From September Matt Banks will taking over from Simon Pedley as the minister in charge of the student ministry at CCM. Matt has already been at CCM for a year where amongst other things he was in charge of the new 7pm service. As he starts this new role we thought it would be really good to get to know him a bit better!
Name: Matt Banks
Nicknames? In my old job at KPMG I was sometimes known as “Goose” after the character from Top Gun (because apparently I looked like the actor who played him). But really “Banksy” is the only one that’s ever stuck!
Place of birth: Hertford
Give us one fascinating fact about your place of birth: Apparently my mum was given the same bed in the same room in the same hospital when she gave birth to me and my brother who is two years younger than me.
Specialist subject: Well, I studied Maths at university in Durham: but to be honest my Maths skill are pretty rusty these days.
At Oak Hill Bible college I did my dissertation on a Dutch theologian called Abraham Kuyper. The dissertation was broadly on the topic of what level of responsibility the church should or shouldn’t take for the social needs of wider society. I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers but it was a real blessing to have so much time to think about it and in the process develop a real appreciation for just how precious “church” is.
(I also know far too much about video games!)
Tell us about your family: I’ve Been married to my lovely wife Megan for just over three years now and we just had our first child – Abigail: who as most 3 month olds are is a joy and challenge!
Megan is originally from Cape Town and has been living in the UK for just over six years. We met when we were both working at St Helens Bishopsgate. She is doing a great job of adapting to being a new mom, and when she gets any spare time she’s a bit of a baking fanatic.
How did you become a Christian? It was while I was a student in Durham. I was brought up in a church going family but when I went to uni I thought being a Christian was about being good enough for God and, to be honest, that I was a pretty safe bet on making the cut. Although I called myself a Christian I thought that people who went on about Jesus just needed to get out more. At uni I gradually began to realise that I wasn’t the good guy that I thought I was. I realised that I had very little integrity calling myself a Christian whilst wanting nothing to do with Christ. I went to a Christianity Explored course and was confronted with who Jesus is. I was a very reluctant convert in many ways as I realised very clearly what life style changes I would need to make if I began to follow Jesus. But, praise God, he got me! I realised in my second year that if Jesus is big and I am small then he gets to be in charge of my life.
What were you doing before coming to work at Christ Church? Immediately before coming here I was studying at Oak Hill Bible college for four years. Prior to that I was on staff at St Helens Bishopsgate for four years. I did their apprenticeship scheme and was then involved in outreach ministry on local council estates (yes, amazingly there are three within striking distance of St Helens), prison ministry and helped run Christianity Explored. Before that I trained as an auditor with KPMG.
Tell us about your likes/dislikes
Likes: My family, cheese, basketball, movies, videogames, sunny holidays, Jiujitsu, spending good quality time with the Lord, reading a good novel
Dislikes: Not getting enough sleep, bananas, home makeover shows, feeling disorganised, the stalks on mushrooms, most rom coms (although I probably like more than I’d happily admit)
If you were stranded on a desert island (with a power source and DVD player), which three books (apart from the Bible) OR DVDs would you choose to have with you?
Chariots of Fire
What do you like doing in your spare time, if you ever get any? I really like basketball – I don’t play very often but if I can get along to a local park and play 3-on-3 I’m a very happy man. I also took up Jiujitsu a couple of years ago with one of my tutors from Oak Hill. I get to be a big kid and wrestle other grown men! And I’ve been known to enjoy a bit of video gaming when I get the time.
How can we pray for you as you start looking after the students here?
That my primary concern would be pleasing God not caring what others think of me
That I’d get to know all the students really well
That all of us involved in student ministry (staff, apprentices, SKG leaders, students) would have fun together and all grow in our love for Jesus