We spoke to Rev Cris Rogers who is the key note speaker at this Sunday’s ‘What Now’ event.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your own story of God’s calling.
At the age of 16 having made a decision to follow Jesus, I found myself quickly getting involved with kids work and then youth work at my church in Wakefield. Realising I didn’t know the Bible as well I as I could I ended up going to study at Bible college for a number of years. All of this lead me to a moment where I had become a youth worker in a church and I found myself starting a congregation for young people in a skate park we built on the church grounds. Young people were coming to faith and they were telling their friends. It was an exciting time and realised I had stumbled into leading a church for young people. I had no idea what I was doing or how to do it. I often say I accidentally planted a church and then accidentally found myself leading people and caring for them. It was friends who then gave this language of leadership and calling.
What do you enjoy most about speaking to young people?
I love the energy and passion of young people. Young people don’t have the same war wounds as adults. They are willing to be dared, challenged and stretched. I especially love it when a young person's eyes light up when they get something for the first time, it’s electric.
Without giving too much away, what themes will you be talking about at the event?
I want to cover what it means first and foremost to be a disciple of Jesus. We are called to this role of following and copying Jesus. We will then spend some time coming to realise a calling to a ‘ministry’ in the church isn’t a promotion, but a demotion as we take up the call to be people who serve and live Jesus’ church. I also want to tell a little bit of my story and encourage young people to listen to God and ask the question “Could he be calling me”?
What do you hope young people attending will take away from the event?
I would love young people to grasp the calling we all have as disciples and for some the calling to be In specific roles. It's quite clear to me that the disciples were young teenagers, so Jesus loves to call young people to walk with Him, learn with Him and then do the stuff for Him.