It seems like all the Churches of God are struggling to make their messages relevant to the people in the world they are trying to impress. While some directly blame this struggle on Satan, the most powerful god of the church, others make hints of persecution from a variety of sources without directly blaming Satan. None of them ever seem to stop and take a look at the message they are attempting to deliver.
Given the state of the world right now with so many conflicts and tragedies unfolding, people are not looking to walk into a lecture or presentation to sit there for an hour listening to doom and gloom scenarios. Instead of talking about the peace and rest found in following Christ, which Christians have understood for 2,000 years, they harp on following the law and preparing for a massive war, destruction, disease, and death. Who wants to hear that crap day in and day out when you are surrounded by it?
People who live in third-world nations, strife-torn areas, and living with REAL religious persecution, find rest in the One they believe in and of which rarely is ever spoken of in UCG publications, or in the broader COG community. Most of what is served up as "truth" is nothing more than crap theology or various topics that have no real interest to people in 2022. Most COG's still are trying to operate on Herbert's advertising strategies pre-1986. And of course, since this is the COG we are discussing with membership small in number, the immediate excuse that is used is, "The harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few".
Perhaps it is time they stop and really looked at their message to see WHY the laborers are few. It can't be blamed upon Satan as the reason. Perhaps they might want to look at that Jesus dude, you know, that guy who is always in the shadows knocking on the door that no one seems to want to open.
Netherlands Update:“In November last year we asked for prayers for God to bless our new website so that many Dutch-speaking people who are searching for the truth would be able to find it on the Internet. We are still in the process of collecting data in order to determine the results of that effort. Meanwhile, we are exploring ways to attract even more people to our website by posting short teaser texts on our Facebook account—inviting them to visit our website for information on various subjects.
“Although we have many more ideas about reaching people with the gospel message, our team of dedicated volunteers is small. Therefore, we have an additional prayer request for our fellow brethren around the world. Please pray that God would call more laborers for His work in the Netherlands and Flanders.”
“Canada has a population of 38.6 million people living in the second largest country in the world with a land mass of nearly 10 million square kilometers (about 3.85 million square miles). The Church has congregations in 9 of the 10 most-populated cities in the country. There are 10 pastors and 16 elders serving 24 congregations in eight provinces. If a person were to drive across Canada to visit all the congregations, he or she would travel about 9,900 kilometers (over 6,100 miles) from coast to coast and would have to make two ferry crossings. An increasing number of pastors use Internet technologies to reach members who are unable to attend Sabbath services in person.
“One of our greatest challenges continues to be manpower—laborers for the harvest. Canada has been impacted recently by the deaths of a pastor and an elder. In addition, there are many policies in place to provide compliance with federal and provincial laws that apply to UCG-Canada as a federally registered charity. UCG-Canada must be especially careful of anything that might be considered ‘hate speech’ against any identifiable group. There are also very strict privacy laws, which limit what personal information we can collect and share. Considering the above-mentioned challenges, your prayers would be very much appreciated that the Word of God may continue effectively reaching the nation. In Part 2 of this report we will cover current media efforts to spread the message of God’s coming Kingdom.”
Canadian Update 2
“Our media team continues working on ways to optimize our websites in order to promote and enhance visitor experience. The team has been writing introductory articles on topics covered by longer articles in The Good News and Beyond Today magazines. The shorter intros are meant to pique curiosity and then direct interested website visitors to previously posted material. Besides this, Beyond Today television programs air each week on cable television. However, Canada has limited print methods available for economical advertising. Those that are available, that we have been able to try, have not produced cost-effective results.
“Regardless of these limitations and having very strict government restrictions during COVID-19, congregations across the country have had some new people begin attending Sabbath services which has been very encouraging to the members. Once again, we would be grateful for your prayers for your fellow brethren throughout Canada and that the gospel will continue reaching many people across the nation.”