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CampMeeting Attendance Decline: Solutions?
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Post CampMeeting Attendance Decline: Solutions? bishop1
I have noticed over several years that Church of God CampMeeting attendance is in decline? What is the solution? Hey, DOC
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6/4/14 12:28 pm


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Post John Stevenson
more accountability.
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6/4/14 12:38 pm


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Post Clint Wills
John Stevenson wrote:
more accountability.


For what?? To show up to an optional week of meetings?

I think the cause is that many pastors are bi-vocational, and fewer of them are willing to take their family vacation to attend camp-meeting...and I don't blame them.
That said, if there were a way to get more churches to support a full-time pastor, we may have greater attendance. There are plenty of sinners out there to put every COG pastor on a full-time salary...we just need to get them into church and saved! Very Happy Very Happy
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6/4/14 12:46 pm


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Post I can speak for the one In Southern Illinois c6thplayer1
There seems to be a challenge to how loud they can get the music without causing immediate deaths...... I have went to my last one along with several others...

Use this as a measure. I play in a band and am the music director at our church so I like loud music as long as its not equal to or greater than a neutron explosion. The COG camp meeting volume is totally ridiculous in So. Ill.
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6/4/14 1:37 pm


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Post Quiet Wyatt
In most states where I have lived and have attended campmeetings (5) there seems to be the same problems as far as I have been concerned as a local pastor.

1. The apparent felt need by those in charge of the music to play the latest, greatest hits of contemporary praise and worship, typically as loud as they can. This sort of approach only alienates the majority of pastors and older attenders, in my experience, and is definitely not conducive to worship in spirit and in truth. I have been amazed at how responsive the entire crowd has been when one or two of the old redback songs was done during campmeeting. I'm not saying we should do no new songs at all, but there has to be a balance in this. "Things old and new," as Jesus said the wise scribe of the kingdom would bring out. Campmeeting was GREAT when we all knew most of the songs. Now with all these 7/11 songs that some people feel are more spiritual, most of the crowd at campmeeting just loses interest in the singing altogether, unfortunately.

2. The announcements typically are just way too long. Can't we put most of them in the bulletin, or maybe even in an email?

3. The politicking. Not sure what can be done about it, except to just cut it out. But that would involve a RADICAL paradigm shift in our church culture.
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6/4/14 10:48 pm


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Post Re: I can speak for the one In Southern Illinois Old Time Country Preacher
c6thplayer1 wrote:
The COG camp meeting volume is totally ridiculous in So. Ill.


Now C6, son, you used to listen to the Beach Boys a whole heap louder than camp meetin music. Cool
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6/5/14 1:25 am


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Post DrDuck
Quiet Wyatt wrote:
In most states where I have lived and have attended campmeetings (5) there seems to be the same problems as far as I have been concerned as a local pastor.

1. The apparent felt need by those in charge of the music to play the latest, greatest hits of contemporary praise and worship, typically as loud as they can. This sort of approach only alienates the majority of pastors and older attenders, in my experience, and is definitely not conducive to worship in spirit and in truth. I have been amazed at how responsive the entire crowd has been when one or two of the old redback songs was done during campmeeting. I'm not saying we should do no new songs at all, but there has to be a balance in this. "Things old and new," as Jesus said the wise scribe of the kingdom would bring out. Campmeeting was GREAT when we all knew most of the songs. Now with all these 7/11 songs that some people feel are more spiritual, most of the crowd at campmeeting just loses interest in the singing altogether, unfortunately.

2. The announcements typically are just way too long. Can't we put most of them in the bulletin, or maybe even in an email?

3. The politicking. Not sure what can be done about it, except to just cut it out. But that would involve a RADICAL paradigm shift in our church culture.


Amen!
I drove 2 hours one way yesterday to attend S. GA Camp Meeting. I have come to the point that I endure the music part while looking forward to the preaching. I sat through (I did not count but wish I had) probably 15 repetitions of a song which I actually like. When the Overseer began to manipulate the crowd and it became apparent the preaching would not occur; I slipped out, loaded up on coffee, and made the 2 hour drive home.

And, yes, there were plenty of empty chairs on what is usually the biggest attendance night of the week.
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6/5/14 7:47 am


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Post Re: I can speak for the one In Southern Illinois c6thplayer1
Old Time Country Preacher wrote:
c6thplayer1 wrote:
The COG camp meeting volume is totally ridiculous in So. Ill.


Now C6, son, you used to listen to the Beach Boys a whole heap louder than camp meetin music. Cool


I can only think of one concert that I went to that was louder than the camp
meeting mortar attack and it wasn't the Beach Boys.

BTW I met a friend this morning that said they and their family were not going to camp meeting this year either because of the loudness.

When order is lost chaos prevails....
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6/5/14 10:09 am


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Post ........ wayne
Clint Wills wrote:
John Stevenson wrote:
more accountability.


For what?? To show up to an optional week of meetings?

