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The COG is less than a generation away from decentralization or extinction
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Post The COG is less than a generation away from decentralization or extinction Da Sheik
I’m not trying to be a prophet of doom; I’m a realist. The writing is on the wall. I wonder if our leadership is aware of the shift in culture. The pyramid structure of leadership is past its “best by” date. Congregations want much more say in what happens in their local churches. They’re tired of sending in monies to organizations that discourage transparency. The average Joe can actually talk to their favorite celebrity via social media now. Waiting days and weeks for an AB to stop screening their calls will not suffice. Does anyone actually know what percentage of tithe monies goes to paying administrative salaries ? The hallmark of a dying ministry is when all of the funds are used to pay salaries and keep the lights on. It’s no different in the local church. When a church’s budget reflects an inward focus, plateau and then decline are imminent. It may take 5 years or 10 years, but it will happen. Acts Enthusiast
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8/21/19 5:01 pm


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Post Darrell Garrett
I'm no longer in the COG, but I'll voice my opinion on this. I think you are spot on. In the area where I live, within 3 towns, I could name at least 20 families who have left the COG for precisely the reasons you've discussed and several families who are right not wrestling with exiting the COG for the same reasoning. People are just fed up with it. I've been accused of trying to "hurt" the COG but that's the furthest thing from the truth. I spent my life in the COG and I pray the best for them, but I fear that if they do not wake up and make some drastic changes, they will go the way of the dinosaur. Hon. Dr. in Acts-celeratology
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8/21/19 9:05 pm


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Post diakoneo
Selling small churches to pay salaries in the state office speaks volumes on this issue! I am talking about paid off church and paying their bills. The same people who paid in tithe of tithe for decades, now no local church. Of course they left CoG, I don't blame them Golf Cart Mafia Consigliere
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8/21/19 10:34 pm


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Post Darrell Garrett
BINGO Hon. Dr. in Acts-celeratology
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8/21/19 10:55 pm


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Post AdamJ
Many are looking to get off the ship before the ship sinks, because everyone is denying the ship is taking on water. Member
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8/22/19 8:59 pm


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Post Re: The COG is less than a generation away from decentralization or extinction Cojak
Da Sheik wrote:
I’m not trying to be a prophet of doom; I’m a realist. The writing is on the wall. I wonder if our leadership is aware of the shift in culture. The pyramid structure of leadership is past its “best by” date. Congregations want much more say in what happens in their local churches. They’re tired of sending in monies to organizations that discourage transparency. The average Joe can actually talk to their favorite celebrity via social media now. Waiting days and weeks for an AB to stop screening their calls will not suffice. Does anyone actually know what percentage of tithe monies goes to paying administrative salaries ? The hallmark of a dying ministry is when all of the funds are used to pay salaries and keep the lights on. It’s no different in the local church. When a church’s budget reflects an inward focus, plateau and then decline are imminent. It may take 5 years or 10 years, but it will happen.


I believe you are spot on my friend. I personally just approached our clerk About our submission of offerings and tithe. I now have to talk this over with my wife. I have been a tithe payer in the COG for over 60 years and 2 years in the 4 SQ. I am thinking designating every other month to General funds rather than assigning the title of tithe to the offerings.

Reasoning: I have close friends who are paid a salary or 'expenses' out of HQ funds and they are now on full retirement and SS. Make jobs that have ALWAYS before been strictly voluntary work in the Kingdom. It bothers me. Idea
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8/22/19 9:31 pm


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Post Y'all are nuts on this issue! spartanfan
Da Sheik wrote:
I’m not trying to be a prophet of doom; I’m a realist. The writing is on the wall. I wonder if our leadership is aware of the shift in culture. The pyramid structure of leadership is past its “best by” date. Congregations want much more say in what happens in their local churches. They’re tired of sending in monies to organizations that discourage transparency. The average Joe can actually talk to their favorite celebrity via social media now. Waiting days and weeks for an AB to stop screening their calls will not suffice. Does anyone actually know what percentage of tithe monies goes to paying administrative salaries ? The hallmark of a dying ministry is when all of the funds are used to pay salaries and keep the lights on. It’s no different in the local church. When a church’s budget reflects an inward focus, plateau and then decline are imminent. It may take 5 years or 10 years, but it will happen.


It asks: "I wonder if our leadership is aware of the shift in culture. The pyramid structure of leadership is past its “best by” date."
I answer: "The paradigm shift that is occurring was not only recognized first by our astute leaders but advocated as what needs to happen. I have been in meetings with general officials promoting it - telling us that "headquarters exists because and for the local church" and "without strong local churches we could not reach around the world to do our part to help fulfill The Great Commission." And you "wonder if our leadership is aware?"

