The Sex Talk Your Kids Hear Every Day

Sex-messagesYour kids hear sex talks every day.

The question is, are you the one giving the talk?

It happens every time I bring up the subject of sex around parents. Parents always say, “Oh, I had that talk with Taylor last summer.”

I always want to reply, “Do you realize how many times Taylor has heard ‘the talk’ since then… on Netflix, YouTube and Google?” Continue reading “The Sex Talk Your Kids Hear Every Day” »

Posted in Parenting, Sexuality, Youth Culture | Leave a comment

Sex and Valentines Day

between the sheetsValentines Day is rapidly approaching, romance is in the air, and there’s no better time to talk with today’s young people about sexual intimacy, specifically the “sexpectations” that many young people face around this holiday.

Don’t worry, we’ve got some helpful resources for you to have these conversations, both for YOUTH WORKERS and PARENTS Continue reading “Sex and Valentines Day” »

Posted in Books, Parenting, Sexuality, Youth Culture, Youth Ministry Planning | Leave a comment

Fun Resources for the BIG GAME

super bowl quizIt’s almost Super Bowl time… and that means our annual BIG GAME Quiz!

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 HERE). This quiz is a fun little party game you can use at your Super Bowl party at your church or your home. People fill out the quiz as they enter your party, predicting scores, catches, runs, etc., then you fill out the results during the game and tally up the winner (and PLEASE… remember to tally up the answers during the game because that’s how the quiz works). Continue reading “Fun Resources for the BIG GAME” »

Posted in Discussion Ideas, TV, Youth Ministry Planning | 1 Comment

Recruiting Volunteers… in Hawaii?

Maui-train-volunteersLori and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this week, and that’s why I was pretty excited when the county of Maui booked my dad and I to teach a workshop on the island this Friday on mobilizing the power and passion of a New Breed of volunteers (we’ll be teaching this same workshop to church leaders in Colorado late September at Group Publishing).

I love teaching workshops on this subject with my dad based on our book, The New Breed. My dad talks about harnessing the power and passion of Baby Boomers, and I talk about understanding and mobilizing the younger generation Continue reading “Recruiting Volunteers… in Hawaii?” »

Posted in Marriage, Personal, Speaking/Training | 1 Comment

CONNECT with Smartphone Obsessed Kids

Old Brick Cell Phone SHORTRemember when cell phones looked like this?

This little baby came out in 1983 for $3,999, had a 30-minute talk time, and took 10 hours to charge.

The crazy thing is… today most parents probably wish their kids just owned one of these old brick cell phones instead of a smartphone!!! Think how much easier it would be!

Can I hear an Amen?!!

Connect-Smartphone-Kid-WORKSHOPI’m really excited about my brand new parenting workshop, CONNECT with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kids.

The book comes out this summer, and both the book and the workshop help parents discover everyday settings where their kids put their mobile devices aside and engage in good ol’ face-to-face conversation.

I don’t know many parents who aren’t struggling with this reality– their kids distancing themselves with technology. I have definitely experienced this firsthand as a parent and a youth worker. And I’m not alone noting some growing concerns. The good news is… it’s not too late! Today’s kids crave interaction and Mom and Dad can still provide that.

If you’d like to bring this workshop to your church or community, contact me and let’s get it in my calendar for 2016/2017!

Posted in Books, Parenting, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Speaking/Training | Leave a comment

3 Steps Preventing Bullying and Gossip


“Lord, will you please help all the kids who are bullied around the world.”

That was my nephew’s prayer.

A few years ago I wrote a vulnerable article about bullying- Voices of the Bullied- sharing the story of my past and trying to garner some sense out of the experience. In that article I noted: there’s a lot of people talking about bullying… who haven’t been bullied. Continue reading “3 Steps Preventing Bullying and Gossip” »

Posted in Bullying/Cyberbullying, Discussion Ideas, Self Image | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Top Books of 2015

All-Jonathans-Books-WIDEWe’ve been looking back at the best of 2015 for the last few weeks, with a peek at last year’s music, then the top blog posts.

I always find it interesting to see which of our books people resonate with each year. This year was intriguing.

I’ve written 18 books, all available on this page. 11 are youth ministry books, 4 specifically for parents, and 3 for teenagers. I’ve partnered with others for 4 of these books: Doug Fields, David R. Smith and my dad.

Two of these Continue reading “Top Books of 2015” »

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Top 5 Blog Posts of 2015

top-5-blogs-collageIt’s always fun to see what posts resonate with readers each year, as well as which ones draw traffic from the search engines (this 2011 post titled, “Dad, Can I Go to the Homecoming Dance” still draws significant traffic).

Looking back at 2015, here are the top 5 posts from my blog that drew the most traffic from my readers this year.

Click on each title to read the entire post:

From SnapChat to Tappy
Posted on January 20, 2015

It’s called Tappy. It’s the newest app acquired by Tinder, and the buzz is that it’s Continue reading “Top 5 Blog Posts of 2015” »

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Top Tunes of 2015

2015-music-coversAs 2015 comes to an end, it’s always intriguing to look back at what young people were listening to.

Many of you may remember exactly how much young people value music from our recent Youth Culture Window article about entertainment media saturation. In this article we not only learned that today’s teens spend about 9 hours a day soaking in entertainment media and technology, but also that they sited music as their favorite media activity, devoting 1 hours and 54 minute per day to their favorite tunes (Common Sense Media, page 18).

The question you might ask is, “What are their favorite tunes?”

Here they are, all the No. 1’s of 2015, in our brand new Youth Culture Window article. These are the songs that made it all the way to the top… and then some tips on how we can dialogue with our kids about them.

CLICK HERE: Mature Messages in Today’s Music

Posted in Entertainment Media, Music | Leave a comment

Best Movie of the Decade

starwars-fa posterI just saw the best movie I’ve seen in a decade… twice!

For those who have been following my Insta or Twitter… you’ve been hearing little blips of my excitement about the new Star Wars film that premiered this weekend. I went with my son on opening day (official opening day, Friday… I’m getting too old for midnight premiers), and then again with my girls the next day.

Sooooooooo good!

It was so fun, not only as a 45-year-old man who saw the original Star Wars as a kid back in 1977, but also as a parent now seeing this film 37 years later with my own teens.

But don’t let me lead you astray; this film isn’t Continue reading “Best Movie of the Decade” »

Posted in Movies, Personal | 2 Comments