After seeing my kids bring a skateboard to every event I had, I decided not to fight it but to work with it. My heart is outreach and I looked at the trends of teens. We were missing the skater kids. So, I decided that the community needed to come together as one body in Christ to offer a completely free event to the lost.
I contacted churches, businesses, the press, the news and shared the goal. They were pumped. People, churched or not, have a heart for teens.
So, we developed a ramp building team, built some ramps, and rented others. We brought in 9 Christian punk bands and some high school secular bands to draw all high school kids. We brought in a professional Christian skate team and contacted some local pro skaters the high school kids recommended.
We had a prayer tent, first-aid tent, registration tent, volunteer check in tent, free hotdogs, chips and water, free t-shirts, free ÒLivin' ItÓ DVD's, tons of free giveaways from local businesses and especially skate shops.
We ran it from 1-9 and we even made a small 30 second commercial and ran it on MTV! (I am aware that MTV is Satan's pipeline to our kids, but we threw Jesus right in the midst of it to draw those kids.)
Every Christian band shared the Gospel and encouraged kids to go to the prayer tent, the pro-skaters did demos and shared their testimonies. It was amazing and God moved in a huge way! There were tornado warnings and God opened up the sky!
Every one who came registered. Follow-up was done from the registration cards. We issued wrist bands for registered kids, different wrist bands for kids wanting to skate (they had to have a signed waiver), and wrist bands for back stage area where we served the bands, skaters and hard working volunteers.
I ended up doing this event with zero dollars from my budget!! Know that if it's God's will, people see the vision, it's a done deal. Find a need, joy, love, passion, whatever in your church or youth group and make it an outreach. Just think way outside the box! Remember the goal here was not to entertain our kids. I challenged every Christian involved to serve! It was to love on the unchurched! To SHOW Christ's love.
25 churches ended up being involved, over 125 volunteers and over 500 participants.
Sara Grivas, Youth Director, Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church, Livonia, MI
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.