Lead Pastor Retreat

Can you remember playing junior high basketball? Now, imagine if, as a junior high basketball player, you were invited to hang out with LeBron and a few other all-stars for a couple of days!

Well, I’ve just returned from 48 hours at the beautiful Brasstown Valley Resort with the likes of Andy Stanley, John Woodall, Jeff Henderson, 10 other lead pastors, and the NPMI campus expansion team. What a great time! We spent a lot of time discussing tactical issues, but balanced that with some fantastic sessions led by John and Jeff on life balance and being men of wisdom. Some very practical tools were discussed, and some great time was spent focusing on the application of Psalm 1.

I come away more humbled than ever that God has chosen to given us this church in Jacksonville to care for and encouraged that He has great things in store! Please continue to pray for the rest of the team that He is calling and for the transition to Jacksonville in just a few weeks.… Read the rest

Posted October 15, 2006


Rich and I finished the Catalyst conference this past week. I’ve got nothing but great stuff to report. So, here’s my “Reading Rainbow” update.

We got to the first day just in time for some amazing worship and the first keynote speaker, Andy Stanley. As if it needs to be said, he was great. Rich commented that he could go home right then—that just hearing what Andy had to say was worth the trip. I talked him into sticking around for a little while longer.

The two days were a great mix of information, food for thought, and entertainment. When we arrived for the second day, we were all met with pillows on our seats. We set a new world record for the biggest pillow fight. After lunch, all 10 thousand of us were armed with rubber balls in order to take on the current dodgeball champions (which happened to be a team of youth pastors).

This was my first Catalyst conference, and it certainly won’t be my last.… Read the rest

Posted October 10, 2006


Catalyst starts this week in Duluth, and Rob and I will be soaking in sessions with great presenters like Andy Stanley, John Maxwell, Marcus Buckingham, Eugene Petersen, Louie Giglio, Donald Miller, John Stott, Rick McKinley, George Barna, Kevin Carroll, and Gary Haugen. What’s not to like? See you at the Arena!… Read the rest

Posted October 4, 2006

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Posted October 3, 2006

The Big Move

A delayed flight has Peyton and I arriving in Akron at 1:00am tonight, but our spirits are not dampened! We’re excited to see our Akron friends again, really excited to have a road trip with some of the best friends a guy could hope for, and for having a place in Jacksonville to call “home” and unpack our belongings.

We’ll get a U-Haul truck tomorrow (Thursday), run a few errands, and get things organized for the load-in. Hopefully by Friday afternoon we’re all loaded up and we can hit the road for Jacksonville. We’ll drive straight through the night, and arrive at the house we’re renting around mid-day on Saturday. Load-out should go fairly quickly (we’ll take any help we can get!) and then we can get some much-needed sleep Saturday night. Sunday we’d like to do something fun on the water while Stephanie drives down with the rest of the kids. Dinner together Sunday evening, before Eric, Dave, and Anthony drive back to Ohio (through the night).… Read the rest

Posted September 13, 2006

Service Programming Director

It’s with great fondness that Stephanie and I welcome Rob & Beth Lott to our budding staff family! We’ve known Rob since he was in junior high and we’re still amazed at his ability win our hearts on and off the stage. Somehow, he won Beth’s heart as well, (a great mystery to be further explored) and the two of them have been married for four years, now. Rob & Beth have been in Orlando and Tokyo for the last five years in various entertainment roles with Walt Disney, and Sea World. Rob’s role in the church will be to make our environments irresistible, particularly Sunday mornings. While Rob will not be directly leading worship from the stage, he will be indirectly leading us in worship as he plans and executes the myriad details of creating foyer environments with excellence.

Rob & Beth are looking forward to joining us in Alpharetta for the next few weeks and then on to Jacksonville.… Read the rest

Posted September 5, 2006

Choosing to Cheat

We’re two weeks past Leadership Summit, and I’ve enjoyed reading some of the buzz out there about Andy’s talk at the Summit.

In case you missed out, Willow Creek sponsors a huge leadership training event each August in South Barrington, IL. Hundreds of churches around the world pick it up on satellite, and something like 70,000 people watch it live. This year, Andy chose to share his ‘best leadership decision ever’, also detailed in his book, “Choosing to Cheat.”

It’s a message desperately needed in our culture today. He essentially says that we’re trading in our families for work, and that includes pastors. Some time ago he and Sandra settled on a 45-hour work week, and devotes the rest to family.

Now, I come from a really great, really healthy church. But, this was not the culture there! Our senior pastor worked 70+ hours a week, and the bar was clearly set for the rest of us. Everyone on ministry staff was expected to work 52-60 hours, and take only one day off each week.… Read the rest

Posted September 4, 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.… Read the rest

Posted August 17, 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.… Read the rest

Posted August 15, 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!… Read the rest

Posted August 14, 2006

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 well…so 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!… Read the rest


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…… Read the rest

Posted August 12, 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.… Read the rest

Posted August 9, 2006

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.… Read the rest


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!… Read the rest

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