I think the cause is that many pastors are bi-vocational, and fewer of them are willing to take their family vacation to attend camp-meeting...and I don't blame them.
That said, if there were a way to get more churches to support a full-time pastor, we may have greater attendance. There are plenty of sinners out there to put every COG pastor on a full-time salary...we just need to get them into church and saved! Very Happy Very Happy

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6/6/14 12:34 pm


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Post drmrc
Here is a statement that I have found to be true most of the time, "Any behavior/action that is not rewarded will not be repeated."

Obviously, not as many people today find Camp Meetings (as we have done them) as rewarding as people in past years and generations did. Some would say that this speaks to the spiritual decline of our people. That may be true for some, but I don't think we need to cover everyone with such a broad brush stroke.

Maybe we need to look at new ways and models to challenge and inspire our people. What I have noticed is that the audience at most Camp Meetings is an aging demographic. If that does not change, common sense says Camp Meeting's days are numbered.

We have a few options before us (1) Continue to do CM as we have and let the chips continue to fall where they may. This basically means do nothing different. (2) Continue to do CM as we have and launch a major PR and recruitment effort to get more people (especially a younger demographic) to come. There will probably be little long term "bang for the buck" in this option. (3) Do the first option and launch another meeting that will be more relevant to what God is saying and doing in the world today and potentially more rewarding to the rising generation of Christians and church leaders. (4) Scrape CM and launch the new meeting.

That's basically our only four options other than scrapping the whole idea of any state/regional meeting. Which one do you really think most states will do?

Mike Chapman
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6/6/14 3:12 pm


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Post Camp Meeting - Contemporary Worship Mat
Do these two titles have anything in common: Camp Meeting and Contemporary Worship? One speaks of the past (what does "Camp Meeting" mean?) and the other of the present (what is "Contemporary Worship" today is not tomorrow). So what's the future?

Mat
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6/6/14 4:34 pm


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Post Re: Camp Meeting - Contemporary Worship Old Time Country Preacher
Mat wrote:
So what's the future?



I shore hope it aint Branham's angel, Bentley's antics or Browne's (Rodney Howard) anointing.
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6/6/14 4:40 pm


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Post We are so in touch that we have lost touch. JLarry
We are living in a very different world than we were in when I started attending CM in the 70's.

We did not all have computers, cell (smart) phones, iPads. We did not have satellite TV. Most did not have cable TV. Hey we did not even have Face Book.

We stayed in touch with those we could touch, rather than those we could text or send PM's.

We had monthly youth meetings or some form of district meetings. We knew folks from other CoG's in our district. We felt like we all belonged to the same church.

Now we have a remote control in one hand with 200 TV channels to watch, with a computer in our laps and a smart phone in one hand. We are so in touch that we have lost touch.

We are no longer concerned about what his happening at the CoG down the street, at least not nearly as much as we were.

Pastors in my state got together once a quarter for fellowship. This is also a thing of the past at least in my state.

I am told in N. Ga. pastors are more disconnected than S. Ga.

Bottom line, we are disconnected in a society that is more connected than ever before.
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6/6/14 4:55 pm


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Post NOMINATED POST OF THE YEAR Rafael D Martinez
JLarry wrote:
We are living in a very different world than we were in when I started attending CM in the 70's.

We did not all have computers, cell (smart) phones, iPads. We did not have satellite TV. Most did not have cable TV. Hey we did not even have Face Book.

We stayed in touch with those we could touch, rather than those we could text or send PM's.

We had monthly youth meetings or some form of district meetings. We knew folks from other CoG's in our district. We felt like we all belonged to the same church.

Now we have a remote control in one hand with 200 TV channels to watch, with a computer in our laps and a smart phone in one hand. We are so in touch that we have lost touch.

We are no longer concerned about what his happening at the CoG down the street, at least not nearly as much as we were.

Pastors in my state got together once a quarter for fellowship. This is also a thing of the past at least in my state.

I am told in N. Ga. pastors are more disconnected than S. Ga.

Bottom line, we are disconnected in a society that is more connected than ever before.


You didn't just hit this out of the park, JL .. This was the walk off on Game 7 of the World Series.

This is the Death Star getting vaporized. This is a strobe light staying on at the bottom of the Marianas Trench. This makes the Most Interesting Man In The World a big hairy bore.

This is hot Chihuahua Queso with Chorizo.

Dear God, JL. THAT WILL PREACH.
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6/7/14 4:51 am


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Post The core of the problem is well ID'd by Pastor Wiley Rafael D Martinez
We have become an almost entirely turned inward movement.

The Church of God isn't what I, in my 34 years in it, once found it to be.

He hit the problem plumb on the head with the comment that at one time, we knew who the other members of our Churches were in our districts, and in our states. The core issue is that the deep traditional sense of fellowship has been pretty much lost among the COG at so many levels of our culture.

That's not to be unexpected. The dearth of real community in our apostate age has poisoned us a LOT more than we will ever really admit or much less care about. Humanity is essentially self-centered and regularly scheduled times of interaction with others simply no longer convenient to the New Busy Work of our lives.

We at one time had a movement-mediated trust in what fellowship could be .. and that was real, spiritual koinonea. It's how the COG was born. We grew because we really, truly joined hands and held on to one another and pulled in a common effort at living out and proclaiming a Bible centered way of life punctuated by openness to the wonders of an unbound Spirit among us.

