Hughes spoke about Worship Central, a new worship training programme, and his upcoming album, which is scheduled for release in October 2006. In
addition, Hughes shared his thoughts on changes he wishes to see in Christian music today.
How was the turn-out for the first session of Worship Central (6 May, 2006)?
We had a great day! We had just under 700 people turn up here at Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) Church. We spent a lot of time worshipping and talking about what worship is, and we held seminars.
I did a seminar on ‘The Journey of Worship’, on what we are trying to achieve in worship as we lead people in our churches. My colleague Al Gordon did one on ‘The Sound of the Heart’, about getting our hearts right for God.
It was amazing. When you gather 700 worship leaders and musicians to worship and sing, you can really sense God’s presence.
|PIC2|What’s your current involvement with Soul Survivor?
Soul Survivor’s “Passion for Your Name" will close down, as [Worship Central] will replace it. I used to work full-time for Soul Survivor, but now I’m just involved with the worship for summer festivals. Soul Survivor’s Mike Pilavachi and the team are great friends of mine.
Are there any plans for a new album?
Yes! I’m just about to start recording in July and August, hoping it will be out in England by October. It will probably be released in America in January 2007.
Great news! So what is your favourite song out of all the songs you’ve composed?
My favourite song always changes. (laughs) At the moment it’s a song called ‘Everything’. It’s just about God being in our everyday life. In our sleep, in our work, in our dream, and our hurting... all these things that God is in the centre of. It’s about Christ being our hope and our reason for living, and just the sense that worship is all for Him. The song will be in the new album.
What awaits you in the next couple of months?
|PIC3|I’m still settling here in HTB as a worship pastor. I’ve just been here 6 months, so we’re just kind of growing and developing the worship team here.
And then there’s Worship Central. I’ll be involved with training days, and the website (www.worshipcentral.org.uk) will launch on 1 July, 2006. We’re going to do monthly podcasts and retreats — there’s one on February and one in May.
We have six Saturdays (worship training days) planned for next year, where we will present different teachings. We will have theology streams, streams for leaders about leading bands and the church, and then we have a practical stream on improving your skills as a guitarist, drummer, bass player, singer etc.
The heart is to find as many ways possible to resource worship leaders and musicians to strengthen the church.
What changes would you like to see in Christian music today?
I would like to see more authenticity, more passion expressed. I would also like to see some more diversity. I think the danger is that Christian music might start to sound a bit “samey”. We need to see the heavy metal side, the classical side, the acoustic side, hip- hop... God has given us all these sounds and types of music for us to express how great His love is. Sometimes classical music can express the beauty and mystery of God. Sometimes dance music can express the joy of knowing Him. I’d love to see that.
For me, it used to be that the church would set the standard in terms of great music.
Now it feels like it sees what happens in the world, and tries to replicate that - but not quite as well. Rather than following trends, I would like to see the church setting trends in what is great music. I want people to hear music from the church and say that something about it is different. Something about it inspires me.