Friday, August 16, 2013

UCG Admits They Have Not Grown As A Church - So Let's Start "Operation Broken Rung!"



The UCG admitted today that their church has not grown over the last several years.  This is a well known fact.  None of the COG's are growing (except for COG7).  All any of them do is poach members from other COG's to increase their numbers.  Worldly pagans are just not interested in their message of law, doom, damnation and death.  All of the COG's still are living in the 1950-1980's.  They cannot for some reason repackage their messages.  They cannot move into the 21st century and find relevance with humanity.

We have a tremendous library of literature, but the problem is that we have not grown in membership. We must have a peaceful environment before we can expect growth, but we must also find ways to progressively engage those who learn about God’s truth through our efforts. Our present ladder of involvement from first contact to baptized member has some broken rungs on it. Call it “Operation Broken Rung,” but we must fix that progression of engaging to teaching to converting those new who God is calling.


23 comments:

Joe Moeller said...

Churches of all stripes in the United States are stagnant, whether they be Protestant or COG.

The real market for growth is in the international areas, especially second and third world areas.

If I were King, Id dedicate virtually all my resources on emerging market areas like India, Nigeria, Russia and China.

COG7 is also stagnant in the USA, except for Latin American immigrants who have come to the USA, who were Sabbatarians already in their native countries. COG7 has had virtually all of its growth come from non-European international areas, and can now claim approximately 200K members.

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Anonymous said...

The Methodist church has been loosing members since about 1964. Similar numbers for many mainstream churches. The problem with going to the Third World areas is they don't have any money to give to the COGs.

Anonymous said...

I dont know if the "churches of all stripes" explanation holds water when youre talking about GAWWWWDS END TIME CHURCH.

Anonymous said...

Vic admits: "...Our present ladder of involvement from first contact to baptized member has some broken rungs on it.

Call it “Operation Broken Rung,” but we must fix that progression of engaging to teaching to converting those new who God is calling..."

The United Assoc. and its many splinters have been in existence since Vic fled from WCG, so why the broken rung(s)?

Perhaps the fruits are simply showing that God may be working elsewhere, after all, scripture does tell us:

"But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up." Matthew 15:13

Is it possible that the United "fruits/works" indicate that the association is in the process of being "rooted up?"

I see that when it comes to salvation that God is doing something:

"For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth." Psalm 74:12

I see that when it comes to repentance that God is doing something:

"When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life." Acts 11:18

I suspect that God wherever He is working, when it comes to doing something with those He is working with, that He will work it all out:

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Vic may feel that his assoc. is threatened by loose lips and broken rungs, but I suspect that God is accomplishing exactly whatever He wants with or without the United (and Cogwa too) Assoc.............and time will tell.

John

Douglas Becker said...

Wrong assumption.

Is there any evidence that God was with the UCG, ever?

Not seeing any.

The ministers consistently lied to me and broke their promises. I don't have any incentive to care about their spectacular non growth.

Perhaps if they repented totally of everything that's wrong with them now and especially everything that's wrong with the legacy from Herbert Armstrong such as British Israelism, bogus church history from Ellen G. White, the obsession of keeping purely physical observances, such as the Feast of Tabernacles and stop with their gloom and doom world news prophecies.

Not much hope of that.

And they know better.

Anonymous said...

Maybe WCG itself was rooted up. which tells ya its not of god to begin with?

Byker Bob said...

People who do not attend them mock them, but since the concept of the mega church has evolved, the mega churches have grown tremendously.

Why? First, people seem to gravitate to a community which has many resources, is producing good fruits in the local area, and is growing.

Secondly, most of these churches do not major in the minors. In other words, they will stick to the very basic elements of Christianity, and not make an issue out of ridiculous theories, or miniscule points. No gnosticism, or special things you have to believe in to qualify for salvation.

Lastly, they are not a one man show. There is a board of elders (whether or not they are simply yes men is one area in which one must do due diligence) to help keep everything tracking properly. Safeguards, checks and balances.

Probably not a heck of a lot of regulars doing any church-hopping here, but if there are any ACOG lurkers, and if you are disappointed in your particular splinter, I would highly recommend investigating some of the larger churches right in your own neighborhood.

BB

Anonymous said...


"We must have a peaceful environment [in the UCG] before we can expect growth,...."


That is precisely why I fully expect the UCG to do nothing but continue to split and splinter and decline.

Anonymous said...

"Broken rung"?
The bell has "rung" for the UCG.
That bell is the death knell.

A death knell is the ringing of a bell to announce a death.
The UCG is literally dying of old age.

Head Usher said...

"Operation Broken Rung" is destined to fail for so many reasons.

During the COGWA split, Kubik was also complaining that UCG had not grown since its inception. At that time, he was blaming COGWA people who were, obviously, solely responsible for all UCG's troubles. Now that they're gone he can't blame this problem on COGWA people anymore.

99.9% of UCG's membership is former WCG members and/or their children. Since the membership hasn't grown, even while people have been procreating means that there's actually attrition that is being offset with babies. I would guess that most of that attrition is the babies themselves, as those babies grow up, go to college, and leave Armstrongism with their parents.

