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Skateboards and Scripture

Maynard, S. (2002, March 17). "Skateboards and Scripture." Tacoma News Tribune, pp. SL 1, 4.

OVERVIEW

 

Each week, as many as 60 boys in t-shirts and blue jeans turn out…Spiger started Skate Church to provide a safe place for young people to skateboard and to spread a Christian message.

The growing popularity of skateboarding and the need for a dry place to skate through the wet winters of Western Washington only add to the appeal. “ ‘Most of these kids don’t go to church at all. This is their church,’ ” says Mike Spiger, Skate Church founder.

Skate Church is located in Spanaway, Washington. Open on Monday and Tuesday nights, it is held in a church gymnasium. There are wooden jumps and ramps, some as high as 4 feet. Kids skate for an hour, and then listen to a twenty-minute message.

Adults provide supervision and enforce rules. Profanity, smoking, chewing tobacco, drugs, and alcohol are not allowed, and helmets are required. Kids pay about a dollar a week to help with costs. Zach Spiger says that Skate Church is almost like going to church.

Some parents that were interviewed were glad that the Skate Church could provide a safe place for the kids to go. Although some of them are not church goers, they like the fact that their kids can learn about church. A 9th grader explains Skate Church as being fun: “ ‘It’s a stress reliever. It’s a thrill.’ ” Others like how neat it is to watch and participate in the exciting jumps and tricks.

At the end of the night, Mike Spiger delivers a twenty-minute message, to share the Gospel with the young adults. He stresses to them that they are not there by accident, but that God wanted them there for a reason. One 15-year-old male says that since coming to the Skate Church, two months ago, he has stopped swearing.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION

  1. What is the motive of the founders of this church?
  2. Is it right to skateboard in a church? Explain.
  3. Are the kids really learning about God or are they just coming to skateboard? Why do you think that?
  4. Is skateboarding an acceptable way to get kids to listen about God? Explain.
  5. Is the Skate Church really fulfilling their mission to spread the word of God? Explain.

IMPLICATIONS

  1. Skateboarding is a huge part of many teenagers’ lives.
  2. Youth leaders should reflect on their motives when going outside of the church norm.
  3. Parents should be aware of good, safe places, where kids can spend time.
  4. There are many different ways to get a kid’s attention, and to spread the Gospel, we must bring it to them in their own world.
  5. Young people need places where they can be themselves and get comfortable with learning about God.

Sheila Sutherland cCYS