You claim: "Congregations want much more say in what happens in their local churches."
I respond: "There has never been a time when congregations had more say than now in what happens in their local church." Never. It's like nothing we've ever seen and International, National and State leadership is thrilled that the churches are "taking ownership" and stepping up to determine their own course in important matters as well as lesser ones.

You claim: "Waiting days and weeks for an AB to stop screening their calls will not suffice."
I respond: "You apparently are going off of old info (and while people can cite incidents no claim that it was the norm can be substantiated)- anyways, they are evaluated for many things including their promptness in returning calls. It's on the form because it is considered important."

You ask: "Does anyone actually know what percentage of tithe monies goes to paying administrative salaries ?"
I respond: "Good grief. The general offices recently put out an information brochure telling exactly how much of the tithe goes for administration/salaries as well as every other major category. It was part of a series of brochures informing us on the essential matters." At state meetings we are given opportunities to "ask questions" - there is nothing hidden and no reason to hide .

Then you say: "The hallmark of a dying ministry is when all of the funds are used to pay salaries and keep the lights on. It’s no different in the local church. When a church’s budget reflects an inward focus, plateau and then decline are imminent. It may take 5 years or 10 years, but it will happen."
I say: "There is truth there that the 'hallmark of a dying church is inward focus...' but to say that implying the CoG is using "all of the funds to pay salaries and keep the lights on" is just wrong. Much of the funds are being used for world evangelism and that's why in spite of the naysayers we continue to grow around the world with more than 7 million members and hundreds of thousands being born into the Kingdom of God through our ministries every year. If it was at all like you are saying wouldn't it be going the other direction - instead of from 2-3-4-5-6-7 million like we've witnessed over the most recent decades wouldn't it be like from 2-1 million- 500 thousand, etc?

You say: " It may take 5 years or 10 years, but it will happen"
I say: "If Jesus tarries and you're still around 10 years from now, you will eat those words." The CoG too is built upon the truth that "Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God" and the gates of Hell (that seem to be on your side of the issue) will not prevail against it. You'll eat your words - because you are just wrong. You must have an axe to grind in order to ignore reality the way you are and prophesy the destruction of the Church of God.

We aren't perfect - but our focus is on saving souls and making disciples. So you need to look inward to see why you despise us so.
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8/23/19 8:02 am


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Post Da Sheik
Quote:
You must have an axe to grind in order to ignore reality the way you are and prophesy the destruction of the Church of God.


Actually, the opposite is true. I love the movement and want to see things change before it's too late. It's great that you have "been in meetings with officials" saying wonderful things. Politicians say wonderful things all the time to remain in power. It's the nature of the beast. They can tell us all day long that "HQ exists because and for the local church" but is that reality? I do agree with the first part of the statement- HQ exists because of the local church. I can't say the latter is true. HQ could not exist without the local church, but the local church would be just fine without HQ.

I find it offensive that you align me with "the gates of hell" but you're entitled to your opinions. When Jesus spoke those words, He wasn't speaking about a denomination BTW, He was speaking about the Universal Church comprised of all true believers.
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8/23/19 9:17 am


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Post I'll buy that for a moment .....that you love the CoG spartanfan
Da Sheik wrote:
Quote:
You must have an axe to grind in order to ignore reality the way you are and prophesy the destruction of the Church of God.


Actually, the opposite is true. I love the movement and want to see things change before it's too late. It's great that you have "been in meetings with officials" saying wonderful things. Politicians say wonderful things all the time to remain in power. It's the nature of the beast. They can tell us all day long that "HQ exists because and for the local church" but is that reality? I do agree with the first part of the statement- HQ exists because of the local church. I can't say the latter is true. HQ could not exist without the local church, but the local church would be just fine without HQ.

I find it offensive that you align me with "the gates of hell" but you're entitled to your opinions. When Jesus spoke those words, He wasn't speaking about a denomination BTW, He was speaking about the Universal Church comprised of all true believers.


Okay then - what do you want to see changed "before it's too late?" And what do you want it changed to and how would you implement the changes? Your statement prophesying that the CoG would cease to exist in 5 to 10 years is what I was referring to as something that would be in allignment with and pleasing to "the gates of Hell." You will eat those words. Constructive criticism should be welcomed but your post was negative all the way. There were just a lot of misrepresentations in it - as I pointed out. I have never understood us electing men to positions of leadership and then treating them like the enemy once they move into the offices we placed them in. And do you think you are telling me something I don't know when you say that "...He was speaking about the Universal Church comprised of all true believers"? Maybe there's something here you aren't focusing on: the Church of God (Cleveland, TN) is at least a part of the Universal Church so the scriptures at least in part apply to us too. You must believe that - or else you wouldn't claim to love the CoG, since and least some if not most of the people that make it up then must be considered by you to be in the Kingdom of God's dear Son and not the Kingdom of Darkness. Unless there's another spiritual kingdom in the earth that you are aware of and I am not?
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8/23/19 10:05 am


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Post Brandon Bowers
I think I have a unique perspective on this one, as a minister who grew up COG, left, and came back..

