This is a story of someone who isn’t defined by their actions or abilities. Michael is defined by his faith. He is a snowboarder for Christ even though it’s hard. Following Christ IS HARD! Michael’s joy in the Lord makes it hard to ignore his presence on the hill and the community has responded positively to that. Lots of doors have opened up for SFC ministry on the hill and in the Spokane area.
Want to see this type of content in your email? Sign up here:
Within our small but global network of snowboarders and skiers for Christ, there is a heart of grace and love for our dark and broken culture. We can each only do so much, BUT the good news is that we know someone who has the power and the plan to bring restoration.
We believe prayer is extremely significant in this effort to be the light of Jesus within our culture. One of our core values is Believing: “together we pursue a lifestyle of PRAYER and worship…”
When our small staff and Board was handed the honor and privilege of serving the global SFC network in 2013, we knew we had a responsibility to PRAYERFULLY handle this global vision. We set a goal. We decided to pray and pray strategically. So, we began collecting data. We rallied our leaders at conferences and retreats to help us prayerfully compile the data, and when the dust settled, we had compiled and created the world’s first-ever “SHREDDABLE NATIONS PRAYER GUIDE” (Click to download the PDF).
There are 70 nations around the globe that we’ve researched and considered “shreddable” (meaning they can be skied in and are able to contain some sort of ski and snowboard culture). The Shreddable Nations Prayer Guide contains information on both the current spiritual climate as well as the ski culture in each of these 70 nations. Since completing the guide in 2017, we have begun and completed our first round of the Shreddable Nations Prayer Guide Global Prayer Initiative. Each week for 70 weeks, we focused on one nation per week and encouraged our global community to pray for those skiers and snowboarders through the included prayer points.
We are grateful and blessed to have completed the first 70-week Shreddable Nations Prayer Guide Global Prayer Initiative in May 2019! (If you missed it here’s a LINK)
WHAT NOW? We continue to compile contacts and more specific prayer requests for each country as the effort increases. We plan to restart the 70-week initiative again in September 2019, because we deeply believe in the power of prayer and will remain committed to praying for God’s continued harvest amongst every shreddable nation.
If you want to join us in prayer, please remember that every major, historical movement of the Spirit of God BEGAN IN PRAYER. Sign up below to join us in this effort to see the light of Jesus shining in every one of the 70 shreddable nations of the world!
Do you have a desire to grow in your relationship with God?
And to learn what it means to be a LIGHT in your shred community? Well, then, the SFC Leadership Development Program is for you! SFC’s Leadership Development Program is a 6-month residential program, based in Summit County, CO, that seeks to equip students with the tools they need to carry out their God-given calling to the shred culture.
Yes, 6 months is a long time (it’s a BIG commitment), BUT here are five reasons why we think YOU should sign up!
1. You’ll get plugged into an intentional Christ-centered community
We NEED other believers in our life – brothers/sisters who will walk alongside us, who will speak truth into our life, and who will challenge us to be more like Christ. In this program, you will be given several opportunities to plug into Christian community (intentional discipleship/mentorship relationships) – because nothing promotes growth quite like community.
2. You’ll get to know God and His Word better
God wrote a book. The most important book in the world. In it, God reveals to us who He is, who we are, and how we can have a relationship with Him. If we’re honest, though, the Bible is a book that many of us have a difficult time navigating. We know that it’s important and that it deserves our attention, but we’re not completely sure how to read it and/or how to apply it. In this program, we dedicate several months to an in-depth study of God’s Word and explore topics such as discipleship, evangelism, spiritual formation, leadership/mentorship, apologetics, and inductive Bible study. As we devote time to studying God’s Word, we will get to know God – and ourselves – better. Knowing God better will enhance our ministry and our impact on the world around us.
3. You’ll receive hands-on ministry experience
One of the greatest joys in the Christian life is our participation in the Great Commission – making Jesus known to the world around us! But if we’re honest, this is something that most of us have a hard time with. We struggle with our proclamation/declaration of the gospel because we’re scared of how people will react. One of our primary goals in this program is to help move you past this fear to a place of joyful proclamation. So we give you plenty of opportunities to do just that – to joyfully proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to the skiers/snowboarders around you.
4. You’ll get to experience what God is doing through ski/snowboard ministry
God is doing amazing work in the shred community, and for almost 25 years, SFC has been blessed to be apart of it. In this program, you’ll have an opportunity to hear from veteran SFC leaders, and to experience firsthand the way that they are building relationships and impacting people on the hill.
5. You will grow in your understanding and practice of leadership
True leadership is about sacrifice. It’s about dying to self (selfish interests/motives) so that others can flourish. Like Jesus, Christian leaders are men/women who lead by serving, not by being served. As we grow in our understanding of what it means to be a disciple (through our studies), we will quickly see that spiritual leadership is simply the outpouring of a heart/life surrendered to God and His mission. Our aim, through this program, is to help students become gospel-driven leaders by giving them opportunities to serve the ski/snowboard community well.
