How to do Mission Action Planning: prayer, process and practice

Mark Ireland and Mike Chew, SPCK (2016)

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RRP £12.99

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This book does what it says on the tin. Mission Action Planning or MAP is a very specifically Anglican term that came from the Bishop of London, RT Revd David Hope, in the early 1990s, but the process and this book are useful to any and every church leader. It’s not a new book, but a revised and expanded edition. The additions are invaluable.

The original process had four stages in an ongoing cycle; Review, Discern, Plan and Act. This edition adds Desire as a stage that come before any of these and looks at the critical need for a congregation or church to have an excitement about being engaged in God’s mission.

As someone in a new position overseeing the mission of a church, this was an incredibly helpful tool that helped me to create a framework and thought process as I sought to write a strategy for the next few years. It’s not rocket science, but it is thorough and full of practical examples and wisdom from leaders who have already walked this path.

This book is aimed at the Church of England and many of the references within it reflect that. The examples and case studies are exclusively Anglican. Much can be learned from these, but as a leader from another tradition, I would have loved examples and wisdom from other churches to round out the learning. But that isn’t the book’s purpose; it is excellent at what it does and really can bring wisdom to church leaders as they seek to take the love of God into the world around their church.

Reviewed by Bekah Legg