UCG Statistics and Direction


In its announcement dated 03/02/12 the United Church of God (UCG) had the following from its Chairman, Melvin Rhodes:

There are 12 men on the Council and they have 12 different opinions…

After a great deal of discussion we were able to agree on the Strategic and Operation Plans that will be presented to the General Conference of Elders (GCE) in May.

We spent considerable time on the proposed Budget for the coming fiscal year—2012-2013…Our new budget for the coming fiscal year includes a “faith line” like last year. When it is presented, you will see that 30.5 percent of our income is now devoted to preaching the gospel. In spite of suffering a loss in income just over a year ago, we have been able to do more—going through doors as God has opened them. We do not want to let up on these efforts. While our current income will not supply all our needs, we are asking God to call new people into the Church to help finance further efforts.

UCG held its Council of Elders meetings this week with its 12 council members.  Presuming that UCG does spend 30.5% of its income on gospel proclamation like its Chairman has indicated, that is a major shift in how UCG has historically operated.

UCG spent almost nothing on that when it began in 1995 as the following demonstrates:

“Broadcast Media and Advertising. No budget is projected in this area at this time. The new Council of Elders will develop strategic and operating plans. Broadcast media and advertising will be addressed at that time.” (Notes to Proposed Fiscal Budget. New Beginnings. December 18, 1995; p:11)

“Israel sat on the bottom of Mount Sinai for nearly a year (Exodus 19:1, Numbers 10:11). Why? Because this is how God decided to start a church…God took time to teach Israel how to worship Him. He took time to organize and train their ministry and to write their ministerial manuals. He took time to teach them how to conduct worship services. All this was done in Exodus. God then dedicated the entire book of Leviticus to teaching Israel how to worship and walk with Him–a repetition and expansion of the book of Exodus. Is there a lesson in it for us? Yes. Some get overly anxious about doing a work…Some would like to see us do it right this time.” (Dick, Bob. From the Chairman: How Would God Start a Church? New Beginnings. March 4, 1996).

Does anyone believe that the disciples thought that Jesus taught to wait a year in Matthew 28:19-20? 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?

But that is what UCG did.  And most years of its existence, it has spent more on its home office and governance than it has on gospel proclamation.  UCG, however, lost much of its paid ministry in 2010 and 2011 to a break off group that now calls itself COGWA.  This has resulted in reassessments of UCG’s mission and priorities.

As far other statistics, UCG posted some videos related to its conference this week, and Shining Light summarized some of UCG’s statistics as follows:

Number of elders (Total)  333:

Number of elders (U.S.)   263:

Number of elders (International) 70…

Ordinations since Jan 1 2011 (Total)   39:

Ordinations since Jan 1 2011 (U.S.)   30:

Ordinations since Jan 1 2011 (International)  9:

Churches and Bible Studies (U.S.)   197

A high priority for UCG has been to add more elders since it lost so many in the past two years.  It appears that UCG’s current Council of Elders wants to show its membership that it is committed to supporting them and to change the direction of its past leadership more towards gospel proclamation.  If it actually does this, then this would be a positive for UCG.

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.

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