Would you consider joining us this winter season – October 14th to April 17th? Our (SFC’s) desire/prayer is that God would continue to raise up leaders who have a heart for this culture – who will be the BRIDGE that connects the ski/snowboard culture to Jesus. We are praying that you would come and see how God can use your gifts to build up His body within this culture.
APPLY using the link below. Questions? Need more information? Email Ryan Leeds at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
The second video in our series showcases ski and snowboard ministry in Australia. Jindabyne is a huge destination for shred in the Australian winter and a lot of Northern Hemisphere skiers and snowboarders make the journey down there as well. The season is going off right now and we ask you to take a minute to pray for safety on the hill, the loving proclamation of God’s truth and the genuine support of Christ-centered community for all of those involved.
Want to see this type of content in your email? Sign up here:
I am grateful for yet another winter season and how the Lord worked through our SFC Chapter and our local church. Every week, our youth group met at the local rope tow and rode together after the Bible lesson. It wasn’t long before two kids, who I didn’t know that well at the beginning of the winter, wanted to ride with me each week. It led to us challenging each other to try new tricks, but more importantly, it led to opportunities to have spiritual conversations with them. It was rad talking with them about how the Spirit God gives us is not one of fear, but of power and love and self discipline. It was extremely practical truth to remember as we tried new tricks, jumps, and rails. In addition, ski breaks on the hill led to some awesome conversations and I saw a TON of growth in them, and other kids too, in their understanding of the Gospel and spiritual concepts.
Secondly, camp was rad. We could not have done it without the help of the local church. To me, this served as a good example of why SFC’s values include being connected with the local church. We aren’t called to be on mission alone, but as a family. Jesus never sent His disciples alone, but rather He sent them in at least pairs. It is so essential that we share our mission with our church family and get them involved. The chairlift and on hill chats are always super encouraging as well at camp. But, there was one thing that encouraged me the most. Our camp theme this year was “Identity.” One parent shared with me the last day how when her kids came home from camp the previous night, she had expected them to come home and talk about the trails they went on or tricks they learned. Instead, she shared with me, they talked about that night’s lesson, discussing with each other about what it means to put their identity in Christ. That makes all the work of planning a camp worth it for me, to know that kids are walking away challenged in their relationship with Christ. God is faithful.
Eunice Bartlett – SFC Loon – Lincoln, NH
Want to see this type of content in your email? Sign up here:
Well, it’s over. The first year of SFC’s Leadership Development Program has officially come to an end. It almost doesn’t seem real. A year ago, Lauren and I were still living in VA, and there was a ton of work that needed to be done. It almost seemed like an impossible task (move across the country, write 6-months worth of curriculum, get students to apply, organize monthly service opportunities, launch a brand new program, etc.). But it happened. God has been so incredibly faithful. In fact, this entire year has been a testament to his grace/provision. He made it work. He provided the students, the lessons, the service opportunities, and everything else we needed. I couldn’t be more thankful.
It was such a blessing to be able to work with Jon and Daniel this year. Both of these guys came into the program eager to learn/grow – and they definitely put in a ton of work. They grew so much during the program, and it has been such a blessing to watch them apply what they have learned (since the end of the program). God has some big things in store for these guys!
Register now for the 19-20 season!
To get plugged into an awesome Christ-centered community with people who carry similar passions
To know God and His Word better
To get hands-on ministry experience
To experience what God is doing in ski/snowboard ministry
You’ll get to live and ride in Summit County, CO for an entire winter season!
The SFC Support Office (the SFC Mothership) spends all of its resources (time, energy, finances, etc.) on supporting the groups and individual snowboarders and skiers around the world who are striving to BE THE LIGHT OF JESUS in the ski/snowboard culture. Our staff’s goal is to: Encourage, Equip and Exemplify Christ-centered ministry throughout the global SFC network.
And our latest initiative of encouragement within our network is TO BE BETTER STORYTELLERS TOGETHER. We have been working harder than ever on specifically 1. Collecting and 2. Sharing stories of what God has been doing in and through individuals and chapters across the SFC network.
Our prayer for YOU, personally, is that God Himself would be encouraging, challenging and inspiring you to BE THE LIGHT OF JESUS as you see these stories coming across your desk on a regular basis. May His Kingdom come!
This first story highlights the Next Level Camp at the Snowflex facility in Lynchburg, Virginia. The summer camp is happening as we speak, and we ask you to take a minute to pray for safety on the hill, the loving proclamation of God’s truth and the genuine support of Christ-centered community for all of those involved over the course of the two weeks of camp.
Want to see this type of content in your email? Sign up here:
Secret Spot Team Challenge Raises Over $20k for Mental Health Programs
Copper Mountain, Colo – On February 23, 2019 over 20 teams took to the slopes at Copper Mountain Resort for the Secret Spot Team Challenge to raise awareness and funds for two mental health non-profits, Building Hope Summit County and My Quiet Cave. Each participant raised at least $100 individually, and each team consisted of two to six people. The Challenge raised a total of $24,273 that will go directly to the non-profits to serve the needs of mental health awareness and suicide prevention in Colorado.
