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WANTED: More Vacancies!

Richard Underwood thinks we might have a problem, but in some ways it’s a good problem to have. Find out more as Richard shares some joined-up reflections on The Hub Conference, our Pastors’ Network and Ministry Introductions.

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There was once a time when the cry went up: “Where are the pastors of the future?” In God’s goodness, we’re not asking that question at the moment. Today we are blessed with a steady stream of men who want to give their lives in the service of the Lord Jesus through preaching his gospel, pastoring his people and leading his church. The question today is not “where are the pastors?” but “where are the churches?” If we’re suffering any embarrassment, it’s an embarrassment of riches.

I’ve seen this manifest itself in a number of ways:

The Hub Conference

The Hub Conference is an annual conference arranged by FIEC. It offers a wonderful way of charting routes into ministry in Independent churches. Through The Hub, experienced gospel workers interact both with those who are thinking about training for ministry and with those who are already in training.

The Hub Conference

I was part of the team at the first event in January when 167 delegates attended; In January 2014 the number is likely to be just as high. You can’t look out across a sea of eager faces at The Hub Conference and think that God has finished with the church in this country!

Pastors’ Network

Pastors' Network logoThrough the Pastors’ Network we are seeking to develop a ‘band of brothers’ mentality through which we both provide care and support for one another – alongside genuine accountability. Every couple of months or so, FIEC’s National Recognition Team evaluates the applications of a stream of men coming forward for ministry in our family of churches. At the November meeting, we recommended 14 individuals for accreditation. The pressing question is, “where are the churches?”

The book of Acts is punctuated with phrases like “the word of God spread…”. Gospel growth isn’t rocket science. If we wish to see gospel growth, we need to increase the number of churches and gospel communities. And if we wish to increase the number of churches and gospel communities, we need to increase the number of gospel workers. God is graciously answering our prayers and raising-up workers for the harvest field; we just need to find places for them to work.

Ministry Introductions

A great forum for introducing gospel churches and gospel workers is our web-based Ministry Introductions service. Click on the ‘Jobs’ tab at the top of our website. This service offers the opportunity for FIEC churches to advertise openings…

  • for youth pastors, apprentices, church planters and women’s workers on the public Jobs Noticeboard; and
  • for pastors, associate pastors or assistant pastors through a confidential Pastoral Introductions service.

In anticipation of all the ministry-hungry people gathering at The Hub Conference – who want to discover not only how but where they can serve the Lord Jesus – we’ll be promoting the opportunities available through Ministry Introductions during the conference. So if your FIEC church has a ministry opportunity to offer, please make use of Ministry Introductions by contacting Ali Davies via our contact form.

Where have all the churches gone? You might be the answer to the prayer of a gospel worker looking for a new opportunity to serve.

Richard Underwood photo
Richard Underwood - FIEC Pastoral Ministries Director

Richard is married to Pippa and they have two grown-up children. He loves (watching) sport, walking and “extreme reading” (that’s an extremely good book in an extremely comfortable chair!).


Follow Richard Underwood on Twitter – @Richard_J_U