It’s been 12 months since Ken Howard and Matt Felton, respective founders of FaithX and Datastory, appeared at the Austin Convention Center in Texas to launch Datastory’s new MapDash for Faith CommunitiesTM strategic missional planning platform, along with FaithX’s Strategic Missional Consulting initiative, which will help us continue broadening our reach.
Much has happened in the last year with both FaithX’s missional consulting services and Datastory’s platform. And we’d like to bring you up to date on all the progress we have made in such a relatively short time.
Broadening Our Reach
We are now engaged with more than two dozen judicatories, congregations, and denominational organizations in five denominations. We’re excited to be working with TryTank, an experimental laboratory for church growth and innovation co-sponsored by General Seminary and Virginia Seminary. We’re also pleased to report that, with a little help from me in the negotiations, our colleagues at Datastory have been chosen by the Episcopal Church to develop the new Know Your Neighborhood portal for the denomination’s website, using the same technology that powers MapDash for Faith Communities. Current plans in broadening our reach call for the new portal to become operational later this year.
Episcopal dioceses onboard or coming onboard soon, including Atlanta, Bethlehem, Central Gulf Coast, Central New York, Central Pennsylvania, Fort Worth, Georgia, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Northern Michigan, Southern Ohio. Some of these dioceses we are working with through the Episcopal Church’s new missio:Engage! initiative. Others we are working with directly.
These dioceses are using MapDash and FaithX in several ways to support their vision, mission, and goals for broadening their reach, including:
- Identifying areas of emerging missional opportunity and challenges.
- Developing adaptive missional strategies to engage opportunities and challenges.
- Prioritizing their congregations according to vitality and sustainability and discerning how to best deploy diocesan resources.
- Assessing imperiled or struggling congregations and revitalizing where possible.
- Identifying areas where new congregations are needed and likely to succeed.
- Encouraging neighboring congregations to collaborate in engaging their communities.
- Researching population characteristics and community issues in support of bishop and rector searches.
Increasing Our Offerings
Based on user feedback and in collaboration with Datastory, we have increased the variety of options and costs for employing FaithX services and subscribing to the MapDash platform with Datastory in ways that make them more cost effective for both dioceses and individual congregations, including:
- Neighborhood Missional Intelligence Report. A free 2-page, interactive infographic report (provided by FaithX) that helps congregations study the people of their neighborhoods and the issues their neighborhoods are facing (click here for sample report), and
- MapDash+Orientation Training Basic Package. A combination of a single-user dashboard (provided by Datastory) and orientation training (provided by FaithX) that smaller dioceses with fewer resources can afford now and add on additional features as needed over time.
- MapDash Version 2.2 will be released in the near future. Datastory will be releasing MapDash 2.2 with many user-suggested enhancements and over 100 data maps, more than twice as many as currently offered.