Teams were given seven clues and a Copper Mountain Trail Map. Using the clues, teams determined where to find the “Secret Spots.” At each Spot, participants worked through a challenge to learn more about mental health and to receive tools to help others. The challenges all involved teamwork and encouraged communication on some of the more stigmatized topics surrounding mental health and suicide.
“My favorite part of the day was the community and the challenge to be more communicative with each other and the patience that goes along with that,” said participant Daniel Bernlohr. “And then the reward of finding a spot, and everyone gets stoked.”
One of the main themes of the event was “shredding the stigma” about mental health problems. “One day we should be able to talk about our mental health the way we talk about a knee replacement,” said Betsy Casey, Program Manager of Building Hope in her opening statements.
“With such a transient community it’s hard to find people to talk to,” commented Megan Lovely after the Challenge. “This is such a great opportunity to plug people into the right veins where they can express what’s going on.”
Through generous sponsors, teams were also able to win prizes, like a Never Summer Snowboard and Vans shoes and backpacks. Prizes were for the first team to complete the challenge, plus top fundraising teams and individuals.
Event organizer Nick Sackman said, “We are tremendously excited with how this event went in its inaugural year. With the overwhelming support from the community and awesome turnout we are looking forward to next year.” To learn more about the event visit www.secretspotchallenge.com. Follow the event on Instagram (@secretspotchallenge) or sign up the mailing list (http://eepurl.com/dM5XCA) for updates on the event in 2020.
There is something comforting about routine. C.S. Lewis says that the rhythms of life are God’s little way of giving us consistent change. Different enough day-by-day to keep us engaged, yet never straying too far from the safety of stability. There is a warm beauty in the rhythm of everyday life, but when we go too fast, we miss it.
Seasons are a good example of this–God promises us an annual stability of the weather. (If you live in MI you know this is a very loose stability, but we take it nonetheless). As long as the earth endures, spring, summer, fall, and winter will never cease (Genesis 8:22). There are things we come to expect in winter: snow, snowsports, numb fingers and toes, warm hearts and company, Christmas, Holiday cheer, and hot cocoa. (I guess chestnuts roasting over an open fire is a thing for some people too). You catch my drift.
But, if you read Seasons pt 1, you know how easy it is to get annoyed with seasons that outstay their welcome. Out with the old, and in with the new–right? Society today is very future focused. Have you noticed that the professional skiers/snowboarders these days ride the latest and greatest 2019 gear when we are still in 2018? What’s with that?
Sometimes, we get sick of the seasons we are in because we convince ourselves there is something better around the corner. We spend our time just waiting for the future instead of enjoying the present. We neglect to stop and enjoy the season we are in, because we are certain tomorrow holds something better. But, since when do we know what is good for us?
God is very intentional with His children. He calls us to lean into the situations that He places us in, the people He places us with, and the projects He puts us before. We fill our lives to the brim with “what-ifs” for the next second, day, month, or year, instead of entering a place of gratitude for the moments we are given today. Finding joy in the ‘Same Old Thing’ is something that the world looks down upon. (Get with the times!) But, Philippians tells us to think about whatever is true, noble, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). Not what is next, tomorrow, bigger, or better.
Enjoying something we are desensitized to is difficult. How do you find a new beauty in something you have long since considered outdated? A marriage, an education, a career, a friendship, a relationship, a project, a faith…
Ground yourself in God’s truth and purpose for the present.
Is there something in your life that you’re just really sick of?
How might God be calling you to recommit yourself to this season of life you are in now?
Are your plans for your future based on God’s truth or your current dissatisfaction with the now?
Many people enjoy fall: the pumpkin flavored everything, beautiful colors in the trees, cozy sweaters and flannels, warm drinks, etc. Skiers and snowboarders often have a more difficult time enjoying this pleasant and mild season because they know what is around the corner.
I live in a magical place called Michigan, where we get a taste of all 4 seasons. Whether we like it or not, it’s a small taste of spring, a little helping of summer, a dash of fall, and a WHOPPING DOLLOP of winter. However, come liquid-ice-pouring-out-of-the-sky in March, both skiers and snow-haters alike eagerly await Spring.
Seasons aren’t always fun.
Maybe you’re struggling through something in your life that seems to drag on and on: a project, a broken relationship, an addiction, boredom, unemployment, or even an unknown. Whether we like it or not, God uses our sucky seasons for His glory. The church calls this Redemption. I like to call it ‘being joyful when trouble comes your way because you know that when your faith is tested you are given a chance to foster resilience and strength for the next time trouble comes around’ (aka James 1:2-4).
Hillsong’s lyrics alway manage to hit me where it counts. If you have a second, I encourage you to sit and listen to the words of their song, Seasons. If not, I’ll give you this taste:
You’re the God of seasons
I’m just in the winter
If all I know of harvest
Is that it’s worth my patience
Then if You’re not done working
God I’m not done waiting
God has you where you are for a reason. You might be sick of the season, you might be sick of waiting, but it comes down to trusting that God knows where you need to be–better than you do.
Are you stuck in a sucky season?
How have you seen God use “trouble that comes your way” for His good?
What season of your life do you need to surrender to God and say, “you know what I need better than I do”