The Powerlife Project, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, was birthed in 1985 by Mike and Kim Simon who lived in Memphis, Tennessee. The vision for this organization actually began in 1979 when Mike and Kim entered into full-time Christian ministry. Mike resigned his position as a Shelby County Deputy Sheriff in Memphis and moved his family to Tulsa, Oklahoma in June 1979. While Kim worked for Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association, Mike obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Oral Roberts University, where he double-majored in Christian Education and Biblical Literature. A member of the National Honor Society, he graduated with high honors and was voted "1983 Outstanding Student in Christian Education" by the faculty of ORU.

Mike's expertise spans 25 years of experience in executive leadership and management of large, multi-staffed churches, businesses, and non-profit organizations. He is a specialist in organizational development, administration, finance, and personnel management. He is a "visionary leader" who truly understands strategic planning and resource mobilization.

Mike is a seasoned leader in "city-reaching" and “relational synergism”people working together for greater purposes realized only through concerted efforts. This is where people “connect” in interdependent relationships that are networked together in high performance teams. He has helped church, business, and civic leaders come together and build alliances for common purposes with exceptional, uncommon results!
Mike has served as architect for the development of "organizational vehicles" that have rallied thousands of Christians together for Christ. He is widely known among church and business leaders as a "big picture" person able to transform visions into actions!

As a ministry consultant, his greatest passion is empowering people in "Twelve Key Principles for Balanced Church Transformation."

Kim left behind her long career in the medical profession to pursue a new profession that would accentuate her creative gifts and talents. She went back to school and graduated as a licensed cosmetologist. Now with years of experience in the salon industry and managerial license, Kim became an “educator” for Graham Webb International, which encompasses four international academy locations, eleven United Kingdom salons and a broad array of hair care, body care and cosmetics. She has traveled all across the U.S. and served on the production staff of major hair shows sponsored by Graham Webb International.

Mike and Kim both have served on the staff of local churches. Their passion for education led them to coordinate area-wide conferences, seminars, workshops, concerts, and retreats in Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama. In 1991 Mike and his family moved to Florence, Alabama to serve in a local church. They continued their work in community outreach and building relationships with ministry leaders all across Northwest Alabama. As years progressed, the Powerlife Project's work in Alabama began to develop into a major impact strategy for the evangelization and discipleship of young people.

In 1996 the Powerlife Project became a ministerial division of the Shoals Association of Ministers/Musicians, a tangible expression of unity of purpose within the Body of Christ at work in the Shoals. The theme of the Powerlife Project is "power that breathes new life." Our mission is to motivate, mentor, and mobilize Christians for broad-based action in city-reaching and community transformation. Powerlife now serves as
a "rally point" for establishing ministry synergism among hundreds of ministry leaders, and a "vehicle" for winning people to Christ.

Using strategies defined by biblical principles and contemporary applications, Mike and KIm have created a "Vision for 21st Century Ministry Design and Community Transformation." This vision reflects a culturally relevant approach to meeting people's needs and serves as one of the new paradigm, ministry models that God is strategically empowering all around the world today. The Simons are very contemporary in mind-set and inspired by "cutting edge" ministry designs.

Mike and Kim now devote time in building "relational bridges" into the lives of people who do not know Jesus; at the same time, developing relational networks with Christian leaders and workers from all walks of faith.
Together, the Simons are used of the Lord to help breathe new life into the hearts of people, equip the saints, and bridge the gap between church and community.

Contact Info:

Phone: 256.766.8017
Email address:












I became convinced that God had His hand on him and that Mike had a wonderful gift of "casting a vision." That term may not be clear to you, but to me it represents someone who while walking closely to our Lord can receive from our Lord direction and then communicate that direction/vision to others in a way that causes us to want to be on board. I have enjoyed my work with Mike and as Director of Evangelism for the Alabama Baptist State Convention. The Powerlife Project appears to be a great tool to involve ministers and ministries from all walks of life. This is the kind of project we must be involved in IF we are truly interested in reaching an entire area with the Gospel. - Dr. Sammy Gilbreath, Alabama Baptist Convention, State Board of Missions, Montgomery, AL.

We have worked side by side in community-wide efforts as March for Jesus. Under his capable leadership it grew from an initial crowd of 10,000 to over 16,000 participants. These gatherings are still regarded as among the most significant happenings in the Shoals area for bringing unity to the body of Christ. Mike Simon demonstrates an unusual blending of vision and practicality. Visionaries are not always adept at spanning the reality gap, but Mike does so with persistence and diplomacy. He is a master at outlining a plan of action and a marvel at enlisting others to join him in the task at hand. He is able to clearly articulate what needs to happen in order to achieve the desired result. In short, he gets the job done! - Joe VanDyke, Minister, Magnolia Church of Christ, Florence, AL.

