Category: News

FIVE reasons to get “L.I.T.” 🔥 with us

Written by Ryan Leeds
on August 22, 2018 in News

We recently posted four reasons to apply to SFC’s new Leadership Development Program. In this post, we want to briefly expound upon those reasons – and give you one more! Here are FIVE reasons to apply for the Leadership Development Program (which we’re fondly referring to as the Leaders Intensive Training “L.I.T.”):

To get plugged into an intentional Christ-centered community:
We believe that it’s impossible to realize the fullest measures/riches of the Christian life apart from Christian community. This is because we simply cannot give ourselves everything that we need for the Christian life. 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’ll be given several opportunities to plug in and experience Christian community – because nothing promotes growth quite like community.

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 come into relation with Him. If we’re honest, though, the Bible is a book that many of us have difficulty 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 will dedicate several months to an in-depth study of God’s Word and will explore topics such as: discipleship, evangelism, leadership/mentorship, apologetics, intercultural communication, 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 to the world around us.

To get hands-on ministry experience:
It is not enough to know God better – we have been called to make Him known! If we have experienced the goodness of God’s grace in our lives, then we need to step up and live like it by reaching out. In this program, you will be given several opportunities to get plugged into the work that God is doing here in Colorado, and to put into practice the things that God has taught you in the “classroom.”

To experience what God is doing through ski/snowboard ministry:
God is doing an amazing work in the shred community, and for 20+ years, SFC has been blessed to be apart 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.

To 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 people become gospel-driven leaders by helping them realize their true leadership potential.

As SFC, we share this vision “to be the LIGHT of Jesus” in our dark culture, it’s fitting (and a little humorous) to say that we design this “Leadership Intensive Training” to get new SFC leaders “L.I.T.” together. We are praying that YOU would come and see how God can use your gifts to build up His body and light up your community!

 

Posted in News

Sign up now for the NEW SFC Leadership Development Program

Written by Nick Sackman
on August 14, 2018 in News

Over the past several years, the SFC movement has seen a tremendous amount of growth. With chapters popping up all around the world (e.g., Chile, Aspen, Burlington), God has been actively demonstrating His heart for the shred industry. SFC has been blessed to be a part of this incredible movement and this growing network of folks that God has burdened with the task of “being a light” on the hill. But, as God has continued to extend His reach into the ski/snowboard culture, we have realized that there is an increasing need to train leaders across the globe. While there are many who resonate with – and firmly believe in – the mission of SFC, there are also many who do not feel equipped to carry it out. The Leadership Development Program (LDP), launching this October, is our latest attempt to help meet this need – to equip and encourage current (and future) leaders to BE THE BRIDGE that connects the snowriding culture to Jesus.

The heart of the program (our WHY) is rooted in our conviction that EVERY believer (every SFCer) should be equipped to carry out the work that God has called them to. We are saddened when we see people, who feel a burden for this culture, resolve to sit on the sidelines because they do not believe that they could ever make an impact. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The truth is, Christ has given us ALL gifts that can be used for the building up of His body (the Church). It is our hope/prayer that this program will be one of the ways that God confirms this in the life of every SFCer.

Why should you apply for SFC’s new Leadership Development Program?

  1. 1. To get plugged into an intentional Christ-centered community
  2. 2. To know God and His Word better
  3. 3. To get hands-on ministry experience
  4. 4. To experience what God is doing through ski/snowboard ministry

 
We still have a couple of spots available, so we’ve decided to extend the registration deadline through August 31st. Would you consider putting in an application? We would be stoked to have you!

If you have any questions, please shoot me an email at ryan@sfcusa.org.

Posted in News

SFC Australia: The light continues to shine

Written by Nick Sackman
on July 30, 2018 in News

In the snow riding culture, we often hear that it’s always snowing somewhere. When you hear Australia, you may think of surfing, the Outback, and kangaroos. It can be hard to imagine heaps of snow. Over the past decade, the Australian skiing and snowboarding population has grown massively, and their influence is becoming evident. Perisher Australia offers the best snowboard/ski terrain park in the southern hemisphere, which attracts people from all over the world to the Australian snowy mountains. The population in the country town of Jindabyne jumps from a few small thousand to over twenty thousand during peak winter months. The Aussie snowriding culture finds a mass amount of people trying escape reality for a few months in the party scene. Major hardships thrive there such as drug and alcohol abuse, addiction, loss of identity, depression, suicide, STDs, etc. Many let loose and lose their identity in skiing/snowboarding, partying, and/or relationships. There is a huge need for SFC and the Christian community to connect Christians and non-believers to experience the love, hope, and purpose found in Jesus.

