ACP participation helps SBTC, SBC tell the story of God at work in Texas
September 3rd, 2019 / By: Tobin Perry / comments
You can’t know where you’re going until you know where you are currently. That’s true as an individual, as a church, and as a state convention. That’s why it’s important that your church participates in the Annual Church Profile (ACP).
“ACP reports help us celebrate wins together through baptism and church attendance stats,” said Tony Wolfe, the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) Pastor/Church Relations director. “They help us evaluate geographic and generational areas of needed improvement every year, and they kind of pull our focus back toward what's really important in our cooperative work. In a nutshell, the ACP enables us to tell the story of what God's up to in the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.”
But last year only 53 percent of SBTC churches participated in the Annual Church Profile. That means the SBTC and the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) can only tell part of the story of what God is doing through Texas Southern Baptist churches.
While the ACP has been a part of Southern Baptist life for decades, it’s never been so easy for churches to participate. Through the SBTC, you can submit your ACP information on the convention’s online church portal.
“When your church reports ACP data through us, we share it with the SBC and with associational DOM’s upon their request,” Wolfe wrote in an article on the topic last year for the TEXAN. “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.”
Noting the national discussion among Southern Baptists on the recent decrease in baptisms and other significant metrics, Wolfe says more churches participating could mean the SBC and SBTC could share a different narrative with the world. While some churches believe their totals are too small to make a difference, Wolfe pushes back on that response.
“I know numbers don’t tell the whole story, but they do tell part of the story,” Wolfe said. “Every number represents a soul saved, a worshiper faithfully engaged or a dollar sacrificially given to kingdom work. The threshold for celebrating the work of God in a local congregation is just one, just one baptism, just $1. There are no numbers too large or too small to report because there are no churches too large or too small to matter to God.”
Churches with specific questions about the ACP can contact the Pastor/Church Relations office at the SBTC. The ACP tool allows convention leaders to evaluate current ministry strategies and better develop plans for the future. It also helps associational missions strategists and convention staff to evaluate areas where Southern Baptist witness needs to be more effective.
“We believe that God is doing some amazing things in the Southern Baptist churches across the Lone Star State,” Wolfe added. “We consider it our great honor to tell your story to the world as God's gospel movement passes through our generation, but we can't celebrate what we don't know.”
To submit your church’s ACP information, log in to the Church Portal at the SBTC website.