“Why do you do white guys' stuff?” the kid said to Steve, who at 10, had just skateboarded all over the black top in their Williamsburg, Virginia neighborhood. Steve thought about it for a while. He thought about how much he loved the feeling of being on his board, alone with his thoughts and feeling the wind rush over his skin. He liked football, basketball, and all the sports his friends did. But he just wasn’t good at them, not a natural, like he was at making his board do things others couldn’t.
“It’s just what I do,” he said in reply.
“Well you have to knock it off,” the friend said as Steve sped away, happy to have spoken the truth.
It was a rather defining moment. Had Steve listened to his friend, he may not have ever had the blessed life of becoming a pro skater, becoming a successful graphic artist in the skateboard industry, or becoming the skateboard ministry leader at Rock Church.
It all came together when as a volunteer in the high school ministry, he called some of the high school skaters together for a skate. As the crowd gathered to watch the skaters tearing it up, a thought occurred to the impressed Jr. High Director, Dru Teves.
“You guys have to put on a demo,” he said. It sounded good to Steve.
Two weeks later, Steve’s team was formed and loosely rehearsed. With ramps, music, a Gospel message, and a ton of skateboard tricks, they gathered an audience of high schoolers and put on a show that seemed to produce the same thought in everyone’s mind. This has to become something.
And the skateboard ministry was born.
For nine years, Steve has been taking a band of skaters on the road to schools, churches, boys' homes, youth service centers for homeless kids, and wherever the Lord leads. He also frequents skateboard parks where he calls all the skaters to come over and listen to what he has to say about a God who loves them enough to die for them.
Some of the boys who are approached aren’t interested, but with Steve’s engaging personality, caring way, free stuff often donated by the skateboard companies that Steve works with, plus his ability to blow everyone’s mind when he skates, a crowd always seems to gather to listen.
“Ask Jesus into your heart,” he tells them. “Then spend your life using your passion—whatever it is—to reach others for Christ. Want a fulfilling life? That’s how you do it.”
The skateboard ministry holds weekly skate sessions at Rock Park from 6-7PM on Wednesdays.
For more information about the Skateboard Ministry, click here »
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