Generational mapping (a.k.a. generation mapping or gen mapping) is another simple tool to help leaders in a movement understand the growth around them. It helps show fruitful churches, which therefore deserve continued investment and attention.

A generation tree map can be drawn on a piece of paper or multiple pieces of paper.

This map helps show where there are stops in multiplication and training might be required. Health of the movement is a top concern for leaders and fruitfulness is a top way to measure health.

Example of generation tree map:

generation mapping

Note that this generational map has four generations represented.  A single church is in the first generation of this map. There are four second-generation churches, nine third-generation churches, and four fourth-generation churches.

Elements of a Group

Key information about the maturity of a group can be recorded with five simple fields (drawn similar to the four fields pattern):

  • Leaders name
  • Number of seekers in group
  • Number of baptized believers in group
  • Number in accountability relationships
  • Functioning as a church (Y/N)
  • Number who have started another group

Snapshot of group maturity

generation mapping

Each church is labeled with a leader’s name, the location, and the date of their formation.  Each church also has information related to the five aspects of the Four Fields Diagram. The upper left quadrant indicates how many non-Christians are in the group.  (It could consist entirely of seekers and not be a church yet.) The upper right quadrant indicates how many (baptized) believers are in the group. The lower right quadrant indicates how many of the participants are in Accountability Groups.  The lower left quadrant indicates whether or not the group is functioning as a church or not. The center portion indicates how many of the participants in the group have been instrumental in starting next-generation churches.

This generation mapping information is helpful on several levels.  For one thing, the process of discovering this information helps assure that proper mentoring and coaching is taking place at each level.  Secondly, it provides clues as to strengths and weaknesses both of individual spiritual families and in extended networks. Patterns of strengths and weaknesses are often revealed by such an assessment.

Ask Yourself

  • If you can't draw a generation map now, do you believe God, through you, could one day?

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