Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Forward or behind?

Which direction should an Annual Report focus?

IS it only a time for reminiscing and remembering about what happened in the last 12 months?
Or is it a chance to ask what needs to (or might) happen in the next 12 months?

Or is it both?


  1. I think it's both. In terms of how you got where you are at the time the report is written, you need to review the last 12 months--and always remember to celebrate the victories, in between being anxious over less pleasing trends. But in terms of where you want to be by the time the next report is written... that's when you want to try and gaze into the future. It might be a bit easier to get where you want to be if you can see more clearly what HAS to happen and what you WANT to have happen.

    Hope that helps!

  2. Both. I want a "historical" document that states what happened, concise and clear, but brief. I also want to know the intended direction for the year ahead.

  3. I have to agree that it should be both. However, I tend to review the year as it is happening via our quarterly newsletter, so by the time I get to the annual report, it is really just a very brief review of what they have already been told.

    Most of my annual report is a pep talk for the upcoming year.

  4. My peeps are getting both. I tend to agree with Sue about the pep talk--especially when there will be some especially challenging moments on the docket as there will be this year.

  5. An annual report is, first, and foremost, a snapshot in time: we are here. This is what, and who, we have. This is where we are with God, with our community, with the rest of the church, and the greater world.

    I think it's important - especially if there is a vision for the congregation, to both celebrate our victories and see how close to our vision we have traveled. But it would be a critical thing to point the congregation onward - the phrase "eyes on the prize" comes to mind (from some obscure writer)...

    Here we are, and this is how we got here. But there - out there - is where we're headed...