourage separation from church.
- They emphasize special revelations that contradict Scripture.
- They group lavishes the leader with un-earned luxury.
- They seek to alter personality and, in some cases, create a new name for certain members.
How does Life Leadership stack up to this list?
First of all, Life Leadership is a business that sells a product. A business inherently cannot be scrutinized and compared to a “cult”-like church or organization. Secondly, the Life Leadership does not, and will never harbor prejudice based upon another member’s faith or belief system. Life Leadership will never profess or publish any particular religious views or doctrine, because Life Leadership is a business. Success in the marketplace (along with State and Federal law) is the only measuring stick we can use. However, because what we are analyzing are the motives and intentions of this community of people, it is imperative to study its pinnacle of leadership. Orrin Woodward is a founding member of Life Leadership and is currently serving as Chairman of the top leadership group within Life Leadership called “the Policy Council”. Chris Brady is also a founding member and currently serves as CEO and creative director of Life Leadership. Here is how these two gentlemen stack up to the aforementioned list, keeping in mind that they have never forced their beliefs onto other people:
- Orrin and Chris both believe the complete Bible (The 66 books of the Old & New Testament) as the ultimate source of absolute truth.
- Orrin and Chris both believe in only one living and true God, and in the Godhead there are three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
- Orrin and Chris both believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process.
- Orrin, Chris and the entire Policy Council believe in a self-directed education. They want you to read and think for yourself. There are certain recommendations to build the business model, but no rules. The only rules are ones that are sales and marketing rules enforced by the FTC and federal government.
- Every piece of media sold by Life Leadership is meant to encourage people to think and analyze their own lives (not the lives of others).
- Members and customers are encouraged to be free to work inside of win-win relationships. There are no penalties for leaving. The goal is for everybody to have a positive experience regardless of his or her tenure. In reference to business goals, living debt free is elevated as one of the highest goals for every customer and member.
- Loyalty is earned through service. Orrin Woodward and the rest of the PC work tirelessly to serve their teams. They are never ashamed to give honor where honor is due.
- Character, integrity and strong moral fiber are the goals to personal growth in the Life Leadership business. The Bible is the rock that Orrin and Chris stand upon. However, I will tell you that Orrin and Chris are, just like all Christians, sinners saved by grace. Every member in Life Leadership is being molded and going through a personal growth process. To pick them apart and try to find fault, you would first have to “take the log out of your own eye”.
- Again, the Life Leadership begins every meeting with a word of prayer. There is a non-denominational Sunday worship service at all National Conventions. Every man and woman has free will to seek their creator their own way. The leadership team encourages and challenges members to seek answers to the deeper questions about your life. They don’t tell you what to believe, but instead, as Tim Marks always says, “know why you believe what you believe”. Whatever your faith is, make sure it is a studied faith.
- Orrin and Chris certainly do not stand on stage and share revelation that contradicts the Bible. Again, Life Leadership is a business group, not a religious group.
- There is no special treatment or lavishing of luxuries with any of the PC. They teach by example by either being completely debt-free (including no mortgage) or striving to be. The PC earns his or her bonuses and commissions with the same compensation plan everybody else has. The Financial Fitness Program is at the center of everything that is taught with respect to money.
- As somebody earns success in Life Leadership, they do not become a new person. They are the same person, just a little wiser and a more humble. Wise, because they had to read to learn how to solve problems in people’s lives. Humble, because success in Life Leadership depends on taking your eyes off of yourself and helping another human being towards success.
When you get to know Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady and the rest of the PC leaders, you will see that they are always mindful of where their blessings come from. They understand the truth of Matthew 23:12 and Luke 14:11 –
“And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Life Leadership is NOT a cult
The longer you are around this organization and it’s leaders, you will see that these folks are living right! Keep in mind that I said to get around the leaders (I realize that every once in a while a newer member may make mistakes and sometimes misrepresent the business model). Nobody in the organization is perfect, but they are striving to get better every day. Life Leadership is a fantastic opportunity for people to grow personally and professionally – beginning with understanding the Financial Matrix and how to escape its grasp on your life. Life Leadership is helping customers and members both learn how to experience freedom more abundantly – in the areas of financial freedom, political freedom and spiritual freedom. So do your due diligence; if you have not attended a Life Leadership seminar (especially a major convention) you really wont know what you are missing. Enjoy the journey!
