Gerald Weston has written in the latest Living Church of God News about the task ahead for the LCG in drawing in new members. He has a product to "sell" but no one seems to be biting, except for disgrutnled COG members who church jump at regular intervals.
Weston makes a telling comment early in his article:
It is difficult to “sell” to someone who finds your “storefront” distasteful. Different stores and different approaches work for different people. We know we have the right message, but how we present it is important in a world where professing Christianity is an ever-shrinking population.He is right that so many find the "storefront" of LCG so distasteful. Abusive ministers and policies have kept scores of COG members away from LCG. Rod Meredith's horrendous treatment of members when he was in the Worldwide Church of God led many to not join up with them when he apostatized and started Global Church of God. Members understood that there was no reason to jump ship to where they would still be treated like dirt by Meredith.
So how do we attract people to walk through the door of our “store”? We must never forget that we have something unique. The real gospel of the Kingdom of God and the true Jesus Christ is radically different from anything found in professing Christianity. It is the only hope for this very troubled world. This is our message, but as with Paul and Stephen, we must capture people’s attention. God told Ezekiel to portray a siege against Jerusalem as a sign to the house of Israel (Ezekiel 4:1–3). Jeremiah wore a yoke of wood around his neck—something that would garner attention and make a point (Jeremiah 28:10–14). Read through the prophets and see the many ways God got the attention of rebellious nations.
Ecclesiastes advises us, “In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not withhold your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, either this or that, or whether both alike will be good” (Ecclesiastes 11:6).
We must continue to preach to those who are most likely to listen—professing Christians—but we must also gain the attention of a skeptical, secular world. Most will not “buy” God’s truth, but we must get them to look in the storefront window by offering common ground. An example of this is the Canadian-produced Viewpoint video, “Where Do the Celts Come From?” It is not overtly religious, but at the end advertises the booklet The United States and Britain in Prophecy. As of this writing, it has more than 68,000 views, more than 20,000 during a two-and-a-half day stretch, without advertising during that time.
Who would guess that subject would bring people “into the store” to look? Whether they pick up the free literature inside is yet to be seen, but we turned their heads and got their attention for a few minutes, and maybe more!I think the readers here can add many reasons as to why the Living Church of God will continue to have problems attracting people to their "storefront." So let Weston know the reasons why....