NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Local United Methodist churches have an opportunity to share what their church is all about with those who are searching for the right church home. Thanks to new, expanded search options on UMC.org’s Find-A-Church online directory, visitors can filter results to identify a church that matches their needs and preferences. But first, churches need to update their profiles to make that information available.
“United Methodist Communications has added some new features that require churches to add additional information to make sure their congregation is well represented on the site to help attract those looking for a church in their area,” said the Rev. Joe Iovino, director of member communications. “We encourage church leaders to take advantage of this avenue for welcoming visitors into their congregation.”
Find-A-Church now offers churches the capability to post a welcome video, share an events calendar and showcase various ministries. They can also include information about worship styles, online worship links, social media channels, accessibility services and more. The new format is easier to navigate and more mobile-friendly.
Beyond the basic church listing information, Find-A-Church relies on churches to provide the more personalized information that helps seekers choose a church. Updating a Find-A-Church profile couldn’t be simpler. United Methodist Communications offers a series of tutorial videos that goes through the process step-by-step.
One reason for churches to take the time to update Find-A-Church is that it has a high Google search ranking due to the high number of visitors to the site—an average of 1,000 each day.
“Sometimes, churches don’t see the benefit in updating their Find-A-Church profile, but it really does pay off,” said Shelia Mayfield, director of global communication technology development. “If people don’t know the church’s web address and they do a Google search, chances are the Find-A-Church directory will rank even higher than the church’s website.”
“It works especially well during special seasons such as Advent and Easter,” Mayfield added. “Right now, we are in the midst of vacation Bible school. If a church has those services, it behooves them to add the information to their Find-A-Church profile because it will rank higher in the search results and people will see that information first.”
Mayfield says that churches that don’t have a website can use Find-A-Church instead by purchasing a domain name through United Methodist Communications.
“Churches that have a low budget and don’t feel they have the technical expertise to manage a website can redirect the domain name to their Find-A-Church profile and then just update their profile page,” said Mayfield.
To learn more, visit https://www.resourceumc.org/en/content/update-your-find-a-church-profile.