This past February, our church community moved into our own space after almost nine years of meeting in various rented facilities. Our church rallied and the process was an inspiring expression of unity and everyone coming together with their unique gifts.
As a church with the mantra, “Be the Church” we decided to refer to our space as “The Hub” instead of “church” or “Watermark.” Below is a bit of our reasoning to call our place, “The Hub.”
Why do we call our faith family’s home the “HUB”? Why don’t we just call the building, “the church”, or “Watermark”?
When Scripture talks about the Church, it never talks about a place. The Church isn’t a place. The Church is the people, following Jesus together, on mission. This community is referred to as the Body of Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:18,24; Romans 12:5; Ephesians 5:23). One of our mantras through the years has been, “Be the Church.”
Therefore, we call our church’s building, “The Hub.”
But, won’t this “Hub” talk confuse people in the community?
Probably. But, we believe that it is an important distinction to make in a community with a lot of religious background and baggage. By calling our wonderful home “The HUB” we have an opportunity to question the prevailing assumptions people have about the church.
I grew up in West Michigan and I believed the church was a building we went to and a service we sat through. This outlook makes the church into a vendor of religious goods and services. This perspective also sees the church as something to consume and shop for. In this view the church becomes a once a week option to attend, instead of a new purposeful identity to live out, all week. Also, when we see the church as the interconnected Body of Christ, that each one of us are a part of, we can begin to recognize how we belong to one another and need one another.
Does it really matter?
Absolutely! I firmly believe this is a conversation that must be had in our wider communities. By calling our facility “The Hub” we have an opportunity to challenge the widely held views that hold back the church’s mission. If we refer to the building as a “church” we will be reinforcing a non-biblical and non-missional view. Words are powerful, they reveal what you believe, and they help shape culture.
So why call the building “The Hub?”
First of all, it fits the vision we’ve had about our space. A hub is a central place that things connect to and radiate out from. The building is a home to invite people into and send one another out from.
Secondly, people in the community will come to know our space as “The Hub” and this will help people, with a lot of religious baggage, feel more open to utilizing or connecting in our space.
We believe that we, as followers of Jesus, are the church sent on God’s mission. We desire to help the 60% of folks in our community who are not regularly connected to a church community find Jesus, a faith family, and a mission.
Let’s BE the church together on God’s mission!