Sunday, July 12, 2015

Vic Kubik Cannot Understand Why UCG Cannot Keep New Members As His Own Words From 1995 Come Back To Haunt Him

Vic Kubik sent out a letter to the ministers on July 9th asking for their input on how to retain members and to get them involved in UCG.

Why would anyone want to be part of a church that was started out with some of the most corrupt men the WCG had in it?  While still employed by the Worldwide Church of God, and as they disfellowshipped WCG members left and right for not agreeing with the new doctrinal direction, they sat in SOG 360 apartments and plotted on how to take as many people and as much money as they could to ensure their ministerial lifestyles.  It wasn't about the members, it was all about them and their incomes!  They knew members were pissed and were withholding tithes.  People were not flocking to Rod Meredith and Gerald Flurry so they were sitting and waiting with their money.  These men knew this and saw it as their golden egg.

Ever since UCG started it has been corrupt to the core.  So corrupt that it suffered a major split a few years ago.  Before the split it had already lost countless members who got fed up with the corruption.

When UCG formed itself in Indianapolis they had a golden opportunity to start fresh and new.  A revitalized church that was free of the corruption and from the horrible practices of the WCG legacy of legalistic terror.

In 1995 Vic Kubik read the following to the 150 newly recredentialed and reemployed ministers sitting in Indianapolis:

CAN IT EVER BE? That cohesive, Christ-led entity that we all want so dearly? Or does Indy seal our fate to factions and factions? The hopes are high, the stakes are critical. Indy will be either a dawning of a New World Tomorrow, or the proof of our folly.

PIE IN THE SKY is what the detractors say. Some of them are us, you know. Our “leaders” have already laid foundations and are even laying superstructure. The meek words of just a few weeks ago… “We’ve just started this in case it’s of any help, but we’ll gladly dissolve it” are seemingly replaced with corporate structure lauding the wisdom of “follow me.” Has “unity” already slipped to a cliché, a buzzword of egotists? I’ve seen that once people invest time, money and gain supporters they “have God’s blessing.” After all, they prayed about it.

Dissolution of their structure for a greater cause becomes too great a defeat. The show must go on.

WHAT IS INDY? It’s a chance for a ground up, New Testament organized body of believers.

WHAT WILL INDY BE? I know what you and I want it to be. But do you know what many see it as? Separate leaders of several pre-formed groups pushing their system at each other, followed by the winner selling it to the ministry. The ministry is invited to view the outcome and cast in their lot, depending on who “wins” and if they like the smell of it.

WHO LOOSES IF INDY FALTERS? The churches back home. The little flocks who are staking their faith in Indy. The loyal pastors who have forfeited everything to wait on Christ and to come learn his will for their next step. I hope He’s there. He resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.

Just some concerns and fears…I don’t know what it WILL be, I know what it MIGHT be and what it CAN be. I’ll be there in support. Be careful who gets control. Make sure it’s God.  Shining Light Comment
Indianapolis actually sealed UCG's fate to factions and splits.  There are rumblings that there is another one in the works.  Unity certainly has become a cliche and a buzzword, not only in UCG but in ALL of the hundreds and hundreds of splinter groups.  With such a corrupt and worthless system in place is it any wonder why "new" visitors and members do not remain as UCG members?

Victor laments:

We firmly believe that it is God the Father who calls people to become followers of Jesus Christ. That call produces an interest for one to come to repentance and to accept Jesus as their personal savior through baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit as they continue their journey towards life eternal in the Kingdom of God. Christ said this twice in John 6: “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (verse 44) and, “I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him” (verse 65, New International Version).
If "God the Father" calls people to UCG then why are they spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on failed campaigns, a blue imitation Muppet wanna-a-be, and new logo designs?  Is their faith so shallow that they cant wait for God to do a mighty work for them?  No, I did not think so.

One vital aspect of this voyage is meeting with others of the same mind. This is often where people get derailed. Meeting with others is increasingly becoming more difficult as people feel that they don’t need to because they can get all the information they need on the Internet. People can attend video conferences, take online classes and personally research whatever they choose independently. They feel no need to socialize with others. But they don’t understand the benefits of congregating as we were admonished to do by the apostle Paul in Hebrews 10:24-25: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (NIV).
These people are NOT meeting people with the "same mind" when they show up at UCG services.  There are so many different doctrinal beliefs and positions that there is no unity!  SO me of the UCG ministry are trinitarians, some kept Easter with the new WCG before jumping ship, others disagree with tithing and many ministers let their family members do things on Friday nights at school and on Saturdays.