PS. Check out what Life Leadership is doing with the All Grace Outreach (AGO) program:
Continuted from Part 1…
Here are a few more excuses you may run into as you begin your journey:
“That is just another MLM, where you have to recruit other people.”
First of all, this is not just another MLM. What an uneducated and acute thing to say! Life Leadership cannot be put in that box (or stereotype). This is next generation community building that is only getting better! Second, every business on planet earth recruits people to buy their product, market their product and improve their product. When somebody says this to you in a derogatory tone, this is a type of vanity – wanting to look good to everybody. To gain acceptance from everybody and, in many cases, look cooler than everybody else. Life Leadership will teach you that the most attractive person is the man or woman that is genuinely interested in other people and has a way to help them live the life they have always wanted to live.
“You have to be a salesman to make it in something like that.”
This is not true. Yes, there are some basic skills to learn about getting people started into your community. You do have to develop confidence and posture. All of these things can be learned. People skills are called “skills” because you can learn them. The real secret to becoming successful in Life Leadership is that you have to cultivate the 3-H’s from Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady’s book, Launching a Leadership Revolution. You have to be Hungry, Hone-able and Honorable. On top of this, you have to genuinely care about people.
“You can’t afford that! They want you to spend $200 per month so the top guy can make his millions.”
Give me a break! The cynic who says this definitely knows nothing about Life Leadership. First of all, customer sales are a requirement of the business side of Life Leadership. An important part of getting you started properly is to help you acquire some customers. Not only does this help you make money faster, but also it helps you satisfy the recommended personal volume requirement to be a PBO (Professional Business Owner). Secondly, show me another business that requires zero investment? Life Leadership is extremely flexible and sensitive to the needs of a person struggling financially. In fact, the first thing you should do is follow the steps outlined in the Financial Fitness Program to cut un-necessary expenses and develop a concise plan to get out of debt. So the “you can’t afford that” comment is ridiculous! Most people can’t afford not to! I would go as far as saying that the Financial Matrix is sucking more money in interest than the average person could invest if they bought every product that Life Leadership offers! This is absolutely a win-win deal for the new member.
“You are too busy to do something like this.”
This is another favorite from your friend, Captain Obvious. Of course you are busy! What, do you think people that succeed in Life Leadership start out with no job, no family, and no other commitments? Give me a break. You will never become “not so busy” that you eventually have time to build communities in Life Leadership! Why not ask the question, “why are you so busy?” or “is your busy-ness producing the results you really desire?” A deeper question to ponder is “What is the best you can expect if you maintain your level of busy-ness for the next 5 years?” If the answer is somewhere in the ballpark of “Your boss’s position, then you have to ask yourself if you would be happy with the lifestyle that he or she lives? Or are they just busier at a little higher level? Seriously? Time to check the fruit on the tree and compare it honestly to what you really want your future to look like. If you like the lifestyle of the person 5 years further into your career, then keep on trucking (you can be a customer of Life Leadership and I am sure it will accelerate that process for you). If not, it is time to look at your busy calendar and squeeze some time in to learn and build communities with Life Leadership.
“I have too much on my plate. When I do something, I want to give 100%.”
