And they're not intimidated by the "rank" of minister.
Heaven knows, the UCG doesn't exactly have an overabundance of "young people," so you'd think the home-office bosses would sit up and pay attention when those who are still on board start telegraphing a strong message to the graying bureaucrats in cardigans.
The control freaks have surely had their chance and done their time. On the basis of the evidence in hand, they haven't got a lot to show for it.
It's time for an inclusive approach, one that breaks down the artificial barrier between the ministry and the great unwashed who sit in the pews each Saturday.
It's time someone started talking about the "priesthood of all believers," a concept noticeably absent from the reform process in any of the COGs.
Informed and educated
Unordained Christians are not spiritual minors to be treated as children. Many of them are better informed and better educated than their pastors, and the post-Armstrong generation hasn't imbibed the spirit of spineless acquiescence that too often characterized their parents.
The next generation of COG members will want a voice in determining their own destiny and not just sit on the sidelines as passive observers, and they're right to do so.
The current strife in the UCG has exposed a generational fault line. Already most of the up-and-coming generation have up and gone, not least the children of the very ministers who still cling viselike to ministerial privilege.
That's the basis of my optimism. This month we've clearly seen that there are those in the United Church of God with the nerve to stand up and be counted. Is that true of the Living Church of God or the Philadelphia Church of God?
Recognizing needs and meeting them
United desperately needs these people. It needs them inside the camp. These are the leaders of the future, and they are the only people capable of taking the church into a viable future.
This is not the moment for those who have discovered a voice to back off or to turn down the heat.
Loyalty isn't a matter of "do what the pastor says." Loyalty may mean doing the opposite. Walking away is to hand the victory to the very people who will lead the church into stagnation and a long, cancerous decline.
When Clyde Kilough referred to "foes" this week, perhaps he should have first looked in the mirror.
Consider the sage words of Walt Kelly's comic creation Pogo (a more perceptive observer than Matthew Henry): We have met the enemy, and he is us.