Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Asset-Based Mapping - Development (7 of 8)


A practical aspect of the "Pastoral Circle."  

As we do development work, the theology of the church tells us that we primarily need to focus on the assets and strengths of the community not just their needs.  What we need to remember is that God is already at work in the lives of the people of the community.  Again we should be prayerfully asking, “Where is God already at work?” and go there.

Secularism says resources are always limited. God is never limited.  Development is more about discovering and exploring God’s world than merely trying to help people survive.  It’s about creating new resources, not redistributing scarce ones. 

 “Where is God already at work?” ... go there.

When we focus on the needs we are communicating that the people have a problem and they do not have the capacity to fix it.  If not approached with care, this approach can quickly create dependence mentality, give us a savior complex and all the more compound the marred identity of the poor.  We are not trying to “fix” anyone, we just focus on transformation with hope. 

We should be finding organizations that are already working in the community and see if a partnership is viable.  Most government leaders have desires of transformation for their communities.  We can help them move from mostly a political agenda to a godly perspective.  The strategy begins by talking to people and asking them what their hope is for the community.  Mapping helps the community understand themselves and leverage the good things that are already present.

We are not trying to “fix” anyone, we just focus on transformation with hope.


Mapping out our communities and ministries on the same map can help the church see where God is at work and how we can bring our networks together. It can assist in helping identify and network through the locations of outreach ministries, social engagements, residences and benevolence cases with pastor’s residences and church locations, seeking discipleship opportunities.  We can partner with government resources, NGO’s and any program that might assist in leveraging a community asset or provide access to addressing a need. It will help the church find the right partners and programs to assist the needy seeking relief and rehabilitation.