Simplified, Accountable Structure (SAS)

Simplified, Accountable structure (previously referred to as the single board model, minimum structure, or one board model) moves churches from four administrative committees (trustees, finance, staff-parish relations, and church council) to one Leadership Board encapsulating all responsibilities and authority of the previous four separate administrative committees in compliance with the UMC Book of Discipline in Paragraph 247.2.  Over the past dozen or so years, this model of leadership has evolved as more and more congregations have moved to this structure and learned how to incorporate the much needed accountable leadership.  Kay Kotan and her co-author Blake Bradford have helped thousands of leaders and hundreds of congregations across the country shift into this model through training, consulting, SAS Coach Certification, and their best-selling resource guide, Mission Possible

SAS Resources and Links

SAS Overview

If your church is considering moving to simplified, accountable structure, this video is just for you.  This video provides an overview of what simplified, accountable structure is and why a church might consider moving to this type of structure.  This overview does not intend nor should it be considered training for leaders serving into simplified, accountable structure.  The training to prepare leaders to serve is a full day workshop.  This video is simply to assist churches in being more informed before making the decision to move to this type of structure.
If you have any questions or are interested in training or coaching for simplified, accountable structure, please contact us.

SAS Accountability

SAS Leadership Boards often struggle with implementing accountability when moving to a simplified structure.  Since it is often not used, understood, or modeled, we have provided a training video to demonstrate accountable leadership at the Leadership Board level. 

Equipping for Leadership Boards in Simplified, Accountable Structure

Take a deep dive into simplification, accountability, guiding principles, the leadership covenant, organizational structure, new conversations starting from a new agenda, the “packet,” annual leadership rhythms, strategic ministry planning, and so much more. 

Equipping for the Committee on Nominations and Leadership Development in SAS

The shift to simplified, accountable structure starts with the Committee on Nominations.  Without a shift in the nominations process, expectations of leaders, and the type of leaders that are nominated, it will be difficult (if not nearly impossible) for the new Leadership Board to make the adaptive leadership shifts into simplified, accountable leadership.

SAS Coaching Certification

Coaches, districts, and conferences are finding the demand for SAS coaching to be high, but there is a lack of coaches who have been thoroughly, recently, and properly trained in the simplified, accountable structure.  SAS Coaches will be trained and resourced by Kay Kotan in the three Phases of SAS:  Discerning, Equipping, and Implementing.

Those who choose to become SAS Certified Coaches will also have on-going access to the latest resources and learnings as well as coaching and support from Kay Kotan and Blake Bradford.  SAS Certified Coaches will also be encouraged and equipped to work with districts and conferences and partner with District Superintendents, Cabinets, Developers, and DCM’s to partner e SAS roll-out processes and on-going training for their local contexts.


March 29-31 from 8:30-11:30 am Central


Register here for SAS Coach Training AND Certification

Register here for SAS Training Only

Judicatory Resources

DS Forum

Because SAS is implemented with approval of the DS, we see ourselves as partners with District Superintendents in providing training, resources, and forums to offer equipping opportunities and a time to process questions.  Recordings of previous DS Forums can be found here.

DS Forum 1

DS Forum 2  

Clergy Education

To make sure you are informed about upcoming DS Forums, please provide your contact information here. 


Judicatory SAS Resources

Designed and offered through the notorious “DS Charm School,”  this three-part DS equipping video series is exclusively for judicatory leaders working alongside local congregations in the simplified, accountable structure.  Links for judicatory-specific SAS resources follow. 




SAS Coaching

If you are looking for a SAS Coach to help your congregation move into the SAS model of leadership, provide an audit of your current SAS Leadership Board, and/or just need some general coaching or equipping in SAS, please let us know. Coaching is provided by Kay Kotan, Brad Blakeford, and the team of Certified SAS Coaches across the country.  We can connect you with a SAS Certified Coach to meet your needs. 

SAS Overview Webinar

A Simple Structure for Missional Effectiveness

This two-session webinar series brought to you by Discipleship Ministries with leadership coach Kay Kotan and Rev. Blake Bradford, DS looks at how simplified, accountable leadership structure (often called the “one-board” model) can empower, equip, and set laity and clergy free to focus on the mission of making disciples of Jesus who change the world.

Session 1

Session 2