Imagine a skate scene that just happened to be a church as well. This is what happened almost twenty years ago when the first skate church formed in Portland Oregon. It was a scene similar to what happened when the early church existed within the culture rather then apart from it in it’s own strange little isolated world.
We have some Memphians that were inspired by the Oregon Skate church. They took their inspiration and put it to action.
In 2008, Matt Wright and Brad Wood started FaithSk8 Memphis in order to reach out to large group of youth. Skating youth. They figured that with skaters so passionate about skateboarding, perhaps they could share their own passion for their personal Faith through skating. By the way, Matt and Brad skate too!
I truly admire what Matt and Brad have started and I know they that their efforts will continue to grow both in number and in the lives changed by encouragement and love that they bring to the youth. Their sessions are simply a place where youth can come skate or just hang out and have a place where someone like Matt or Brad can sit down and listen to them. Thanks to their efforts, they are redefining "church" and making it relevant to a group of youth that don't relate to or are even offended by the modern day “church culture."
If you are looking for a positive and safe place for your kids to go and skate, then perhaps consider checking out one of Faithskate.org's Friday skate events. Even if you don't consider yourself a "religious person" or are uncomfortable with the “church culture” I think you will be encouraged by what they are they doing out there. You can check out their website here or their Facebook group here.
Faithskate also takes groups of kids on day trips to local skateparks including Nashville, Tennessee, Oxford, Mississippi and Marion, Arkansas. All in all, the organization has skated with and built relationships with well over 100 kids.
As a result of their dedication to these youth, many of the skateboarders have heard and seen a more compassionate, relevant and accepting side of the Christian Faith that they may have never experienced growing up in the mainstream ‘church culture.” A culture that often labels and discards the same misfits and losers that Jesus Christ befriended, loved and hung out with 2000 years ago.