The mission of The United Methodist Church is to make disciplines of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Ok. So far, so good.
One would expect, then, the public website of the UMC to serve this end of making disciples. As I look at the UMC.org website, though, I see the following:
A headline called, “What can a horse teach a pastor?”
There is a picture of Bishop Carcano being arrested.
There is a story on firewood ministry. (Hey, I have to give kudos to this guy.)
There is a story on Black History Month.
There is, in the upper right hand corner, our logo, along with the “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors” advertising slogan, surely the greatest evangelistic tool since the invention of the altar call. First tab to the left: “Who We Are,” under which one finds “Church Structure,” “Administration,” “History,” and “Agencies.”
Now, in light of our mission, I find myself befuddled. I think to myself, perhaps the purpose of our public website is to serve as a kind of reference tool that helps insiders to the tradition learn more about our inner workings and denominational news. If that is the case, I would like to offer a friendly suggestion.
Perhaps the public website should take a more evangelistic approach. How about, right up front, a link to the testimonies of people who have accepted Christ and known his transforming power? How about a link to a video called something like, “Why Should I Choose Jesus?” Or perhaps a video, or at least a page, called something like, “Why Does Christ Make A Difference?” Perhaps one could have the option to chat or have a video call with a pastor. Maybe it would be helpful to have something on the basics of Christian belief.
I’m certainly no marketing expert, but it does seem to me that if we wish our public internet presence to be consistent with our mission, these types of changes would be in order.