Friday, December 18, 2015

UCG Still Doesn't Know What It's Members Think After 10 Years of Surveys

You would think that the United Church of God knew what their members thought and felt.  Apparently not.  Its been 10 years now and they still can't figure out how to survey their members correctly, so they are giving it another shot, not that the UCG Big Boys really care what members think.  If they did why would they continue to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year on wasted campaigns and personal appearance campaigns?  That money has been wasted due to its inability to attract new members from the public.

Bill Bradford, as the chairman of the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee (SPFC), led the discussion looking to improve and prepare for the future survey for 2017. The SPFC has consulted with Julie Brown to work through this process. After 10 years of utilizing the same basic survey with occasional edits, it was felt best that we produce a new survey that specifically will meet our needs in serving the brethren, the ministry and the home office employees as we evaluate its input for the major strategic survey in 2017. They will also move up the time schedule to send to the brethren so that the Council will have additional time to review its content before the winter meetings of 2017. The emphasis is serving the brethren. There was much input to the topics they would like to know more about for the future survey.
If the Big Boys of UCG really want to serve the brethren why don't they go out and paint the poor members homes, help them repair their cars, buy food for their tables and truly be SERVANTS!  Better yet, how about becoming a 100% volunteer ministry instead using tithe money for your own personal interests.


Byker Bob said...

If any ACOG, not just UCG, wants to be of more value and of better service to God and man, they should disband. Servant leadership is simply not possible, given the doctrinal package originated by HWA, and perpetuated to one degree or another by all of the splinters. It is as simple as that, and any survey, regardless as to how it is worded, cannot change that basic fact. This survey is about as dumb as it would have been for Hitler to survey the people in his concentration camps. The prisoners would provide appeasing answers in the hopes of better treatment. My advice to UCG members would be to utilize the survey to wrap their pet droppings. At least that would provide some value!


Connie Schmidt said...

All of the COGs operate as a communist model. Central collecting and dispersing of capital, and no true free market economic response to flush out failed and defunct projects or personnel.

Rarely does a paid minister ever get fired in a COG. In most secular business operations, a turnover rate of 5 to7% of its employees is common. This allows for a consistent upgrading and review.

UCG should have a survey that rates their minister on sliding numeric scales on various skill sets. An overall rating can then be established. Those paid ministers who are rated in the bottom 5% should be brought in, reviewed and given a one year probation. If they rank again in the bottom 5% in a subsequent, then they should be dismissed. They obviously are not good fits for the job, and should find their true calling elsewhere.

In most regular Christian churches, if a pastor is not cutting it, then people go somewhere else, or the local board can fire them. Money dries up in the collection plates, and thus there is a free market response to the Pastors ability or inability.

UCG does not allow for a true marketplace that is responsive to its customers in a way that is "embracing the pain of change". The current surveys can only be considered "opinions" and not actionable and accountable feedbacks.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that anything that the leaders of the UCG do short of embracing mainstream Christianity is going to do anything to stop the slow decline of their brand of armstrongism. It is because they still embrace armstrongism that they continue to decline.

DennisCDiehl said...

In the early 90's I was having a meal with Joe Tkach and talked to him about conducting personality profile testing for potential ministers and current ones. Let's face it, and in my experience, the nice guys, the ones really given to their ministry and sincerely wanting to pastor well etc have lost out over the years to the malignant narcissists, dictators, self absorbed and those who simply cannot work with others needing rather to be in charge. This is why there are so many splinters. The wrong types of men, those with little pastoral desire, rose to the top like spiritual scum.

He said "no way."

Byker Bob said...


Profiling may at one point have been helpful. However, we are talking about an organization known to warp and corrupt peoples' personalities. Now, had the profiling been applied to all in authority as a condition of continued employment, it may have accomplished what you envisioned. Many of the most unsuitable ones, due to their rank and tenure, would have been exempt. The result would have been automatic perpetuation of the problem, especially because younger, inexperienced ones tend to act in the valence of those to whom they report.