This comment makes no sense at all. It is a fancy excuse to say “I’m a chicken” while trying to impress you with their “badge of busy-ness”. Don’t take my comments the wrong way, everybody has the right to say “no”, but this comment sounds really funny to those of us who have thought the matter through. Think about it from a time management perspective, does this person give 100% of their time to their job? No. Does this person give 100% of their time to their family? No. Does this person really give 100% to any worthwhile activity in any given day? No. They split up their time with the things that are most important. What I hope this person does practice is to give 100% concentration and focus to each task in their day. With this in mind, the question that begs to be asked from this person’s life is “are the tasks that you do daily producing the lifestyle you want for you and your family?” If the answer is “yes”, keep doing what you are doing and stop making lame excuses for not getting involved with the business side of Life Leadership. Just say thank you for the information and become a customer. If the answer is “no”, then lets find a way to put more things in your daily schedule that do get you closer to the life you have always wanted to life!
There are a few more excuses and objections, but I will save them for a comedy edition titled: “The funniest things that people have said in the process of turning down a great opportunity”.
OK, so you are new to Life Leadership, or at the very least, checking it out. You have certainly come to the right place! It is time to pick apart what some of the critics are going to say to you, and help you gain the right perspective.
Let me begin by telling you that your belief and knowledge will be tested any time you attempt to do something great. Maybe not today, but eventually somebody will offer their negative comments or opinion about Life Leadership and try to mess with your head. This will be difficult because these comments can come from a close family member or friend who genuinely cares about you but, quite frankly, does not have a clue what they are talking about. I call this type of person “Acluistic” meaning “one having no clue”. Some will even sound really smart and sound like they know what they are talking about, but unless they have been involved with Life Leadership for the last 3 months, they are “Acluistic” or “they have no clue”. So your task is to do your own homework and make your own decisions based upon facts. Don’t just blindly accept the ignorant analysis of the “Acluist”.
So lets walk through some of the things that your “well-meaning” family member or friend may say to you:
“Oh, that thing sounds like a pyramid.”
Of course they are going to say this because that’s what everybody says to try to make themselves sound smart and discerning! There is a very good chance that the place that your friend works is more of a “pyramid” structure than a Life Leadership organization. The difference is that in all jobs, the top positions/titles always gets the most money. This is how the “credentialist” system works; in Life Leadership, the new guy can earn a spot at the top based upon performance, not position. This is how a “creator” system or a performance/results system works.
“I would be careful if I were you.“
The folks that will say this to you are saying this out of ignorance. What they really should be saying is “I have no facts or experience on building a leadership team or compensated community, so I would go to one of their Leadership conferences to investigate further if I were you.” Unfortunately, pride and ego prevent people from saying this. Instead, they prefer to ‘feel’ smart so instead they advise you to live in their comfort zone to be safe. That being said, there are real scams out there, but Life Leadership is not one. (If it were a scam, it would have been shut down already).
“I knew somebody that did something like that ended up losing friends and alienating people.”
This is a serious comment that I want to make very clear: The only way somebody loses friends it is because they offended them and did not work to resolve the issue. Period! The other dimension to this comment would be this: Most likely you had some good friends in Elementary and Middle School. Then you went to High School- there you probably made good friends with new people. Did you stop being friends with your Elementary school friends? No, not at all. Shared experiences in a new school forces you to develop new “good” friends. After High School, many people go to College and make some more “good” friends. So did you stop being friends with your High School friends? Of course not! You just did not see them as often, but you are still friends. You start a career and make a few friends at your new job. Did you stop being friends with your College buddies? No. Same thing, you are still friends, but you may not see them as often. So what will happen when you build a Life Leadership business? The same thing! You will certainly make some new friends! Does this mean you will lose any of the other friendships you have gained? No. Remember, the only way to lose friends is to hurt or offend them and make no effort to apologize and mend the friendship. My favorite thing about Life Leadership is that you never have to graduate from it and move on! You get to keep gaining friends for the rest of your life. This is fantastic!
“Of course they want you to go to a meeting! They want to get your hopes up so they can sell you their products!”
