Exploring God’s Call (The Hub 2023)
More than 60 men and women gathered in the West Midlands for The Hub conference to consider God’s call on their lives and whether church ministry could be for them.
Imagine a young (well, late-twenties-pushing-thirties) married couple. Then imagine that they have a very energetic eighteen-month-old. Then, they have parents willing to take her off your hands for a weekend so they can get away from it all for the first time since they became a mum and dad…
What would you do? Would you book a trip? A romantic getaway? Time by the coast? Long walks or an enjoyable meal? What would be on your list?
You might not think of a weekend conference in the West Midlands as exactly top of the pile. But hopefully, I can explain why booking on to The Hub conference was incredibly worthwhile for that couple and indeed for many others who attended.
Questions and misconceptions
In 2019 my wife Hannah and I were exploring the possibility of future full-time pastoral ministry. We had so many feelings, questions, and misconceptions. To then find ourselves in a (really quite nice) hotel packed to the rafters with experienced men and women who have endured in gospel ministry was amazing.
We’ve been to three ‘Hubs’ now. We have massively valued how enthusiastic the ‘helpers’ (all experienced pastors and gospel workers) are to simply chat. Before arriving, you are assigned a couple or individual ‘helper’ whom you will meet with over a coffee to chat and pray.
At the Hub 2023 though, I think I need more than two hands to count the number of people we had helpful conversations with outside our arranged time slot.
In the busyness of life, it can be difficult to find the time to properly consider something as important as the call to ministry and so to have the space to do so, with others in the same boat, is so refreshing. The Hub provides such an awesome opportunity to stop, rest, think and pray. Add into that people who are keen to get to know you and share their experience, along with relaxed but challenging Bible-teaching sessions and pertinent seminars - the end result is golden.
Considering God’s call on your life
We are in a very different season now than we were back in 2019. I (Matt) am now in part-time seminary and we are praying about the next steps into ministry. But each year we have driven away from the Hub chatting all the way home, with fresh things to think and pray about.
It’s clear to us that the Hub isn’t in the business of churning people into ministry roles, but about seriously helping men and women explore God’s call on their lives - even if that doesn’t mean full-time paid ministry.
At the Hub this year, we got a realistic and honest view from those who have been there and got the t-shirt. We were encouraged to pray hard and to count the cost. We were reminded from 2 Corinthians 6 that holiness is essential and that suffering is inevitable.
But we were also reminded that if God calls us into ministry, it will be worth it all as he enables us to serve him by his power, as we share the riches of Jesus with many.
If you’re considering God’s call on your life and whether full-time ministry might be for you, the Hub is a great place to start the journey.