I didn't leave because of centralization or authority issues, but rather vision and mission differences that I didn't believe could be accomplished at the time by staying in the COG.

In my time away and coming back, I see a lot of changes culturally.

Some denominational things are strong -- youth camp in VA where I'm at is still incredible and seems to be growing.

But campmeetings, teen talent, prayer conferences, and other state events seem to be losing interest. I also see less churches pushing their teens to go to Lee.. I see more of an acceptance towards other schools like Liberty or Community Colleges.

I think we're less interested in denominational politics and working our way up the ladder, and more interested in the mission of the local church... While that's a good thing, I can see why less denominational input is needed. Most of us don't need a top-down approach to preaching, vision, or local mission.

But we also need connectivity as well. That was one thing I sorely missed when we were doing independent work. Look at Buy a Tree, Change a Life.... It's growing by leaps and bounds... Such a good thing, and we see more of an immediate response than simply giving money into a missions fund.

While I don't see COG dying, I could see a type of decentralization that would be more akin to a network of churches -- like ARC -- coming together to assist each other in common goals, but leaving authority issues to the local church... Similar to AG and Baptist groups.
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Last edited by Brandon Bowers on 8/23/19 10:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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8/23/19 10:17 am


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Post sheepdogandy
"This is my church, and I will do what I want with it!"

Direct quote from a state overseer.

Until that attitude changes, y'all in trouble.
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8/23/19 10:17 am


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Post Eddie Robbins
sheepdogandy wrote:
"This is my church, and I will do what I want with it!"

Direct quote from a state overseer.

Until that attitude changes, y'all in trouble.


When was that?
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8/23/19 12:36 pm


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Post sheepdogandy
1989

Unfortunately, since I have been posting on this discussion board.

Account after account of this attitude being displayed by officials, state and international are documented.

Not only have members of local congregations been victimized, officials themselves have been cannibalized by the "system".

Robert White to name one.
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8/23/19 1:07 pm


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Post Really spartanfan
sheepdogandy wrote:
1989

Unfortunately, since I have been posting on this discussion board.

Account after account of this attitude being displayed by officials, state and international are documented.

Not only have members of local congregations been victimized, officials themselves have been cannibalized by the "system".

Robert White to name one.


Account after account - documented? Post the docs please because we know you are bearing false witness. You have an axe to grind so... you may dig back over a decade ago and find an instance or 2 to take out of context but for it to be as widespread and recent as you are talking about - no way. You are living in the past of your own little world- which is not a present reality. So post these numerous documents of officials saying it’s their church and they will do what they want with it and shut me up if you can.
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8/23/19 2:06 pm


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Post COG Victim MI6
The Church of God is a Victim of Bad Leadership and Bad Politics.
The politics i the COG is worse than what you find in the Democrat Party or Republican Party. Handshakes, Lies, Promises, Buddy Club Mentality and an abundance of Broken Promises.
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8/23/19 6:10 pm


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Post sheepdogandy
Take a walk through the archives of this discussion board.

DD himself is a victim of said attitude.

Get your head out of the sand Sparty.
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8/24/19 9:52 am


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Post MrSippi
sheepdogandy wrote:
Take a walk through the archives of this discussion board.

DD himself is a victim of said attitude.

Get your head out of the sand Sparty.


Are you kidding me? There are over 7 million members of the COG, thousands of churches, tens of thousands of ministers, and you are assessing your perspective from a message board where we have to “search” for proof of your accusations? Absolutely ridiculous!

1989 was 30 years ago! It may be time to move on. And before you respond that you have, those of us who have watched you troll these kind of posts for years know better.
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8/24/19 5:23 pm


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Post sheepdogandy
Alfred E. Neuman

Why do y'all care what I think?
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8/25/19 8:55 am


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Post spartanfan
sheepdogandy wrote:
Alfred E. Neuman

Why do y'all care what I think?


I think the interest is in trying to ascertain whether or not you do think.
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8/25/19 5:52 pm


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Post diakoneo
MrSippi wrote:


Are you kidding me? There are over 7 million members of the COG, thousands of churches, tens of thousands of ministers, and you are assessing your perspective from a message board where we have to “search” for proof of your accusations?


The Church of God for the most part is a Southeastern United States influenced church. The overseas churches (over 6 million of the 7 million members you quoted) are not really influenced by that but they do inflate the numbers. I would like to know where most of the TOT comes from...if I were a gambler I would bet Southeast and Southwest United States. I imagine the 6 million in other countries do well to support themselves.
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8/25/19 6:48 pm


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