Orrin Woodward LIFE Leadership Team

Winner of the 2011 Independent Association of Business Top Leader Award; Orrin Woodward shares his leadership secrets.

A Message for the Leadership Remnant

Posted by Orrin Woodward on November 23, 2011

Albert Jay Nock was a thinker of immense proportions. Even when I disagree with him, he forces me to think through my foundational principles and beliefs. His article entitled Isaiah’s Job, discussing the remnant is a good example of this. Nock compares Isaiah’s life and God’s encouragement to him through a remnant people – who had not bowed their knee to Baal – to the need today for people who will lead, speak, and write for today’s remnant. Here is a portion of Nock’s article:

The prophet’s career began at the end of King Uzziah’s reign, say about 740 B.C. This reign was uncommonly long, almost half a century, and apparently prosperous. It was one of those prosperous reigns, however – like the reign of Marcus Aurelius at Rome, or the administration of Eubulus at Athens, or of Mr. Coolidge at Washington – where at the end the prosperity suddenly peters out and things go by the board with a resounding crash.

In the year of Uzziah’s death, the Lord commissioned the prophet to go out and warn the people of the wrath to come. “Tell them what a worthless lot they are.” He said, “Tell them what is wrong, and why and what is going to happen unless they have a change of heart and straighten up. Don’t mince matters. Make it clear that they are positively down to their last chance. Give it to them good and strong and keep on giving it to them. I suppose perhaps I ought to tell you,” He added, “that it won’t do any good. The official class and their intelligentsia will turn up their noses at you and the masses will not even listen. They will all keep on in their own ways until they carry everything down to destruction, and you will probably be lucky if you get out with your life.”

Isaiah had been very willing to take on the job – in fact, he had asked for it – but the prospect put a new face on the situation. It raised the obvious question: Why, if all that were so – if the enterprise were to be a failure from the start – was there any sense in starting it? “Ah,” the Lord said, “you do not get the point. There is a Remnant there that you know nothing about. They are obscure, unorganized, inarticulate, each one rubbing along as best he can. They need to be encouraged and braced up because when everything has gone completely to the dogs, they are the ones who will come back and build up a new society; and meanwhile, your preaching will reassure them and keep them hanging on. Your job is to take care of the Remnant, so be off now and set about it.”

Apparently, then, if the Lord’s word is good for anything – I do not offer any opinion about that, – the only element in Judean society that was particularly worth bothering about was the Remnant. Isaiah seems finally to have got it through his head that this was the case; that nothing was to be expected from the masses, but that if anything substantial were ever to be done in Judea, the Remnant would have to do it. This is a very striking and suggestive idea; but before going on to explore it, we need to be quite clear about our terms. What do we mean by the masses, and what by the Remnant?

As the word masses is commonly used, it suggests agglomerations of poor and underprivileged people, laboring people, proletarians, and it means nothing like that; it means simply the majority. The mass-man is one who has neither the force of intellect to apprehend the principles issuing in what we know as the humane life, nor the force of character to adhere to those principles steadily and strictly as laws of conduct; and because such people make up the great and overwhelming majority of mankind, they are called collectively the masses. The line of differentiation between the masses and the Remnant is set invariably by quality, not by circumstance. The Remnant are those who by force of intellect are able to apprehend these principles, and by force of character are able, at least measurably, to cleave to them. The masses are those who are unable to do either. . .

Orrin Woodward:
However, anytime one styles his message to the masses, it gets dumbed down to the point where it no longer contains the kernels of truth needed to fuel the remnant. Think about how much in education, leadership, politics, etc., has been dumbed down. In most cases, the real issues aren’t even addressed because the majority of the people cannot comprehend them. Is there any hope for America and the West if we continue to dumb everything down?

I have a counter-proposal. What if we grew the intellectual capacity of the people, rather than dumbing down the message for the people? Marva Collins has proven this model can work, teaching inner city kids Shakespeare, Plato, etc, through her unyielding love for her young community of students. What if we did that across America, Canada, and eventually the world?