My son and I once knew a young woman with a serious cocaine problem, and we felt that she was worth saving. The problem was of greater magnitude than just her personal problem, however. Her sisters were also addicts. We realized that in order to help her, either the entire family would need to undergo rehab, or she would need to totally separate herself from the family. There are some strong parallels between her situation and certain aspects of the Armstrong problem.


EX-UCG said...

We attended with UCG for a few years from 2007-2008. Even back then it seemed like they were just starting out. The local congregation quickly fell into disarray.

Today, they are less than half than what they had "grown" to. The "new" people they gained primarily came from other COG organizations. When COGWA formed several, but not all jumped on board with them.

Here they have been in the church business for over 20 years as UCG (and still are almost as confused as when they started in 1995). All this from the largest splinter to have ever left the WCG. Good job!

Anonymous said...

Jesus said "my flock is small" he didn't say "my flock is shrinking".

Byker Bob said...

Like the citizens of the former Soviet Union, these people were simply not able to adjust to freedom, control of what should have been personal matters, and participation in government. They were accustomed to having every little detail spelled out for them. To draw some parallels, the UCG members are going through their "share cropping" stage, which makes them somewhat better off than the people who found themselves seeking out a new "Massah"!


Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Can anyone imagine Herbert W. Armstrong commissioning a church wide public opinion poll survey?

The only survey I could imagine HWA commissioning would be a one question survey which reads:

Question: How much did you make? SEND IT IN!


Anonymous said...

EX-UCG wrote...

"...We attended with UCG for a few years from 2007-2008. Even back then it seemed like they were just starting out...Here they have been in the church business for over 20 years as UCG (and still are almost as confused as when they started in 1995). All this from the largest splinter to have ever left the WCG..."

That was a very interesting observation made on your part regarding the United Ass. during that 2007-2015 time period. Stagnation comes to mind. Being in a rut comes to mind.

On 2 Nov 1998 (I was with UCGia for 3 1/2 years from its inception in 1995) I sent an email message to dozens of ministers and brethren letting them know I would no longer be associated with the UCGia, as it was called at that time and following is some of what I observed at that time and wrote in that email message:

"...I attended Indianapolis and have watched UCGia literally "flounder around" now for some 3 and 1/2 years. The "hopes" I had when I attended Indy have all vanished and I see no "hope" for UCGia as an organization. Time will tell whether my perception here is right or wrong. It appears to be in a rut of sorts. It, in my opinion, really isn't growing in "grace and knowledge." It appears that God is not guiding the organization at all. I can say the same for the Worldwide Church of God beginning sometime around the time of the death of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, who I believe God led, and who taught me many foundational things like the Sabbath, the names of God's Holy Days (Festivals), clean and unclean meats, etc. Many of the organizations today are striving to continue the same things learned way back then, but there appears to be virtually no "forward movement" in the area of growth in "grace and knowledge." It appears something is missing and it seem to me to be God's Spirit..."

I was a little bit more wordy than you, but to this day it appears that the United Ass. has not changed much from what you and I observed......and life goes on! In fact, if anything the association has gone backwards. Before 1995, who ever heard of voting in a leader to head that association, and then he could be voted out? The problem is that God never provided them with a leader, so the vote them in and out to serve themselves. The title "Good News" magazine? They want nothing to do with that title, which is just as well unless/until they really do preach good news, etc.

Where is that association going? Nowhere in particular, but time will tell...well, it is telling; isn't it? They continue to remain in a rut of sorts...


Anonymous said...

The basic problem with the disUnited Church of Godlessness is an old-fashion thing called SIN. There have been too many wicked people in the UCG behaving too badly for too long. The UCG leaders seem to be afraid to judge righteously for fear that it would cut out too many of the godless people who hang out at the UCG to misbehave, and would greatly reduce the attendance numbers. The UCG leaders would like new people to come to the UCG and put up with the unrepentant, unconverted perverts who are already there in order to “show love” to them, and to increase the attendance numbers. Newcomers are supposed to keep quiet about the bad behavior of the UCG people, try to get along with them, and put up with their continual perverseness, or else get accused of “not showing any love.”

