Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sunday 12-28-08 Through My Window

Here are some reflections and pictures from this past Sunday's Experience on 12-28-08. A couple of days after the fact but I still thought I would get them in.
  • Numbers were lower than normal but I felt they would be with the holidays.
  • In retrospect I think we should have only done "one" Sunday Morning experience.
  • Each week our haze machine seems to haze the room a little different. This week it all seemed to stay on the left of the room and didn't distribute at all.
  • We had a bare-bone skeleton volunteer crew.
  • Pumped that we can actually say we did our first Christmas as a church. Dreams do come true.
  • Music was good...looking forward to seeing where we go. Time to push the envelope.
  • Great and relevant points in the message from Pastor Bil. We really do have one of the best church communicators for our messages.
Here are some pics:

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tribes: Secret Of Success

In the book, Tribes, by Seth Godin, Seth makes a great statement about being wrong. It is as follows:
"The secret of being wrong isn't to avoid being wrong!
The secret is being willing to be wrong.
The secret is realizing that wrong isn't fatal.
The only thing that makes people and organizations great is their willingness to be not great along the way. The desire to fail on the way to reaching a bigger goal is the untold secret of success."
And so I ask: Where are you pushing the envelop today? Risking it all? Charting a course and not looking back? Being innovative...on the edge. Are you failing....are you possibly getting it wrong to be right?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Bay Area Fellowship Stage

Check out the new Bay Area Fellowship stage in action. This clip is from our Lights and Sounds of Christmas Production with the Corpus Campus band rocking Hillsong United's "The Time Has Come"

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Production Opener Video

For your viewing pleasure here is the Bay Area Fellowship Corpus Band opening for the Lights and Sounds of Christmas Production.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas ARK Project

Today we hosted a Christmas Eve Party for a local organization that works with children who have been removed from homes. It was a great first time experience and opportunity for our 5 Points campus. Below are my thoughts and some pictures. Due to the organization we worked with we were not allowed to photo any of the children.
  • Our campus solely raised over 150 toys and gifts. That was almost one gift per our average attendance.
  • Tons of people helped out this morning.
  • We catered in breakfast and a local home school organization served breakfast to all the kids.
  • We decked out our facility even more with Christmas stuff and all the tables were covered in Christmas wrapping paper.
  • We showed "Horton Hears a Who" for the little kids...the older ones played Rock Band.
  • The little kids were so pumped when Santa showed up...yeah...we had Santa out to our campus....get over it.
  • You should have seen the smiles when these kids started getting their gifts from Santa...PRICELESS.
  • Even the older teens were pumped about their gifts.
  • I just happened to pick out a some gifts for an 8 to 10 year old boy. When he opened the ones I had picked out he stated "I was so wanting one of these". Then he opened the other one and got another...YES...I'm so good.
  • The older teen said he wanted to come back to go to church here.
  • My wife Robbie and our team did a fantastic job planning, organizing, and executing this event. "I love it when a plan comes together."
  • Giving seemed to become infectious at our campus...people were really enjoying helping and being a resource....WAY TO GO 5 POINTS!!!!
  • With all the gifts our campus was able to help two separate organizations with gifts this Christmas and also reach out to another family who's house burned down in the city of one of our other Multi-Site campuses.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Penn Says It All

In this video, Penn, of Penn & Teller, makes the most profound challenge to the church that I have ever heard. Understand...this statement comes from a self-proclaimed atheist.

Is this a challenge we must heed? Is this a challenge we must embrace? Watch this video and let me know what you think.

In the video Penn says:
I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell, and people could be going to hell, and you think, ‘Well, it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward’… How much do you have to hate somebody not to proselytize?
Let's go out and make a difference and change our communities.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Structure Your Church For Growth

Pastor Bil Cornelius of Bay Area Fellowship wrote a great article at ChurchSolutionsMag. Here is a sample:
In mentoring and associating with hundreds of church planters, I’ve discovered a very common trend: Although they have great vision, passion and a true sense of calling to a particular area or city, most church planters still are not equipped to be successful. In fact, pastors of small or struggling churches may encounter some of the same challenges. The main areas that seem to hold these leaders back from achieving their full potential are poor structure, ineffective staffing and......
Make sure you go read the whole article.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sudden Death Tamales

Every year we make tamales. This year I had a wild idea. Why not put some Sudden Death Sauce? Check it out!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Merry Christmas From 5 Points Elves

Wanted to say Merry Christmas to all of you from the Bay Area Fellowship 5 Points Crew.

