United Church of God has long been trying to be the most relevant Church of God splinter group out there. And yet, 25 years later they still cannot find their place. Even with having, what they claim is, the 13th most popular religious web site in the world, they still struggle to find new members. As their present leadership retires and the membership ages, they cannot replace them with new younger members. Still operating on a 1970/1980's model for television, they struggle to make their three presenters actually present topics that anyone cares about in 2019. They recently dumped a ton of money on a new television recording studio, and they are hoping this will be their savior.
From Church of God News:
Media Director, Peter Eddington, states that, “UCG.org is currently ranked by Alexa as the 13th most popular religious denomination website in the world. Last year, the UCG.org website received over 10 million unique visitors and 99.8 percent were non-members.”
UCG is by far the highest ranked ex-WCG organization, having an Alexa ranking similar to the SDA, whose membership is over 100 times larger than the WCG at its peak.
UCG’s outreach to new people is thus exceptional – but how many of these become members?
Treasurer Rick Shabi reports that, “The Days of Unleavened Bread and fall Holy Day offerings this [past] year were $100,000 over budget, while general contributions were lower. This is due in part to demographics of the Church; as more people retire, they give offerings but have less titheable income.
The income is steadying out in the $18-19 million range, about equal to estimated expenses this year, as they have steadily risen in the last five years.”
The UCG is failing to gain new, younger members to replace those who are retiring and, if there is no improvement, expenses will have to be cut to match the flattening income. Much then depends on the success of the output from the new TV studio.