Pastor Bret Andrews
What a grand journey the Lord has us all on! As I write this and reflect on my personal journey I am amazed at God’s sovereign work and His unfailing love.
I was born on March 14, 1981 and raised in Coeur d’ Alene, ID. As a very young child I learned a few things about Christ in daycare but was not raised in a Christian household. Once I hit high school I ventured down all the wrong roads and upon going to college hit what felt like absolute rock bottom drinking myself into oblivion. Little did I know at the time that the Lord had been pursuing me for a very long time. It was on March 6th, 2001 that I became aware of God’s pursuit and by God’s grace transitioned from death to life!
Fast forward a few years and after finishing college I moved to Seattle where the Lord brought me my best friend and wife Jaci. We have been married since 2006 and have two children: Jaxon (6) and Madeline (4).
In my early years as a believer the Lord brought many wonderful people into my life who walked with me, mentored me, continually pointing me to Jesus. I had such a hunger to pour into God’s word and learned as much as I could about Him. I began serving at my church in increasing capacities, but I started to lose sight of the gospel feeling I had to come sinless. I couldn’t see it then, but I had it backwards. I was focused on my own efforts and how I could be a better Christian in my own strength. Feeling stuck between who I felt I was in Christ and who I felt I should be, I started to doubt if the Lord loved me and felt He was continually disappointed. This threw me into a new place of deep despair, lost in the dark, bearing guilt and shame. In many ways I felt like David in Psalm 38.
1 O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger,
nor discipline me in your wrath!
2 For your arrows have sunk into me,
and your hand has come down on me.
3 There is no soundness in my flesh
because of your indignation;
there is no health in my bones
because of my sin.
4 For my iniquities have gone over my head;
like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.
This would turn into a book if I was to describe the whole journey that led me out of this dark and joyless place, but it culminated years ago within my church community in Seattle. Invited into an amazing community of people who really understood God’s grace and love, who asked loving but hard questions, God had provided an environment in which my heart was changed in many ways. Additionally, much of the leadership training there reshaped my understanding of ministry. The gospel message really started to click, and I saw afresh God’s immense grace in ever increasing shades of beauty. I was loved, and out of that love He calls me to respond, and for once I was genuinely excited to.
Fast forward again several years and the call into eldership blindsided me. I remember hearing a message on eldership and telling the Lord “no, no that’s not something you are calling me into” all the while pondering what the Lord was putting on my heart. Roughly six months later I was asked if I would consider eldership and I knew I had to take the question seriously. I wrestled with the thought “who do you think you’re kidding, you’re not ‘elder material’”, but quickly found that the Lord will equip those He calls. The Lord wasn’t asking me to be someone I’m not, He was asking me to be faithful. Looking back on my faith journey and feeling confirmed in what He was calling me into, I could now rest in the confidence that it is God’s work and as Paul said in 1 Corinthians…
1 Corinthians 15:10a
15 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect…
And what am I? I am but a sheep among this flock privileged to be a Pastor / Elder at Redemption Spokane. I am excited to see what the Lord will do here, and it is my hope and prayer that by God’s grace we Elders will faithfully shepherd this flock for many years to come!
When you think of it, please pray for Redemption Spokane, for us elders and our families.