I agree with Anon 11:36 that Christianity as a whole doesn't have a cogent message for modern people. The portion of the population interested in organized religion is stagnant. That means there's a growing population that is immune to christianity. The only way to grow is through sheep-stealing, which is what Herbert Armstrong was good at. HWA was hated by Protestantism for doing this, and for the nasty attacks he hurled at them every weekend on his TV show, but also because those attacks were mildly effective. Nobody today is willing to do this.

Is there a "broken rung"? Sure, lots of them, although they'll never diagnose them. One broken rung is the fact that what they're selling as "God’s truth" is a bunch of malarkey, so of course they'll never diagnose it. Another broken rung is that, "All of the COG's still are living in the 1950-1980's." And there are many more aspects of Armstrongism that make it unpalatable. Every one of them is a potential "broken rung" or roadblock to a potential convert.

Worse is that with each passing year, the gulf between the average American or European and the average COGer grows wider, making the prospect of winning any more than the odd convert here or there a more and more daunting and improbable proposition. But we prided ourselves as being oddballs from the get-go. The converts the COGs do get will have to be quirkier and quirkier, until perhaps they're dredging the Terry Ratzmans from the bottom of the gene pool.

Continued...

Head Usher said...

Continued...

Even worse is that fixing the "broken rungs" of any of the COGs would result in tearing apart the organizations, because these broken rungs are also sacred cows to the old guard. UCG has been telling their members they're never going to change or water down doctrines the way the Tkachs did, but growth can only come at the cost of reliquishing non-mainstream heresies, or at least going soft on them. But as Joe Jr. knew from the outset, gaining traction with non-Armstrongists basically means losing traction with a huge percentage of current Armstrongists. UCG is caught in the terrible position of being able to grow by telling one set of lies about who they are to new potential converts, and another set of lies about who they'd like to be to the old guard, and meanwhile lying through their teeth by claiming they're not lying to anyone. This is exactly the plan that Joe Jr, drew up, and executed. A bold, calculating, and completely unethical/immoral vision, but hey, it kinda worked if you don’t mind being unscrupulous. The practice of morality was never a long suit in Armstrongism? If UCG wants to grow by bringing in fresh blood, they're facing a similar path as the one Joe Jr. had to tread. That's the only type of path that goes from where the COGs are to where Vic Kubik wants to take UCG.

Worst of all, Armstrongism is a movement that is unsalvageable. It is a cult whose central figure is fading from memory. As such, it's ineligible for new growth. If you don't remember him, you have no reason to be there. That's a rung you can't fix.

Finally, the analogy of a ladder with broken rungs isn't a very helpful one. It doesn't cut through Armstrongism in revealing ways. I imagine it is an analogy Vic got from his good friend Mike Snyder. Addressing UCGs existential problems as though they were simply marketing problems is to entirely miss what is going wrong with UCG, Armstrongism, and religion in an increasingly secular world.

Former UCG said...

UCG is not going to grow ever. They are a joke! I attended there for a few years and still listen to a couple of ministers online.

They teach many ridiculous doctrines and give ammunition to others (like Pack) who says how Protestant they are.

Anonymous said...


Head Pusher said...

"UCG is caught in the terrible position of being able to grow by telling one set of lies about who they are to new potential converts, and another set of lies about who they'd like to be to the old guard, and meanwhile lying through their teeth by claiming they're not lying to anyone."



That's right folks. The wolves now leading the UCG just lie, lie, lie and then lie some more.

The wolves that are now running the UCG are some of the exact same wolves that helped the Tkaches to destroy the WCG in the past.

These wolves are NOT "able to grow by telling one set of lies about who they are to new potential converts." Remember that no new people came into the WCG when these same wolves tried this same trick in the past, so why do they think that it will work for them now this second time around in the UCG?

These wolves did not grow the WCG, they just destroyed it.

These wolves will not grow the UCG either, they will just destroy it too.






Anonymous said...

Where is God working and how is He working?
It seems that everyone has an opinion about God and the involvement such a Being has with human life.
I personally embrace the Christian faith and respect the Christian Bible as the guiding light for the development of characteristics that reflect the desired purpose and goal for perfecting human life.
Having said this I will make a few comments regarding opening question.
If God is the source of life (I believe He is) then He is working with the whole of what we perceive to be the universal order. There is no way we can fully envision the where, why, when, and how this work is progressing.
We are the work of God and it is a misconception to believe we are a primary factor in doing the work of God whether it is an individual or a classified grouping. Our relationships whether it be with other individuals, groups of individuals, or God is a one on one basis.
While there is a principle of the whole being greater than the all individual parts, the quality of the individual parts can make or break the value of the whole.
I believe there is a strong indication that God is letting humanity try every conceivable manor of human engineering to fulfill a perceived desired purpose and goal to prove the incapability of the human mind to produce the desired results.
The real question is will we come to a point in life when we recognize there is a greater source of intelligent power working out a planned purpose that exceeds anything our human mind is capable of grasping and dedicate our life to learning more about what can only be defined as God.
A. Boocher

Head Pusher said...