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

The Tokbox Experiment

Well, I've actually be checking out tokbox for a week or two...I got me a profile and looked at myself on my webcam but really hadn't tried it out.


I read Todd Rhoades post today on his and so I thought "why not". How totally awesome of a time I had connecting with guys and ladies I've been twittering with and reading blogs. Not only that but got to meet some pastors in other states and hear their story. It was so awesome to hear others who were launching churches and I even got to tell our Bay Area Fellowship Multi-Site story a couple of times.

Talk about potential with this little tool. Of course I got to get Mr. Atkinson hooked up now...he is gonna love using it too connect...

So many ways to use this. I've already got a campus pastor that wants to set up a network with me using it. I could also see a prayer room, small groups, staff meetings, leadership training.

In one of my next posts I'll let you in on the details of it and how best to use it.

Tools I'm Using

Some tools I've been using for a while:
Some new tools I'm trying:
Some I rarely use:
Some I tried but didn't catch on with me:
  • Ustream
  • Utterz - Isn't even around any more.
  • Jotz - Can't seem to find it.
I love using just about anything techie...I'm in front of my computer way to much and if you could jack the internet straight into your body like in "The Matrix" I'd probably be there. Seriously...I love using tools that can connect with others and build community.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Organizing My Thoughts

Lot of jumbled stuff up there about our I thought I would write them down.
  • Excited about doing the campus full is going to allow me to put a more creative edge on a lot of the things we are doing.
  • In the new year, I have already scheduled several quarterly leadership trainings I will do with our campus. I'm also looking at a monthly training for our department heads.
  • I've typed out several guides for the campus - one is a guide to receiving the offering and I'm in process of creating a meeting guide that will outline every element of our experiences.
  • I wrote out a leadership development plan for next year.
  • I'm really wanting to create a campus pastor network made up of pastors from different churches to learn from and bounce ideas from organization to organization. If you are interested in me.
  • I'm really a techie I'm always looking for technology to implement on the internet and for our campus. Having more time to do that will be a plus.
  • With more time it will allow me to make graphics for announcements. I'm also looking at how we could do some video announcements.
  • I'm got tons of creative ideas I want to try...almost more than I can get out on here. I think that we can add a creative edge to our campus that will be a draw for people that question the video message portion.
  • In saying that....VIDEO MESSAGES WORK....we have had 49 people documented that have prayed to begin a relationship with Christ...that is an average of two per week...that is why we started the 5 Points campus.
  • I still talk weeks in how long...probably will until after the first year...then it will be months....can't wait until we are counting by years....CRAZY!!!!
  • And, like Pastor John, my mind is racing on where our next campus will go. As soon as I got time, I'm going to begin formulating a plan....yeah...I got ideas too!
  • It is so awesome to see that our three multi-site campuses are all on the vision of launching the next campuses. As we do more and more this is just going to explode.
  • I'll be glad to connect with ministry leaders online more this next year...working at church will allow me to network in a greater way.
  • In '08 I wanted to take my blog to a new level. Becoming a principal and starting a campus kind of side tracked that. I'm pumped to be able to write in a better and more quality way. I love writing and some day have a goal to write a book...actually several.
  • Last night we were looking more at our lighting on our campus to continue to create that WOW effect. Some of it is just getting in there and working with them...we had some great cool looks last night.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Don't Watch

Don't watch the following will make you winch with pain.

I Told You Not Too!!!!!

I liked Corey Hill on the Ultimate Fighter and know this is a huge setback...

And now back to your regular scheduled blog posting.

Did You Know

What a powerful video that will get you to seems so much like things are speeding up. Wonder if there are any implications for the church? What do you think?

HT: Scott Williams

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Multi-Site Campus Pastors

I'm still compiling a list of websites of Multi-Site Church Campus [HERE]

I've had a few churches email me and let me know...this is what I'm looking for.
  • Church Name
  • Campus Pastor Name
  • Campus Name
  • Campus Pastor Blog Site and/or Twitter Site
Reason I'm doing this is that it can be a great resource to be able go to for Campus Pastors. They can follow and read what others are doing as well as connect with them.

