A Growth Action Plan (GAP) is a documented strategic direction for the church working in its local community, meeting local needs and in accord with available resources, over a given period of time. Church of England parishes in particular have been tasked with formulating their plans for evangelism and growth and to help them a multitude of strategy / goal seeking software packages have been developed. Each one supporting its own emphasis on what works and what doesn’t.
However the tried and tested SWOT analysis remains a simple yet extremely accurate and powerful tool for strategic planning. Correctly pairing strengths (internal) with opportunities (external) is guaranteed to produce an action plan that is both achievable and most likely to succeed.
My SWOTs are ideally run over four weeks, one week on each element, and are followed up with a comprehensive process of scoring to rank all strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The final step may well result in an obvious conclusion and direction but it may not. Along the way a lot of issues get aired, truths spoken, weaknesses acknowledged, hurts healed. And