Mission Action Planning

Mission Action Planning is a key tool that can help deliver the Diocesan Vision and Strategies. Each parish, mission partnership, deanery in the diocese will need to find its own way of growing the body and making disciples in the specific contexts of their communities. Mission Action Planning offers an opportunity to see things from new perspectives, to discover new ways of doing things and to learn from each other as we travel together.

The process enables us to explore what we are good at, what challenges we face, what opportunities God is laying before us and is specific to our context.  The Mission Action Planning process is centred on prayer - asking God to guide and inspire the planning process and is an ongoing spiral involving four key stages:

  1. Looking and Listening to the context in which God has placed you for your mission, by listening to the community you are in, to those who belong to the church and to God.
  2. Reviewing taking the the things you have noticed in the Looking and Listening stages and using them to establish a vision for the church and setting long term Priorities and Goals.
  3. Planning in this stage the priorities and goals that have been discerned are broken down into specific SMART actions.  That set out how and when things will be done, by who and with what.
  4. Acting in some ways this is the most important stage - putting the plans into practice.

The spiral then continues, this time the Looking and Listening phase includes looking at your progress in implementing the plan, learning from things that go well and also those that don't.  In the light of this the plan can be reviewed, refined and refreshed.


Mission Action Planning Tool 2

Click here to visit the MAP 2 page.  MAP 2 has been sent to all incumbents (or wardens if in vacancy) to be completed and returned by 31st March so that the Parish Support Team can support your plans through training events, resources and signposting.  It covers the same eight areas as MAP 1, and allows you to assess your progress and develop further plans for growth.



Mission Action Planning Tool 1

In 2014, the Parish Support Team produced a Mission Action Planning Tool to guide parishes through a structured process by which eight aspects of church life are assessed.  In January 2016, a review form was sent to parishes to help them keep track of progress.

Our MAP tool is a simplified form of the Mission Action Planning Process developed and described by Mark Ireland and Mike Chew in 'How to do Mission Action Planning: A Vision Centred Approach'.


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.


A Mission Action Planning Prayer

God of Mission
who alone brings growth to your Church
send your Holy Spirit to give
     vision to our planning
     wisdom to our actions
     and power to our witness.
Help your church to grow
     in numbers
     in spiritual commitment to you
     and in service to your world
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Adapted from a Leading Your Church into Growth Collect for From Evidence to Action Conference.



‘We are really excited to be using the MAP tool here at Christ Church in Pitsmoor - so excited we are doing it a week after it launches! We really feel this tool will enable us to put our vision into reality and keep us accountable to the plans we make. In a world of busy people this 'off the shelf' practical tool will enable us to fulfil God's purposes for our church without us having to have lots of meetings and committees that can bog us down, turning hopes and dreams into actions for God's kingdom.’

 - Hannah Jackson, Pioneer Curate, Christ Church, Pitsmoor

‘At St Augustine’s we were pleasantly surprised that the scoring and questions quickly led us to focus on areas that we should and could work on to deliver our mission.’

 - Pam West, Church Warden, St Augustine Endcliffe



Need help or advice? Contact Lucy Nunn by email Lucy.Nunn@sheffield.anglican.org or telephone 01709 309135.