So if you are a campus pastor or your church has various multi-sites email me at pastorjcurl{at}gmail{dot}com or even comment me here with the information.

You can see my current list [HERE] for examples of what kind of info I need.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Would They Care

I'm not sure who I first heard this quote from...but I did recently re-read it in the book, "IT" by Craig Groeschel.

The quote said, "If your church closed down would the community even know or care?"

That quote has kind of haunted me for several months now, especially as we have now been doing our campus for half the year.

Far too often churches get together and get in a rhythm of doing church on Sunday morning and think that just because they are open they are making a difference. Making a difference with your church requires intentionality. It requires a willingness to be a working solution to your community.

God has planted us in our community to partner with Him in bringing change. Often times when churches start they want people to come to them. They do outreaches geared to bring people in. God has called us to more than being an open door. God has called us to help be a solution to the social ills that permeate our country.

And to be honest...that will require just a little more than telling people about Jesus, although that part is extremely important.

It is my desire that our church campus is a solution. That it is a movement. That it is a force that brings change to our community. That we are the answer to what our community needs.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday The 14th Through My Window

Here is a view through my window for this Sunday.
  • I was able to do the message this morning due to us going to getting the Sunday message from Pastor Bil.
  • I talked more on vision from two weeks ago when I spoke last.
  • Told my favorite football story from high school.
  • My main point was that we must have a PASSION to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to REACH OUR AREA.
  • Loved this quote from Erwin McManus, I used it today - “When have we forgotten that the church doesn’t exist for us? We are the church and we exist for the world.”
  • Joey Davila our BAF Multi-Site Music Director rocked it out with our band today...
  • I'm loving all the new lights we adds movement and really enhances the experience.
  • Since I was preaching I didn't really get to mingle with leaders and people as much.
  • Attendance was ok first December as a kind of Senior Pastor.
  • I really wanted to hit more on Commitment...I find that today's church in America needs more people who "really" follow Christ...
  • My big dawg buddy John was hanging out with us...but he left before I could say bye since I did message.
  • Looking forward to doing this full-time is going to allow me to start doing some of the creative things that I feel will take it up a notch even more.
  • I really feel that we are creating an awesome experience each Sunday...I'm really believing that people are going to begin to start coming out to see what we are doing.
  • I recorded the message and want to put in on our new mogulus site...but the recording was during our second experience of the morning and in the line of the shot there isn't a lot of people sitting it looks a little bare. Not sure that is the image I want up.
  • I want to spend a lot of time in the new year working with and building up leaders.
  • It's exciting to think that the three campuses are already working to have the finances to launch more campuses in the future.
  • Every week no matter how many people are there, we have new guest each week...that is so exciting. I don't think there has been a week in these first 22 that we haven't had someone there checking it out.
  • Pumped up about getting our sign and billboard this week. I'm hoping we can get our sign up pretty quick.
  • Below are some pictures of today's experiences complements of Rachel. Pretty soon I'm going to create a new video...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Working A Secular Job

Here are some things I learned in having to work a secular job (by that I mean a non-ministry job) for the first time this last year in 14 years:
  • People who work jobs have busy lives...they work all day and then have families to go home to in the careful how much you demand from people. I spoke with one pastor who had demanded his youth volunteers church on Sunday morning and Wednesday night, attend his leadership training on Sunday night, do their youth ministry on Friday night and then meet with their team once a week...I thought...YOU'RE OUT OF YOUR MIND!!!
  • The best way to lead people who get paid is still with vision. You can lord their paycheck over them but you still will get more when you cast an infectious vision.
  • People cuss a first job out of the gate was as a teacher in an inner city alternative high school. I heard more cuss words the first week than I had in my prior 14 years. It felt good to get back to what we all should be doing....hanging with those who are far from God.
  • You don't have to be like them to reach them. By that I mean it is important that people see something different in us. You don't have to tell dirty jokes, flirt, act like life is like a seed that should be planted.
  • That I'm geared for ministry...God placed it in me and it never goes away...He has made me for a purpose and I need to flow in that purpose.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mogulus Site

Started a Mogulus Video site for our 5 Points Campus...address is

I only just got it up and right now have about 30 minutes of different videos that are running on it. I have some ideas of what I want to do with it: Training, Prayer, Small Group, etc...

Some of that is going to wait until I'm full-time. I see this as another great way for people to connect with what we are doing.

