A Moment for Mission
“We commend ourselves as ministers of God in every way. … We served with the Holy Spirit, genuine love, telling the truth, and God’s power.” — 2 Corinthians 6:4a-7a, CEB
For 20 of United Methodist Communications’ 80 years, advertising has been a staple of modern-day evangelism.
“Advertising has helped awareness of The United Methodist Church remain high in the U.S.; our research indicates about 95% of adult survey respondents seeking more spirituality in their lives have heard of The UMC,” said Poonam Patodia, chief marketing officer. “In order to raise global awareness of the church, United Methodist Communications is partnering with Central Conferences to have a broader reach in our advertising. We’re looking at expanding into some additional areas of Africa in the coming year.”
In September 2020, the “Great Caravan of Peace” began traveling across 25 districts of Côte d’Ivoire, distributing T-shirts and flyers from an ad-wrapped bus used to carry a message of peace amid a time of unrest in the country. Billboards, banners and radio and newspaper ads proclaim “Côte d’Ivoire, recois ma paix” (receive my peace). The effort, a partnership between The United Methodist Church of Côte d’Ivoire and United Methodist Communications, is the denomination’s latest venture into growing its global advertising footprint.
United Methodist Communications leads the church in telling inspirational stories of God’s work in the world through The United Methodist Church, reaching new people, supporting congregations in vibrant communications ministry, equipping leaders and delivering messages of hope and healing.
Thanks to World Service Fund support, United Methodist Communications meets communication, public relations and marketing needs, reflecting the cultural and racial diversity of the denomination.
Loving God, as we tell stories of your work in the world, may we reach new people, support congregations, equip leaders and deliver messages of hope and healing. In your name, we pray. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Fourth Sunday after Pentecost — God of the heavens, the land and the water that covers it, we know what it is like to be tossed about in a storm. We know that the faith we profess when days are calm and sunny is challenged and shaky when the storm is furious and the water is swamping our boat. As we offer our gits to you this day, they are given with the hope that we will be better able to let go of what the world tells us will guarantee our security and find our hope and assurance in your redeeming love. Dedicate these gifts in the knowledge that there are other boats besides ours in the same storm. We pray this prayer in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen. (Mark 4:35-41)
In 2019, United Methodist Communications placed evangelistic messages outside the United States on a broad scale for the first time, with a billboard campaign in three cities in Nigeria. The billboards helped to raise awareness of The United Methodist Church in Nigeria and helped people to locate a local church through the web address on the billboard.
“The billboard campaign in Gombe has made it easy for members of The United Methodist Church in Gombe to locate the address of churches within the Northern Nigeria Annual Conference,” said the Rev. Nibron Haruna, Gombe District Superintendent.
“I was very excited when I first saw The UMC Nigeria billboard campaign in Abuja,” said Elizabeth Yohanna, president of United Methodist Women of the Southern Nigeria Conference. “It was crystal clear and pointing to the strong presence of The United Methodist Church in our national capital.”
Through the World Service Fund, United Methodists support the global span of United Methodist Communications, reaching new people for Jesus Christ.
Adapted from “United Methodist Advertising: A Retrospective,” Diane Degnan, United Methodist Communications. Used by permission.