This past week I was out in LA attending the inaugural ACTS Summit, a global network of action sports ministries. There were 35 key action sports ministry leaders from 17 different nations bringing over 400 years of combined experience in surf, skate, bike, air, skate, snow, climb, parkour, wake and kite ministry. We spent a considerable amount of time in prayer, worship, and discussions about the opportunities and challenges facing action sports ministries. The goal of this network is to validate, gather, share and grow action sports ministries around the world. The primary goal was to facilitate an environment where relationships and partnerships could be built and I would say it was successful to that end. During my time there I learned a few things:
JSAW is extremely blessed and we can be a blessing by giving to others a portion of what we earn through Help Boardshop sales. Many churches and foundations do not recognize or understand the world of action sports and the extraordinary amount of influence that these small ministries have. Although we are behind financially right now, I know JSAW needs to continue providing grants for action sports ministries to fill that felt need.
This is no small movement and there are many opportunities. While looking at the countries that have action sports ministries operating in them, I noticed a few gaps. Russia is without an action sports ministry, as well as the majority of North and East Africa. There are incredible opportunities in India incorporating action sports ministry into schools and summer camps. While at the summit I was also invited to Ethiopia, Italy, Germany, Cambodia, and Indonesia to help with action sports ministry projects. Below is a world map roughly showing where action sports ministries are currently operating.
I am excited to see how God continues to transform action sports culture around the world!
Executive Director, JSAW