It has been one of God's great blessings in my life to know Mike Simon as friend and co-laborer in Christ for 17 years. His leadership, both administrative and spiritual, were influential factors in coming to understand God's call on my life as a Christian and, then, God's call to ordained ministry. I worked as a volunteer under Mike's leadership as Christian Education Director for St. James United Methodist Church. Mike helped us discover how to discern God's vision for ministry within the church - and then walk with God in realizing that vision even in the face of challenge and change. Mike took care of the details of running many ministries, but never without teaching someone along the way. Mike modeled for us the concept of team ministry before it became the buzzword it is today. - Rev. Sandra Leatherwood, First United Methodist Church, Collierville, TN.

Over the years I have worked with scores of individuals in every position. From a pervious field of Law Enforcement to my current head of a Corporation. I have never seen an individual that is able to organize and plan every type of event or function, keeping the individual and their specific needs at top level, like Mr. Simon. It was with his single leadership that enabled our city to host numerous events that drew thousands and thousands of visitors. He has a keen sense of planning and ability to draw important parties together and keep them working in harmony. In addition it is rare to find an individual who has the ability to organize and develop specific organizational plans and written procedures for events and businesses like Mr. Simon. I must state that Mr. Simon holds great ability and determination. - Dan Blessing, President, Arcadian Chemical, Florence, AL.

Mike is one of the hardest working individuals I have ever met in my life. I have watched him throughout the years as he has tackled monumental tasks in leadership and management of large-scaled, community activities and events that impacted the lives of thousands of people in Northwest Alabama. Mike is a gifted leader and talented administrator. He is a strategic planner who is able to "plan the work" and "work the plan." He has excellent people management skills, and he is able to motivate and mobilize masses amount of people in concerted actions. He has been one of the most influential "community leaders" in my home town and surrounding area. He is very well respected among business, church, and civic leaders. - John White, President, White Contracting, Inc., Florence, AL.

I find him to be a man of God, a man of integrity, and a man who has a passion for seeing Christ's people become all He intended them to be. In addition to his ministry and motivational skills, Mike has outstanding administrative giftings. Powerlife addresses, in a most effective way, at least two of the items that I believe are on God's "front burner." One, the spiritual unity of the Body of Christ and the mobilization of a unified body for Kingdom purposes. Secondly, Powerlife is gearing up to address "Generation X" and the Joshua and Caleb generation which must be fully activated if we are going to "take the land." Powerlife can be a strong ally in partnering with the Church to see "His kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven." - Jim Bevis, President, CSR Ministries, Florence, AL.

Bridging The Gap
Between Church and Community
Meet the Simons

We realize how difficult it is to get to know someone from a distance. We have provided you with important information about our ministry background, philosophy of ministry, statement of faith, core values, leadership style, and more. Scroll down the page or select specific links from the choices below.

For answers to specific questions not addressed in the following information, please contact us at

Thanks for visiting.

Statement of Faith

Our Statement of Faith:
We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in the Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe that the Bible is the divinely inspired, authoritative, infallible Word of God.
We believe that Jesus Christ was God manifested in the flesh.
We believe in Jesus' virgin birth, His sinless life, and miracles.
We believe in Jesus Christ's atoning death on the cross and that the shedding of His blood serves as the propitiation for our sins.
We believe that on the third day following His crucifixion, Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven where He now sits at the right hand of God and serves as our Advocate.
We believe that Jesus Christ will personally return to earth in all of His power and glory.
We believe in the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit who resides in the heart of believers and provides power for a regenerated, godly life.
We believe that salvation for sinful man is obtained by faith in Jesus Christ and not by works.
We believe in the resurrection of the body, both the just and the unjust - the just unto eternal life and the unjust unto eternal punishment.
Our Core Values:
· We believe that the soon return of Christ mandates our mission to be prepared and positioned to reap the "last great harvest of souls" through the advancement of the Kingdom of God.
· We believe that our main mission is the Great Commission to make disciples of Jesus Christ by a process of "Ministry Multiplication" - evangelizing people for Christ, establishing mature disciples, equipping workers for effective ministry, and empowering servant-leaders.
· We believe in the powerful attributes of "cell-based" (small group) ministry - the environment for building meaningful relationship; the avenue for personal development and maximized ministry.
· We believe in corporate "celebration" - a time when all cells (small groups) come together to give praise and worship to God, our Creator and Heavenly Father.
· We believe in a "biblical approach" to management and structure, where people (not money and buildings) are considered the most valuable resource.
· We believe in the true essence of the Body of Christ - everyone has a vital place of ministry through the exercise of spiritual gifts.
· We believe in the "priesthood of all believers" - everyone is called to serve and minister.
· We believe in the power of prayer, authority of God's Word, and the supernatural presence of the Holy Spirit to transform people's lives.
· We believe in the city-reaching strategy of "relational synergism" - people working together for greater purposes realized only through concerted efforts.
· We believe that God orchestrates personal relationships for divine purposes - God strategically "connects" people together to accomplish His plans to touch people's hearts and impact the life of an entire community, city, or nation.

