#BeUMC Research

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Research informing #BeUMC

Research data that offers a well-rounded snapshot of our connection was heavily considered during the development of the #BeUMC campaign, from planning to messaging. People are complex, and research can help us understand how we can best serve our diverse constituents.

Explore a top-level overview of the research study findings that informed the #BeUMC campaign.

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Ongoing research

Findings from nine studies, led by United Methodist Communications (UMCom), were reviewed. Research participants included church leaders and pastors, church members and spiritual seekers – those who are yearning to find deeper meaning in life.

  • UMC FACT Report – Strength of the United Methodist Connection (2020)
  • UMCom Brand Tracking Study (2019)
  • UM Now Newsletter Evaluation (2018)
  • Spiritual Seeker Study (2019)
  • Seeker to Member Journey (2019)
  • Denominational Branding Study (2018)
  • Theological Perspectives Study (2018)
  • Impact of COVID-19 on UMC Local Churches (2020 and 2021)
  • Member Perspectives Study (2020)

Local church findings

  • Churches generally consider having and retaining a connection to The United Methodist Church as very or somewhat important.
  • Most members (84%) think their local church is headed in the right direction. Members say the biggest issues facing the local church are declining attendance and financial concerns.
  • Only 11% of members say their church has “talked a lot about [the proposed split of The UMC].”

Denominational findings

  • We are a very diverse denomination; this is our strength.
  • Leaders, members and seekers see common themes when considering what it means to be United Methodist: Helping others; Community and connection; Structure not stricture; Welcoming to all; Ability to adapt and evolve.
  • Most members (86%) expect they will remain in the denomination.

Seeker findings

  • Seekers find our tagline, “Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.,” personally relevant (77%) and appealing (89%).
  • The value The UMC delivers to seekers includes: Recognizing and including all; Creating a safe space to ask questions and form personal beliefs without answers being dictated or opinions being judged; Its commitment to community outreach.

Want to learn more?

Stay updated about United Methodist Communications’ ongoing research efforts at ResourceUMC.org/research.

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