On a skate journey with God (Andy Milne)

Monday, 9 August, 2010

Andy MilneAndy Milne is on a skate journey with God.

'Oh, so you wanna go skating!' The invitation comes from professional skateboarder Mike Vallely in skate DVD, Public Domain.

Soon after the call to his dedicated followers, Vallely jumps up and runs out of his house, propelling himself straight into a boardslide down the handrail next to his door. Vallely continues to career down the street, getting ready to skate some of the most famous spots in New York. We follow him in close-up as he encounters banks, blocks, curbs, rails, steps and even a graveyard.

As he meets each obstacle, Vallely throws out his usual selection of skater specialities - big ollies, fast flat ground tricks and huge bonelesses - in his unmistakable big and bold style.

Well, we may not be in New York, but encountering God can seem like going on a fast, adrenaline-pumped skate journey wherever you are - whether that's the Big Apple, or in my case north Bradford, where young people from Sorted meet three nights a week.

Sorted's journey began six years ago as I got to know young skateboarders in the area. Good skate sessions led to conversations about the good news of the Gospel and God started to work in the relationships that were forming.

Loose connections with both skaters and non-skaters then led us to form small groups that would meet to chat about life or Christianity. These in turn resulted in many young people engaging with God. The small groups later merged into three larger groups, each with a different focus.

Encountering God can seem like going on a fast, adrenaline-pumped skate journey wherever you are

Just as a skateboarder senses the moment for a trick as he encounters a street obstacle, so young people often sense the Spirit as they encounter God during Monday's youth congregation when they pray for each other.

After a skate session, skaters like nothing more than to sit back and chat about what just happened. Similarly at Sorted, we like to chat about God encounters - trying to make sense of what they mean in our everyday lives. We do our chatting in small groups with the help of the Bible on Tuesdays.

Skateboarders like to invite skaters from nearby towns and cities to share in huge skate sessions so that the atmosphere is heightened and the tricks flow more freely. Sorted's Friday session brings together many other young people as well as those around earlier in the week, gathering more into the life of the community and often into the life of God.

About the author: 

Captain Andy Milne is a Church Army evangelist and heads up Sorted, a fresh expression of church for skaters.


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