4. Design Exercise - Day Two


Groups shared their suggestions and identified challenges from Monday’s break-out sessions. A central theme was the importance of identifying common ground to establish the mission and vision of Briner within the Lipscomb Partnership. Opportunities include policy advocacy, allocating funding and resources to students and community artists, promoting education, and providing lasting sustainability through mentorship and follow-through.


Group A:
Influencing Through Education and Research

  • Beyond button pushing to understanding great stories.

  • We need to be courageously Christian, distinctly Christian

    • Film with a critical review is research.

    • Dance recital is creative and scholarly output.

    • What are the white papers we need to present? How can our creative output be research?

    • Marketing matters i.e. how does the film market and distribution work?

    • Generational studies, and data = a research arm

  • Go beyond the silo into brand generational

  • Top Institute for research on story: the best at writing and story for culture, and research on story

  • Challenges:

    • Time and a ton of work: How to split it up?

    • How do we allocate resources?

    • How do we get pinpoint specific?

    • Money money money…

    • Q: What does the Briner Institute do that is unique to itself—in teaching and research—as opposed to just being an arm of Lipscomb University? A: Nurture a culture of research.

  • What is the biology of creativity?

  • Hollywood is looking for great writers who can write pages. Storytelling is still important.

  • “God language” and intentionality versus letting beautiful art speak for itself

  • Research branches out into arts, entertainment, media, culture, markets.

  • Research makes you quotable, relevant, a credible authority, part of the discussion.

  • The partnership with Lipscomb means immersion with people who know how to make incredible things and mentor

  • More on story:


Group B:
Influencing Through Policy

  • We can establish project-based endorsements and mentorships. Possible idea is “Lamb Tank” model, or a take on Shark Tank.

  • Who are the funders and partners?

  • Leslie Burbridge: Money talks

  • Briner people: find our tribe as Roaring Lambs

  • We need a success story. Celebrate those students who have done great things and that radiate passion. Can we enlist celebrities who are powerful voices?

  • Competition and bureaucracy is a negative. A positive is that we can fill a gap, credibly and incredibly. We can influence a culture. There’s the potential for university chapters/franchise opportunities.

  • Research Christians across the board: Catholic, Protestant, multi-denomination, non-denomination, liberal and conservative.

  • Do we need a chief data scientist? How do we hypermarket, get to the granularity of what people want? What people want is the demand. What people in Hollywood want is meeting that demand and what makes money.

  • Faith is at the core of:

    • legal

    • grace

    • tradition

    • culture

    • exploration

    • family

    • courage

    • marketplace

    • culture

  • Bob Briner:

    • It’s areas of influence without a narrow definition.

    • Getting a piece of the elephant.

    • Putting the word of God in it and educating them in Biblical truth.


Group C:
Influencing Through Development of Leaders

There are five “ships” that are key:

  1. Scholarship

    • leveling the playing field for students (2-5 year fellowships and endowments)

    • CCCU: Semesters in LA and Nashville  

  2. Mentorship

    • Can we offer people who are business mentors (regardless of faith)?

    • And spiritual mentors?

    • Roaring Lambs as a devotional curriculum for mentorship

  3. Discipleship  

    • How do we launch them into the world?

  4. Fellowship

    • Briner chapters and connecting people in the city

    • God works in the community and the family

    • L.A. is the city of orphans—the business center and as parents/brothers/sisters in Christ.

  5. Membership

    • Belonging to the group

Group D:
Influencing Through Producing

Sustaining success is: educating, mentoring, funding (student-led publishing, nation, tuition)

We can establish Briner Publishing (or Roaring Lambs Press):

  • Jonathan’s relationship with Simon & Schuster for source material/IP

  • Partner with a film school for sizzle reels, for books, business school for accounting

  • How to avoid propaganda via Briner Institute?

  • This is not a University Press

  • Incubator model: pay it forward

  • Is it done within the rubric of Lipscomb University (and its graduate program)?

  • The Legion M crowd investing community

  • Acting as salt and light for arts funding: support the arts better


Group E:
Funding and Sustainability

What is the stretch plan? And how do we become self-sufficient and successful? A strategic plan determines what is needed for chairs, scholarships, operating activities, etc.

  1. Who are the stakeholders? The currencies are money, time, and voice.

  2. How do we engage them? We need a story to tell. The story has to align to various stakeholders with passion.

  3. Who are the stakeholders?

    • tied to Lipscomb: board, faculty, alumni, students, donors

    • tied to BI: board, advisors

    • others: churches, industry players (secular and non-secular)

    • philanthropists

    • foundations

    • individuals of faith

    • strategic partners

  4. What are the risks and challenges?

    • not true to mission

    • active opposition

    • “getting over our skis”

    • remaining relevant

    • maintaining momentum

  5. what do we plan to do by the year 2525 in terms of the Christian journey?

We need to focus on prayer, direction, impact.


  • Draft a defined statement of faith that Jesus is our savior. But we must respect, appreciate, and value everyone.

  • Create a robust website, facebook, newsletter, with social connections. Have action points.

  • Determine the leadership structure and board.

  • Build a strategic plan and fundraising plan.

  • Pay attention to the education pipeline for the next generation. Create educational certification programs?

  • Market research originating from the educational space (market, performance, scholarship, linking with other colleges)

  • Incentivize “art as research” model.

  • Create a realistic budget.

  • Bring in a different perspective to expand beyond our borders—to partner with a more liberal institution.

  • Every Lipscomb University student should be engaged in the Roaring Lambs philosophy.

  • Inform students who the Roaring Lambs are in their industry.

  • Project manager to facilitate connections.

  • Launch an annual conference.

Special Considerations to:

  • Language used—codifying the common ground

  • The liberty that comes with artistic expression (Trying to control art is difficult.)

  • Complications of art projects that will shape investors

  • Identify Briner Institute: Is it for lambs who don’t roar? Or do?

  • What does “victory” or “progress” look like? (When kids can be competent in their vocation through Christ.)