Definitions for Inputting Data

VitalSigns - What should I report? from GCFA Admin on Vimeo.

Worship Attendance: Report the total attendance at all worship services the church holds on a regular, weekly basis as a primary opportunity for worship. Include all participants in worship, including children who participate in all or part of the worship service; include all worship services held on Sunday; include worship services held on Saturday or other days of the week. DO NOT include special services such as Christmas Eve or Good Friday nor persons in the building not participating in the worship service.

Professions of Faith: Include youth in confirmation classes that join the church this week and adults joining the church who have never been a member of another church. DO NOT include transfers from other United Methodist churches or non-United Methodist churches nor persons who have previously been a member of another Christian church but do not currently hold membership in any congregation.

Participation in Small Groups: Include persons active in covenant discipleship or other accountability groups; Bible studies or other groups where people work to be more faithful disciples. DO NOT report the same person more than once nor include groups that meet primarily for recreational activities. Sometimes, this may be difficult to determine; the key thing is be consistent in either reporting or not reporting the same data so as to be able to see trends and changes over a period of time.

Persons Serving in Missions and Outreach:   Report persons working on mission teams that week; persons who work in community ministries of the church; and persons who work as part of community ministries supported by the church;. DO NOT report persons who volunteer for ministries on their own without the support or endorsement of the church nor include persons who perform mission or ministry as part of their normal job. DO NOT include the same person more than once. Again consistency in how you count is the most important criteria.

Giving to Missions: Include all giving to United Methodist causes (including apportionments, mission shares, Special Sundays, Advance Specials, etc.); giving to other organizations that are not specficially United Methodist; giving to other organizations within your community that the congregation supports (such as Habitat for Humanity). Since many congregations budget a monthly or quarterly amount, it is okay to have weeks where the amount may be 0. Merely report the amount remitted in the week in which is was remitted to ensure the amount is not reported more than once or not at all.

Pledges and Offerings: Include monies collected during worship services; monies collected for Special Sundays, the Advance or capital campaigns; monies collected through electronic funds transfer or online giving. DO NOT include returns on investments, interest income, or rent; monies collected from fundraisers or the sale of assets; and monies from event registration fees or tuition for daycare or school.

Testimony Area:  New with the Vital Signs dashboard is an area where a short narrative about a church's ministry in the past week can be included. This area is set aside, realizing that a church's ministry is not told in numbers alone.

If you have a question about what to report or have suggestions, contact

In addition to these items, IGRC congregations will be asked to report the following items as part of the Conference Dashboard:

Membership: Record the total professing membership as of Sunday. Remember to add persons who have become professing members this week through professions of faith, restoration, or transfer of membership. Affiliate, associate, and baptized members who have not yet taken the vows of professing membership are not to be counted as professing members. Don't forget to subtract those persons removed from professing member status this week by withdrawal; transfer; death; action of charge conference; or church trial court

Baptisms: The number of people baptized this week. This number includes infants, youth and adults.

People outside your congregation to whom congregation was in outreach: The people not currently part of your congregation your congregation was in service to in the name of Jesus Christ. Some examples of ways churches are reaching out in service include Food Pantries, Utility Assistance, Homeless Ministries, Scouting Ministries, Divorcee Ministries, AIDS Outreach, Community Childcare, Housing Assistance, United Methodist Women and Men Mission Drives, Disaster Response Donations, Meals on Wheels, Ethnic Ministries, Community Meals/Meetings, Mission trips and Mission work day.

Imagine No Malaria contributions: Report only those amounts collected and remitted within the past week. If remitting as part of monthly remittances to the conference, record the amount when the church remits it.