I shared a story last night at Skatechurch about the time I was booked by a cult out in the woods of Alabama. Yep, true story!
Up until a few years ago I was traveling so much from city to city preaching the Gospel and skateboarding that most of my outreaches became a blur.
But there are a few that I will never forget and how the Holy Spirit empowered me and how the Lord protected me as His mouthpiece to call others to repent of sin and place their trust in Jesus.
I want to say that this happened around 8-10 years ago when my schedule was very booked and there were loads of contracts flying through my management companies hands. This contract in particular happened to slip through because it was at a camp that was owned by a well known Christian organization. This group however rented the camp under that title and booked me as “entertainment for their youth”.
I knew something was a bit off immediately when I got into the guys truck that was picking me up at the airport. As we drove for a few hours I was asking some probing questions to get a feel for what was expected of me that night that I was scheduled.
The word “entertainment” kept coming up and the way he said it was not sitting well with me. I asked about the attendance and what he believed about God and the bible, but I didn’t get a straight answer. I did however make it very clear that I was not there to skateboard and perform only, but to share the good news about Jesus and that there is no other way for a person to be saved but through Him.
As we rolled up to the camp I was met by a group of older people that kept addressing me in that same manner. I kept trying to make it very clear that my intention was to share my story and how God changed my life. I remember the group shrugging it off as if what I had to say would have no power or be of no effect to their group, after all I was just the skateboard guy there to do some tricks for kiddos 🙂
I’m thankful that God uses the foolish things of this world and that His love for these people would be heard through something and someone like me that was contextually considered least likely.
1 Peter 3:15
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.“
That night I was in the green room warming up on my board and praying for what the Lord would have me to say. As I glimpsed out the door I noticed loud chanting and a big heavy set guy jumping around on stage while wearing a head dress type of thing.
Throughout that day I still couldn’t get a straight answer or a good feel on what people believed. I just felt in my gut that this might be the first time that someone shared the Gospel of Jesus with this group. I was pretty scared to say the least, there was about 500 people there of all ages, which made zero sense as to why they had booked a young skateboarder that is a blatant Christ follower. I believe in God’s providence and what might of looked like a mistake in booking was actually God’s plan for His truth to set people free from sin and death.
I took the stage that night and got through my skating performance.
When I grabbed the mic I felt the Lords presence and His overwhelming love for this group. This doesn’t always happen, but at certain times in my 16 years of ministry I would feel an electricity like sensation pulsating through me. I would also have confidence and clarity in every Word that proceeded out of my mouth. It was one of those nights that as I shared I could sense a change in the room. Nobody was smiling or cheering, I remember as I was closing out and calling people to repent of sin and confess Jesus as Lord, I saw movement coming toward me from the left side of stage.
A big lady wearing a large purple robe was about to pull the plug on me, so I closed in prayer and instead of exiting the stage like normal, I grabbed my board and walked off the front of the stage through the crowd of people. The audience parted like the Red Sea. The few high fives and smiles I got were from a few teenagers. As I walked out of that place, I immediately felt that I could of done more or at least offered to pray for people directly. None of that happened that night so I went to my dorm room to process the evening and pray. My plan was to lay low until my airport ride at 10am the following day.
I will never forget that next morning opening my door to find a young guy named Michael that had been sitting there for an hour waiting to talk with me about what I had said the night before. As we went on a journey around camp to find some food and coffee, I was able to pray with this young man and to talk more with him about the love of Jesus. I believe Michael sincerely felt convicted of sin that night and that the Lord was beginning to do a new work in his life. It was cool that he skipped out on the morning meeting with his group because he felt that what I had said was real truth.
He actually said that too.
I learned a lot from this experience and there is more to the story, but I obviously made it out safe and kept faithful to what God called me to do. I know that I will never forget the man that was faithful in proclaiming the Gospel to me the night that I surrendered to Jesus. I knew that when I found truth it set me free just like Michael had felt that day too. I hope and pray that wherever Michael is at today, that he is following Jesus and placing his trust in the Lord.
Often times at Skatechurch even though we have the numbers in attendance and guys showing up for Bible study, it is a rare site to see one of these guys commit their lives to Jesus whole heartedly. But we keep proclaiming, loving and being consistent week after week. It’s stories like Michael’s that spur me on to give the Gospel invite every single week that we meet. We never know what the Lord is doing or who is listening.
I’m glad that the Lord brought this old testimony to my attention. For His glory!
Thank you for praying with us.