The Power of Asset Mapping

The Power of Asset Mapping: How Your Congregation Can Act on Its Gifts by Luther K. Snow, reviewed by .

Asset mapping is a way of opening up possibilities. We take action, which leads to experience & confidence. The book starts with the what, then goes to the how and ends up with the why. According to the author, this structure is used because this is how it actually works in various churches and communities. Through asset mapping we experience the abundance of the gifts given to us by God. It releases new, positive energy to move us from need, dependency and inaction. For the individual asset mapping is a transformational process of relearning to focus on the positive aspects of your gifts. The categories of assets are individual, associational, instututional, and economic. These categories originally come from the work of John McKnight and Jody Kretzmann. The metaphor used by Snow is to think about peeling back the layers of an onion. Each layer reveals a new asset.

The power to achieve results is the ability to act immediately and come up with practical actions one might take. Over time and with thoughtful reflection you should be able to widen your asset circle and find out how to multiply assets based on the four categories listed above. The next stage after multiplying is linking, linking assets together. The success of a group working together is understanding how your positive relationship to the group builds rapport or affinity.

According to Snow, the next thing to consider is how to focus group and individual energy in a positive direction, turning needs into assets in a specific, concrete and obtainable way. This may lead to a positive self-perpetuating cycle of thinking says Snow. Or an open sum cycle states: your gain is my gain is our gain. From the biblical perspective, asset mapping leads to the fullness of God's Grace based on Mark 6:37-38.

The book could have been about 30 pages shorter and the title to this book might be better stated as An Introduction to the Power of Asset Mapping. However, I would still recommend the book.