From the Meridian District Newsletter
At the annual clergy picnic on July 23, the winners of the district-wide Find-A-Church Page competition for the highest quality, most engaging and informative church page on the site were announced. The larger
Rev. Jonathan Tullos, Oak Grove UMC
Rev. Larry Hilliard, Poplar Springs Drive UMC
Following the announcement, the winning pages were projected on the large wall of the meeting room while Renelda Owen, a member of the MS Conference Communication Commission, discussed their content and effectiveness. All churches are gifted a webpage by United Methodist Communications (UMCom). Owen pointed out that only 26% of Meridian district churches have taken advantage of adding important information to their pages such as service times, ministries and driving directions.
District Superintendent Billy Owen urges all churches to look at their page, check and correct the information that is there, and then update and add a photo and information about the church's ministries, how to find it (physical address and driving directions), where to park, how to contact the church, what to expect during a worship service, etc. This can be a great tool to reach anyone who is seeking a church. He also reminded pastors to keep in mind their audience when writing the page content. What would a seeker need to know? What would make that person want to visit your church? Also, be careful to pay attention to spelling, capitalization, and usage. These details matter in presenting your church.
Owen is challenging all churches to have fully developed pages by the time of their charge conference this fall. His goal is 100% participation. When examining the pages, he noticed that there are churches with the name of a former pastor from several years ago embedded in descriptions, broken links to obsolete web pages, or email addresses for the pastor of a neighboring church incorrect. There are many churches with an incorrect physical address or only a P. O. Box. Since today people depend on online maps and GPS navigation, this is an important detail to get right. It is up to each church to check its information and make the needed corrections and improvements. Owen says the bottom line is to make your church's page the best outreach tool it can be. If a church would like further assistance in updating a page, contact email@example.com.