Friday, December 19, 2008

2000 and Nine

The year is out! Well almost.


The first four months of the year 2008 primarily was in the hands of statisticians. The 2007 ICOC (ICOC Co-operation Churches ICOC) fellowship tallied at 90,130 indicate a growth of 1.7% according to statistician Kelcy Hahn paperwork.

We at icoccommentary initially projected from Hahn’s Mission Memo Church Survey lists a probable decline of 1.5% based on the reported portion. We tallied 87,280 and Mission Memo had 87,360 on record. We came close with our projections. The ICOC (ICOC Co-operation Churches ICOC) would have had a negative 1.4% growth estimate if guided by Mission Memo’s 87,360. However, a combination of stats including the final report (89,131) and the estimated portion (999) resulted in 90,130.

Clearly stats are in the hands of statisticians. Stats are important and necessary. Kelcy Hahn deliberate extensively on various forums regarding this project and in our opinion did an outstanding service to all. Surely, next year the ICOC (ICOC Co-operation Churches ICOC) membership for 2008 will improve considerably.


July 18th Mr Mandela turned 90.

In 1995 this champion of love received the HOPE Unity Reward. Surely we may personify Madiba as the father in the old fable this award represents. The father gave a bundle of sticks tied with leather cord to his sons. They were supposed to break it on his command. But they failed. Then the father untied the bundle of sticks. Each son received a single stick, which snapped easily. The moral of the story: Unity gives strength!

9 Brothers of the Unity Proposal Group

In the name of Unity two main ICOC church groups were formed. Let us note that the 1979-2002 ICOC of the past is ‘dead’, but principally ‘alive’ within these two formations. No one can dispute this fact! However, the ICOC in our opinion busy itself with a two-prong process that essentially entails a process of renovation and innovation that characterise one another.

The leadership crisis in the ICOC is not resolved and remains the biggest obstacle to overcome. In our opinion, it is not the matter of autonomy, which distinct these formations in the ICOC but the leadership crisis.

People were either for or against Kip McKean. Therefore, in our opinion, since the August events and outcome of the September 2005 Seattle Conference the fellowship of the ICOC separated into two factions, the pro-McKean group (Portland/Sold-Out Discipling movement) and the anti-McKean group (ICOC Co-operation Churches ICOC). Worst the ICOC denominated!

The short form ‘ICOC’ embodies the pro and anti-McKean faction. The term is homogeneous.

Even so, the anti-McKean group since 2007 maintains to be the ‘original’ ICOC while they blame McKean has started a ‘new movement’. Indeed McKean’s ‘new movement’ has a new name but its roots are firmly established in the former ICOC. It would be a misnomer to think the anti-McKean faction is the only original ICOC, while McKean (ICOC founder) is building churches more closely modelled after the former ICOC era. Therefore McKean is the renovator while the rest innovate! Here personalities like Raul Moreno and Mike Taliaferro have much in common regarding ICOC doctrine (despite their childish yaps) but are separated by leadership preferences.

The leadership crisis must be resolved. The key is to untie the bundle of sticks. Together, Raul Moreno or Mike Taliaferro along with their respective fellowships will not break! It will only happen when each individual examine him/herself to this regard. We have stated before, people must learn to respect the opposite side as brothers not as rivals.

Disastrous consequences await the ICOC if the leadership crisis is not resolved. In the former era of the ICOC, the churches were ‘persecuted’ by outsiders, namely the Church of Christ (mainline), former members, members of the public, concerned church groups and journalists. Imagine the consequences when two distinct ICOC groups clash in the same arena. It will lead to a form of internal persecution and unhealthy competition. People will hate one another just like the house of Saul hated the house of David and vice versa. Worst this is already happening!

Johannesburg, South Africa, McKean is coming in 2011!

9 Bible studies

The ICOC persists with the erroneous perception for repentance to convert prospective members as “disciples first” before baptism. Meaning a prospective member “must first make the decision to be a disciple then be baptized.” This notion is a continuation from teaching by Kip McKean. Worse, many people in both parties think this teaching in the ICOC is consistent with Scripture. This teaching indeed brings a ‘sharp distinction’ between the ICOC ‘and all other groups’.

It is our opinion that Steve Johnson, with the help of others will eventually come up with a better mousetrap. We hope it will not be establish on any form of shepherding technique but sound doctrine in Christ. Perhaps Henry Kriete’s ministry could be helpful?

9 Million bicycles in Beijing

Is that a fact?


Next year, Decoding The Discipleship To Which We Are Called will be our theme for 2009.

The surprise for 2009 will be a type of Faithful Conversations meeting between the two ICOC parties. Hot topics for next year will be the rise of new leadership in the SODM in order to support the Five Year Plan six church plantings. No doubt members will sacrifice much to achieve this ambitious project of SODM. And, campus evangelism will play a huge role in the ministries of the anti-McKean movement. They have the numbers and churches to blow 2009 out of the water! Yet, the effect of the revolving door will determine if the ICOC collectively have made deep and long lasting changes.

We at icoccommentary wishing everyone a happy new year!

Take care!

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