1. ‘Where are we starting from?’
Each church needs make an honest assessment of their present situation. They need to review where they are as a church, identifying their strengths, weaknesses and also the opportunities that they have. This includes both the ‘internal’ life of the Church and because MAPs are outward looking, it also involves reviewing their relationship with their community.
2. ‘Where are we going?’
Churches need to consider what they could become and to develop a vision for their future. MAPs encourage each church to look ahead three years and ask what they could be like then. As they do this, churches are encouraged to keep in mind four aspects of their life – their spirituality, discipleship, evangelism and engagement with the world around them.
3. ‘What’s the best way to get there?’
Once churches have a sense of where they want to go, they need to decide how best to get there. At this point some thoughtful planning and prioritising is needed. MAPs encourage churches to give themselves three years to reach their destination so there is no need to feel that everything has to be achieved all at once but they do need to decide what is most important and what needs to addressed first.
4. ‘What do we need to do now?
At this point, churches identify the individual actions that need to be taken to turn the vision and plans into realities. Initially they look ahead to the next 12 months and identify actions that are clear and achievable. Once the actions are set out and the MAP is in place, churches can enjoy the task of setting out on the journey and seeing what God can do through them and amongst them.