Pete McAllen. Worship pastor, singer songwriter, husband, father. Describing himself as intense, but also loves a good laugh , Pete is obviously someone who is passionate about his art, his family and his faith.
This blog – Artwork of the Soul – is a glimpse into the life, music and musings of Pete and so what better way to start things off than with a bit of an expose. At the start of each month we will be focusing on Pete’s perspective on different areas of life – worship, family, creativity, and faith.
Seated comfortably in the McAllen’s living room, with Lizzie McAllen and their baby girl Lilja sitting next to me, I turned to Pete on the opposite couch and began the interroga – uh, the interview
I think that if you are going to understand Pete’s music, you need to understand where he comes from. Born and bred in Diss, Pete started out leading worship in his mid teens at his local youth group.
“Worship was so intense that on Monday mornings I would walk to school with aching legs because of how crazy worship was the night before.” he says remembering fondly. “I felt called to lead worship, though I never really thought I was going to be a worship pastor.”
Pete got most of his initial worship and music experience at a small church plant in North Hertforshire before moving to London and joining Hillsong where he played guitar on team. Having lived for a number of years as a singer songwriter initially, he says it didn’t go the way he hoped “though there are parts of it I wouldn’t change for anything” – but more on that in another post.
“To be honest, I used to think that becoming a worship pastor was a cop out – the lazy route for an artist.” The sheepish grin with this statement could not go unnoticed. “In hindsight, I know different and have the upmost respect for all of those in this field.”
Pete’s been working as Worship Pastor at Cambridge Community Church (C3) for nearly 7 years. In that time he got married, produced his first album, began work on a second album and more recently, become a father. I feel now is a good time to confess that during the interview I was distracted. Sitting next to adorable Lilja, and looking into her piercing blue eyes – when she took them off her parents – I saw the love that the McAllen family share. It was deep, authentic and beautiful. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Pete.
In terms of his leadership, Pete’s drive is connected to his calling. He believes that when you are called, you give your all because you care about it so much. “It comes down to vision really. I have a high expectation of myself. My personal walk with God is key to my work as a Worship Pastor. If I don’t have that right in my life, how can I expect God to work fully through me? Because yes, I can trust Him, but can He trust me? Of course He loves me, but can He TRUST me? That’s the test. If I’m consistent in that, then I can expect it of my team as well.”
He recalled the times at the start of his leadership, when he wasn’t as gracious to his team, but through the people in his life, especially his wife Lizzie, grace has been shaped in him.
Pete has recently made the decision to step down from his position as Worship Pastor to pursue a career as an artist and song writer. In asking about this I prepared myself for a deep and meaningful response about the love he has for the church, the risk he would be taking in stepping out as an independent artist – but before we could get to that Lilja was sick on herself. I promised Pete I would include this in the article.
What he did say though was that he would be looking forward to experiencing church as a family. That standing next to his wife in worship was something that they had sacrificed (willingly) during his season of leading and so now they are looking forward to being together in church, especially as Lilja gets older.
In the coming months as Pete’s new album, ‘Vulnerability’, is prepared for launch, and he transitions from the position of pastor to participant in church, there will be a lot of change. The result of change is lots of stories to tell … and that’s where this blog comes in!
So, welcome to Artwork of the Soul. The journey of a Creative is never ending, ever winding and always exciting. Thanks for coming along with us.