Memberview: Andrew Brister

Photography by Melissa Davis

Photography by Melissa Davis

Interview with Andrew Brister

Every once in a while we like to interview our members to see what they are saying about their experience with the church to help you, a new/prospective member get an idea for what people actively serving in the church are like and what they think about Aspen Park.

We are proud to have a diverse group of people and talents here at Aspen Park.

Today's interview is with Andrew Brister.

He's a recent member, and has been active with the Worship Arts Ministry. He plays the drums for the worship services and special events.

APBC: Hi Andrew, what do you do for a living?

AB: Well, I was trained as an Architect at Oklahoma State University, and I did that for 7 years in Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Washington, DC. For the last year I have been doing a bunch of odd jobs, here and there, but I think I'm ready to go back to architecture full time.

APBC: When did you become a Christian?

AB: I became a Christian very young. I grew up in a church called Immanuel Baptist in downtown Tulsa. I recently visited it and I remembered it being a lot bigger.

I became a Christian at about 6 or 8 I think. I accepted Christ in my home with my mom and dad.

APBC: So, becoming a christian at such an early age, how would you say that has affected your life to this day?

AB: I think for a long time I took for granted the gift that was given to me at that age, and I'm not sure how it affected me over the years. But I will say that recently, I have started to put into practice the what I was taught early on, reading the bible regularly, praying, all that. And I think that God has me at a place right now where I'm vulnerable, and being able to rely on Him for everything I need is very important to me. I don't think that I would be the person I am now without him.

APBC: So, becoming a christian early, you've been able to rely on God all your life?

AB: I think so. Even when I strayed I knew that God had my back. But in retrospect, that was taking Jesus' death for me for granted. Recently in Sunday School, led by Steve Cowen - best Sunday School teacher, by the way - we were talking about a letter that Peter wrote, I think Paul, to the Romans where he asks them; If grace is given to you because you were sinners is it okay to sin and sin and sin just so you can have more grace? No! It's better not to sin at all.

And that has stuck with me for a while now.

APBC: So, where are you reading and studying in your own time?

AB: I am reading through the bible chronologically. When my grandfather passed away, he had a bunch of bibles, and one of them was a chronological bible. It has been very interesting. Jesus has just been crucified, but he hasn't risen from the dead yet. It's pretty amazing to get the chronological view.

APBC: So, what about Aspen Park? How did you find us?

AB: Well, after my wife and I came back from Washington, DC we lived with my parents for a while until we found a home for ourselves. My parents were playing instruments for the praise team here so I decided to see what all the hub-bub was. Turns out to have been a good choice.

APBC: So you stayed, obviously, but what made you want to stay?

AB: The worship services. I had not heard preaching like I heard from Brother David in a long time. It was challenging and straight forward. And the music was awesome too, a mix of good songs from hymnals that I grew up with and new stuff. So, it was really a perfect match for me.

APBC: What is worship like for you here at Aspen Park?

AB: Well, I play the drums now during services, so worship for me is very physical. I don't get to sing much, but that's okay. But after a good worship service I feel tired, and often have to take a nap when I get home. I know that I've done my best for God that day. I love worshiping here, and I love leading in my own loud way.

APBC: You said that the teaching in Sunday School has challenged you recently to not take your salvation for granted, what about the teaching from Brother David? Have you been challenged by him recently?

AB: Without a doubt. I get challenged by him every time I hear him. In this latest set of sermons talking about good to great, it's been nothing but challenge. Am I doing my part in the church, am I being a functioning member? I think I am about 3/5 of the way there, my prayer life and my giving life need to worked on, but I'm working on them.

APBC: So, you play the drums for the church which means you're a part of the Worship Arts Ministry, right? What has been the best thing about being a part of the ministry here?

AB: I'd say, playing music is the best part. Every time I come in to practice on Wednesdays and play on Sundays I feel like I'm worshiping, and that is huge. Plus the camaraderie of being with other musicians, and the people are just so warm. Plus my mom plays the piano, and dad the guitar, so it's awesome to get to play with them.

APBC: That's great! If someone were to join and wanted to be a part of the Worship Arts Ministry where would they be able to help right now?

AB: I'm not sure, I know we need more singers in the choir! We have an awesome choir. And we need back up people for all the stage craft stuff. But when it comes time for the big productions we usually need all the help we can get with drama, lights, sound, video, all that.

And besides, if they play any instrument at all, we will always find a chair for them on stage, just ask Tracey Asher. After playing with us during the Christmas show, he's now an indispensable part of the orchestra.

APBC: Thanks Andrew. It's been great talking with you. One last thing. What would you say to someone thinking about joining us at Aspen Park?

AB: Find the right church for you. Our pastor has been challenging the entire church with being functioning members, and I've tried to take that to heart, and it has really been beneficial to be a part of a ministry. So, if they like being a part of a group of believers who are involved with the area, and who are active in the church, and they want to do the same, then I'd say "What are you waiting for?" 

And "I hope to see you soon!"

APBC: Thanks Andrew. 

We have other memberviews here. And we do them periodically so check back now and then for more from the membership at Aspen Park.

God bless. See you Sunday!