What We Do Matters Because What They Do Matters: Josh Sumpter
The Church today is faced with the daunting task of reaching the Millennial generation. Some cultural prognosticators paint a bleak picture of how well the Church will fare in this endeavor. There is another group that sees the task as an exciting opportunity. They are the youth pastors. These unique and talented individuals believe that the “millennials can see further and do more than any generation in Christendom before them.” These dedicated ministers are willing to immerse themselves in the frenetic frontlines of youth culture, sacrifice sleep, and risk caffeine overdose. All the while, maintaining a commitment to the call to make disciples in this generation.
A quick tour around the 86-year-old building of First Presbyterian Church of Waynesburg and you will soon know that Josh Sumpter is one of those youth pastors. Photographs of campouts, posters for upcoming events, sign-up sheets, and rooms with activity-scarred walls are tell-tale signs of a man who is fully engaged in the lives of students. Approaching his fourth year in full-time youth ministry, Josh loves the work of living alongside the kids in his community. Whether coaching a middle school basketball game, leading a retreat, or attending a student’s recital, he demonstrates an unwavering commitment to the students he is called to serve.
Josh and his wife Jessica live in Waynesburg, PA, a small town just south of Pittsburgh. They answered a call to serve the First Presbyterian Church of Waynesburg soon after his graduation from Ashland Theological Seminary in 2010. Their house is near the center of town and within walking distance of the church and Waynesburg University, where Jessica is employed. They have become part of the community they serve and are enjoying the fruit of nurtured relationships.
Josh embodies the mission of Ashland Theological Seminary. What we do matters because what he does matters.