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.
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.
Arkansas Conference Resources
Create an Leadership Council agenda based on the L3 (Loving, Learning, and Leading) model used throughout the Arkansas Conference.
l3 MONTHLY Agenda
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
This 30 page workbook, created in 2017 by the Center for Vitality in partnership with the Arkansas Conference Cabinet, will take your team through the steps for discussing and creating a new leadership structure in your church. This 10-step book contains diagrams of administrative structures, a sample agenda, a questions for your board to use for discussion along the journey. This workbook is based primarily upon the first edition of Mission Possible and also uses information found in Dan Hotchkiss’s excellent Governance and Ministry).
Center for Vitality Workbook
This 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. More S/PPRC resources can be found at http://vitality.arumc.org/sprc-tool-kit/ .
Resources to Equip Your Team
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.
Recommended Reading list
Leadership and Organization for Fruitful Congregations, by Stephan Ross, a long-time pastor in the Oregon-Idaho Conference and currently the Director of the Vital Church Project.
Dan Hotchkiss, Governance & Ministry
Discipleship Ministries Webinar on Creating a Single Board Leadership Structure. Also includes sample Guiding Principles
Susan Beaumont, Inside the Large Congregation