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An Interview with Pete Hughes – how do you church plant in a capital city?

3 October 2012

My next interview is with someone I have known for years as we grew up across the street from one another. In fact he was my first ever prayer partner (see previous blog post called Anam Cara) when I was just 13 and he was 15. I also remember many a game of football and cricket in the garden where, if my memory serves me right, I came out victorious (see picture at the bottom for an embarrassing photo of him from when he was late teens). So it has been fantastic to see Pete grow as a leader and to follow his recent journey into London where he is doing something very similar to what we are hoping to do in Dublin.

(1) Hi Pete, tell us who you are, your history, what you do & your most favourite thing about Dublin?
My name’s Pete Hughes. I lead a church in central london called KXC (King’s Cross Church). I’m married to Bee and we have two kids, Benj & Josh. The thing I love most about Dublin, having never visited, is the price of the guinness!

(2) Who have been your inspirations growing up and who do you enjoying reading?
The leader that perhaps has most shaped me is a guy called Mike Pilavachi who leads Soul Survivor, a ministry I worked for for a few years. The people that I most enjoy reading right now are Tom Wright & Tim Keller – they aren’t on exact same page theologically, but they are both amazing storytellers and have a knack of bringing biblical truths to life.

(3) You started Kings Cross Church just over 2 years ago, tell us how the first 2 years have been?
Incredible fun.  It’s been a huge faith adventure, watching God provide in amazing ways. We’ve experienced financial provision, a local business offering us rent-free office space for 18 months, we’ve seen people come to faith, come back to faith and grow in faith. At the same time it’s been really challenging –  the first year in particular was really hard work for us as a team, but all in all, it has been the most rewarding two years of my life.

(4) Tell us about church planting with 2 young kids, how does that affect what you do and how you do it?
Church planting with kids means you have to learn how to play to your strengths. Kids provide an incredible opportunity to build relationships with local families e.g. at nursery/school/local community groups. So even though there are obvious challenges that come with church planting with young kids, people don’t mention enough the incredible missional opportunities that having kids presents.  I  also try to be really disciplined about having a work/home balance – the reality is that there is always more work than I have hours in which to do it, and therefore as a general rule, I’m always back at home at 5.30pm to do the dinner/bathtime/bedtime shift, so that my kids aren’t the ones that make the sacrifices for my calling.

(5) Tell us some of the values and characteristics that you feel need to mark churches that are planted in capital cities?

Here’s a few thoughts that come to mind immeditately, although I’m sure there are plenty of important ones that I’ve forgotten. Churches have to be geared towards serving vulnerable people in society; issues of poverty are always massive in urban centres, and for a church to be a vehicle of transformation in that centre, it has to have a vision of how to serve the poor and address some of the drivers of poverty. Secondly, churches have got to have a vision for investing in young leaders; big urban centres always attract young people and those in the early stages of their career paths, and if you have a desire to infect such people with a kingdom vision, hopefully they will carry that for the rest of their lives wherever they end up. Thirdly, churches have got to emphasise building community; levels of loneliness are always high in overpopulated cities, and therefore you have to be really intentional about how you create genuine authentic community.

(6) What story have you heard recently that has really inspired and encouraged you?
The stories that inspire me most at the moment, have come from KXC taking teams out and about in Kings Cross to pray for people. Recently, we met one guy and asked if we could pray for him. He was a bit hesitant at first but eventually agreed and then started opening up about he had come from a Muslim background but had always been intrigued by the person of Jesus, and yet had never met anyone he could talk with and ask honest questions about Him. The amazing thing was that one of our team just randomly happened to have in her bag a copy of the New Testament written specifically to explain the person of Jesus to people coming from Islamic backgrounds! The guy was obviously blown away by this and said he’d be really keen to come to our upcoming Alpha course. It’s these stories of what feel like ‘god appointments’ and people coming to Jesus that inspire me most.

You can follow Pete @PeteJHughes and below is a hugely embarrassing photo of him for when we lived in Birmingham over 12 years ago – sorry about the naff quality (I didn’t tell him I was going to put this in so I look forward to his response…hehe!!)

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