A Look at Today’s Top Music… even in Amish PA

hot-100-glimpseI just arrived home from a great weekend with Victory Church in Lancaster, PA. I trained their youth leaders Saturday night, preached in the three morning services, and then taught my Parenting The Smartphone Generation Workshop that night.

The church shoots video of their services, streams them live to their 5 locations, and then posts it online.

So here’s my sermon “Opening Up the Doors of Dialogue In Your Home”… where I gave an eye-opening peek into today’s youth culture (starting about about 20 minutes into it), including a tour of the top music young people are listening to today (starting at 29 minutes)… even in Amish Pennsylvania.

For those of you who haven’t had the chance to hear me live, here’s a peek!


10-23-16- Let’s Talk: Part 7 – Special Guest, Jonathan McKee from Victory Church on Vimeo.

Posted in Entertainment Media, Parenting, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Speaking/Training, Youth Culture | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Parenting Amish

Amish-PA-TargetIn the beginning of my book More Than Just the Talk I give an example of speaking in a conservative Mennonite Brethren church in Amish, PA, and listening to parents share stories of the racy content their kids were exposed to in this perceived mecca of purity in North America.

This weekend I returned to Amish, PA to speak at yet another church (my third in Lancaster County), and I decided to visit the local Target to take a peek for myself. After all, every other state I visit I hear frustrated parents mumble under their breath, “Maybe I’ll just move to Amish, PA… then I won’t have to deal with any of this!”

Is that true?

Magazine-rack-amish-paWhen I first walked in Target I saw spotted several Amish families. Black suits, beards and the women had their heads covered. I saw one family standing at the checkout stand with their kids so I ducked behind a clothing rack and watched.

This checkout isle was no different than any other. A magazine rack bordered the isle, with all the headlines in plain view. And what did the Amish do? The same thing the rest of us do. Read the titles.

The only reason I find this interesting is that some parents who gravitate towards being overprotective parents claim, “My kids don’t see any of this stuff.” They claim that their kid don’t need to have the sex talk, for example, more than “that one time last summer” because they aren’t exposed to any of this?

I always ask these parents, “Do you let your kids out of the house?”

Or more realistically, “Does your kid have access to a smartphone?” (This includes their friends’ smartphones.)

Amish-Target-BritneyI wandered back to the back of Target and passed the music and video section. Target had a giant wall covered with screens playing music videos from the charts. (Have you seen the charts lately?) I stood their a while and watch what played. I saw Shawn Mendez, Idena Menzel… and Britney (a new song off her explicit album).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying all this content is trash. I’m just noting that the Amish shopping here (along with everyone else in Lancaster) were hearing the same songs and seeing the same images as the rest of us.

After hanging out with a bunch of youth workers for the rest of the evening, they confirmed, “Oh, these kids are exposed to this stuff all the time.”

It’s fun teaching workshops in Lancaster County, PA. Why? Because the parents here realize that, as much as we try to protect our kids, our kids are still going to be exposed to the world’s influences. Especially with the amount of screentime they’re clocking in each day. Our job as parents is to teach them discernment so they’ll make wise choices about Snapchat, Neflix, Social Media… and all the other decisions kids encounter today.

After all. They’ll be out of our house before we know it and then they’ll be making all these choices by themselves.

Are you preparing them for that day?

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The Gospel According to The Walking Dead CONTEST

The Walking Dead NEGANThis is an exciting week for The Walking Dead fans, because this coming Sunday they will finally discover the answer to the biggest cliffhanger since “Who shot JR?”

Which one of our beloved characters did we lose?

That’s why we’re having a “Who is it” CONTEST where we are giving away a prize to literally EVERYONE who guesses correctly! (Thanks to my Zombie book publisher, The Youth Cartel for going in on this with me!)

So if you watch The Walking Dead and don’t yet subscribe to our FREE blog, The Gospel According to The Walking Dead, where we provide a Biblical discussion to each and every episode each week… then jump on that blog now and subscribe. Because only subscribers can enter this contest where literally EVERYONE who guesses correctly wins!!!

So who is it? Jump on The Gospel According to the Walking Dead right now and give us your best guess!


