This season we made friends with this dude named Rich. He’s a snowboard instructor, a studied intellectual, a devil’s advocate, an anarchist. He’s a guy who proudly takes a stance against religion due to the harm his Mormon upbringing caused him and his family. Despite being so against “the man” politically and religiously, he kept coming back to our dinners with a posse— none of whom skated or hardly ever waxed their gear.
Rich would often bring up spicy topics of conversation, strongly stating his opinion, and wind up getting backlash from someone within earshot, thus leading to the weekly debate. The temptation was to jump in and depolarize the situation, but instead, we decided to watch and listen — and it was good. I soon realized that this was a NEED for many in our community: a place to voice thoughts and opinions and not be judged, but be welcomed to share, discuss, and even disagree!
This realization taught us so much, mainly that even those who do not identify as “for Christ” can still feel at home within our community. That’s the kind of community I think Jesus built: one where all were truly welcome, felt at home, and were authentically heard. We are really excited to continue the conversations with our new friends next season, so we can all keep growing and learning together.
Dylan Kobriger – SFC Vail Valley – Vail, CO
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Over the past few seasons, I have been actively reaching out to the girls in my local community. Through hearing their stories, I’ve learned how alone many girl riders feel. I’ve noticed girls who use hooking up with other riders at our resort as a way to be accepted or noticed by the “top riders,” and I’ve noticed girls hanging out on the outskirts of the park wanting to progress but too insecure to fail in front of others. Girl snowboarders and skiers often find their identity completely in riding. When it is taken away from them through injury, bad weather, etc, they find themselves alone and wondering who they are without action sports. Through constant flirting, showing off, one-upping, being derisive or exclusive, or trying to be “one of the guys,” many girls in the community are seeking attention however they can.
This is the culture I am working to change.
I want these girls to understand that they are worth so much more than the opinion of others and the acceptance of their peers. The love and belonging they deeply crave can only be found through Jesus.
This year, through building relationships, making riding edits, gathering groups of girls to ride street, and helping each other progress, girls in the park community at Cannonsburg are starting to grow. This season, I created the goal to be humble and encourage instead of trying to outdo them and make them feel noticed and accepted. The response has been extremely positive. Through building deeper relationships, I have been able to learn their stories, listen to their insecurities, and share my faith.
There is a hunger for community and belonging, and I hope that Jesus will use our interactions to show that there is One who cares about them and knows them more intimately than any human ever could.
Hannah Mennega – SFC Cannonsburg – Grand Rapids, MI
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In a country affected by war just over 20 years ago, the hope of Christ is shown by a few snowboarders. A team from SFC Switzerland made the trip up to Sarajevo to help with a snowboard camp. They partnered with an organization in the area called Novi Most. The camp taught dozens of kids how to snowboard and that they can conquer darkness with Jesus. Check out their story in the latest Go Tell It on the Mountain video.
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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.
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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.
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!
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. To get plugged into an intentional Christ-centered community
2. To know God and His Word better
3. To get hands-on ministry experience
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 email@example.com.
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.
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).