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Local churches use ‘Open Hearts’ extensively

SUMMARY: A phone survey conducted for United Methodist Communications indicates widespread usage of the “Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.” brand promise by local churches.

Almost two of three churches—66 percent—surveyed said they had used the phrase at least once in the past five years in their marketing and communications, with 45 percent using it on an ongoing basis for materials and signage.

Awareness and Usage of Open Hearts Promise

Status Percent
Aware of Open Hearts promise 99%
Used in past 5 years 66%
Use currently 45%

“Open Hearts” had higher usage levels among churches in the South Central Jurisdiction, 54 percent; among churches with average attendance between 100 and 249, 53 percent; and in multiracial churches, 83 percent.

Not all support “Open Hearts”
Among churches not using “Open Hearts,” many indicated they preferred to use taglines developed previously. In addition, approximately 10 percent of churches reported their congregations rejected the tagline. Eight percent considered The United Methodist Church not to be “open,” and 2 percent thought the promise was “too liberal.”

Reasons for using “Open Hearts” reflect commitment to openness
Churches using the “Open Hearts” promise generally indicate they embrace the promise of openness. Forty percent indicate they use the phrase because it shows they are a welcoming church, while 39 percent said it showed they were open to others.

Why Local Churches Use Open Hearts

Reason Percent
Show we are a welcoming place 41%
Show we are open to others 34%
Designs came from National Church 18%
Always support national initiatives 15%

Churches primarily use “Open Hearts” with printed materials such as brochures and marketing materials, 33 percent, and bulletins, 32 percent.

Where Churches Use Open Hearts

  Percent
Brochures 33%
Bulletins 32%
Outdoor signs 18%
Newspaper ads 16%
Promo items 11%
TV ads 4%
Websites 4%

If you have questions about the research, please contact Chuck Niedringhaus at cniedringhaus@umcom.org.