Mapping exercises are an energising, engaging, fun and empowering way for churches and deaneries to identify people groups and places that exist in their communities with a view to reaching them with the gospel. Many deaneries within the Church of England host one-off evenings with their clergy to draw a large map of the deanery together and explore how to reach new people in new places and new ways.
Jesus has called his church to make disciples of all nations but many churches today find it a challenge to be continually outward looking and to connect with their communities in an increasingly individualistic society and with limited staff resources. By exploring the local area through mapping exercises we can identify people groups and areas who are not currently served by a local church community.
This can then form the heart of developing a priority list of potential new worshipping communities and become a great tool for prayer and planning. The deanery may have the resources within it to respond, or we can link you up with partners who would love to help. We can then build a plan to make it happen from there, with advice for training, coaching, funding and launching.
Mapping is a relatively simple exercise but requires a little preparation beforehand:
Before the mapping event you will need a large sheet of photographic backdrop paper (2.7m x 3m), which is available to buy at any photographic supplies shop online. You can then draw the main roads, key landmarks and parks on the map using flip-chart marker pens. Some people have found blu-tacking the paper on a wall, projecting a google map on the paper and drawing in the main roads is a helpful way of creating this.
On the day of the mapping exercise you will need some marker pens, one for each person, to locate their churches on the map (not parish boundaries) and any areas of people who are unreached or under-reached. These could be estates, language groups, school communities, night-time economies etc.
You can then collectively produce a long list of the ideas that come up on the day ready for a follow-up meeting – what the short list of 4-5 ‘top possibilities’ might be to take forward with the deanery and with our support.
For more information about mapping in London please contact us using the email address below.
To find out more about how churches and church planters are identified please see our ‘identify’ page