Our Fortieth Year
Our Fortieth Year

Dr. Mike Simpson

Dr. Mike Simpson
Author Dr. Mike Simpson

The Lazarus Project: How You Can Renew Your Congregation is a manual for congregational revitalization developed from the successful church renewal work of participants in the Lazarus Project.

The text is written with clarity and humor. It contains an abundant number of actual examples of churches using the principles of the project to spur new life in their stagnant congregation.

Chapter headings include:

  • Grandma's Secret: The key to revitalization which God has been using for 3000 years.
  • Chained Dogs and Wrung Chickens: Understanding just how "stuck" your church really is.
  • You, the Church Detective: Discovering how your church got stuck in the first place.
  • Risky Business: Planning out how to renew your congregation; who can help; what to watch out for along the way.
  • Watch What You Say About My Mother: What to do about the fact that reawakening your church may have an impact on you and those around you.
  • Let's Blame God: Some catchy theological justifications for forgetting that you ever wanted to renew your church in the first place
  • The Hidden Treasure Phenomenon: Stand back--your church may be about to reenter it's "Golden Age".
  • Toward a New Definition of a Vital Church: How to quit being blind to the real signs of health and illness in a congregation.
  • Staying Connected: Just because you're the leader doesn't mean you have to do it on your own.

2nd Wind: The Journal of the Lazarus Project:
Another way to get with those who are interested in congregational revitalization is to sign up (free) for the regularly published newsletter of the Lazarus Project. Current information about happenings, stories of churches in the process of revitalization, interviews with church leaders and key insights into how the process works.

Visit http://www.lazarusproject.org for more information or to order The Lazarus Project.

About the Author

Mike Simpson is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He has pastored congregations in Texas, Oklahoma and North Carolina. He has a special love for and extensive experience with renewing dormant, dying or conflicted churches.

For much of the past decade, Simpson has been putting into practice the Family Systems theories of the late Dr. Edwin Friedman. Friedman's work, based on Bowen Theory of Family Process Theory, revolves around the notion that human beings organize themselves into " families" whenever they come together, particularly when they gather in groups as close as churches.

Dr. Mike Simpson

Simpson's key contribution to Family Systems thought is the idea that one key leader, committed to a clear vision of where the congregation should be going and undeterred by the resistance of opponents and supporters, can bring about the rebirth of a dying church.

Since 1992, Simpson has been the Senior Minister of the First Christian Church, Greensboro, North Carolina. He holds the Doctor of Ministry in spiritual development from San Francisco Theological Seminary and the Master of Divinity in the Bible from Vanderbilt Divinity School. His Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude in philosophy, is from the University of North Texas. An author and consultant, Simpson was inducted into the Who's Who in Religion in 1984.