Coming to a city near you

Fall is always pretty busy with speaking, youth leader trainings and parent workshops. Take a peek at my upcoming schedule and see if I’m coming to a city near you:

THIS WEEKEND- Sept 23, 24, New Hope Assembly Church, Rogers, AR
Parenting workshop, preaching in morning services

Sept 25, 100 Huntley Street, Toronto, CANADA
TV interview, airing October 5th

October 15, Steel City Mennonite Brethren Church, Bethleham, PA
Preaching in morning services, Parenting workshop 6-8 PM

October 22, Bethany Baptist Church, McDonough, GA
Preaching in the morning services, Parenting workshop 4-6PM

October 23, Youth for Christ, Jamestown, ND
Keynote, Celebration Banquet

October 28, Youth Leader Training, Billings MT
Youth Leader Training 9AM-Noon

October 29, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Billings MT
Evening Parent Workshop

November 4, Fairfax Community Church, Fairfax VA
Passion4Moms Parenting Workshop– Parenting the Smartphone Generation

November 17-19, Florida Church of God, Orlando, FL
State Youth Convention

NOTE: I’ll be in Colorado Springs on the weekend of February 11th recording a show on Focus on the Family, and am available that Sunday to preach or teach a parenting workshop!

If you’d like to find out more about
bringing me to your city, contact me HERE

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The words I’ve been waiting for…

“In stock”

I’ve had sooooooooo many parents asking me about this book for their teens/tweens… it’s so good to see it finally “in stock” ( over two weeks early). I received boxes of them Friday, and Amazon began shipping them Saturday.

Enjoy the book! Here’s what those who screened the book for me said about it:

“McKee’s best yet. This book will most definitely be the new ‘phone contract’ today’s parents use to engage their kids in meaningful conversation about their use of technology. Required reading for any teenager.”
—Doug Fields, Author of Speaking to Teenagers and 7 Ways to Be Her Hero

“It’s no secret our lives are dominated by technology. This brings great opportunity but also some potential pitfalls. The Teen’s Guide to Social Media is now my favorite book for helping young people wisely navigate social media. In fact, it’s helpful for anyone who uses social media. I could not recommend it more highly.”
—Sean McDowell, Ph.D., Biola University professor, speaker, and author of over fifteen books including A New Kind of Apologist

“Today’s technology has real benefits—and real dangers. We can instantly access virtually anything. Unfortunately, that also makes it easier than ever to make a misstep that can change the course of our lives. Jonathan McKee understands the pros and cons of social media, and he offers wise biblical guidance to teens and parents for how to stay safe in this challenging environment.”
—Jim Daly, President – Focus on the Family

“This book is so practical! It will definitely be a gift we will give our son when he gets his first device! With a practical question guide, this is a book you can even read with your teenager. From Selfies to Snapchat Jonathan also does a great job of peppering in the truth of the Bible and its timeless advice that can be applied even to our Social Media Culture.”
—Maggie John, Co-Host, Senior Executive Producer, 100 Huntley Street

“Jonathan McKee gets that social media for teenagers is not social media: it is just life! In this excellent book, he delves into a topic important to BOTH teens and parents and lays out clear principles for smart online behavior. He doesn’t vilify or glorify technology, but instead offers a balanced view on how best to live in a connected world.”
—Shaunti Feldhahn, Social Researcher and Best-Selling Author of For Women Only and For Parents Only

“As a parent, a grandparent, and a guy who checks the device in my pocket a little too often on any given day, I found this book eye-opening. . .and a little frightening. This is a must-read for young people before they get their own devices.”
—Pat Williams, Senior Vice President of the Orlando Magic, Author, Speaker

“To be honest, I struggled to get through the advanced copy of this book because my teenage sons kept taking it. My boys appreciate Jonathan’s candid, comedic, and challenging approach and insist on reading everything he writes. The humor, tips, and wisdom that Jonathan shares here are exactly what young people need and want to hear. Don’t let your kid have a mobile device without a copy of this book.”
—Pete Sutton, Student Ministry Pastor of Christ Community

“In a world where most young people underestimate how distracting their mobile devices are becoming, Jonathan provides wise council and compelling stories inspiring us to pause and think. . .which is exactly what we need to do more often.”
—Curt Steinhorst, Author of Can I Have Your Attention?

