What is Simplified Accountable Structure?

Simplified Accountable Structure is a method of church governance that provides clear decision making structure while also simplifying the structure of the church’s governance.

The structure takes Administrative Council, the Finance Committee, Trustees, and Staff Parish Relations Committee and collapses their governance and oversight responsibilities into a single 9-12 person Leadership Team.

This team isn’t solely responsible for the doing the ministry of the church, they are responsible for providing oversight, vision, strategy, and governance h so that we, as a congregation, can execute our mission effectively. Simply put, by freeing up people from (sometimes redundant) tasks of governance and providing a clear vision of the mission of the congregation, SAS looks to put more people into focused ministry.

Town Hall Presentation

Watch this recording of our Town Hall from September 8th, 2021 to find out more about SAS.


Why would we look at SAS for Yadkinville UMC?

At this time, there is nothing truly non-functional about our leadership structure, at some time in the next 10 years this may not be the case. A change to a single board model of governance will enable us to really focus on what matters: inviting people into deeper relationship with Christ.

In this process, most of our Administrative Council have identified that if we place YUMC on the chart below, we would be at the junction of "Unrealized Decline" and "Re-Innovation," SAS gives us the opportunity to make the choice to re-innovate and grow.

Churches that have moved to a Simplified Accountable Structure with their leadership have found that they have a clearer understanding of their mission and ministry and find new life, energy, and growth in their church.

We think that YUMC is at such a moment where we can make a change and leverage the many gifts of this congregation to make a positive impact in our community for Christ.

Town Halls

We are going to have 3 Town Halls that are open to all members of the congregation.

There will be a presentation on SAS and a time for open questions

Wednesday, September 8th at 7pm via ZOOM

Sunday, September 19th In-Person immediately after Sunday Worship

Tuesday, September 28th at 7pm via ZOOM

Frequently Asked Questions

Check out some FAQs about Simplified Accountable Structure below. Click on the plus sign to see the answers.

  • Most all positions can be combined as long as the minimum number are elected. The Lay Leader, Lay Delegate, PPR Chair, and Trustee Chair must be designated, but could all be the same person.

  • Nine is the standard and recommended minimum. Very small congregations may be able to have a Leadership Board of six, composed of two individuals in each three-year class at the discretion of their district superintendent.

  • No. Because the Leadership Board's work switches roles quickly from providing oversight of the pastor to the other governance areas of the church, we recommend that the pastor not vote, in order to preserve clarity and unity in the Board. If a matter comes up that depends on one vote of the pastor, that is probably a sign that more conversation and discernment is needed.

  • Per the Book of Discipline, family members cannot serve on the Board together. If it cannot be avoided, the family members may need to excuse themselves from the room or not vote on issues with potential conflict of interest. Staff and family of staff cannot serve on the Board.

  • No

  • Either a member or non-member of the board can be assigned or elected to take notes. If a non-member is chosen, they need to be excluded from S/PPRC conversations. A person may be elected to the board with the sole responsibility of taking notes.

  • No, but they can be. A best practice is for them not to be on the Board.

  • It is recommended that the Board Chair serves as the PPR liaison to the DS.

  • Yes. One third of the Board will roll off each year.

  • No. There is still a requirement that there be a separate Committee on Nominations and Leadership Development to nominate the Board Members to the Charge Conference each year.

  • Board members serve a three-year term. The Lay Leader and Lay Delegate are exempt from the three-year term. After being off the Board for a year, the person can roll back onto the Board if elected.

  • If the church has these chartered groups, a member of that group can serve on the Board if requested on the Board as a leader of their local congregation (Not to report about their group).

  • A quorum is described as whoever is present. (Note the exception: In rare matters that require the Trustees to function as a legal body, a majority of Leadership Board members who are Trustees must be present). Simple majority of those attending rules.

  • At the first meeting at the beginning of each new year, the Board will elect a Trustee Chair to satisfy the corporate resolution requirement. lt is recommended the Board Chair serve as the Trustee Chair. Please note that all members of the board who will serve in the role as a trustee must be of legal age.

  • Even after the re-structuring occurs, individual ministry teams are still necessary and working. Fewer people on the board means more people are available to do ministry. Simplified structure is the combining of the four administrative teams of the Council, Trustees, Finance, and PPR Committees. The only change for ministry teams is that the Nominations Committee is no longer responsible for identifying and nominating leaders and members for ministry teams.

  • Yes. A letter from the pastor requesting to move to simplified structure to the DS is the first step. In the letter, state the missional purpose of moving to this structure.

  • Paragraph 247.2 in the 20l6 edition

  • By discipline, all Leadership Board Members will need to be professing members of the church because some of the constituent committees require professing membership. The right team is composed of devoted disciples of Jesus who can think strategically about the church's mission, hold clergy, staff, and fellow members accountable to the mission, and partner with other Leadership Board members to guide the congregation into making a God-sized impact. The Leadership Board should be as diverse as possible so that the leadership table will have the different voices that God needs for the congregation to discern its future direction. Other skills can be added through work groups. While teams can be designed using a variety of tools, don't let these tools get in the way of the fact that Jesus' mission needs Jesus' disciples and that accountability must come before any other considerations.

  • While the Book of Discipline paragraph allowing for a simplified governance structure (paragraph 247.2) was written for small churches who had difficulty finding enough people to fill all the "slots" in a committee structure, it was some of our largest churches that first discovered the power of SAS. Churches with an average worship attendance under 50 may already be doing a de facto simplified structure, and it may or may not be using accountability. Large Churches that worship in the thousands have discovered the need for SAS as they seek to counteract ministry silo and mission drift. Mid-size congregations from 50-500 in worship will quickly discover the power of SAS in unleashing more laity for ministry and focusing the church on Christ's mission.

  • The Leadership Board should be made up of professing members, with a Discipline-recommended minimum of 1/3 being lay women and 1/3 being lay men

  • Congregation members are not board members are always invited to attend the meetings, but do not have voice or vote. When the Board needs to move to executive session to address S/PPRC matters or to consider legal negotiations (such as buying or selling property), these church members will need to be excused.

  • No! This defeats the purpose of the simplified structure and interrupts Leadership Board accountability. While the Board may assign a work group to work on a special project and report back, only the entire Leadership Board can act and make decisions.

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