May 7, 2024

Building Your Asset Map

What is ABCD? Asset Based Community Development is a way of looking at the people and organizations in your particular community by acknowledging and highlighting their gifts, strengths, and relationships.

When you see the community around you through an asset-based lens, you see the God-given opportunities for connection, mission, and relationship that can be overlooked by focusing on the deficits.

A critical step in ABCD is building an asset map of your surrounding community. Taking a deep look at the different kinds of people, organizations, and physical spaces in your neighborhood will help you identify potential mission fields or ministry partners.

It’s helpful to break down the list of community assets into subcategories:

  • Associations - Different civic or neighborhood groups to which people could belong.
  • Institutions - Large organizations such as universities or non-profits.
  • Events - Activities and events that are already part of the culture of your neighborhood.
  • Physical Space - The open and available spaces around town where people can gather.
  • Individuals - Key people and demographic groups in your neighborhood.
  • Local Economy - Businesses and for-profit entities that have a presence in your community.

To help leaders build their own asset map, the Adaptive Ministries team at ECF has built a free online tutorial which can be accessed here. You will need to create a login to access the course. You can take it yourself or share it with your whole leadership team. If you have any questions, or trouble accessing the course, please email