Is evangelism shrinking across the U.S.

Posted on: 09/13/18 12:01 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Which states in the U.S. are full of the most committed Christians… and which aren’t?

And how are those numbers changing?

Many of us have read articles about the decreasing amount of believers in the U.S.– like this fascinating Washington Post article a few years back displaying 22 different maps of various religious groups and their influence in the U.S., or this one about weekly church attendance.

I find it interesting to see how this translates to youth ministry.

For example: I swung through Denver yesterday after spending the day with Focus on the Family in Co Springs… and I connected with one of my favorite friends in the youth ministry world, Greg Stier, passionate follower of Jesus and founder of Dare2Share Ministries, an organization who is really doing something about trying to reverse those numbers. Dare 2 Share is launching their Dare 2 Share Live event in about 30 days from now. On October 13 there will be 99 satellite sites FILLED with thousands upon thousands of teenagers getting trained, equipped and unleashed for the gospel! (It’s really cool, check it out HERE and find the site closest to you-  you won’t want to let your youth group miss this one of a kind event!)

On Greg’s Dare 2 Share Live webpage they show a map of where youth ministries have responded hosting this event. Check it out:

Obviously this doesn’t necessarily dictate where true believers are… but do you notice the resemblance to most the U.S. religious landscape maps?

As a resident of California and a frequent speaker in the Pacific Northwest, I’m really hoping to see more Idaho, Montana, and Oregon churches- to name a few- getting involved in evangelism opportunities like this.

Where is your church on this map?

Maybe you should connect with Dare2Share and become a part of this?

How to Lose Volunteers Quickly

Posted on: 02/15/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

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 Continue reading “How to Lose Volunteers Quickly” »

Alone

Posted on: 04/24/17 8:09 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Yesterday I sat in a restaurant on my drive back from a speaking engagement and voices grew loud behind me.

“You don’t understand!”

“I understand perfectly. You’re failing.”

The voices were growing loud enough that people at other tables were pausing and awkwardly looking over at the commotion.

I snuck a glance. A teenage boy, probably 16 or 17-years-old, was typing on his phone, trying his best to ignore his mom while she sat across the table from him with her arms crossed Continue reading “Alone” »

When Teens Doubt

Posted on: 04/4/17 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

It’s sad, but I hear it more and more each year.

Every weekend at my parent workshops I get at least one question about it… and I constantly receive emails asking the same thing:

What do I do when my teenager tells me they don’t believe in God?

Here’s an email I just received:

Jonathan,

Thank you for all the wonderful ideas and advice! We are taking it all to heart in raising our teens. The question I have is, how do you apply these strategies in your book with a 16 year old who has decided she doesn’t believe in God the way you’ve taught her? She is not going to have the same moral compass you’re wanting her to make decisions from . . . Continue reading “When Teens Doubt” »

Poor Leadership 101

Posted on: 11/23/15 6:54 AM | by Jonathan McKee

No-KidsThe youth ministry was fizzling out and no one knew why.

It was as simple as this: kids weren’t meeting Jesus, and the ones that already knew Jesus weren’t growing. As a result the group had sputtered and was on the verge of dying.

If it were a horse it would have been put down.

This past year I have had the opportunity to spend time with Continue reading “Poor Leadership 101” »

How Christians React to the Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage

Posted on: 07/7/15 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

The dust (and pink confetti) is slowly settling since the June 26th Supreme Court decision to legalize same sex marriage in all 50 states. The question is, how are Christians responding?

Barna released a fascinating glimpse last week revealing that not only Americans, but different denominations land all over the spectrum on this issue. For example, 53% of Catholics favor the Supreme Court’s decision (strongly or somewhat), where only 2% of Barna’s definition of an Evangelical favor the decision. At the same time, most the country seems to agree this decision was inevitable.

Barna breaks it down nicely on this chart Continue reading “How Christians React to the Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage” »

Growing After Graduation

Posted on: 05/12/15 8:44 AM | by Jonathan McKee

growing-in-faithRemember all that hype about the 5%?

I think I heard it like this. “Do you know that only 5% of Christian students actually keep their faith when they graduate from high school?”

Really? 5%?

Someone said it once, printed it, and it became “research.” I’ve heard all kinds of numbers, some of them unbelievable, some of them from solid research and really sobering. But numbers aside, anyone who has worked in youth ministry for any length of time can attest to one undeniable truth: too many kids walk away from their faith, stop plugging in with other believers or stop attending church after high school.

So that begs the question, how do we help kids grow in their faith so they continue their faith journey, growing and fellowshipping after graduation? Continue reading “Growing After Graduation” »

Tim Hawkins Greatest Bits

Posted on: 04/7/14 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Christian Comedian Tim Hawkins kills me!

I first heard him at an event we spoke at together. He had the crowd rolling on the floor! Tim’s really good at helping us laugh at ourselves. Hilarious.

In December he put out a greatest hits DVD… the first 6 minutes are on YouTube. I couldn’t resist sharing this with you.

(Click here for the video if you can’t see it embedded)

He has the DVD available on his site.

Posted in Church, Humor |  | Leave A Comment

Shame on us

Posted on: 03/26/14 4:26 PM | by Jonathan McKee

THE WORLD VISION SAME SEX DECISIONS AND THE REPERCUSSIONS

Interesting… I was halfway through writing this blog Wednesday and everything flipped on its head. If you missed the scoop, here’s the skinny:

–       A few days ago international world relief organization World Vision decided to “hire gay Christians in same sex marriages.”

–       In response, evangelical Christians began pulling their support for World Vision, which, according to some sources with contacts at World Vision, resulted in thousands of children losing their sponsorships.

–       Then late Wednesday, March 26th, World Vision reversed its decision, posting, “We failed to be consistent with World Vision U.S.’s commitment to the traditional understanding of Biblical marriage and our own statement of faith.”

It’s sad to see how these events are polarizing people. I have just two things to say Continue reading “Shame on us” »

The Kids Outside the Gates

Posted on: 10/10/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Here’s a puzzle to solve. No, it’s not a riddle or a mind bender. It’s a true ministry dilemma sure to spark discussion among people with a passion for ministry  (Which is the exact type of ‘case study’ I liked to always drop in the laps of my leadership team).

When I was in Uganda I visited a youth group made up primarily of international students from a certain private school. The kids were mixed racially and Continue reading “The Kids Outside the Gates” »