June 21, 2013
This month, we debuted the second installment of the My Hope America with Billy Graham evangelistic program series. In the program – Lose to Gain – we follow the stories of three people who get everything they thought they wanted but learn they can gain so much more. One of the amazing stories of redemption comes from pro skateboarder Brian Sumner. We were able to catch up with him and ask him a few questions.
My Hope: How do you reach people for Christ through your skateboarding ministry?
Brian: I became a Christian while still at the top of my career. I began to get invitations to go to events and share my story. Before long, I was sharing my testimony at festivals, at skate parks, in churches and more.
I simply share:
This ties into my story and how I had seemingly accomplished so much while yet still losing my soul. It allows me to lead into God’s plan and how He spoke to the nation of Israel, prophesied of a coming Messiah, and how He came, lived a perfect life, died for our sins and rose again giving the free gift of eternal life.
John the Baptist came preaching. From that time on, Jesus preached repentance, and so on with the Apostles. I come pleading with all those who I speak with to repent. I also share this: 1 Corinthians 1:18, “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing” but if you are hearing His voice today, The Holy Spirit is “to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”
My Hope: What is your favorite verse?
Brian: There are so many, but I love John 4:34 as it relates our food (work) to seeing Jesus daily doing His. My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
I also love James 4:17 because it challenges me to stay focused on Him and pursue Holy living.
If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
Lastly, Ephesians 2:8-10 is a favorite passage because we see that God did it all, and that He has made us with things in mind to do. What a privilege!
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
My Hope: What makes My Hope America so important, for Christians of all ages?
Brian: Age doesn’t matter in salvation’s sense. Because life can have its ups and downs at any time, people need to come to know Christ no matter their age. Though young people have typically been the ones pushing and using the newest technology and media, we are seeing more older people walking around with their iPhones and such, even churches playing more videos and encouraging social media interaction. I am sure God will use the My Hope videos to reach everyone He needs. At some point we all have gone astray, no matter what age. Hopefully, young folks who see the My Hope videos will hi-jack their parents’ and grandparents’ lives with such videos.
My Hope: Do you have a story about Billy Graham’s presentation of God’s Word that has had impact on your life?
Brian: It always has, since I first heard him speak through an outreach on television when I was first saved. It’s like seeing Cassius Clay and knowing he is Boxing – Billy Graham is Evangelism.
My mom passed away recently. One of the things she shared with me before she passed was a memory of seeing Billy preaching in Sheffield or Leeds back in Liverpool when she was younger – and that she responded to the Gospel that day. Of course, with her passing, my hope is that she is with the Lord.
Recently, I received the link to these new My Hope videos that include older footage of Billy. These classic messages of his preaching are still as impactful and timeless as they were early in his ministry. Even though the events and references he uses through his sermons are now historical, they still apply today!
Check out more of Brian’s story in Lose to Gain. Watch it now!