January 13, 2023
Creating Your Annual Report: Content Outline and Advice
Let's talk tips and format ideas to create your church's annual report.
We love partnering with churches to create annual reports.
Helping a church look back and celebrate all God has done ... what could be better than that?
You may be feeling overwhelmed by the idea of pulling together such a comprehensive review. Or, maybe it's not on your radar at all.
Here's an outline of the top categories you should cover:
Numbers around Engagement How many people are engaged through your congregation on a regular basis? This could be folks who engage online, in person on the weekends, and throughout the week in other programming/groups/outreach. If you are seeing increases in these numbers, it's always good to show that! Make this visual and remind everyone that these numbers represent real people.
Groups and Studies How many people are part of a small group? How many groups do you have? How many studies were done in the past year? What topics did you cover?
Financial Data Where do your tithes go? How much money did you send to ministry partners? How much did you give back to your community?
Decisions for Christ How many people committed their life to Christ for the first time? How many baptisms did you celebrate? If you have an online service/campus, this would be a good place to show how many people accepted Christ online as well!
Serving How many people serve at your church? Where did you serve in your community and how many people helped in the past year? How many people went on a mission trip? Break it into categories to help people visualize the opportunities and need.
Key Initiatives Look for opportunities to share something that makes your church unique. Did you do a church-wide fast? How many people participated? Did you add new staff members? A new ministry? Build or add-on to your building? Launch a new campus? Share those things here!
Now that you have an outline, here are a few things to keep in mind as you're gathering your content:
Balance numbers with powerful storytelling It's great to give people the numbers. We always say, "facts are friends." But to provide meaningful context, it's absolutely necessary that you balance the numbers with stories of life change. This helps put a face to the facts and show real-life impact.
Show gratitude Your volunteers and congregation members/attendees have given so much of their time and resources to help your church reach all these achievements. Tell them thank you for giving and serving!
Celebrate what God is doing "A church will cultivate what it celebrates." We not only believe it to our core, but we've seen the momentum shift at churches when they take it to heart. Taking this opportunity to celebrate all the hope, stories of life change and evidence of God's faithfulness will bring your staff together and give your congregation a vivid picture of your impact.
Ask your people to pray with you for the new year Looking back will give you a good picture of all you've accomplished. It will also help you know what's most important for the new year. What do you care most about as a church? Where do you want to focus your energy? Start telling this story and ask your congregation to pray with you as you head into the new year, together.