UCG Reports GN Circulation Drops and Some Odd Items


In its latest United News, the United Church of God (UCG) reported that the circulation of its Good News magazine dropped from nearly 600,000 copies per issue in 2009 to 375,673 for its December 2011 versions (in all languages combined–the January-February 2012 edition in English lists 329,000).  It also showed a circulation chart from 2004 to present showing that the current level is the lowest level shown on the chart.

The drop is not particularly surprising as UCG lost about 1/2 of its ministry since the Spring of 2010, when a former president and certain other leaders left to form a group known as Church of God a Worldwide Association (COGWA). UCG has had two major (and several minor) defections in it history, the first major one involving former UCG President David Hulme’s COGaIC in 1998 and then the COGWA split. Both the COGaIC and COGWA splits were claimed to be related to issues of church governance and direction.

Considering how many left UCG in 2010 and early 2011, it has seemingly done reasonably well.

But there were some very odd items in the January 2012 United News that some may wish to see.

Here is the first:

On Tuesday, December 6, the meeting was kicked off by a report given by Robin Webber on the results of the member survey recently conducted. Overall results from the survey indicate a greater level of happiness and excitement regarding the forward movement of the church. One notable element of this is what’s called the “Net Promoter Score,” which in the case of the church is measured by the number of members who enthusiastically responded to the survey question: “How willing are you to recommend contact with the United Church of God to non-members?” The results showed a large gain, rising since the last survey given from 0.22 to 4.54 on a scale average of 1 to 10.

Unless I am misunderstanding what this means, it suggests that the previous time UCG measured this, very few in UCG would recommend their church to others, and now less than 1/2 of those still in UCG are particularly interested in mentioning it to others.  Since I mention the Living Church of God in writing to people every day, and orally to people frequently, this suggests, to me at least, some significant issues still remain within UCG, even amongst those still supporting it.

Furthermore, there was an article with some unusual and disturbing statements:

Chart Your Way on the Road to Eternal Life

The saints are those who check off their chart daily.

While many parts of the article seemed appropriate, the idea that it implies that one can chart one’s way to eternal life is in blatant contradiction to scripture.  Surely, UCG did not mean that, but not only was the line “The saints are those who check off their chart daily” in the article, it was also highlighted in larger print a second time in the printed version, apparently for emphasis.  Perhaps this was meant figuratively, but it was expressed twice literally and seemed odd and inappropriate.

The same article also indicated that one should have a chart and check daily “Visit UCG website and read two articles, making at least one comment.”  This seemed to be an odd item to check off daily for the “Personal Goals” chart shown in the printed (though not online) version of the article.  This is a way to improve/sustain internet rankings, but did seem an odd practice (especially when asking for a daily online comment) to have in an official publication.

Normally, I do not report much about the article content United News, and normally it does not have statements quite as odd as those reported in this post.

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 This seems to be the largest group that came out of the United Church of God. Here is some history and concerns about 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.

Get news like the above sent to you on a daily basis

Your email will not be shared. You may unsubscribe at anytime.