The HUB (Holy Unified Body) is part of the church in Whangarei, New Zealand, that seeks to establish the kingdom of God and to spread His gospel in the world we find ourselves in.
How do we intend to accomplish this?
We understand that Christ left behind His Spirit in the hearts of his followers. That Spirit becomes the strength that enables us all to walk in His footsteps, proclaiming the good news and bringing the presence of God into a hurting world. This Spirit joins all the children of God into one body and it is only by each of us doing what we can, what we have been gifted to do, that this gospel (good news) will have its work in this needy place.
But what does that mean in reality?
It means that every member of the HUB works together for this end with Christ as our Lord and master. The HUB exists to aid everyone in the work of the kingdom on this earth. Some teach, some pray, some listen, some suffer, some reach out, some give, some comfort, but all love. The HUB exists to facilitate and support those thus engaged however we can.
This involves a Sunday gathering with communal teaching and worship. It involves smaller gatherings where each member contributes their ministering gifts for the edification and encouragement of all. It involves a network of support and mentorship both in the things of the Spirit and material things. And it involves a network in place to promote the actions that people are taking to spread the love of Christ, and encourage support of time, talents and funds to that end.
Who is the leader?
The HUB was set up by Nathan and Charlotte Hawkins, and is now in the hands of a leadership team who act as “curators”, watching over and caring for the group. Beyond that each person is accountable for the gifts and responsibilities placed into their hands. We want to serve the entire body as best we can, whether the individual attends our Sunday gathering or not. If we can help you in any way we would love to! We are here as servants of Christ. At present there are no paid “staff” as responsibilities are carried out in a shared manner. Hear more about this leadership style here.
Who are we “under”?
In more hierarchal church models, as in many institutions and businesses there is a clear “chain of command”. It us often assumed that this brings a level of protection. Instead of this we believe in “mutual accountability” where we all know each other, trust is developed and we relate as friends. This means that leadership isolation is removed, responsibility is shared and anyone can question anything that is taught or done. The diverse gifts, experience and training that exists amongst us is then able to flourish, as we relate together. Leadership gifts, pastoral and teaching ministries are acknowledged but these are based on what someone does, rather than by title. We relate to the wider Body of Christ through our various networks, but we do not formally belong to any particular denomination or movement.
As we have no staff and rent a building for our Sunday meetings our overheads are very low. Regular attenders tend to contribute by direct payment methods into our bank account. We do not take up an offering at our Sunday gatherings, apart from occasionally if there is a special need for someone that requires support. We do not teach tithing, but instead encourage a culture of generosity and sharing with one-another and with our community that is not limited to money (2 Corinthians 8:13).
From time to time people make payments into our “Spoke” accounts for special projects (Breakfast HUB, Little Edens, Help Your Neighbour etc.) All payments are approved by two trustees and annual accounts are filed with Charities Services. As a registered charity we give donations certificates annually for tax purposes.
We do not have a formal membership structure as many churches do, considering that such “bounded set” models can place artificial barriers and levels that we wish to avoid. Instead, like our leadership model, people are “members” by relationship rather than title. This “centred set” model (centred on Christ) allows all people, wherever they are on their journey towards Christ, to be treated with the same, regardless of what they do or if they attend our gatherings. We adopt a “parish” mentality, whereby everyone in our city is our “neighbour” and together we are called to minister to the collective wellbeing of the place God has placed us.