by Jacqueline G. Tagalogon | WMC Newswriter
November 12, 2023
Western Mindanao Conference has achieved a significant milestone in its efforts to enhance church management and ensure accurate recordkeeping. After several days of rigorous training, the WMC successfully concluded its workshop on the Adventist Church Membership System (ACMS) on November 12, 2023. The workshop aimed to equip church clerks with the skills and knowledge required to effectively utilize ACMS.
Led by WMC Executive Secretary, Pr Leoncio Guting Jr, the workshop was supported by Sir Jared Adrian Nantes, the present WMC ACMS coordinator, along with Sir Dennis Lover Arquillano( former ACMS coordinator), Sir Rodelson Demiar and the rest of ACMS Team. They tirelessly traveled to different districts within Western Mindanao since January this year to conduct comprehensive training sessions, providing invaluable insights into the intricacies of ACMS. The training mainly focused on updating Church Membership Statistics.
According to the updated records as of November 2023, the WMC currently boasts 86,143 active members, spread across 542 churches and 28 companies. Out of these members, 6,953 attend church services regularly, while 3,251 do not. Furthermore, the records reveal that 1,862 individuals are attending another Seventh-day Adventist church, and the whereabouts of 3,653 members are currently unknown. Moreover, the ACMS also identifies 164 elderly or homebound members who require special attention and support.
Pastor Leoncio Guting Jr. expressed his belief in the importance of ACMS and emphasized the need for accurate and updated records. He stated that the ACMS is a significant responsibility for church clerks, which is why the training was crucial. He added, “My prayer is for WMC to have an updated and clear record next year.”
With the successful completion of the workshop, church clerks within the Western Mindanao Conference are now equipped with the necessary skills to effectively manage and update the Adventist Church Membership System. This development will enable the conference to maintain accurate and up-to-date records, resulting in better service provision to members and a stronger faith community.
Jared Adrian Nantes, the WMC ACMS coordinator, stressed the importance of the workshop for church clerks. He highlighted how the ACMS is an essential tool for effective recordkeeping within the Adventist Church.
In the past, the management of membership records within the Seventh-day Adventist denomination varied across different territories, including the use of paper records, spreadsheets, and other computer programs. This lack of standardization led to inefficiencies and inconsistencies within territories. Consequently, the General Conference responded to divisions’ requests for a unified solution by adopting the Adventist Church Management System (ACMS) developed by the South American Division over ten years ago.
ACMS is an Internet-based program that streamlines recordkeeping and reporting from local churches to the General Conference. While the program itself is new, the membership processes outlined in the Church Manual remain unchanged. ACMS utilizes newer technology to record information and provides a standardized platform for managing membership records.
Mylen Paghacian, a church clerk, expressed her appreciation for ACMS, noting its significance in easily tracing a member’s church records. She emphasized that ACMS is a great help to members.
Apart from recording statistics, ACMS enables pastors and administrators to ask pertinent questions that better inform their ministry. The system’s automatic updates facilitate easier generation of statistical information, eliminating the need for church clerks to submit quarterly reports to their local conferences. This streamlined reporting process saves time and resources at all levels of the church.
For churches involved in nurturing, retention, reclamation, or outreach efforts, ACMS proves to be a valuable tool. It allows for communication and event invitations via email, grouping individuals into outreach or interest categories using tags, tracking member searches over a two-year period, and more.
The ACMS project aims to provide pastors and church clerks with a tool that supports their local ministry while offering valuable insights to administrators regarding their territories. With the successful implementation of ACMS in the Western Mindanao Conference, the Adventist Church is moving towards efficient and standardized recordkeeping, ultimately strengthening its mission to serve and nurture its members.