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.
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].”
- 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.
- 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.