BAF Multi-Site Ministry

Recently Pastor Bil Cornelius took some time to blog about our Multi-Site Ministry and what he has learned from the Pastors of the various sites.

Here are the posts:
It is so awesome to have a leader that believes in this ministry and in us. I'm so fired up to be part of this team at Bay Area Fellowship and have a lot of stuff built up in me that is ready to be unleashed. Not just for my campus but for the whole Multi-Site Ministry.

We have some stuff already in the works for next year and I can't wait to be on full time. December 19th is my last official day as a principal and I'm back in the world of full-time ministry. Taking it to new levels.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

C3 - Creative Church Conference

Anyone else going to C3 - Creative Church Conference?

I'll be there and am wanting to connect with so many others who I've never met face to face.

Campus Pastor List

I'm now compiling a Campus Pastor Blog List from a question I posted up on twitter asking if anyone knows the blogs websites of any campus pastors. DJ Chung, who blogs at Digital @ Leadership Network, posted up my question with some campus pastors. Then this morning Dan Ohlerking emails me with a list of the campus pastors at Healing Place Church.

So I think I'm going to compose a list. Not sure exactly what I'm going to do with it just yet. But here is what I need.

If you are currently a campus pastor for a church (not sure what you would be a campus pastor for other than a church) email me at pastorjcurl{at}gmail{dot}com or leave a comment with what church you are with and a list of blogs of your campus pastors.

Remember this is a list of the personal blog sites of current Campus Pastors. Go to the link at the bottom to check out what I'm looking for.

This may turn out to be a big list...which will be cool. It will be a great resource to other churches and campus pastors.

The link for my list which will be a working document which I will be adding to as people contact me is Campus Pastor Blog Twitter List

*** UPDATE *** If your a campus pastor and only twitter we'll take those as well.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Clear Vision

Ministries that have it always have a clear vision. The people know the vision, understand the vision, believe in the vision, and live the vision. The vision guides them, motivates them, and energizes them. Large numbers of people move in the same direction. Ministries with vision tend to have it. All the rest are hit and miss.

Craig Groeschel from the book IT: How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It

{Photo By}

Padre Island Campus Grand Opening

Sunday I drove over to be at the Grand Opening day for our Bay Area Fellowship Padre Island Campus. While I was there I took a few shots. Here is a look at their campus:

Sunday The 7th Through My Window

I went on a road trip yesterday to our Padre Island Campus grand most of my window was a blur driving from one campus to the other and back...BUT...I have some thoughts and here they be:
  • Yesterday was our 21st weekend.
  • It was great to be able to take off to the other campus for a Sunday. I only did it because I knew I had a team that could handle it.
  • Juno Garcia stepped up to lead in my place. Feedback was he did a great job.
  • Our band did "Break Free" and I missed it...I think that is one of the best songs they do.
  • Our attendance jumped back up after the Thanksgiving Weekend lag. We had lots of new families out visiting. We are so close to breaking the 200 mark.
  • Got to go over to the Padre Island Campus for Grand Opening. I got pics and will post them up this week so everyone can check out that campus.
  • So pumped for Pastor Dave Cothem and his team. They had 298 people for their Grand Opening. Great feel. Building came out awesome. Makes me wonder what ours would have been like bar Hurrican Ike hitting our Grand Opening weekend. (No I'm not bitter)
  • Joey Davila was rockin' it with their team. He will be playing and singing with our band this weekend.
  • Padre Island band did a great job.
  • As soon as I'm on full time one of the things I'll be doing one day is helping them re-do their lighting.
  • As great as it was being over there I missed my campus. It's funny how you get bonded to your church. Our campus is beginning to transform into a community. I'm loving it.
  • At the ribbon cutting last night there must have been around 400 people. It was great seeing Pastor Bil and hanging with him a bit even though everyone was wanting to say hi to him and talk to him. I'm glad he takes moments to bond with us Campus Pastors.
  • I'm thinking of resigning if Pastor John resigns to go start the next multi-site in Honolulu...I'm not to old to be a student pastor...PLUS...someone has to help him with his tech inadequacies. (See Number 14 on his post)...UNLESS...we start one in Italy in which I'll try and talk my family into going there. J/K...besides they would never move to Italy. Maybe we could go for the summer just to get the campus up and running.
  • All in all it was a great weekend for our multi-site campuses...we had 762 in attendance at our three multi-site's. God is a great God and has us on a wave of momentum...we got to ride it.
  • Pumped about our Christmas Project. You can be a part of it too...go check out my post.
  • Rachel did a great job with pictures...Rachel volunteers by documenting our progress through digital photography. She even went out and got a new camera. Check out the slide show of our Sunday below.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

My Big Announcement

For about two weeks I've been saying that I have a big secret announcement. Well, the secret is out. Here it is:

Bay Area Fellowship has brought me on full time to lead the 5 Points Campus.

