How to Inspire Your Church with an Annual Report

Does your church do an annual report?

Most churches I run into don’t use the language of “annual report.” Some who do simply print a black and white sheet with a bunch of numbers. But consider for a moment how an annual report might be used to cast vision. In fact, rather than talk about it first, let’s take a quick glance at one of the best church annual reports I have seen.

In October, I spent some time with Jamie Munson and his team, the lead pastor of Mars Hill Church, founded by Mark Driscoll. The guys were sharp, humble, and gospel-centered in how they think and communicate. The leaders of Mars Hill do an excellent job of translating the clear vision to their folks. One way they remind and refocus people is through an annual report. Here is the latest report they have made available online: It’s All About Jesus Annual Report. (Here is their newest 2010 review)

Notice how they turned a potentially mundane church document into a vision casting power tool:

#1  Create Visual Appeal: This report uses great design not just for eye candy but also to communicate vision visually.

#2  Saturate with Story: Notice how the report begins with quotes from people and snapshots of life-change.

#3  Reinforce Vision Vocabulary: Phrases like, “It’s all about Jesus,” “Air War vs. Ground War,” “Reaching 50,000″ aren’t shared for the first time in a report but are repeated for emphasis and stickiness.

#4  Report Facts While Sharing Goals: The year in review quickly becomes a cannon to communicate bold future dreams.

#5  Stoke Redemptive Passion: One unmistakable feature of this report is how it reflects a culture of mission and passion for the lost both locally and globally.

#6 Induce Action: The report ends with a motivational prayer plea.

At this stage, it may be obvious, but I won’t let it go unstated. You can’t inspire your church with an annual report if you don’t have a clear, compelling vision for the future. How would you create an annual report for 2011? 

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Will Mancini
Will Mancini emerged from the trenches of local church leadership to found Auxano, a first-of-kind consulting ministry that focuses on vision clarity. As a “clarity evangelist,” Will has served as vision architect for hundreds of churches across the country, including such notable pastors as Chuck Swindoll and Max Lucado. Will holds a Th.M. in Pastoral Leadership from Dallas Theological Seminary and has authored Church Unique: How Missional Leaders Cast Vision, Capture Culture and Create Movement; he also co-authored Building Leaders with Aubrey Malphurs.

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