Over the last ten years, SFC leaders have been investing into reaching this community with bible studies, soup kitchens, and other community outreach. SFC staff member, Taylor Brant from Colorado, has spent the last three years abroad in Australia and New Zealand rebuilding SFC’s relationship with the local church, planting seeds, casting vision, discipling new believers, sharing the gospel, and laying the foundation of what’s possible for future SFC Aussie/Kiwi leaders leaders to continue to be a light on the hill. Taylor (aka Swifty) eturned home to Colorado this July and passed on the baton to local Aussie leaders. The SFC movement is capturing the hearts of new leaders to be light on the hill not only in Jindabyne but also the other Australia snowy mountains in Victoria at Falls Creek, Mt Hotham, and Bright. God is evolving and shaping SFC Australia organically; it’s a team and community effort to reach the lost in the shred culture. The new crew is meeting regularly for bible studies, life groups, and serving in the communities. Please partner alongside SFC in prayer as God continues to raise up new leaders throughout Australia and New Zealand so that the fire and passion for Jesus to reach the good news to the lost.

Pray for SFC Australia

Unity – That leadership will work together and for more leaders to be called to serve.

Community – That the community will be able to help provide protection and support to vulnerable people.

Development – That Christian skiers and snowboarders will connect in Victoria mountains to gather and form an SFC ministry team.

Events – For God’s work, finances, and organization as SFC serves the community through outreach events such as Love-A-Lifty fudge, PBJs in the park, and Sausage Sizzles

Growth – That Australian leaders will rise up and mature in their calling, confidence, and knowledge of the Lord.

Connect with SFC Australia

    

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New Partnerships for SFC in Canada

Written by Various Authors
on April 21, 2018 in News

Chapters all across the country have been busy throughout this winter season praying, sharing community with each other and with those they meet on the ski hills as well as praying into the future of SFC Canada as a whole. We are ever thankful for the prayers and support you give our chapters all across this nation!!!!

As Canada continues to have a few huge snowfalls here and there but many people are longing for spring, we’d like to share a missions story from our friend Chris Harder who is currently in Vancouver with YWAM (Youth with a Mission) who recently had great new opportunity!!! The YWAM school in Vancouver is aiming to start a new Snowboard Discipleship School (DTS) next winter (2019) where folk can go and learn the heart of God for themselves, and God’s heart towards others for a few months on the school; then go on a mission trip to share the skills and heart of God with others.

We at SFC Canada are so happy to have partner ministries such as YWAM that raise up Godly leaders and help us with Chapter recruits thereafter, we hope to do more of this in the future across Canada, go, learn, experience, then send people back to our Nation as missionaries to their local ski hills.

Here is a little of Chris’ story from the recent trip to Japan as a scouting mission to see where the school in Vancouver can send their students for outreach opportunities:

Exploring the Land of the Rising Sun

For most of my life I have heard stories about this faraway land. My mom was a short term missionary in Japan in 1977 and I have been trying to visit, snowboard and see what Jesus wants to do there since 2010.

In December last year I joined the team at YWAM Vancouver to help pioneer a brand new Snowboarders’ & Skiers DTS with the intent to take a team to Japan on outreach when the school starts next year. So after eight years of trying, I finally made it to Japan to scout out the land to see what God wants to do there when we bring a team there next year.

What did our team of two do while we were there? We made connections with YWAM Tokyo, taught snowboarding and served at Northstar and encouraged long-term missionaries in Myoko-kogen. More than that, we declared the goodness of the Lord and interceded for Japan from the highest ski resort in the country and worshipped with joy of the Lord at the oldest ski resort in Japan. Going into the trip I didn’t have too many concrete plans but was ready for any adventures that Jesus had for us. He did not disappoint!

At this point, less than 1% of Japan is Christian but we couldn’t help but feeling that the balloon that has been filling with prayers from around the world is getting ready to burst spilling the Presence of God over the nation.

It was an honor to serve alongside the missionaries that are currently in Japan, a pleasure to ride the fabled Japanese Alps and a joy to finally visit this amazing country I’ve heard so much about for so long!

Our new Snowboarders & Skiers DTS will be launching January 3, 2019 and if you’d like some more info head to www.ywamvancouver.org/sdts/

SFC Canada would like to ask you to join us in prayer towards this partnership that YWAM Vancouver is making with a long-term SFC partner Northstar in Japan as well as YWAM Japan. Please pray for continued connection, for students for the new school and for the leaders who are trying to get the school up and running.

