The United Methodist Church is airing two 15-second ads in Times Square every hour, for 18 hours each day, for the next three months. See The Christian Post.
In July, August and September, the denomination is aiming a $20 million campaign at 18-34-year-olds, specifically targeting those skeptical of the church or seeking spiritual fulfillment. This month, the ads are focusing on environmental issues and literacy: one ad asks “What if church considered ecology part of theology?”
Times Square is an ideal fit for our Rethink Church campaign,” said the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications (UMCom), which oversees the Rethink Church advertising. “You’ll find people of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities in Times Square, and we want to tell each of them, ‘There’s a place for you in The United Methodist Church.’”
According to UMCom, the Rethink Church campaign is the next evolution to the denomination’s “Open hearts” campaign and highlights the many opportunities available within United Methodist churches to engage with the world.
The day after the campaign hit, over 100 Methodists fanned out over New York City, performing random acts of kindness, including door opening, cab hailing, etc. They also gave away iTune cards which were good for one song download, and that promoted the denomination's new web site www.10thousanddoors.org.
Do we really need another $20 million campaign asking people to focus on environmental issues? After all, we have Al Gore to bang that drum. Perhaps the campaign would be more helpful if instead of the ad spots in Times Square, they just had as many Methodists as they could gather to go around helping people and telling them how much God loves them.