The Skate Community Summit is a great place for skateboarding ministry leaders to find encouragement and the chance to speak with others facing similar issues. Photo courtesy Skate Community Summit.

Summit connecting skateboarding ministries

Skate Community Summit seeks to connect isolated ministry leaders

Since its inception in 2003, the Skate Community Summit has become an influential vehicle for evolving skateboarding outreach around the world. Held every four years, leaders in skateboarding ministries, organizations, businesses and churches come together for a one-of-a-kind weekend.

Cliff Heide, director of The Edge Skatepark, a ministry of Youth for Christ in Winnipeg, helps organize the summit, which he first attended in 2003.

“The Summit bring about a lot of discussion,” Heide says. “It’s helped create new ideas for ministry, and it’s an encouragement… a reminder we’re not on our own.”

This year leaders at the Skate Community Summit represented countries including Canada, USA, China, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Australia, and many international organizations.

Heide says working in skateboarding ministry can become isolating, working in a very specific area of ministry, usually the only one of their kind in any given city. However, many are finding the Summit is a great encouragement and look forward to the chance to speak with other skateboarding ministries facing similar issues.

“It’s provided a way to easily network with others in such a specific mission field,” Heide says, adding partnerships like joint mission trips with other ministries have come about only because of the Summit.

Participants leave with new ideas to inspire and reach the youth they serve. Photo courtesy The Edge Skatepark.
Participants leave with new ideas to inspire and reach the youth they serve. Photo courtesy The Edge Skatepark.

While there are no speakers, participants come prepared for intense discussions and panels, bringing their experiences and ideas. Together they leave inspired to create positive change in their cities, regions and countries.

Some of the issues the Summit tackles include the negative stereotypes skaters are still labeled under by their community, the challenges facing the teens their serve like coming from broken homes, and how they can build trust and relationship to speak into their lives.

If there are any others serving in skateboarding ministry who feel alone and have not attended the Summit in the past, Heide encourages them to learn more by visiting their website, skatecommunitysummit.com.

 

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