Thursday, July 31, 2008

Top Blog Series

Often I write blog posts in series. I think it is mainly because I like to expound on a subject and not cram it all into one long post.

My top three viewed blog series, which also have many posts that are the top viewed posts of all time on my blog are:

1) Triple Your Youth Ministry In One Year
2) Developing A Preaching Calendar
3) Acts 1:8 Church

A couple of my series that are my personal favorites are:
These two often describe the message I am trying to move forward into people. Just thought I would take a little stroll down memory lane with you because I know with over 1,000 posts, I have a lot of blog history on here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Announcement Video

Here was the announcement video that was shown at our Corpus campus announcing our first week.

My Campus Goals

Here are some of my goals as the Pastor of our Bay Area Fellowship 5 Points campus:

Effectively Reach The Surrounding Community
It's the whole Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria effect. We are here to reach the 5 Points community. Our goal is to put a 1o mile circle around our campus and work hard to make that a spiritual hedge from darkness. We want to make that circle the hardest place to go to hell in all of Corpus. We are going to own it. Our many years of ministry have been ultimately about this one thing and I see our church being about it as well.

To Be A Campus Where Everyone Is Cared For
This is going to be a fun and tough goal. It will take a great team. It won't be a one man show. I truly believe people will stay at a church where they truly feel the love of Christ. We will have to be intentional and make sure people do not fall through the cracks.

Create An Irresistible and Fun Work Environment

I've worked on many church staffs where I actually wondered why I was working there. There was no family excitement. We have the greatest message why not have a work environment that is infused with excitement. My role is to be our staffs biggest cheerleader and make sure they are developed to the highest level.

To Be A Pace-Setter
Our campus may not be the largest in the country. It may not have cost millions to get it started. But I believe it can lead the pace. I want to be the best campus pastor and our campus be the best in our organization, in the state and in the country. I feel the people I lead deserve that. I also want Bay Area's multi-site initiative to become a leader in this arena. It is one of my goals to help it become that.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Connect In Your Delivery

Last week I began talking about why delivery in a church message is so important. You can catch up with "It Was In The Delivery" and "Why Delivery Is So Important" if you missed those two.

So let's go about fixing it a little.

Remember we are not trying to take away from the fact that the Holy Spirit and the Word of God our crucial. What we are attempting to do is make sure we don't get in the way of them doing what they need to do.

One of the first important factors that you can do with your message is CONNECT your audience to it. This can be done by story telling, asking questions, relating it to what they may be going through.

Answer Why
Connecting helps fill in the question of "WHY". From an audience perspective, why do I need to hear this.

The answer is more than "cause it's church and you need to hear the Word of God."

When you sit down to prepare your message, you must realize you have a variety of people, age groups and situations they are going through. Why specifically do each of them need to hear this particular message? If you will start with that in mind you will already begin to connect.

Tell Stories
Telling Stories not only relates but helps them connect with you the speaker. One thing I usually do is try to tell a story from my life that relates to the topic. That way they will see that I have gone through it or they will get to know me a little better. I will usually start out with a life story to try to relate the message with my life.

Ask Questions
It is ok to ask questions of your audience. Now these are rhetorical questions. They are meant to get them to think about situations they have gone through that leads them into the why this is so important for them to hear. You can do this with the variety of age groups and demographic differences. Remember the more you connect them into the why the more they will actually listen.

It is more than just being a great personality. You don't have to think you need to be a great personality to begin being a great speaker. I have heard many speakers that don't necessarily have a great charismatic personality yet what they spoke it was powerful.

Begin connecting your audience in your message so they will know the "Why" to why they are listening.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Second Week Down

So here I am...about to be one of those gushy pastors who brags on their church. Yep...I sure am because even after two weeks in I have one of the most awesome teams there is.

Here are some pics of week two:

Our First Day Welcome

In case you didn't make our first was our welcome from Pastor Bil Cornelius.

Out Of The Box

"If you want to reach people that no one else is reaching, you must do something that no one else is doing."

That is a great quote from Craig Groeschel the pastor of It is interesting that so often pastors will go off and start a church and do what others are doing to try and reach those that aren't being reached. They often feel it will work because they are different from their last pastor.

