Steps Along the Journey (The Hub 2024)
Men and women from across the country gathered in the Midlands for The Hub conference to seek God and consider their journey into church ministry.
My wife and I attend New Life Church Wall Heath in the West Midlands. I currently serve in our church as an elder on the leadership team and have a full time job as a driving instructor. Along with her job as a baker, my wife Jess serves the church in the youth work on Fridays, in Sunday school, on the worship team, and at our community café during the week.
We have felt for many years a desire and calling to explore serving in full-time ministry and, after discussing this with our pastor at New Life Church, he advised us that The Hub would be a good starting point.
We decided to go, in the hope that it would help us in deciding what steps to take next and to explore what training we would need to start if this is indeed where God wants to take us.
Support and encouragement
Before we arrived, we felt rather nervous as we didn't know what to expect or if this weekend was going to give us the answers we were looking for. There were lots of experienced people who we wanted to speak to, to try and get as much advice and guidance as possible, but we were unsure of where to start.
We soon realised there was no need to worry as we were immediately greeted by one of the helpers, quickly followed by Dan and Kate – who were partnered with us for the weekend – who introduced themselves and set up our first proper network session.
They were really helpful in their advice straight away, helping us to see that being in eldership and the responsibilities that brings has actually been part of our training, that God had already been preparing us. They also gave us an hour on Saturday to listen to and pray with us.
Their advice was so helpful: it didn't put pressure on us but enabled us to think clearer about how service to God in full-time ministry may look for us and where we currently are.
Everyone at the conference was so supportive and encouraged us to go to the seminars that best suited us. Each seminar we attended was thought-provoking and reassuring for us and was set up in a way that we were able to ask all the questions we had.
Gathering and connecting
The gatherings were also a great blessing, full of powerful worship and teaching.
Throughout the weekend we were encouraged to talk to as many people as possible and the relaxed timetable and atmosphere made this really easy.
One particular time was on the Saturday evening when Jess had the opportunity to sit with a few of the ministry wives and get some much-needed conversation and reassurance, whilst I sat with their husbands and others discussing our own churches and ways of serving.
There was also time to spend as just the two of us: to catch up and regroup, and to discuss what we felt God was saying to us.
We were so encouraged by all the volunteers, who each gave us all the time we needed whenever we got into conversation with them.
From a weekend that we approached with a fair amount of trepidation and nerves, we both left with a great feeling of God’s peace, that no matter what he calls us to do in his service we do so with him, a God who is in control and we know that we can trust.
For anyone considering what ministry is like, if they have questions or concerns, or if they believe it’s what God’s plan is for them, The Hub would provide exactly what they need. Just to spend time with God’s people worshipping, looking into his word, and praying was a huge blessing.
The Hub conference is a weekend dedicated to serving those exploring the call to ministry or who have already started the journey. It is usually held in the second weekend of January.