United Methodist Communications’ 2020 Annual Report
In 2020, United Methodist Communications celebrated 80 years of communication ministry!
It was a year dominated by a global pandemic and our agency pivoted to respond to all levels of The United Methodist Church. Left wondering what to do and how to do it, church leaders turned to UMCom for information, resources and training.
We quickly developed resources, training, grants and technology solutions to help churches adapt to this changing landscape. With new courses on digital ministry, online training doubled. By offering 1000 Zoom licenses, we helped churches adapt to virtual worship and offered sermon by phone services.
As the worship experience changed, we created a growing list of churches conducting services online. Coupled with Find-a-Church, millions of page views showed us that people yearned for spiritual fulfillment.
When people felt isolated, they turned to our social media channels. We reached 78 million people and experienced a 37 percent increase in engagement.
We also worked directly with 2,500 churches to support their outreach in unique ways, including granting branded items that promoted love and understanding.
When giving decreased, we created new resources and training – which resulted in a more than 40 percent increase in giving-resource downloads.
Across all our channels, pandemic-related stories permeated our content. UMC.org crafted dozens of pandemic-related features and collaborated with Discipleship Ministries to produce a virtual Easter choir. For UM News’ 1.7 million users, it was the top story. Covid 19 helped to drive a near 3-fold increase in ResourceUMC users.
And, UM Connect – our mass-messaging system – was used to send and receive nearly 540 thousand messages of health and hope in 11 countries…including the U.S.
Our national advertising campaign pivoted to portray the care and compassion happening throughout the church, creating 234 million impressions.
But, in the midst of all this, racial tensions in the U.S. exposed the same concerns within our denomination. In a multi-level church initiative, we developed messaging and content- while facilitating dialogue to work toward racial justice.
We continued to build our capacity to communicate in the languages of the church and provide easily accessible content in those languages. Collectively, we posted over 700 stories, translated resources and developed multi-media content in Spanish, Korean Portuguese and French, alone.
We shared messages of hope and evangelism through advertising in Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire and assisted UMC-operated radio stations in Africa.
In 2020, United Methodist Communications engaged people with the story of God’s work in the world, equipped the Church at all levels and claimed our role as the strategic communications and marketing agency.
Now, that’s the Power of Communication!
For 80 years, United Methodist Communications has been leading the church in telling inspirational stories of God’s work in the world through The United Methodist Church, reaching new people, supporting local churches in vibrant communications ministry, equipping leaders and delivering messages of hope and healing. This essential work requires financial support. If you believe in our mission, consider a tax-deductible donation to the work of United Methodist Communications through its Foundation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.