For many pastors and church leaders, reporting and form-filling is akin to the dreaded task of sorting through a mountain of laundry on a weekend afternoon—necessary, yet decidedly not exciting. However, things are about to change for the better.
The Greater New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania conferences announce an improvement in their church information reporting process with the launch of new auto-populated forms starting May 2. Led by the newly affiliated Data & Strategic Analysis Team, the new forms have been designed to simplify and streamline the reporting process for pastors and church leaders.
Committee reports such as Nominations,Trustees, Finance Committee, Staff-Parish Relations and more will auto-populate into the Charge Conference report—minimizing the repetition required from pastors and committee chairpersons each year. Thus, leaders will only need to fill in information that hasn’t been previously submitted.
The new forms are intended to help pastors focus on their common mission to “Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.” Moreover, the reporting deadlines have been
spaced out to make the process more manageable for pastors, allowing them to focus on their ministry and lead their congregations forward.
“Every effort to simplify our annual process is appreciated,” said the Rev. Janice Sutton-Lynn of Morrow Memorial UMC in Maplewood, NJ. “If the forms auto-populate from other forms, that will be amazing.”
The launch of the new auto-populated forms is a significant step forward for United Methodists of Greater New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. It represents a commitment to continuous improvement and a willingness to adapt to the changing needs of pastors and church leaders.
The affiliated Data & Strategic Analysis Team, led by EPA&GNJ’s Jo Fielding and Ryan Clements, has worked tirelessly to bring all of this together for the end-user. While we are excited about this change, there may be some anxiety around it.
“We want to reassure pastors and church leaders that we are committed to making this transition as smooth as possible for everyone involved,” said Mission Data Analyst Ryan Clements, “We acknowledge that there may be some bumps along the way, such as a learning curve with the new
forms, bugs, and some fields that may not auto-populate 100% accurately during the first round. However, we are dedicated to addressing any issues that arise promptly and efficiently.”
An FAQ page on both the EPA and GNJ web pages will be provided, and EPA&GNJ will provide support and answer any questions pastors may have. The team encourages pastors and church leaders to reach out to their regional administrators with any additional questions or concerns.
So, pastors, get ready to experience a streamlined and simplified reporting process. The new auto-populated forms are here to make your life easier, as you focus on leading the church forward in mission.