Xulon Press Successful Author Spotlight: Rev. Joshua Rodriguez

Filed in Successful Author Spotlight by on June 14, 2013 1 Comment

Xulon Press book El Corazon Del PadreIn our special Father’s Day issue of the Xulon Press Successful Author Spotlight, it is our distinct honor to highlight the life and testimony of Rev. Joshua Rodriguez, Senior Pastor of The Cityline Church, in Jersey City, New Jersey, www.thecitylinechurch.org, author of “El Corazon Del Padre” (The Heart of The Father), currently available in Spanish/soon to be translated into English. During a ten year career, Joshua Rodriguez rose to the upper echelon of Investment Banking on Wall Street, accomplishing financial success in a place where so many seek it and so few find it. Joshua had his world turned upside down when he was moved by a picture he saw in a newspaper. God stirred his heart to action- an action that resulted in Joshua resigning, the very next day, from that lucrative Wall Street position. He followed his heart by joining a ministry dedicated to America’s youth that grew into The CityLine Church. Having begun his life on the streets of The Bronx, Pastor Rodriguez is keenly aware of what today’s urban youth face as they attempt to navigate through the uncharted territory that takes them from boy to man—and his book investigates what is missing in America’s families today—a good father!

God has opened doors for Pastor Rodriguez since that day, including: the first Hispanic chaplain for the Jersey City Police Department(2006), serving on several Governor’s Transition Teams, a member of the Governor’s Hispanic Advisory Council and the Employment Opportunity Commission for the state of New Jersey. He also served former Senator Jon Corzine on the Financial Literacy Task Force and again as part of a statewide Latino Task Force. All of this while improving the quality of life for the people in his community and beyond; from governors, senators, congressmen, to assemblymen to mayors, Pastor Joshua Rodriguez is committed to getting his message of paternalism out to a world desperate to hear.

Pastor Rodriguez talked about the one event that changed the course of his life, back in 1996. He remembers “When I was working on Wall Street, summer of 1996, I was doing very well on “The Street”, and my career was about to take off. My income was about to become lucrative, looking forward to an incredible promotion. During that same week, sitting in my office, looking at the Empire State building-I opened the newspaper and saw how young people were committing suicide and going crazy. The Holy Spirit said, “are you happy with helping the affluent be more affluent, or do you want to do something to help these kids?” The next morning, I resigned. That was my Big Turning Point. It affected everything in my life. Once I obeyed the Lord, it was a big turning point for me, my family, and my ministry.”

Considering the ministry God has called him to, I asked “What message do you want shared by the story of your life?”

Pastor became impassioned as he spoke. “Investments– I was born to be an investor. I have continued to invest since leaving Wall Street. There’s been a shift in the type of investment, but my wife and I are still investors. No longer stocks and bonds. Now we invest in people. John 3 16: For God so loved the world that He GAVE…He invested in us. The message is about becoming an investor in transcending the state of consumerism. I was just in Queens, NY. I talked about valuation. Most don’t understand valuation. We estimate the value of “something” but, we don’t understand the valuation of pastors, of ministry, of changing people’s lives. I challenge people to look at investments like God did. He invested His Son. God first wants us to use our investments to restore the value of human life. I used to be an avid sports fan. I would pay whatever the ticket cost, no matter what the price. From an urban context, they don’t understand valuation. People don’t get the urban valuation of investing in people and transforming their lives. How much is this next generation worth to you? My response is– I invest my life.”

I could sense his commitment, so I asked him “What is your vision for telling this story…what do you hope will come of this?” He responded as a visionary. “How, as a church, we need to mentor our youth. It’s a set up as it relates to the importance of having a life of continuity in longevity. To convince the audience how important it is to embrace paternity from a spiritual perspective– from Paul to Timothy. Understanding longevity and generations; if not, we will die and there will be no legacy. We need to understand the importance of generations. We examine the strengths and weaknesses of each generation so we can save them for the message of God. It sets up my next book on success and planning. We are not good at preparing our generations. It is a societal problem. We are not doing this well. It’s not a Latino problem; it’s not a black problem. As a country, we are failing at this miserably. Regardless of the scary stats which reveal that “moms believe that fathers don’t need to be involved in a child’s life”—that is a huge mistake. When fathers are not in the child’s life, there are devastating results for kids without fathers, from suicide to drugs. A challenge to the church and to the mom– if the father will not be present, then it’s the church’s responsibility to provide the paternal role. For example, Eunice to Timothy; Paul became a spiritual father—to adopt them spiritually.”

