A carpenter from Nazareth ruined my life. Initially when I was 13 but it happens still today. I didn't grow up in the church. Neither of my parents were really involved with church then, nor are they much involved now for that matter. I do not boast in that, it's just true. It breaks my heart honestly.
I was introduced to Jesus by a man who drove the church bus. He would come around and pick up kids on Wednesday nights for service. He later paid my way to R.A. camp one summer. It was at summer camp where everything changed. It was there Jesus really started to bother me. Everyone there talked about him, sang about him, prayed to him, and we were even told to live for him; all of which bothered me.
On the last night of worship I walked down to the front of this building called a tabernacle and asked a counselor to talk. After about an hour of Q & A on a picnic table, Jesus introduced himself to me. I felt my chest catch a fire of joy, hope and peace. As I prayed I knew I was coming to know the person everyone spoke of, the person my bus driver friend knew. It really was beautiful; this whole Jesus thing. That was the hour I first believed.
Oddly enough, the next summer, on that same picnic table at the same R.A. camp, I felt called into the ministry. The odd thing might not have been the table but rather the fact this was not something that ran in my roots. Ministry was foreign to my family, yet here I was feeling drawn to it; for life. I remember telling my counselor I never wanted what I then called a "real job". I wanted to work for Jesus in whatever capacity I could for as long as I could.
It was later I learned you can have a "real job" and still work quite remarkably for Christ, but I will not go into that now. This was my first remembrance of call. I went to college at East Texas Baptist University where I majored in Religion and minored in Missions/Church Planting. In one of my classes I remember reading a quote that said, "The single greatest evangelistic tool under heaven is church planting." I was sold.
For four years I felt the Lord beckoning me to the Washington. The scenery, the people, and the need for Jesus stole my heart, and it being the most unchurched state in America broke it.
After graduation and a year of itinerant ministry and life lived out of a car it was time to plant roots. In October of 2007 I moved with my friend Drew Worsham to Pullman, WA to join Keith Wieser and start a church. That church would later leave the vision of our head and heart and become Resonate.
In 2008, I married my best friend Amy. She was a part of the Resonate launch team. We met in a Nashville airport, dated long distance, and eventually were married on a summer day in California. Most mornings we lift our coffee cups and toast to the abundant life.
This story of my life has little to do with me really. It has much to do with that carpenter I spoke of earlier. His sacrificial life and death in my place, birthed a desire in me to Pastor, to start churches, and to do it on the college campuses of the Pacific Northwest. My life story is to follow His. My prayer is that I may.
My hope for Resonate is Jesus. May our church know him and love him deeply, and may we take his story and rescue to our neighbors and the ends of the earth.
Contact Josh: firstname.lastname@example.org
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