Gathering at The Hub
If you’ve crossed paths with Trevor Archer over the past few months then he probably told you how excited he was about The Hub Conference. But now that the weekend has been and gone, did it live up to his expectations…?
In the spirit that evoked memories of Scott of the Antarctic, not even the blizzard conditions that swept most of the UK could keep the 200 men and women from The Hub Conference last weekend. Some from Cornwall drove for 8 hours through snowstorms, others set off the night before from South Wales in order to escape the worst conditions and some even made the long journey south from Edinburgh. In the end almost all of those booked-in braved the elements to the haven of the De Vere Hotel near Milton Keynes. Heroes one and all!
It’s not always easy being Independent. For too long, men and women from FIEC and other Independent churches have found the process of plotting a route into vocational gospel ministry far too complicated – and our churches have suffered because of it! Where denominations might have clear processes in place, our folk have often felt on their own. In light of this, The Hub Conference is a key part of our Fellowship’s response to help make the journey into and through training for gospel ministry much easier to navigate.
Those who came to this inaugural weekend essentially fell into one of two groups. There were those who were Just Looking; men and women in the early stages of exploring what courses are on offer and what would be entailed in training for gospel ministry. Then there were those who have Just Started; mainly Bible College students, attracted by the opportunity to build friendships, gain advice and be practically helped along a route into Independent church ministry.
From the very start there was a great buzz to the weekend as folk tucked into the full menu on offer:
- Four sessions of heart-warming Bible ministry from Julian Hardyman (Eden Baptist Church, Cambridge) on ‘The Heart of Ministry’.
- Seminars in abundance on a whole range of relevant issues, with titles such as ‘Zeitgeist’ (preparing for tomorrow’s theological hot potatoes) through to ‘Matchmaking’ (what to look for in a prospective church).
- Enormously helpful one-to-one consultations (or two-to-two for married couples) with experienced church, college and mission leaders who were part of The Hub team.
And there were plenty of people Tweeting the things that struck them throughout the weekend…
Excellent 1st evening. We minister out of weakness built up by the word of God’s grace. Great conversations over drinks afterwards #hub2013— John Stevens (@_JohnStevens) January 18, 2013
So much was packed into such a short time that by Saturday evening we were almost at the limit of people’s endurance! But the same spirit that saw these younger men and women determined to reach The Hub in the first place kicked-in again after a good night’s sleep. And so we saw the conference end on a high note as Adrian Reynolds pointed us to the glory of God from Ezekiel 1.
What a privilege to be part of such a great weekend that, God willing, will be an ever growing regular event in the FIEC calendar as the Lord raises up an army of gospel workers from our family of churches.
Awesome weekend at #hub2013 Big thing for me to take away is to keep focused on Jesus - his gospel, his grace and his glory!— Andrew Miller (@ajm84) January 20, 2013
You can see a few photos from The Hub Conference here.