When I first started thinking about who I would like to interview for Beyond the Contrast, Brennan was one of the first Apostolic artists that came to mind. I’ve known him for a few years and have had the opportunity to enjoy his music and watched his growth as an artist and minister from afar (not creepy!). I’ve been thoroughly impressed time and again and so it is with great pleasure that I give you his interview.
Originally, this was going to be a single article but I have decided to break it into two smaller pieces. Warning, what you are about to read is the intimate, passionate voice of a young man seeking to make God famous in his life, his ministry, and with his talent. I have no doubt that these words are Spirit inspired and encourage you to take your time and soak them in.
Without further ado…
Brennan, thanks for agreeing to do this interview! I know that you are incredibly busy and have a lot on your plate, so your taking the time to respond is much appreciated!
BtC: In looking back at your life over the past several years, what moments have defined who you currently are as a minister and an artist?
Brennan: Honestly, there are far too many moments that have shaped my life–more than I could say here. As Saint John said, the whole world could not contain the books I could write about all God has done for me. However, I will make an attempt! The moments that have defined my ministry and artistry the most are definitely the trials I’ve gone through. I thank God for every one of them. Most of them are too personal to be named on this post, but I just want whoever is reading this to know that God is the absolute best at making beauty out of ashes–don’t despise the hardships, allow God to use them to form integrity in you. Two major defining “moments” or decisions within the past three years was the decision to go to Bible College in 2012, and the decision to leave Bible College in 2014 to intern at a Pentecostal church in Southern California and pursue full-time ministry. I have a long ways to go, but my ministry has been positively shaped and influenced by both of those decisions. Once I made the decision to give my life to God at 17 years old and attend Bible College, I haven’t looked back, and God has certainly ordered my steps.
It’s tough to say what has “defined” who I am as an artist, because I certainly don’t feel defined yet. The whole musical process has been an experiment since Day 1, and will probably always be that way. However, the big moment that launched me into pursuing music and songwriting was when I was 14 years old. I had an opportunity to see an old childhood friend named Landry Cantrell (he is also an apostolic artist) whom I had not seen in about 5 years. He has a studio connected to his house which is where he has recorded most of his music, and where I recorded my first musical project: Puzzle Pieces. I had never sang in a studio before, or even recorded myself singing before, but Landry suggested that I try experimenting and recording a cover song. Although my attempt was pretty terrible, it made me realize that I was capable of doing it, and that I felt comfortable behind a microphone. Landry suggested that I record an EP, so I begin planning to write some songs. I had my Dad drop me off in a secluded forest park in Paradise, California, and In about 4-5 hours, I wrote my very first full song. It just kept going from there.
BtC: What moment or story do you view as your greatest triumph to this point in your life?
Brennan: This is a tough one. I don’t feel that I have even come close to doing all that I want to do, yet. However, and this may sound silly, but I think my greatest triumph was just surviving my teenage years. I can’t really summarize one moment, but those years were extremely tough for a multitude of reasons. I give all the glory to God, and surviving through those years has so far been the greatest triumph. I look back with a thankful heart, and a sigh of relief.
BtC: What moment or story do you view as your greatest trial?
Brennan: My teenage years! Haha.. My greatest trial, and triumph (That’ll preach). As far as one specific situation, it would probably be when my parents got divorced. I will probably write a book about that situation one day. There was just a lot that went into it–much more than people realize.
BtC: Most of the time, there is a moment or season of time where a young Christian determines that the spiritual life they have lead is lesser than the one that they want to lead. At that point, they begin to apply themselves spiritually and grow in their relationship with God. Was this the case with you?
Brennan: Absolutely. I was living in sin, and I knew better. I got sick of what the world had to offer, and gave my life back to God. It hasn’t been perfect since then, but I can definitely say my primary goal since that point has been to grow in God every single day, and apply myself spiritually. He has brought me a LONG way, in just four years.
BtC: What did that moment or season look like?
Brennan: Desperation. I was so hungry to get back to the Truth, and get out of my former lifestyle. So it was a tough, but beautiful process. I wouldn’t trade anything for that time in my life. God was so merciful and gracious. He gave as much of Himself to me as I could handle. He was patient with me as he showed me habits I needed to break. It was just wonderful. For me personally, I gave my life to God about 4-5 months before I started attending Bible College. During that time, there was a certain situation that just went VERY bad, and it was due to sinful mistakes I had made. It broke me. I shut myself in my room for almost two days and just cried and prayed, and made a real covenant with God for the first time in my life. Again, I certainly made mistakes after that, but it was different this time because my eyes were set on the prize and I had surrendered my heart to Him. There were growing pains, but they were necessary. When God is put FIRST in your life, there isn’t a whole lot that can deter you. Especially when you lived a former life of sin, and you know how good you have it with Jesus.
BtC:What motivated you to make that decision to pursue your relationship with God in a manner you hadn’t before?
Brennan: I think I may have answered this in my previous response. What motivated me was the pain from a lifestyle where God wasn’t really involved. I had hit rock bottom, and this motivated me to finally pursue God like I knew I always should have. This is just how it was with me, but I certainly am not saying that everyone has to live a life of sin before they can appreciate a life of purity. Not at all. I would have much rather spent my teenage years growing in God, and I admire every young person who makes it through those years without compromising. That’s a testimony. But, whenever you make the decision to give your life to God, just do it with your whole heart and you will never regret it. Don’t settle. Get as much of God as you can, He won’t disappoint you. My pastor has preached a message called, “I Made This Decision When I Was In My Right Mind.” The message talks about recalling those defining altar moments in our lives when we are lost in the presence of God, or when we receive revelation from His Word, and the decisions and commitments we make in those moments. Those decisions are ones we can count on, because we know that we made them when we were in our “right mind.” So, when we are doubting or in a weak state of mind and tempted to make a decision that would conflict with our relationship with God, we have to remember the decisions that we made when we were in His presence. Those moments were not just in your imagination, or just “hype.” Those were moments of revelation–when judgment was the clearest. That message stuck with me, and every time I was tempted to give up, I just remembered the incredible moments I had with God in a prayer room, or an altar, where He spoke to me and revealed things to me. Experiences with God and Scripture are what will keep you grounded and committed when you are in times of doubt.