Mike's Resume...

Areas of Expertise:

City-Reaching Strategic Planning, Small Group Ministry Development, Evangelism and Discipleship Training, Pastoral Care and Counseling, Community Outreach, Motivational and Leadership Training, Church Growth Consulting, Volunteer Mobilization, Christian Education, Organizational Strategic Planning, Synergistic People Management, Administration, Grant Writing, Commercial Construction, Multimedia Marketing, Technology Development, and Event Management.


Jan. 2002 – Present
White Contracting Inc. - Florence, Alabama

· Coordinated business affairs, financial accounting, and inventory management for commercial electrical contractor with million dollar+ budget.
· Served as electrical job foreman and electrician for many commercial building projects across the Southeastern section of the U.S. These included fast-food chain restaurants such as: McDonald’s, Chick-Fil-A, Steak N’ Shake, and Zaxby’s Restaurants.
· Supervised and trained employees.

Jan. 2000 – Dec. 2002
The Powerlife Project - Florence, Alabama

· Developed area-wide strategy for the evangelization and discipleship of young people with goal of targeting hundreds of school campuses and thousands of youth and young adults in the Tri-State area (Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee).
· Developed small group, ministry strategies coupled with contemporary, evangelistic outreach that spoke directly into the heart of today’s "youth culture" and mobilized young people to reach their own generation for Christ.
· Planted “student-led,” evangelistic small groups in homes, workplaces, and school campuses for the express purposes of building meaningful relationships and penetrating the community with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
· Coordinated leadership of an interchurch, Christian association (501(c) (3) organization) which teamed together with local businesspersons and civic leaders to help fulfill both community and ministry needs in the Shoals area of Northwest Alabama. Historical Shoals Theatre in downtown Florence, Alabama served the community, the church, and the entire Shoals area as a performing arts, family entertainment, and Christian education center.
· Developed working relationships and partnerships with a multiplicity of non-profit organizations, churches, parachurch ministries, civic organizations, businesses, and community associations.
· Developed extensive training program in evangelism, discipleship, and leadership development.
· Built “relational synergism” among hundreds of area-wide, ministry leaders and workers.
· Produced area-wide evangelistic crusades, Christian concerts, large music festival, and conferences.
· Developed Christian interactive “cyber community” ( for Northwest Alabama.
· Planted and pastored “cell church” (Shoals New Life), built exclusively on small group ministry development as defined by cell-based ministries that are exploding in growth all around the world.
Developed area-wide consensus and "organizational vehicles" that have helped thousands of Christians come together on common ground, covenant to work together as the Body of Christ, and concentrate resources for concerted purposes.

Sept. 1993 – Dec. 99
Faith Tabernacle Church - Florence, Alabama

· Developed programs and coordinated operations of 1000+ member, multi-staffed church with million dollar+ budget.  
· Developed small group strategy in building relationships and assimilating new members into the Body of Christ.
· Designed spiritual gifts seminars called “Discovery workshops” and developed spiritual leadership training courses.
· Initiated Men’s and Women’s ministry using “team management” leadership skills and small groups.
· Coordinated administrative procedures, facility management, and computer network.
· Developed strategic alliance with other ministries in Northwest Alabama for purposes of building concerted efforts for the mobilization of resources for mass evangelism.
· Coordinated with ecumenical, ministry leaders “city church” activities and events that focused on prayer networks and community outreach.

Mar. 92 – Aug. 93
WBTG FM & AM Radio - Sheffield, Alabama

· Developed sales marketing strategy and telemarketing procedures.
· Coordinated public relations and community awareness.

Feb. 91 – Dec. 91
1st Cumberland Presbyterian Church - Florence, Alabama

· Designed and coordinated educational programs (all ages).
· Coordinated small group ministry strategy that focused on spiritual development of elementary, junior and senior high students.
· Co-labored with other church leaders in development of conference youth retreat and activities designed to build “relational synergism” among ministry leaders.

June 88 – Dec. 90
S & S Construction - Memphis, Tennessee

· Worked in commercial and residential construction.
· Working knowledge of construction phases including: carpentry, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, interior design, and audio/visual equipment.
· Also operated this business while attending college full-time for four years. Supervised eight employees.

July 85 – May 88
St. James United Methodist Church - Memphis, Tennessee

· Developed programs for all ages.
· Coordinated youth ministry that experienced explosive growth, resulting in overwhelming response from parents who volunteered for service.
· Developed small group strategy for adults that focused on spiritual growth and the building of meaningful relationships.
· Coordinated marriage enrichment and family retreats.
· Coordinated spiritual growth, youth retreats at local and area-wide Conference levels that emphasized small group ministry for edification and evangelism.

