Thursday, May 08, 2008

Kelcy Hahn is a pro!

Kip McKean recently reported to his flock the mainline Church of Christ and the International Church of Christ (ICOC), now in ruins, while a remarkable 1.7% growth has been determined by the combine efforts of Kelcy Hahn and Roger Lamb’s 2007 Church Survey tell us otherwise.

icoccommentary perhaps contributed to a picture of doom and gloom for the “ICOC” by projecting a probable decline of 1.5% from the Mission Memo churches survey list. However, the fact of the matter is stats are in the hands of statisticians. Here, Kelcy Hahn gallant feedback resolved unnecessary tension and icoccommentary is grateful for his outstanding contribution to this regard.

Were the numbers rigged?
icoccommentary calculations were entirely based on Kelcy Hahn’s reported portion that is listed on MM (87,360) We tallied 87,280. Even so, if one would have been guided by MM (87,360) figures then the “ICOC” should be in decline by 1.4%. Here, icoccommentary were very close!

However, icoccommentary for the record cannot dispute Kelcy’s numbers – it would be foolish! The upward trend consists from stats obtained from the final report (89,131) + 999 (estimated portion) = 90,130! The “ICOC” have grown by 1.7%! Perhaps this cliché is applicable:) The rat race is over the rats have won!

Is the ICOC back?
It seems that the “ICOC” is back – revived with over 560 churches in 147 countries. Evidently, McKean speaks about his group as a revival movement springing from the ICOC while in return the ICOC Co-op Churches view themselves as the ICOC or at least at best as a successor. Consider the opening remarks in the 2007 Church Survey Report: Part 1. Here, we read: For the first time since 2002, our annual survey of membership among International Churches of Christ shows an increase in estimated membership. Data collected by Lamb and Hahn’s fourth survey ties in with the former ICOC era which is unfortunate.

McKean has stated in June 2004: ”Gone, I believe, is the ICOC.” His opponents were aggravated by this remark. It was the beginning of the Dividing Years. Over the ensuing months, the identity of the ICOC become blurred, but during the end of 2005 two opposing factions emerged, namely the pro-McKean Sold-Out Discipling movement (Since August 2005) and the anti-McKean ICOC Co-op Churches (Since September 2005). The ICOC is divided. Furthermore, a small number of neutral “ICOC” churches decided not to sign up with the Unity Proposal document nor allow Portland to assist them to rebuild since the ICOC fragmented. Very little is known from these remainder offshoots. Some of these congregations no longer want to be associated with an “ICOC” tag. In South Africa there is one such church group (name withhold) that even has participated in the 2007 ICOC Church Survey.

However, the “ICOC” existence cannot be denied. The two main parties have both reached a turning point. Both groups rely on a vital element – Jesus’ disciple-making model, that will ensure more numbers producing more disciple-making churches everywhere. We must not forget that this evangelistic model is flawed and is regarded as unbiblical. Nevertheless, this current survey has boosted the moral for the ICOC Co-op Churches. What effect it will have on McKean’s fellowship remains to be seen.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Numbers that don't make sense to us.

Stats are in the hands of statisticians.

Perhaps it is time for statistician, Kelcy Hahn to release the full report concerning the 2007 “ICOC” church survey. Indeed, Hahn is correct with his statement: Overall, the numbers tell a remarkable, if uneven, tale of survival, repentance and recovery.

It seems to icoccommentary the report (coming) was dissected by “ICOC” evangelists long before the news of an increase was made public. Also, Mike Taliaferro wasted no time submitting extracts from the full report on ICOC Hot News on Monday, April 28, 2008. Here the breakdown members by regions indeed reach the mystical number 90,130. Thus the ICOC grew by 1.7% in 2007. Furthermore, icoccommentary confirms this fact and is relief to found that our calculators can make sums!

But the numbers don’t make sense to us.

Let us consider church lists submitted on Mission Memo’s 2007 survey. Perhaps the numbers tell a remarkable, if irregular tale?

There are 8 regions. Africa was one of the first regions to contribute 100% as reported by Mission Memo’s article, entitled 525 on Wednesday, March 26, 2008. According to Taliaffero’s ICOC Hot News report Africa tallies 10,750. In comparison, Mission Memo Africa church lists actually tallies 10,788. The difference is 38. How can a region, which reported 100%, be more than stipulated in the full report?

Here follows a breakdown in numbers from regions as reported in ICOC Hot News by Taliaferro and what can be viewed at Mission Memo. Readers please do your maths and comment freely!!!

ICOC Hot News Members by Region:

Africa 10,750
Asia/Pacific 18,489
Canada/U.S. 37,154
Eurasia 6,797
Europe 2,724
Latin America/Caribbean 13,748
Middle East 468

TOTAL: 90,130

Mission Memo Members by Region:

Africa 10,788
Asia/Pacific 17,339
Canada/U.S. 36,311
Eurasia 6,817
Europe 2,351
Latin America/Caribbean 13,465
Middle East 209

TOTAL: 87,280

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