Also please continue to pray for the current Chapter leaders across Canada who are wrapping up their winter seasons and living it for Jesus on the ski hills. We are so proud of all they have done and can’t wait to share more stories with you in the months to come of what they have been up to as well as where SFC Canada is headed.

We love you guys, thanks for reading.

(Mission Story by Chris Harder. Photos by Chris Harder and Phil Yarborough. All copyrights are theirs and theirs alone).

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T.I.M.E. Travelin’ the Mid Atlantic

Written by randy
on February 26, 2018 in News

SFC has been working on rolling out a concept that we’re hoping will bring encouragement to many in the shred community and empower every shredder for Jesus with a new tool to make disciples. This is the concept of the T.I.M.E. travel team. It’s an acronym that stands for Talk, Invest, Mentor, and Engage. These are practices that can bring intentionality to a ski/snowboard trip and leave a meaningful impact in its wake.

This January we (International Director, Josh Stock, and me, Randy Schroeder) decided to embark on a trip around the mid-atlantic region of the United States to put the idea into practice. We’ve been traveling together and encouraging local shred missionaries for years, but this was our first trip with the T.I.M.E. travel handbook (a resource that lets us follow up on the relationships we build along the way) in hand.

Day 1 – We flew into Washington, DC and headed to Benny’s pizza shop in Virginia. Benny would be a fellow T.I.M.E. traveler for this trip, and we’ve been hearing  about his family pizza shop since the day we met him. Needless to say, the food lived up to the hype. We also grabbed Isaac before heading to Josh’s parents in southwest Pennsylvania for the night.

Day 2 – Today we spent the day riding Blue Knob, Josh’s first home ski hill. Isaac is a photographer and snapped plenty of photos of our crew getting rad with some of the locals that heard we might be coming. Josh’s nostalgia was thick today. We met with the local SFC chapter for dinner and got to learn about the ministry happening in town and hear about some of their challenges.

Day 3 – We got up pretty early, gave hugs to Sue and Pops Stock, and plugged Mountain Creek, New Jersey into the GPS. We stopped for Benny and Isaac’s first perogies before rolling pretty late into the parking lot of Mountain Creek ski resort. It was fun to meet old friends and make new ones while we rode some really fast park laps in the dark as the park crew prepared for the impending rain the next day. The day ended with a chili feast at our hosts, the Rolandos.

Day 4 – Local legend, Sabine, invited us out for a Taylor ham and cheese sandwich for breakfast and later to her women’s bible study for prayer before we took off. Tears were shed as a group of ladies prayed over us for our trip and our ministry. We hit the road again towards Delaware but definitely made time for cheese-steaks near Philly with our good friend, Andrew. This day wrapped up at Meg’s house where we swapped stories, repaired some drywall, and enjoyed a beautiful home-cooked dinner.

Day 5 – Today consisted of nine hours of driving from Delaware to North Carolina with a pit stop for more pizza from Benny’s pizza shop in Virginia. I can’t tell you how much we liked Benny’s pizza. The day wrapped up with yet another amazing home cooked meal and some games with the Cameron family in Boone, NC.

Day 6 – We were able to spend the whole day today in Boone, hanging with the local crew going to church, eating the local grub (Come Back Shack has a solid burger), and –of course– riding with the gang at Appalachian Ski Mountain. There isn’t a warmer bunch of snowboarders/skiers around than those you’ll find in Boone.

Day 7 – We hit the YMCA for some batting cage action and a game of soccer before we said our goodbyes and headed to stay our final night of the trip with the Leeds family in Lynchburg, VA. Our friend, Kevin, came over. His baby girl had been sick, and we were able to spend some time in prayer for them.

Day 8 – Our final day of the trip, we made a last minute decision to snowboard Wintergreen ski resort. The park crew guys were able to get us a deal on tickets and we had a great time encouraging and getting to the know the park crew for a few hours before we had to drop Benny off and head to the airport.

We drove, rode, and ate a lot over the course of the trip, but some of the most valuable times for me was the time in the margins when I got to know the heart of fellow shredders and dig deeper in the heart of God together. These are times that we get to pray for one another, read scripture together, and play silly songs from our childhood for each other. These are what build friendships and lasting ministry relationships. It’s my prayer that every skier and snowboarder can take the time to invite a buddy, go visit someone near or far, and build relationships like these.

Josh gets wild at his hometown ski resort, Blue Knob.