Way to go, Captain Obvious! Of course you are expected to go to a meeting – the meeting is the most important part of the “product”. There is nothing bad about getting your hopes up and there is nothing bad about marketing a product! So Captain Obvious doesn’t think you should attend a meeting, huh? Ask the moron who makes a comment like this if he would buy a house without walking thru, or buy a car without first taking it on a test drive. The Life Leadership community of people is the heart of the business. Yes, of course there is a sales/marketing plan, but you go to the meeting to meet and get to know the people and the culture in your area. Furthermore, we want to get your hopes up because the possibilities are real. The compensation is real. The system that helps people escape the Financial Matrix is real! Does Captain Obvious really expect you to keep your hopes and expectations low? Wow, nice friend…
Stay tuned for part 2!
Before you put any stock in what a critic has to say, check their qualifications! Doing your research on Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady and the Life Leadership business? Beware! All of the critics are completely unqualified (and many are emotionally unfit) to give their opinion! I have yet to read an online opinion of Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady and the Life Leadership business that holds any credibility. To understand why this is, we must research the history of concept of criticism.
As it relates to Orrin Woodward, the Wikipedia definition of a “critic”
The word critic comes from Greek κριτικός (kritikós), meaning “able to discern”, which is a Greek derivation of the word κριτής (krités), meaning a person who offers reasoned judgment or analysis, value judgment, interpretation or observation.
Based upon this definition, every person (in my opinion) that has a negative word to write about Orrin Woodward and the Life Leadership business has not established themselves as a qualified source that is “able to discern”. Even bloggers who have been involved in past business models with Orrin Woodward, but have quit, are not experts and their “time on the water” does not give them license to criticize; conversely, they are examples of bitter people who illustrate what not to do. They teach us that the recipe for failure is to give up half way, don’t learn from your mistakes and blame others for your lack of success.
So who would qualify as a valid critic? The experts that earn 7-figures in the industry of community building (not network marketing, there is a difference) would qualify as a critic. My guess is that all of these experts would applaud Orrin Woodward! What about Life Leadership’s keystone product, The Financial Fitness Pack? Again, only people who are free from the Financial Matrix and teach on debt-free financial intelligence would qualify, in my opinion. Once again, my guess is they would cheer and promote his material.
Let’s dig deeper into the roots of criticism:
As it relates to Orrin Woodward, Wikipedia article on “criticism”
Criticism is the practice of judging the merits and faults of something (or somebody) in an intelligible (or articulate) way.
The judger is called “the critic”.
To engage in criticism is “to criticise”/”criticize”.
One specific item of criticism is called “a criticism” or a “critique”.
Criticism as an evaluative or corrective exercise can occur in any area of human life. Criticism can therefore take many different forms (see below). How exactly people go about criticizing, can vary a great deal. In specific areas of human endeavour, the form of criticism can be highly specialized and technical; it often requires professional knowledge to understand the criticism.
To be critical meant, positively, to have good, informed judgement about matters of culture (to be cultivated, to be a man or woman of distinction), but negatively it could also refer to the (unreasonable) rejection or (unfair) treatment of some outside group (“to be critical of them”). Derivatively, “a criticism” also referred to a nice point or a distinction, a tiny detail, a pedantic nicety, a subtlety, or a quibble (the sense of what today is called a “minor criticism”). Often criticism was governed by very strict cultural rules of politeness, propriety and decency, and there could be immediate penalties if the wrong words were said or written down.
So for centuries, it was widely known that a critic must also be an expert on the field in which they are offering criticism. Furthermore, they were ladies and gentlemen of class that were governed by rules of politeness, propriety and decency. These two statements disqualify just about everybody that I have read online that has offered their negative opinions about Orrin, Chris and the Life business. To me, the negative bloggers are worse than the kids that spray graffiti on the sides of buildings and trains (the reason I say worse is that at least some of the graffiti has creative/artistic flair!) The few that have at least attempted class and impartiality have only rendered their opinions in the form of unsubstantiated gossip and tale bearing.
Wikipedia further describes most of the “criticism” of our generation as “lousy” and “unhelpful”:
The main effect of lousy criticism is usually that, rather than clarifying things, it becomes disorienting or confusing to people. Therefore, lousy criticism is usually regarded as unhelpful, or as an unwanted distraction getting in the way of things.
