For most of Drew Trotter’s life, he thought being a Christian meant altar-serving at liturgical services, sitting through catechism classes, and checking the box marked “church attendance” on Sunday mornings. He had a rudimentary understanding of the Gospel, and wanted to serve the Lord, but he didn’t know what it looked like to have a personal, day-to-day, growing relationship with Jesus. Read Drew’s story to see how the Lord brought godly mentors into his life – men who showed Drew the unconditional and extravagant love of Jesus Christ and helped him discover for himself what it means to walk both fervently and faithfully as a Christ-follower.
Drew: I was born, baptized, and raised in the Catholic church. Even though I understood that Jesus was my Savior, I viewed church as a chore. It was a part of our family’s routine. I didn’t read the Bible for myself. The classes I participated in weren’t engaging. We were a part of the church, but there wasn’t a lot of spiritual passion.
During Drew’s sophomore year (2019-2020), he began attending a local youth group with a friend, and his eyes were opened to a new way of worshipping Jesus and living out his faith.
When my friend Hunter took me to youth group, I was introduced to worship music for the first time. I was initially a little bit uncomfortable with some of the expressions of worship. I wasn’t used to people raising their hands in praise. But, within a week, I was listening to worship music all the time. That music changed the way I thought, changed the way I felt, and started to change the way I lived.
Drew has always loved music. As a child, he sang in the school choir, and as a high school freshman, he started playing the guitar. So, learning to play and sing worship music was an obvious next step. He jumped into serving on the youth worship team. Meanwhile, he was diving into Scripture for the first time in his life, really reading the Bible on his own and understanding Truth in a fresh and personal way. Through the youth group, he also met older men who began investing in Drew through discipleship and unexpected acts of service – like rebuilding a broken-down car.
When I had a chance to buy my dream car – a Ford Bronco – I was thrilled. During the summer between my sophomore and junior years, I drove my Bronco to Meeteetse to help lead worship at a church camp with some friends from youth group. On the way home, a tire fell off, and, even though no one was injured and no real damage was done, we discovered when we towed it to the shop that there was $3000 worth of needed repairs on the car. I didn’t really know what to do, so the car sat at my house for a while. Then, three of the youth group leaders and some other youth group guys stepped in to help me make all the repairs. Those guys just gave generously of their time and knowledge to help me out.
Drew felt overwhelmed by the enormity of God’s love. On Sunday morning, he celebrated the Resurrection at Outpost. Immediately drawn in by the warmth of community and the sincerity of faith he saw there, Drew convinced his family to attend with him.
The final hurdle to having a drive-able Bronco was a tire alignment, which needed to take place at a local shop. Unbeknownst to Drew, the mechanics decided to perform the work at no cost to him. When Drew received the news that he was being given this free gift, he was overwhelmed. That unconditional gift swept over him – a tangible expression of God’s abundant love.
I felt God’s love like never before. I just really understood how God’s love is individual and how He loves me, personally. I just felt so unconditionally loved, and I started to understand this one-to-one relationship that I could have with Jesus.
A few weeks later, Drew was spending Easter weekend (2021) at home while the rest of his family was out of town. On Good Friday, he found himself at a gathering of believers in the home of one of the men who had helped rebuild his Bronco. Again, Drew felt overwhelmed by the enormity of God’s love. On Sunday morning, he celebrated the Resurrection at Outpost. Immediately drawn in by the warmth of community and the sincerity of faith he saw there, Drew convinced his family to attend with him.
God had been drawing my dad into deeper relationship with Himself, too, and he was ready to try something new. So, it didn’t take long for the whole family to begin attending Outpost and just start growing spiritually.
Slowly, Drew began to help with leading worship, first in youth settings and then on Sunday mornings. In His kindness, God again provided mentors to encourage Drew along the way.
I remember the first song I led was “Come as You Are.” When I sang that song, I just felt filled with God’s love. I have loved every opportunity I have had to serve in worship. I enjoy it for myself and I enjoy helping others understand God’s love.
Understanding God’s love has changed Drew from the inside-out. Instead of striving to please others or living in fear of their disapproval, Drew now lives and serves from a place of contentment. He knows he is loved by God, and that frees him from seeking the approval of others.
I used to really struggle with people-pleasing. I was self-focused and prideful. But God is helping me to grow in contentment with Him. I grew up reciting the Nicene Creed, which says, “I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world that is to come.” That phrase has become so true for me. I can’t wait to see Jesus face-to-face. That focus has helped me to stop caring about what others think.
In the fall, Drew will leave Cody to begin college at Montana Tech, where he plans to study mechanical engineering while playing football. Drew is excited to continue growing in his own relationship with Christ as well as sharing God’s open-armed, never-ending, irrepressible love with others.
“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
Ephesians 3:18-19 (NLT)
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39.