As the heady round of Annual Church Meetings draws to a close I wonder how many of us have presented our Mission Action Plans (MAP) as part of those meetings.
A MAP should contain three vital statements:
Tells you what it's called, what it does, how it exists and how it relates to the church (if applicable). An example of this:
The outreach team exists to engage with the community by means of social, social and practical work. It raises it's own money to support its work and informs, trains and releases church members to be engaged and work within it.
Tells exactly what you will have when the aims are met and what you expect to feel like. Keep it simple as there's a danger of ending up with the Athanasian Creed if you try to pin everything down!
"In the church plant new families will come to faith in a place with an informal worship style and obvious and practical, pastoral, concern for the community. By being involved with the practical we will encourage people to belong and develop deeper spiritual realities by nurture and discipleship teaching."
Outcome/Success criteria statement
This sets targets and allows you to see whether they were met, exceeded of missed and this helps us celebrate and refine or rethink (even if you're successful, you still need to be revisiting and managing the targets).
Evidence of outcomes (or lack of them) which might include (or focus upon) income, numbers, outings, events, services - all fit here within a set period. Here's an example from our 'Kid's Club':
See the numbers stabilise and a consistent and identifiable community emerge
Upgrade the facilities to ensure that the provision remains fresh and current (games)
Develop craft and cooking elements
Increase provision for children with special needs
MAPs do not pin the church down or render it 'less spiritual' but enables it to see what is working and what needs to be revisited and perhaps revised (or even merely shot!).
I hope this is of use