UCOG Blog Logo
News and views from the German-language region of Europe

April 10, 2005

Welcome to UCOG Today!

Filed under CoG Potpourri

Welcome to the UCOG Today blog!

Why a blog? Why UCOG? Good questions – ones I hope to address in various posts.

First of all, this form of communication provides a convenient opportunity to share thoughts and experiences. Which brings me to the point of my first blog entry, addressed to the greater Church of God community:

What is our charge as Christians? Didn't Jesus tell us to lift up our eyes and look at the fields, for they are white already to harvest? What is our individual obligation in reaching and reaping that harvest?

The last question seems especially poignant in the current situation within the greater Church of God community. After the meltdown of some 10-15 years ago (depending on your personal perspective), how are we to be individual stewards of our talents, abilities and resources in contributing to the fulfillment of the Great Commission?

We cannot escape the truth about the age we live in. We cannot escape the fact that most people lead lives that greatly limit our ability to reach them in any comprehensive and persuasive manner. We are lucky to be able to catch their attention with even a single sentence, let alone explain a single spiritual concept.

In one sense, the effectiveness of our efforts all boils down to productivity. Shouldn't we attempt to maximize our efforts by deciding individually to be part of a collective effort? Are we being effective stewards by pooling our efforts and working together, or are we being effective stewards by each of us "doing his own thing"?

Does the farmer who seeks to maximize his yield go through the field picking each head of grain by hand, or does he get the biggest combine he can find and harvest as much as he can before his adversaries bad weather, insects, hungry wildlife and mold steal his harvest from him?

The spiritual field is full of spiritual adversaries that contribute to diminishing the harvest. Among them are those that are active such as Satan, and those that are passive such as the cares of this life.

I believe that we are far more productive conveying the core message via mass media venues rather than on a one to one basis. Please do not misunderstand: Of course we should be ready to give an answer to the person who asks and who wants us to talk about our faith.

However, our charge is to get the message to as many as possible and to respond to those who show interest. Maybe I am dense, but to me that implies a collective (corporate) effort on the front end and a pooling of resources to deal with the response.

If anything should be a lesson in the post-meltdown era of the Church of God, it is that when a split occurs, some who of those who leave never come back. Those who remain to start yet another "work" preaching essentially the same message as other groups must first spend the bulk of their resources in the first several years rebuilding the intellectual resources they left behind. They must come up with their own literature, booklets and ways of marketing the Gospel, and their own way of differentiating themselves from other already existing and very similar efforts.

That energy is pure waste in my book.

It merely duplicates the resources they had before they decided to walk. How does this duplication of effort show good stewardship in fulfilling the Great Commission?

My answer: it doesn't.

After all, to use marketing lingo, we are all operating "in the same space".

We only advance the Great Commission when our efforts reach audiences that other groups in the greater Church of God community do not reach. We are only following the example of the New Testament Church of God when we recognize this and coordinate our efforts, as Peter and Paul did.

Or did Peter follow Paul around and try to gain an audience among those who had already heard Paul's message? Hello, am I missing something here? Am I dense?

From firsthand experience, this is even more critical in areas outside the United States and all the more so in those areas where we want to reap a harvest using a language other than English.

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


internal links:


search blog: