Alumnus Writes for the Everyday Christian Student

by Jessiah Hulle - University Communications | Feb 16, 2017
God So Loved Missions and evangelism are at the heart of the University of Valley Forge (UVF). While some students and alumni are called to travel across bodies of water, some are called to evangelize in their own backyards, and some are called to equip others to share the gospel. Lee Rogers '01, co-president of the University of Valley Forge Alumni Association, published a new book on youth ministry evangelism. "God So Loved: A Student's Guide to Sharing Jesus at School," published last year, encourages students to share the gospel within their own public schools. 

During his first years at UVF, Lee Rogers '01 was a youth ministry and pastoral ministry double major. To expedite his undergraduate program, he eventually dropped youth ministry and chose to concentrate on general pastoral studies. 
However, he didn't lose his passion for youth and worked as a youth minister from the time he graduated until 2011. 

Lee was approached by the PennDel District Youth Director in 2011 who asked if he would be interested in becoming a full time Assemblies of God (AG) U.S. missionary with Youth Alive, a division of the National Youth Ministries of the Assemblies of God (AG). "It was a natural fit," Lee said of the program. "Youth Alive is all about students reaching students, [becoming] missionaries to their own schools, starting Bible clubs and Christian clubs ... doing outreaches on campus and having conversations about Jesus."  
Lee’s book "God So Loved" is all about Youth Alive’s mission of encouraging students to share Jesus within their own schools, a method of personal evangelism that he calls “one of the great forgotten spiritual disciplines in the Western church.” Lee developed the idea out of his own experience in youth ministry and, in part, from his studies as an undergraduate and graduate student of ministry. Although the book was Lee's idea and he was the chief compiler and editor, he noted that it was a collaborative project by numerous authors, including his wife Christine (Dondzila) '02, co-president of the UVF Alumni Association.  “It’s really a Youth Alive product – 11 different Youth Alive missionaries wrote chapters for the book,” Lee said. “Basically we took a missiological view of a student’s life. This book was written essentially to help them share Jesus on a contextual basis to each of 30 people groups within the school system.”
Lee noted that he wanted to go beyond the classic model of evangelistic books that concentrate on witnessing to individuals from other religions. “There is a lot of writing that explores how to share Jesus with Muslims and Hindus, but that’s not really the experience of the everyday Christian student,” said Lee. He and the co-authors focused on student groups like the football team, marching band, and hurting students, and gave practical advice on how to witness to these groups based on their specific interests and context. 

Each co-author wrote from their past and present high school experience. For instance, in addition to the introductory and conclusory chapters, Lee wrote segments on how to witness to vocalists and atheists, as well as students of other religions. Christine, a public school teacher, wrote a chapter titled, God So Loved Teachers, from her personal expertise within the public school system.
After many years in multiple facets of youth ministry, and after publishing two books (his debut, "Initiate: Powerful Conversations That Lead to Jesus," was published in 2014), Lee’s investment in God’s call continues to make an impact in his own life and in the lives of the youth he reaches. His third book, “I Dare You,” is slated for publication in early 2017.