By: Christa Meland
What is your church's reputation within your community? Has your reputation been impacted following the 2019 General Conference? What is the message you want to convey to your community about the type of church God is calling you to be?
As you know, this is a challenging time for the people called United Methodist. Because you—our local churches and church leaders—are the ones engaging in the vital work of reaching new people and making disciples, we know many of you are keenly feeling the impact of the actions of General Conference 2019. We also understand that it’s more important than ever to communicate your congregation’s values and commitments, and extend a genuine welcome to those in your community.
We want to partner with you on a media push to help you repair and rebuild your reputation as a United Methodist Church in Minnesota, and we are offering micro grants of up to $1,000 that can be used for messages of welcome in your community. These messages could take the form of a local newspaper print ad, a social media (Facebook or Instagram) ad, a banner to place outside of your church, yard signs, door hangers for your neighborhood, postcards to send to your community, an online ad, a billboard, or another avenue that you feel is most appropriate for your setting. Messages are intended for an external audience rather than those within your congregation.
Here are some messaging examples to help you think about what it is you might want to say. Based on our research, here are some printing recommendations for banners, yard signs, postcards, and door hangers. If the thought of designing something is daunting or you simply don't have time, the Minnesota Conference communications team will create an attractive print ad, social media ad, or banner with your church's logo and the message of your choosing using one of the templates we have created.
The Minnesota Conference is committed to fulfilling all grant requests. Applications will be reviewed and approved on an ongoing basis between now and Annual Conference 2019 (June 18-20)—where we will celebrate and share your messages of welcome as tangible signs of action and hope.
What do you want to make sure your community knows about your congregation? Whatever it is, we’d love to help you make it known in your unique context. Thank you for your ministry and your leadership at this critical time.
Minnesota United Methodist churches are invited to apply for a Love Boldly Micro Grant here.
Christa Meland is director of communications for the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church