Emphasize baptisms, ACP in your congregation

October 18, 2019

For many years, we have lamented the decline in baptisms that we have witnessed across the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). While it’s heartbreaking to see these declines, I don’t believe that the numbers alone paint a complete picture of how many people are placing their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.

Yes, we have much work to do as Southern Baptists to reverse these trends, and these statistics should motivate every one of us to be more intentional about sharing the gospel with those we know who do not know Christ. However, something we can do a better job at is emphasizing the importance of baptism and having your church complete the Annual Church Profile (ACP).

The ACP is the instrument that churches use to report statistical data from their congregation that is used by associations, state conventions, the SBC and LifeWay Research for a variety of purposes. One of the many metrics used in the ACP is a church’s number of baptisms in a given year, which is used by LifeWay to compile statistics from across the SBC.

Your church’s participation in the ACP is vital to make sure that the data that is reported is as accurate as possible. Last year, only 60.5% of our North Carolina Baptist churches submitted their data. I would love to see the number of our churches that complete the profile increase significantly.

As a former pastor, I realize that gathering the data for your church and completing the ACP form takes time. But we can’t report on data that we don’t have, so let me encourage you to complete the ACP so we can truly understand what’s taking place in our convention of churches and better understand the trends on a local, state and national level.

While baptism is not essential to salvation, it is essential to obeying Christ.

Baptism numbers garner a lot of the attention related to the ACP, and rightfully so. After all, we have the term “Baptist” in our name. Baptisms are important, and they are one of the measurements that we use as Southern Baptists. But baptism numbers alone don’t reflect how God is at work.

Many people who come to faith in Christ delay or put off being baptized for a variety of reasons. As we call people to repentance and faith in Christ, I would also like to see us call people to baptism and help them understand why it is so important. While baptism is not essential to salvation, it is essential to obeying Christ.

I hope that you will take time to complete your church’s Annual Church Profile. The state convention’s deadline for completion is Nov. 15, but each association has its own deadline. Check with your local Baptist association to know when to submit your information.

Remember that insights and information gleaned from the ACP helps us celebrate the kingdom work that is taking place. It can also help you and your church see trends and make wise decisions about future ministry. Your information also helps us as a state convention better fulfill our mission as we seek to assist your church in fulfilling the Great Commission.

To learn more about the Annual Church Profile, visit ncbaptist.org/acp. If we can answer any questions or offer any assistance related to the ACP, please don’t hesitate to contact state convention staff member Russell Schwab at [email protected] or 1-800-395-5102, ext. 5582.

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.” — Philippians 1:3-5 (NKJV)


by Milton A. Hollifield Jr.  
/  Executive Director-Treasurer  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

Deadline extended to make recommendations

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) Committee on Nominations has voted to extended the deadline to submit recommendations for individuals to serve in various leadership roles with the state convention. Recommendations will now be accepted until Thursday, April...

4 keys to choosing the right Bible study curriculum

It is vitally important that you choose the right curriculum for your ministry. If you don’t, you could derail what you are trying to accomplish. But when it comes to resources for almost any church ministry, you will find that there are hundreds of choices on the market. So how...

What can my church do to prevent sexual abuse?

It’s been one year since the Houston Chronicle broke the news about allegations of sexual abuse in Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) churches and the response of many churches and organizations to hide or minimize these criminals. The question we must ask ourselves is, what can my...

BSCNC announces partnership with Alliance Defending Freedom

As part of a new partnership with the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), churches cooperating with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) can benefit from a variety of resources and services at a reduced cost when they join the ADF Church Alliance. The ADF is an...

‘Abuse of Faith:’ One year later

Southern Baptists were shocked and dismayed one year ago this month after the Houston Chronicle printed a series of articles titled “Abuse of Faith.” These articles reported that numerous sexual abuse cases with teens and children had occurred in Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)...

Church revitalization Q&A with Sandy Marks

Last fall, the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) announced a new emphasis on strengthening existing churches. The emphasis included the formation of a newly named Church Health and Revitalization Team headed by BSCNC staff member Sandy Marks. Marks assumed his new...

How you can lead that difficult person

How are you leading the difficult people in your life? Who comes to mind when you ask yourself that question? You may be surprised that the difficult person I was actually referring to is you. The person staring back at you in your mirror is truly the most challenging person to...

Why reaching every child is important

I put the car in park, loosened my grip on the steering wheel and allowed a few tears of exhaustion to fall. Due to a change in our morning routine, it had been a morning full of communication difficulty and meltdowns. I quickly wiped the tears away and began walking with my...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest news and event information by signing up for the DiscipleNC newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!