The beauty of an annual report is that, according to Church Leaders, it serves as “Something to document what God did in your church and communicate plans for the future.” How to write an annual report for a church should be designed as a friendly and factual conversation with colorful pictures, statistics, and graphs because it highlights so many good things that have transpired in the House of The Lord over the past year.
A church annual report should definitely include:
People are searching for a connection, to be seen, to be known, and to be valued. How did that happen at your church this year? Tell stories with pictures (videos work great, too!) of how people’s lives have been impacted. Brief stories that introduce individuals and their transformation, reflecting the diversity of your congregation is helpful.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
So many numbers can be shared outside of the financials. Don’t shy away from what your church did with the funds received. An annual church report differs from a financial end-of-year report. But it can and should also link to that financial report for transparency and accountability. This builds confidence in the workings of the church. Do be excited about sharing the number of conversions, baptisms, discipleship programs, mission trips, service projects, volunteers, Bible studies, and small groups- the list can go on and on. The numbers are not meant to boast. They are to celebrate what the Body of Christ did together to glorify the Kingdom through your local church.
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”
Where do you want to go from here?
This point alone might be the answer to “What is the purpose of a church annual report?”. This year has been a launching pad for the future. Now is the time to cast vision. People won’t move forward when they don’t know what to expect and might be content to maintain versus being challenged to work harder. By mapping out the next steps, this becomes more clear, and church members who have a clear concept of the church’s goals and mission for the new year are excited to support it and to tell others about it.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
How to write a church annual report is important and personal to your local body. How you share it, even more so. Print it and hand it out at church. Keeping some in the foyer, near the restrooms, on the tables at coffee hour. And at the children’s ministry kiosks/check in areas. Post it front and center on your website. Share it on social media, email it to all members and share it on your church app. Another thought is to include it as a link on the year end giving statements when shared digitally. Revisit this annual church report several times a year from the pulpit. In your announcements as an accountability measure and way to inspire and fuel to move onward. Ephesians 3:21, “Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.”
Forrest started with ACST in 2015 and has held key roles across many departments working directly with our ministry partners. He currently is a Territory Account Manager and specializes in helping large churches use technology to meet their full potential in every aspect of their ministry. He has served in youth and children’s ministry staff roles at his church and is passionate about leading churches in meaningful change.