Ok, sorry about that. I get a little carried away when I think about the condition of Western Civilization. Let’s get back to Nock’s Remnant:

. . . The main trouble with all this is its reaction upon the mission itself. It necessitates an opportunist sophistication of one’s doctrine, which profoundly alters its character and reduces it to a mere placebo. If, say, you are a preacher, you wish to attract as large a congregation as you can, which means an appeal to the masses; and this, in turn, means adapting the terms of your message to the order of intellect and character that the masses exhibit. If you are an educator, say with a college on your hands, you wish to get as many students as possible, and you whittle down your requirements accordingly. If a writer, you aim at getting many readers; if a publisher, many purchasers; if a philosopher, many disciples; if a reformer, many converts; if a musician, many auditors; and so on. But as we see on all sides, in the realization of these several desires, the prophetic message is so heavily adulterated with trivialities, in every instance, that its effect on the masses is merely to harden them in their sins. Meanwhile, the Remnant, aware of this adulteration and of the desires that prompt it, turn their backs on the prophet and will have nothing to do with him or his message.

Isaiah, on the other hand, worked under no such disabilities. He preached to the masses only in the sense that he preached publicly. Anyone who liked might listen; anyone who liked might pass by. He knew that the Remnant would listen; and knowing also that nothing was to be expected of the masses under any circumstances, he made no specific appeal to them, did not accommodate his message to their measure in any way, and did not care two straws whether they heeded it or not. As a modern publisher might put it, he was not worrying about circulation or about advertising. Hence, with all such obsessions quite out of the way, he was in a position to do his level best, without fear or favor, and answerable only to his august Boss.

If a prophet were not too particular about making money out of his mission or getting a dubious sort of notoriety out of it, the foregoing considerations would lead one to say that serving the Remnant looks like a good job. An assignment that you can really put your back into, and do your best without thinking about results, is a real job; whereas serving the masses is at best only half a job, considering the inexorable conditions that the masses impose upon their servants. They ask you to give them what they want, they insist upon it, and will take nothing else; and following their whims, their irrational changes of fancy, their hot and cold fits, is a tedious business, to say nothing of the fact that what they want at any time makes very little call on one’s resources of prophesy. The Remnant, on the other hand, want only the best you have, whatever that may be. Give them that, and they are satisfied; you have nothing more to worry about. The prophet of the American masses must aim consciously at the lowest common denominator of intellect, taste and character among 120,000,000 (now 300 million)people; and this is a distressing task. The prophet of the Remnant, on the contrary, is in the enviable position of Papa Haydn in the household of Prince Esterhazy. All Haydn had to do was keep forking out the very best music he knew how to produce, knowing it would be understood and appreciated by those for whom he produced it, and caring not a button what anyone else thought of it; and that makes a good job. . .

Orrin Woodward:
Nock is describing the joy of teaching hungry students. Joseph Haydn was a world-class musician and composer. Even at a young age, he displayed the aptitude, hunger, and joy of learning to develop mastery in his musical craft. I truly believe that the masses are the masses, not from lack of talent, but from lack of passion and purpose. This is the LIFE business goal, to bring passion and purpose back into people’s lives. By creating a leadership community, the goal is to reach people where they are at, teaching them principles, that if applied, would change their lives forever. We are on a mission to find the hungry masses, helping them to discover their God-given potential, passion, and purpose. Let’s return to Nock’s article:

. . . What chiefly makes it so, I think, is that in any given society the Remnant are always so largely an unknown quantity. You do not know, and will never know, more than two things about them. You can be sure of those – dead sure, as our phrase is – but you will never be able to make even a respectable guess at anything else. You do not know, and will never know, who the Remnant are, nor what they are doing or will do. Two things you do know, and no more: First, that they exist; second, that they will find you. Except for these two certainties, working for the Remnant means working in impenetrable darkness; and this, I should say, is just the condition calculated most effectively to pique the interest of any prophet who is properly gifted with the imagination, insight and intellectual curiosity necessary to a successful pursuit of his trade. . .

Orrin Woodward:
LIFE is a plan to reach the people with truth in the 8F’s, knowing that a remnant exist in the living rooms of the world; a remnant who are sick and tired of being sick and tired. This is the exact spot that Laurie and I were in. We were sick and tired of being sick and tired. We wanted changes and were willing to change ourselves if needed in order to accomplish it. The problem with the prophets to the masses today is they immediately start with a dumbed down message that only exacerbates the problems rather than solving them. In today’s battered economic conditions, people need real hope for the future like never before in America’s history. Real hope begins with changes on the inside before things can change on the outside.

