My Journey to here
Jay Rodgers is recognised as an Evangelist on our FiveFold team. As such he helps to prepare and encourage the church to do God's work as we all grow in unity and maturity as disciples of Christ. Jay also leads Activate Youth and our 10:30am Gathering at Ruakura Campus
My Journey to Here
I spent the first 8 years of my life in Christchurch (and am a proud Cantabrian – yes, a proud Crusaders supporter!) We moved to Hamilton when my parents started leading Activate Church which was called Eastside Apostolic back then. As a kid, I always had a passion for superheroes and Star Wars… I guess I’m still a kid at heart because that passion has remained. I came to know Jesus through growing up in a Christian household, and I have had many encounters with God over the years that have shaped my journey.
The first encounter is the one which led me to give my whole life to Jesus, and it happened when I was 14 with my Dad on a trip to India. He asked me to pray for a mute & deaf woman and I was freaking out because I didn’t know what to say. So I just copied my Dad’s prayer from the previous person and prayed for her leg... to my surprise, only moments later she was completely healed! She could hear and she started speaking to her friends and family for the first time in her small village! This was such an eye-opener for me, a radical encounter that sparked a passion for healing and placed a burden in my heart to see the people around me meet Jesus. Ever since that day, I have seen hundreds of people healed and become followers of Jesus.
A couple of years later a great evangelist Daz Chettle came to speak at our Youth Camp. I remember listening to him talk about evangelism as a 15-year-old and thinking, “I don’t even know what that word means”, but his passion and excitement to see people saved inspired me so much. Daz prophesied over kids at camp and when it was my turn he said “You will win many souls for Christ” which stirred something deep in me. I’m grateful for the encouragement he has continued to give me over the years, and that I can now call him my good mate.
When I was 16, I had the opportunity to co-lead a prayer and healing group with Cathan Bowler at my high school, Hamilton Boys High. Through that group, I saw many boys have their own encounters with Jesus, with some becoming radically healed themselves. During my High School years, I received the same prophetic word from 4 different people in 4 different locations around New Zealand saying that I carry a similar mantle to Daniel Kolenda (who is the successor of the international renowned evangelist Reinhard Bonnke). One day in my Maths class the teacher asked us to stand up the front and say what we wanted to do with our lives. I told everyone “I want to be an evangelist and see people saved”. He looked at me strangely and said “then why the heck are you in school?” Not long after I finished my NCEA and left school!
I pursued this passion for evangelism in my heart and when I was invited to go to America to attend Reinhard Bonnke’s Christ For All Nations School of Evangelism (CFAN) I worked hard to save the money so I could go. There, I was privileged to have some of the world’s most well-known evangelists impart wisdom and prophetic words into my life (including Daniel Kolenda). I felt humbled to hear I was the youngest person to have attended the school and become an Ordained Evangelist with CFAN. As of 2023, CFAN have 86,000,000 documented decisions for Christ around the world.
During the same year, I completed Bible College and continued to serve in many areas around the church. I started playing guitar for our creative team when I was 10 and co-led the Youth Band when I was older. I mentored teens at TeenLink for a little while and have had the privilege to lead Activate Youth since 2019 which has been amazing! During this time I met my beautiful wife Nikita and as we have grown in ministry together we have started overseeing the 10:30am Gathering at Ruakura Campus. (We are also expecting our baby girl in August and we can’t wait to meet her!)
In my journey of faith, I have seen many people encounter Jesus and decide to follow Him - at school, in restaurants, in elevators and on the streets. It is my greatest passion to see the church empowered and equipped to be bold in sharing their faith!
My prayer is that you too would experience a passion and a stirring to see the people around you encounter Jesus. I pray that you would have the courage to share boldly with your friends and family, the people in your sports teams, schools and workplaces - whoever you meet! - about how much God loves them and how amazing Jesus is.
Blessings, and remember… Jesus loves you so much!