At the beginning of this month, more than two dozen churches in the California-Nevada Annual Conference began tracking overall and first-time attendance through the Barna Group, for an Igniting Ministry survey that ultimately will help our churches fulfill their role as welcoming congregations. In support of the tracking, Igniting Ministry – the welcoming and advertising arm of United Methodist Communications – launched a direct-mail campaign that will, in turn, be supported by a flight of television ads. And we’re already seeing results!
The Conference Communications Office received a call from someone in the Sacramento area who received one of the Igniting Ministry postcards. Although he has a different denominational background, he was intrigued by the “Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors” message and wanted to know whether one of our churches would welcome his involvement. He is interested in fellowship, and has offered to teach a bridge class for seniors. In all likelihood he would not have contacted a United Methodist church had he not received the invitation.
How many people in your community are just waiting to be asked?
Churches, even if you are not participating in the tracking, we encourage you to request Igniting Ministry door hangers from the Communications Office, customize them with your information, and distribute them to the homes in your area. There’s no telling what the results will be!
We encourage you, also, to download the welcome/response card we’ve prepared for newcomers – which includes the option of providing feedback on line. Knowing how others see us is a wonderful resource toward helping us “be Jesus” to others.
If a Sacramento church is interested in offering a bridge class for seniors, please contact Jane Horstman in the Communications Office, firstname.lastname@example.org or (916) 374-1518 and she will put you in contact with the gentleman who has offered to teach.