NewThing and the Carroll’s are Going to Europe!

Dave & Bill in France (2) This picture goes back a few years when Bill Carroll, Jeff Prosapio and myself went to England and France to experience and learn from the alternative worship movement in Europe.  We had heard a lot about Taize worship that started and was practiced in Taize, France.  So we left Paris and drove about 3 hours to Taize to for the experience.  When we arrived we were confused because this little village couldn’t have had more than a couple hundred people and the only church in town looked severely under-used.  The reason we were confused is because there are two Taize in France and we were at the wrong one.  The other was another 6 hours away.  This is Bill and I looking at the map and the two Taize’s in France.

Since that time Bill and his wife Rachelhave fallen more and more in love with France.  After faithfully serving at Community for the last 12 years they are getting ready to take off with the whole family to plant a church.  We are all going to miss them immensely.  Bill is a tremendously hard worker and the most tenacious recruiter and developer of artists that I have ever seen.  I am currently finishing up a book with Jon Ferguson on the reproducing church and much of the chapter we wrote on reproducing artists is from what I’ve learned from Bill.  It is a skill that all our arts directors value and that’s a huge part of Bill’s legacy.  Rachel was the founding director for CCC’s School for the Arts.  We have about 400 students in our school and it has been a huge help in us developing artists young and old.  More recently she served with the creative arts team in Kid’s City. Rachel is a super talented artist and tremendously creative leader.

At the end of this summer Bill and Rachel will take off for France and after going through language school will plant the first of many reproducing churches in Paris.  We are thrilled that they not only go with our blessing and financial support but also as a part of NewThing.  This will be the first of what we believe will be many new churches NewThing will plants in Europe.  Thank you Bill and Rachel for passionately giving yourself to the mission of “helping people find their way back to God”.  You have served us, the people in Chicagoland and God with great love and integrity.  We are so proud of you, love you very much and will be praying for you.

#1 Band To See Before You Die

Mute_math_2Amazing!  It is the third time in the last year that I have seen Mute Math in concert…and I have not been disappointed.  They were at the House of Blues and they were incredible! If you need some incentive to check them out, they were recently named “The #1 Band To See  Before You Die” by Alternative Magazine.  That might be a stretch…but they are in my top two!

Thanks to Don and Alice I got a chance to have dinner with Darren King the drummer from Mute Math.  Cool guy.  I thought it was fascinating that all the guys from this band came from a little church in Marshfield, Missouri.  It was also interesting to hear him talk about that little church – lots of great stuff and also some big disappointments.  He said his favorite artists are Howard Finster, a pastor turned painter and David Axelrod who played with the Electric Prunes in the 60’s.  I don’t know much about them, but I’m going to check it out.

The Fray & Mute Math – Great Concert Combo!

FrayOne of the best Christmas gifts I got this year was from my daughter Amy.  She surprised me with tickets to the first stop on the new The Fray / Mute Math concert tour at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  Loved it!

So, last night myself, Amy and two of her friends headed off to “cheese country”.  The show started at 7:00 pm and since the seating was “first come” we arrived about 5:30 pm and stood outside in line for good seats.  Unfortunately it was about 20 degrees outside.  AndMute_math_2  unfortunately one of the girls I was with did not have a coat (so guess who ended up without a coat in 20 degree weather?).  And unfortunately they did not open the doors till 6:20.  I seriously thought I was going to freeze to death!?!

When we finally got in it was definitely worth the wait!  It was a great concert.  The Fray were phenomenal.  They did all their best stuff and the crowd was totally into it.  If they are in the area, you should check them out – great band.  However, I have to say that Mute Math was over the top awesome!  Check out this video of Mute Math from the concert at Carthage CollegeHERE.  My buddy, Sean Bublitz told me they were his favorite band and that when he saw them at the Park West recently it was the best concert that he had ever been to.  Now I know why!  The energy coming from that stage was just frenetic!  The lead was dancing on top of his keyboard and flying all over the place.  The drummer was even more intense.  He had his earphones duck taped to his head so they wouldn’t come flying off. He did a drum solo that included everything on the stage that he could possibly hit.  I could go on, but let me just say – they are fun to watch! And the music was great too.  Mute Math – super creative, great music and high energy.

If you want to see a clip of Mute Math from the concert we were at, you can check it out HERESean also as a great link from YouTube that gives you a little more Mute Math that you can check out HERE.

The First of 25 Christmas Experiences

Experience_christmasWhat a great night!  We just finished the first of 25 Christmas Services at Community Christian Church this weekend. I was at the Naperville Yellow-Box location and the orchestra, jazz band and rhythm section were awesome!  They did a 30 minute pre-service concert and it was spectacular.  The only bad part about being multi-site is that even though I got to be at one location I missed some really great stuff at our other locations.  I really wanted to see Renea Taylor and our 50 voice choir (yes, we started a choir) at Romeoville!  And I love our 11 pm Christmas Eve Service At Montgomery…it feels awesome in that space.  And I hate to miss the first Christmas service at Yorkville or Chicago-Pilsen.  And Carillon always has the best hospitality.  And Naperville DownTown is the most missional and Shorewood is our fastest growing…? (Did I mention them all?) Since I’m not speaking tomorrow morning I will pick a CCC site…maybe CCC-Chicago/PilsenBut tomorrow night I’m back at the Naperville Yellow-Box for 5:00 pm , 7:00 pm and 11:00 pm.  And within 48 hours we will have had 25 Christmas services at 8 CCC locations.