Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Living Church of God Public Bible Study Lectures draws in only 26 People out of 31 Million Americans in three States (UPDATED)




A few days ago I reported that United Church of God failed to draw in significant numbers of people to their public campaigns.   Now it looks like Gerald Weston's leadership has taken its first hit as his reign starts.

Living Church of God recently ran their own series of public appearance campaigns in order to recruit new income sources.  Just like UCG, they failed rather spectacularly!

Church of God News has this up:

Viktor Kubik of UCG was disappointed that a total of only 76 visitors attended the 3 Beyond Today presentations in North Carolina, but LCGs recent attendances have been worse. A Tomorrows World presentation on Sept. 24 in Ohio drew only 13 guests, and only 13 visitors attended 3 Public Bible Studies in Illinois and Missouri.
Imagine how pathetic it is to only be able to draw in 26 people from three states!  That is 26 out of 31 million people!!!!!!!  26!  Thats no witness at all.  Of those 26 it can almost be guaranteed that 0-1 of them will ever return to attend a church service much less become an income stream.

This is the entire comment on the LCG site.  It also confirms what most of us  have always suspected. LCG, like UCG, pads their audiences with members tome it look full.
The Springfield, Illinois, and St. Louis, Columbia and Rolla, Missouri, congregations each recently hosted their first in a series of Bible Study lectures. One of these was held on a Sabbath afternoon and the others were held in late afternoons or early evenings. The topic at each was Armageddon and Beyond. The 13 guests and 90 brethren who attended these lectures saw PowerPoint presentations illustrating end-time prophetic milestones and had a handout to enable them to better follow along. All listened attentively and many took notes. After the presentation, each guest received the booklet Armageddon and Beyond, written by Mr. Richard Ames, and many of them stayed to fellowship with the brethren, who are enthusiastic about hosting more Bible Study lectures beginning in December.—Richard Franz

20 comments:

Byker Bob said...

They'd do better if they sent their members to malls and shopping centers to engage people directly, like the little nam renge kyo ladies back in the '70s. Something is clearly lacking, either the charisma of the advertising campaign, or the fit of the message into today's world view.

BB

Hoss said...

HWA still holds the record. Remember his Autobiography piece where an early campaign had no one show up? The excuse was that his rented hall was a fire hazard, but no one told him until after the no-show.

Anonymous said...

In the same report that reveals the 26 new visitors, Lil' NCIS Jim Meredith reports on the upcoming 2016 Charlotte Family Weekend, which begins on December 22 and runs through December 26, but is not a Christmas event.

Last year we had over 800 people join us for the events and we hope that this year even more of you will attend.

As Bender of The Breakfast Club would say, LCG is now a social club. Demented and sad, but a social club.

Floyd 1944 said...

Obviously it's the members fault. They have not been crying out to God enough.

Hoss said...

"Many are called, but few attend..."

In the old WCG, we were told we don't choose to join, we must be called. Some have used the "small remnant" to explain diminutive size; has anyone said, 'Well, maybe no one is being called anymore...'?

Senior Citizen said...

I vote for Missionaries in black suits and on bicycles a la the LDS church which is growing nicely.
How about it United etc?
Why not follow a winning formula?
Well, I will answer my own question. They won't do it because they realize no one in the church of Herbert would go out and preach Jesus and him crucified and resurrected.
They wont preach it because they don't believe it.
Herbert taught that Christ was not bodily resurrected (the spirit of anti-christ) in direct opposition to what Christ told Thomas: I am not a spirit(ghost) I am flesh and bone!
Herb taught that Christ was leading Thomas on.

Byker Bob said...

You don't get "called" into Armstrongism. You get duped into it through your own vulnerability and weakness. You fit a certain victim profile, unless you were dragged into it by your parents. As with most cons and shell games, Armstrongism loses its effect with time as people become aware of it and gain higher levels of sophistication. Cons morph to maintain effectiveness. This one has failed to keep up with the times because its originator was a much revered demagogue whose followers considered to be a quasi-Biblical figure nearly equal to Jesus Christ.

BB

Connie Schmidt said...

Time for the COG to go "Multi Level Marketing" style , like Amway!

You get a "tithe of the tithe" or 1% of donations that every new member gives that you bring to church, and an additional 1% of your entire downline down to 5 levels. If you are really good and build up a big group and "downline" that would equal 60% of the income that the entire downline contributes!

You win, and the church wins too!

Anonymous said...

Floyd 1944 wrote:

Obviously it's the members fault. They have not been crying out to God enough.

He's wrong. They have been crying out. What has been their cry?

