So far, we’ve heard about REACHing kids, mid-schoolers, high schoolers, college students, and young adults. Today we hear about reaching a group that, in my opinion, is overlooked way too often: SKATERS. That’s right. Jesus even loves them. I know they like to skateboard on your stairs and grind on your curbs, but we should have a heart to reach them for Christ.
To give us some tips on how to do it, I’ve asked Uli, co-founder of Christian Skaters International, to fill us in. He’s a great guy with a HUGE heart for skaters. He’s been ministering to skaters for years in Florida and takes skaters on trips all over the nation, allowing them to use their skills for God’s glory.
If you know someone who is involved in reaching skaters or you know someone who would enjoy this blog, make sure to email them a link!
1. Introduce yourself. Who are you? My name is Ulises Frallicciardi (aka “Uli”) and I, and a few others, help run Christian Skaters International Ministry.
2. As someone striving to reach skaters of all ages, what are some creative ways to reach them right where they’re at? Be present in their environment. Be a consistent example of Christ in their lives. Be a bright light. Be bold with the Gospel, but loving. Show them by your actions what it means to be a follower of Christ.
3. When developing a skate ministry or reaching out to skaters, what are some important things to keep in mind? Be real. Be transparent. Don’t try to skate if you are not a skater. If you skate, great! But, do not try to be somebody you are not. If you have a heart for skaters and don’t skate, that’s okay. But, be real! Kids can see right through you if you aren’t. Be proud of who you are in Christ and confident that we serve a BIG God who can be strong where we are weak.
4. What are some of the key components that make up a successful skate ministry? Consistency, Truth, Teaching from the Bible, having a leader called to skate ministry, and someone who loves & knows skate and the skate culture.
5. What are 1 or 2 lessons that you learned the hard way that stand out to you about ministering to skaters? Remember that you are leader. Have boundaries. Don’t feel like you need to be their bro, but instead be an example of a Godly man or woman in their life. Keep it straight…God first, then family, then your job, then ministry. Once you get this mixed up, it doesn’t work. Skate Ministry is a 24/7 job but know when to say when.
6. What are some practical ways to really get into the life and culture of a skater? Build a half-pipe in your backyard and do Bible studies (ha! ha!)….But, if you can’t build the ramp, put a few rails or a launch ramp in the driveway, buy some pizza, get some Bibles and invite some skaters over to get in the Word and skate. Be present in their lives. Invest in them. Care and when they need help, give them answers from God’s manual and point them to what He directs. And again, be consistent. Kids are used to people leaving them. Youth Pastors average about only 3 years in a ministry. Many kids come from homes where their dad or mom has left. They need some stability. So, make sure you are called and you are willing to commit for the long haul. Be prepared to go to funerals, hospital visits, graduations, weddings, counseling sessions, jails, etc. Be someone who they can come to no matter what, but ALWAYS point them to Christ!
Awaken is hoping to team up with Uli and Christians Skaters International to do an outreach to the Skate Park here in Clarksville this summer. Click HERE to read about it and financially support it.