The Annual Church Profile is Not a Report. It is a Planning Tool.
Several years ago before my doctor’s office went totally digital, I arrived for an appointment, and they handed me a clipboard with four pages of forms to complete. I asked why I had to do these again. I filled them out last year. They told me to fill them out every year because the information could change, and they want to be sure they do not prescribe a medicine for me that might kill me.
That got my attention because I almost died 12 years ago when given the wrong medicine.
In a few days we will send the Annual Church Profile (ACP) form request to your church. It is a great habit to fill this out every year. Not because inaccurate information might kill your church, but correct information might help your church.
Submitting the ACP is a voluntary process of autonomous churches like yours. Filling it in as completely as possible every year allows several things to happen. First, it keeps a history of statistics and patterns of ministry for your church for your annual and strategic planning.
Second, it allows your church to see how churches of a same or similar size, or a same or similar location are doing so you can benchmark your efforts. Third, it supplies contact information for key staff and lay people in your church who wish to receive information about the programs or ministries they lead.
Fourth, it helps us as an association to measure the progress we are making through the ministry of our churches-in-association to share the unconditional love of Jesus throughout our associational fellowship area and the world.
None of these reasons may bring any great excitement to mind, unless one of the following things happens in your life and ministry.
- You are a new pastor or staff person, or a candidate for pastor or staff in a church, and you want to know something of the past patterns of the church.
- Your church in engaging in a strategic planning or some other form of futuring and it wants to benchmark its statistical patterns in various areas with other churches of a similar size and location.
- Your church is writing a history of your church and a fire destroyed your records or someone threw them out by mistake, and you are looking to rediscover certain items.
- You need to figure out who has served in various significant positions in your church, and you do not have a file in your office on that. This pattern is something your leadership nominating group can use.
- Your church wants various leaders to directly receive information on resources that might be relevant to the program, ministry, or committee or team they lead without the extra step of bring received in the church office, and then having to track down that person.
We hope you will complete the ACP by October 15th this year. Remember that the ACP follows the program year of September through August and not the calendar year of January through December. If you keep monthly figures, it is not problem to adjust and use the trailing 12 months of statistics and financials.