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The Power of Asset Mapping

Asset mapping isn't a new system or theory. It's a way of thinking, a doorway into an "open-sum" perspective rooted in the Bible and common experience. The Power of Asset Mapping, by long-time community developer Luther K. Snow, shows congregational leaders how to help a group recognize its assets and the abundance of God's gifts and to act on them in ministry and mission. Congregations will find the book easy to read and immediately useful. Leaders can begin with the tested Quick and Simple Asset Mapping Experience to strengthen and inspire any group in the congregation in as little as an hour. Futher tips, techniques, stories, and lessons drawn from the experience of diverse congregations will help readers discover how asset mapping works. Finally, Snow provides lessons about why asset mapping strengthens faith and community.
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Table of Contents

Foreword by John McKnight and Jody Kretzmann Preface Acknowledgments Part One: The WHAT: What Is Congregational Asset Mapping? 1: A Personal Asset Starter Begin with Basic Assets Look for Hidden Assets Find the Assets inside Needs Widen Your Circle Connect the Dots 2: The Quick and Simple Congregational Asset-Mapping Experience An Overview 1. Recognize Your Assets 2. Connect the Dots 3. Vote with Your Feet Learning by Doing Part Two: The HOW: How Do We Map Assets? 3: Basements, Halls, and Meeting Rooms: Opportunities Everywhere Who, Me? With Whom? When Can I Put Asset Mapping in Action? How Do I Introduce the Idea to a Group? How Do I get Ready to Lead a Group? How Will We Use Our Time? Try It and See! 4: Before Step One: An Optional Jumping-Off Point What Happens: Centering The Facilitator's Task The Process Steering Clear of Dead Ends Keys for Noticing God's Will The Main Thing to Remember 5: Step One: Recognizing Our Assets What Happens: Abundance The Facilitator's Task The Process Steering Clear of Dead Ends Keys for Recognizing Our Assets The Main Thing to Remember 6: Step Two: Connecting the Dots What Happens: Affinity The Facilitator's Task The Process Steering Clear of Dead Ends Keys for Connecting the Dots The Main Thing to Remember 7: Step Three: Voting with Our Feet What Happens: Release The Facilitator's Task The Process Steering Clear of Dead Ends Keys for Voting with Our Feet The Main Thing to Remember 8: Reflecting on Asset Mapping: An End, a Beginning, a Renewal What Happens: Reflection The Facilitator's Task The Process Steering Clear of Dead Ends Keys for Reflecting on Asset Mapping The Main Thing to Remember Part Three: The WHY: Why Does Asset Mapping Work? 9: The Inner Workings of Asset Mapping Learning from Congregational Asset Mapping Modeling Faith in Community Good Cycles and Bad Cycles Open-Sum and Fixed-Sum Dynamics Breaking Out with Asset Mapping Open-Sum Faith, Open-Sum Community 10: Frequently Shared Lessons What Congregational Asset Mapping Is, and Is Not Recapping Lessons from the Quick and Simple Experience Strategy for Open-Sum Action After the Quick and Simple Experience 11: More Frequently Shared Lessons: Congregational Life Stewardship Congregational Development Faith Partnerships Compassion and Justice in Public Life Evangelism Epilogue: An Asset Mapper Reads the Bible The Fullness of Grace: The Parable of the Talents The Wholeness of Grace: Psalm 23 The Presence of Grace: The Loaves and the Fishes Coda Appendix: Resources for Further Exploration

About the Author

Luther K. Snow has worked with congregations and community and faith-based organizations on asset building for more than 25 years. He served as the director of the Congregational Asset Mapping Project for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He now conducts workshops and offers consulting to congregations and community organizations. He is the author of The Organization of Hope: A Workbook for Rural Asset-Based Community Development and Community Transformation: Turning Threats into Opportunities. You can visit his website at


"This book is revolutionary in the best sense of the word. Both inspiring and useful, it does a beautiful job of combining spirit and practice." -- Peter Block

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