We are a family of Southern Baptists in Maryland/Delaware. Collectively, we have a voice, but how strong is that voice? That’s a question posed by BCM/D Executive Director Kevin Smith to the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware General Mission Board at a recent meeting.
“When we say Maryland/Delaware Baptists, how many people are we really talking about?” Smith asked. “Every soul matters, but when we’re talking to people in Annapolis and Dover, they want to know how many souls we’re talking about. We need an idea of who we are, so when we’re talking and we’re trying to represent a public witness, we need to know— are we Mighty Mouse or Mini Mouse?”
Here’s one way of finding out—by reviewing our Annual Church Profile (ACP) reports. It’s like a family portrait, or a report card. It’s a snapshot, a frozen moment in time, that helps clarify our direction.
Smith said the ACP information, especially on baptisms, aids in the BCM/D’s ministry evaluation. “Are we being fruitful? Jesus looked upon the multitudes and was moved with compassion and said, ‘Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send workers to the vineyards.’ How do we know if we’re reaping from the harvest? We need some type of measurement.”
In 2015, just 31 percent, or 191 of our 623 churches completed the ACP.
The Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware uses the numbers to determine future mission strategy, update the database, and support church ministries and ministers more effectively. The number also is used to determine the number of messengers churches receive for the Annual Celebration in November.
Individual congregations report statistics for the national ACP to their local associations and/or state conventions. National totals are compiled and released after all cooperating state conventions have reported.