Mission Action Planning is a process that enables local churches prayerfully to discern the priorities God has for them, and to plan the mission activities they are going to undertake over the coming months and years.
A key part of the process is involving the whole church in seeking God and identifying God’s vision for each church’s future – a statement of what the church wants to become over the next five years. A good vision statement acts as a magnet (drawing people together around the agreed vision) and a compass (pointing the direction of travel).
The next phase is for a church to work out what steps are needed to achieve the vision, who will be responsible, and what resources need to be identified or redirected to achieve the vision. A clear vision statement helps a busy or struggling church overcome the conflict of competing agendas – if a proposal won’t help deliver the vision, it is not a priority.
The agreed actions are then written up in the mission action plan, which becomes a working document, updated in the light of experience. In due course, the plan is reviewed, enabling the cycle to be entered into again.
Further information about Mission Action Planning can be found in the book: “How to do Mission Action Planning: a vision-centred approach” written by Mike Chew and Mark Ireland and published by SPCK in 2009.
Extensive support is available within the diocese to support Mission Action Planning. The Director of Mission, the Parish Development Advisers and the Diocesan Missioners are all on hand to offer, help, support and advice – from talking through mission action planning over the phone, to introducing the topic to a PCC to facilitating a church vision day that will enable a plan to be developed. For further information, please do be in touch with the Director of Mission: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01865 208251.
See also our resource Mission Action Planning: A Simple Guide.