The Mission Management Model

Toward a New Culture of Leadership

Catholic leaders recognize that the Church is not only facing a crisis of abuse, but also a crisis of leadership failures. In order to resolve the abuse crisis, the Church must address the root causes of the crisis within the culture.

Leadership Roundtable helps Church leaders create a new culture of leadership with the Mission Management Model. This system-wide approach implements best practices in diocesan and parish systems to ensure the long-term health of the Church’s mission. Imagine every priest, religious, and lay leader in your parish or diocese knowing how to facilitate meetings, hire the right people, communicate effectively, sustain effective pastoral and finance councils, and more.

When Catholic leaders—lay, religious, and ordained—get the leadership and management skills to succeed, the parish flourishes. Plus, when leaders across a diocese are equipped with these skills, it can transform the entire faith community. The Mission Management Model’s six stages provide an assessment and customized plan that draws upon Leadership Roundtable’s suite of services and other resources to help a diocese reach its goals. Together, Leadership Roundtable and the diocese transform the management and leadership culture. In turn, the diocese is better able to serve the people of God.

Here is a sample of dioceses utilizing the Mission Management Model to transform their management and leadership culture:


Diocese of Jefferson City, MO

Bishop Shawn McKnight had spent his first year as a bishop participating in listening sessions throughout his diocese, hearing the concerns of Catholics and getting to know the people of the rural Missouri communities. When the crises came to national focus in the summer of 2018, he quickly responded with a comprehensive plan in his diocese.

He and his staff created a new diocesan policy for bishop accountability, transparently shared all financial data related to abuse cases, and committed to clergy-lay collaboration in order to address clericalism. Bishop McKnight invited Leadership Roundtable to address his clergy convocation in the heat of the crises and introduced our Catholic Leadership 360 service to his diocesan leaders, as well as participating himself. He also began implementation of the Mission Management Model in order to create a new culture of leadership, one that is rooted in the co-responsibility of lay and clergy leaders in the diocese.


Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, PA

Bishop Mark Bartchak stepped into a diocese that had been devastated by abuse, financial struggles, and a declining population; all of which affect morale and effective pastoral ministry. He often travels across the vast reaches of the diocese: eight counties in the rural center of Pennsylvania. He regularly visits parishes, schools, and other local ministries to greet the people and to share in their joys and sufferings. He knows that if the Church is to sustain a vibrant presence for the people of the region, the diocese must directly address its challenges.

In 2018, he called together a meeting of lay and ordained Catholics from every county to begin a conversation and gather ideas for how to move the diocese forward. Leadership Roundtable was honored to facilitate the gathering and work with the Catholics in the diocese to imagine a new way of operating based on best practices. Bishop Bartchak has committed to implementing the Mission Management Model to restore trust and to develop a plan to help the diocese move forward with a sustainable future.


Archdiocese of Newark, NJ

The Archdiocese of Newark has been a “ground zero” in the latest crises. Cardinal Joseph Tobin and diocesan leaders who were already working with Leadership Roundtable turned to us for solutions not only to address the immediate response, but to help build a long-term plan utilizing the Mission Management Model.

The Archdiocese created “Forward in Faith Together,” a comprehensive plan to implement a new culture of leadership in the archdiocese. Elements of the plan include creating new training and reporting programs, providing transparency of operations and finances, and investing in ongoing training and development.


This piece was originally published in Leadership Roundtable’s 2018 Impact Report

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