|United Methodist Web site opens church doors|
A new website called 10thousanddoors.org launched April 20 as part of The United Methodist Church’s Rethink Church campaign. A UMNS image courtesy of United Methodist Communications.
A UMNS Report
By Linda Green*
April 20, 2009
Listen to “There Will Be a Day” by Jeremy Camp. Discuss ideas to
improve health care. Find ways to heal the planet at a congregation
Advertising directs people to the new website. A UMNS photo illustration courtesy of United Methodist Communications.
There are thousands of ways to be church in the world, and United
Methodists do not want to miss any of them in an innovative Web site
inviting a new generation into a life of faith and service.
Backed by a national advertising campaign, The United Methodist Church on April 20 launched tenthousanddoors.org.
The site is part of the denomination’s Rethink Church campaign, which
is using nontraditional methods to reach young adults and others in
There are more ways to enter church and begin a spiritual
journey than just coming into the front door of a building, say
designers of the interactive Web site.
“Faith itself is a bridge by which we see God and the work of
God present in our world,” says the Rev. Larry Hollon, top staff
executive of United Methodist Communications. “God is not contained in
the walls of our sacred buildings. God is in the streets, at the well,
in the least expected places.”
Helping young adults
The Web site, dedicated to helping young adults find new ways to
connect to the church, offers hundreds of virtual doors that visitors
can enter to allow them to make a difference in their lives and the
A viewer entering the Watch Door is able to see video about people
in their local communities and across the world who are making a
difference. Video and stories range from people dealing with current
events to a reporter visiting the dentist for the first time in five
Have a question or an opinion about prayer, spirituality or current
events? Click on the Talk Door and ask or answer away, or engage in a
dialogue with others. A virtual door called Now features the latest
headlines, such as the flooding in the Dakotas, and allows users to see
topical items of interest on Twitter.
Through the “Friend Connect” door, site visitors can
join several social networks and engage in real-time conversation about
things that matter to them. The Find Door lets people interested
in topics such as environmental issues, health advocacy, day care,
disaster response and the arts type in a ZIP code and locate United
Methodist churches near them that offer ministries and opportunities
around their areas of interest.
“Ten Thousand Doors captures the variety of ways we carry out
ministry, and it illustrates that doorways open inward and outward,”
Rev. Larry Hollon talks about the new campaign at a Commission on
Communication meeting in September in Nashville, Tenn. A UMNS file
photo by Ronny Perry.
As Jesus in John 10:9 uses the door as the pathway to
salvation, the church is using doorways to express service to the world
and as an entry point for those seeking to explore faith.
Areas of focus
The campaign also is a response to the church’s four areas of focus—
developing principled Christian leaders, creating new churches and
renewing existing ones, engaging in ministries with the poor and
stamping out killer diseases of poverty by improving global health.
“Each of the four areas of focus is about creating engaged, active
disciples committed to Jesus for the transformation of the world. The
four areas are practical doorways,” Hollon said.
The method may be contemporary, but it promotes the work of
faith in ways rooted in worship, prayer, service and Bible study –
tenets of Wesleyan tradition. Faith is the bridge—the understanding,
the vision, the hearing, the belief and the affirmation that God is in
the world, healing, changing, forgiving, comforting and making people
whole, Hollon said.
A relevant message
The church hopes the site holds particular relevance to those
ages 18-34, a demographic that seeks meaningful ways to change the
world and is looking for purpose and meaning in life with friends who
care about them.
“The gospel is relevant,” Hollon said. “The church must always strive to be relevant in presenting the good news of the gospel.”
The national advertising campaign directs viewers to the
10thousanddoors.org site where they can discover that United Methodists
are people of action—people who are “Opening hearts. Opening minds. Opening doors.”
“It is a promise,” Hollon said. “We promise that you will be
received with open hearts, open minds and open doors if you engage with
the people of The United Methodist Church.”
*Green is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in Nashville, Tenn.
News media contact: Linda Green, (615) 742-5470 or email@example.com.
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