Mission Action Planning Tool 2
Alternatively, if you are not able to submit your plans online, you can copy the pages and email them to Lucy.Nunn@sheffield.anglican.org or post them to Lucy Nunn, Church House, 95-99 Effingham Street, Rotherham, S65 1BL.
We are greatly encouraged by the energy and growth that the first Mission Action Planning Tool brought to many churches around the diocese, and pray that MAP 2 continues to bring focus and intentionality to all we do together as church families.
The bottom line for Mission Action Planning is obedience to Jesus’ commandment to ‘Go’ to love and serve the world. So MAP 2 will again have us looking at what we do inside the church buildings in order to welcome, love and serve those who come to us, along with looking out to the community and world to step out in new ways to relate to, and love and serve the lost, little and least.
MAP 2 builds on progress made in MAP 1 (2015) and the review (2016), and covers the same eight areas of ministry:
- Welcome and Belonging
- Worship and Prayer
- Nurture, Discipleship and Vocation
- Mission, Purpose and Leadership
- Empowerment and Involvement
- Evangelism, Outreach and Growth
- Serving and Transformation (Salt and Light)
- Children and Teenagers
If you have not completed MAP 1, don't worry, you can start your Mission Action Planning journey with MAP 2. If you need any further help, please get in touch with the Parish Support Team (email Lucy.Nunn@sheffield.anglican.org)
Some helpful suggestions to encourage participation
We are starting to get a few completed MAP action plans returned from parishes that are quick off the mark. In his recent book “What makes churches grow” Bob Jackson confirms the findings of From Anecdote to Evidence that parishes which have a clear sense of direction with intentional planning for mission are more likely to grow. The most effective MAPs are those which have involved the whole church in their formulation. If a MAP is to be implemented by the whole church it has to be owned by the whole church. Some of our parishes are finding creative ways to do this. St Peter and St Oswald are using the Sundays in Lent to explore 2 sections of the MAP booklet each week as part of the morning service and getting ideas and feedback on each section. Other churches with mid week small groups are working through the MAP booklet during Lent and feeding their results back to a co-ordinating group or the PCC who will draw them all together. One brave church has devised a handout for the entire congregation to complete outlining their starter for 10 question score from MAP 1 and asking people to score the question again now to see what progress has been made. If there are any other helpful or creative ways which churches and PCC’s have found to involve everybody we would love to hear from you so that we can share the ideas with others. Please send them to the PST via Lucy.Nunn@sheffield.anglican.org
Key Documents and links
From Anecdote to Evidence report (findings from the Church Growth Research Programme 2011-2013.)
From Evidence to Action website (full of resources and materials to download and use.)
The Church Growth Research & Development hub of the Church of England has an enormous number of links, including community transformation, church planting, Christian basics courses, and much more.
Here are some stories of how Mission Action Planning has helped some of our churches…
Holy Trinity, Thorpe Hesley has assigned a family from their church to follow up Baptism contacts. Since MAP 1, they have created some new welcome leaflets and put MAP on the agenda of every church council meeting to keep progress moving. They have grown from 1 to 2 bible study groups, but currently struggle with low numbers at their Messy Church. This is an area they are reviewing carefully. After some success with sending “Missing You” cards to those who have not attended church activities for a while, they agreed to send out Easter cards including service information. During the vacancy, volunteers stepped up to take on leadership roles, which have been encouraged further since the new incumbent arrived. Holy Trinity have reached out to children who attend events put on by the church by giving out goody bags, and they report that a full review of their children’s ministry has taken place. There is now a new team of volunteers who work on their All Age services, to which baptism families are encouraged to come. They have also appointed a Parish Administrator.
St Mary’s Greasbrough have held an ‘Everybody Welcome’ course to improve the welcome they give to visitors, and now have special ‘Baptism Welcomers’ which includes two young people. They have a plan to develop home groups, and since creating a ‘Directory of Ministry Opportunities’, they have two new people in lay-ministry training. After a good response from delivering Christmas postcards to local community, they planned to send Easter postcards. They are currently exploring plans to make St Mary’s a dementia friendly church. They say, “Being a smallish but growing church, we face significant challenges in terms of financial resourcing for mission and growth. However, we are committed to growth, discipleship, outreach and moving forward and have committed to do our best to not only increase our contribution to the Common Fund, but to also build on actively developing lay ministries and serving the wider community.”
St Luke’s, Lodgemoor have hosted some ‘Welcome Meals’ and have made bible reading notes available to encourage study and discipleship. They have run Alpha courses and Youth Alpha, alongside two one-day workshops to identify God-given gifts. They have a newly formed Events Team and have embarked on the Child Friendly Church Award journey which will help them identify areas to grow. They say, “Through answered prayer God is giving us great new opportunities, particularly with young families and in our local school. We have built on these by starting Messy Church, and recently employing a Children and families worker.”