What are Home Hubs?
A hybrid worship gathering. Part in-person (because they meet in person, not online), part digital (because they use elements of the digital service in their meetings). It might help to think of a Home Hub as an alternative to Sunday worship services like our current 10am and 5pm services.
Here are some key features of Home Hubs:
- Groups of 10-25 people who meet in homes in the community.
- Hub leaders would go through a process (like any other ministry team leader) before starting their roles and be supported by, and accountable to, the Home Hubs Minister.
- All Hubs will be strongly encouraged to take advantage of the evangelistic opportunities this meeting format presents. This would be an essential part of their initial formation as a Hub.
- Some Hubs may grow into church plants in the future.
What Home Hubs are not
- Watch Parties.
- Watch parties are where people gather to watch the digital service from beginning to end. Whilst this is a good thing to do, they do not have the ongoing opportunities for people to serve and minister to each other that Hubs would have.
- Life Groups.
- There will be some similarities with Life Groups, just as there are between Life Groups and in-person services, so it will be helpful to think of Home Hubs as a type of worship service. Life Groups have a laser focus on Discipleship, Nurturing and Accountability; Hubs will have more of a focus on Worship, Teaching and Evangelism.
When will Home Hubs meet?
This will be up to the leader and members to decide. In many ways the time is completely up to them although during the formation stage of the group, we would encourage strategic thinking around mission so the timeslot would work well for those the Hub seeks to share their faith with regularly.
Example: If the Hub had a particular focus on sharing their faith with the local netball club, it would make sense not to meet at a time that clashed with netball training or matches.
What expectations will there be of Hub Leaders?
Hub leaders will need to be high capacity, high maturity volunteer members of our church. In recruiting leaders, we will be looking for people who have:
- Christ-like character and practices (see our code of conduct and clearance for ministry policies).
- Already recognised leadership gifts.
- A passion for people who don’t know Jesus to hear the good news.
- An ability to pastorally care for a group of people and to help them care for each other.
- Time and energy to give to a challenging but potentially very rewarding and exciting ministry.
- A willingness to take a risk for the opportunity to share the gospel.
How will Hub leaders be supported?
Every Hub should start with at least two leaders and a minimum of four mature adult Christians (including leaders) who are committed to the Hub in an ongoing capacity, six would be ideal. This means that the leaders will not find themselves in a position where they are the only Christians in the gathering. This will be the ‘Launch Team’.
Digital resources will be made available separate to Youtube in easily accessible ways for the leaders to use in preparation for their meetings. As we learn and grow the ministry, these resources could no doubt be shaped to be more and more effective for use in Hubs, based on leaders’ feedback.
The Home Hubs minister would be the direct contact with all the Hub leaders. Given that we expect Hubs to be quite a challenging ministry to lead at times, it will be essential for this relationship to be strong and consistent. A regular meeting between all the Hub leaders would make sense as well as regular resource sharing and coaching as needed. Exactly how this looks in practice will depend on how many Hub leaders there are at any one time, how experienced those leaders are what issues they are facing.
How will Hubs relate to other St John’s Ministries?
In this case it’s helpful to think of Hubs relating in the same was as the current Sunday services do. Hubs will not run their own Life Groups or Youth Ministries or Mission Partners or anything like that. What’s unique about Hubs is their weekly gathering, beyond that we would strongly encourage people to be part of the wider St John’s ministries.
Example: Teenagers meeting in a Home Hub should definitely be part of a Youth Life Group with youth from 10am, 5pm and other Hubs as well as attend Youth Events and Camp Crave.
Some examples of what a Home Hub might look like…
Hypothetical Hub #1
- Location: South Morang
- Led by a retiree couple
- Members: mostly young adults and retirees with a focus on the younger generation learning from the older generation
- Meet on Saturdays
- Digital components: talk and music
- Do their own: discussion, prayer and lunch
- Evangelistic opportunity: this hub has a culture that expects members will invite their non-Christian friends every week. Everything about their meetings is carefully chosen to be easily understood by people without a church background.
- The group will become two hubs if they get too big for the lounge room.
Hypothetical Hub #2
- Location: Diamond Creek
- Led by a 30-something considering a career change towards full time ministry.
- Members include parents with kids and several single adults
- Meet on Friday afternoons after work
- Digital: talk and kids’ resources
- Do their own: music, prayers, bible reading and early dinner
- Evangelistic opportunity: Provide an alternative timeslot to Sundays for single parents who find it hard to do church with their kids on Sundays due to split custody and shift work.
Hypothetical Hub #3
- Location: Wollert
- Led by a young adult ministry trainee
- Members include mostly teenagers and young adults with some older mentors, including two chaplains at the local footy club
- Meet on Thursday nights
- Digital: talk and music
- Do their own: discussion, prayers, bible reading and afternoon tea
- Evangelistic opportunity: hoping to grow into a church plant that reaches people living in the northern growth corridor, everything about their meeting (how they pray, who they invite) bears this in mind. The group partner with the footy chaplains as their main point of community connection.