Encouraging people to congregate is a problem not only in churches but in other types of meetings. Public service organizations are finding it increasingly difficult to retain those who join a group in progress and become part of it. We in the Church know, too, that we may have people finally come to one of our meetings but then not see them again. It’s typical for people who people who join a service organization such as Rotary and who may have paid membership fees to drop out. Thirty-five percent do in the first year. They do not feel engaged. The following reasons were given for stopping attendance:
  1.  I don’t know anyone in the new group
  2.  I don’t have guidance as to what is going on
  3.  I don’t feel connected to the community
Can this be true with us? Obviously new people won’t know anyone in the new group, and it’s a challenge to break the ice and develop a relationship that goes beyond the first social contact at services. People who come into our meetings may not know what the meeting is for: the music, prayer, and the two messages. Also, a newbie may wonder what the benefit of meeting is and what it is they are really becoming part of. While accepting Jesus Christ is one thing, socializing with people you don’t know may seem insurmountable.
Accepting Jesus in a UCG service or a COG?  When the man is barely talked about for 364 days out of he year how would anyone know about Jesus.  The law trumps in UCG and always has.  Jesus get short shifted to the back of the bus day in and day out.  Even Jelly cant raise the dude for the grave!

How well are we retaining those who come to our church services for the first time?
Your not Vic!  Its a fact!  What do you have to offer?  Nothing! People would have better luck going to Barnes and Noble and hitting some books in the Christianity section where they will actually hear more about Jesus than they will in one of your services! And that's after wading through the syrupy pablum filing the shelves!
One helpful practice to engage the new people is to develop a “buddy system” of appointing certain members to engage the new people when they come-to talk to them, get to know their name, where they’re from and a little about who they are. Then make certain that the person who does this remembers all this information and seeks this person our next time they come. They should call them by name and talk about what was discussed last time. In this way one of the stumbling blocks of not knowing anyone is dispelled. Further, the members can talk to them about the church services, what services you provide with recordings, literature and anything else that your church has. Make mention of the things that have been spoken about in sermons and how you look forward to upcoming messages. Finally, talk to the new person about the community of the church and make it clear that it’s a group of people who are very happy to have them. Make them feel part of the community.
A "buddy system?"  SERIOUSLY???????????????  Is that all you can come up with?

Yes, God the Father call peoples into the Church, but a lot of responsibility is placed on us to retain them. Our meeting service is critically important to our mission of “Preparing a People.” 
So far this has been an epic failure of the UCG and the rest of the COG's  None of them are growing, most are stagnant and the three larger ones are losing members.  From Dave Pack to Gerald Flurry and Rod Meredith to UCG, people are exiting the Church of God's.

Roy Holladay and I would like to hear from you about any other methods you use for engaging new people in services.

In Christ’s service,

Everyone, send Victor your comments on how he can straighten out the United Church of God and retain members.   Just be forewarned though. Remember, Since when has ANY COG leader or its upper echelon leaders EVER listened to the members?


Anonymous said...

Christianity in general is declining. However there are some churches that are doing well and growing. The churches that are doing well seem to be the nondenominational community churches. These churches offer a modern worship services and are mainstream in their doctrinal teachings. These churches attract a lot of young people and young families.

My advice to the leadership of the UCG is to dump armstrongism and embrace a modern worship service that will attract the young.

Who wants to belong to a church that is legalistic and holds onto a very old fashion worship service?

Who wants to belong to a church that very seldom mentions the name of Jesus and his saving grace?

Allow the people to set-up a modern worship band with drums and even electric guitars. Allow them to wave their arms and even clap their hands and shout "praise Jesus". Then maybe you will see some growth in numbers!

DennisCDiehl said...

The days of "ask the minister about that. He'll know" are long gone. People have access to more knowledge today on any one Biblical or theological question, history, context or view easily without narrowly trained ministers who promote the "one true way" telling them what the true meaning is. If I had had such access to information as a kid, I'd have been a paleontologist uncovering the real wonders of it all and not the mythological versions. Only the emotional and literalists types of personalities will make some churches thrive. A critical thinking Church of God could never survive as an organized religion. To organize is to "all speak the same thing that there be no divisions among you." To all speak the same thing is to assure no creativity or differences of views on important topics. It also insures the likely result of all believing the same wrong things based on the leaderships views. Religion tells you where to be and when along with what to believe and how much it's going to cost you. Opt for a personal spirituality , if you must, which is an inside job.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that Christianity is not declining as much as organized religions and churches are declining. People are very busy and they find that most churches are irrelevant. The church is in desperate need of another reformation. The UCG and other CofG organizations would be healthier if they sought unity rather than uniformity (John 17:20). Differences in views have to be tolerated. Today there are over 250 denominations in the US alone. There are over 12 different Methodist denominations and over 20 different Baptist ones. Perhaps if a real crisis occurred, they would be forced to put aside many of their differences and focus on what is really important. BTW, some churches split over the issue of slavery. Since slavery is gone, why not come back together? Egos too often get in the way. Can you imagine Meredith, Pack or Flurry stepping aside their top position for the sake of unity?

