By Carl Stagner
Some may not recognize his name, but most are beginning to recognize the face, the voice, the talent, and the heart of Josh Edington. On staff at Crossings Community Church for the past ten years, the pastor of contemporary worship arts for the largest Church of God congregation in North America has begun to build a reputation outside those walls. Beginning in 2015, at the second Church of God Convention outside Anderson, Indiana, Josh first strapped on his guitar and lifted his voice heavenward on behalf of the Movement. Then, when the traveling Regional Convention made a stop in Oklahoma City this year, Josh was there. CHOG Convention 2019 and General Assembly won’t be held in Oklahoma City, but Orlando, Florida, instead. Still, Josh will be there! Yet, as familiar as his excellence in worship leadership is becoming in the Church of God, many still may not know the young man behind the guitar.
Josh is the proud husband of Kiley, with whom he leads worship in Oklahoma, and to whom he will have been married nine years by next June. Together they have three children, Camille, age four; Owen, age two; and Lyla, only four months old. The family dog is a golden retriever named Aspen, which makes sense when you consider Josh’s love for the outdoors.
“I love everything outdoors,” Josh exclaims. “In the fall, I spend as much time as I can hunting and fishing. But I’d say that spending time with my family is still what I love the most. We try to sneak away to the mountains together as often as we can!”
Wielding his guitar, Josh leads worship in the Crossings space known as the Venue. Each week, he leads more than three thousand people in worship at the Venue, online, and at Crossings’ newest satellite site. Did you know Crossings has a new satellite site at a correctional center for men? Indeed, they do, and it’s recently brought about some of Josh’s most meaningful ministry moments.
“We recently launched a campus at Joseph Harp Correctional Center,” Josh explains. “About two hundred men gather at the prison each week to worship with us. We’ve heard some incredible stories about life transformation, families being reunited, men hearing the gospel for the first time and trusting Jesus with their lives, and so much more. I’m proud to be a part of a church that is faithful to whatever God calls us to do—a church that loves the people that society has written off and forgotten. Our hope was to love and encourage these men, but they’ve loved and encouraged us so much more.”
Concerning Crossings, Josh feels exceptionally blessed to be a part of the team. He says that the common goal is to help people find and follow Jesus, and that such a vision drives everything they do. Specific to worship, he reflects on the role as “extremely rewarding,” but acknowledges the tremendous responsibility of it. He challenges worship leaders, both seasoned and up-and-coming, to ensure their identities are found in Christ alone. To meet the challenge himself, Josh has found Psalm 16:5–11 to be very helpful:
You, Lord, are all I have, and you give me all I need; my future is in your hands. How wonderful are your gifts to me; how good they are! I praise the Lord, because he guides me, and in the night my conscience warns me. I am always aware of the Lord’s presence; he is near, and nothing can shake me. And so I am thankful and glad, and I feel completely secure, because you protect me from the power of death. I have served you faithfully, and you will not abandon me to the world of the dead. You will show me the path that leads to life; your presence fills me with joy and brings me pleasure forever. (GNT)
Speaking of “in Christ alone,” that’s a personal favorite. “‘In Christ Alone’ has become my favorite worship song,” Josh reflects. “Lyrically, it is such a complete worship song. It clearly illustrates the gospel and who Jesus is. Musically and melodically, it is written so beautifully and perfectly complements the lyrics.”
Josh is delighted to return to lead worship for the gathered saints of the Church of God at Convention 2019 and General Assembly in Orlando, Florida. He sincerely considers the Church of God “passionate worshipers” and is “inspired to further seek and know God every time we gather.” For the event next June 27–30, Josh is bringing along three of his good friends: Cole Grubbs, another worship pastor at Crossings; Aaron Woolsey, Josh’s bassist for the last ten years; and Leo Flores, worship pastor at The Gathering in Muncie, Indiana.
Hotel rooms are filling up fast! Be sure to register for CHOG Convention 2019 and General Assembly soon, then book your accommodations. All the information you’ll need is available at www.chogconvention.org.