The Chicago Edition

Each week I have fun shooting the podcast. But this particular episode was special because we had the opportunity to do a Chicago special.

The concept of a Chicago special really didn’t come to me until Cathy and I got off the plane in Chicago. We had Andrew Marin booked to do the devotional and I knew I wanted to shoot my parts at North Avenue beach… then it hit me. If we added Jason Raitz from Willow Creek we could complete the Chicago-trifecta. Thankfully, Jason was able to squeeze us in. And just to show us he was a pro he did his segment in one take.

Some tidbits about this episode…

We shot Andrew Marin’s part on the rooftop deck of his condo. Technically, we walked past his deck to the unfenced part so we could shoot the city in the background with no fencing. If you look carefully… behind Andrew is Wrigley Field. Cathy went up there with me even though she is afraid of heights. We were about 15 floors off the ground, Andrew sat down about 5 feet from the edge… and Cathy stayed back a good 20 feet taking pictures. She was a trooper!

Then we drove over to North Avenue beach.
When Kristen and I first started dating this was a favorite spot. In fact, just 100 yards north of where I shot my parts Kristen and I had our first real date. Romeo students will recognize that spot as well, we always took our mission team photo right there.

From there, we went out to Willow Creek to meet Jason. I’ve known Jason a few years and I really love his passion for middle school students. The thing a lot of people probably don’t know about Willow is that while they have massive middle and high school ministries, they are 99% run by volunteers. As Jason shares in the podcast, a big part of his role is setting up those volunteers to lead small groups. With a staff of 4-5 full time folks they lead something like 1700 middle schoolers. Think about that… 4-5 adults oversee an organization that impacts 4-5k people any given month, including parents.

When it was all said and done, shooting this 11 minute video and all the travel time was about 12 hours of our day. Totally worth it. I hope we get to do more location-based podcasts soon.





  1. Ken Avatar

    dude, raitz is a great guy. nice job!

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