Call me a dreamer, an idealist, a nut, or even a scam, but I will not cease doing what I know is right! A man with the facts is never at the mercy of a man with an opinion. I know first-hand what happened in Laurie and my life. To not offer the same opportunity to others would be selfish and wrong. I do not desire to create a political community that demands their rights. Instead, I dream of revealing to each hungry person the capabilities hidden inside of them as I discuss in the book, RESOLVED. In this way, they will demand more from themselves, becoming champions without having to demand anything from others, but simply an opportunity to perform.  Alright, back to Nock:

. . . One of the most suggestive episodes recounted in the Bible is that of a prophet’s attempt – the only attempt of the kind on the record, I believe – to count up the Remnant. Elijah had fled from persecution into the desert, where the Lord presently overhauled him and asked what he was doing so far away from his job. He said that he was running away, not because he was a coward, but because all the Remnant had been killed off except himself. He had got away only by the skin of his teeth, and, he being now all the Remnant there was, if he were killed the True Faith would go flat. The Lord replied that he need not worry about that, for even without him the True Faith could probably manage to squeeze along somehow if it had to; “and as for your figures on the Remnant,” He said, “I don’t mind telling you that there are seven thousand of them back there in Israel whom it seems you have not heard of, but you may take My word for it that there they are.”

At that time, probably the population of Israel could not run to much more than a million or so; and a Remnant of seven thousand out of a million is a highly encouraging percentage for any prophet. With seven thousand of the boys on his side, there was no great reason for Elijah to feel lonesome; and incidentally, that would be something for the modern prophet of the Remnant to think of when he has a touch of the blues. But the main point is that if Elijah the Prophet could not make a closer guess on the number of the Remnant than he made when he missed it by seven thousand, anyone else who tackled the problem would only waste his time.

For these reasons it appears to me that Isaiah’s job is not only good but also extremely interesting; and especially so at the present time when nobody is doing it. If I were young and had the notion of embarking in the prophetical line, I would certainly take up this branch of the business; and therefore I have no hesitation about recommending it as a career for anyone in that position. It offers an open field, with no competition; our civilization so completely neglects and disallows the Remnant that anyone going in with an eye single to their service might pretty well count on getting all the trade there is.

Even assuming that there is some social salvage to be screened out of the masses, even assuming that the testimony of history to their social value is a little too sweeping, that it depresses hopelessness a little too far, one must yet perceive, I think, that the masses have prophets enough and to spare. Even admitting that in the teeth of history that hope of the human race may not be quite exclusively centered in the Remnant, one must perceive that they have social value enough to entitle them to some measure of prophetic encouragement and consolation, and that our civilization allows them none whatever. Every prophetic voice is addressed to the masses, and to them alone; the voice of the pulpit, the voice of education, the voice of politics, of literature, drama, journalism – all these are directed towards the masses exclusively, and they marshal the masses in the way that they are going.

One might suggest, therefore, that aspiring prophetical talent may well turn to another field. . . So long as the masses are taking up the tabernacle of Moloch and Chiun, their images, and following the star of their god Buncombe, they will have no lack of prophets to point the way that leadeth to the More Abundant Life; and hence a few of those who feel the prophetic afflatus might do better to apply themselves to serving the Remnant. It is a good job, an interesting job, much more interesting than serving the masses; and moreover it is the only job in our whole civilization, as far as I know, that offers a virgin field.

If you are part of the leadership remnant, or desire to be; if you are hungry and willing to change; if you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, then LIFE is calling. It’s time for the leadership remnant to answer the call. Sincerely, Orrin Woodward

21 Responses to “A Message for the Leadership Remnant”

  1. Count me in! Awesome article! I like Nock, and, like you, sometimes disagree, but he does make one think!

  2. Raymond said

    Great Article Orrin! What an awesome analogy in describing our pursuit of the remnant. As we share LIFE, I find it reassuring when the masses reject our pearls of Godly wisdom, because history shows that God only needs a few faithful “prophets” to change the entire World. How liberating to know that the prophet is not called to convince or conjole, only to convey and compel. If we preach the truth they will come!

    • Raymond, YOU got it! We step into the living rooms of the world to cull out the remnant. When opportunity and preparedness meet, great things happen. We must prepare the remnant for greatness! God Bless, Orrin

  3. Orrin,

    Deep Stuff! You challenge me every time I read one of your blogs.

    This one answered a question I have received lately by people considering the LIFE business and that is; How do you get people to read or have time to listen to the CD’s? (I am so busy watching TV and being part of the masses). My answer is what I have experienced; You and TEAM have created a culture to bring those who truly want to make a difference together (The Remnant) and create a hunger to learn because we know we can make that difference.

    Most people I believe want to make a difference with their life but feel they are alone (like Elijah) and don’t realize they are not, there are thousands and soon millions who are championing a cause to effect change for good!

