Youth Ministries Coordinator, Grace Covenant Church, Chicago, IL
Josh is a visionary—his enthusiasm for reaching kids in urban settings with the gospel of Christ is contagious. When asked what he loves about his work, he replies, “Oh wow—everything. I’m the luckiest guy in the world!” As part-time youth pastor at Grace Covenant Church, he walks alongside students through the highs and lows of life. As executive director of Covenant Youth Collision, he gets to dream about what the future of youth ministry could be in collaboration with dozens of other youth pastors and leaders.
CYC is a nonprofit ministry that Josh revitalized in order to help churches do collaborative youth ministry together. Many urban churches can’t afford full-time youth pastors, so CYC brings together around eighty students each month for fun, service, and worship. Josh loves the ability to bring together students and leaders from a variety of ethnicities and socioeconomic statuses to learn what it means to follow Christ. He also coordinates a weekly discipleship program that brings together eighteen high-school student leaders from eight different churches, nine different neighborhoods, and ten different high schools.
He became a Christian at a Covenant camp after being invited by a friend to youth group at Bloomington (Minnesota) Covenant Church. He went on to attend North Park University, becoming the first person in his immediate family to attend college.
He says the biggest need in youth ministry is discipleship—which leads to more discipleship. Even students and adults who grow up in the church can fall through the cracks, so he says it is important to disciple students into a life filled with Christ, while also encouraging them to disciple others into that same life in Christ.
Books on your nightstand/e-reader: The Giver, Lois Lowry; Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell; The Next Evangelicalism, Soong-Chan Rah
Favorite way to waste time: Biking or running
Favorite TV show: The Newsroom
Choose a superpower—fly or be invisible: To fly because it would make traveling to Sweden to visit my wife’s family a whole lot easier.