Hello BRN Family, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! And that means that 2022 will soon draw to a close. And that means it’s almost ACP time!

Did you know there are similarities between the biblical Christmas story and our annual data collection? Consider Luke 2:1-7:

“1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered. 2 This first registration took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So everyone went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, 5 to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 Then she gave birth to her firstborn son, and she wrapped him tightly in cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” (CSB)

The earthly parents of Jesus, Joseph and Mary, participated in the government-mandated census! Though not mandated, the SBC’s Annual Church Profile (or ACP for short) is not unlike this census taken in the Bible.

True, it was inconvenient for Joseph and Mary to place their registration, but it was something Jews all throughout history were accustomed to doing.Throughout Jewish history, tribes were numbered; ministerial assignments were given (based on the number of Levites who registered); and even armies, who defended against enemies, were resourced and trained based on the data collected during these censuses. Think of Joshua, Nehemiah, Ezra, and the many kings of Judah who relied on such knowledge. Even our Lord Jesus was subject to such a census.

In a manner of speaking, the ACP data we collect today, including the number of baptisms, worship attendance, and even how churches partner through the Cooperative Program, is used by the SBC Executive Committee and by the Baptist Resource Network to measure the health and growth of our churches. The BRN uses this vital data to effectively plan events, strategize resources, and evaluate and provide for the needs revealed through the process.

Imagine this: God used the census in Jesus’ life to set the stage for a lifetime of miracles and the glorious spread of the Gospel! Can you imagine what God will do when all of our BRN churches gather together to accelerate Kingdom movement? Knowledge of where we are will enable us to better prepare for where we are going.

We are asking that all churches fill out their ACP data through the electronic form on either brnunited.org/acp or SBC Workspace no later than February 15, 2023.

Any questions can be directed to our HelpDesk, helpdesk@brnunited.org, or text or call (717) 652-5856. Thank you for completing the ACP. You are a vital part of the BRN family and your information helps all of us as we plan and prepare for another year of spreading the gospel and pushing back the lostness in Pennsylvania and South Jersey. Thank you, and God bless you!