Pastor Scott Holman
The road to “Pastor” for me has been a long, winding one full of surprises. It is a path that I never would have chosen for myself. I will try to share some highlights of the journey that might help our church family get to know me better:
I was born on June 6, 1970 in Yakima, WA, but lived most of my early years in Forest Grove, Oregon. I began my journey of marriage with Cheri on July 2, 1994 and we have been blessed with three children: Samuel (20), AnnaBeth (16) and Elise (14). My “first church” has been my marriage and my children, as we seek to create an atmosphere of safety and growth in Christ, a place where imagination and awe and authenticity can be nurtured in relational intimacy and accountability.
The Lord brought me into his flock in July 1989 as I came to the end of myself with drinking and depression. From the early days in my journey with Christ, I experienced a ravenous hunger for reading Scripture and a deepening call to leadership that has taken different forms over the years. As gifts and desires developed, I thought that would manifest itself in a teaching ministry. God had other plans, better plans! for me and those around me.
I went back to school in 1999 and received a Masters degree in Theological Studies from ACTS Seminaries in Langley, BC. After graduation in 2001 we moved to Louisville, KY to attend the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to begin work on a Ph.D. Shortly after arriving in Louisville, things began to fall apart personally, emotionally, spiritually and financially. My soul was painfully and repeatedly laid bare in a suffering season I would later come to know as a “dark night.” I desperately sought God in that dark night, and I clung to him with all I had, desperate to overturn the darkness and to recover some sense of order and peace. This “dark night of the soul” lasted about 10 years (until around 2012-13) when a culmination of God’s slow, mostly hidden work came to fruition in new capacities, reflections and practices related to God, my life, calling and purpose. Having been remade, I was slowly ready to dream and trust God again with my calling.
Through healing experiences with God and others as well as countless hours spent with mentors, authors, songwriters and poets, I began imagining and seeking a role that would formalize the way many of my relationships had naturally and organically developed on their own - walking closely with friends in ways that invite and nurture spiritual growth. I have always felt a desire to shepherd and teach, but have struggled with this call because of how the shepherding role has been practiced, taught and twisted in our American culture. Experiencing spiritual abuse at the hands of some key shepherds has given the word “Pastor” a dirty taste in my mouth, unfortunately.
In 2015, we began to sense the Lord’s leading back to the Pacific NW, where we were raised (Oregon and British Columbia, respectively). Through much counsel and prayer, we realized that we needed to live in a geographical place that resonated with the topography of our souls, with mountains and rivers and big skies. We also sensed that in this new “place,” the Lord would unfold a ministry for us. As we started looking at cities, our hearts were gradually but strongly drawn to Spokane. We began to feel called to this city even though we didn’t know anyone and didn’t have any job prospects. In July 2016, we drove the 2000+ miles to Spokane with hearts full of songs and hopes, eager to see what God would do.
In the spring of 2017 we began attending Redemption Spokane and have felt drawn to this community ever since. For the first time in 15 or so years, I feel like we have a church home, a place I want to invest in and serve, sharing the fruits born out of darkness and obscurity.
Outside of the Lord Jesus, few souls have influenced my pastoral identity more than Eugene Peterson:
“Inappropriate, anxiety-driven, fear-driven work would only interfere with and distract from what God was already doing. My “work” assignment was to pay more attention to what God does than what I do, and then to find, and guide others to find, the daily, weekly, yearly rhythms that would get this awareness into our bones. Holy Saturday for a start. And then Sabbath keeping. Staying in touch with people in despair, knowing them by name, and waiting for resurrection.”
― Eugene H. Peterson, The Pastor: A Memoir
“My task as pastor was to show how the Bible got lived. . . . I needed to be a witness to people in my congregation that everything in the Bible is livable and . . . to know how these ideas got lived in the immediate circumstances of people's lives at work, in the town, and in the family. The role of the pastor is to embody the gospel. And of course to get it embodied, which you can only do with individuals, not in the abstract.”
― Eugene Peterson interview, “Pastor in the Present Tense.”