Connectedness in Training
“No” or “not yet” might not seem like a positive outcome from a weekend designed for those exploring the call to full-time gospel ministry. But at The Hub Conference we think that’s as much of a result as sending someone to Bible College as Trevor Archer explains.
One of the great privileges of being our Training Director these past six years has been supporting local churches and leaders who are looking to help men and women from their fellowships on the journey into gospel ministry.
Since The Hub Conference began in 2012 it has, in God’s goodness, become one of the best ways we can support FIEC churches in evaluating and encouraging folk who are considering full-time ministry.
More than 400 people have attended the conference to date and a significant number of them are now either in training or their first ministry post.
It has proven immensely beneficial to those who have attended – not least because part of the aim of The Hub Conference is to help individuals and churches ascertain whether or not it is appropriate for them to proceed. “No” or “not yet” is also a positive result that saves heartache down the line.
An Appropriate Route
It was great to read the first blog that my successor, Adrian Reynolds, wrote for us last week. In it he said:
“In Independency we have learnt and are able to be adaptable when it comes to training, knowing that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to training. We don’t need to force someone into a particular path if it is not suitable for them. To a large extent, that has been part of the mission of The Hub Conference, to help those considering ministry find an appropriate route.”
The Hub Conference is purely focused on gospel ministry issues and helping people find that appropriate route. We have a packed programme that includes individual counsel from seasoned gospel workers; access to leaders of college and church-based courses; a host of seminars and Bible ministry on what it means to be a gospel worker; and the opportunity to ask questions about ministry life.
For those involved in formal training courses from FIEC churches we have encouraged attendance every year throughout their training. We want to develop a sense of “walking through training into ministry” with them and their sending church. For that reason, anyone receiving help from the FIEC Training Fund attends the Conference and just about all who have done so speak of the great benefit and sense of “connectedness” that has provided.
If you are reading this as a church leader please consider who you might want to send to The Hub Conference in 2017. It takes place over the weekend of 13-15 January in a splendid hotel near Milton Keynes.
If you are reading this as someone considering the call into ministry: first you need to talk to your church leader. People can only attend with the approval of their local church, so pastors and leaders are key to this process.
Finally, a reminder that The Hub Conference isn’t just for men training to be pastors. It is also aimed at those planning to be future church planters, evangelists, children and youth workers, women’s workers and pastoral workers. We also encourage the attendance of spouses for those who are married. In encouraging couples to attend, we aim to ensure plenty of provision for answering the many questions potential ministry wives might have.
So if God is calling you to the ministry, will you join us this year? And if you’re a church leader, who will you send?
Bookings are open now and the cost of the weekend is £155 per person or £275 for a married couple. Find out more.
The main speaker this year is Bill James from Emmanuel Church, Leamington Spa and he gave the closing address at 2016’s conference to set up his talks which you can listen to here.