Interviewed on Canadian TV

Last Friday I was interviewed by our polite neighbors up north on Canadian TV show 100 Huntley Street.

The conversation was about teens and mobile devices–who our kids are talking with, what they are posting, and the content they’re absorbing. I love host Maggie Johns who opens the door immediately declaring, “Social media! You can’t hide it from your kids forever!” She thanks me for my new book, The Teen’s Guide to Social Media and Mobile Devices and informs me, “This is the book I’m going to give to my son Ethan on his 13th birthday!”

Maggie asks, “What is the number one piece of advice you give parents like myself who have kids who are embarking in this whole world of social media at their fingertips?”

Watch the entire interview HERE:

Posted in Entertainment Media, Internet, Parenting, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What age should my kid be on social media?

It’s one of the biggest questions I hear from parents at my workshops each month. “What age should I let my kids have a smartphone?” or “What age should I allow them to get SnapChat, Insta and all the other social media apps they want?”

We’ve posted some great resources on recently that will help answer that question, including a brand new article posted just this week titled, Parenting Middle Schoolers: More Than Just Surviving This Transitional Phase. But parents of high school students shouldn’t ignore that article, because in the early part of the article where I talk about “Delaying Social Media” I not only provide some brand new research about the undeniable connection from social media to the rise of depression in America, but I also provide some helpful questions you can ask your kids to engage them in meaningful conversation about this subject

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Posted in Entertainment Media, Internet, Parenting, Self Image, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Confessions of an Overweight Youth Pastor

“I was 100 pounds overweight,” he admitted. “It was effecting my ministry, my marriage… everything! So I finally decided to do something about it.”

Overweight. It’s not a word we use much on Sunday mornings, but it’s all too common. Maybe even more common in the world of youth ministry. (How many French fry conversations and pizza nights can one person have?)

That’s probably why Josh’s story moved me. So I asked him to share it with us. It’s a success story and I think it will be an inspiration to all of you

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Posted in Faith, Leadership, Youth Ministry Philosophy | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

7 Facts Undercover Adults Discovered about Teenagers Today

I love it when research discovers something we’ve been telling parents for years. And for the last few weeks A& E show Undercover High has been revealing an eye-opening peek to many parents about the reality of what’s truly going on in the lives of the high school just down the street from you (and one of these “uncover adults” is a youth pastor).

The show unveiled quite a few realities about teen culture- seven, in fact.

1. The biggest surprise for these undercover adults was how much social media and smartphones had changed high school culture completely… and for some of these young adults, high school was only 5 years ago

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Posted in Bullying/Cyberbullying, Entertainment Media, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Social Media, TV, Youth Culture | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Gunning Your Kids Down

Today’s young people might be a little more familiar than you think with solving their problems with a gun… because they literally hear it all the time.

“Got an AK on my lap”

“Call up on an Uzi”

I find it intriguing that while the world is debating the gun issue, the majority of the musical “artists” in the top 10 right now have songs about revenge, “popping” people, or gunning you down… and I kid you not… some will even tell you what assault rifle and which high capacity clip they prefer

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Posted in Entertainment Media, Jonathan's Rant, Music, Youth Culture | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

I regret not saying anything

“This kid gets bullied a lot.”

I’m wrapping up my book to parents about bullying, and in the last few months it’s been literally insane how many times I’ve turned on the news to see exactly what I’m writing about played out on the screen… last week again with the shooting in Florida.

No, I’m not one of those guys who is putting full blame on “bullying” here. There were a lot of factors contributing to this tragedy… but again… one of the big ones was an ostracized kid ignored by bystanders every day.

Like the 17-year-old who admitted as much to the Miami Herald just a few days ago

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Posted in Bullying/Cyberbullying, Jonathan's Rant, Parenting | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to Lose Volunteers Quickly

One of the Ways Churches Chew Up and Spit Out Volunteers

Have you ever been confronted, criticized or “corrected” for something you did as a volunteer?

Yesterday a good friend of mine called me up discouraged like I’ve never seen him before. He was beyond angry. He was hurt.

This guy launched a discipleship ministry at his church that has exploded in growth. People are being discipled and are actually excited about digging into scripture (he has a Bible study where people are spending hours a week reading on their own). He’s not paid to do this, he’s a volunteer

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Where to Get Practical Parenting Help

In two hours (at 9AM Pacific time) several thousand parents will receive our FREE “Parenting Help” email which always contains three helpful resources for today’s parents. Take a peek… because you might want to make sure this helpful resource is hitting your inbox twice a month:

  1. This “Parenting Help” email always includes our newest “Parenting Help” article, like the one I just wrote with three tools to engage your kids to not only remove their headphones… but tune you in. I always write these articles based on the biggest questions I’m hearing from parents online and at my parent workshops. We have an entire page of these articles that hopefully do exactly what the title implies… “help parents” with practical tools they need. Look at the last five articles I’ve written
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Posted in News, Parenting, Youth Culture | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The math behind 300 one night stands

The song has been on the top of the charts for 20 weeks now peeking at No. 4, currently at No. 10. It’s called “No Limits”… and it truly lives up to the title. A song where the chorus simply repeats, “Ayy, yeah, f**k with me and get some money.”

The man behind the lyrics explains to the chorus means he’s a cash cow. He’s so popular everything he touches turns to money. Sadly, I’m not sure he realizes quite how ironic his chorus is.

Allow me to explain…

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Posted in Jonathan's Rant, Music, Sexuality, Youth Culture | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Super Bowl Party Quiz

It’s almost Super Bowl time… and that means our annual free BIG GAME Quiz! And this year… we’ve also included a free SlideShow game as an alternative!

For those of you have been following for the past few years, you probably look forward to the fun little FREE resource we provide every year called the Super Bowl “BIG GAME Quiz!” (I just posted it and the free slideshop game HERE). The quiz is done by my sports-fanatic friend Todd Pearage (who many of you might know as the creator the DYM game “Sportsball”).

This FREE quiz/activity is a fun little party game you can use at your Super Bowl party at your church or your home

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Posted in Youth Ministry Planning | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments