Highs and Lows

This past weekend Lori and I packed up my girls (Alec had to work) and took them with us to the National Youth Workers Convention (NYWC) down in San Diego, about an 8-hour drive south of us.

As always, the weekend was rewarding on so many levels… here’s just some random highlights for me personally… and a lowpoint.


Lunch with Greg Stier: Our first day there, the four of us connected with my good friend Greg Stier for lunch. You have to know Greg or have heard him speak to understand what a blessing he is. Greg ministered to the four of us more than he will ever know in that hour lunchtime.

Worship on Sunday morning: On Sunday morning, NYWC provided a 1 hour worship service featuring the band Brilliance, with David Gungor, who apparently is Michael Gungor’s little brother. Amazing time of worship. I was moved and so glad that Lori and my two girls could experience it as well. There’s something about being in a room with a couple thousand youth workers praising God… a true glimpse, I’m sure, of what it will be like in Heaven. In this service, we also got to hear…

Mark Matlock’s message: Mark shared for just 10 minutes, and it was just what I needed to hear: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12 NIV)” In short, when we put our hope in the pursuit of temporary accomplishments (If I only get this, then I’ll be satisfied…), then we’ll be disappointed, but when we set our hope on the eternal kingdom, then our needs will be fulfilled. Thanks Mark! Great talk!

Stacked: Greg Stier told us, “Last night I had the best burger I’ve ever eaten at a place called Stacked.” Those who follow my Twitter got the highlights as we tried it out, placing our order on an ipad… and agreed with Greg 100%!

Coffee with Josh: Josh is a youth worker from Kansas who connected with me over coffee… except that neither of us drank coffee. We just enjoyed talking about ministry. He encouraged me for providing the free resources and training we provide on www.TheSource4YM.com and thanked me specifically for the sticky note training idea, something that really helped his team. Thanks Josh! Good times!

Teaching my workshops: One of the favorite parts of my ministry is teaching a room full of youth workers. NYWC provided two opportunities for me to do this, and I absolutely loved it. Great groups in both of my workshops. I look forward to teaching the same workshops at Dallas NYWC.

Seeing so many friends from around the US: I can’t believe how many friends I got to see or connect with even for just a few minutes: Jim Burns, Les Christie, Doug Fields, Walt Mueller, Jim Hancock, Joel Lusz, John Ferguson, Marko, Adam McLane… too many to name!

In Line with Patti: My daughter and I were standing at the line at the NYWC book store and when it was our turn, the lady at the counter told me, “You’re my idol!” My daughter Alyssa pointed to me and said, “Him????” As if to say, “Really?”  🙂  Patti spent the next five minutes thanking me for my blog and our free resources. She was so sweet. Thanks Patti. Your encouragement means so much! I’m glad to be a resource to ya!

Disneyland: A youth worker named David hooked me up with free Disneyland tickets, so my family stopped at Disneyland on the way down to NYWC. It was awesome. The lines were short and the weather was perfect. Thanks so much David!!!

THE LOW OF THE WEEKEND… for our 1,000+ mile drive. Only one bad element this weekend… a picture tells 1,000 words.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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4 Responses to Highs and Lows

  1. Patti says:

    You just made my day!!!!

  2. Joel Lusz says:

    Great article, as always, Jonathan! Great seeing you, too and, yes, Stacked was awesome (I ate there three times!). Keep in touch my friend and keep running! BTW, I really enjoyed meeting your girls. You’re a model for those of us walking in your footsteps!

    • Thanks Joel! It’s always great to see my brotha from the other coast. Glad to see that you were enjoying running in California, the coast without humidity!!!! 🙂 My girls had a great time meeting you. I look forward to connecting again.