Here’s my notes from the Diocese of Winchester pMAP training session at St. Andrew’s Church. For further information check out the pMAP website.
pMAPs is all about: Review – Plan – Act
God has been there before you – God was there before you turned up. We join something that God is already at work in. What is God already actively engage in in your Parish? Create a physical map of your area.
Called to triple listening
- Listening to God
- Listening to one another
- Listening to our community
Deliberately leaving his disciples on the journey, and Jesus there with them on the journey although they didn’t recognise that immediately. Let us bring to the Lord all the things that confuse us and make us weary.
Church in Goatham, where he first heard the stories of the gospel from Grace who was the organist and Sunday school teacher. She probably had no training but she talked about her faith and lived out her faith. On Christmas Day in 1984 God brought to him that there were thousands of people who weren’t there because they didn’t know, they didn’t know the Good News of the birth of Christ. That was the moment when he realised God was calling him to ordained ministry – to help churches share the good news. Very exciting now to be doing that, helping the Diocese of Winchester to live the mission of Jesus.
Coming into the diocese it’s been exciting to see the exciting conversations through the dMAPs over the last year. Over the next stage hope the pMAP process will be another energising process, not something for us to do, but something that will excite us and help us reach God’s mission. Not a chore but a spiritual exercise, seeking spiritual renewal and growing in faith. We live in challenging times but we turn to the Lord. Jesus said repent and believe in the good news. Turn back to God and trust in what He is doing. Let’s do that through this process. We can commit ourselves to God’s agenda not our agenda. Asking for the Holy Spirit to empower us to do His work. MAPs can be a focus for our prayer and priorities.
The trellis is a helpful analogy. The trellis is a good piece of handiwork but it’s not for admiring but for something to enable growth. We want the pMAP to enable fruitful growth. The trellis can help us to concentrate our time, efforts and resources on the two or three things God wants us to do now, and we can leave the other things.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight
- Prayer – prayer is the priority, use the booklet resource to help you to acknowledge all his ways.
- Humility – don’t rely on your own insight, rely on God to help you understand
- Trust – trust in the Lord – we live in challenging times but trust God is doing good things. We face diminishing congregations, increased costs – the early church had struggles but they leant on God and see what He did.
God will help us to map the way ahead.
The Lent Course for 2015 is going to lean into St. Benedict and Benedictine Spirituality. One of the things that has excited us is to stop and listen – to listen to God; to listen to each other in the faith community – a paraphrase of one of his quotes would be: “listen to the youngest member of the community as it is from there the answer to the problem will come”. We’re not announcing a clever idea of mission, prayer, listening – we’re reminding ourselves of these key areas.
Lent will be a great time to listen to one another and to explore where you are with living the mission of Jesus. How does it make you feel?
Listening to the community – many churches are doing astounding jobs of engaging their community, but lots of other churches struggle with the outside the church work. We want to encourage you and help you to listen to your communities.
Review, Plan, Act. Once we’ve reviewed we plan, how do we do that? We come up with things we think God might be saying.
- The Landscape: Hampshire: What are the challenges we face, what are the plans that the local councils have to change the landscape physically and geographically but also spiritually. Our Diocesan response is the 4 Strategic Priorities – remember to read the full description as there is so much more in them.
- The Field: Each Deanery has created boundaries in response to the 4SPs. All 13 Deaneries have produced a dMAP defining the size and look of the field.
- The Allotment: It is for you and your community to decide where you are going to work, you might hug up to one of the strategic priorities, or you are in a corner as you are locked into two strategic priorities. The idea is what is it that God wants you to cultivate in the Deanery plan.
- Specific: Specific things to do with the children on a Saturday morning whilst also managing the food shopping.
- Measurable: have a budget to spend on the food when doing the shopping; everything ends up in the right place at the right time.
- Attainable: don’t look at the parish next door, look at your parish. Have I got enough money in the bank, is there enough petrol in the car.
- Relevant: yes if you want to eat for the next week! Are the plans relevant for your Parish.
- Time Based: at 8.15am I’m off and by 12:45pm I’m back home with the girls.
Smart maybe what you are already but sometimes it is helpful to understand what you are already doing. It maybe worth buying everone a pack of smarties to suck in the meeting.
pMAP Guide for all of your Parish
Preparing to Act – Advent prayer and scripture resources
PCC pMAP Guide
You will have a companion to join with you on the journey
Church Growth seminars
The pMAP is a live document:
- A standing item on the PCC agenda
- Reported on at the APCM
- When the Bishop’s Staff Team come and ask how are you doing you can ask them to help you with it
We have a vocation to be a human being, to be a disciple but we bring different vocations, gifts, experiences and insights. Surely each church community has a vocation that is different – for such a time as this if you read the book of Esther. Why has God called you together for that unique moment? So don’t look over the fence, don’t try to be someone else because you’re not. You might not be able to do something that others do and you have done if you’re able to do what God is asking you to do now.
- Engaging with your community
- Engaging with the environment
- Finance for mission
- Engaging with the missing generations
Engaging with the missing generations – Andy Saunders & Pete Maidment
- Which are the missing generations in your faith community?
- In your community where do the missing generations gather?
- What do the missing generations in your community want from church?
- How does your current provision cater for the missing generations, and where are the gaps?
- How is your faith community providing for different age groups?
- If resources were no issue what one thing would you like to do for the missing generations in your context?
- What is influencing your reflection (reading/internet/good practice examples) in reaching the missing generation?
- How might further training/resourcing help you fulfil the vision of reaching the missing generation?
- What action point(s) will you take away from this session?
- What are your questions?
Phil Dykes – Key Questions
- What do you do if you already have a plan? Talk to us, you might just want to refresh it, equally you might want to go through the whole process.
- Is it just a management exercise? Of course not, Jesus was intentional, he had a plan and stuck to it even when people wanted him to heal everyone.
- Is it making more work? But it takes time to cultivate a garden.
- Is the timing flexible? Yes do it as quickly as you like
- How can we use this to meet a once in a generation opportunity? Pray – it’s a critical time for the church, and this is a chance to do something significant for God.