For a number of years we have been thinking about how to best move towards our purpose; Connect, Grow, Equip and Impact (you can read about these on our home page).
The process of these four stages is what the Bible calls discipleship. We want to get away from the idea that discipleship is learning information in a class and instead see it happens as we live our whole life.
We're convinced that this process happens best in community, as we 'do' life together. To help this happen we are organising ourselves into Hubs. These are smaller groups of families and individuals who gather to build friendship, learn, practice and encourage one another.
We've been excited about the potential of intentional, small communities for a while, but the pandemic has been a nudge to take the next step. So, for 2021 we want to centre our activities and practices around Hubs.
We've always had small groups in the church, but the difference now is we're saying that Hubs will be the main, weekly church experience for us. When coronavirus restrictions allow we will add whole church events, as these are really important and some things, like corporate worships, are much better in large groups, but our main church activity will be in Hubs.
A helpful way to understand this is to think about Hubs as mini-churches. These are more informal and relational. When restrictions allow Hubs will meet over a meal, so this church around the kitchen table or in the living room with plates balanced on our laps.
Young People & Hubs
Hubs are for families and we think there are tremendous benefits for children and youth to be part of an extended community that is intentional about having God at the centre.
Depending on the young person's age they will be able to connect with different aspects of what the Hub is doing, but we imagine at some point the children are allowed to go off and play, watch TV, get given their phones and so on. This is what would happen at a family gathering and this is the 'feel' we want to produce.
However, because our young people are a high priority to us, we are planning to have twice-monthly sessions for the children and youth, in age bands. This will allow age-relevant activities. We want to help them build an intentional community, so the activities will be fun and highly social as well as helping them discover and develop their relationship with God.
Hubs for 2021
We are working on an annual cycle, so Hubs run for a calendar year.
The video below covers our reasons and plans and you can also catch up on the different aspects of our plans and reasons here.