I often wonder if we are just replicating a mediocre attempt to pacify our own need as church leaders to be in control. Do we think that just cause "we" do it, God is going to use us?

If people who are not being reached are already not coming to our churches what makes anyone think these people will come just because they start a church.

There are ways of doing church that God is going to bless that no one yet has thought of. We are on the cusp of what God wants to do. We must be willing to go outside of our box to do it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Why Is Delivery So Important

If I didn't run everyone off with my last post thinking, "who does this guy think he is", we are going to get into it with this post and some others, with some practical ways to deliver your message.

But I have to ask the question, "Why is it so important to have a good delivery when speaking?" "If it's the Word of God isn't it enough?"

Those are great questions and in reality the truth is, God's Word was written simply enough that everyone can understand it. At least the Gospel is...

So if it is simple enough why do we need to have a great delivery?

A Great Delivery Brings Clarity
I've been in many churches where I've actually walked out and said what in the world was he talking about. Now if after being a Christian and a pastor for 14 years that happens to me, what about someone walking in for the first time? Or what about someone who is young in the faith?

A Great Delivery Connects The Message
Stories and questions are great ways to give people a reason to listen and connect them to what you are talking about.

A Great Delivery Applies It
Even some of the best speakers miss this. When a person walks away do they know how to apply all the information.

Because Eternity Is On The Line
You may not get a second chance at an unchurched person in your church. It is proven that on Sunday's is when the people visit churches....people who are unchurched and who don't have a relationship with Christ. Yes, God's Word is enough in itself but even in His Word it says they can't hear unless someone preaches to them.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It Was In The Delivery

This is going to come out very harsh...BUT...I'm going to say it anyway.

I don't like how many pastors/preachers "preach/teach" because frankly...they are boring not very good.

OUCH...I told let me tell you why I say that. A lot of pastors/preachers think that all they have to do is pull out a Scripture and talk about it. The thought is, "It's the Word of God and that is enough."

Technically, I have no problem with the Word of is alive and rich. Every time I pick it up I can read something I have read before and get something new.

The problem comes not in the Word but in the delivery system. A bad speaker can get in the way of the great Word of God. You may not want to hear that. You may not like that. You may not agree with is a reality.

I can already hear your fact I already know most of the ones you will probably say but I'm gonna open the floor to you anyway...PLUS...I really want to dig into this one a little bit.

Let's talk through the message and work on some of the mechanics.


[photo credit]

Monday, July 21, 2008

5 Points Dream Video

Check out our Bay Area Fellowship 5 Points campus one May July 19th. We showed this on our first Sunday worship experience.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A New Beginning Bay Area 5 Points

Today, July 20th @ 10 a.m. begins a new chapter for our campus. We have been madly working since May 9th with hundreds if not thousands of volunteer man hours to open our Bay Area Fellowship 5 Points campus.

Today was a huge success for our soft opening. Let me give you a run down.
  • 121 people...with no advertising and really without us telling anyone. This blew me away. Especially since our grand opening/ribbon cutting is at the end of August.
  • Band did an excellent job even though they were not able to practice as much due to us finishing up the campus last night...but that is why we are doing a soft launch. This week they actually get to get in there with our sound techs and we will pull it together tightly. The great task is merging the sound and the music/voices. That takes time together.
  • We had a parking plan and our guys out there pulled it off...seeing how we don't have an actual parking lot we had to have a plan and it worked.
  • Sound ended up having a speaker decide to unplug itself half of the way through the was one that was about 10 ft over the stage so we couldn't trouble shoot it until after. Still have to figure this one out.
  • Children's area looked were having fun and learning. Our Bay Area Kidz workers did great.
  • Our greeters created a wonderful and friendly atmosphere.
  • Did I say I was blown away by the response???? And we haven't really told anyone. Crazy...
  • As a fun side story...last night one of our volunteers went to pick up food and a couple in there overheard we were doing the church. They ended up following her and catching her at a light to ask where the church was....they came out and took a tour and then volunteered to help today as greeters. I love it when a plan comes together.
  • I love leading in the trenches...I often think it wins the hearts of your volunteers. Over the past three days I think I worked around 36 did many of our volunteers and it paid off...the campus looked great...I was really unsure if we would get those layers of grime and dirt out...but we did and it was money.
  • We are actually redeeming this one time it was an adult game room that got busted. It was all over the news. The original property had a bar at one time which has been torn down many years ago. It is so exciting to know that this property is now going to be used for the Kingdom of God. The best is yet to come.
  • Pastor John coming out today was great...he got sick this week and it was all his wife could do to tie him down and keep him from coming to was driving him crazy. He has been out here almost every day of this process working to make this dream a reality.
  • Pastor Bil gave us a great shout out in the video...our campus was pumped. And the message was so on point. I got so much out of it. Who says a video campus doesn't work.
Here is a little slide show of the day:

