Jan. 28, 2005
|A UMNS photo by Billy Reeder
The campaign helps local churches "tell our stories," says Bishop Warner Brown.
(UMNS) – The United Methodist Church will expand its campaign to reach
those seeking spiritual meaning in their lives with new commercials,
training and resources for local churches this fall.
church will spend up to $25 million on television advertising and
related efforts during the next four years, said Bishop Thomas J.
Bickerton, speaking at a Jan. 28 press conference on the site of the
denominational "Healthy Churches" event. More than 1,300 regional church
leaders from across the United States are participating in the
gathering. The denomination has 8.2 million U.S. members in more than
the next four years, we will significantly increase opportunities to
help United Methodist congregations reach into their communities and
raise their identity," Bickerton said. The bishop leads the church’s
Pittsburgh Area and is president of United Methodist Communications, the
church agency responsible for the advertising program.
Igniting Ministry does for local churches is help us to tell our
stories," said Bishop Warner Brown of Denver. "Not only do we tell
others, but we remind ourselves of who we are and who we are becoming as
a church." Brown is a member of the United Methodist Board of
Discipleship, host of the convocation.
"We must be who we say we are: people of faith with open hearts, open minds, open doors," he added.
in August, new commercials will reach adults, ages 25 to 54, seeking
spiritual meaning in life. The ads will air on cable and broadcast
networks during three periods each year: before Easter, as children are
returning to school in August/September, and in the weeks before
From 2001 to 2004,
the United Methodist Church’s commercials aired on more than 20 cable
and broadcast networks, reaching more than 100 million U.S. households.
|A UMNS photo by Billy Reeder
Thomas J. Bickerton says the church will spend up to $25 million on TV
advertising and related efforts in the next four years.
conducted during the 2000-2004 campaign showed that first-time
attendance grew by 19 percent at 160 test churches across the United
States. Overall attendance increased by 9 percent in those
said the new phase of the advertising campaign would encourage
congregations to connect their welcoming, hospitality and evangelism
ministries with the commercials.
local church will have access to free, online tools to help them grow,"
Bickerton said. "We are creating a visibility and awareness of the
denomination that will help local churches all across the United
Methodist Communications is expanding its matching grant program. It
provides dollar-for-dollar grants to congregations and clusters of
congregations that want to air commercials on TV or radio, show them in
movie theaters or display ads on billboards.
companion Igniting Ministry training program, which trained 33,000
church leaders between 2000 and 2004, will expand. Training will be
available on the Internet as well as through on-site events.
congregations grow will vary," Bickerton said. "Our experience shows
they will certainly grow a new spirit. That is a spirit of welcoming, a
spirit of understanding Christ’s call to for us to love our neighbors as
Methodist Communications has entered into a partnership with the Board
of Discipleship to provide free advertising materials and training
resources for a number of new congregations across the United States.
Ministry has added relevance today because it gives churches a way of
recognizing and connecting with this important dimension of
communicating with people in this time," Brown said. "The churches have
to do their part to keep the hospitality going and live the faith of
what we are advertising."
Detailed information on the advertising program is available at www.ignitingministry.org.
News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or email@example.com.