For Josh Sonoga it is the parallel of sports and Christ that has compelled him to serve on staff for FCA for the past sixteen years, including at West Virginia University as Campus Director (2013-present), and Men’s Chaplain (2006-present), and as Area Representative in Tennessee for six years prior.
“Many people view Christianity as a title, but really it’s a lifestyle — and living for Jesus Christ is a day in and day out process, and not always easy. In sports, when athletes come to understand the obedience and discipline of living for Christ the hard work is no longer drudgery –it’s joy. If you are an athlete who loves your sport and you can find the joy in it, you will be successful, but there is obedience involved as God’s love language for us to him is obedience as described in 1 John, “If you love me, you will keep my commands,” he said.
Having spent the past twenty years in ministry in other parts in the East, Sonoga is excited to be returning to the Rochester area which he and his wife have always considered home, and where he will continue to minister to athletes in today’s culture in his new role as Area Director. “Sports is the biggest idol in our culture, and if I can help people understand the perspective of it, and teach them that if they can live for Christ and walk in Him in their sport they can have an unbelievable influence. With FCA, we are going to the culture with a ministry of sport, and trying to change it through Jesus Christ,” he said.
Another aspect that binds Sonoga to FCA’s ministry is his love for coaching. For four seasons he volunteer coached for Carson Newman College (TN) where he assisted the kickers and conducted Bible studies for the entire team as well as a small group of players. He also spent two years coaching girls’ soccer at Trinity Christian School in Morgantown.
Sonoga received his Associate Degree in General Studies from Monroe Community College, Rochester, NY – where he also accepted Christ during his sophomore year through Inner Varsity’s ministry program, and a Degree of Pastoral Studies from Calvary Chapel Bible College, Farmington, NY. A licensed minister, Sonoga served as pastor at Lone Pine Christian Church in Washington, PA from 2009-2011. He and his wife Jeneane, who share a passion for riding motorcycles, have enjoyed 20 years of marriage and are blessed to have a 14-year-old son Ezekiel.