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Brian Barela
Chico, CA
empowering missional entrepreneurs and ministry starters
Interests: blogging, family, cycling, redemptive change, strategic leadership
Recent Activity
If you are landing on this blog for the first time welcome! I've switched over to Wordpress and am blogging regularly at: Please bookmark this new link to find the most up to date content. Or get blog posts delivered automatically via email. Subscribe to The Necessary Things--Brian Barela's Blog by Email Here's a peek at my new blog: Brian Barela's posts on movement building, ministry starting, leading change, and social media and ministry. Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2010 at The Necessary Things
hey mike thanks for sharing that post! twitter is very much un-explored right now and i love hearing first hand examples of people trying it for ministry!
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agreed and feel your pain on the time thing. time is so precious for staff--especially when you throw in how emotionally draining ministry can be. it's a blog aggregator of a lot of staff blogs--great time saver. feel free to pass it on!
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hey tim wanted to respond publicly as i think sharing w in ccc is such a critical issue. the biggest problem/opportunity from my view is putting everything behind the ccc wall. w out a public url there simply is too much friction to facilitate and encourage sharing resources. i understand the need and value of an internal library/database but building something that encourages sharing is also important. have you seen desiring god's new site? they are doing a great job at this:
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If you are in college ministry you are aware of Facebook's importance but chances are you do not have much of an interest or knowledge of LinkedIn. Adding graduating seniors as connections on LinkedIn provides an additional layer beyond Facebook to stay passively connected. If you are in a large ministry it's a great way to meet and connect with others in a more professional manner. I've benefited significantly from making connections with other staff outside of my region, but similar in career interests. @chrisbrogan a lot of people i know don't know how to determine someone's worth on linkedin--what... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2010 at The Necessary Things
Even though I'm an early adopter I often use new tools the same way I use old tools. Check out this short video of a San Francisco artist using an iPad to sketch. Hope this inspires you to branch out and be creative this week! Can't see the video? Click here to watch it on YouTube. One related post from my blog is 6 Reasons Why You Should Think Through Your Video Presence. Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2010 at The Necessary Things
thanks @destinoeric for discovering and sharing this with me: Going to the Campus Crusade for Christ Club (CCfCC for not short) meeting today. Their perfection scares me a little, but I will persevere.less than a minute ago via txt Julia Q QQKachoo It's impossible to prevent new student's from feeling this way but as leaders we can definitely create an environment that engages and welcomes them once they arrive. For me it's a sober reminder of how much energy it takes for a new person to come to any Campus Crusade event. Have you ever used Twitter or any other... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2010 at The Necessary Things
just saved both of those links ross. thanks! the thing i'm working on related to this is how i can double down in terms of time and energy on blogging-it's natural for me to do but in order to grow i need to add a new layer of organization that will keep me focused and provide a rich source of ideas from which to draw. hope you're doing well! still following your tweets.
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that's very cool. besides the book you mentioned is there any other content you would recommend?
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"I think the Mozilla Organization has gradually reverted back to its old ways of being too timid, passive and consensus-driven to release breakthrough products quickly."--Blake Ross, co-founder of Firefox the web browser, quoted from this Techcrunch blog post Have to strongly agree on consensus driven decision making--have yet to experience any fruit from that process that results in significant forward movement. Have you led a breakthrough recently? Would love to hear about it! photo courtesy of gilderic Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2010 at The Necessary Things
i'm pretty sure i blogged about that, but if not have definitely considered the same thing. we would retain more students during college and equip them more effectively for their future...
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that is very cool. will check into it!
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no. just bookmarked their site. do you know if any of their work would translate to within an organization?
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Are you or a select few in your ministry doing the translating? By translating I mean communicating both in word and deed the mission, vision, and values to new people and non-leaders? Wycliffe's website states that it can take from ten to twenty years to translate the New Testament--your new people and non-leaders do not have that long to "get it." I love this short video from Socialnomics guru Erik Qualman on the power of social media. Facebook let its users translate their site from English to Spanish--instead of taking a few years and costing hundreds of thousands of dollars... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2010 at The Necessary Things
sure josh!