Jan. 84 – June 85
San Jacinto United Methodist Church - Amarillo, Texas

· Supervised office, maintenance, and youth ministry personnel for large, multi-staffed church with 1000+ members.
· Designed and coordinated educational programs for all ages. · Developed small group ministry that focused on discipleship.
· Co-labored with leaders from other churches in development of area-wide youth events that focused on evangelism and discipleship.

June 73 – July 79
Shelby County Sheriff’s Department - Memphis, Tennessee

· FBI trained crime scene officer and fingerprint technician.

Oct. 71 – June 73
U. S. Testing (Nationwide Consumer Testing) - Memphis, Tennessee

· Coordinated computer operations for agricultural analysis and product quality control.


Aug. 79 – May 83
Oral Roberts University - Tulsa, Oklahoma

· Double-majored in Christian Education and Biblical Literature.
· Graduated with honors (3.9/4.0 GPA). Member National Honor Society.
· Voted “1983 Outstanding Graduate in Christian Education” by faculty.

June 98
Cell Church Conference (New Life Church) - Colorado Springs, CO

· Studied cell-based (small group) ministry development.
· Studied prayer networks and evangelism (C. Peter Wagner, Ted Haggard, and Larry Stockstill).

Feb. 85
Christian Management Institute - Dallas, Texas

· Studied financial and fundraising management, volunteer management, and data processing.

Oct. 84
Fuller Institute of Evangelism & Church Growth - Pasadena, CA

· Studied multiple church staff management, church growth, and small group ministry development.

Feb. 76
Donelson Police Academy - Nashville, Tennessee

· FBI trained in crime scene investigation and fingerprint analysis.  

June 70 – Aug. 70
U.S. Naval Air Reserves - New Orleans, LA

· Studied U.S. Naval Administrative/Personnel Procedures and Management.
· Graduated #1 in class. Special honor for duty selection.

Jan. 70 – May 70
State Technical Institute - Memphis, Tennessee

· Majored in Business Administration and Computer Programming.  

Aug. 69 – Dec. 69
Draughon’s Business College - Memphis, Tennessee

· Majored in Business Administration and Computer Programming.  

Related Skills & Accomplishments:

· Authored training manuals and designed curriculum for Small Group Ministry Development and Leadership Training.
· Compiled years of research and a multiplicity of resources in small group (cell-based) ministry development from the Navigators, Serendipity, Touch Ministries, Campus Crusade for Christ, High Impact Ministries, Willow Creek, etc.
· Served as consultant to churches and parachurch ministries in the areas of church growth and strategic, organizational planning.
· Served as guest speaker at ministry conferences.
· Coordinated area-wide conferences, seminars, workshops, concerts, and retreats in Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama.
· Devoted years of voluntary service to historical restoration (project construction manager, grant writing, public relations, and management) of Shoals Theatre (listed in the National Historical Registry), which serves the entire Shoals area, the community, and the church as a performing arts, family entertainment, and Christian education center.
· Regular columnist for Common Ground News (Florence, AL).
· March Coordinator for Tennessee Valley March for Jesus (one of the largest in the U.S.).
· Co-founded and established three non-profit, Christian organizations: Christian Educational Development and Research (Memphis, TN); Shoals Association of Ministers/Musicians (Florence, AL); The Powerlife Project (Memphis, TN & Florence, AL).
· Served on the executive committee for “Coming Together on Common Ground” Celebrations – ecumenical praise and worship gatherings that attracted thousands of people from all across the Tennessee Valley (Alabama, Tennessee & Mississippi).
· Served on executive committees for area-wide events sponsored by CSR/Mid-South Coalition for Prayer and Revival, Feed the Children Campaign, Tony Evans evangelistic crusade, Opera South, and Florence Main Street.
· Co-founded annual “Festival of Lights” Christmas celebration in Florence, Alabama.



My favorite activity is spending time with my wife. After 27 years of marriage we are still madly in love with each other. We do everything together. One of our special activities is fishing (she fishes while I read books). We both thoroughly enjoy reading and talking about what the Lord is doing in each of our lives. I also spend a lot of time with computers. I like to build them and enjoy working with different software. I try to stay current on new technological advances in hardware, software, and Internet designs. I also enjoy prayerwalking; spending time reflecting upon God's creation and praying for loved ones, especially my wife and children.


