Note: We’ve been focusing on gratitude as a communal discipline. First, we examined our culture of dissatisfaction and the link between gratitude and justice, between ingratitude and injustice. Next, we talked about how gratitude can open our eyes to the abundance all around us. Today, we conclude our series by describing three ways — three, out of many possibilities — that we can foster a gifts perspective in our churches. They are: Asset Mapping, Appreciative Inquiry, and Asset-Based Community Development.
Asset Mapping in Congregations
The process of asset mapping is one tool church communities can use to sharpen their focus on available assets, the gifts that God has already provided. In his helpful book The Power of Asset Mapping: How Your Congregation Can Act on Its Gifts, Luther Snow names five different types of assets that a congregation should consider:
- Physical assets: things that you can touch and see, from land and equipment to natural beauty and the environment
- Individual assets: the talents, skill and experiences of individuals
- Associational assets: voluntary groups and networks of people (both formal and informal)
- Institutions: agencies, corporations, and other organizations with budgets and staff (both non-profit and for profit)
- Economic assets: community assets involving money, such as our spending power, our investments, and our capacity to produce goods and services for money.