Dear ECO Church Leaders,
ECO churches are asked to annually complete the Ministry Information Form (MIF). The MIF helps your presbytery and the Synod know how ECO is doing in growing flourishing churches from one year to another. The MIF also helps the Synod gather financial information and verify the 1% dues of the local church’s operating budget.
While there is still much in flux following the Pandemic, currently the average congregation sees their covenant partners and regular attenders 1.2 times a month on a Sunday. Many congregations have contacted the Synod office over the last few years asking how virtual attendance should be counted. This creates a challenge for congregations when assessing how many people do we see (unique visits) over the week of our church verses on a Sunday morning. How do we count virtual “views” versus “full engagement?” How is a congregation able to accurately give an accounting of the age or ethnicity of its attendees if more than half of their population continues to engage with the church in a virtual context? Does a lower number of baptized individuals represent a shift in the church or just a post-pandemic reality? This year, we are also asking questions about Church Planting and ECO continues to support congregations and planters start new worshiping congregations and micro-expressions of church. Remember, the goal is to check-in not check-up.
The Synod and presbyteries use this data (along with other information) to determine what additional support needs to be offered to local congregations in order for each one to flourish.
The MIF is due by March 31st, 2023. Note that the process is thorough and does take some time to complete, so plan ahead!
We recommend that you:
- Determine which staff and leaders you will need to fill out certain areas of the form.
- Choose one person who is in charge of circulating the MIF among other staff, finalizing data, and submitting the MIF. Make sure to forward this email to your designated person so they have the link needed to submit your MIF.
- Print the Ministry Information Form and circulate it to appropriate staff in order to gather all necessary information from your leaders.
- Submit the MIF online (or scan/mail) by March 31st, 2023.