Dr. Sammy Gilbreath, Dir. of Evangelism, Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions P.O. Box 11870 Montgomery, AL 36111-0870 1-800-264-1225
Dan Blessing, Owner, Arcadian Chemical Service 31309 Northington Court Florence, AL 35630 256-766-7734
Rev. Sandra Leatherwood, Minister, Collierville United Methodist Church 454 W. Poplar Collierville, Tennessee 38017 901-853-8383
Joe VanDyke, Minister, Magnolia Church of Christ 111 South Crest St. Florence, AL 35630 256-767-6776
Jim Bevis, Founder/CEO, CSR International Ministries P.O. Box 1555 Florence, AL 35631 256-718-0738
John White, Owner, White Contracting, Inc. P.O. Box 1239 Killen, AL 35645 256-762-0375
Hester Cope, Executive Director, Florence Main Street Program 301 N. Pine St. Florence, AL 35630 256-760-9648

Personal Ministry Perspective:

For over 27 years my wife and I have strived to be disciples of Jesus Christ, obedient to His calling and mission for our lives. We love people and thoroughly enjoy watching potentials transformed into realities. We desire to help people find Christ and successfully walk the pathway of Christian maturity - becoming equipped and empowered by God's Holy Spirit to become true ambassadors of Christ.

My wife and I are ministry partners. We are very contemporary in mind-set and inspired by "cutting edge" ministry designs. We compliment each other in ministry leadership and application. My gifts/talents are more in leadership, administration, and teaching; my wife's gifts/talents are in intercessory prayer, encouragement, and relational ministry. Together, we are used of the Lord to help build "life-giving community," equip the saints, and bridge the gap between church and community.

I am experienced in the type of leadership role identified in most large church and non-profit organizational settings as the "Executive Pastor or Executive Administrator." Generally, the scope of the EP's position might look like this: "To implement the ministry vision of the senior pastor and church board through the management of operations and programs as well as the supervision of staff."

A few specific job description responsibilities might include:

· Develop systems and structures that nurture, supervise and develop all ministries and support staff.
· Build "relational synergism" among all ministry leaders/workers, mobilize resources, and cast vision for unity of purpose.
· Help refine the vision of the Senior Pastor and Church Board and lead the Ministry Leadership Team in developing a strategic plan for implementing that vision - characterized by specific goals, detailed objectives, and periodic evaluation.
· Foster clear communication of the vision and the plan throughout the staff and keep the Senior Pastor and Elders informed of all significant operations and personnel issues.
· Ensure that all ministry departments are coordinated and integrated into the overall ministry vision and goals.
· Provide leadership and supervision to administrative/operations teams, including facilities, financial reporting, capital expenditures, budget preparation, office support and general management.

My Relationship with Christ:

I was born in Irvington, New Jersey; the only child of two loving parents who passed away at early ages. My father passed away when I was 13; my mother passed away when I was 18. My father was Jewish along with his parents who were immigrants from France; my mother was United Methodist along with her parents who lived in a small town in Tennessee. In 1975 I married a beautiful young girl from Oklahoma City named Kim. During our first year of marriage, Kim went searching for God and found Him. I was not happy. I complained about her Christian lifestyle and wanted her to give it up. But she refused. As time progressed I became intrigued by Kim's concern for my soul. I watched her carefully for months to see if this Christianity would wear off. It didn't. Then simply out of curiosity I asked her one-day, "If I wanted to know more about God, where do I look?" She politely shared her Bible with me and told me to read the gospel of John. I did, and something great happened. I read about Jesus who gave His life so I could live forever with God.

In April 1978 I found God! I found Him through the reality of Jesus' death and resurrection. I found Him also through the love and respect that my wife showed me during those many months of my searching for truth. My life took on new meaning and purpose. It was as if a veil had been lifted from my eyes and now I could clearly see God. I began to experience true hope for my future. Love took on fresh meaning. I am very thankful how the Lord used my wife to point me to Him. Over the past number of years the Lord has used my wife to teach me about love and the value of relationships.

In 1979 Kim and I entered into full-time Christian ministry and have served churches and non-profit organizations for years. We have three children and one grandson. God has been so good to us. Oh yes, our life's journey has not been without bumps in the road, but God has been faithful to keep us on the right path and bless our lives abundantly. What more could we ask? It's been quite an adventure, but it's not over. During these latter years, we are entering into a new and vibrant relationship with God and His purposes for our lives. We are learning more and more about becoming true disciples of Jesus and how to be His ambassadors.

Ministry Philosophy:

We believe that our main mission is Christ's Great Commission - to go and make disciples of Jesus Christ. This mission is best accomplished through a process known as Ministry Multiplication, where Christians learn through "hands-on" experience how to: exalt the Lord our God (Ps. 96:1-9; Rev. 4:8-11); evangelize communities for Christ (Matt. 9:37; John 4:35); establish mature disciples (Col. 2:6-7; Romans 12:1-2); equip workers for effective ministry (Eph. 4:11-13; II Tim. 2:2); empower servant-leaders (Matt. 20:25-28; Phil. 2:1-11). This creates genuine Christians and authentic Christian community.

