Thursday, December 21, 2017

Meet a good friend of mine who has taken a big leap of faith to serve Jesus

Josh (on the right) with Arden Musselmen, his friend, mentor, and now fellow worker.

I’ve known Josh Tallman for almost 30 years. In that time he’s grown from a quiet little camper, to a successful computer engineer working around the world, and now I have the privilege of working alongside Joshua as our newest full time Regional Director serving in Southern California and the Southwest. 

I have personally experienced the incredible gifts and character God has given to Josh and am excited to have the privilege both to introduce him to you through the interview below and to look forward to years of serving alongside him!

My favorite parts of the interview:
  • Trying to use orange soda to heal a gunshot wound
  • Hearing  him describe the huge impact CSB men made in his life
  • The midnight rescue mission
  • Minimalist camping gone bad
Serving you so you can serve the next generation,
Dave Gregg and the CSB Team

Joshua Tallman Vitals:

“latter half of my 30s”
15 years of married bliss to LeeAnn 
3 skilled tree-climbing daughters
Computer engineering and computer science
White water paddling, reading,  hiking, photography, piano, watching the Andy Griffith Show

Brigade Connection: Josh,did you grow up in Brigade?

Josh: Yes, I’ve been involved in Brigade since a Tree Climber with Dad and participated all the way through Battalion. As a young adult I helped in Stockade in my hometown and then as a Lieutenant alongside some high-quality men in Maryland. I’ve spent many summers at Sequoia Brigade Camp as camper and staff as well as at Camp Hemlock in Maryland.

Now that I am back in California as a CSB staff member, I am involved with a Battalion at still another church where I plan to stay until we start a unit at my family’s new home church.

Brigade Connection: You’ve stayed connected to Brigade your whole life, what is your most important Brigade experience?
Josh with twins Elizabeth and  Lydia at a father/Daughter Dance

Josh: The most important part of my Brigade experience was not one particular experience but rather the day-in and day-out with the other men, the cumulative experience with the guys who showed me what it was like to be a man following Christ. Looking back, I’m sure they were very intentional in their time with me… but it just felt like we were buddies having fun. So much of who I am today can be linked back to these men. One of them was a groomsman in my wedding and most continue as friends and partners in this ministry today (30 years later).

Brigade Connection: You mention the importance of the cumulative experiences Brigade provided you; what are some of your most notable memories?

Josh: I’m sure you don’t have enough space for me to really describe all of these, so just a few quick thoughts:

Helping save a fellow camper -

Outside of my father, the Sequoia Brigade camp staff had the greatest impact on the man who I am today. One particular year, a boy got very sick on the Base Camp canoe trip (adult onset diabetes). We had to paddle him out by moonlight and deliver him to my parents, who took him to the hospital. To be a part of the planning and execution of this rescue mission was just one example of my working alongside these men.
Josh with Hannah (oldest daughter) at The devils Staircase
in Glencoe Scotland

The gunshot wound -
Being told that my Battalion Captain had been shot through the side while running shuttle on a canoe trip. This was a personal trip and not an official CSB function but my buddy and I were waiting with the boats and had to be driven by the police to the hospital. We smuggled in a contraband orange soda and explained that we wanted to see it come out the bullet holes. Thankfully, he was drugged up enough after his surgery to find the joke funny.

Making mistakes in order to learn -
Learning how to plan and deliver a council ring… this memory was several years long and had a few cringe-worthy moments.

Learning alongside young men -
Memorizing Romans 12 alongside the exceptional young men of the “P314” and “WAC” backpacking camps.

Brigade Connection: Some of my funniest moments growing up were on Brigade trips. Do you have any funny Brigade experiences you can share?

Josh with LeeAnn and the girls...and a hatchet
Josh: My Maryland Battalion was experimenting with low-tech backpacking. So, we had a weekend trip using an old pair of jeans as a backpack, tarp tents, and bedrolls instead of sleeping bags. One of the other Lieutenants brought a whole bunch of extra and unnecessary safety gear. I mean, this guy had a big saw, more than a gallon of water, a shovel… you name it, he had it. It was completely unnecessary. He filled his entire backpack AND a LARGE duffel bag, AND a large extra water bottle sort of pinned between stuff. Suffice to say that he could not manage it all so we all took turns carrying his stuff.

Fast forward to Saturday night around the campfire. He starts passing out gum to everyone to help keep their teeth clean. We all look at him sort of funny, decline his offer, and explain that we’d already brushed our teeth. He stops with the gum and declares, “Brush your teeth!? What, you guys brought a toothbrush? I left mine at home because it was too heavy!”

Brigade Connection: When did you first realize you were called to this ministry?

Josh: My call into ministry was a gradual process over 8-9 years. My interest grew as the Holy Spirit worked in my life. There was an important conversation with my pastor about “what is a calling” and a conversation while hiking with the CSB Regional Director for the Pacific Northwest.

I was actually living in Europe when I first reached out to CSB and expressed my interest. At the time it would be a full 18 months before I could return to the ‘States but I  contacted the Vice President of Field Staff anyway and he explained how he had just been praying that morning for somebody to take over the CSB Southwest Region at the same time I was due to return. That really showed the fingerprints of God’s work.

Brigade Connection: How would you describe CSB in 2 or three sentences?

Skipping Scottish rocks with the girls

Josh: CSB is a Bible-based, adventure ministry for boys and young men. It brings them alongside men—the type of men you’d like them all to grow into—in a way that forms long term, discipleship relationships. The young men might not even understand they are being ministered to; they just journey alongside the men of their church, very naturally, and all the while become more and more like Jesus.

Brigade Connection: What is your vision for CSB in your region?

Josh with his oldest daughter Hannah

Josh: To be used by the Holy Spirit to build the next generation of David’s, Jonathan’s, and Timothy’s. Right now, my biggest priority for the region is to increase the number of units. Our regional events and inter-church fellowship are suffering because of the low numbers. I am normally a “quality is more important than quantity” type of guy but right now the best way to improve our quality is by adding units. My region has a strong group of core men and some great churches. I think that by bringing these strengths to prospective churches and serving them at or near their own campus, we’ll grow the right way.

Brigade Connection:  What gifts and abilities do you bring to the ministry?

Josh: I am pretty good at planning ahead and following through on the details. I’d like to think that I live life wisely and hope this rubs off on our young men. If we’re talking about the spiritual gifts, like those found in Romans 12, then it’s probably the gift of service, “…if it is serving, let him serve.” There are a few other areas that I’m trying to improve with lots of studying and practice, but by definition those would not be called gifts.


You can help Josh!

Josh and his family have left a secure government job because they heard a clear call from God to serve men, boys and the body of Christ in Southern California and the Southwest. Please be praying for Josh, Leeann and their three girls. Please seriously consider how you can help their growing ministry financially. Give here  

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