What this means is that reading negative articles from unqualified sources is disorienting and unhelpful at best. At worst, it could cloud your decision-making process and cause you to miss out on a fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The critics cannot deny the Financial Matrix
If you have not read Orrin Woodward’s new book, The Financial Matrix, you have no idea what the Life Leadership business is about. Period. Compared to the investment (through investing in this information and an ongoing subscription), the returns are staggering based upon the countless number of testimonials. People that have followed the principles are wiping out debt at a fantastic rate. Some have even reduced their debt by $20,000 (thereby reducing all of the negative income in interest required to service that debt). The ratio of negative debt erased to the cost of the Life Business system and Financial Fitness Pack is one of the best value propositions in the world today!
There is no system good enough to overcome stupidity.
As Forrest Gump said, “Stupid is as stupid does”. And today we seem to be surrounded by a world of financially stupid people (and a media designed to keep us trapped in the matrix). So I will continue to ‘charge hell with a squirt gun’ by writing my rebuttal articles to set the record straight. If you are new to this blog, here are a few back links to get you caught up:
You can’t watch the fist clip without watching the second–
As Life Leadership continues to expand around the country (and around the world), the number of critics may expand proportionally. Therefore, I think it is necessary to circle back and address the question again: Is Life Leadership a pyramid scheme designed to scam people? Or is it a legitimate company generating sales and rewarding members fairly based upon their results?
The Lazy Man who has theories but makes no Money
Before we answer these questions, I ran across a very funny video that may be helpful in discerning who to get your facts from. The critic and negative blogger, in my opinion and in most cases, resembles “Ali G ” talking about “Techmology” in the following video. Check it out:
So you see, to argue with an idiot is useless and frustrating! To the people that know the truth and have been blessed by Life Leadership, conversations with the “Ali G’s of the world” become a great source of humor!
A pyramid scheme – defined:
ILLEGAL pyramid schemes
From US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) specialist, Aditi Jhaveri, on signs of an illegal pyramid scheme (paraphrased):
Pyramid schemes are illegal.
Pyramid schemes are where your income is based mainly on the number of people you recruit, and the money those new recruits pay to join the company — not on the sales of products to consumers.
You’re required to buy lots of inventory.
You’re forced to buy other things you don’t want or need just to stay in good standing with the company.
LEGAL pyramid schemes
Need I say more? I always wondered why my co-workers were in a bad mood most of the time!
Home-based businesses are poised for an explosion!
Life Leadership is positioned to be the most timely and most lucrative home based business in the world today. Why? Simply because people need to make more money while at the same time cannot quit their current job. They also need more time flexibility. Finally, most people cannot afford to invest the cash for a conventional business startup (or they cannot afford to risk borrowing 5 to 6 figures in loans). Here is an excerpt from Orrin Woodward’s blog.
For instance, one of the first conundrums I was faced with when I first studied community building was the statistic bantered around against the profession such as the following: “Only 1 out of 100 people actually makes 50k or more per year.” At first hearing, this sounds terrible. You mean to tell me that if I get started I only have a 1 out of 100 chance of making it? But these two statements are not saying the same thing, even though on the surface they may appear to do so.
Let me explain.
The first statement (“only 1 out of 100 people make 50 k or more”) is a snapshot of the profession based upon the fact that for anyone to reach the top of the chart (15,000 points), he must build customers, members, and help them do enough volume for him to hit this level. Typically, by the time a person hits the top of the chart (whether he does it in 3 months or 3 years) he has around 100 active members. Hence, the 1 out of 100 number. In other words, even if 100% of the people made it, they would still make it by bringing in around 100 other active members and the 1% who made it at any particular time would still be true.
However, this doesn’t mean the other 100 people cannot also bring in customers and members who enjoy the life-changing products and do the exact same thing as the person who brought them in. And, when they do, the will have built a team (on average) of 100 people so the 1 out of 100 number remains.