Many thanks go out to all of the people who helped all along the way.

{UPDATE} Just got a call this morning that six people checked off that they prayed to begin a relationship with Christ on our first Sunday. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

KJV or Bust

Is it me...or are there any others out there who find it extremely hard to read the King James Version.

I know there are people out there that argue it is the only version we should it even in English. Maybe I'm under-educated and just don't know some of those words. Maybe it's because I just can't understand the old English. All that and I've pastored for 14 years.

Am I the only one that struggles with it?

[photo credit]

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Desire To Reach People

Personally, I don't fight back the desires that I know God has placed in me. Fifteen years ago I would not have cared a single bit about someone going to a church and following Christ. Now, that's a different story.

The desire to reach as many people as possible is not a desire that I came up with on my on. It's not about a show. It's not about being famous.

It honestly comes from a desire to help others move from one road in life to a better road. I have know hundreds of people who have had their lives changed. I'm also one of those people who changed roads. It is not about us being "right". It is about helping people see what they may not already see.

Some people say as a pastor I just need to be content and let God bring in those He will bring in. Personally I don't see that. He said, "Go into all the world". He said, "bring them in." (I know that second example is within a parable, but "for me" I take that one personally as a charge to bring in people to church.)

I don't want to push my giftings on any other person reading this...but...I don't think it is about giftings as much as it is about COMMAND. That is why we do what we is why I push so is why we must reach this world.

Honestly if every church would wake up and just go for it...well I'll leave you to wonder about what the results might be.

[photo credit]

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Launching Sunday

I'm so excited...this Sunday July 20th we are launching our campus. We still have lots of work to do to get it ready but the time is now and it is here.

Be praying for us and believing great things. The two zip codes our campus is near combined have near 50,000 people. 16,000 of which are teens and children. What that means is there is lots of ministry out here. Lots of people who are not in church and who I believe are ready for a church like ours.

We have lots planned and have a grand opening/ribbon cutting set for August 24th. Much thanks to everyone who has worked on our campus....the best is yet to come.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Go To or Come See

When it comes to evangelism there are two perspectives...wait...there are two ways it can happen.

Go To
In practically all of the Gospels, Jesus said "GO". We are commanded to go into the world, to be the salt and the light. When it comes to evangelism as it pertains to the church, we must go out.

Come See
The flip side is "Come See". Philip told Nathaniel to come see for himself what was happening. I think that is huge as well. Many people say evangelism should all take place outside the church. I don't feel that is even a totally biblical point.

This is huge for a church. If you can effectively equip your people to go out and tell people to come see, you can reach your community.

Question is what are we giving them to come and see? Are they seeing the gospel in action? Are they seeing lives being changed? Are we effectively developing them to live a life of purpose?


[photo credit by]

Thursday, July 10, 2008

BAF 5 Point Work Night Video

Here is a video that Brandon Cunningham, the Men's Ministry Director for Bay Area Fellowship made at our July 9th work night.

We have more to do and are pushing to begin our soft launch on July 20th....PUMPED is an understatement.

Bay Area Fellowship and Multi-Site

One of the "challenges" or "complaints" that is often heard from around the country when it comes to multi-site ministry goes something like this.

"You big mega-churches are just moving in to steal all the people out of the churches in this area and are going to put them out of business."

First and foremost, let me tell you that from our perspective at Bay Area Fellowship and from many other churches who also have campuses around the country this statement is so far from the truth that it is absurd.