"Spare us the Rod...

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a former LCG member who attended multiple "Special Presentation s", these events are pathetic attempts and people see right through them. When these presentations started years ago there was really good turnout. LCG would invite everyone on their mailing lists within 100 or so miles. So of course they would get lots of visitors. Moat were courteous but left immediately after and never came back. Some would stick around after as the members tried to schmooze them. After the first presentation in my area I think there were maybe 2 or 3 that came to services the following week but then nothing. One man was wearing jeans and left after a member pointed out to him that he should be in better clothes. A few months later LCG had another special presentation and the numbers paled in comparison. There was one family that made an attempt at attending services for about a year but because they were black and didn't consistently come, were never fully welcomed. Another attempt a year later and there were maybe 10 non members at the presentation. The members of course still got all excited and overzealous. I don't blame a single person for not coming back. As a member, it was all very awkward and forced.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I didn't go to shopping malls enough, because I never saw "sent... members to malls and shopping centers to engage people directly, like the little nam renge kyo ladies back in the '70s."

I did have a neighbor, tho, who was into chanting "nam-myoho-renge-kyo"
He nearly cut off his hand via a sharp blade at a book bindery.
He told me his hand was saved because of his chanting "nam-myoho-renge-kyo" and his devotion to the Nichiren Shoshu religion.

That was helpful to me, in being an example of how religious zealots use any crazy example they can to "prove" the effectiveness of their religion and devotion to it's invisible deities/spirits.


"I vote for Missionaries in black suits and on bicycles a la the LDS church which is growing nicely. How about it United etc? Why not follow a winning formula?"

After all the COG leader's edicts of "send it all in to God's HQ", I wonder about this question.
Yes, the LDS model has been more productive than the COG model has been.
Most COG members are elderly, so maybe they can proselytize on scooters-
In these times, for COG's, maybe a hybrid approach is now called for: They can learn from the "garbage eaters" cult (Jim Roberts group). The COG's can add innovations like using "reacher-grabbers" while sitting on their Rascals and wheelchairs, to score some primo grub.
Even the Piggly Wiggly throws away it's half-used coffee grounds.
A mouthful sucking on those coffee grounds should stimulate plenty of productive proselytizing among their regular members sporting scooters, wheelchairs and walkers!

Please don't tell me that watching a COG lady with a mouthful of coffee grounds zooming down the street on her scooter waving a KJV Bible in one hand and assorted booklets in the other hand is any less exciting than watching Max Parrot at the X-Games!

Anonymous said...

I left lcg a short time ago it it has been really hard coping alone,I now know what past members went through, all those people shattered by a bad religious experience, no one listens to your concerns as long as it regards the church or the ministry you can't even open up and be honest with them, not even those close to you, whatever psychological tools they are using on the minds of steady members is unfortunately very effective in many cases, adults that are not willing or too afraid to think for themselves is what it produces. I remember when my critical mind started to return to me, I found out about some very true bad reports concerning the churches history, I wanted answers I seeked them from people I trusted, how they reacted to my honest inquiry woke me up and helped me to see something just ain't right, I could see how brainwashed we were for the first time,wow, leaving was hard and still is,but I hope things will get better as days go by. I talked to many members who feel the same way I do but have invested too much financially, mentally,emotionally,relationship wise in order to leave and it is sad, plus they keep driving it into their memberships heads that they are the only true church,there is no other place to go that would bring you closer to God's kingdom, you hear it over and over until you start to believe it and once you buy into that lie they got you by your very soul( at least psychologically). Waking up from it all is one of the harshest realities I ever had to face, what makes it harder is to have to face it basically alone, I even have to battle with depression on a weekly basis. But life goes on all of this was a very hard learning experience.

Anonymous said...

Hoss, yes some have said that no one is being called anymore.

Trading Guy said recently that the voices in his head say that the Second Coming is so close that no new people are being called. The itstimecog guy says the Tribulation begins next week so it's obviously too late. Weinland has also said that it's too late but he has changed his dates so many times that it's hard to keep track of where we stand this week.

Anonymous said...

Connie proposes the COGs go "Multi Level Marketing" style , like Amway!

If you are really good and build up a big group and "downline" that equals 60% of the income that the entire downline contributes:

What would that make such a person?
A "Steuben" associate?

I wonder how many more levels up it takes, to get to hold the title of, "Daughter Raping Mass Murdering False Prophet"!

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a former LCG member who attended multiple "Special Presentation s", these events are pathetic attempts and people see right through them.