  4. Orrin, thank you for always stretching my thinking with different stories and analogies! I thank God there was a leadership remnant courageous enough to call out to the masses a few years ago. Like you and Laurie, my life has changed completely. This is the part I have fallen in love with: “…to bring passion and purpose back into people’s lives. By creating a leadership community, the goal is to reach people where they are at, teaching them principles, that if applied, would change their lives forever. We are on a mission to find the hungry masses, helping them to discover their God-given potential, passion, and purpose.” The leadership remnant knows it’s calling and we will answer the call.

  5. Pastor Ken Mangold said

    Among all the joys of being a parish pastor there is but one pain that has always eaten at me the most: That is wanting more for the people I serve than they would want for themselves. Eight years ago I became the pastor of a mult-staff congregation after serving as a missionary and a small parish pastor. Once at the multi-staffed position this very struggle, described in the article (masses vs. remnant), was in full view. I had a co-worker under me who firmly believed that it was our job to appeal to the masses. Call it the 80/20 principle or whatever you will, it was the majority that we were to cater our messages and services toward. He had made a career or lowering the bar so that the great number could “succeed” at their faith life. I have always approached my ministry, or anything else in life for that matter, from the principle that the level to which you lower your expectation, that is all the further many people will strive to reach. Raise your expectations! Challenge the people in your life to be more than their sinful human nature would want them to be! Do not be a mediocre, a “that’s good enough” person and Christian, but be worthy of the calling you have in Jesus Christ. Many people think all they want is to be spoon fed, until they get a taste, a true taste of the Truth. Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” Then feed them real spiritual food, not the milk meant for the lamb!

    And that is the beauty of the LIFE materials and system. It pulls no pnches. It sugar coats nothing. It tells people what they NEED to hear rather than what they want to hear. We are all broken. We all need fixing. And it is not pabulum or trite cliches or cutsy mantras that feed what we need. No, these things do not bring freedom to the soul and excellence to all that we do. It is only the Truth that will set us free. Therfore be it resolved that the Truth is what you share.

    • Pastor Ken, Fantastic thoughts! Instead of lowering the bar through low expectations, let’s raise the bar through great expectations! 🙂 God Bless, Orrin

    • Lea Ann Perkins said

      To add to Pastor Ken’s thoughts about the truths that we share, and what they can do for the masses and the remnant, hopefully calling more from the masses to join the remnant.

      Isaiah 46:1-4
      Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: your carriages were heavy loaden; they are a burden to the weary beast. They stoop, they bow down together, they could not deliver the burden, but themselves are gone into captivity. Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb: And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar (grey) hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.

      Bel and Nebo are idol-gods and cannot be compared to the Lord. Idols are a burden to us, they pull us down until we “boweth” and “stoopeth,” even until we are “gone into captivity.” But the Lord will carry us and make our burdens lighter. He will lift us from our stoop and save us from our captivity. No matter what our “captivity” might be, whether it is debt, material things, pride, status, idleness, entertainment, dishonesty, immorality, etc. the Lord has a way prepared for us to be free of it. I know through my own application of the LIFE products that Orrin and Laurie were Divinely called to the position they are in today, to organize a system and a community of people where we can find the Lords laws and eternal truths with a group of like-minded people we can lean on, so that we may apply those truths and be lifted up from our captivity.

      Isaiah 55: 6-13
      Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

      Living Intentionally For Excellence is a daily battle that we wage against our fallen state, or our natural man. For the Lord’s thoughts, and his ways, truly aren’t our ways. We have to make a conscious effort to battle that “negative voice” inside, and remember to look at life through God’s eyes; through God’s standards of excellence. But as we do this, as we fight that negative voice, as we become our best selves, the Lord has blessed us with a beautiful promise that “[we] shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands…” And isn’t that the way you feel when you have faced your Goliath with all of your conscious effort and you have won? Now as Orrin says, “there will always be another Goliath,” but be not dismayed for the Lord is on thy side!!!

      As we face the remnant and the masses, this is the message that we bring: to be lifted of our burdens, to overcome our weaknesses, and to help others do the same. All the glory be to God and his Son, Jesus Christ, forever and ever.

      Lea Ann Perkins

      • Pastor Ken Mangold said

        And that, Miss Lee Ann, is the beauty of God’s Word. It is meant for all, applies to all, and is a call that goes out to all. “For God wants all men to be save AND come to a knowledge of the Truth.” This is why we “preach the Word in season and out of season;” whether the masses wish to hear it or not. Cast the good seed, let it fall where it may, and let the Holy Spirit do His work. Ah, the Gospel! A balm for the wounded and salve for the soul!

