Why Fill out the Annual Church Profile (ACP)?
November 27th, 2017 / By: Tony Wolfe | SBTC Director of Pastor/Church Relations / comments
The end of the calendar year is quickly approaching and it is time to get your Annual Church Profile completed and turned in. The SBTC’s online Church Portal makes this easier today than ever before (www.sbtexas.com/acp). However, even if you are not able to complete the ACP online, you can quickly record the information on the ACP card we provide and mail or email it to the office. When your church reports ACP data through us, we share it with the SBC and with associational DOM’s upon their request. This means that if you use our system, you only have to report one time. And we work very hard to make that one time as simple as possible.
Ten reasons to fill out the ACP:
1. To celebrate what God has done!
Churches sometimes decide not to report ACP data when baptism or giving numbers are down. But the threshold for celebration in God’s kingdom is one. We want to celebrate what God has done even when it looks like one baptism or one dollar.
2. To rejoice in cooperative effectiveness.
We want to celebrate the cooperative wins, too. But we cannot rejoice over what we don’t know. Accurate yearly ACP data give cooperating churches the privilege of rejoicing together in the collective wins.
3. To plan for ministry funding.
When you report your church’s annual giving information, we are able to plan for and/or make necessary changes to our state convention’s ministry model year after year.
4. To hold ourselves accountable.
When I was a pastor, no one from the convention office ever called to chastise or rebuke me. But the simple stroke of a few keys every year enabled me to rejoice in kingdom victories and to hold myself accountable for missed kingdom opportunities.
5. To better understand needs of the churches.
We want to provide services and support that our churches actually need. ACP data help us understand those needs as they change through the years.
6. To keep contact info up to date.
Your SBTC staff tries very hard to keep in contact with every one of our churches. But when we work from old information (staff positions, contact numbers, emails, etc.) this becomes difficult, if not impossible.
7. To identify trends through the years.
Narratives about the effectiveness of Baptist work are informed by ACP data. If numbers are not being faithfully reported, it is impossible to share accurate narratives about denominational trends.
8. To evaluate present strategies.
The ACP is our best mechanism for evaluating current statewide strategies for evangelism, revitalization and outreach. Accurate evaluations are impossible without accurate data.
9. To develop strategies for the future.
Trends are evaluated from the past, in the present, to give direction for the future. ACP data enable us to develop strategies for reaching people tomorrow whom we did not reach yesterday or today.
10. To be part of something bigger than myself.
The SBTC/SBC is a Great Commission movement of 2,600-plus churches in Texas and 46,000-plus across the United States. Filling out and reviewing ACP data every year reminds us that while we are individually strong in Christ Jesus, we are even stronger together.