Since perverts can never mind their own business, and are always getting in the face of other people, the innocent people who go to the UCG are expected to tolerate all the evil behavior in order to keep the “peace.” If they get tired of putting up with perverts all the time and simply tell the truth about what is going on, they get expelled, with the supposedly nice UCG minister hypocritically telling them that “the UCG meets in peace.”

The UCG is where old sex perverts who want to fondle the breasts of teenage girls in the congregation are defended as showing “grandfatherly affection,” but the entire family of the victim can be expelled for complaining about it and supposedly not showing any love.

The entire UCG Council of Evil seems to think that it can do any evil thing it pleases and just move on without ever doing anything right or making anything right. The outrageous evils that go on in the UCG seem UNREAL. That is why the UCG has only split and splintered over the past twenty years.

Anonymous said...

There's certainly a difference between what goes on in most regular Christian churches, compared to most Christian 'megachurches'!

In most Christian megachurches, a survey is about as dumb as it would have been for Hitler to survey the people in his concentration camps. Just like in most Christian megachurches, the problem is of greater magnitude than just the personal problems of members simply being members. Unfortunately, most ALL of the Christian megachurch members are addicts- akin to cocaine addicts.

They gobble up the crap spewed there, and they puke it out again... hoping to spread the puke in order to bolster the puke they've made themselves a part of.

Drug addicts and Christian megachurch members both have a need to verify themselves, and in a similar way.

Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure that the Tkach people who are currently in control of the United Church of God would love to blame the UCG's lack of growth on biblical teachings (which they call “armstrongism”), and would gladly exchange the truth of God for growth in attendance. For sure, the truth of God is not currently popular with the world. However, this sort of exchange did not work for them when they tried it back in the Worldwide Church of God, and it probably will not work for them in the UCG either. Their deceitfulness is in vain.

When Herbert W. Armstrong taught people to obey the laws of God, the WCG grew. After HWA died in 1986, the Tkaches took over and taught people to disobey the laws of God, and the WCG declined dramatically. Now, many people would like to claim that a church cannot grow by teaching the truth of God, and that it needs to teach unbiblical nonsense like the world's churches do in order to grow. Of course, the world would be better off without such churches and their unbiblical nonsense, whether they are growing or not. How is a false church that grows by teaching falsehood any better than a cancer that grows?

If you have ever gone to the UCG and seen the sort of people who go there and how they behave, you will know that the real problem is not biblical teachings (which they call “armstrongism”), but rather the abject godlessness and immorality of so many of the people who hang out there to do their own evil in a church setting. The real problem is all the people who go to the UCG to disobey God's laws while playing church.

James said...

Anon December 21, 2015 at 9:54 AM

Herbie said that Jesus Christ taught him personally. Perhaps it was Jesus that corrected Herbies heresy by directing Tkcrotch to make the changes.

It seems Herbie wasn't spirit lead at all. He made it all up for financial gain.

Anonymous said...

To anon at 9:54 AM-

You say, "When Herbert W. Armstrong taught people to obey the laws of God, the WCG grew."

I'm sometimes amazed that people equate 'growth-in-numbers' with some type of 'heavenly thumbs-up'!

Although sleazy salesmen would like us to believe otherwise, explosive growth numbers don't mean that the product being sold is a good one. It only means the tactics used to sell were slick, sleazy and manipulative enough to hoodwink lots of people.

Heck, the Third Reich, Herbie's Hooey, and hoverboards all have had explosive growth.

Anonymous said...

Phew, so many fallacies of logic in one post, 9:54. Why don't you try rewriting that WITHOUT reusing Armstrong's text-ad techniques?

Anonymous said...

9.04 AM, that was my experience exactly. There were many unspoken de facto laws in the church, and that was one of them. Twisted people could habitually verbally abuse and mistreat others, whilst the victim was not supposed to fight back by complaining or venting ones anger. When I once complained to a minister, he threatened to put me out of the church. And if you do fight back, the aggressor would go to the church, claiming victimhood. The result, dirty looks from people, many whom I've never met. But everyone knew the truth. It was simply a sick game played by most of the church members. The purpose of this game was to create a paradise for crooks, like some Disney theme park. The 'Paradise For Crooks Church' would be a honest name for these churches.