I don't know if LCG HQ realizes it, but the Special Presentations are actually backfiring on them. Not only do they fail to attract many new members, they are pushing away some "on the fence" LCG members.

They do this in two ways. First, as was noted above, many pastors bully the members into attending the presentations, so the visitors will get the impression that they are gathering with a large and thriving group. Members are already very busy, and have already heard everything in the presentations many times before, so unless they are ambitious butt-kissers the LCG members generally attend the presentations under some degree of duress, which weakens their loyalty to the group.

As noted above, the LCG members are often one big factor in driving away the new visitors. Though the pastors want to report a big number to Headquarters, the LCG members who attend often strike new visitors as very odd and unwelcoming. New visitors may be insulted by LCG members about their clothing, or their perfume, or their hairstyle. Worse, they may hear what is increasingly common "undercover" in LCG congregations, which is "Don't believe everything these leaders tell you; they are changing doctrine and are personally corrupt." This of course scares away anyone who isn't already deeply invested in the group.

As for the presentations themselves? Even to call them "milk" would be too great a compliment. You wonder how Headquarters thought these presentations would be a good idea. Is there nobody at Headquarters who can speak up and say (1) you're watering down or changing key details that old-time members already know by heart, or (2) you're just making stuff up that the church has never taught, or (3) your production values are far worse than what you would expect even at some scammy time-share sales pitch or MLM scheme. It all creates the sense that somebody at Headquarters isn't able to take (or give) honest constructive criticism, and that these presentations are the result of a lot of fear and butt-kissing.

More and more, LCG members are waking up to the fact that LCG has gone "off track" in so many ways. There is no "one true Armstrong church" anymore, but if you want to fellowship with a large group of people who will let you believe your 1986 Armstrongism in peace, COGWA will fit you much better than LCG in almost every respect except for the HWA doctrine of one-man nepotistic family government. The Special Presentations increasingly are confirming to LCG members that their church is a dairy selling spoiled milk.

Glenn said...

"...their church is a dairy selling spoiled milk." Nice phrase.

Anonymous said...

a lot of fear and butt-kissing.

Anon 10:00AM has summarized the entire LCG experience in one short phrase.

Byker Bob said...

I could draw more than 26 people "busking" at Venice Beach, playing some slide on a dobro. And, in fact, in my daytime gig, we regularly do draw more than 26 people to technology fairs with our state of the art finishing equipment. There is something just terribly, terribly wrong if you can't reach out and touch peoples' souls with some sort of spiritual message. Such meager numbers mean you've lost the way. Street ministries in industrial parking lots have more drawing power than that. I've been there and have actually witnessed that.

BB

Anonymous said...

"I left lcg a short time ago . . . whatever psychological tools they are using on the minds of steady members is unfortunately very effective"

It is effective because half the people don't know they've been manipulated. They can't see that they aren't free to obey God, they aren't free to discuss issues and doctrine, they aren't free to associate. Others do know it, but are afraid to look at it, because they might have to take action they don't want to take.

"I could see how brainwashed we were for the first time,wow, leaving was hard and still is,but I hope things will get better as days go by."

For me, things are WAY better since I left LCG.

"I talked to many members who feel the same way I do but have invested too much financially, mentally, emotionally, relationship wise in order to leave and it is sad"

Luke 14:26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even their own life--such a person cannot be my disciple." If these people are not willing to leave behind the things they're so invested in, they are not worthy of Jesus.

"plus they keep driving it into their memberships heads that they are the only true church,there is no other place to go that would bring you closer to God's kingdom, you hear it over and over until you start to believe it and once you buy into that lie they got you by your very soul"

Pure propaganda technique. If you repeat something over and over, it is amazing what the people will believe. Especially when it is something they want to believe. Wait! You left out the blather about God's government being only at LCG!

"Waking up from it all is one of the harshest realities I ever had to face, what makes it harder is to have to face it basically alone, I even have to battle with depression on a weekly basis. But life goes on all of this was a very hard learning experience.""

But you're doing the right thing before God. Does anything else really matter?

LCG Expositor

Anonymous said...

Even if you were "called" by attending one of these uber lame TWSP's (I've been and they are awful), then you would have to sit and listen to horrible sermons week after week about government and obedience to the ministry.

You would have to be willing to endure unwelcoming, judgmental people who view themselves as better and 1000 times smarter and more special than the rest of humanity.

And you would have to be willing to nearly completely ignore the message of Jesus Christ and the behavior He commands (like love and mercy).

And let's not forget, you would have to be willing to accept that Rod Meredith speaks for Christ and be completely obedient and loyal to Meredith and his minion ministers or fear risking your very salvation!