A month ago my friends Adam, Marko and I launched an intriguing project with no clue as to how people would respond. I wrote an atypical little discussion-starting tool, in the guise of a fiction book titled, The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenagers. It released about 30 days ago now, and I’m truly amazed at the variety of ways people have been using the fictional premise within those pages to get kids talking about real life issues.
The shocker… I haven’t heard one complaint yet! (Even all of the reviews on Amazon are off the charts. Usually a few stink bombs are dropped.) Instead, we’re getting bulk orders from churches. The D6 Conventions and YS Conventions are even stocking the books in their stores.
My favorite part of this is hearing feedback from the front lines. Here’s just Continue reading “Opening the Doors of Dialogue… with an Unusual Tool” »
My daughter Ashley wanted to do something a little different for her 16th birthday party with her friends, so I reached into my old youth ministry toolkit (TheSource4YM.com) and planned something just a little different than the same ol’ same ol.’ We called it the “Great Hunt.”
It was a blast! (I embedded the video below)
We didn’t tell her friends anything in advance other than Continue reading “iPhone Scavenger Hunt” »
“Long boring sermons just don’t work.”
It was the one common denominator on almost everyone’s paper. I just spent two weeks speaking to young people and training youth workers in Uganda… and their kids are just like ours.
The training workshops were particularly revealing. We started each session breaking up into groups, brainstorming ideas on a large piece of paper, listing ministry practices that were working… and also models that, sadly, weren’t working. Then we discussed each item in detail, speculating why, and learning from each others’ successes and failures.
Despite our many differences, I was amazed at the similarity between Uganda and American Continue reading “Boring Them to Death” »
It’s really been sad watching the downward spiral of Miley over the last 5 years. I say that with sincerity, as the father of two girls who used to watch the Hannah Montana show. It’s sad seeing a childhood hero make decisions that hurl a wrecking ball through her life.
Miley gets completely naked in her newest music video Wrecking Ball, in true iTunes “clean” style, never showing the few inches of real estate that would result in an explicit label. She just rides the wrecking ball naked, licking a sledgehammer while singing “all you ever did was wreck me.” The video has Continue reading “Miley’s Wrecking Ball” »
The night I arrived back to the US after two weeks from Uganda, I had a dream.
I was playing soccer (football, if we’re in Uganda) and was the left wing—that’s the forward on the left side. My friend Marko was my goalie and he kicked a beautiful kick up the left side, right in front of me, yelling, “Jonathan, go!” It was a clear opportunity for me to score.
This is one of those moves professional players can do with ease, but you’ve seen amateurs blow a thousand times. It takes the skills of controlling an incoming ball while running, not a simple task, by any means. It’s a skill I remember drilling Continue reading “Missing the Ball” »
Youth Specialties recently released a 7 minute YouTube video with my 5 Steps for Connecting with Teenagers training as a part of their resourceful little YS Idea Lab videos.
This is the perfect little training video to show to your youth ministry team or other adult mentors who want to connect with teenagers:
As you watch this, I am teaching this to youth workers in Uganda. Please pray for my last few days here.
This teaching comes form my book Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation. CLICK HERE if you’re interested in bringing me to come speak or train in your area.
Do you ever wonder if teenagers are the same across the globe?
I’ve been in the city of Kampala, Uganda almost a week now hanging with teenagers, parents, and youth workers. I’ve spoken at several youth events, taught a parent workshop, and spent four full days (so far) training and interacting with youth workers (two days of training to go). It’s been a wild ride… literally!
I think you’ll be intrigued by Continue reading “The Infiltration of US Culture” »
You’d think the recent news about SnapChat would be enough to finally convince parents to step in and hit the DELETE button, right?
So why is it 74 percent of parents are simply sticking their heads in the sand and just “hoping for the best”?
Most of us already knew this popular mobile app SnapChat was dangerous for young people. If you read my warnings about the app long ago, then you realized it was not only a convenient little tool for sexting, but it also provided teenagers with a false sense of “lack of accountability.” The pictures “vanish”… don’t they?
A recent lawsuit amongst the SnapChat creators has revealed Continue reading “SnapChat and the Ostrich Parent” »
As you read this, I’ve probably just landed in Uganda. That means the worst part of the trip is over (29 hours of flights) and the exciting part begins!
A few weeks ago I told you about this opportunity to train youth workers and parents in Kampala, Uganda. I’ll be spending the next two weeks hanging out with African youth workers, dialoguing with them about ministry, and then teaching my CONNECT workshop and how to Continue reading “Arrived in Uganda” »
Oh… this is good. If you haven’t seen this yet, you’ve gotta try this little 80’s gaming flashback. Try this:
1. Pick any YouTube video. (An individual video – not channel videos)
2. Play it, then pause.
3. Click somewhere outside the video.
4. Type 1980. Enjoy what happens next.
5. Tweet/share this post with everyone!
Thanks to Ed Stetzer for the find.