Yes, yes, yes the politicking, gossip, bad teaching and mystical manipulation was still there, as in all Christian mass gatherings, but it didn't dominate everything. We were HUNGRY to see brothers and sisters and to worship God and to expect great things from Him as we TOGETHER laid ourselves at his feet.

Now we can't even agree on what to sing on the Powerpoint.

All in a day and age in which our people work two jobs to survive, can't get time off from employers to travel 3 hours one way somewhere, have kids and a world of activities in plain competition with it all, and who are frankly disillusioned with our movement when we have allowed it become so inwardly turned as well. The lure of the idiot box, bandwidth and the ease of sterile digital networking that diverts us pretty much seals the deal.

The camp meeting was at one time a thing of the Spirit and I believe it's now largely dominated by the flesh of religious and leaders who mean well, know how to make it Crank and Work, but who miss the whole point of it all.

If it's to return to the potential it has always had to bring real change to lives, it means the Christians gathering for it need to check themselves from the top down and to truly embrace what humbling of ourselves we need to do to wait upon the Lord once more instead of a Regular Scheduling of Revival Power. We need to dispense with the blasphemous notion that we can book the Move of the Spirit and then make Him the genie in the bottle released on cue for 3 nights a week and get back to the basics .. when breaking ourselves before Him and seeking His face really actually MEANT that we BROKE ourselves and SOUGHT God out.

I believe that's the solution. But who really waits on the Lord anymore? Really? Entertainment is so much simpler, so the band plays on.

We are fasting and praying in the Great Lakes for a move of God as our AB Bishop Martin has asked in our campmeeting. I am joining in .. and hoping and praying that the COG all around us up here will truly do that kind of waiting on the Lord in private .. and hope that we will also wait on him NIGHTLY as well. I think we have some great speakers coming for whom the way is best prepared for God's Spirit to use them and us .. but ONLY as we rend heaven with a cry to Him to truly change our lives.
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6/7/14 5:13 am


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Post Troy Hamby
when everyone arrives, hand them a rake, trash bag and work gloves and go out into the local community and make a difference. You know, do something that Jesus would actually do and show the people that live around the church that the people that go to the church actually care about them. Golf Cart Mafia Soldier
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6/7/14 7:03 am


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Post say what would happen if Rafael D Martinez
Troy Hamby wrote:
when everyone arrives, hand them a rake, trash bag and work gloves and go out into the local community and make a difference. You know, do something that Jesus would actually do and show the people that live around the church that the people that go to the church actually care about them.


instead of trash pickup .. everyone took their Bibles, some good tracts and flyers for churches in the area and knocked on doors, stood on street corners, and mingled outside stores and markets to actually share their faith for a couple days or so .. praying for the sick, testifying to God's goodness and offering the Gospel of Jesus to folks, maybe a bag of groceries and offers to get people to hospitals even.

Holy Ghost filled Pentecostals are supposed to be witnesses of Jesus, right?

One wonders just what might happen?

.. I seem to remember a verse in the Bible about that.

http://www.spiritwatch.org/firerevwit.htm

The Jehovah's Witnesses do this globally as part of routine for their district meetings. Luke 16:8.
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6/7/14 9:31 am


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Post Quiet Wyatt
While cleaning up neighborhood trash and witnessing of Jesus in the community are good endeavors which ought to be done, it seems to me that these good works can and should be done most of all in one's own community.

Campmeeting is supposed to be a time for the saints to come together from the region for purpose of seeking God for spiritual renewal. To be sure, campmeeting might well include efforts at community outreach, but it seems to me the real problem is we have simply forgotten to keep the main thing the main thing when it comes to campmeeting--seeking God for spiritual renewal.
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6/7/14 9:38 am


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Post Excitement diakoneo
I was talking to my mother about early campmeetings she attended in the 1960s. They were in the old tabernacle on Bessemer Superhighway in Alabama. The building had no air conditioning, no café, no padded pews, and no great sound system. Campmeeting was held Independence Day week to allow those who worked opportunity to come. Yet there was a genuine excitement and anticipation for that week. They were exited about the preaching and teaching and the new songs they were going to learn. Many churches would come together in groups and camp and fellowships with other churches.

Can we ever recapture that kind of excitement? I doubt it. Folks aren't really all that excited about campmeeting anymore.

Would they sit in a hot tabernacle on a metal folding chair for two, three hours???

And not only that, but look forward to doing it?

Be excited about it?

Now we get excited about the Fourth of July but not campmeeting.
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6/7/14 11:57 am


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Post SouthGeorgiaBoy
Troy Hamby wrote:
when everyone arrives, hand them a rake, trash bag and work gloves and go out into the local community and make a difference. You know, do something that Jesus would actually do and show the people that live around the church that the people that go to the church actually care about them.


Why not do both? Why can we not go out into the highways like Jesus did and still come together for worship and celebration? Didn't Jesus go into the synagogues to teach? Did He not also say that His house shall be called a house of prayer? He even insinuated that there should be praise going on in His house also.

If you throw away one and keep the other we lose our sense of balance.
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6/7/14 3:54 pm


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