We also believe in
"relational synergism" - people working together for greater purposes realized only through concerted efforts. This biblical principle translates into three practical applications. First, God orchestrates personal relationships for divine purposes! Ministry is maximized through the "avenues" of meaningful personal relationships. God uses relational networks to accomplish His strategic plans in impacting whole communities, cities, and nations as well. Second, unity may be defined as a targeted force of many…moving as one! This is not accomplished through conformity, but through unity of purpose - where we celebrate our own unique designs, respecting other's differences, and then capitalizing on personal strengths and pooled resources. Third, through "ministry synergism" we can impact entire cities for Christ! When we connect together in interdependent "koinonia" relationships we cross the threshold into explosive biblical dynamics. This is the realm where God births spiritual awakening and revival in people's lives. In a practical sense, ministry aspirations are fully realized, visions are transformed into actions, and results are measured in biblical proportions.

Purpose of the Church:

We believe the Church is God's divinely appointed agent for the advancement of His Kingdom. The Church is the community of God's people, called to give witness to God's mission in reconciling mankind unto Himself through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. The Church is not a building, but God's people - empowered by the Holy Spirit, created for divine, "koinonia" relationship with God and with people. In the context of this Spirit-filled, "koinonia" relationship comes forth the true essence of authentic Christian community as characterized by the First Century Church (Acts 2:42-47), a Christ-centered community built on strong, caring relationships; a place where lives are transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. In this community we connect with God and with each other in edification and evangelism.

Church is where people belong, grow, and participate in the building of life-giving community - an intimate and powerful setting where we find meaning and purpose for our lives. Church is where we encounter Jesus, His love, His truth, and His life. Church is also where people find refuge from the storms of life; a caring community where people are open and transparent without fear of rejection. The Church is also the setting where mature, committed disciples of Jesus Christ are made; a learning environment for personal growth and leadership development. Through God's design for Church, ordinary people become extraordinary ambassadors for Christ - a relational, synergistic community of believers able to move forward in God's contemporary strategies in saving lives and transforming communities, cities, and nations.

Personal Vision for the Future:

God has ignited our hearts with the fires of revival. His mission for our lives has become quite clear. He has birthed within us an awesome vision, a powerful message, and a challenging mandate. God is focusing our vision to see an awesome, "mighty movement" of Christians who pierce the darkness of this world with the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This vision is three-fold: A "mobilized" movement characterized by an army of Christians who are true worshippers of God, mature disciples, effectual workers, and Spirit-empowered leaders for Christ; a "strategic" movement reflecting a true expression of unity within the Body of Christ.; a "divine" movement orchestrated by God - transformed by the power of His Holy Spirit.

The powerful message we proclaim is that after 27 years in ministry we are totally convinced that God orchestrates personal relationships for divine purposes. He is like a majestic
, symphony conductor who stands before a host of talented, gifted musicians, and orchestrates inspirational melodies. All of this happens because each musician is eager to play his/her part, and respond to the conductor's synchronized instructions. And when the conductor's baton is raised, all eyes are focused upon him as he orchestrates synergistic compositions that soothe our hearts and lift our spirits. This is the same way God uses His church - the Body of Christ. Consider the following Scriptures, "we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephes. 4:15-16)."

Through orchestrated personal relationships, God is bringing people together from churches and ministries all around the world for a divine purpose - the advancement of His Kingdom. Through this divine synergism, God is creating "new songs," that reflect revival bursting forth from the hearts of Christians who are hungry for an authentic and powerful move of God in their lives. These "new songs" both challenge and inspire Christians to become positioned and prepared for the future; anxious to participate in the building of a true New Testament community of believers. The challenging mandate burning within our hearts is that time is short! With the soon reality of Christ's Second Coming upon history's horizon, comes the urgent mandate for accomplishing Christ's Great Commission: to go and make disciples of Jesus Christ. The cry across the land is for harvest workers, well equipped and trained to reap the last great harvest of souls before Christ's return.

Disciples and disciplers are the mandate! Ministries all around the world are going through a "paradigm shift" that produces crucial changes needed to bridge the gap between the church and the community. These changes (in divine order) reflect the revelation and application of vibrant, biblical principles that fashion these ministries into powerful, unstoppable forces that penetrate entire communities and cities with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

My Leadership Style:

I believe that every aspect of my life has been orchestrated by the Lord. My education, ministry assignments, and relationships have all been part of God's divine plan for my life. When I look back, I see how God carefully and strategically fashioned my life to accomplish His will. He has birthed within me an insatiable desire to serve Him and His people. I have great passion and burden to help people grow - transformed by the gospel of Christ. He has invested considerable amounts of teaching and training into my life (and my wife's as well). Through His work, I have become an effective leader/administrator that is able to see the "big picture" and put pieces of the puzzle together to formulate effectual, organizational designs. I also realize that this is a gift from God. At times this has brought me great joy; at other times, great sorrow. I know the trials and tribulations of serving in leadership. Despite this, I only want to serve Christ and His desires for my life, regardless of situations and circumstances.