Anonymous said...

9.54Am, when Armstrong taught 'Gods laws,' the church did grow, but only in numbers. Otherwise half of the members would not have stopped coming to church a few years after his death. It seems God wanted a certain number of church members, knowing that only a portion would succeed. Did Armstrong teach people to respect others rights? Ha, ha ha. Rights, what's that, since ministers have all rights and the little people have no rights. He only taught Pharisaic morality.

Anonymous said...

With the exception of the seventh day Sabbath many of the teachings that HWA introduced to the church such as British Isrealism and the keeping of the Hebrew holy days where "restored" by HWA during a time he was having incest with his daughter. Did God use a pervert to restore his truth? I am an ex-member of the UCG. I have rejected British Isrealism and keeping of the Hebrew holy days because they where brought into the COG by a man who was a disgusting pervert. I still keep the 7th day Sabbath and attend a local seventh day advantist church. The seventh day advantist church is alive and flourishing because it wasn't started by a pervert!

Cindy said...

You must be joking. The "real problem" that you are talking about is the bull that HWA spewed from his internal gut and marketed it as truth. People wanted to believe they were "special" the called out ones, the Chosen Ones, that had the "Only Truth." It was a load of bullshit. All of it. Marketing bullshit. The "man" molested his own daughter, for chrissakes; how could you even begin to think anything he said was even remotely trustworthy? And don't you dare tell me I don't know anything - I grew up in wwcg. I was at Pasadena. I know. Good luck trying to convince people that he wasn't out for everyone's money just got the sake of money.

Connie Schmidt said...

Annon at 6:08

HWA was indeed a pervert. Do some homework on Ellen G. White and you will discover that she had some rather odd beginnings and bizarre ideas like coffee causing you to masturbate, or the same for riding a bike.

The Sabbath concept transcends Ellen White, and HWA. The annual Sabbaths were kept by several in the COG 7th Day, including Elder John Kiez and Elder Dodd before HWA claims of "discovering them". GG Ruppert, a rogue Seventh Day Adventist minister was advocating them well before HWA, and he had a significant following. It was from Ruppert writings that HWA started to espouse Holy Day observance.

The Seventh Day Baptists have been Sabbatarian for hundreds of years.

HWA did not restore any new truth at all, but certainly did promote them as "his revelation". This was false advertising.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 6:08 said...“The seventh day advantist church is alive and flourishing because it wasn't started by a pervert!”

An SDA bookstore sold a book about the Sabbath that encouraged the reader to keep “all ten” of the ten commandments. By that, it meant to keep the biblical Sabbath rather than the Catholic Sunday. While the book promoted the Sabbath commandment, it seemed to ignore the commandment against idolatry, and contained several hippie pictures, including a full-page head-and-shoulders portrait of the hippie.

It seems like most SDA magazines and books just have to have hippie pictures on the cover and/or inside them. Someone even wrote to an SDA magazine and asked why they were so persistent in publishing pictures supposedly of Jesus in spite of the commandment against idolatry. The SDA magazine published his letter to the editor and replied that the commandment just forbids pictures of Christ in his divinity, and that they only publish pictures of Christ in his humanity. Someone then wrote in and pointed out that the actual title of a painting that they had reproduced in their magazine was Christ in His Divinity. The reply this time was, “Thanks for keeping us on our toes,” and the hippie pictures continued.

A Catholic bookstore had a large family Bible with a big hippie picture on the cover that looked just like the SDA hippie pictures, and it is easy to figure out which church copied from the other one.

There are different sins for different folks. One Protestant church observes the Catholic Sunday, but rejects the Catholic hippie pictures. One guy from it argued that they do keep the Sabbath when they “keep one day in seven, like it says.” It would be interesting to hear him explain how they keep the commandment not to eat pigs by eating pigs, which they do eat.