  6. Richard Kroll Jr. said

    Orrin thank you AGAIN for leading the “remnant” and teaching us how to lead as well!

    I hope your article will encourage the “prophets” to remember that our message is not for the masses, but for the remnant.

    So many times as we “preach” openly in the marketplace our focus shifts from talking to the “remnant” who are always listening, to the “masses” who are not our audience at all. If we start to believe that the masses are our audience we will only face discouragement and dispair; similar to Elijah.

    Over the years I have had to remind myself that we are only looking for “5%ers” locked in “95%” lives. And while this is still true to a great extent, what you are offering with LIFE the masses now can benefit too…possibly becoming part of the remnant…and then aspiring to being a prophet too!

    Simply AMAZING!!!

    • Richard, love it! I have studied so many field of humanities and they all fall into Sturgeon’s Law – 90%-10%. There are many 10% trapped in 90% endeavors and we are going to rescue this remnant one household at a time across the world! LIFE is Launching the Leadership Revolution! God Bless, Orrin

  7. Skipper ford said

    I love how you use the truth. ie. God s Word, to show us that our cause is correct, timely. and God given

  8. Tammy Maney said

    Orrin, that is exactly how i feel. We have a duty to spread truth into the living rooms of the world. I feel compelled to help make a difference. A year ago I have let Christ lead me, and words cannot describe what that feels like. We can lead people out of there worries and give them hope that they can drastically change their life with a hunger of learning and courage to stand up for what is right! There is no greater purpose than to live your life on purpose,serving others and leading them to truth. God Bless, Tammy

  9. Kevin Hamm said

    Orrin,

    Great post. Ultimately the remnant will be those who can see through the deception of the temporal and see the significance of the eternal. The apostle Paul was certainly such a man and he show cased two others in the last part of chapter two in Philippians, Timothy and Epaphroditus. There are some great characteristics listed in that passage for those who study it out. Later in chapter three Paul urges his readers to “join in following my example, and observe those who walk in the pattern that you have in us.” Orrin, I have observed that you are walking in that pattern and I pledge to follow your example. Thank you for providing a vehicle to effectively live out our purpose.

    Kevin Hamm

  10. Orrin, Truth is the most beautiful thing a person can read or hear. Tears came to my eyes while reading this. It is oxygen to the soul. Your not just informing. Your taking us to the source and giving us the opportunity to drink from the well ourselves. Renaissance Humanism defined itself as the separation from the professional monopoly of learning reflected in the university. Like Dante’s ‘Comedy’ you have given us the opportunity to take on an ascending pilgrimage of education leading to the higher realms like philosophy, the classics, and ultimately theology. We are seeing the oxygen of truth explode with the LIFE business. God Bless, George

  11. It’s funny how often we (or at least “I”) refer to “the masses” without ever stopping to realize that “the masses” grow from individuals. The beauty of the LIFE business is that it is relevant, relatable, and accessible to the masses, spread through individual connections. Nock makes a great point that the message cannot be dumbed down for the masses, but I don’t think the message needs to be dumbed down to affect the masses. You’ve said yourself, Orrin, that the truth feels right in people’s hearts, even if it’s painful. The information the LIFE business offers will make sweeping changes throughout this nation and the world.

  12. Don Fallis said

    Orrin: As always it is always about changing ourselves which in turn helps create the culture. Thank You

  13. Heidi Jury said

    Thanks for the challenge….I will try to let it change me. As an early childhood educator I look forward to finding a way to translating LIFE materials to young children – I believe that the greatest opportunity for learning is between birth and age five. For me, raising of expectations always works better with a plan for daily habits and an authentic connection with a teacher who truly cares. LIFE has both – thank you – I look forward to translating LIFE to early childhood education.

    Heidi Jury
    Team Kaizen
    Halifax, NS
    http://www.spiritsingingsoul.blogspot.com

  14. Maribel Damphousse said

    This is truly amazing, to see that what we do through LIFE is so much Biblical in nature – like what the Lord has told Isaiah to go out and seek the remnants. History repeats itself and we are reminded once again to go out and seek the remnants and LIFE is responding to the Lord’s command! I am blessed to be part of the solution trying to improve, grow and change myself rather than be part of the problem. God bless!

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