November 22, 2022
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Little Zion Baptist Church has a new pastor and he’s hoping to inspire the congregation to think outside the box and work outside of construction.
Josh Miller became pastor of the church at 7151 New Glendale Road in Glendale this past June. Miller, also a special education teacher at John Hardin High School and a basketball coach, said he knew from a young age that he was called to the ministry.
“I think I was about 11 years old when he told me he was going to lead me in the direction of preaching,” Miller said. “It’s something I’ve always felt compelled to do. Being able to pastor people is a great feeling.”
Miller said the church, which generally has between 35 and 40 congregants on Sunday mornings, is a multigenerational church with members ranging from babies to the elderly.
Miller, 33, said the congregation has many older members. Though he thinks he has an old soul, he wasn’t sure how important his age would be to older members.
“When I applied for the position and came here to preach on the first Sunday, they didn’t tell much to the older members my age because they weren’t sure how they would react to me,” he said. “But once we arrived it felt like home and people were so warm, welcoming and welcoming to us. I don’t think age played a role in the decision or my leadership.”
He said he was a very missionary pastor.
“Jesus spent about 80 percent of His ministry outside the four walls of the Church,” he said.
Though Miller said he hopes to continue to expand membership, a smaller, tight-knit group has its advantages.
“I grew up in a small church similar to this one, and everyone knew everyone,” he said. “Everyone was willing to help. It’s just this family atmosphere, this closeness that binds us together.”
Miller said he felt the church was not meant to be endured but to be enjoyed. He wants the Church to be an oasis of hope for members and a respite from the trials and tribulations of their daily lives.
“The world is going to beat you up for about six days,” he said. “We want this to be a place where you can come, have hope and have something to struggle with as you go out into the world again.
Miller hopes to minister to the whole person and give the church the spiritual tools to think for itself.
“We want you to connect with God in a way that even when the church doors are closed or I’m not preaching, that relationship is already established.”
Miller credited his wife of three years, Courtney, with being a powerful support system for him. The two have a 2-year-old daughter, Kinleigh, and Miller said his first ministry is always the family home.
He said that God thinks, moves, and works outside the box, and that’s an important concept he wants to convey to his community.
“We want you to experience Jesus in a new way,” he said. “It’s the same Jesus, but a new way of experiencing him. You may have sort of pigeonholed God, but God cannot be pigeonholed.”
He wants to be innovative in his approach without compromising the gospel message.
“I don’t think you can attract them to VHS in this generation, which is an iPad generation,” he said. “You have to be willing to think outside the box and teach people to show people that there is a God who thinks and moves outside the box.”
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