The General Council on Finance and Administration makes changes to Local Church Report forms every 4 years, and this is the year for the change. The Office of Administrative Services encourages all pastors and treasurers to review the new forms now, since the new lines and definitions will be used in January 2018 when churches are reporting 2017 statistics and results.
A number of lines have been eliminated. Of the other changes, there are at least four that may require some churches to count or account for things differently. Please compare this list to your systems, so you can make adjustments now if needed.
Line 2: “Professions of Faith” will be divided between 2 lines: (1) those who are joining the church after going through confirmation, and (2) all others joining through profession of faith
Line 7a: “Average Worship Attendance” will be divided between 2 lines: (1) “In-person attendance” and (2) “Online attendance.” For those churches with significant online programs and television or radio broadcasts, you will now have a way to celebrate that work.
Line 21: Number of ministries to your community will be divided between 2 lines: (1) ministries related to global health, and (2) ministries with poor and marginalized persons.
Line 41c: For churches with more than one appointed clergy, there is now a different breakdown to distinguish salary and housing for the senior pastor, and for all other associate pastors. See below for GCFA’s detailed instructions concerning compensation.
Senior Pastors and Treasurers will receive additional information about the new tables and access to the Ezra online system in November. That information also will be posted on the Office of Administrative Services pages of the conference website. You may want to download and familiarize yourself with the forms now: Table 1, Table 2 , and Table 3.
Please share this information with any other church staff and volunteers in your church who will help create the year-end statistical report. If you have questions, please contact Jim Allen at jimallen
Pastor/Staff Comp Reorganization and Clarification
Previously, Pastor Compensation and Associate Pastor Compensation were asked for separately, and then Housing benefits were combined, as well as all others. This was not helpful in ascertaining how much churches were actually paying their pastors. In turn, we decided to separate these out so that we now ask for the following separately:
a. Lead Pastor Compensation – NOTE: this is the compensation for the lead/primary pastor only, regardless of clergy status. If a church only has a supply pastor, their salary (including any applicable FICA taxes) should be input here. They also should be including the TOTAL AMOUNT paid to the pastor, including any funds received from the connection (such as Equitable Compensation or other grants) or other sources. Also note the additional wording of to/for to indicate that anything being paid on behalf of the church for the pastor (not just amounts paid by the church) should be included here.
b. Associate Pastor(s) and other Pastoral Staff Compensation
c. Deacons Employed in Specialized Ministry Compensation
d. Lead Pastor (same lead pastor as above) Housing Benefits
e. Associate Pastor(s) and other Pastoral Staff Housing Benefits
f. Deacons Employed in Specialized Ministry Housing Benefits
The fields for Pension, Health, Accountable Reimbursements, Cash Reimbursements, and Salary/Benefits (combined) for Church Staff have not been changed, though descriptions have been updated. In addition, Diaconal Ministers’ salary/benefits are now included in the line asking for all other church staff salary/benefits.