by Keith Giles
An invitation is a very personal thing. It means someone is thinking of you and they want you to be with them for a special celebration or gathering.
Yesterday I attended a marketing seminar on social media. The presenter made one interesting comment and I wrote it down. Here's what she said, "It's easier to get people to attend a real, physical event than to get them to show up at a virtual, online (social media) discussion."
As someone who has tried, more than once, to assemble an online community I've learned the hard way the truth of that statement. Even when I attempted, most recently, to create an online community for [Subversive Underground] I only managed to attract four people (including me) out of a possible group of 225 subscribers. However, when I recently invited people to join us for an all-day open dialog called "Non-Con" I sold out a month in advance and had to manage a stand-by list for those who didn't make the deadline for registration.
I've been thinking pretty hard lately about the invitation that Jesus offered his disciples. "Follow me" was his only tag line. Simple and to the point, Jesus invited people, personally and to their face, if they would consider living their lives after the pattern he would establish. Those who responded did so with their feet, with their actual lives. They stood up, dropped their nets, left the money on the table, abandoned family and friends, and dedicated three years of daily, continual following after Jesus.
Of course, all but one of them extended that initial three year commitment into an endless, day-by-day surrender of their entire life to follow Jesus to the very end. Thousands more followed their example and soon there was an overwhelming flood of people who were actively following Jesus with their actual, every day lives, and teaching others to do the same.
Sometimes I wonder why we make the invitation so complicated. We invite people to attend our meetings, or to join our club, or to wear our t-shirts, listen to our music, put our bumper stickers on their car and adopt our slang. But all Jesus ever did was to invite people to follow him.
We must respond to this same invitation. Jesus called people to be his disciples, his followers, and his life was a blue-print for each of us to emulate.
When we consider what it means to be a follower of Jesus, and especially when we feel compelled to invite others to do the same, let's keep it simple. Just ask people if they're interested in following Jesus too. Then you can both follow Jesus together, teaching and encouraging and inspiring one another to obey his teaching, to serve others as he did, and to learn to love people with your whole life.
You're invited to a wonderful new pattern of life. I've just started down this road so it's not too late to join me and catch up. We can follow Jesus together, if you want to.
Are you coming?
POVERTY IN THE O.C.
This Sunday afternoon, after our house church gathering, I'll be having lunch and sharing with another local house church about what poverty looks like in Orange County. It's always a privilege to speak to fellow followers about what poverty looks like in our community, alongside what God's Word has to say about His heart for them, and His expectations of us as His Earthly representatives.
Pray for me as I lead this interactive, artistic experience. I'm always amazed at what God does each time I facilitate this discussion. I've done this for small groups, mega-church staff members and our own house church, and each time God shows up and touches people deep down where it counts. I'd love to see that again on Sunday afternoon. Thanks for your prayers.
[SUBVERSIVE UNDERGROUND] PODCAST NOW LIVE AT ITUNES!
Well, we finally did it. There is now an official [SU] podcast page online now at ITunes. Go and search us under "Podcasts" in the Music Store and be sure to click the "subscribe" button to keep up with our infrequent mp3 uploads.
Totally free, of course.
NON-CON ARTISTS GET THEIR OWN ART SHOW
"WHAT REMAINS" FEATURING ARTISTS:
HEATHER WRIGHT, SCOTT LAUMANN, BILL BURGESS AND ANDREW DUNN.
If you're in the Orange County area, be sure to drop by The Artery Gallery (at the Lab in Costa Mesa) on April 19th for the opening of the new 2 week exhibit featuring our very own Non-Con artists.
Come join us on opening night at 7pm on April 19th at The Artery Gallery in Costa Mesa and show your support for these artists of faith.
NON-CON PODCASTS NOW LIVE
Whether you were lucky enough to join us for the Non-Con or not, we've got all 3 main session recordings available online now for download.
You can either go online to ITunes and find our [Subversive Underground] Podcast page to download the MP3's to your computer or IPod, OR you can go to
the website link below and download the same 3 sessions as MP3 files.
For those who choose the ITunes podcast option keep in mind that we will be uploading new podcasts to that page throughout the year.
Session 1 - David Ruis
Session 2 - Keith Giles
Session 3 - Jackie Pullinger
START YOUR OWN NON-CON?
When I first came up with the idea for this "Non-Conference" I wanted it to be something simple, and easy to duplicate.
I'd love to help you start your own Non-Con in your community and I'm willing to help with website, marketing and logistics issues for no charge whatsoever.
If you're interested in finding out more about starting your own Non-Con…