Pastor Bil Cornelius wrote about this in a post called "No More Competition". Here's a little excerpt:
addressing a concern that someone has that Bay Area is going into new areas with video-venues and are going to “steal people from other churches.” The truth is, and I mean this in a good way….we don’t want them! Long term Christians who either grew up in church or have been a faithful part of another ministry typically give us problems, because they keep comparing where they came from with where they are now. They almost always complain about our worship style, insist our small groups function like the “Sunday school” they used to attend, and wonder when the pastor will get “deeper” for them. As they are complaining, someone (either a member or a pastor) will challenge them to serve, lead a group, and tithe (which they almost always do not do!) and then they leave in a huff, angry that we did not “meet their needs.”
Pastor John Atkinson who leads our churches multi-site strategy wrote a great post called "Taking New Ground". This explains a lot of the reason of our "why".

Tough thing is...we can't control how other churches handle it or how they criticize what we are doing. We can only manage our motives. I can tell you the motive for our campus is to reach out to the un-churched population that is already out here.

There are more than 50,000 people within about 15 miles of our church. In that number includes around 16,000 teens and children. There is no way that our church can do it by ourselves anyway. We are not coming out here to shut down any churches. That would be counterproductive anyway. Our purpose is to simply make a difference in this area.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

What A Difference A Year Makes

My wife is hijacking my blog today as we reflect where God has taken us since this time last year. Enjoy her post.

What a difference a year makes.....heard it so many times and thought honestly does that really happen?

Well I can officially, honestly, and whole heartily say, "WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES"

If anyone would have said this to me last year I would have laughed. I mean laughed hysterically to the point of tears. I would have never thought that we would be at this place in one's years time.

Let me say that I know God is capable of above and beyond anything I can comprehend. I also know to dream bigger then my little brain can wrap itself around but, this time last year didn't feel this way.

I knew God had nothing to do with what happened but it was hard to see through the storm. Little did I know that God in His infinite wisdom had big plans for our lives.

It has been a year now since we left our last church. It's no secret it was not in the best of terms and it was not by our choosing. Many things have come out of that time in our lives. We were able to take a step back and realize that God is not a controlling, manipulating God nor is He arrogant or prideful. He is a God of choices, love, and mostly great humanity. He showed us how much He loved us and how much He believed in us.

After the storm cleared, the sun starting to shine again. We got the awesome privilege of meeting some great friends along the way. People who were unpretentious and love God with all their hearts. Pastor John Atkinson came into our lives and Pastor Bil Cornelius and his beautiful family took us under their wings and allowed us to heal and gain our confidence back. They loved us through the not so pretty times and accepted us right where we were. We were able to see Jesus in them and a new picture of what it meant to be the family of Christ.

We started to see God in a different way. A way of great patience, great love, and most of all a true hunger for the lost. Many churches say they want to reach the lost but it has been my experience that that is not so. It actually is the furthest from the truth. What they really wanted is to keep God in a box and pad there lifestyles. For the most part they just loved the control and the position not the people.

I know it seems harsh but it is what it is. Sometimes the truth is staring you in the face but most people choose to ignore it. I guess in some ways it's easier for them that way.
I guess you can say they are deceived?

I always want to be known as someone who challenges the truth and never compromises no matter what the cost. We can look the other way for convenience but at some point it does and it will affect you. It will affect you in your walk or even in your relationships. After all it's the covering your sitting under that sets the tone for all you do.

In saying all that I came to one realization that God loves me beyond my comprehension. I also know that we are at a place in our lives that we are totally in love with.

It is the satisfaction of knowing God is for you and the satisfaction of having His favor on your life. In the storm he built character, in the storm He built confidence, and in the storm He brought us home.

In a few weeks we are launching Bay Area 5 Points and I cannot put into words the excitement I feel. The anticipation is ridiculous. I literally feel like I am bursting at the seems......How crazy is that? In all the years of ministry, never have I felt such peace and joy over what I was doing. I can honestly say I found peace at BAF.

