Josh Wood was ordained in February this year. Congratulations Josh, and may you and Emma be aware of God’s presence with you on your journey.
Born and raised in Ballarat, Josh is the 4th of five children to Pam & Kelvin Wood. His mother attended her local Methodist Church as a child and his father his local Adventist Church but both his parents had stopped attending their churches as teenagers. It wasn’t until Josh was about five years old that his Dad became a baptised member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ballarat. Up until this time, Josh had attended church with his paternal grandparents.
Once his Dad re-joined church, Saturday mornings became a regular ‘outing’ for Kelvin and the boys. Whilst Pam never attended with the family (except for special occasions) each of the boys were encouraged, as they grew older, to make their own decisions pertaining to church attendance and faith. While all of Josh’s brothers opted out of church, he really struggled with what he should do. It wasn’t until a discussion with an uncle that Josh was convinced he should stay in church…if not for the spiritual elements, at least for the social elements.
So, Josh stayed and soon became heavily involved in Pathfinders, Teens, Youth, AV, Deacons…if there was a job that needed to be done, Josh was willing to do it. His life soon revolved around the church to the point that during high school if any of his friends wanted to find time to catch-up, they often had to ‘book’ six weeks or more in advance because of the various church activities Josh was committed to!
In 2004, after receiving baptismal studies from Sheri van Egmond and Nicholas Flack, Josh made the decision to be baptised…not because he was committed, but because he thought it was expected. The church members knew Josh had been receiving studies and he didn’t want to disappoint them and so he decided to be baptised. It wasn’t until some years later that Josh came to know Jesus for himself.
At about the age of 17 Josh felt a sense of ‘call’ to ministry and even recalls attending the Avondale stall at the Careers Expo at Caulfield Racecourse for VCE students. However after considering his options Josh decided to venture into studying Business as ‘there’s no money in ministry.’ During his undergraduate degree, Josh was working for the local council Youth Services in Ballarat and also was elected as a representative on the City of Ballarat Youth Council.
After successfully completing his Business Degree at the University of Ballarat Josh wasn’t able to find work in his area of study so quickly was ‘reassigned’ within the City of Ballarat to work in childcare. Eight months later, Josh’s passion for governance and business led him to run for election as a candidate in the local council elections…against his Dad! Neither of them were elected but it did further fuel the interest and passion Josh has for process, policy, and politics.
Josh was also heavily involved in Conference-wide Youth and ADRA events and was part of the VicYouth Advisory, a VicYouth Regional Co-ordinator, ADRA Regional Co-ordinator, and ADRA Events Team as well as his various local church commitments. In 2010 Josh ventured on his first mission trip to India with VicYouth after being told by then Youth Director, Moe Stiles that she had already registered his interest and she expected him to go! This opened Josh’s eyes to the reality of what Ministry could be.
2011 saw Josh sponsored by VicYouth to attend Move with the Power III – the SPD Youth Leadership Summit. This event changed the trajectory of his life. He was comfortably working with the State Government in a job he loved and, on a pathway for management. After the experience at Move with The Power he was at the airport preparing to fly home when a check in angel/lady at the airport asked him ‘What are you going to change about the way you do church and mission?’ Within three days Josh submitted his letter of resignation and enrolled at Avondale for ministry.
After enrolling at Avondale he was sponsored by the Victorian Conference and commenced his Graduate Diploma in Ministry & Theology in 2012. There was a temporary interruption in 2013 in order to represent the South Pacific Division as part of a General Conference Mission team to New York City and then South Africa, before completing his studies and commencing ministry in Victoria in 2015.