Winning on Purpose

Winning on Purpose: How to Organize Congregations to Succeed in Their Mission, by John Edmund Kaiser, Abingdon Press (2006)

A congregation has developed effective mission and vision statements. It has clarified key congregational values. What then? The next step is to consider how the church's current structure helps or hinders its God-given mission. Some years ago Kennon Callahan suggested that effective congregations need to streamline their organizational structure. Kaiser's book, Winning on Purpose, is a helpful, up-to-date resource for congregations seeking healthier, more effective ways to organize for mission.

Kaiser has adapted the work of John Carver and Tom Bandy to develop a system of "accountable leadership." His book defines specific roles for the governing board, the pastor and staff, and the congregation that wishes to form an effective, creative organizational structure. The genius of his system centers on some "guiding principles" that help the church deal effectively with issues of trust and accountability. The book gives the reader both analytical and practical help to apply Kaiser's system to a specific setting.

This resource is not meant for congregations that simply want to update the church constitution and by-laws. It is best used in churches willing to risk considering a new way of organizing for mission. Several of our Region congregations -- especially those ready and willing to deal with change -- are discovering that Kaiser's ideas do work, and work well. Of course, change happens whether the congregation is ready or not. This resource is good for providing positive direction in adapting to significant change. I recommend you read it and use it!

 Book Review by Reverend Ron Cary, Consultant for Congregational Health