Baby Theo steals the show over dinner in Johnstown, PA.

A time for sharing and prayer with a women’s bible study in New Jersey.

Benny discusses the finer points of a cheese steak just outside of Philadelphia.

The team does some drywall patching for Meg while we stayed in Delaware.

Posted in News

T.I.M.E. Travel Teams launching globally!

Written by Josh Stock
on January 23, 2018 in News

THE LONG-AWAITED T.I.M.E. TRAVEL LAUNCH IS OFFICIAL! THE RE-EVOLUTION HAS BEGUN!

“What is T.I.M.E. Travel,” you ask?

“What does a T.I.M.E. Travel Team look like?”

Woah, easy there. Slow down with all the questions.

Where to start? Hmm, oh, I see. In the beginning… Wait! That’s been done before…

Years ago, God moved in the hearts of some snowboarders and skiers to BE THE LIGHT OF JESUS WITHIN THEIR SKI TOWN. They immediately saw positive effects from living selfless lifestyles within a selfish culture. They realized how monumental this sort of behavior could be when applied across the ski/snowboard culture in different towns just like theirs around the world. Before they even knew what happened, a beautifully extraordinary thing began to occur. As they prayed, there began to surface a number of people in different locations around the world who were also hearing this calling from the Creator of everything— God had begun to move, and these snowboarders and skiers began to visit one another to hear the stories of others and share their own stories. The process did two things: a) it VALIDATED GOD’S CALLING for each individual to BE THE LIGHT OF JESUS WITHIN THE SKI and SNOWBOARD CULTURE, and b) it gave an opportunity for God to ENCOURAGE everyone involved (those people traveling, those people being, visited and/or anyone within earshot of the post-travel stories of God’s handiwork).

Some of the people who had been traveling around, hearing and sharing these stories, thought, “We need to do more of this.” They did more traveling and listening and sharing until eventually they thought, “This can’t just be US doing this MORE OFTEN. It has to become MORE of us DOING this together.” The idea for the T.I.M.E. Travel Team was birthed out of necessity to:

TALK with other shred folk and church folk who share the calling to BE THE LIGHT OF JESUS WITHIN THE SKI and SNOWBOARD CULTURE,

INVEST into individuals and communities who have heard the calling and are acting upon it,

MENTOR those individuals in other communities as well as
fellow travelers on-the-go, and

ENCOURAGE people by listening to their stories and sharing personal stories of God’s goodness.

 

To train as a T.I.M.E. Traveler, follow this link for the CLASSIFIED document…but do so with great caution! This mission to Talk, Invest, Mentor & Encourage in shred towns across the world is NOT for the faint of heart.

*[This message will biodegrade in the next 4 decades]

Posted in News, Uncategorized

The Shreddable Nations Prayer Guide is fully operational!

Written by Josh Stock
on January 17, 2018 in News

During the 2015 SFC International Conference on the Dachstein glacier in Austria, it was so rainy and foggy that they closed the glacier for the duration of our conference. Our scheduled plans for spring-glacier-shredding were a bust. However, God’s plans to begin a prayer revolution were a GO!

We used our newly acquired time together to start praying. We gathered statistics from ski industry researchers for every skiable nation in the world. We then combined some of those SKI statistics with RELIGIOUS statistics we had gathered from world missions organizations focused on “missional prayer”.

These were the humble (and seemingly accidental) beginnings of The Shreddable Nations Prayer Guide: a combination of statistics on the SKI CLIMATE and SPIRITUAL CLIMATE of the world’s 70 “shreddable nations”.

Starting in 2018, we will launch a prayer effort for one country each week, because we believe in the power of prayer and in God’s heart for Jesus to be known in every nation of the world. We are praying to see God raise up HIS CHILDREN OF LIGHT at every ski area in every country with a ski/snowboard culture present.

Follow our weekly prayer postings on Instagram or Facebook.

Will YOU join us in praying that God would raise up His people to BE THE LIGHT OF JESUS IN THE SHRED CULTURE in every shreddable nation of the world? 

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THE LEGENDS OF SFC Documentary is HERE!

Written by Josh Stock
on January 8, 2018 in News

This past August, we traveled to Christchurch, New Zealand. We gathered many of the founders and key leaders of the SFC movement to 1) Recognize them for their efforts, to facilitate them in 2) Remembering and 3) Retelling their stories together. We documented it all in order to 4) Relate their successes and failures to the current leaders of the worldwide SFC movement today (as well as for the leaders of future generations).

