We are three months away from launching our 9th campus. It will be in Plainfield, IL and will very possibly be our largest launch to date. By far, one of the greatest advantages of multi-site is that when we launch a new campus, most people (and artists) that live in the vicinity of that new site will then become the launch team for that new campus. In the case of Plainfield, we have our largest launch team yet.
Chris Heller, the new Arts Director at Plainfield, held a meeting last night for just the artists planning on joining the Plainfield team. At three months out, they already have 25 artists committed, coming from 5 different campuses. By the time that campus launches, I would expect that artist base to be near 45. This could possibly be the first campus launch where the new campus requires almost no assistance from any other site. At launch , I would expect Plainfield to add another 20-25 artists in the first month from the 600+ new attenders.
I planted a new church in Chicago's far northern suburbs in 1995. Multi-site revolutionizes church planting. Chris Heller comes into a situation where he is able to apprentice under a current Arts Director for 6 months at an existing campus, build an Arts launch team of 45 artists and then launch a new campus with a full roster of artists and the full assistance and support of 8 other Arts Directors and 425 artists from other campuses. I would have killed for that when I was starting my new church.
I am still the world's biggest fan of starting new churches. Many times you need to launch a church in a place where church planting is the only option. Then you can use that church as a hub to launch more churches and campuses off of it. But I fully believe multi-site is one of the absolutely necessary and most effective ways of reaching the urban / suburban populations in the U.S. Go Chris Heller! Go Plainfield!
Here is a copy of the Arts Matrix for Plainfield, as of December 20th.
One of my favorite things I have brought to CCC in my ten years is our giant Christmas Eve services. It has become one of the great CCC traditions. We use a 40 piece orchestra and do several Trans-Siberian Orchestra songs along with the Christmas Eve traditions, such as candle lightings. We finished our final rehearsals yesterday. This last week before Christmas is always insane (although it must not be too bad, because I am blogging), but it is all worth it on December 23rd and 24th.
As always, my digital camera doesn't capture great audio.
This is one of my favorite worship experiences we have done for a while. Our new series is called "Indescribable" and is based upon five of the names of Jesus found within the prophecies in the book of Isaiah and the fulfilled in the story of Jesus' birth. The weekend messages center around those five, but we created an experience in the entryways of all 8 campuses that feature all 121 prophecies of Jesus from Isaiah. Every campus has some form of that experience on weekends, but because several are in rented facilities, they are limited on what they can do. Below are some examples of that experience at the Yellow Box in Naperville. We actually are going to leave all of this up for the entire series, through the end of December. We set up the ground level to become the book of Isaiah, where you can follow a time-line through the chapters and experience a series of 10 prayer stations that connect the worshiper with the different themes of the prophecies. We are encouraging attenders to come back during the week by themselves, with a friend or with their small group and travel through the experience to create a new kind of connection with God's plan and purpose for Christmas.
HUGE kudos to my administrative volunteer, Cyndi Dole, who spent the last three weeks of her life making this happen at all sites!
Here a few of the tie-in slides we used in the service during Communion. Each slide featured one of the prophecies and then would fade into a slide that had the New Testament fulfillment of that prophecy. They took a picture of one of our blank scrolls and then super-imposed the scripture over the picture, using the same font we did it. Great job TJ Friesen!
Here are two clips from the Yellow Box yesterday. (they are from my digital camera, so ignore the quality.)
My lighting leader at the Yellow Box, Brian Theis, hung 4000 white lights behind our scrim for Christmas. It looks awesome! He also did some other stage lighting that looks great. We have never put much energy into stage design at CCC because every campus is so different and because we create most of our environments through video. I am really glad that Yellow Box is getting to the place where we have the talented volunteers who are making it happen!
I will post some DV footage next weekend that will be clearer.
Here are some videos from a few of the people I follow on YouTube. Some are CCC staff. Some are NewThing churches.
These two are from our weekend services this weekend. We are on a new series called "indescribable", based upon some of the names for Jesus from the prophecies in the book of Isaiah. This first is a comedy thing we did where the angel tells Mary the baby's name and she doesn't care for it.
This one is just the background roll we used with the live song "Glory in the Highest". Great Chris Tomlin song. Worked awesome. The footage is from "The Nativity", "The Passion" and the "Jesus" movie.
Here is Part 2 of the "Blue Mime Group". I don't think I ever posted this one.
This one is my favorite. This is 242 Community Church in Detroit performing "The Chipmunk Christmas Song" live. They said is took like 3 weeks to get the voices right. Their mics are running through a string of guitar pedals. Very funny.
Here's a new entry for you. This is from St. Paul's Church in Auckland, Australia. This video would have been perfect for our "Indescribable" series. The best part is that St. Paul's Arts and Media department is affectionately called "S.P.A.M.". Good video.
Here is a cool comparison. Our Student Ministry teams up with several other StuCos from some of the other NewThing churches for their big winter event called "Blast. Here is CCC's StuCo video, followed by 242's StuCo video. Synergy is awesome.
And last, but certainly not least, here is a video we used in our Student Ministry and Kids City about complaining for our "Zip It" series. It is completely gross, but nails the topic!