Posted in Books, Contests, TV | 2 Comments

Today’s Kids and Tech in 3 Minutes

We just finished posting a brand new YouTube video that gives an excellent summary of today’s over-connected kids… and today’s over-connected adults (Yep! I went there.)

Here it is… in 3 minutes:

Connect-Smartphone-Kid-WORKI’ve been teaching parents how to bridge this gap in our brand new parent workshop, CONNECT WITH YOUR SMARTPHONE OBSESSED KID, based on the book of similar title.

Bring this 2 hour workshop out to your city!


Posted in Entertainment Media, Internet, Parenting, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Social Media, Speaking/Training | Leave a comment

Trump, The P-word, and Hypocrites

Trump-&-DRAMI try not to get political and I try not to rant. I’ll keep my momentum of NOT getting political in this post. This post is not about Trump… it’s about our hypocritical nation.

Last week we all heard recordings of Trump saying some really explicit and degrading stuff about women. It was pretty eye-opening and disappointing.

But it’s funny that while Americans, both conservative and liberal are all shaking their heads at Trump, and calling his statement “offensive”, “degrading” and “intolerable”… Continue reading “Trump, The P-word, and Hypocrites” »

Posted in Entertainment Media, Jonathan's Rant, Music, News, Parenting | 9 Comments

Mom, Can I Have Snapchat?


Remember the good ol’ days when our biggest concern was the 3,000+ texts our daughters averaged per month?

Sure, young people still text, but with 84% of 12-17-year-old mobile subscribers having smartphones this year… apps are the new gateways of communication.

So what is the favorite communication app used by young people today?

Snapchat, “by a landslide.”

Continue reading “Mom, Can I Have Snapchat?” »

Posted in Parenting, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Social Media, Youth Culture | 3 Comments

Are Any of These Cities Near You?

Jonathan-Speak-ParentsThis month I fly to 5 different U.S. states to teach parent workshops… and I’m hoping that I’m coming near you! (and if not… let’s start a dialogue about bringing me out to your city)

It all starts this weekend when I fly to Colorado to record a radio interview about my new book on Jim Daly’s show on FOCUS ON FAMILY, and while I’m there I’m teaching a FREE parenting workshop just outside of Denver. The workshop is Sunday night, October 2nd, from 6:00 to 8:00 at Peace Lutheran. This will be my brand new workshop: Continue reading “Are Any of These Cities Near You?” »

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Walking Alongside a New Believer

Montoring-Teen“What tools can I use to help new Christians understand the commitment they just made?”

It’s one of the most common questions I hear from youth ministries who are actually reaching young people for Christ. And I’m glad to hear the question, because it means these ministries realize the need to walk alongside new believers and disciple them.

My friend Scott Rubin, the Director of Student Ministries at Willow Creek Community Church outside of Chicago, just wrote a helpful little resource called The Essential Guide to My New Life With Jesus. I just read it and felt compelled to tell you about it… Continue reading “Walking Alongside a New Believer” »

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Will Your Kids Watch “Easy” on Netflix?

Easy NetflixToday’s young people love Netflix. It’s mobile, it’s commercial free, and as a bonus… most parents have no idea what their kids are watching.

That’s why parents should probably be aware of the new sexually-charged Netflix original series, Easy, streaming on their devices starting today, September 22nd. The show follows (and I quote) “diverse Chicagoans fumbling through the modern maze of love, sex, technology and culture.”

I’m not telling you to write your congressman and get the show banned. I’m just suggesting, in a world where 49% of 15-20-year-olds stream on demand content like Netflix daily, and 78% of “on their own Millennials” have subscriptions to these entertainment venues… it might be good to know what exactly it is they’re watching, how we can use Netflix binging for bonding, and how to respond if we discover them watching mature or adult content (which is why I’m going to provide you with 3 ways to overreact react when this happens).

In the trailer we observe…

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The Christian music kids like… or do they?

LecraeLast week I hosted a contest in this blog asking you which Christian songs today’s kids actually like and wouldn’t hesitate playing to their friends. Here are the results.

The response was overwhelming. You’ll probably find that post’s comment section is a great resource for you to peek at the variety of some of the top Christian songs kids like today!

Key word: variety.

In fact, if you pour through those comments you’ll discover two things:

Continue reading “The Christian music kids like… or do they?” »

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