Xulon Press author Joshua-RodriguezPastor continued. “Mentoring is so important. Lead by example. I lead by example. The immediate family is so important.  I had very poor and unbalanced models of a father– to put my family first. I almost lost my marriage three years into it and then again ten years later, both due to church building projects. My wife and I have a covenantal agreement, which my kids are a part of– it defines how many “outings” I can have, how many “emerging needs” can I get involved in. We negotiate all of this, with four kids, two boys in college, two younger daughters… we must agree on “my involvement” in outside activities and still place our family first. I sometimes ask my wife to pack a bag and whisk her off to Paris for dinner…all to show her preference. We do ministry together as a family unit. Family is my priority. When you lead by example…women get it, men get it… they get on the bandwagon and start to follow my example. I am telling my sons to understand God’s valuation of men and women. We protected our boys as well as we have protected our girls. I come from The Hood, Avenue “D”, Lower East Side– shootouts every day, my three brothers were distributors of drugs, I am number four and have two sisters. I led my older brother to the Lord while he was in prison, indicted by FBI. You have to learn how to value women…you will find that value and have a wonderful home– IF you follow our lead. It’s the power of example!”

I asked Pastor Rodriguez “What inspires you?”

He reflected.”The sight of injustice anywhere. Martin Luther King said “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Our ministry is geared to social injustice. God fuels my passion to stand up for what is right and to stand up against all that is wrong. I go to Washington, DC a lot … it’s my spiritual DNA. I am a reformer and bridge builder of generations, ethnicities. Advocating for the least of these– for the underserved, for the underprivileged. I try to make a difference, which is never easy…injustice is my passion.”

After hearing his passion discussing paternalism, I asked “What is your theme scripture and why?” His response reflected the theme of his life. “Luke chapter 15– The whole chapter. It has revolutionized my life. It helped me to understand. The example of the lost son. In the Greek– you read about life. You see it from the perspective of the servants. The older brother and younger brother. The absence of paternity and how it messes up society. We need a father in the home as well as a mother. Compare and contrast to paternalism and paternity. Why we have denominations, tribalism, turfism versus kingdom mentality.”

Because his book is about paternalism versus paternity, I asked “What is your writing method when you start a project?” He shared “It’s based on inspiration. It started when I went to seminary and learned to read Greek. This book is based on a series of sermons that I wrote. I preached a series on the role of the father in a child’s life—on paternalism versus paternity. I turned this into a book. I researched to see if there was anything out there that anyone had written on paternity versus paternalism and Luke chapter 15. The research showed that no one had written anything on this. I knew—I had to share this timely message with the world!”

When I asked him “What is the most important life event you have had?” Pastor got very sentimental as he shared “The passing of my biological dad, Justino Rodriguez, who passed in 2005.  He was my hero. His death was significant—it enabled me to reflect on priorities and the family as my first calling in ministry.  I took thirty days off, resigned from a lot of commissions on a state wide level, and made my family a priority. I continue to do this periodically, I do this every six months. Reevaluate. I want to always be available for my family. They are first. My dad taught me that.”

I had to ask him what made his Dad his hero. ”My father was my hero because he was a true role model for me. He was not perfect, but he tried his best to imitate Christ. He epitomized integrity and genuine Christianity. He is also the person responsible for imparting a spirit of servant leadership to me. He was always willing to go beyond the call of duty in order to serve others. That’s what made him my hero!”

As we drew to a close I had to ask “What will they write on your gravestone that will sum up your life?” Pastor Rodriguez commented “I meditate on this all lot. I want it to say: Here lies a man who was willing to give his life in order to save others for eternity in abundant life.

Due to the theme of this book, this ministry and this life, I asked Joshua Rodriguez, father, son, Pastor, author, mentor, leader… “What do you want to hear your Heavenly Father say when you enter Heaven?” He welled up as he humbly replied “That I have been found faithful by having completed my assignment on this planet for my generation.”

As a father and a son, I was touched by his message, his mission, his ministry, but most importantly, I was moved by his commitment to mentor our young men to become the fathers our children need and deserve.

It is our prayer that his message will change the course of fatherhood in America today—we need good fathers—our children deserve them—and God commands us to be a good example to our children.

Just like the example provided by Joshua Rodriguez and his hero, Justino.

Find Rev. Joshua Rodriguez’s book “El Corazon Del Padre” (The Heart of The Father) in the Xulon Press Bookstore.

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About the Author ()

Alan P. Scaglione is a writer who reflects on the simple contradictions and complexities to living this ”gift from God” called life. He believes that Life is a journey that, with compassion, a little levity and perspective, we help each other get through. His greatest compliment was being told “you draw pictures with your words!” He has devoted his life to “drawing”…in his poetry, his songs, his weekly “Reflections of Life” blog entries, his monthly SAS articles, his short stories and now, his novels! Alan is an everyday guy who refuses to let circumstances dictate his view to life; he lives an attitude of gratitude and spreads his positive outlook everywhere he goes. His BEST day is a day shared making a memory that will last a lifetime! Please check out Alan’s books “One Unexpected Event – How Would Your Life Change?” and its sequel “One Unexpected Event – Aftermath!” in the Xulon Press bookstore.

Comments (1)

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  1. avatar Peter Lopez says:

    Great job Alan. I’ve know this Author for over 20 years and it’s dead on!

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