Thursday, August 17, 2006


If you've ever read "Good to Great" (Jim Collins), you're familiar with what I'm going to say next.

It's time to get the right people on the bus.

I mean, so far, it's awesome being here in Atlanta and learning from the North Point team. But there are 200-some folks working here and just one of me. And in some small way, each one of those jobs needs to be replicated in Jacksonville. We need really sharp people to lead in production, kids & preschool, youth ministry, groups, administration, care, communications, host teams, resources, and more. Other partnership have started with 50-100 volunteers in place. That's a lot of folks to recruit, inspire, train, and manage.

There are some key staff positions that we need to fill in the weeks ahead. Very high on my list are the areas related to family ministry—preschool, kids, middle school, and high school. If you have good leads, tell them to shoot me a resume at rich {dot} barrett {at} northpoint {dot} org.

We'll also need someone on staff to help with administration and coordinating groups. And we'll need lots and lots of volunteers.

Which brings me back to Jim Collins. Whether paid or volunteer, the most important key is to make sure we have the right people. People who clearly understand our mission and direction, and are intensely passionate about leading people into growing relationships with Christ. As you talk about this church with others, keep an eye out for the "right people." We need them!

It takes a team to fulfill a dream. -Rich Warren

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


One of the coolest things about starting something from scratch is the ability to develop an identity for the entity. This involves the name and logo and materials, but is so much broader than that. I really enjoy the way Marty Neumeier describes it in, "The Brand Gap."

"If you strech the concept of tribe just a little, you can see that a brand creates a kind of tribe. Depending on your Unique Buying State, you can join any number of tribes on any number of days and feel part of something bigger than yourself. You can belong to the Callaway tribe when you play golf, the VW tribe when you drive to work, and the Williams-Sonoma tribe when you cook a meal. You're part of a select clan (or so you feel) when you buy products from these clearly differentiated companies."

I think a church reaches this point when it has clearly differentiated itself from other Sunday options. So, two people discussing their church might be heard to say, "Are you going to North Point on Sunday?" as opposed to "Are you going to church Sunday?" In other words, the product is so different from the typical product in the category that it becomes a category in and of itself.

People might say, "Can I borrow your iPod?" or "Let's grab some Starbucks," which are functionally the same as saying "mp3 player" or "coffee" but from the perspective of tribe are very different.

So, how does a new church effectively differentiate itself from other Sunday options? Post your comments!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Red Rock Rocks!

I was fortunate enough to go along with a team of encouragers last night for the launch of Red Rock in Colorado Springs, CO. They are the eighth strategic partner to launch, and they did a great job! Steve Fee and his band led worship, and lead pastor Paul Reinhardt did a great job introducing the model and Andy's sermon.

About 150 adults were in worship, plus kiddies in Waumba and Upstreet. It was very well executed, and both a huge challenge and encouragement for me to see. Way to go, guys!

House Un-sold!

Well, it seems that our buyers in Ohio have had second thoughts about the house, and we've agreed to let them out of the contract. So, we're back to square one. That contract was by-owner, so now we'll need to list with a realtor. Given the fact that the school year has started, we will probably have to drop our price as overall it's not the best of news. God's in charge though, and we hold the whole housing situation with an open hand, waiting to see what he'll do next. Please pray for the right buyers, the right house in Jacksonville, and for our complete submission to his timing!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Mountain Time

Next to the chance to observe ministries at North Point, the best thing about living in Atlanta has to be that we are only a few hours from the mountains and our favorite lake. So, we seized the opportunity to run up there for a couple of days. No cell phones, no email, just family and some of our favorite Ohio friends. Ahh...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Interning at North Point

Some of you have asked, "What exactly are you doing in Atlanta for three months?" The short answer is, "drinking from a firehose."

I'll spend the next couple of posts explaining what's going on here for us. Let me start with the learning component.

1. Experiencing the North Point environments. This runs the gamut...Sunday morning worship services at Alpharetta, Buckhead, and Browns Bridge, as well as each of the nearby partnerships...KidStuf, 7|22, MarriedLife Live, GroupLink, Inside Out, well, you get the idea. And not just here, but visiting the strategic partners whenever they launch a new environment. This weekend several of us will go up to Red Rock in Colorado Springs to encourage them for their first Sunday service.

2. Attend staff meetings. This includes a weekly all-staff meeting, as well as meetings with the Campus Expansion team. It also means sitting in on meetings related to service programming, groups, care, admin, kids & youth ministries, and more. Observing the culture of how events and ministries are engineered, executed, and evaluated.

3. Building relationships with staff. This can't be overstated. I have a rare window of opportunity that is not to be repeated, where I get to hang out by the water cooler and see up close how the organization is managed. This component has been fascinating and very rewarding. It's a chance to be "backstage" at North Point—and I'm here to tell you these people are the real deal. Already I've been privileged to see the staff here deal with some unusual circumstances, like the resignation of Reggie Joiner, and how they've processed and handled that. I've been thoroughly impressed.

4. Observe and question the culture. Tonight I attended my first MTR meeting, where they selected individuals from the MTR to be a part of the elder selection team. North Point's constitution is unusual, and it's cool to see it in motion as I contemplate writing the consitution for our new church in Jacksonville.

5. Reading. Lots of good stuff has been recommended by the leadership team here—mostly books on leadership and management, but stuff more directly related to church, as well. Right now I'm reading Andy's new book, "Communicating for a Change," and a quick read by Patrick Lencioni called, "The 5 Temptations of a CEO."

6. Evaluating North Point resources. Beginning now to select sermons that we will use in 2007, and determining the sequence.

As you can imagine, 13 weeks starts to look like a very, very short period of time. So much to learn and observe, so many relationships to build. We would love to stay longer, except for one thing...we can't wait to get to Jacksonville!!

Jacksonville Bound!

Stephanie and I are so excited about what God is doing in Jacksonville. In the last year He has mobilized a group of individuals with a vision to lead thousands in the city into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. We’ve recently been invited to join in this exciting adventure, and this blog is simply an effort to keep everyone up-to-speed on this developing church.

House sold!

We're so pumped to announce that our house in Akron has sold! We can now focus on buying a home in Jacksonville and really investing in the community there. We made one trip to Jacksonville last weekend to look at houses and meet with a few of the core team, and we'll probably be back soon. We're so thrilled that God provided the right buyer at the right time. Join us in thanking Him!