Hey, I like that. Head Pusher. Maybe I'll be Head Pusher from now on, kinda like how Snoop decided to become Lion even though lions are cats.

I don't know if the Tkachs destroyed WCG or saved it. Saved all that was salvageable, at least. Basically, WCG had a niche, and they wanted to leave that niche, and they did, and it's no wonder that those members who wanted to remain in that niche would leave WCG to stay in the niche, which is what UCG was all about. The bigger question is whether the niche is a good niche. I would claim it isn't. Unfortunately, for WCG to leave the niche basically means bleeding to death and getting a blood transfusion, so that there are very few old guard left. The problem is that upon leaving one niche, Joe Jr really needed to create another, and I'm not sure he was able to do that very successfully. Joe Jr. seemed to just want to "be just like everyone else" which, from a marketing perspective is to say you don't want to have a reason to exist. And I don't think Grace Communion really does have a reason to exist. I've talked to mainstream evangelicals who decided to check it out, and they thought it was such an odd church that they only went the one time. Of course it's odd, GCI is a tranny church. It isn't really one thing, and it isn't really another.

The fact that Armstrongism is stagnant but should be growing just from the procreation factor by about 2% per year, means that they're actually hemorrhaging about 2% per year. I don't have access to the demographic data about who UCG is actually hemorrhaging, but if it is the youth, then there's a broken rung or a roadblock that even the youth can't get past. They can't even sell it to their own kids, who they have 18 years to indoctrinate. BTW, this is not news--UCG has been asking themselves what they can do to retain the youth for at least a dozen years. The fact that Vic Kubik is still asking the same question means they're making no progress at answering it.

So if they're failing to retain the youth, then as the old guard core dies off, they will begin to start hemorrhaging at a faster rate. Given that UCG does not split again, they will implode. As they implode, dwindling finances will not support the new investments that will be required to pursue UCG's ambitious dreams, and the whole thing will slowly start to resemble Hindenburg lying on the New Jersey airfield. And whose fault will that be? Nobody's fault, really. It will be HWA's fault that he built an organization around ideas with no future that could not successfully transition into the 21st century. Basically, the niche that Armstrongism inhabits is evaporating, and it cannot survive outside that niche.

Assistant Deacon said...

I just love the UCG council of elders group photo.

A bunch of old white men.

Broken rungs, indeed.

Steve Kisack said...

Anonymous said...
That's right folks. The wolves now leading the UCG just lie, lie, lie and then lie some more.The wolves that are now running the UCG are some of the exact same wolves that helped the Tkaches to destroy the WCG in the past.

MY COMMENT: The same is true for the wolves in COGWA. Even the leading wolf over there didn't stand up to Tkach and company(actually, he was a part of the company), but stayed low-profile until he could make the switch to another hefty paycheck in UCG. All of them made damn sure that the money was rolling in before leaving their buddy, Tkach. All of them are liars and thieves.

Anonymous said...

I like how he's calling it "Operation Broken Rung," as though the point of the operation was to break rungs, instead of to fix them. A Freudian sort of language slip? I hope so.

Anonymous said...


Steve Kisack said...

"MY COMMENT: The same is true for the wolves in COGWA. Even the leading wolf over there didn't stand up to Tkach and company(actually, he was a part of the company), but stayed low-profile until he could make the switch to another hefty paycheck in UCG. All of them made damn sure that the money was rolling in before leaving their buddy, Tkach. All of them are liars and thieves."



The topic was the UCG and its complete inability to ever grow at all, so I focused on that. With COGWA doing almost nothing, it is easy to forget that it even exists.

Anonymous said...

"So if they're failing to retain the youth, then as the old guard core dies off, they will begin to start hemorrhaging at a faster rate."

I wouldn't be surprised if Armstrongism as a whole loses half their membership from natural causes over the next 10-15 years. Eventually it will fall below the threshold of critical mass and the whole thing will run out of steam.

Byker Bob said...

There is a saying in motorsports. You want the car or bike built just radically enough so that it blows up shortly after you cross the finish line. That's pretty much the way Herbert Wolfie Armstrong built the WCG. His empire supported him and those to whom he chose to be beneficent very well, right up until the day he croaked. Then, all the factors which had been controlled and repressed by his temper suddenly imploded.

There is no rebuild or reunification of a cult which had been built based on the personality of a man rather than on God and Jesus. Once the control unit is gone, it's all over! God and Jesus have eternal standing. HWA obviously does not, or he wouldn't be dead.

BB

Anonymous said...

Well then, BB, the one thing that is missing from Armstrongism (Okay, Jesus makes two) is the Apotheosis of Herbert. In WCG mythodogy, Herbert should have ascended to heaven to make a WCG trinity--Father, Son, and Holy Herbert. That would have given Armstrongism some wings.

Anonymous said...

The fact that NOTHING in the post WCG (whether it be UCG, PCG or LCG or another splinter) has "given Armstrongism some wings" might be a clue to those who remain and believe fervently in the efficacy of those declining groups.