Now to my point.
Given that the nature of community building involves building a community (how’s that for obvious?) and that a leader’s goal is to build 100 active people into his community who service customers and members, then the “1 out of 100” number tells us nothing of the success or failure of the business. Rather, it simply reports on the size of community necessary to earn a certain income, as in my example above when I threw out the hypothetical 50k.
Indeed, the model is hard-wired, or designed for a leader to service a community of 100 people in order to reach 15,000 points and thereby achieve the Leader level in LIFE Leadership to make anywhere from 20k to upwards of 50k (with the CAB program included – see the LIFE Income Disclosure Statement attached at the bottom of this post). Therefore, the real question a new person should be asking is not the 1 out of 100 snapshot, which merely reports that a Leader must build 100 people communities, but rather, how fast can one build 100 people communities?
A system to leverage
Life Leadership has a fine tuned system that is simple to follow. It includes a web based marketing system that is second to none. It has a systematic seminar system that allows you to duplicate leaders across multiple states and countries. It has a step by step manual to follow called the TeamBuilder’s Textbook. It has 10 “how-to” packs and a top 50 CD set that can get you up to speed on the history and cultural dynamics fast.
A focus on serving Customers
Life Leadership works hard to make sure its products are relevant and priced appropriate for the marketplace. This is rare, because there are thousands of other home-based businesses that have products that are way too expensive for the price-conscious consumer.
A fantastic group of Leaders
The best part of Life Leadership is the leaders. Let me explain. People are messy. People make mistakes. When people spend enough time around each other, they eventually offend each other. The best part of the leadership core is that they really practice Biblical conflict resolution. When two parties work to apologize, forgive, and show grace, something magical happens – the bonds of friendship grow stronger.
A real solution to the Financial Matrix
Life Leadership has a best selling product: The Financial Fitness Pack. The reason it is a best selling product is because finances are a real problem! We are surrounded and bombarded with media that gets paid to convince us to get into debt. For most people, it is becoming harder to stay afloat. So do yourself a favor, quit stewing over the negative garbage on the Internet. Quit confusing the “Ali G’s” as valid perspectives. The Life Leadership business is never going to be perfect. It’s just going to be one of the best endeavors that you will experience in your lifetime.
Let the dogs bark, the caravan is moving on! Life Leadership is continuously improving and getting closer to its goal of helping millions of people worldwide learn solid principles for success.
Life Leadership is not a scam..
On the contrary, it is a constantly improving educational system. I almost think that Orrin Woodward and the folks that sit on Life Leadership’s policy council are masters in the martial art of Aikido. Wikipedia describes Aikido as “techniques consist of entering and turning movements that redirect the momentum of an opponent’s attack, and a throw or joint lock that terminates the technique.”
Life Leadership gets better, not bitter
For example, when a critic or negative blogger identifies a legitimate flaw, the leaders of Life Leadership don’t get bitter, they get better. They choose to constantly attack their own status quo and find ways to make the product or the organization better. They will say to themselves, “this is a valid argument and an area we can get better at”, then they implement a PDCA or plan of action to improve. Meanwhile, the critic or negative blogger is the ultimate loser from the interaction because their attitude causes them to stay bitter and dormant.
The dog will always bark
If a critic or negative blogger does not have a valid argument, they are like the dogs that bark as the caravan loads up and moves on. These dogs should simply be ignored. Then, over time, their barks become distant ‘yelps’ in the background. I bet, if you stick around the dog to see what happens next, you will find it barking at another caravan that is trying to improve and move on. Maybe, once in a while, somebody feels sorry and pets the dog or throws it a bone, but when that person tries to move on, the dog will still bark (in spite of the kind gesture towards the dog).