I am a servant-leader who knows the difference between servanthood and servility. I am a people-person who values relationship. I am one who believes that the definition of leadership is "influence." And in order to influence people's lives, I must be a positive role model endowed with intrinsic values of integrity, sound judgment, humility, and fairness. I must have a transparent character that reflects Christ's residence within my heart. I am caring and passionate about people's personal growth and development. I also believe that people don't care what you know, until they know that you care. I lead by personal example. I would not ask anyone to do something that I would not be willing to do myself. I am a firm believer in delegation whereby I multiply my efforts through delegated responsibilities.

I totally believe in mentoring and team development, which in many respects is discipleship training. I understand that all of us are in places of accountability and responsibility - accepting liability for our own personal actions; at the same time, influencing the growth and development of family and friends. This applies in marriage, parental relationships, the workplace, the church, and in our personal relationship with the Lord. Leadership requires that we must nurture and empower people to become servant-leaders of Christ, endowed with integrity, character, and true commitment. I believe that the three most important elements in nurturing people are good relationships, good relationships, and good relationships. Despite the best laid plans of gifted/talented people to teach leadership training, no long-term successful results will be accomplished without a process of mentoring (training within a context of building relationships). Leadership development best happens within an environment built upon trust, transparency, reciprocal relationships, and spiritual maturity.

Biblical Approach to Management:

In order to have a productive working environment, we must have a biblical approach to management. Secular management is defined by "getting things done through people." The biblical approach to management is "meeting the needs of people as they get things done." Even though the bottom-line is performance, the top-line is people, "the most valuable resource." Maximum productivity is brought about through "people empowerment" and high performance teams.

The organizational climate must be built on trust, free of the fear of failure, good communications, a commitment to common goals, and clear focus on accomplishing God's will. I believe in "participatory management" where everyone is properly trained and
participates in the management of organizational goals and objectives; a place that celebrates and capitalizes on people's strengths. When this happens, teams of people can then move toward a climate defined by the New Testament as a "koinonia" environment, orchestrated by the Holy Spirit to accomplish His purposes for progress and growth of individuals and corporate expressions. This creates a relational synergistic process where people realize that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts - a true expression of the body of Christ.

In order to build a highly efficient staff, an intentional relationship-building process must be initiated through activities and events. Examples would include small group relational development, retreats, fellowship activities, recreational activities, etc. Couple these relational building activities with continuing education events such as seminars and workshop (both in-house and outside conferences) and the beginning of a nurturing process is in place. Notice that I said the beginning. In order to complete the nurturing process, all staff must be involved in a comprehensive course of discipleship training which includes personal growth in their relationship with Christ, proper equipping, and servant-leadership development.

Working Relationship Between a Senior Pastor and Executive Staff:

The senior pastor and executive staff must have a great working relationship defined by times of prayer, relevant conversation, friendship, and commitment to invest into each other's life. The executive staff must be able to partner with the senior pastor in vision, passions and burdens - thus complimenting his leadership role and abilities. Their relationship should be marked by mutuality and a sincere commitment to growth in Christ. They should be friends, comrades in the Lord, and partners in ministry. Their working relationship should be one where both are able to anticipate each other's moves, think in common terms, and trust each other in the ability to make good decisions. They should each flow in non-competitive leadership styles that compliment each other and build each other up in mutual appreciation for Christ's work in each of their lives.

Community and Civic Activities:

The Lord gave me wonderful opportunity to develop relationships with many people in the community. I co-founded S.A.M.M. (Shoals Association of Ministers/Musicians) a non-profit organization in the city of Florence, Alabama that owned and operated the historic Shoals Theatre, nestled in the downtown area of Florence, Alabama. Our organization teamed together with church leaders, Christian recording artists (including Lenny LeBlanc and Will McFarlane), local businesspersons, and civic leaders to help fulfill both community and ministry needs in the Shoals area. Our organization represented one of the most unique relationships any community can appreciate. We worked together with workers and leaders from local churches, civic organizations, businesses, universities, local and private schools - representing people from all walks of life, religious backgrounds, ethnic groups, and various ages. We enjoyed working relationships and partnerships with a multiplicity of non-profit organizations involved in drug rehabilitation, crisis pregnancies, social services, and parachurch activities. We were constantly building new relationships, challenging people with vision for "relational synergism" - people working together for greater purposes realized only through concerted efforts. Simply stated, we helped people see the cooperative "big picture," especially how it related to groups working together . . . accomplishing common goals.

Our building complex included a 1,000-seating capacity auditorium, street level store-front space, and second-story offices. The Shoals
Theatre, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in October of 1998, served the community, the church, and the entire Shoals area as a performing arts, family entertainment, and education center. My leadership role included serving on the Board of Directors as the initial President/CEO. I helped orchestrate the non-profit status, developed the organizational design including the "Advisory Council," and developed ministries staffed by volunteers. I was heavily involved in organizational development, volunteer management, fundraising, grant writing, community awareness, and public relations. The purpose of this organization was to promote unity within the body of Christ as a tangible expression of concerted ministry that impacts an entire city for Christ. I helped facilitate working partnership with different ministries, who moved their offices to our facilities. One was a very successful Christian radio station; the other a widely distributed Christian newspaper. I partnered with a Board of Directors member in the birthing of a school of ministry for young people. I orchestrated a Christian music festival that brought together over 250 volunteers representing 14 different churches. This partnership resulted in 60 young people coming to Christ in a two-day event.

