On a regular basis we have been introducing you to our CPD workers and their families. When we went to send our next one out, we realized it was Josh and Erin Gallagher of Paradise. We were speechless at the timing. But even with everything that has taken place [as a result of the Camp Fire], we wanted to follow through and introduce you to a family that while suffering great loss in their first 3 months in the CPD, are nevertheless leading this church with compassion and excellence even while scattered.
Please give us a brief introduction.
My name is Josh Gallagher. I grew up on a farm in Northern Minnesota. I met my wife Erin at Colorado Christian University. We’ve been married for 12 years. I really did marry “out of my league” with her. We have three amazing children Addyson (9), Emily (6), Gavin (3). I enjoying being active through playing sports or working with my hands. My favorite movie is Rocky IV (yes, the one with the Russian).
What drew you into full-time ministry?
I was preparing to graduate college and get married within a couple of months. It was during that season I was offered an ownership position of a multi-million dollar construction company. Before saying yes to the opportunity, I took a time of prayer and seeking God’s will. During that season, God genuinely allowed my life to flash before my eyes. I realized in that moment I always found myself in formal ministry positions. This was the first time in my life I “connected the dots” that God had been preparing and using me in formal ministry positions. With this new perspective I let go of the construction opportunity and launched into full-time ministry. I have never looked back and second guessed my calling.
What are you most passionate about in your ministry?
I am passionate about many aspects of ministry but the one that probably defines me the “most” is the area of leadership! I believe that when ministry leaders grow in their ability to love God and lead others, the work of God is multiplied in the world. John Maxwell said, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” I believe that everything rises and falls on the work of God and He mainly uses leaders to advance His kingdom in this world. When the leadership ability of others is raised the work of God in the local church and the world is also raised.
I think the details of what is ahead for his church have probably changed a little in the past few days [due to the devastation from the Camp Fire]. But I know from talking with him that his overall dream for his church and his community have not. Unless it is that it has only gotten bigger.
Tell us a little about the church you are in, or about the ministry you are involved with.I have the privilege of serving at Paradise Alliance Church in Paradise, California. Yes, it is all that its name implies. The ministry here at P.A.C. has a rich history of leadership and following God’s direction. I feel God has brought me to this church in order to continue the history of leadership and following God’s direction in this community. Like any church it has its “opportunities” but I believe God has brought together the right team to capitalize on these “opportunities” and turn them into amazing “victories” for His Kingdom.
What are you dreaming about for the future?Right now, we are dreaming about what our church will look like a year from now. We just launched a strategic yearlong initiative called “Listen to Lead.” We hope to take a season of listening to God, others, and ourselves so we can effectively follow God’s lead in this church. The listening experience in these three areas are focused on the “past”, “present” and “future.” Once we have actively listened in these three seasons and areas, it is our belief that God will show us how He has uniquely been working in our church, community, and context. Then we can strategically partner with him and what He is doing. Once that direction becomes clear we will focus our time, resources, leadership, and focus in those specific areas.
Please share with us a faith story about what God is doing.One of the “opportunities” that our church was facing is unforgiveness, bitterness, and individualism. During a one week span the church was challenged to extend forgiveness, experience God’s peace, and create unity among our church. The church was challenged to extend forgiveness to 500 individuals that have wronged us that we have not forgiven. By the end of that week the church extended forgiveness to 621 individual people. The stories of freedom from past hurt was overwhelming. People within our church forgave past sexual abuse, mental abuse, physical abuse, infidelity, religious manipulation, divorce, rape and murder. It is hard to explain, but after that week our church seemed “different” in a good way.
7. And how can we pray for you?Please pray for unity of leadership in our church. Also, please pray that during this season of Listening to Lead God would make His specific direction for our church very clear.
Please also pray for him as he has a Goliath sized job ahead of him. But then, that's why the David’s of this world - like Josh – thrive on.