There were some reasons I couldn't share this with the world. Namely because I'm a principal of a school and we hadn't told our staff or the students yet. So I had to keep it semi-hush.

We have officially told everyone...only thing left is to write a letter to the parents.

I actually turned in my resignation about a month ago and have been sitting on this with my superintendent who has been awesome through this. He understood the opportunity and was excited for me even though I would be ending my work with them mid-year. We don't do contracts which is why this move could be made now.

So for now you know the news I'll post a little more on this in future posts. Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

5 Points Billboard

Here is a picture of our soon to go up official 5 Points Billboard.

Servicing Our Community 4

This is a project that I want to encourage my readers to be a part of.

I can't got into all of the total project until after Christmas but I will tell you what we are doing and how you can be part of the joy.

This Christmas we are partnering with a local organization to our area that takes in children pulled from their home by the state. Our idea is to give these kids and the organization a Christmas they hopefully won't forget.

Could you imagine being taken out of your home for whatever reason during this time?

You can partner with us as well....right now the easiest way if you are not in our own BAF 5 Points campus is to mail a check or money order to:

BAF 5 Points
P.O. Box 260660
Corpus Christi, TX 78426-0660

Label it Christmas Project

How much????? That's totally up to you. What we are believing for is the ability to give every child two or three toys...and maybe purchase them an outfit and/or small suitcase.

At a max this organization could have up to 37 children of various ages and sex. We won't know until the last minute.

This is purely about giving...we know these kids won't be coming to our church the next weekend or ever. What we know is that we are about serving our community and being a resource to it.

Give a gift to our Christmas Project and partner with us to serve these children in this time.


How do you Twitter?

Seems like there are many ways and if you ask someone you get a different answer.....SO....I'm asking you.

How do you Twitter?

Here is how I do it:
  • First, I follow lots of people. In fact, my main policy is to follow you if you follow me.
  • Second, if you don't follow me I don't follow back.
  • Third, if you quit following me I quit following you. I use a program called
  • Fourth, I tweet and start conversations as I get on about anything or with anyone that seems interesting.
  • Fifth, I tweet back to those that @reply me
  • Sixth, I go to the twitter sites of friends and people to read what went on in their day. An easy way to do that is create some bookmarks in your browser.
That's pretty much it. To follow my tweets go to

So how do you twitter?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Marketing Our Campus

After 20 weeks in I'm looking at marketing our campus in our area.

On our first try at it, we sent out a mailer during the week of our grand opening. One problem though...Hurricane Ike was coming right at us when that went out. So in our opinion many of our mailers got lost in the frantic rush to possibly evacuate or board up. (It still has been our highest attendance to date though)

So now I'm looking at doing a few things:
  1. A Billboard - this is to mainly get some campus recognition and position our name...we should have ours up by December 15th.
  2. Bus Stop Bench Advertising - This is a cheap way to get our campus info into several places. I'm looking at about 3 to 5....we'll see.
  3. Church Sign - One thing that has kept people from finding us is not having a sign. That is changing as we are fixing to have a 10 foot by 8 foot sign up front.
A couple of other ideas I'm thinking of are:
  • T-Shirts - to all those that attend and asking them to wear them on the weekends when they are out. This will probably be simple shirt with logo and website address....thought about some cool graphic map to the campus but that might be overkill
  • Door Hangers - Want to print up 10,000 and hit the beat with the campus.
  • Another Mailer - This time it will be positioned not when there is a Hurricane coming.
What ideas might you have of getting our name out to our community?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

My Family

I sure love my are a couple of pictures we took on the farm.

Here are my girls

Monday, December 01, 2008

Deck The Halls

We decorated for Christmas...not a whole lot...we plan to build on it each year until we are done. Here is a sample of what we did:


Later this week, look for a major announcement coming...this changes least for me.