Josiah Joseph

Middle School Director

Life Story

Growing up in a family in which both of my parents where missionary kids, ministry runs in my DNA.  Ministry especially on a Sunday morning was huge part of my family’s week. Growing up my parents have always been very involved in church.  When I was very young my parents helped start a church in the Southeast side of Fort Wayne.  My dad was the worship pastor, and my mom was the one of the children’s directors. Every  Sunday my parents woke us up early at 6am, and we would travel from our house on the Northwest side of town to the very opposite side of Fort Wayne on the Southeast side. We spent every Sunday there, from 8am-3pm, every week.  It felt like I lived at that church. Even during the week, my parents led small groups at our house and every Thursday night my dad led worship practice in our basement to get ready for Sunday. My parents wouldn’t come close to claiming to be anywhere near perfect parents, but I am very fortunate to have parents that modeled servant leadership to me and my sisters every opportunity they got. Growing up I recognized I had a heart to serve.  Starting in 7th grade I played drums for the youth worship team at church, and from then on into high school I continued to serve both on the worship team and leading small groups.  Like my parents, I became very involved with the church I grew up in.  I loved the community and realized during my sophomore year that I wanted to serve as a small group leader with the 5th and 6th grade guys.  It was not only a blast, I really felt drawn to middle school students.  I longed for them to understand the passionate love Jesus had for us, that no matter what, they were loved, valued, and they are just as much apart of the Church as anyone else.  I continued to serve as a small group leader throughout my high school years.  My senior year, I realized that not just middle school students longed for belonging, but my own peers at school did as well.  So talking with some of my friends from youth group and school, we longed to share the hope of Jesus at our high school.  After a couple weeks of planning and talking to the right administrative personnel, we got to start a group before school on Fridays called Fusion.  When the first Friday came about, everyone, somehow, voted me to lead it the first week.  I hated public speaking at any level, but reluctantly I accepted.  I expected to be talking to maybe a total of 10 - 15 people at the most, but when I walked into the room where we were hosting it, I was shocked.  There was 45 people that had come to check it out.  In retrospect not a huge crowd, but for an introvert who at the time, hated public speaking, I might as well as been speaking to the whole student body.  The year ended and by graduating I had no idea still what my next steps were, so like any other indecisive young adult I decided to take a gap year.  This led to me moving down with my aunt and uncle in Snellville, Georgia.  I was there for 9 months, as an intern working alongside my uncle who was the youth pastor at his church.  
After that 9 months I came back to Fort Wayne longing to reconnect to my community.  Over that next year I ended up getting plugged back in to the middle school ministry at my church as an intern for the whole year.  While at the same time working at H&M and going to Ivy Tech for my Associates in General Studies.  After that I had intended to pursue my Bachelors in Organizational Leadership at IPFW.  While close to finalizing my class for the next year, Josh King, my best friend, and your high school pastor, called me and encouraged me to interview for a job here a Brookside as the middle school pastor.  I felt under qualified and not ready, but he insisted that an interview wouldn’t hurt anything.  To much of my surprise God had something in store for me here at Brookside. I am now gratefully serving here at Brookside.  Although this journey has been long, and I have taken on a lot in life this past year, this job, new house, new car, wife, and now a beautiful baby girl.  I am constantly learning day by day in what it means to fully trust and surrender my life to Jesus. I am very thankful to be here with my Brookside family.  I can’t wait to see what God has in store  for us in the near future.