invisible castle update
resources, events, upcoming articles & podcast
Welcome to our first update. We’re slowly moving towards our promised regular stream of articles on engaging people with the story and message of Jesus, as well as a podcast — it’s all sketched out and looking good, in our opinion!
Though we had originally pencilled in October 2023 for launching these, we’ve decided to push them back until May or June of next year, while Kristi focuses on the final stages of her PhD in Philosophical Theology, from the University of Birmingham.
Luke describes Kristi’s research as ‘ground-breaking’, while Kristi calls it ‘exhausting’. Once the PhD is done (and please pray for Kristi in that!), it’ll be easier to focus on producing quality content here.
In the interim, though, we wanted to update you on a resource we’ve developed, and a couple of events in which we’re involved, which may interest you.
Resource: Beyond Monologue
The first thing we wanted to highlight is a short book, Beyond Monologue: Preparing Interactive Talks, we’ve produced, which reimagines how we engage people with the story and message of Jesus through our public events.
Beyond Monologue draws on Luke’s experience speaking to university student audiences around Europe, as well as in other contexts such as his church. It blends theological and cultural reflection with an actionable approach to developing interactive evangelistic and apologetic communication.
Various groups have adopted Luke’s approach. The UK university Christian Union movement, for example, now uses it in the majority of their evangelistic events weeks. Luke is increasingly being asked to provide training on this, and so it seemed like a good moment to make some of this material available in print as the first invisible castle publication; Beyond Monologue.
The book is designed for anyone involved in organizing or speaking at outreach events, and is especially well-suited for being used as the basis for a group discussion, including among preaching and leadership teams.
At just 140 pages, it makes for a brisk read. And initial reviews have been encouraging. Tim Adams, the General Secretary of IFES calls it ‘a gem of a book… that will help you clarify the purpose of your event, prepare well, and deliver an interactive talk that engages, inspires and influences your audience’. Dave Benson, of London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC), says that it ‘leads the way’ on thinking about interactivity in evangelistic speaking.
The physical book is available worldwide, exclusively through our own little online store, which you can visit here. The Kindle version is available via all non-UK Amazon sites, including those for the United States (here) and Australia (here).
Bulk buy options are also available for purchases of multiple copies, further driving down the cost. Several Christian organizations have made purchases for all their staff or personnel at reduced rates, which we are happy to help arrange, and we’d also be open to discussing translation with anyone interested in reproducing it locally.
First Event: Biblically Woke? A Better Conversation.
London, UK. March 9th, 2024
The first little pilot project we’re helping develop is a collaboration between invisible castle and The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC). This one-day event is aimed primarily at those in their twenties or among the student generation. It’s not for ministry specialists, just for anyone trying to follow Jesus today.
We’re creating a structured collaborative context, kind of a ‘mission lab’, where the focus isn’t on listening to talks, but together engaging in a guided process of cultural and theological reflection and discussion. The aim is that we can better discern together both how to live as disciples of Jesus in this current cultural moment, and how to engage conversationally on tricky topics.
This first event together focuses on how we engage with contemporary questions of justice. Both Luke and Kristi of invisible castle, as well as Dave Benson and Matt Jolley of LICC, will be involved in facilitating the day.
It’s scheduled for Saturday March 9th, in a central London venue, not far from Covent Garden. You can book a place via the button below.
Second Event: Nomadland
Lee Abbey, Devon, UK. April 3rd-7th, 2024
Alongside the above, we both remain available to speak on a range of topics, both providing training and also speaking at outreach events. We’re also discussing hosting some smaller invisible castle events, possibly next year. More on that in a future update.
But one event which may interest you is happening at Lee Abbey, in Devon, next April 3rd-7th. Lee Abbey is a beautiful retreat centre in the South West of England, overlooking a stunning coastline.
Luke will be leading a week there entitled Nomadland: Living Missionally in a Constantly-Shifting Culture. The description for the week reads:
‘Our culture seems to be in constant state of flux and evolution, and it’s easy to feel like we’re running several steps behind in our attempts to engage people around us with the story and message of Jesus. During our week together we’ll explore the challenges and opportunities of our present moment, and some of the ways we can respond — both as individuals, and also as communities; in word and in action. We’ll begin developing a plan for recalibrating our own lives so that we can continue to partner effectively with God in his mission to the people and places around us.’
The week is aimed at anybody looking to better orient missionally in their own context. Lee Abbey residential weeks normally include morning interactive teaching/training sessions, and then afternoons and evenings free to hang out and explore the local area, or pray and reflect. Activities are also arranged for your kids, if you have any. So it’s a good chance to blend vacation, retreat, and your own development as a participant in the mission of God where you live.
Nomadland isn’t specifically an invisible castle event, but it has some of the same vibe, and you’d be welcome to join for the week. You can book in via the button below.
Thanks so much for being part of this unfolding project, and for your patience as we move towards some more regular written and recorded content.
If you know somebody who might find invisible castle useful or intriguing, why not share it with them, using the share button below.