We are very proud of this monumental effort to preserve the past, solidify our history up to the present and maintain our course for the future of SFC! This film (the capturing, documenting and retelling of our founders’ stories) will serve as a Missional Anchor for SFC, so that future efforts won’t drift too far from those of the original founders. This is the retelling of the early development of the movement…according to the memories of the founders. These are their memories of twentyish years ago…in twenty-ish minutes.

These are:   THE LEGENDS OF SFC

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SFC AUSTRALIA in Thredbo

Written by Taylor Brant
on July 28, 2017 in News

Twenty years ago at Thredbo, many lives were lost in a mudslide disaster. It left the town a dark place spiritually, and they made it very clear since the tragedy that they did not want anything to do with local churches or any type of Christian outreach organizations.  For years, SFC has been praying for this community. We have been praying that doors would open and that SFC could be a light and share God’s love with them.

Each season, the only church activity that happens in Thredbo is the blessing of the snow. As God seems to do frequently, He placed me in the right place at the right time.  At this seasonal event, there were very few in attendance.  I clearly stood out as the only young snowboarder there. Also at this event was the general manager of Thredbo. He approached me at the end of the service to ask, “What do you have to do with all of this?” I explained my reason and purpose for being there as well as ask if we could chat over coffee to explain more about SFC’s mission. Needless to say, I was elated when he accepted my invitation. Being the GM of a popular snow resort, he would normally be busy wining and dining resort guests, so I was very appreciative that he was willing to talk with me. Over this friendly conversation, he opened up to me about his life, background, his beliefs, and his journey to become the GM of Thredbo. He started to ask me more personal questions about why I am a snowboarder for Christ. Through this meeting, I was able to share SFC’s prayers for the community of Thredbo and express our desire to be a light in this secluded, darkened community. Praise be to God for answering our prayers!  I am happy to report that since our coffee meeting, the GM accepted our proposal for SFC to serve at Thredbo.

As for God opening more doors, I had met Torah Bright,  Australian Olympic snowboarder, at the X-Games almost fifteen years ago, and we have been friends since we meet. It was a no brainer to partner alongside her to teach mini shredders.  We helped the grommets learn how to snowboard on boxes and jumps in addition to doing a sausage sizzle for over 200 kids. God truly does create opportunities!  Please keep SFC Australia in your prayers that God will continue to open more opportunities to serve and be a light on the hill in Thredbo.

Posted in News

Rebuilding the Shred Scene after the War

Written by Nick Sackman
on June 29, 2017 in News

It is the intention of SFC to build a global culture of our six B.R.I.D.G.E. Values – Believing, Relationships, Identity, Doing, Gospel, Engaging. This story from our interim European Director, Hondo Wynn, epitomizes the Value of Engaging, by meeting all people right where they are.

Sarajevo 84 Olympic Village

Seven years after Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Olympics, Yugoslavia began to break up. Without going into the long and complicated situation, by 1992 Bosnia was at war. The war was ethnically and religiously tied, and there were many casualties of this war that lasted several years. Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia, was under siege for a couple of years. The city that once hosted the Olympics was being bombed. The slopes that once held the ski races were now the scenes of intense mountain warfare. They continue to find landmines in those areas to this day.

I met some Bosnians when I was in Czech at a conference. After some chatting, I found that they run snowboard camps for Bosnian youth. I asked if there was anything SFC could do to help them with their camps. They said it would help tremendously if we could bring some people to teach snowboarding. I recruited a couple of Swiss SFCers, and we made it happen in January.

When we rolled into Sarajevo late at night, it was -23 celsius and snow was piled everywhere. We jumped right into a camp full of Bosnian teenagers who were stoked to learn to snowboard. We were able to teach them at two of the Olympic resorts. On the last day, we built a mini terrain park with some tubes and shovels. Good times were had by all. We shared stories of how God found us, and we had lots of great conversations riding (scary, old) chairlifts and hiking the mini park. It was a unique experience that blended engaging students in a war-torn country and teaching them to ride and enjoy the big local mountains God put on the outskirts of their capital city.

Help SFC BRIDGE

ONLY ONE DAY LEFT! We’ve shared six amazing stories with you that express each of SFC’s values. This is how God is working in the ski and snowboard culture. We want to ensure that more stories like this keep happening, but we need your help. Right now we only have $30,000 left to raise and ONLY ONE DAY LEFT TO DO IT.

Would you pray about joining us to keep THE LIGHT ON THE HILL?

 

Posted in News