What Is Welcoming?

Welcoming is how we show kindness, acceptance, and hospitality to everyone – guests and members alike. People catch glimpses of Christ through their encounters with us. In a nation that’s becoming more unchurched all the time, we need to ensure that seekers encounter in us a Christ that they want to know better.

Looking within, we all need to place ourselves in the footsteps of a visitor to find welcoming barriers. Resources such as Mystery Guest Audit and Walk-Thru Assessment can help you discover and address all kinds of physical and perception barriers.

Stepping into your community can be as simple as a door hanger campaign or a radio PSA. How about classified ads (yes, there are “Open Hearts” classified ads). You can find getting-started help in Stepping Into Igniting Ministry. If you would like to (yourself, or in partnership with other local churches) have a television presence, our Matching Grant program might be able to help you double your budget! Below are more helpful resources and links.

Welcoming plays a vital role in living the promise of “Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.” with the seekers coming to your church as a result of the United Methodist national television commercials. MORE


St. Paul’s UMC
Kerrville, TX

The people of St. Paul’s UMC truly live the promise of Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors. They make special efforts to live beyond the walls of the church, and reach out into the community.


Never too early to start planning.

Each September, Igniting Ministry encourages congregations to celebrate United Methodist Open House month.

• Getting Ready

• Event Ideas

• What Others Are Doing



• Get Certified – Become a designated ‘welcoming congregation’!

• Media Warehouse – Browse and download free hundreds of ‘Open Hearts’ graphics.



Annual Animal Blessing

Haven Heights hosts an annual “Blessing of the Animals” service every year. The entire community is invited. Haven Heights UMC (Pittsburgh, PA)

Find-A-Church, USA

A great way to stay connected: Visit www.find-a-church.org and update your church information with pictures, worship times, and words of welcome. View Highland Lakes UMC – zipcode 78609 or Shepherd UMC – zipcode 77371 for examples.

Contact Us

Igniting Ministry
810 12th Avenue South – Nashville, TN 37203-4744 – P.O. Box 320, Nashville, TN 37202-0320
Phone: 877-281-6535 | Fax: 615-742-5777 | im@umcom.org