JOSIAH LAWRENCE

Discipleship Communities Pastor | josiah@harvestmemphis.org

My Story

I was born in Auburn, Alabama, but grew up mostly in Jonesboro, Arkansas.  In a small town in Arkansas as 1 of 6 kids in a pastors home. I grew up hearing the gospel and seeing it lived out by my parents, but did not experience that personal relationship with God that brings about life change until my senior year of High School.  During that year the example of my parents as well as some college ministers working with Campus Outreach at Arkansas State University began to challenge my understanding of what it meant to be a Christian.  God saved me from the lie that Christianity is just about accepting information about what Jesus has done and changed me through His Holy Spirit.  As I was convicted of my sin and repented of trusting myself especially my tendency to trust that my knowledge could save me, God began to change everything about me.

I attended college at Arkansas State University and had the opportunity to be discipled for four years by Tim Bundren, a man who walked with me and taught me about following Christ and sharing him with others.  When I graduated I moved to Memphis to work with Campus Outreach and 2nd Presbyterian Church at the University of Memphis doing personal evangelism and discipleship.  As the ministry grew in Memphis, I had the opportunity to be a part of a team that moved to Dallas, TX to work with the Village Church helping to begin college ministry at University of North Texas and University of Texas at Dallas.  I also had the opportunity to transition into a Groups Minister role and work with The Village Church in Dallas for a short season.  In 2014 I moved back to Memphis to be a part of helping plant Harvest Church.  I had the opportunity to serve with Downline Ministries as the Emerging Leaders director for a year and am now working full time at Harvest while attending Southern Seminary as I hope to finish a Masters Degree soon.

I am an Assistant Pastor and Church Planting Resident here at Harvest Church.  I get to serve our body in a variety of ways as God develops me to plant or revitalize a church in the Memphis area in the coming years.  I help develop and shepherd the leaders of our Discipleship Communities and love to help people get connected here at Harvest that they might grow in knowing Christ and following Him as disciples.

I have been married to Sarah since 2010 and along with our children, Emily and Isaiah, she is the greatest joy in my life.  I am thankful for her and the way that she has been used by God to build a home full of joy, comfort, and purpose that is the foundation of our ministry at Harvest and in our neighborhood.  We are excited to see God use our imperfect lives and family to be a blessing to those at Harvest and especially to those who do not yet know Christ in Memphis. 

My Hope For Harvest

I hope Harvest Church is a place where worship is passionate and authentic, evangelism is friendly and common, disciple-making is action rather than rhetoric, and community is honest with one another.  I pray that it is a place where we all remember our desperate need of the Gospel and where that same Gospel moves us to be people who love the lost and one another.  I pray that our dependence on God would lead each of us to be a people of the word who live our lives under the authority of our compassionate and gracious King Jesus.