At the theatre we hosted music concerts, youth evangelistic rallies, ecumenical concerts of prayer, exciting praise/worship events, and conferences. We also produced operas and ballets designed to bring non-Christians into a Christ-centered environment. My leadership role in all of this eventually led me into full-time ministry applications in the community. Here I began development of a long-range plan in the evangelization and discipleship of young people in Northwest Alabama. We saw remarkable progress in crossing denominational lines both in black and white churches. Casting vision for change, progress, and futuristic ministry is a delicate process. Battling sacred traditions is an arduous task that requires lots of prayer support, relationship building, and strategic transitional planning. I have found that motivation is a door locked from within. People have the key to lock or unlock the factors that lead to change, progress, and growth. I believe in the power of prayer and relational development to help people overcome personal hindrances in moving forward in new paradigms - changes that would eventually impact their lives in a positive manner.

Much of my leadership role in the community was to cast vision for "relational synergism" and motivate people to mobilize. One prime example was my leadership role in the March for Jesus. For three years I served as March Coordinator (along with a countless number of volunteers) and orchestrated an event that attracted thousands of people from across the Tennessee Valley (Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee). Christians, representing many denominational and non-denominational churches came together on common ground in the Lord, both in area-wide marches (largest in the state of Alabama), ecumenical prayer concerts, and unprecedented praise/worship events. The fires of these spiritual awakenings still simmer today.

For many years I have served as the architect for many "paradigm shift" projects that bring change, progress, and growth. I am often used of the Lord as a "change agent," despite the fact that I am habitual and highly organized. This has caused me both personal satisfaction and personal grief. The Lord is still doing a transforming work in my life, helping me to stay focused in His contemporary ministry designs that speak the relevant language of people's needs in society today. I am frustrated with rhetoric that focuses on outdated traditions and trite solutions to societal problems. This results in a form of insanity: "Doing the same things over and over again…expecting different results." I am thankful for the words of George Barna (noted Christian researcher) who once said, "There are three types of people in the world today: those who make things happen; those who watch things happen; and those
who say 'What happened?'" I like to be among those who make things happen!

Ecumenical Activities:

The Lord gave me great favor in working with many church leaders from many different mainline denominations both in the black and white community. I developed many relationships with pastors, youth leaders, intercessors, and Christian artists from many different churches, parachurch organizations, and ecumenical ministry associations.
These relationships translated into a wide array of "city church" projects that brought unity within the body of Christ at large and facilitated remarkable progress in building relational synergism. Together we formulated strategies for penetrating the community with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We produced concerts, seminars, prayer concerts, retreats, evangelistic projects, crusades, and special projects for the poor. I served in administrative leadership of many of these activities and events. For whatever reason, I was known as "the man who helps transform visions into actions."

Without a doubt, the Lord used this ecumenical platform to help me develop working relationships with hundreds of Christian leaders and workers. I believe that the purpose of this was to cast vision for unity within the body of Christ for the concerted mobilization of resources for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. I have always been a "big picture" person with a passion for impacting communities and cities with the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe the gospel should radiate from the lives of people who in turn touch the lives of others in the community - family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. I also believe that these relationships can translate into a powerful, synergistic expression of Christian ministry that can penetrate every aspect of community life.

Mike's Top 20 Book List:

Basic Christianity by John R. W. Stott
Rediscovering Church by Bill and Lynne Hybels
Be a People Person by John C. Maxwell
Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders
Community 101 by Gilbert Bilezikian
The Community of the King by Howard A. Snyder
Connecting by Lawrence J. Crabb
The New Apostolic Churches by C. Peter Wagner
Where Do We Go from Here? by Ralph W. Neighbor
The Second Coming of the Church by George Barna
Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home by Richard J. Foster
The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
Power Evangelism by John Wimber
The Purpose-Driven Church by Rick Warren
City Reaching: On The Road To Community Transformation
by Jack Dennison
Loving Your City into the Kingdom: City-Reaching Strategies
for a 21st Century Revival
by Ted Haggard and Jack Hayford
Reap the Harvest: How a Small-Group System Can Grow Your Church by Joel T. Comiskey
The Performance Factor: Unlocking the Secrets of Teamwork 
by Pat MacMillan
Top Performance: How To Develop Excellence in Yourself
and Others
by Zig Ziglar
Community That Is Christian: A Handbook on Small Groups
by Julie A. Gorman

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