What is the ACP?
Every church and mission is asked to complete a statistical survey once a year called the Annual Church Profile (ACP). This survey is where items like baptisms and church membership are collected. Many churches also use this opportunity to update information on church leadership.
The ACP gives real, clear information that helps the local pastor to make data-informed decisions about programming, staffing, and budgeting that better reflects where they want to go.
It also enables BCM/D to better serve our churches, and it helps entities of the Southern Baptist Convention fund church resources in the most effective way.
How to fill out the ACP
Every Southern Baptist congregation is given an SBC ID number by LifeWay Christian Resources, along with a password. The SBC ID and password is used to log onto www.sbcworkspace.com. The ACP survey is available each year from late fall to the end of February.
The Baptist Convention of Maryland Delaware is available to assist any church with their ACP survey. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-460-2950 x202 for assistance and/or questions.
[The following is an exerpt from an article, The Annual Church Profile: Vital and Reliable by Roger S. Oldham, printed in SBC Life, June 2014]
The Annual Church Profile (ACP) is an annual statistical report churches voluntarily submit to the Southern Baptist Convention. The reported numbers provide an annual snapshot of the impact Southern Baptists are making through their local churches in penetrating their communities with the Gospel.
“Every SBC congregation has an ID number that is used by the denomination at the local, state, and national level so we can all work from a single identifier for a congregation,” Scott McConnell, vice president of LifeWay Research, said.
The ACP gives pastors an annual “report card” to give themselves “a clearer picture of where they are,” Frank S. Page, long-time pastor and current president of the SBC Executive Committee, said.
“Pastors are well-known for guessing and wondering and, yes, sometimes exaggerating. The ACP gives real, clear information” that helps the local pastor to “make changes in programming, staffing, and budgeting that better reflects where they want to go.
McConnell agreed. The ACP provides churches, associations, state conventions, and the SBC “a health scorecard,” he said.
“Things tracked in the ACP should be part of the picture that church leaders consider when they are looking at the health of their church,” McConnell said. “They represent disciples, and the church exists to make and teach disciples.
It also provides the church “an invaluable record” that helps a new pastor and staff get up to speed quickly about the church’s priorities, key moments in the church’s history, as well as some challenges the church might be facing, he said.
In addition, the ACP establishes “annual accountability” and gives independent credibility to financial institutions when the church may need to borrow money for construction, McConnell said. “The bank would much rather see a print-out of a time-series report from the ACP than numbers the church might type into a blank spreadsheet and bring into the bank.”
Just the act of submitting the ACP demonstrates cooperation with a broader group, Page said. “It helps churches understand who they are as a family of Baptists. It’s helpful in the local area to say, ‘Do you know this about Baptists, do you know this is happening?’ It gives a lot of validity and affirmation of a local ministry to say we are part of a broader group and here are some statistics about that group,” he said.