Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

A New Year

A new year is always an opportunity to look into the future and imagine new possibilities. On January 1st, everything seems possible, much like every baseball team has a chance to win it all in spring training.

I don't make what I consider resolutions, but I do enjoy setting fresh goals and choosing new areas of focus. Life is wonderful in that every year presents new challenges and so much room for improvement. This year promises to be even more significant than most as it is the year that I will turn 35, my son will turn 10, and I will celebrate 5 years as a Fellowship Church staff member. Here's my personal and professional list for 2005.

Allow Fellowship groups to connect through technology

There are hundreds of different groups at Fellowship that would like communicate online, from home-based small groups to teams of volunteers to staff projects. These are groups that are already formed and stay connected currently through email and face-to-face meetings. We have been looking at a number of different solutions to enable greater online interaction, but have yet to find a complete, elegant solution. If we wait much longer, they will find their own solutions.

Build blogs and RSS into FC

This almost goes without saying, but though weblogs have begun to spread within Fellowship, we are only at the very beginning of the process. In 2005, each of our sites needs to utilize RSS wherever possible. Also, blogs need to be launched both internally and externally to truly impact our organization for the better.

Integrate

I view the web ministry as responsible for three things: Content, Communication, and Commerce.

At the start of this year, we have four websites and with our two additional campuses, essentially six. Our current systems simply do not scale. If we want to post an article highlighting the Christmas Eve services, we have to do that four different times in four different ways. If we want to offer the Christmas Eve services DVD online, there are multiple e-commerce mazes to negotiate.

We must streamline this process, centralize the infrastructure and decentralize the management.

Stop mentioning Scoble incessantly

Inconceivable! I did it again :)

Focus more, multi-task less

I have arrived at the point where I feel a little lost if I'm only doing one thing, whether at work or at home. This is great for a certain kind of productivity, but definitely not for everything. In fact, I'm sure this is related to my thoughts on books below as it is nearly impossible to do anything else while you read a book.

The challenges at church are requiring more in-depth thinking and fewer surface-level decisions. I must carve out time to drop the many distractions and focus.

On the other side of my life, my family deserves my undivided attention. If I'm only going to be with Ben for 2.5 hours a day, the least I can do is turn off the gadgets and turn off my mind and be there, with him.

Read a book each month

The more I read weblogs, the harder it has become to read books. Whenever I have a few minutes, fresh posts are waiting for me on an almost unlimited number of topics. A 300-page book on a single idea or moment in history can seem a little disheartening in comparison. Nevertheless, I miss the depth of books and the mind-expanding possibilities that come from investing the time and effort.

Write a post each day

This has been my goal since I launched this site in April and so far I have been successful. For me, writing is something I need to be challenged to do or the site would quickly gather dust. Thankfully, as time has gone by, it has become more of a habit, but I still need the commitment. I have never regretted the time I have invested.

Learn grace in parenting

Children are not perfect. Repeat. Children are not perfect.

There is a very fine line between teaching and training your child and critiquing their every action and utterance. I would like to err more on the side of grace this year. Thank God (literally) our heavenly father is far more forgiving.

Happy New Year to all!