The only comprehensive small church ministry training program for volunteers and those who lead them.

Equipping you with successful strategies and leadership skills to support and empower your small church!

Be the first to know when the doors open again for new members!

Small Church ministry isn't LESS,
but it is DIFFERENT.

In small churches ...

people struggle with burnout trying to keep multiple ministries going

many end up as "accidental leaders" and don't know where to start or what to do next

volunteers & ministry leaders aren't always on the same page

pastors are busy - often bi-vocational - without the time they want to train leaders

It doesn't have to be like that!

What you really want is to ...

confidently say 'yes' to the right things

plan successful programs and events

lead confidently and grow in ministry skills

enjoy balance instead of burnout

be part of a church that's making an impact

hear "well done" at the finish line

It's totally possible ... and we can help!

Did you know that one trained person can make a huge difference in your small church?

The Small Church Academy

comprehensive ministry training for immediate application
in your small church

Vision

Leadership

Communication

Building Relationships

Digital Strategies

Recruiting Volunteers

Promoting Events

Facilitating Groups

Public Speaking

Planning

Budgeting

Delegating

Dealing with Conflict

Growing Disciples

Leading thru Change


... and those are just the highlights!

LaurieAckersquare2.jpg

Hi, I'm Laurie!

My first ministry job was in a church of 3500 when I was 22 years old. After 3 decades of ministry in very different churches, I know the difference between big churches and small.

Small church ministry is no less challenging, and in some ways it’s tougher than big church ministry.

Unfortunately, most small churches keep trying to use big church strategies that were never meant for them. This leads to fast failure and defeat.

I help people in small churches redefine ministry success to align with Jesus’ way and the truth of the gospel. I teach leadership skills and small church strategies that work. The results? More joy in ministry than you ever imagined – and greater impact too.

I’m a pastor’s wife and small church ministry mentor in Tucson, AZ, where my family has been serving in the same small church for 15 years.

What our members say ...

Learning + Support

The Small Church Academy is small church strategy wrapped in relationship and supported by specialized ministry consultation.

We learn best in community.

Each monthly unit is specific to small church ministry and includes:

This training is designed for busy volunteers and those who lead them. Most students in our program work full-time jobs and are already juggling multiple responsibilites. Our short modules – only 5-7 minutes each with specific applications – are the perfect formula!

If you like a checklist, staying organized, and sharing what you learn to help your church, you’re gonna love this! Each month is organized with a suggested timeline, action steps, and more.

Every module is designed for immediate application to grow as a leader and make a difference in your small church. Resources like PDFs, templates, and ministry tools are created not just for The Academy students, but also for their churches.

Students of The Academy are welcomed into a private Facebook community for on-going individual support and ministry consultation to address real-time challenges.

The Small Church Academy equips you with effective strategies and solutions for both you and your church, with continued support throughout and beyond!

Take time to apply what you learn

Share with your church as you go

Celebrate along the way

Earn a certification

Still wondering if this is for you?

More testimonies from our members ...

FAQs

Most programs similar to ours cost significantly more and do not include the support, application, consultation, & celebration elements. Because our desire is to help volunteers and staff in small churches (not high-paid professionals whose businesses are footing the bill!), the program currently costs $39/month. Paying a full year at once gives you one month free. While we anticipate a price increase in 2022, those who join at $39/month will remain there. 

Our whole goal is to help you help your church! The Small Church Academy is designed for individual study, consultation, celebration, and achievement. With bite-size daily modules and application, The Academy is not designed for group study. While the modules and support elements are not shareable, each monthly unit contains PDFs, templates, and tools to use in your church. We want you to share what you’re learning and we’ll show you how to do it best. 

Quick answer: to have greater impact & momentum! Longer answer: This program is all about developing individuals in leadership in small church ministry! While one trained person can make a huge impact in your church, imagine how much more impact 2 or 3 trained people could make! Membership in The Academy includes individual support in our private SCA Facebook community, access to weekly live consultation calls, and community Zoom meetups as well. All of this supports the application of the learning modules. Bottom line: Multiple people in one church means lots of learning and support for multiple individuals in your church = greater impact!

That’s up to you and your church! We’ve seen a few different scenarios for our students.

Nope! We recently opened the program to men and had a few pastors jump in immediately! We’ll adding testimonials from our men as soon as we have a chance to catch up.

Registration to join The Small Church Academy opens with each of our quarterly conferences and remains open for about a week. We’ve found the momentum from our conferences leads perfectly into engaged students who are ready to get moving and make a difference in their churches! In addition, people joining at the same time creates a bit of a cohort feeling that increases and supports applied learning. This leads to higher follow-through and more impact on your church!

Most of our students have full-time jobs and other commitments, so you’re in good company! That’s why we design bite-size modules perfect for busy lives! The Small Church Academy is designed for you to apply as you learn. If slower helps you put things into action, then go for it! Each monthly unit has a suggested calendar to keep you moving and motivated, but there is no requirement to complete units in a certain amount of time. You will be celebrated at any pace you choose!

Absolutely. Our students include pastors, church staff, lay ministry leaders, volunteers … you name it! Whether or not you have a degree from seminary, the specific ministry training and leadership elements we teach are unique to The Small Church Academy. If you want to grow in ministry and leadership skills, join us!

The 28 Month-long Learning Units Include:

  1. The Uniquely Beautiful Small Church Ministry
  2. Develop a Vision for Your Ministry + Introducing the Ministry Funnel
  3. Plan Your Ministry Year
  4. Skills & Strategy for Relational Ministry
  5. Get Organized: How to Fit Ministry into a Full Life
  6. The Four I’s of Volunteers: Part I
  7. How to Motivate Anyone to Action
  8. Planning & Promoting Successful Events 
  9. Confident & Effective Public Speaking for Anyone
  10. Changing Your Thoughts + Powerful Habits to Embrace for Change
  11. Develop a Culture of Caring & Hospitality 
  12. The Keys to Great Communication
  13. Structure Your Ministry for Accountability, Consistency, & Growth 
  14. The Four I’s of Volunteers: Part II 
  15. Prioritizing Personal Discipleship 
  16. Delegation & Evaluation: Two Necessary Dance Partners 
  17. The Ministry Funnel: Outreach & Community 
  18. How to Facilitate Small Groups Like a Pro
  19. Considerations for Special Circumstances and Special Needs 
  20. Promote Your Events for the Widest Right Reach 
  21. Gaining Support: Turn Uninterested People into Fans of Your Ministry
  22. The Ministry Funnel: Spiritual Growth & Mission 
  23. Dealing with Difficult People
  24. The Money Side of Ministry
  25. Dealing with Ministry Failure & Disappointment
  26. Effectively Partner with Other Ministries & Community Groups
  27. How to Lead through Change
  28. Best Social Media Practices & Platforms to Encourage, Promote, Relate, and Teach

The Small Church Academy is a comprehensive & sequential program, where each unit builds on the ones before. Specific ministry questions on any topic will be answered with real-time consultation in our members-only community, but the full teaching units are in order, on purpose.

What are you waiting for?

If you want to grow as a leader and empower your small church to make an impact, jump in!