Life Leadership and the Financial Matrix
Life Leadership will continue to grow because it seeks to identify real problems and offer real, world-class solutions. Check out the Financial Matrix, for example. This is a real problem that is undeniable, and Life Leadership has packaged a solid solution: The Financial Fitness Pack. The people that have contacted you about becoming either a customer or member of Life Leadership are sincere and legitimate. This is a solid organization heading towards a bright future. I encourage you to hop on board the caravan and don’t worry about the barking dog – that’s what they are supposed to do…
Here is part 2 (If you have not read Part 1, you can follow the link here).
Alleged claim: “The Team Tends to “Peddle” the Gospel.”
Rebuttal: This assessment from Pastor Marriott is also very disappointing to read. If Pastor Marriott would seek facts instead of biased opinions from a misunderstood third party, he would have never come to this conclusion.
First of all, this is a business, and there is nothing wrong with showcasing profit potential to meet people’s needs in the marketplace. The fact that Life Leadership’s materials contain Biblical references just makes common sense, because the source of absolute truth is the Bible! Where else would they get it?? Pastor Marriott should be proud that Life Leadership is not ashamed of the Gospel! In fact, this is vital to marketplace ministry (and where many outreach programs fall short) – if you help a person make a few hundred dollars to relieve some financial strain, you may just earn their trust and an opportunity to share your faith to open ears. Or, in the process of serving lost souls, you have a chance to be a living example of how a Christian should behave (where without the business relationship, the door would be closed).
For additional perspective, I highly recommend reading a few articles from Raymond Abernathy. Raymond is an itinerant Pastor in the St. Louis, MO area who is in high demand, speaking to churches and congregations all over the greater St. Louis area. Raymond has done a great deal of scriptural research and has written a few fantastic articles on this issue. Follow the links below:
Preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words. -Francis of Assisi
Pastor Marriott writes, “if the goal is wealth and not people, the goal is wrong”. Where he got the Life Leadership business wrong is that the goal IS to develop people! The wealth produced is a measuring stick of how many people you have served and how many problems you have solved. This is a very common misunderstanding among Pastors – they tend to have a shallow understanding of economics and how money is really made in a free-market economy.
Alleged claim: “The Team Tends to Detract from the Local Church”.
Rebuttal: This one is very sad and borderline laughable! Pastor Marriott implies that church members must choose between being faithful to their church or to the Life business? Um… there is no reason whatsoever that a Christian can’t do both – be highly active in the Life Leadership business AND highly active in one’s local church. Just because Tuesday at 8PM may conflict with some church events does not constitute a breach of faithfulness. Furthermore, Life Leadership hosts 3 weekend conferences per year – and at these conferences the Gospel message is shared on Sunday morning. This is hardly a detraction from local church!
This topic is a very slippery slope for all Pastors. The danger is called “churchianity”, which is when a church places a larger emphasis on the habits of church life or the institutional traditions of the church than on a person’s walk and relationship with Jesus Christ (John 6:39).
In some cases, there is also a double standard going on here. For example, if a person was required to travel, work overtime or even take a second shift position for work – the Pastor doesn’t post an article online saying, “Danger: XYZ company puts employees in a position where they must choose between faithfulness to the local church or faithfulness to the XYZ organization”! Or a small business owner is not criticized for being in business every Tuesday evening and one Saturday evening a month! This claim is ridiculous.
The last item in the in this claim mentions that Life Leadership members are encouraged to counsel with the person who signed them up rather than a pastor or elder. This blanket statement is false. The leaders of Life Leadership simply teach Matthew 7:16-17 for all areas of life: ‘Check the fruit on the tree’. In most cases, a person’s pastor or church elder is certainly the best source of biblical counsel. However, when it comes to detailed questions about business ownership or personal finances, many Pastors and elders simply do not have the “fruit on the tree”. Therefore, when it comes to getting answers on how to become successful in business, it is good advice to seek advice from successful people in your industry. Life Leadership is not and never will be a replacement for the type of guidance you should receive from the Bible (including a Pastor or elder who can help you navigate the scriptures).
Alleged claim: “Team Tends to Place Unbiblical Expectations upon Christian Families”.
