The February 2012 edition of UCG’s United News recently arrived. The United Church of God has finally published its audited financial statements for its fiscal year ending June 30, 2011. This is the latest it has ever published its financial statements, which may have to do with the turmoil that UCG experienced in 2011. UCG reported that its income was down 18.1% compared to its prior fiscal year. In my view, this seems reasonably good considering the state of the USA economy and the losses UCG sustained in early 2011.
(In December 2010, a group calling itself COGWA officially formed mainly consisting of ministers and members from the United Church of God. UCG lost most of its paid USA and Latin American ministry to this split by mid-2011.)
While UCG had to dip into its reserves for the period ending 6/30/2011, that would tend to be expected. It would seem, however, if its paid ministry has dropped so much, that even if it has a similar drop in income for the period ending 06/30/2011 that UCG should be able to get by at that type of income level.
Now, UCG’s fiscal year is not a calendar year. In its last published financial statement, for its fiscal year ending 6/30/11, UCG reported a gross income of $19,549,797 (down from 23,870,107 the prior year). It spent 5,101,734 (down from 5,368,289 the prior year) for ‘public proclamation’ (26.10%); it spent 4,623,610 (down from 4,992,351 the prior year) for managing its meetings and ‘home office’ (23.65%); and 11,077,656 (down from 13,420,477 the prior year) for the field ministry/local churches/FOT/International support (56.66%), and decreased reserves by 1,53,203 (-6.41%).
Brief Financial Comparison of US Income (Both Based on Latest Audited Statements)
Traditionally, I have tended to provide a brief comparison of how UCG and LCG spend their revenues. While both COG, these groups have differing objectives and priorities (as well as prophetic and other doctrinal differences), as well as fiscal years.
For its fiscal year ending 12/31/10, LCG grossed 14,341,826 and spent 5,989,084 on public proclamation, 907,340 on HQ administration, 6,907,314 to ‘feed the flock’ (including Living University) and increased reserves by 538,087.
If you gave $100.00 to the United Church of God or the Living Church of God for those most recent periods to compare, here is where your money went:
.......................................United Church of God....Living Church of God
1st Commission to Proclaim the Gospel to the World....$26.10........$41.76 2nd Commission to Feed the Flock (and Field Ministry)..56.66.........48.16 Headquarters/Home Office...............................23.65..........6.33 Change in Reserves.....................................-6.41..........3.75 Total................................................$100.00.......$100.00
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Mattew 6:21).
I went with LCG because of Gospel proclamation emphasis and biblical church governance. It is interesting that UCG regularly has spent almost 3 times as high a percentage on governance than LCG does (and over 5 times as much in actual cash, UCG spent $4,623,610 vs. LCG’s 907,340).
Which form of governance is more cost-effective? Which form places the higher priority on proclaiming the Gospel?
Despite being smaller, LCG spends more in actual cash as UCG does to proclaim the Gospel. LCG also still reaches many times as many people over television than UCG does. LCG also produces more magazines (Tomorrow’s World vs. Good News) on a per member basis than UCG does.
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Some articles of related interest may include:
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.
Differences between the Living Church of God and United Church of God This article provides quotes information from the two largest groups which had their origins in WCG as well as commentary.
Concerns about Church of God, a Worldwide Association This is a large breakaway group from the United Church of God. It officially formed in December 2010. Former UCG President Clyde Kilough is part of it.
Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Roderick C. Meredith on Church Government What form of governance did the early church have? Which form of governance would one expect to have in the Philadelphia remnant? The people decide and/or committee forms, odd dictatorships, or the same type that the Philadelphia era itself had?
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from evangelists?
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now basically the Living Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era was predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. Non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.