Now is the time to start and finish 2016 strong!
How did your first month go? Were you able capture all the great things that took place in the first month of ministry in 2016? Here are some key items to capture in your 2016 to make up your Success Annual Reports. Churches use their annual report as a tool to communicate with leaders, volunteers, donors and the general community about what happened over the past year. You have a specific way you talk about “how” your ministry is done … make sure your annual report also uses that model. Express the information, including stories, numbers and finances, through the framework of the way you usually communicate your mission. 65% of people are visual learners. Show them … don’t just tell them! Use images and graphics to tell the story you want to convey to your audience. If annual reports are done well, they become handy tools in the future, helping you to look back at what took place at your church.
As you write your church’s report, ask yourself if this is the content you want to recall 10 years from now. Like a “state of the union” address, an annual report is an opportunity for the leadership of the church to focus on broader themes and direction. Use this opportunity to point people toward the kind of church you want to be.
1. Capture your Victories
How can you integrate the voices of people who are impacted by your ministry? Integrate testimonies and quotations from people within your church. Adding the voices of “normal” people to an annual report grounds it and helps it not feel too corporate.
2. Appreciate Your Volunteers
Your church “happens” because people give time, effort and energy to it! Annual reports are a great way to thank and honor people who have gone above and beyond to make a difference in the past year. Use your annual report to help people connect with leaders and others in your community. Help connect “faces with names” by providing images of the people who are important to your community. As your church grows, it can be tempting to become a “faceless organization” … resist this! Use your annual report to help people get to know others in your community.
3. Recognize Growth in Discipleship
Show how your members transitioned from being just members to disciples. It is always great to see your members getting involved in various activties and growth classes to help them with their daily walk. Make sure to capture classroom growth! This will motivate others to get involved and show what is available for members to be apart of.
4. Show Your Effectiveness in the Mission Field
Take time to talk with your community about the amazing things God is doing at your church. This is the time to brag on God’s goodness and his provision for those who needed the most. Thank those who spend tireless hours giving back what belongs to God through reaching, restoring, and building.
5. Highlight your Financial Reports
Report your finances in a way that can be easily understood by “non-financial” people. Use plain language, simple charts and clear commentary when talking about the financial state of the church. Please don’t just display where your money is being spent … go out of the way to connect those numbers to the mission of your church. Show people how you are investing in what God is calling your church to do. Give examples of how that money is helping your church move forward.
6. Highlight the New Kingdom Members
 Show how much you appreciate your new members by congratualating them on giving their lives to God or coming to work on this side of the Kingdom. We want everyone to feel wanted and welcome at all times.