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Helping the Next Generation of Leaders at The Hub

Friday 20 January 2023

by Joel Murray

More than sixty men and women from across the UK gathered in the West Midlands in January for The Hub: a conference for those considering, starting, or training for a role in church ministry.

The conference, organised by the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC), aims to help men and women navigate the journey into church ministry. People attended from a variety of backgrounds and situations: those considering a working in a church, those currently in training, and those looking for a first role in a church context.

The weekend included preaching from Andy Rees (Lead Pastor at CityGates Church, Norwich) and Trevor Archer (FIEC Director for London), sung worship, interviews, time for prayer, and time for reflection.

Andy encouraged the conference with the privilege of ministry alongside the reality of its challenges and urged listeners to pursue godliness in leadership. Trevor shared how sacrificial giving in church ministry is the heart of gospel work because it reflects what God is like.

Two sessions of seminars were on offer: ‘core’ seminars addressing topics relating to Independent church ministry (including choosing your first post, “is ministry for me?”, and parenting through change) and ‘plus’ seminars exploring character disciplines that gospel workers need to establish (such as godliness, self-discipline, and friendship).

More than thirty experienced gospel workers were also invited to offer advice and counsel to the prospective church workers. They included pastors and their wives, women’s workers, leaders from Bible schools, and FIEC staff, with decades of church ministry life to share. Each attendee was linked with one of these helpers to offer a chance to ask questions and share their hopes and fears.

Matt Horry, a seminary student who attended the conference, said: “I’ve massively valued being around experienced pastors and gospel workers who are excited to help me think and pray through the next steps – whether that be serving Jesus in paid ministry or not. Seeing a room full of people thinking similarly was also hugely encouraging.”

Adrian Reynolds, FIEC Head of National Ministries, said: “This is one of our most significant events in the calendar. It is a biblical imperative to invest in a new generation of leaders, but it is also an overwhelming joy and privilege.”