top of page

My journey to here

Written by

Josh Duckett

About author

Josh leads the 9am Ruakura Gathering. He also serves on our Creative Team in lighting, production and drumming. He has a passion to see the broken set free, by the grace of God!

My Journey to Here

Josh Duckett

Growing up I had a passion for aviation and planned to become a Fighter Pilot in the Air Force, but the day the Government cancelled their plans for F-16 Vipers I lost interest. To be honest, I just wanted the glory that comes with being a Fighter Pilot!


Around the same time, around 15yrs old, I’d been getting into drumming and music, and started a band with friends, putting on shows and playing with others across the North Island. I was fortunate to be raised in a Christian household, attend Christian schools, and was at Activate Church most of that time. Back then the youth area was known as the “Elevate Youth Hall” and in my mid-teens I organized many music shows there, averaging 60-80 kids with the biggest being over 300 in that tiny youth hall. As my passion for music was growing, I also started playing drums at church on Sunday nights. One night I was hit with a prophecy from someone about being called to enter leadership, more specifically ministry.  A couple of weeks later this was confirmed with a similar prophecy from a guest speaker I had never met. A few weeks after that, out of nowhere I was asked by our Youth Pastor if I would consider a Youth Ministry Internship. That all got me thinking and praying, and it soon seemed obvious that it was God’s way of clearly saying He has a plan for me and I should probably start working towards it.I had just been fired from my first job out of school as an Apprentice Builder because I couldn’t hang a door or window. Though I was only young and hadn’t been taught how, I had some of those self-doubt, “you’re not good enough” thoughts hanging around in the back of my mind.


At this point my band was starting to gain a bit of a following, but I knew that if I was going to give this intern thing my all, I would have to leave the band. At 17 years old, when band practise with your mates was one of the best things about your week, it felt like the hardest decision I’d ever made, but I did it. To this day I remember crying as I told the boys I needed to leave the band to follow what God asked me to do. As gutted as they were, they were supportive and I’m still friends with them all to this day.


Early on in my internship, I met Kayla at a concert. We ended up dating and she started coming to church and helping out at youth. (Side note: she had attended some of the shows in the youth hall and took stalker photos of me as the “cool guy with colourful shoes” from afar 😉). Fast forward a couple of months and the world as I knew it imploded… Well not totally, but it would never be the same. Kayla told me she was pregnant the week before we had to run a youth camp - and my brain was running all over the place. I remember thinking “nah it’ll never happen to me”. But if you play with fire you’ll probably get burnt. The worst part is, I was helping teach sex education in schools at the time… not a good look. As the oldest child of my family it was hard to tell my parents, but their response was nothing but love. What was slightly more daunting was not only telling Kayla’s family, but also actually meeting her Dad and older brothers all on the same day. Her Dad got up and mowed the lawns for 4 hours while he processed it. Her brothers just said “Welcome to the family! You’re stuck with us now!”We got married and had our amazing daughter, but soon after the reality of what we’d just done began to sink in. Our marriage ended pretty quickly, and we both ended up in dark places with some not-so-great habits. But God works in mysterious ways, and somehow, we eventually found ourselves turning back to God and then back to each other. I’m proud to say we’ve been back together for 11 years now, with 4 great kids. Our marriage has been a constant learning curve but one we’ve done walking closely with God who has helped us be honest with each other and face up to all the things that would have torn us apart again. We’re now stronger than ever. Way back when Kayla was pregnant, we were given prophetic words about stepping into ministry together, about our story helping save other marriages, and showing people, that even if a situation might feel impossible, it can be overcome. For many years we resisted God’s call, either ignoring Him out of fear of more hurt, or putting it off because we ‘felt’ it wasn’t the right time. I had been busy working as a Lighting Technician and serving on worship and youth teams and was quite content with that. But when the country was having one of its finest or not so-finest moments during the Covid Lockdowns, we thought it was time to really step up and say “yes” to God, so we took the opportunity to lead Activate Chapel Gatherings together during that time. Thinking back, we couldn’t have chosen a more difficult time to really get stuck into ministry work but we’re happy we did.


From job opportunities to schooling for the kids, to health and our relationship, Kayla and I have seen God move in some crazy, incredible ways and we are so excited to be in the season we’re in now; even with the chaos of running a household of 4 kids, fulltime work and our church commitments. I’ll certainly be continuing to say “Yes” to however God wants to use me from here on. I’m really looking forward to heading to India with Pastor Sheridyn next year; I felt God say “Go” so I took the step of obedience, and He has already made a way to make that happen. I’m excited about what God will do not only through me, but in me as I step out of my comfort zone in a culture I don’t know & in a place where you can be persecuted for your faith.

I hope that through my journey you see a picture of a broken man making a daily choice to seek the face of The Father who restores.

I’ve made mistakes and still make them, but I walk closely with an endlessly loving God each day, who has a plan for me and for you, to give us a hope and a future.


bottom of page