What if your family’s pursuit of Jesus takes you in the opposite direction of The American Dream? Josh Gardner and family sought to obey Jesus by intentionally moving closer to a lower income housing development, befriending their community, and becoming an incarnation model of the gospel of Christ.
Josh and his family had been serving in a traditional church setting when he and his wife felt the burden to live more intentionally missional. They initially left Stuart, FL for a discipleship role in Anderson, SC. As they settled in the community, the Lord continued to put the hurting and broken in their path. Over time, the Gardners ministry began to focus on a lower income apartment complex in South Carolina. While incredibly challenging, the Gardner’s experienced the joy of their children becoming teammates in their efforts to make disciples in their community. They gained trust among people who would normally look at them with suspicion, and they became valued members of a community often plagued by poverty, crime, and loss.
Josh’s story of faith is not one where it all worked out neatly. There was massive stress, heartbreak, loss of safety and comfort, and the loss of a normal support network of Christian friends. At the same time, the Gardners were able to live on mission as a team, know Jesus more deeply, and see fruitful disciples in an area that is often overlooked by the traditional church. Listen to Josh’s story and listen to how Jesus might be calling your family to live with sacrifice for the sake of the kingdom.
Josh Gardner is a Strategy Coordinator with E3 Partners, husband of Che and the daddy to Shiloh, Coen, Gabe, and Clara. His heart is for discipleship and he’s maintained a decent jumpsuit for a dad with lots of responsibility.
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