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Mission Possible:

A Simple Structure for Missional Effectiveness

Meetings are not ministry! Let’s focus on ministry while making meetings fewer in number but larger in meaning. In this book aimed at congregational leaders, particularly United Methodists, the authors provide practical, field-tested steps to simplify your church structure and unleash more people into ministry. Too often churches try to simplify their structures by just having fewer people at the meeting table. But real simplification and accountable leadership means that meetings – and leaders – are transformed. Kay and Blake walk you through both the technical and adaptive changes to simplify your structure for missional effectiveness.

PURCHASE from Market Square Publishing

While “Mission Possible” is about implementing a simplified leadership structure, it’s far more about fruitful ministry. Kay Kotan and Blake Bradford beautifully weave together adaptive thinking, technical expertise and lots of practical advice based on real-life ministry experience. I highly recommend it to any congregation that longs to be freed from the strangling strictures of structure in order to more faithfully carry out the mission Christ has uniquely given it.
— Bishop Gary Mueller, Resident Bishop of the Arkansas Area, United Methodist Church
If you are considering a shift to Simplified Structure of Single Board Model, this book is essential reading! If you have already made the switch and it is not working as you planned, buy this book for your whole team to get back on track. Kotan and Bradford understand the pitfalls of simplifying structure without providing the accompanying accountable leadership required for long-term fruitfulness. Buy this book to benefit from their lessons learned!
— Phil Schroeder, Director of the Center for Congregational Excellence, North Georgia Conference, United Methodist Church

Downloadable Resources for Mission Possible

Simplified Structure FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions (appendix A) This short list of FAQs answers common questions that United Methodist leaders have about the simplified or “single board” administrative structure.

Step by Step: Moving Toward Simplified Structure (appendix B) A short 10-step PDF list for congregational leaders contemplating changing to simplified structure. This list is perfect to organize a timeline for your transition. Each step is explained fully in the book, along with a set of “rules for the road” for nominations committees when considering the UMC disciplinary implications of the simplified accountable leadership structure.

Nominations Samples (appendix F) This document is a editable version of the nominations report for a simplified or “single board” administrative structure. It comes from appendix F in the 2019 edition of Mission Possible.

Sample Agenda (appendix J) Download an editable sample agenda from the appendix of the 2019 edition of Mission Possible.


Simplified, Accountable Leadership Structure

in the United Methodist Church

Vital and fruitful churches must be governed and led in new ways today so that Christ’s mission for us can be fulfilled!  The disciple-making mission which Christ has given us is too important to let bureaucratic redundancies distract us from our work.  For the sake of Christ’s mission and our mission fields, many churches are discovering that there are simpler ways to provide governance and strategic direction, so that the congregation can be unleashed for ministry.

A simplified single board structure makes it possible for your church to better focus on leadership equipping, missional alignment, and your next steps in ministry.  Meanwhile, removing bureaucratic redundancies allows more members to spend their time in service as disciples who make disciples.  By consolidating administrative functions into a single board, disciples can focus on using their spiritual gifts and passions for ministry to contribute to the vitality of the congregation as it seeks to reach the mission field.

This method of simplifying your church’s administrative leadership and governance is allowed by¶247.2 of the 2016 Discipline of the UMC :

The charge conference, the district superintendent, and the pastor, when a pastor has been appointed (see ¶ 205.4), shall organize and administer the pastoral charge and churches according to the policies and plans herein set forth. When the membership size, program scope, mission resources, or other circumstances so require, the charge conference may, in consultation with and upon the approval of the district superintendent, modify the organizational plans, provided that the provisions of ¶ 243 are observed.


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Resources to Equip Your Team

Nominations Form (MS Word)

This editable MS Word form is included as part of the 2019 Arkansas Conference Charge Conference Packet. It is uniquely designed to report the structure of a church utilizing the simplified accountable leadership model.

Nominations 2019 CHarge Conference Form

Training Videos From Kay Kotan

Six Training Videos from Kay Kotan

 Kay Kotan, a layperson and the congregational developer, has created an 25 minute overview video and six training videos that you can stream online or download for viewing during meetings.  Before you move toward the model, it is suggested that you forward the overview video to all your current board members.

25 Minute Introductory Training Video from Kay Kotan

Special thanks to Kay Kotan and the Susquehanna Conference for the use of these videos.

Staff/Pastor Parish Committee (S/PPRC) Annual Timeline  

This Arkansas Conference SPRC timeline shares expectations for the appointment/assessment cycle and suggested topics of discussion for a full year of monthly Staff/Pastor Parish Relations Committee meetings.  Whether your simplified structure single-board serves as the congregation’s S/PPRC or you decide to keep a separate S/PPRC, your board will need to consider the Arkansas Conference due dates and the workload of the S/PPRC as you design your yearly schedule and content of meetings. 

Annual Timelines

Recommended Reading list