Anonymous said...

The formula of growth in the UCG is actually a formula of failure. They want to be considered mainstream which turns off the more orthodox COG members who consider that to be Laodician in nature, but at the same time they still hold on to armstrongism which turns away new people who see it as weird and out of the mainstream. The result, no growth or decline in membership. Add to this the fact that the youth do not see a future for them in the UCG and are trickling out when they reach their 18th birthday.

Byker Bob said...

I'm thinking Vic either reads on the so-called dissident sites, or is aware of the Pew Research projects. As we've noted in the past, the SDA's credit their net growth to the outstanding long term retention of existing members.

We also need to remember that the old WCG was a personality cult. As an extension of the mind of HWA, it thrived only as a function of his own input. Once that was gone, decay and dissolution were inevitable. Had there been a more vital infrastructure, such as a real board of elders or directors, perhaps they would have been able to keep it all together, although considering the perpetually failing prophecy mold, even that is doubtful.


Anonymous said...

What could an xcg church possible offer to attract members? Tithing? Impoverish your family by selling everything you have and sending it in to HQ? Government from the top down? Humiliation? Holy days? Sabbaths? Dietary restrictions? Odd dress? Shunning family and friends? British Israelism? Mental illness? Without the coercion of the imminent end of the world hanging over peoples' heads there is really nothing to attract folks. They make little to no impact with their puny TV shows, magazines, booklets and websites. XCG churches have no pomp and circumstances, few rituals, no community and no long history to draw on. They have nothing worthwhile to offer potential members. Given the failure of Armstrong's prophecies, the XCGs have no reason to exist. I think some of the leaders have figured this out but personally need to keep the tithe treasure ships afloat as long as possible.

Anonymous said...

Comment was made that: " it any wonder why "new" visitors and members do not remain as UCG members?..."

That sounds like lots of "turn over!" In 1998, there was a sermon given on God's Government where "turn over" for United was anticipated and why it would occur. FWIIW, here is a partial transcript of that sermon given about 17 years ago:

"...Then, you look at UNITED! Now, I’m sure I’m going to offend a lot of people who will hear these taped sermons later out there, but this is a real mess! None of these men were even considered to be chosen by Mr. Armstrong; were they? None of them were, but they all voted themselves in anyway; didn’t they? Now, that’s not such of a firm foundation to have when you have to vote yourself into office.
Where was God?

Oh, they may say that: “Well, look at the Apostles! They cast lots.”

Yes, but they were already Apostles!

You guys weren’t even that. None of you were the leaders. You really weren’t, and GLOBAL was already going at the time. They were already following what you knew and perceived to be right, but do you see? All of these ministers who went with UNITED: they never liked being under authority and they wanted their say-so. They wanted their opinions to be heard, so they all joined in one big mass.

Now, why start a church like that? You already have one going that was doing the same thing that Mr. Armstrong was trying to do, but they didn’t want to be under authority.

I look at this as: “This is the ‘Boys’ Club!’ We’re going to do it our way,” and they’re not going to give up that RULE. Now they all think that they have the authority and that’s really a shame.

What’s their first agenda? “We’re going to pay ourselves very well!”...

...Well, one of the first things that they want to set up is, of course, their retirement fund...

...When they got together their attitude was: “We will vote ourselves to happiness! Every time we don’t like something, we’ll just take another vote! We’ll vote it our way again, and if we don’t like the other guy: we’ll vote him out!” ...

...So, they can’t even agree on how to spend the money, and where to have their office and who the president should be. They’re all out there politicking to get into position so they can be the president and the same thing will happen to them. You’ll have this: turnover, turnover and turnover! Why?...

...Because God never placed anyone in charge!... ...Do you know? They preach some of the truth, some that was revealed to the past servant, Mr. Armstrong, but nothing has been revealed to them! Nothing has been revealed to GLOBAL. Nothing’s been revealed to any of them. They’re stuck in a rut!..."

Of course, where is GLOBAL today? It is virtually non-existent. Where is the United Ass. going? What's been revealed to them? It appears United also will end up in the same condition as GLOBAL before too long.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if HWA was ever a real believer in what he was teaching. If one was to start a new religion to attract followers, he sure pick doctrines that were the most draconian. As Anon 12:24 said, tithing, dietary laws, Holy Days, Sabbath, healing, etc. were not the most attractive features of a religion. Only FEAR of nuclear war and eternal damnation could attract and hold members and that required a great salesman and strong personality. HWA was both, when he died, the group never recovered.

Anonymous said...

Vic needs MORE JELLY!