The vision of the Academy for Congregational Excellence is, “Effective Leaders, Fruitful Churches, and a Transformed World.”  Our goals and strategies are aligned around raising the level of spiritual leadership for both clergy and laity across the AWF Conference and beyond.

Good Leadership happens when we live into our gifts and calling from God.  The human race is created in God’s image, and we fulfill that by living Godly lives, and sharing God’s love with everyone we meet.  God has called us to lead by being disciples of Jesus Christ ourselves, and by His grace, leading others into a transforming relationship with Him.  God will not call us to do something He will not equip us to do.  Only God can bring transformation, but we can help by creating the opportunities and environments where others can hear God’s voice and respond with faith.

Everyone leads.  The question is, “What kind of leader am I?”  And, the accompanying question is, “In what direction am I leading others?”  While all do not lead in the same way or at the same level, we all have influence.  And, influence is one way of defining leadership.  Leaders in any organization or institution have influence.  They model the way forward, they do not just tell people what to do.  ACE is coming to understand even more clearly that leading is first about our “Being”, and then comes our “Doing”.

ACE is doing some things to raise the level of spiritual leadership, and plans are in place for many more to be offered.  We are growing into our vision.  We are living our Mission of Discovering, Developing, and Deploying spiritual leaders who will make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  The way forward is still unfolding.  We are literally, “Building the bridge while we walk on it.”  Here are some leadership development opportunities that have been offered this year.  Some of these we plan to repeat in the next year.

  • Becoming a More Effective Leader will be offered again beginning in August, 2015.  We are trying to line up our offerings with the Conference year rather than the calendar year.
  • Body and Soul, a way for persons to grow holistically, by engaging in personal physical training, counseling, and spiritual formation was successful.  We plan to offer this again, hopefully beginning in February, 2015.
  • Preaching Excellence classes, meeting monthly, were held in 3 locations across the Conference.  These were led by gifted pastors who shared their gifts with others.  It is our plan to offer these again.  However, we may change the format or locations.
  • We are continuing work on our Website that will be a Resource for all within the Conference.
  • ACE is partnering with other ministries like the Academy for Children’s Ministry, and Becoming a More Missional Church (Catapult, eg.).
  • We have gone to several churches and talked with them about their current reality, mission, and vision.  Also, we have made presentations in District meetings.
  • ACE is launching 3 Teams for leader development to Discover, Develop, and Deploy newly strengthened leadership throughout the AWF Conference so our churches will be better equipped to make disciples.
  • We are working hard to develop ministries to focus on leader development for laity, and helping people of all ages identify their gifts and callings.

Help us by praying for ACE.  Please participate and encourage your pastor and staff to participate in the offerings.  Maybe churches can provide scholarships for persons to attend.  We try to let each course or offering be self-supporting since we operate on a small budget.  Help spread the word about ACE.   Contact us in terms of needs and resources that we might need to know about.  If you will, put ACE in your budget as you are able.

We exist, not for ourselves as an institution, but to be a means by which we may discover and share all the gifts of God found among us so that the Great Commission and the Great Commandment may be fulfilled.


Rev. Ronald T. Ball

Executive Director, ACE