It is with great sadness that we are informing everyone of Andrew Wood's departure from Renew Church. The public announcement was made yesterday in our service at Hope Church in Mississauga. Andrew and Ashton and their family will be greatly missed. Andrew has grown up in our church and contributed greatly to our ministry, and we wish him well wherever the Lord leads him next. The church has given him a generous transition package so that he can take the time necessary to find his next place in ministry.
Departure of Andrew Wood from Renew Church
Official Statement from Renew Elders
October 18, 2021
There is a dramatic diversity of theology held by Christians across the world, but we are all bound together by foundational beliefs. For each movement to be effective, doctrine needs to be held consistently by its members and leadership.
This spring, the Elders learned that some of Pastor Andrew’s doctrinal positions were not compatible with those of our larger fellowship, and more specifically, some of Renew's. Pastor Bartley spent many months researching, praying, and directing discussions with Pastor Andrew as well as seeking feedback from numerous key leaders within our fellowship.
A subcommittee of Elders met a number of times with Pastor Bartley to understand the doctrinal conflicts. They found that some of Pastor Andrew's views fell outside of the church's and fellowship's doctrine. Having a great appreciation for Pastor Andrew and desiring to see him continue at Renew, the Elders created a plan that would allow Pastor Andrew to continue serving our family in his pastoral role, deferring to Renew’s doctrinal positions. Pastor Andrew wrestled with these findings, but he accepted the plan and has worked in good faith under the agreement since that time.
At the beginning of September, Pastor Bartley felt led to meet again with Pastor Andrew to discuss Pastor Andrew’s leadership gifts. They both agreed that Pastor Andrew’s gifts are those of a primary leader, one who leads a congregation. Nevertheless, Pastor Andrew’s personal doctrinal differences would not allow him the opportunity to lead a church in our fellowship, or to succeed Pastor Bartley as Lead Pastor at Renew. Furthermore, given his gifts, the previous arrangement was not serving Pastor Andrew or Renew well. Under the agreement, Pastor Andrew’s role had shifted, limiting his opportunities to exercise his leadership gifts in significant ways.
Both the Elders and Staff have long recognized that Pastor Andrew could one day lead a church that has great impact for the kingdom. Unfortunately, that will not be at Renew. It is with very heavy hearts that we have the duty today of announcing that Pastor Andrew will no longer be on staff at Renew Church.
Differing doctrinal views and ministry vision do not necessitate division in the Body of Christ. In Scripture, we see early church leaders disagree and amicably part ways to continue the work of building the kingdom of God. We have evidence of this in Galatians 2, between Paul and Peter, and in Acts 15 with Paul and Barnabas.
It is important to say that Pastor Andrew & Ashton’s desires, plans, goals and hopes were to be here at Renew, long-term, leading ministry through their God-given gifts. Their faithfulness, consistency, hard work, personal growth, relational investment and personal sacrifices have clearly modeled that to everyone who knows them.
We invite you to celebrate Pastor Andrew & Ashton’s commitment and contribution to Renew. They have been effective stewards of God’s calling to reach our community with the gospel of Jesus Christ and to make disciples who can make disciples. There are very few of us whose lives have not been touched by them.
We recognize that there may be questions that you have in the days to come. We invite you to speak to an elder from your campus, or contact Pastor Bartley, so that we can journey with you in processing all of this.