The poor old boys at UCG still don't get it. No matter how hard they try they just CANNOT seem to draw in new members.
Vic Kubik writes about their latest campaign and blames poor attendance on lack of gas, weather and the Charlotte riots. Whey these guys did not have the wherewithal to cancel the Charlotte campaign because of the riots shows how out of touch they really are. 300 signed up, 76, showed up, and of that 76 probably 40-50 were UCG members who attend to pad the audience.
On Monday, our Beyond Today Live team returned from North Carolina where we made the America: The Time is Now presentation in Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte. We reached a total of people; however, more than people registered to come. We had a few obstacles to our presentations. First, there was a gasoline shortage in the entire state. A gasoline pipeline had broken and gasoline stations did not have adequate fuel. As we traveled, we made certain that our fuel was always above a half tank. Also, there was stormy weather on the first part of the trip and, finally, street protests and unrest in Charlotte (after a black man was killed by police) affected attendance. One person called our pastor, Scott Hoefker, and told him that they really wanted to come, but they were fearful of getting out, not knowing how safe things were in the city.Church of God News reported this about three other UCG campaigns:
The three Beyond Today presentations, ‘America: The Time Is Now’ in North Carolina, drew only 27 new guests in Raleigh, 26 in Greensboro, and 23 in Charlotte (where several who registered did not attend owing to local unrest).
What has finally dawned on the old boys network is that people do not attend campaigns because of the speakers. People attend church because of relationships built with members. This is standard in most churches. The problem in Armstrongism is that members were told to never discuss their faith with nonCOG members. Examples work better at drawing members than does doom and gloom speeches and end of the word nonsense.
Or, UCG may be taking the usual route and blaming members for not being more involved. This is probably more likely since the membership of the COG has never been able to do anything right over the last 8 decades. It was always the members fault that prophecy never happened and Jesus had not returned.
It is becoming more apparent to us that local congregational involvement and engagement will be needed and expected to help increase our attendance. From the home office, we can do only so much to promote these events. Further publicity and encouragement will need to come from local pastors and their congregations.UCG member will soon start being "trained" on how to be proper examples. 20 years after the start of the most godly COG splinter group ever, it still has not been able to get cross to its members just what it is they are supposed to believe.
The personal appearance campaigns are making us more aware of the need to proclaim not only the gospel message, but also to “make disciples.” It is important to teach about the Kingdom of God from the Bible and to expound the scriptures that authoritatively explain God’s vision for the world.The problem with the COG view of a kingdom to come, which all Christians believe, is worthless in a troublesome world. People need to know how to relate to daily struggles, not worry about some end time apocalypse or some idiotic final training in Petra. Most Christians also know that UCG is full of hot air when it comes to perverted doctrines. Until they clean up that mess they are not going to draw in many people.
A disciple develops a deep and secure understanding about the nature and authority of the Word of God. In any discussion with those outside of us you must speak up to establish the basis of your beliefs, which is the Bible. Are you able not only to defend your beliefs, but also defend the authenticity, genuineness and reliability of the Bible?The church has always emphasized that everyone had to "prove" everything. That is a load of garbage. It is dwelling in the mystery and the unanswerable questions that have always inspired people through the centuries. Living and believing in that tension is far more profitable than parked in front of some poorly researched correspondence course and proof texting scripture or reading legalistic web sites like James Malm and Dave Pack where they lie through their teeth.
The glory days of UCG are over. It will NEVER be a great work.