This page provides the most up-to-date information for Illinois Great Rivers Conference churches which are discerning whether to move to a Strategic (Simplified) Accountable Structure (SAS) for church leadership. (Even though most resources use the term "Simplified," in IGRC, we are using "Strategic" as that is the most important reason for churches to choose to adapt to this structure. Too many are considering it only for "Simplified" and the different language puts the emphasis where it needs to be.)

The purpose of the SAS is to provide streamlined decision-making for the administrative ministries of the church in order to free up people to serve in ministry with their community.

The church must have approval from their District Superintendent before implementing SAS, so it it vital that the DS be informed as a church moves through discernment.

Start with this checklist. It is offered so IGRC churches can have healthy discernment and implementation. It outlines the steps IGRC churches are expected to take in order to engage in healthy discernment and decision-making regarding SAS.

Here is a short video by Kay Kotan explaining the basics of the SAS.


To participate in the two session Discernment Workshop (first step in the Discernment Phase in the checklist), all members of the Church Council must:

  • Gather to view and discuss the following three videos:
  • Discuss the videos and make note of observations and questions
  • Record who is present and participating the video viewing and discussion
  • Participate in a Q&A session with the IGRC Director of Congregational Development or an IGRC-endorsed SAS coach  to ask questions and clarify next steps in the church's discernment
  • All bullet points are necessary to complete the workshop

IGRC Churches are strongly encouraged to engage an IGRC-endorsed SAS coach. Use this list below to make contact to find a coach with availability to serve your church. It is the responsibility of the church to establish a covenant with the coach. An IGRC church can apply to the Office of Congregational Development for a grant to defray a portion of the cost of coaching.

If your church has established a covenant with an IGRC-endorsed coach and wishes to apply for a grant to defray a portion of the cost, complete the online grant application here.

To provide important equipping for the church Nominations Committee as it discerned members for the Leadership Board, utilize the Committee on Lay Leadership (Nominations) video. After viewing the video, it is best if the committee hold a Q&A session with an IGRC-endorsed coach for any additional clarity needed.