Thursday, February 5, 2015

New Development in COGFC Governance Structure

After their January 2015 ministerial conference, Church of God a Family Community (COGFC) announced that Mr. Brian Orchard would be leader. Here is a link to that announcement:

They also announced a name and address for correspondence and tithe payments. They are using the name "Church of God", without any descriptive words to identify their fellowship as distinct from other Church of God organizations. There was no indication of incorporation at this time in their announcement.

As a matter of clarity, in my posts I will continue to refer to them as COGFC, Church of God a Family Community, since this seems to have been their name till now. If that is no longer their name, then just think of it as a descriptive term I will use so you know who I am referring to. If I just say, "Church of God", that could refer to any number of organizations or to the Church as a whole.

Alternatively, I can refer to them as COGWCOCOGaicAILBBO (Church of God, which came out of COGaic and is led by Brian Orchard).

I think "COGFC" is better.

When COGFC ministers and members first separated from Mr. David Hulme, it was unclear what structure of governance they would have. There were a number of leading ministers in that group, but there were three in particular that seemed to be the main leaders: Peter Nathan, Brian Orchard, and Steve Andrews. After Peter Nathan left COGFC to join LCG, Mr. Orchard and Mr. Andrews seemed to be the main leaders.

What form or structure of governance did they have throughout 2014, the first year of their existence?

It was not democracy as UCG and COGWA practice. There was no institutionalized voting of ministers to set policy and select the top leaders. Nor was it top-down government with one man at the top responsible to Christ directly, as practiced by the old Worldwide when Mr. Armstrong was alive and is practiced by LCG, COGaic, and several other Church of God fellowships.

As I have described in a previous post (see link below), it seemed to be a loose organization based on governance by mutual agreement. When the ministers agree, they act. When and where they cannot come to agreement through discussion or compromise, they do not act.

In my earlier post on this, I said it is a weak form of governance compared with top-down, hierarchical governance. God teaches hierarchical government in the Bible.

I think what has happened is that COGFC has learned through experience what the Bible has taught by revelation. A stronger form of governance is needed. Now, they have a top-down, hierarchical structure of governance.

Mr. Brian Orchard will lead COGFC. He will be responsible to Jesus Christ for how he leads COGFC. And while he is likely to listen to advice and counsel from other ministers and members and respect their input, and he is likely to try to maintain good relations with all the ministers and members in COGFC, final decisions will be his. He will not be limited to what he can get Mr. Andrews to agree to.

This will be a somewhat stronger form of government than existed before in COGFC.

In a sense, this may represent a fresh start. Time will tell.

The issue still remains that to be successful and faithful in serving God and doing the work God wants the Church to do, COGFC will have to follow the Bible as a guide to God's will and will have to make a major effort to preach the gospel and the Ezekiel warning to the public. I think they will have to treat the work of preaching the gospel to the world as approximately equal in importance to feeding the flock, if they will be faithful to the Bible. And if they do that, their yearly budget will show it. It will also be shown by their actual accomplishments in preaching the gospel to the world.

Here is a link to a related post in this blog. This post describes in more detail what I think their governance structure has been during the year 2014:

"COGFC's Governance Structure and Model", dated March 6, 2014, link:

Here are links to related chapters or sections in Preaching the Gospel:


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