We have an amazing support system. Pastor John has been amazing and Pastor Bil Cornelius in one of the most amazing leaders known to mankind. Anyone who says differently is seriously just a hater...LOL...if you knew the man, you would see what I mean.

He is truly a humble guys who simply loves God and surrounds himself with people who love God too.

So in saying what a different a year makes!!!! We are launching in two weeks and grand opening in August and boy are we going to take this town by storm.............I advise you to hold on to your seats.........

With God all things are possible and with great leaders at the helm they get even better.

Much love
Robbie Curlee

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Multi-Site Resource

Ever want to keep up with the day to day of a Multi-Site Campus?

You can check out a lot that goes on at Northpoint's Buckhead Campus. The blog is a place where you find them celebrating stories, sharing the latest news, and capturing what God is doing in their midst.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Multi Site Video

Are you a multi-site campus pastor or a church thinking of becoming multi-site?

Here is an interview by Tony Steward with Scott Hitzel and Randy Craft. These two guys actually implement the hands-on efforts at Saddleback Church's multi-site location in San Clemente.

In this spontaneous 16-minute interview, you'll hear the first-hand report of nuts & bolts involved at a remote campus. Enjoy!

Streaming Video by Ustream.TV

Sunday, July 06, 2008

One Wild Weekend

This weekend was the Fourth of July holiday and what a wild one it was for me.

Thursday Detective Curlee
Thursday, it started out with us driving home to visit my parents at their farm. As we were driving down the highway I noticed some suspicious activity as we passed a car on the side of the road. I pulled over to let the car catch us and then sped up to re-catch them to make sure it was the right car. I then called my brother who is a Texas State Trooper to let him know what I saw.

He then put me in touch with the Sheriff's Department in the County we live in. I then kept myself in front of them to make sure they didn't pull off.

When we got close to my home town a Deputy Sheriff began following the car. Then another. Then another. Then my brother in a DPS car. Their plan was to stop them in an un-populated area in case they jumped out of the car and ran. Since we had gone this far we decided to follow and see what happened.

While we were following though I started worrying if it was the right car. I could just see a whole family being pulled over by 5 or 6 different officers. Then I thought my brother would never let me live it down if I was wrong.

All of the sudden we see all the officer's put their lights problem though...the car isn't stopping. Then it cuts through the median to the other side of the highway. Across the highway into the ditch...of course at this time I figure I was right. Once they hit the other ditch everyone bailed out of the car, over the fence and hit the woods.

In all, only one of the guys was caught. And thus my day as a detective were over.

Friday Jason Curlee "Snake Hunter"
Friday evening my daughter and I drove out to the pond on my parents farm. As we were driving by the pond I saw something move on the ground. It was a poisonous Copperhead snake. I stayed to make sure it didn't slither off while my daughter went to get my Dad with a gun. He came out and shot it. Of course the rest of the family wanted to come see it. Here is a picture.

While we were all there looking at it. Another Copperhead, even bigger, came out right by us. I guess it was coming to help the other. My dad, with his gun, shot at it and missed. It began to slither off towards the woods when I sprang into action and began to strike it with a cattle prod, thus killing it.

And so my day as a "snake hunter ended". It really was quite a humorous sight of me trying to kill the snake I was told by my family. Here are some pics of the second snake with me in action:

Saturday Spin Out
Saturday as we were driving home it proceeded to pour down rain. We were following about 100 yards behind a car when all of the sudden that car began to hydro-plane and then did a full 360 and started to slide into the ditch. I immediately hit my brakes and slowed to not get into an accident myself. That car came to a stop and we checked on the driver. She was ok and was able to drive out of the ditch and waited for someone to check on her.

We found out in the next town when we saw the lady at a store that the car spun out a second time and ended up getting stuck in a ditch. Everyone was safe and we got home safely.

Somewhere in all of that we shot off fireworks and I smoked some mean ribs and "Coke Can" Chicken. And with that our weekend of excitement came to an end.

How was your weekend????

Do You....Comment

I usually like to leave comments on other peoples blogs. It is the whole thing about community in blogging. That's probably why I like following guys like 'los versus the big time blogging pastors who don't have comments on their blogs.

Why do you leave or not leave comments on other people's blogs?