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hey josh thanks for your comments and sharing your experience. we actually have the same experience--although our upperclassmen studies are coed, there is significantly more single sex breakout times that happens there compared to the freshmen. drilling a little deeper it wasn't just the gender that was the issues, it was the size--by making our groups co-ed we doubled and even tripled the size of them, creating more social energy and momentum. you mentioned the difference in upper classmen vs freshmen--i would disagree when you say "the same students" because frosh and sophs are much different than upperclassmen. had our ministry focused on upperclassmen we probably would have went the same route you did and have found effective. thanks again for commenting!
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Creativity x Organization = Impact I enjoy the points the presenter makes about harnessing organization to drive creativity into useful and effective strategies, products, etc. It surprised me to learn that Apple is in the top three of the world's best supply chain management companies. Not only are they creative but highly organized and effective. I'm taking a couple things under consideration after watching: 1. Where am I most creative/innovative? What sort of organizational tools, tips, or strategies can I grow in to grow my impact? 2. Where is my organization most organized? How can I bring/facilitate/share creative ideas and... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2010 at The Necessary Things
New leaders tend to rely on old things when designing a ministry structure. It's natural and wise to look backwards at the outset but a failure to adapt to the present and engage the future will lead to a mediocre or average ministry long-term. Looking back at my five years at Chico State I wished I had considered these three L's more intentionally as I helped design our ministry structure: Locals: Understanding the idiosyncrasies of those you lead to me is the most important factor in designing a ministry structure. We switched from single-sex to co-ed bible studies after my... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2010 at The Necessary Things
thanks dude. didn't eat lunch in preparation for tonight!
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Have you spent hours evaluating an event only to have all that valuable data stored on a Word document that never gets opened again? Me too. Lots of times. Google calendar provides a description box in every event that you can use to place this kind of information on repeating events (which I'm assuming your spending the most time evaluating anyway). If you have information in Word you can copy and paste the data, but if you are using Google docs then you can copy and paste the url in the description, raising your effectiveness to the next level :)... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2010 at The Necessary Things
pretty sure that's how they are defining a movement--a staff/leader and 5 aligned students. i think if we worried less about the five and more about the one we would have a lot more movements.
1 reply this applies to guy's questions as well. love andrew chen by the way. if you use rss you should add him to your feeds. "So, the minimum viable product is that product which has just those features (and no more) that allows you to ship a product that resonates with early adopters; some of whom will pay you money or give you feedback."--andrew chen quoting eric ries. ministries are started on the backs of leaders--so the minimum viable product of any ministry start-up is 1 leader besides yourself. i think ccc and our focus on 5 aligned is even too big when thinking about what it actually looks like to start something up on the field. in looking for 5 you might miss or not be able to invest well in the 1 key leader that is going to lead the ministry in the future. i saw that at ucla--i had 3 leaders, but 1 extremely gifted and capable leader--had i spent my efforts trying to get 2 more instead of pour into him and the other two i might have compromised the launch.
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hey guy my favorite example for personal experience happened when i was seeking to start a ministry to latino students at ucla. my dream was to start a full blown ministry/movement--a wise ccc staff leader encouraged me to start a bible study. for me it's little shifts in the way we think about new ministry ventures that cause a lot of forward momentum. had i held on to the dream of a ministry i would have failed to start a bible study. i heard the phrase "minimum viable product" in one of my blogs--i like thinking of ministry start-ups that way--sometimes it's a bible study, other times it's a semi-frequent mtg w a certain group of students, etc. from your ministry efforts what is a common "start-up" that you have seen? have you seen more "macro" start-ups (a college ministry) or "micro" (a sub-ministry of an existing one)? thanks for the comment!
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I shot this video at SXSWI during a seminar on social games. I've learned a lot about how to make day to day ministry more engaging by listening to and reading about game mechanics. "Typically we launch at the 10% mark"--My favorite quote: "You'd rather know early if this is not the right direction"--Second favorite quote The sooner you launch the sooner you can figure out the intersection between your vision and the local reality. I've seen ministries get off the ground quickly because they were able to shed their initial plans and dreams and start to work with reality... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2010 at The Necessary Things
thanks for the link dude! and for the great post. i feel piled on when i feel like there are multiple summers--raising money, leading the family, and leading a ministry. i know exactly what this proverb alludes to though--there are clearly times that the Lord provides for intentional effort in a specific area.
Toggle Commented May 10, 2010 on "Steady Goes It" Proverbs 10:5 at Wise Guy