“Jonathan McKee is one of the finest experts I know in the area of  teen culture and social media. This a most helpful, practical, and enlightening book on media and mobile devices. I love the discussion questions at the end of each chapter. I highly recommend it.”
—Jim Burns, PhD
President, HomeWord
Author of The Purity Code and Confident Parenting

“If your child knows how to swipe a device, then you need this book. Filled with down-to-earth wisdom and humor, The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices talks straight to kids at their level, helping them draw their own conclusions about what’s smart and what’s not. With a tween in my house who keeps begging for an iPhone, this book hit my desk at just the right time. Thank you, Jonathan McKee, for an insightful social media guide that parents and kids can rally behind!”
—Becky Kopitzke, Author of The SuperMom Myth: Conquering the Dirty Villains of Motherhood

“Jonathan McKee’s, The Teen’s Guide to Social Media and Mobile Devices, is a must-read for parents of teens. What you don’t know will hurt. . .them. Jonathan has a brilliant way of balancing facts, theory, practical helps, and humor all at once. If you want to get the most up-to-date information in a manner you can understand, this book is for you.”
—Lance C. Hahn, Senior Pastor of Bridgeway Christian Church, Speaker, Professor, Teacher, and Author of How to Live in Fear: Mastering the Art of Freaking Out and The Master’s Mind: The Art of Reshaping Your Thoughts.?

“I’m not only endorsing this book, but immediately buying three copies to give to the teenagers in my home. You should, too!”
—Josh Griffin, Co-founder DownloadYouthMinistry.com & 20+yr youth ministry veteran

“Face it: most teens are riding the wave of high-tech gadgets—surfing, emailing, texting, tweeting. But with each tap on an app or click of a mouse, you’re vulnerable to all kinds of bad stuff. You need a guide. This book is it. Jonathan’s 21 tips can save your life. Really!”
—Michael Ross, Author of the unofficial Minecraft guide Building Faith Block by Block

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Stalking Your Daughter

Yesterday I told my friend Brian, “I hope you don’t mind, I stalked your daughter last week on her Instagram account to see if she was posting anything dangerous.”

Sound creepy? I guess it is. Good thing it was just me.

Brian knows I research this stuff all the time, and my new book helping teenagers “think before you post” is coming out next week (kinda cool, the publisher just told me the books are in and have already shipped to my website and Amazon). So last week his daughter was my guinea pig.

The good news: so far she was being really wise with her social media activity.

WHAT SHE DID RIGHT:

  1. She only friended people she had actually met. I was one of her friends, so I was able to see her pics. Some naked 40-year-old pedophile sitting in his Mom’s basement in Cleveland was NOT able to see her pics. That’s a good thing. Young people waver on this principle frequently. They meet someone online and they never consider that the person is NOT who they think it is… but it happens all the time. That’s why whenever I address teens on the subject, I share them those stories– teens tend to remember those kind of stories.
  2. She never posted her location at home. Most young people don’t even realize when they breach this common-sense advice. They post a picture of themselves in their bedroom after getting ready for prom or something special. The location might just say, “Sacramento, CA,” but if you click on it… you can see exactly where they were on a map. Now that naked guy in Cleveland knows where she is. I stalked 5 other teens that day to see what I could find. Two of them– I discovered where they lived in less than 5 minutes (and I wasn’t even their “friend.”)
  3. She didn’t post a lot of selfies. Selfies aren’t bad, but sometimes selfies can become a little too “selfy”…if you know what I mean. Then there’s the pressure of, “why didn’t they like that pic?” or “did my arms look to fat?” In a world where teen depression is on the rise and kids are feeling the growing pressure to measure up, it’s nice when kids aren’t gleaning their self-esteem through the approval of others on social media. (It’s fascinating how many new studies are emerging linking anxiety, depression and social media.)

SOMETHING RISKY

  1. Brian’s daughter was good about not posting her location at home, although she did post a location at another spot she frequents. I was able to pinpoint this spot on a map—a place she returned to multiple times. That’s why I urge teenagers to think twice before posting artsy pics of their favorite mug at the Starbucks near their house before walking to their car alone at night.
  2. Brian’s daughter was good about this, but I found many teens who let all their friends see their location at anytime using “snapmaps” in Snapchat. Brian’s daughter wisely chose “ghost mode” which means no one can see you. This is wise for a 14-year-old, especially if you are like most 14-year-olds and you haven’t met every single one of your “friends” face-to-face. How many teens are truly thinking of the ramifications of everyone being able to see their exact location on a map at any time? (I’ll be posting more about Snapmaps soon.)

