Why Does a Church Need to Keep Records & Give Reports?
Having a record keeping and reporting system in place can be helpful for churches as a means of:
- legal documentation
- historical preservation
These reasons can be good and necessary but record keeping and reporting can also be a means of:
- accountability – having a standard to measure against
- evaluation – taking the reports and analyzing them
What kinds of records and reports are needed?
For records and reporting to lead to the last two reasons given, we need to ask:
What are the objectives we should be measuring?
What records and reporting are needed to be able to measure it?
Your answer to those questions dictate the kinds of records you need.
If you want to keep the focus on ministry, require no more than what is needed. As an example, think of requiring Sunday School teachers to keep attendance records. How much information about who is there is needed and will be used? Can someone besides the teacher do it so the teacher can be free to interact with students and focus on teaching? What will be done with the attendance records other than to broadcast the numbers in a church bulletin?
How are the Records and Reports Used?
This is where our purpose to love God and people really comes in.
If we love God, we will use records and reports as a reminder to praise God for what He is doing in our midst and as a challenge to better line up with Him where needed. If we love God, we will not use records and reports to brag about what we’ve done. We will want to keep the focus on Him.
If we love people, we will use records and reports as a tool for seeing where we can help the Body learn and grow. If we love people, we will not use records and reports to beat them up and make them feel guilty where they do not measure up.
Remember that love “does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud” (1 Cor. 13:2).