Chris Rogers has worked professionally in the field of youth ministry for over 20 years. He now serves as the Director of Family Life for the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin. The one message he would like to get across to people is to stop settling for mediocrity in their relationship with Christ. His prayer is that God will use him to awaken souls and help people find a passion for Christ that fuels everything that they are, and everything that they do. Throughout Chris’ life God has blessed him with events, silliness, despair, joyfulness, etc. that are the stories of his book of life. He considers himself an open book because he uses these stories to bring laughter, punctuation, and reflection to the words God gives him to speak to lead His people closer to Him.
Chris is married to his wife Elizabeth and they have four children.
It is vital for young people to know Christ and have a relationship with them at an early age. Many times the middle school years are a time when young people begin to draw closer to Christ or start listening to the distractions of the world. Through his experiences, stories, and desire to meet the young people where they are, Chris will bring the Gospel message to the students in a real way that they can relate to.
YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY
Young adults need to know they have a place in the Church, and that they are wanted. The difficult part about young adult ministry is that there is such a wide age group with different states of life (college, working, engaged, married, single, new parents, etc.) We have to be mindful of the audience with whom we are engaging. Chris compassionately speaks to young adults that invites them to live their call to be disciples of Jesus Christ no matter where they are in life.
Why do we serve? Do we do it for ourselves? For others? For God? Or all three? When performing acts of service it is important for participants to see the importance of doing the service to feed ourselves, feed others, and feed our relationship with God, as well as, how all of these are interconnected.
Chris Rogers was raised Methodist, went to a Baptist University to study theology and youth ministry, where he met a Catholic girl. They were married in 1997 and he came into the Catholic Church in 1998. Coming from this diverse religious background, Chris talks about how we find the similarities and see how we are all children of God and each on his/her own journey to grow in deeper relationship with Him.
Many times in our Church we hear the phrase, “The youth are the future of the Church.” While this is a true statement it also invites the young people to be complacent in their faith because they think they don’t have to worry about it until “the future.” Chris calls the young people to be part of the life of the Church today. Through stories and speaking directly to the roadblocks to our faith, Chris gives the young people hope and challenges them to truly participate in the Sacraments, the life of the Church, and see their relationship with Christ as a foundation for everything they do.
The question I hear most often is, “Why do the youth typically never come back to Church after they are Confirmed?” This question opens the door to several questions that we need to be asking ourselves: “How are we inviting them to come back?” “How are we engaging parents and families into the ministry?” “How are we teaching the faith through the lens of a relationship with Christ?” When speaking to Confirmation students Chris is direct in his approach sharing stories of struggle and triumph in his own faith. Chris’ goal is to help the young people understand the grace they receive when they are confirmed and see Christ in themselves.
When we talk about being Pro-Life, we talk about taking care of people and seeing everyone with their God-given dignity. Being Pro-Life is learning how to take a stand while speaking from a place compassion. It’s not about judging but about speaking the truth in love.