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Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications, edited for UMCOM.org

Ten free resources, endless opportunities

By Laura Buchanan

Need some help with a project? Searching for some inexpensive ideas that will help your church grow? Have a dream for a ministry that needs a boost? Take a look at these free resources that will support your efforts, helpful tools that will assist your church in establishing and maintaining a vital congregation.

1.    Rethink Church resources: welcoming, receiving, ministering
A wide-range of Rethink Church resources complement the church’s national advertising message. Outreach tools such as door hangers, postcards, advertising templates and sermon starters are ready to download and customize. Digital advertising, outreach event and new church start grants are also available to support your church’s efforts.

Specific Lent and Easter-themed resources include invitation cards, door hangers, direct mail cards, bulletin covers and worship tools. With four designs to choose from, churches can select the best fit for their congregation and outreach area.

2.    MyCom newsletter: great ideas in your inbox
Full of tips, helpful links and expert advice, the MyCom newsletter is intended for church leaders, pastors and staff members. This resource can offer guidance and new ideas as churches take a holistic approach to communication, marketing, worship and tech tools. Recent articles have discussed mobile apps to support worship services, event-planning tips, and a guide for successful small-group facilitation.

3.    Find-A-Church: your online presence is your new front door
The newly enhanced Find-A-Church tool is an excellent way for your church to tell its story - share your ministry and worship information, events, social media channels, updates, and more. Video tutorials offer a step-by-step guide as you update your church’s profile, making this an easy way to ensure that tech-savvy seekers will be able to learn about your congregation while searching for a church home.

4.    Church marketing plan: look in, reach out
Take some time to really look at your church, strategize about the story that you’d like to tell and then implement plans to reach out to your community. Our online church marketing plan is comprehensive but doable, a useful tool as you evaluate your current situation and get set to grow the church congregation, meeting your neighbors where they are.

5.    Imagine No Malaria resources: your partnership saves lives
Encourage awareness and support for Imagine No Malaria with resources such as donation boxes, worship service materials, seasonal tools for Advent and Lent, postcards, stickers, fly swatters, and brochures. The $75 million Imagine No Malaria campaign is nearing its goal and your involvement can change lives: already, malaria deaths have been reduced in sub-Saharan Africa by 50% through increased treatment, education, and prevention.

6.    Helpful tools and online training: never stop learning
Understanding different aspects of the church is important, and we have several opportunities for you and your church to expand your knowledge. The downloadable United Methodist Handbook offers a comprehensive outline of the church, its structure and beliefs. In addition, online trainings about General Conference, Connectional Giving and the Four Areas of Focus are offered at no cost, helping to deepen your grasp of the church’s scope.

7.    Demographic report: a snapshot of your neighborhood
Learn more about your neighbors so that ministry and outreach efforts are tailored to them. You can request a free demographic report for the area surrounding your church; simply email your church’s address to the research team. Allow a few weeks for a response.

8.    Got a question? Just ask InfoServ.
Knowledgeable experts are ready to help you, happy to find information that you need. From clarifying basic Methodist beliefs to locating a retired pastor, InfoServants have a myriad of resources readily available. Connect through email or live chat.

9.    News Digest: stay in the know
The United Methodist News Service publishes daily and weekly emails to help everyone stay up to date on church news and information from around the world. Content ranges from heartwarming stories of congregations in service to breaking legislative news and updates about helpful tools for local churches.

10.    Interpreter magazine: classic resource, fresh content
A long-time publication of the church, Interpreter seeks to inform active United Methodists about key topics, featuring articles on worship, missions and outreach, the four areas of focus, spiritual growth and technology. It also provides ministry ideas and best practices from other local churches and resources from United Methodist general agencies. Churches and individuals can subscribe to print or digital bi-monthly editions.


*Laura Buchanan is a PR Specialist for United Methodist Communications. She may be reached at LBuchanan@umcom.org.