United Church of God has an article up on their Updates page concerning issues in Canada (and the US) about the ageing out of its members and the drop in income that will result. Of course, UCG like any "good" Church of God has solved that issue...preach more sermons on tithing.
Considering there is no New Covenant command for tithing, UCG is going to have a hard sell in getting ageing baby boomers and others to fork over more and more money so the elite can stay in power and live comfortable lives while they struggle in retirement.Included in the financial discussion is retirement of the baby boomers and what affect that might have on the income of the church. The source of our donations is: 70% from members; 20% from donors and 10% from coworkers. It was suggested it would be a good idea to give sermons as to the importance of giving tithes and offerings and what the scriptural basis for doing so is.
UCG never stops to consider that their message no longer has any impact on UCG members or the world around them. Like most COG's it still tries to cling to the "glory days" of the past and still looks at old paradigms to run their current iteration of the church. In Canada, they have lost 1/3 of their responses/viewership due to their message no longer having relevance. Of course, UCG has a quick response to that, change broadcast stations.
Edwin van Pelt presented a PowerPoint showing a breakdown of statistics regarding the Beyond Today television program. This past year responses have dropped about 1/3 from the previous year. However, almost 30 percent of those responding each week are new people. It was asked if we should try a different station or time. This is a possibility, but can be quite costly even if there is a time slot available.If you can't rope them in with cable TV and other video sources, then let's resort to Readers Digest. Does anyone read RD anymore? It is 2017, not 1965 when every article was some syrupy sweet story of cotton candy and warm fuzzies. While warm positive stories certainly are good to read and restore faith in humanity, those kinds of books appeal to the 65 and over crowd who remember the magazine from their youth and wish to wax nostalgic compared to the mad rush of society and the digital age of today.
The issues in UCG extend far beyond ageing baby boomers. According to UCG brass in Canada, current day UCG members have no sense of commitment to the church as people had in the past. You know UCG is having trouble when they cannot get church members to register for the Feast! Add to that the lack of commitment of UCG members to even have their name put forth to be on UCG's Canadian council that runs the church.
UCG Canada is also trying to figure out how to safely navigate rules on spam emails in Canada. UCG now has to have a way for recipients to "opt out" from receiving their mail. Every email list and every church list that I am on has ways to opt out from receiving their mail. It is strange in 2017 that UCG has never given their members and readers that option.A portion of the morning was reserved for brainstorming. Included in the discussion was: media challenges, trends, the Ministerial Newsletter, current challenges facing the church (lack of commitment, not registering for the Feast, the need for succession planning for replacing the Secretary, and the lack of individuals willing to have name on ballot selection for council...
Michael Erickson presented concerns to be aware of regarding Canada’s Anti-Spam legislation. Part of the problem is a lack of definition of terms. The legislation concerns “commercial electronic messages”. It is not clear if some of our emails might fall into that category since they may sometimes advertise an event (socials, feasts, etc.). Much of the definition will be determined in court so the church needs to do what it can to protect itself from potential lawsuits. By July 1 all corporations need to have explicit consent to send the commercial electronic messages. We must also find a way to provide an easy unsubscribe for those who no longer wish to receive messages. The legislation applies to both corporations and individuals and all electronic forms of sending messages. It carries a hefty fine.
Many people I know in UCG say they are only there till their kids grow up and head off to college. They don't want to leave and have their children's friends be lost.
UCG lost its relevance when they kept filling all of the seats on the Council of Elders with aging baby boomers who too often keep looking back at the "glory days" of old and naively thought they could recapture it.
Their model from the past was corrupt and continues to be today. Abusive ministers still abound. Legalistic doctrines still keep members shackled down. Jesus is ignored or at least given a little lip service. The law reigns supreme, grace, not so much.
UCG had a chance and blew it. Twenty years later and it still has not comprehended that fact. Fancy offices, nice homes and steady income for the upper echelon does not make a church make.