In each issue of Fuse we profile a Fusion Connection Church. Rosie Fraser caught up with Jon Carter, one of the Student Workers at Kings Cross Church (KXC) in London.
Tell us a bit about your church?
We’re seven years old as a church, so we’re still pretty young. We’ve grown from just a handful of people to between 500 and 600 people who call us home. My wife Jo and I lead the student work together. We’re right in the middle of a lot of different campuses in London, with five on our doorstep and 15 different universities represented amongst our students. At the start, we found that for some reason Kings Cross was a hard place for students to find a church to call home. We’re now pushing 100 students and they’re a remarkably diverse group.
What has God been doing recently?
The bar of what our students want to see God do is so high. What we’re seeing at the moment is so many of them bringing mates to church on Sunday and students coming to faith through that. It’s incredible. We’re seeing a real growth for the heart of Kings Cross. Having so many different uni’s represented across our student work creates a whole other challenge as to what does mission look like? To try to tackle this we have six or seven hubs in different areas through which we encourage missional stuff. One goes and meets with the homeless of Kings Cross; it’s amazing to see.
Of course, all of this stuff is irrelevant if it is not done with the presence of God with the Spirit, and that’s something that we’re noticing is becoming a part of the makeup of our student work. We run something called #ReclaimTheMorning where we meet on a Wednesday between 8am and 9am to pray and reclaim the morning for devotional time with God. The idea is that we might see the morning as our own time to get bits done or to just be alone, but instead we’re encouraging and modelling a lifestyle of devotion and discipleship. From that place of being with God, we can be outward looking and do all the exciting stuff we want to see, but we can’t do it without that time.
What challenges do you face?
London is an overwhelming city, it can be a chaotic place. One of our challenges is to create a safe place for people to feel like they are with family and at home with us. We support students in then creating home for each other too, to become rooted and call London home.
We haven’t yet had loads of people graduate, but it will happen next summer. We’re starting to think about how we help people to do graduate life really well. We want to set graduates up to thrive. There will be some big lessons we can learn from other churches who’ve done this already.
What advice would you offer to a church that is thinking about doing student work?
So often our question has been ‘how do we get students to come to KXC?’ God has the opposite heart, and we need to learn to serve the community, rather than feeling like they are serving us.
Become a Fusion Connection Church. Fusion is full of people who are for us, and want to see us thrive. They don’t want to own it, or have their name on anything, but it is just amazing to see how they’re supporting us and praying for our church and students.