UCG Reports Decline in Good News

UCG’s Logo for its Beyond Today television program


The United Church of God (UCG) produces a magazine titled the Good News and a television program titled Beyond Today. Comparisons with past magazine issues show a dropping of impact for both of those public proclamation tools for UCG.  Additionally, UCG produces a periodical for its membership called United News.

Last night I saw the March-April 2011 edition of United News.  The back page showed a graph titled UNITED STATISTICS, with its sub-headline GOOD NEWS PRODUCTION RUNS 2007-2011.

The graph shows that at its peak, which seems to have been its March-April 2008 issue, UCG was producing about 545,000 copies of its Good News magazine.  The graph shows a steady decline in production of the magazine since that date.  UCG’s Good News magazine circulation was listed as 328,000 for its latest issue (Good News Magazine, March-April 2011, p. 2). It was 339,000 for its January-February 2011 issue. And this is down from 362,000 a few issue before (Good News Magazine, October 2010, p. 2).

As I reported before, the November-December 2010 edition of its Good News magazine listed that its Beyond Today was on 215 television stations. Yet, according to the latest issue, Beyond Today is on no more than 35 television stations (Good News Magazine, March-April 2011, p. 29). As it turns out, most of the stations that were dropped were public access ones with limited audiences. But it is still on superstation WGN.

For those unfamiliar with UCG, perhaps it should be mentioned that UCG lost over 1/2 of its paid USA ministry and most of its Latin American ministry since June 2010 (174 ministers/elders in total). Most of them went with a new group that formed called COGWA, who claims to have 170 ministers/elders. The split mainly had to do with personality matters and not doctrine.

Because of the situation with its split, UCG is encountering financial difficulties which may impact further the number of magazines it produces and the number of television stations it remains on. Despite its public attempt to act like it continues to push forward as its has in the past, the reality is that a closer look at its own reported numbers shows that it is having less impact.

On a somewhat related note, UCG again reported that it is making changes to its website that will go into effect in May 2011–presumably this is an attempt to improve the reach of its public proclamation efforts, perhaps on a less costly basis.

UCG is trying to cope with what it has been through, but its impact seems to be lessening in some areas.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Roderick C. Meredith on Church Government What form of governance did the early church have? Was it hierarchical? 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?
Unity: Which COG for You? Why so many groups? Why is there lack of unity in the Churches of God? Has it always been this way? What can/should be done about it?
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.
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to more easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG/GCI members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.
Concerns about Church of God, a Worldwide Association Known as COGWA, this seems to be the largest group that came out of the United Church of God. Here is some history and concerns about it. UCG’s former president Clyde Kilough and UK CEO Pater Hawkins are part of it.
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 Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. These are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.

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