Mission Action Planning is a tool which has proved effective and fruitful in many dioceses in recent years. It is a prayerful process of looking, listening and reflection, leading into planning and prioritising, seeking, with the Spirit's guidance to discern both a vision and also a course of action. Typically that course of action might have a five year dimension and yearly priorities.
A brief look at the four stages of the MAP Process - shown in the diagram above - are as follows:
- Review - a time to Look and Listen, often called an audit. Getting into the community, also looking beyond the local area to consider needs of the wider world, and as well considering the life and values of the church community, are all important at this first stage of Review.
- Choose - the Review process will have clarified some key points for the church. The Choose stage is a time to develop the outcomes into a vision, which will energise and unite the church. When the vision is owned, the following steps of priorities and goals should flow naturally.
- Plan - taking each of the goals and asking 'How?' Again a very prayerful approach is vital as people take on responsibility for specific actions and work to agreed dates.
- Act - getting started. Keep praying and communicating together - recognise where modification may be necessary in the light of real experience. Celebrate achieved goals together!
You can download from this page a number of documents to help you in this process - see right-hand menu.
In order to help parishes travel this journey, we are seeking to identify a good number of Mission Accompaniers - their role will be, 'as it says on the tin', to accompany parishes as they, in their different ways, seek to discern and take steps which lead more deeply into the mission of God in the world and in our lives.
A guide on the 'Role of Mission Accompanier' is available to download also.