Rebuttal: This allegation, once again, is derived from opinion and not fact. This is a very shallow assessment and could not be further from the truth. If Pastor Marriott had interviewed any of the leaders in Life Leadership who have attained the levels of success that give the choice to leave a day job, he would have a different opinion.
If you meet any of the “financially independent” leaders, you will find that they do not sit around the house and do nothing. They have a heightened sense of Luke 12:48 “…For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more”. Top leaders have replaced jobs that they found unfulfilling and replace those jobs with the joys of service through business ownership. The top leaders that are free from jobs are encouraged to read more, serve more and focus on finding more ways to be a blessing to others. Pastor Marriott’s claims are based upon gross misunderstandings and twisted facts.
That being said, the meetings I have been to simply promote “live the life you have always wanted”. This is vastly different for all people. Many people love their jobs and Life Leadership has always taught that you should be excellent at that job. Then if the job income is not enough to sustain you, then use Life Leadership as a way to close the gap. This does not even address the fact that most Americans, including Christians, are trapped in the Debt Matrix scam and can see no way out. This violates multiple scripture (Luke 14:28, Proverbs 22:7 and Romans 13:8) which very few churches address today. For example, the top selling product that Life Leadership promotes is the Financial Fitness Pack. This pack talks about how to be a better steward of your money by systematically getting out of debt, and then how to store up wealth for times of tribulation (a rainy day). This is the focus of Life Leadership, not getting rich and becoming a sluggard at home as Pastor Marriott has falsely concluded.
Finally, It is OK to dream for more success. After all, isn’t that why God saw fit to tell us about heaven? In the striving for something greater than we have, we force ourselves to get out of our “comfort zone” and improve both personally and professionally. I think Jesus was very clear about this when speaking to his disciples about the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30.
Alleged claim: “Team Inadvertently functions through the lens of retribution theology”.
Rebuttal: Again, this claim makes it obvious that Pastor Marriott has done no extensive research on the Team/Life Leadership organization. The leadership knows there are no guarantees of physical reward for obedience – this is reinforced an all training CDs and business support material. Life Leaders consistently acknowledge that every person’s journey is different.
Of course God uses suffering to bring about conformity to the image of His Son. I am sure that the leaders of Life agree with Pastor Marriott 100% on this one. The purpose of Life Leadership is not to address God’s trials, only to address consequences of bad decision making. Let me explain the difference (in case you are confused on this one): For example, lets look at somebody that chooses to run up massive credit card debt and then for many years after, endures tremendous emotional strife: this is not the hand of God putting this person through a Job-like trial, this is a consequence for not applying financial truths. Another example would be when a husband or wife consistently treat each other poorly, yelling, arguing and ignoring each other. Eventually, they seek counseling for a bad marriage. This is not some mysterious trial or a test from God, this also is a consequence for years of poor behavior and not applying simple relational truths. These consequences are what Life Leadership is seeking to teach people about, not some attempt to circumvent God’s trials!
In Conclusion, this article by Pastor Marriott is full of rumor, hearsay and founded in data from negative third party experiences. If you are doing research and considering joining the Life Leadership business, you will find that your experience will not be anything like Pastor Marriott describes in his blog. Instead, you will have a tremendous amount of flexibility and support. You will have access to world class leadership information. You will experience a grace filled organization (as opposed to a law filled organization). You will learn fantastic truth principles that will help you live the live you always wanted. You will be challenged but also welcomed no matter what your past is and what your goals are. You will find that the founding group of leaders are all Christian, God fearing men and women that truly want to make a difference by creating a level playing field for success. Unfortunately, because individuals have a lot of freedom, they make mistakes and sometimes do not represent the model Life Leadership example; then you get to read about this poor example from folks like Pastor Marriott. I am sure he means well, but he simply did not seek the facts from the source. That is why I had to write this letter. Life Leadership is a truly incredible organization that is a force for good in this fallen world. I encourage you to go to the next live event and see for yourself.