Stage one: Triple listening
Listen to God in prayer
Encouraging the whole church to pray is the first step in the MAP process. Consider using prayer cards, prayer walks or maps of your parish area for inspiration; try gathering in small groups or setting up prayer days. Consider how you can capture ideas, scriptures, pictures, possibilities, what people sense God might be saying.
Listen to the church – who are we?
Below are a selection of tools to help your church reflect on its story, worship, community life and the resources available for mission.
- SWOT template
- Six questions on faith, hope and love
- Robert Warren’s book Seven signs of a healthy church contains templates and guidance for a three-hour church profile workshop.
- Four marks of vital congregations
- Skills and talents questionnaire
- Five Marks of Mission evaluation
- Missing generations
- Creation care
- Building review
Listen to the wider local community – where are we?
You can use surveys to get to know your congregation and the wider parish community better. The Church Urban Fund and Office for National Statistics are also good starting places for statistics to find out more about your local context.
Stage two: Reflection on what has emerged
This stage is about bringing together the insights that have been gained from the triple listening process outlined above.
- What has been discerned in prayer?
- What resources does the church have for mission?
- What mission opportunities have you discovered?