Josh Thompson is the Lead Pastor for Preaching and Vision at Legacy City Church, located in Studio City, CA where he lives with his wife Katie and their daughter Eden. He was born and raised in Riverside, CA with his two younger brothers Jake and Jesse. After attending Harvest Christian Fellowship in High School, he was brought on staff in 2002 working with the high school ministry.

A few years later, Josh got to attend a pastors-in-training school in Mexico with Pastor Jon Courson. He also got to spend some time studying in Israel after that. Upon returning, he continued to help with the Harvest Crusades and eventually came on staff under Greg Laurie in 2010, where he served until 2014 when he was called to plant a church in L.A. Aside from spending most of his free time with his wife, he loves to surf, play music, and preach the Word of God!

In this interview Josh shares more about how he developed into the man he is today. He talks about how humility is cultivated, what fuels faith, how to pursue intimacy with God, and secret skills he possesses. He also shares about some of the darkest times in his life and how God brought him through those seasons, as well as discussing suicide and it’s ramifications.


“[Surfing] is like dropping in on a half-pipe that comes to life, and literally you don’t know what it’s going to do.”  – Josh Thompson

“My favorite leaders are those who serve. My favorite leaders are those who lay down their life for their people. My favorite leaders are not those that command authority but those who are given authority.”  – Josh Thompson

“If you want to win people you gotta serve them.”  – Josh Thompson

“Realization never equals transformation, it always takes an action afterwards.”  – Josh Thompson

“Self-awareness, I think, only comes through you allowing it to come into your life.”  – Josh Thompson

“There is a purpose and a reason behind the suffering in every situation. As believers, we get to know and trust and believe, even when it’s hard to believe, that God is working it out for good.”  – Thane Ringler

“Love God and do whatever you want.”  – Augustine

“The reason people are scared to take a step of faith is that they don’t really believe that God is going to come through.”  – Josh Thompson

“People just don’t take God at His word.”  – Josh Thompson

“If it practically makes sense, there’s no faith involved.”  – Josh Thompson

“It’s not the crazy [to walk on water] when you think about who’s on the water.”  – Josh Thompson

“It’s not a forsaking of the practical, but it’s a marrying of the practical with the supernatural and the faith.”  – Thane Ringler

“The Lord doesn’t reveal the blueprints to you because He wants you to be dependent on Him.”  – Josh Thompson

“The deeper your relationship with the Lord, the more you’re going to trust Him – because you know Him.”  – Josh Thompson

“If you think about any relationship – if it’s based on structure is not a relationship, it’s a discipline. And disciplines are never relationships.”  – Thane Ringler

“[Suicide] is like trying to kill a swarm of mosquitos with a nuclear bomb – it’s not necessary, it’s too much. Because the bomb that it sets off affects so many people around you and it devastates everything.”  – Josh Thompson

“We overcomplicate everything. At the end of the day it’s just about a relationship with God, just walking with Him and very simply loving the people around you. That is the full law.”  – Josh Thompson

“We’ve been designed to bring God glory with every gift, talent, and ability that we have.”  – Josh Thompson

Show Notes

Humility – C.J. Mahaney
Interview with Jon Roberts
Leadership and Self-Deception – The Arbinger Institute
“I’ll See You Soon” – Josh’s Sermon After His Brother’s Passing
“We’re All Still Here” – Josh’s Talk on Suicide
Lectures To My Students – Charles Spurgeon
All In – Mark Batterson

Connect with Josh!
Legacy City Church

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6:00 – Josh’s Little Known Superpower
8:30 – What Josh Does
10:00 – All Things Surfing
16:00 – Leading with Humility
26:00 – Josh’s Development / Growth
30:00 – Building Blocks for Constructive Criticism
32:30 – Josh’s Childhood / Background
41:00 – Challenges Josh Faced
47:00 – Impact of Losing His Mother
54:00 – How Josh Was Called to Ministry
1:01:30 – What Faith Means / Looks Like
1:09:00 – When Faith is Hardest
1:11:30 – Faith-Fuel
1:15:00 – Intimacy with God
1:22:00 – Early Church-Planting Years / Josh’s Darkest Moments
1:30:30 – Message for People Contemplating Suicide
1:34:00 – What Josh Reminds Himself of Most
1:35:00 – What Book(s) Have Left Biggest Impact
1:37:30 – New Habit/Belief with Most Positive Impact
1:39:00 – TED Talk Josh Would Give
1:40:00 – Morning Text Reminder