News

The Gospel and a Skateboard

by Valley Forge Christian College | July 13, 2012
A hobby that started simply as a way to make some friends is now taking Derek Shatto ’10 into places he never thought he would go.

The Gospel and a SkateboardA hobby that started simply as a way to make some friends is now taking Derek Shatto ’10 into places he never thought he would go.

Derek found his talent for skateboarding in the sixth grade, at a time when he was desperately trying to find a place to fit in. It became the sport that changed his social life and, in high school, gave him the chance to join a team of Christian skaters that would ultimately shape his future.

After his 2010 graduation from Valley Forge Christian College, God continued to open doors for Derek to combine his love for Christ and skateboards. He still travels with the team that he met in high school to Creation music festivals, public schools, churches, and local skate parks, where he freely shares his faith with those he meets.

Derek’s favorite ministry, however, is Seven Project, which allows him the opportunity to impact teens in public schools. At the end of each assembly, the students are invited to a night rally that includes free food, sports, and the Gospel message.

In the beginning of 2012, Derek traveled to Ghana, Africa, with Creation Festival and his skateboarding team. They were given the incredible opportunity to impact kids in elementary, middle, and high schools in Ghana, as well as skate at the music festival. While there, Derek was interviewed by a TV station that broadcast his testimony, along with his bold declarations of faith, throughout the entire country. As a result of that airtime, he was able to lead a young man and his siblings to the Lord. Derek and his team also lead a group of Rastafarian men to accept Jesus, and then baptized the men in the nearby ocean.

Derek is passionate about sharing his faith with youth, especially the importance of placing their gifts and talents into God’s hands. Derek knows first-hand about the fulfillment of obediently giving his gift to God. It has completely changed his life.

As he faithfully waits on God’s leading, Derek will continue to make regular trips to those local skate parks, sharing his love for skating and leaving room for one-on-one interactions and divine conversations with the kids who are there. “I’m just trying to share Jesus with people,” Derek said. “It’s all about being obedient.”