We are excited to have Josh and Holly Butler move to Arizona to be with us at Redemption Tempe. Riccardo has known Josh for six years, over which time they have been able to cultivate a healthy friendship. Two years ago, Riccardo had the opportunity, along with several other Protestant Pastors, to take a trip to Rome to meet with Pope Francis. The experience with the Pope was amazing, but it was Riccardo’s more in-depth time with Josh and Holly that he remembers the most. The two of them were so gracious, humble, and very open to the power of Holy Spirit. Since then, Josh and Riccardo kept in touch over the phone.
Two months ago, there was a gathering of pastors in Arizona. Riccardo knew that Josh and Holly were going to be in town and had been looking forward to hanging out with them. He relays the story this way:
During one of the breaks, Josh asked me the question ‘Hey, have you ever thought about planting a church in Oakland?’ I responded by telling him that I believe that God has me here in Arizona. I jokingly asked, ‘Why don’t you and Holly leave Portland and come join us in Tempe?’ Honestly, I didn’t think too much of the question until the next day, when I got a text from Josh saying, ‘I have never been more tempted.’ I didn’t think there was ever a chance that we could convince Josh and Holly to move to Arizona…thank the Lord that I was wrong.
As elders, we moved into a process of evaluation, vetting, and discussions about the potential of bringing Josh onto the team with Redemption Tempe. It didn’t take us long to realize that Josh would be a great fit and that Holly would bring her gifts to the church as well. We brought the Butlers out to Arizona over Easter weekend, and they fell in love with the city of Tempe and our Church. We formally asked Josh to join our staff, and he gladly accepted our offer. So, we are adding one more leader to our team at Redemption Tempe, and we are very excited about the opportunities this presents for us as a church.
What will be Josh’s role?
Josh will help share a great deal of leadership with Riccardo. He will be the Pastor of Mission and Spiritual Formation, which means he will cast vision and oversee ministry, pastors, and leaders in those areas of our church. Josh will also share the load of preaching, teaching, and leadership development. We are excited about the opportunity to add Josh to our team, as he will be able to share the workload of our growing church, and his leadership will help free up other pastors and leaders to have the time to lean more into their strengths and giftings.
When will Josh start?
The plan is for the Butlers to move to Phoenix on July 1st, and he will start shortly thereafter.
Is this Riccardo’s exit plan?
Quite the opposite. Adding Josh to the team as a high capacity leader who is also relatable and loving will free Riccardo to lean into some of his other gifts here in Tempe. While Riccardo will continue to lead, preach, and cast vision for Redemption Tempe, he will also be able to focus on pastoral oversight and shepherding of our staff, leadership development with interns and pastoral residents, teaching classes, and more.
Will Josh be an elder?
Josh will join our team as an Elder and a Pastor. Josh has fifteen years of local church ministry experience, more than anyone else on our current staff, and he will bring this experience to our team.
Will Josh continue to write books?
Josh has a passion for the local church and helping people wrestle through difficult things found in the Bible and our culture. We believe that God has gifted Josh in unique ways to equip the church, and one of those ways is by writing. So far, Josh has written two books (Skeletons in God’s Closet and The Pursing God). He is currently finishing his next book on sexuality. It is our hope that Josh will continue to write, not only for Redemption but also for the church at large. We have asked that in his first year with us that he not write another book in order to take the time to be immersed in our church and community.