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:
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?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
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.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).
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.
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).
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!
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:
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.
- I don’t know anyone in the new group
- I don’t have guidance as to what is going on
- I don’t feel connected to the community
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!
How well are we retaining those who come to our church services for the first time?
A "buddy system?" SERIOUSLY??????????????? Is that all you can come up with?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.
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.
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.”
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?