[photo credit by]

Friday, July 04, 2008

Fourth of July

Just a quick "Happy Fourth of July" to everyone.

Hope you are safe and that you are thankful as I am that we live in one of the greatest countries in the world.

[photo credit]

Thursday, July 03, 2008

We're Having Fun

Question is....Who's having more fun????

Pastor John Atkinson or my wife and I. I got my money on my wife and I.

You have to read John's post to know what we are talking about. I do have to add that we have an awesome team. Guy's like Ken, Daniel, Lance, Tom, Chris, Mike, Jimmy, Tim, and their families and so many others that are unnamed here, have made it so easy to bring our campus to reality.

What is awesome is that in all the work we are doing it has built some relationships that are going to make our campus rock solid.

Thanks team if you read this....we love all of you.

Post Number 1,000

"Amazing" is really all I have to say about this post.

This is post number 1,000 for Making Difference Makers. It has been quite a journey.

I actually started this blog in 2006 as I was transitioning from one ministry place to another. I thought it would be a great way where those people that knew me could keep up with what I was doing.

Little did I know that two years later this blog would be where it is. Through this blog, and the blog's of others, I have met and made some great friends. I have also improved myself in so many ways. I'm not there yet...this blog isn't there yet either. That's why it's a journey.

In the end, I don't know that there is a specific destination in mind for what I'm doing through this. It is a journey that I'm on and who knows where it will take me. God is doing so many things through my family and personal life and I'm growing so much. Most of this is to share what I'm learning as well as the lessons learned.

There are two things I do know about my blog:

I want to make the greatest Kingdom impact for God that I can. I'm going to use as many methods as possible. That is one of the reasons for the things I write here. I write a lot of leadership and organizational management posts. I believe there are a lot of pastors who have the faith, the scripture, the prayer....but no one has ever showed them the organizational side of things. I hope to be a resource in that.

I want to get back to a little more of sharing my journey. In December of 2007, I decided to start another blog for that. I was going to take this blog and make it all about leadership. With the time frame I'm constrained with now, this blog will stay in these two areas.

So it is post 1,000...I'm excited to hit this milestone. Have I arrived? Nope!!! Only feel I'm just getting started.

Thought I would give you a quick rundown of stats. Even though I started my blog in March of 2006, I didn't know you could even track blog stats until October of 2006. So here are some stats since Oct. 20, 2006.

15,363 Visits
24,484 Pageviews
Over 80 Subscribers
Blog has been viewed in every state and in 97 countries

THANKS to all you readers, my family, and the people who are seeing my potential in ministry.

[photo credit]

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Green Grass

They say "The grass is always greenest on the other side"

I say "The grass is always greenest over the septic tank"

Have you ever found that to be true like I have?

[photo credit]

Questions Answered 1

I asked people to ask me a questions they would want the answer too.

First question is by Texas Ron Linebarger whose blog link is

"Why is Jesus not mentioned in the Core of MDM page?"

What he's talking about is here. Great question by the way. The reason I don't have it in there is that I feel that I shouldn't have to preference "Jesus" on everything I do. I don't spend a lot of time on this blog putting out or proving my theological stance. I don't spend time interpreting scriptures even though I way put some in there.

What I do do...(hmm that didn't sound so do) try to help pastors or ministry leaders be more effective. I feel there is enough written about how you should be praying, reading the word, trusting, walking by faith, etc, etc, etc.....I want to write in areas that can help people practically.

Well done TEX....great question again.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Answers Coming Soon

Left a challenge to everyone to ask me was open ended which was scary cause I didn't know what kind of questions I would get.

Would they be hard? Would they be on topics I didn't know? Would they be too personal?

Well the questions are in and I'll be answering them this week and next week. And I was relieved that no one asked me anything to hard or personal and that I am going to be able to answer them all.

FYI - Post number 1,000 will be hitting this week. So be on the lookout.

[photo credit]

Who Do You Listen Too

Do any of you listen to any other pastors other than your own through the week? If so, who and how?

For an example...Craig Groeschel at via podcast or Joel Osteen via TV. I hope you get the picture...

Let me hear from answer will be added into the comments.