The SDAs, in contrast, reject Catholic Sunday-keeping, but love Catholic hippie pictures. SDAs think they don't have idols, just pictures of Jesus.

Sabbath-breaking and idolatry are both serious sins according to the Bible, though the world is full of people who will argue that they are not serious sins, or that you can engage in such behavior while arguing cleverly that you somehow are not.

One SDA asked the youths to save the “pictures of Jesus” on their calendars and send them to him so he could take them to far-away foreign lands to show to the people there since there were many people who “haven't seen what their Savior looks like.” Interestingly, the devil-worshipping savages that he shows the pictures to supposedly seem to recognize the hippie. One theory in the WCG was that these hippie pictures might be what Satan or one of his demons looks like. Another theory is that these hippie pictures are just the result of some umpteenth century Italian artist painting a picture of his long-haired, swish-type, homosexual lover.

Anonymous said...

Since HWA's death in January 1986, the Tkaches had been slowly making doctrinal changes in the WCG, though they initially pretended that they were not. At one point, they even had a sermon sent to the churches in which the speaker pretended not to know what people were talking about when they asked him what he thought about “all these changes.” The Tkaches tried to make it sound like they were so much more spiritual and loving than HWA, who supposedly had been wrong and had a bad attitude. Interestingly, and significantly, the actual behavior of many WCG members openly grew extremely bad under the supposedly spiritual and loving Tkaches. In the past, under HWA, their sinful and shameful behavior had to be hidden.

At the start of 1995 the Tkaches openly turned against virtually everything that HWA had taught, and even wrote up their apostasy in the WCG's newspaper. The only sign of repentance for what they had done came when Joseph Tkach, Jr. suddenly discovered that Abraham had tithed before the institution of the Old Covenant, and began “calling on every man, woman, and child to resume tithing immediately.” Other than tithing, nothing else that the Tkaches had thrown out needed to be brought back.

The UCG started in 1995 several months after the WCG under the Tkaches had openly turned against virtually everything that HWA had taught. The UCG ministers had previously gone along with about nine years of Tkach doctrinal changes, and some of them might still be in the WCG except that the WCG's income fell so fast and so far that they lost their jobs. So these ministers reappeared in the UCG and got new jobs and paychecks. Some of these ministers, who had previously expelled faithful WCG members for not liking the Tkach doctrinal changes, now pretended to have stood up for the truth. What they had really stood up for was their paychecks in the WCG for as long as they could. When those disappeared, they stood up to get their new paychecks in the UCG. This is why so many UCG ministers have Tkach-type ideas that sin and bad behavior are actually good and welcome in the UCG, while righteousness and proper behavior are despised and put out of the UCG. Some of the very worst members in the WCG now like to hang out at the UCG where they can feel free to behave badly like the Tkaches taught them to do.

Byker Bob said...

Nah. The hippies plagiarized the Galillean look. To listen to GTA during the '60s, as he ranted sbout the LA Free Press and the Pasadena Kazoo, you would have thought that Jesus and His entourage had adopted the typical Roman haircut of the day, but there were actually distinct Galillean styles, and the long hair parted in the middle was part of that.

Hair has always been a funny topic. When I was a kid, and combed my hair all the way forward just for fun, my grandmother and great aunts would say "Oooh! Don't comb your hair like that, it makes you look like Ish Kabibble!" Then, when the Beatles came out, people would say someone who combed their hair forwards looked like one of the Beatles. I often wondered what Ish Kabibble (or even Moe Howard) might have thought of the Beatles, because he was amongst the living right up until 1994.


Anonymous said...

So Jesus looks like Moe of the Three Stooges?
I've always thought of Jesus more as a Curley, (Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk!) rolling around on the floor with a sword in his mouth.

In any event, the Three Christian Gods are like "The Three Stooges" - and Saint Peter at the Golden Gate will have a 'Melissa and Doug' wooden puzzle (with the three hairstyles and three gods to match them with) as a test to see if you can get into Heaven.