Do your kids have Snapmaps? Are they in ghost mode?

Have your kids met all of their “friends” face to face?

Have they ever posted their location in a vulnerable spot?

We need to engage our kids in continual conversations about wise posting in an insecure world.

Posted in Parenting, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Social Media, Youth Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is Abstinence-Only Education Really Ineffective?

Many of you might have seen or read about a report in the September issue of Journal of Adolescent Health where researchers asserted abstinence-only education is “scientifically and ethically flawed.”

So let me ask a taboo question in the Christian community:

Are they right? Is there any legitimacy to this claim?

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen people bashing abstinence programs. Back in 2004 a report prepared for House Democrats shredded abstinence programs, citing “errors and distortions” in eleven of thirteen abstinence-only curricula. (Which is interesting to look at in hindsight—a report that cited STDs going down—now that we all remember 2008 reports emerged citing 1 in 4 teens girls have an STD, and now recent reports revealing

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Does Sexy Music Really Affect Me?

I guess it’s a good time to ask this question when the No. 1 song on the charts articulates, “I want to show my mouth your favorite places, let me trespass your danger zones until I make you scream.”

Whenever I speak to parents I tend to provide them with a glimpse into the world of youth culture: the apps young people frequent (on their smartphones at an average of 2 hours and 38 minutes a day), the games they’re playing (teen boys play an average of 56 minutes per day), and the music they’re soaking in (at an average of 1 hour and 54 minutes per day) (Media Use by Tweens and Teens, page 19 and 31). Sometime I even play YouTube videos or paste lyrics of the top dozen songs right on the screen for parents to see firsthand. The reaction is always the same:

“I didn’t know it was this bad!”

Well, I’ve been doing this two decades now… and I’ve never seen the top 12 songs this bad

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Posted in Discussion Ideas, Entertainment Media, Jonathan's Rant, Music, Parenting, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Youth Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Back to School Conversations

If your kids aren’t already back to school, they’re headed there. Sure that means new classes, homework, and all that goes along with the academic aspects of school… but that also means navigating new and old friendships, trying to fit in, and wondering if everyone likes you, not just at school, but also on every app with a like button.

This is where you come in. The typical response from caring adults like parents, grandparents, coaches and youth pastors is to ask about school

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Your worries about teens and mobile devices

Some GREAT feedback from you all in my last post as you shared your concerns about today’s teens and their mobile devices. I’ve just posted the 5 contest winners below (in this post) who each will win a free “advanced reader” copy of my upcoming book, The Teens Guide to Social Media and Mobile Devices.

For those of you who didn’t win… and want a copy. Some great options right now. Amazon has it for pre-sale today for almost 50% off… just $7 and change

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What is your biggest concern with young people and mobile devices?

Let’s have a little CONTEST!

I have 5 “Advanced Reader’s Copies” of my upcoming The Teens Guide to Social Media and Mobile Devices sitting right here on my desk… and I want to give them away. (I don’t know if you saw… for some reason Amazon is offering these right now as a pre-order for just $7 and change! Grab that price while you have the chance. Wow.)

Simple: post a comment in this blog post answering this question

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Posted in Books, Contests, Smartphones/Cell Phones | Tagged , , , , , | 54 Comments

building into young people during their gap year

What do Chick-Fil-A, rapper Trip Lee and Sean McDowell have in common?

All three captivated my attention last weekend… and I think you’ll find ‘why’ fascinating.

Let me back up. For the last decade the youth ministry world has been wrestling with a tough question—one that parents are asking just the same:

Why are so many kids walking away from their faith during/after high school?

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Talking with teens AND parents about social media

How can we get teens AND parents to engage in conversation about the devices that are dominating most of their waking hours? (yeah… even parents)

I’ve been teaching parent workshops for about 15 years now, and speaking to teens about 20. But I’ve never done a workshop with them in the same room… until now! This is a subject that needs to be addressed to families, together… in the same room.

This fall when my new book (The Teens Guide to Social Media and Mobile Devices) hits the shelves I’ll be launching my “WISE POSTING IN AN INSECURE WORLD” family workshop. In this two hour workshop I’ll address Mom’s, Dads and kids about something we all struggle with– wisely navigating the digital world. Much like the book, I’ll be asking

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Posted in Entertainment Media, Family, Parenting, Social Media, Speaking/Training, Youth Culture | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment