Talking with teens about how they treat others

Posted on: 09/11/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

The same group of young people watches a boy get pushed around by a bully in gym class almost every day…

and they do nothing.

They merely “stand by.”

Some chuckle, some shake their heads. But no one does anything.

Are “bystanders” any better than the bully?

Ask the kid whose being harassed every day.

Many of you are aware that my first novel, Bystanders, just hit the shelves (in fact, you guys voted on the cover), and as promised, I just wrote a free 4 week curriculum to go with it.

The book is a sobering peek into a high school campus during a school shooting. A curious thing I’ve observed about school shootings –the dialogue that takes place as students and teachers barricade themselves in classrooms, closets etc. They don’t talk about music downloads or their favorite YouTube video. They talk about stuff that matters.

Like my Zombie book, this book uses a fictional premise to springboard meaningful conversation about real world struggles. In this case the story provokes discussion about faith, integrity… and most importantly… how we treat others.

Narratives often speak loudly to today’s young people. And this book isn’t afraid to ask some of the big questions.

The book is available on Amazon (print or Kindle) and we just posted the free discussion guide (complete with scripture and small group questions) HERE.

giving the first 100 of you my school shooting book

Posted on: 08/21/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

It’s a sobering glimpse into a high school campus through the eyes of today’s teenagers and it releases this month in print! (you know… real books with actual pages!)   🙂

This new piece of fiction is titled Bystanders, and I thought I’d give away the print version to the first 100 of my U.S. blog readers who would love to read it… with one condition: you read it.  (Sorry those outside the U.S., I love you, I honestly just can’t afford the shipping. Buy the Kindle version!)

Seriously. And if you like it Continue reading “giving the first 100 of you my school shooting book” »

The hours leading up to Jesus’ death as told by two children

Posted on: 03/30/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Okay… this is completely adorable.

Here’s the story of Easter from the perspective of two small children. It’s the Gospel story in less than three minutes on YouTube! How’s that for being relevant to today’s generation of young people!

Take a peek. Continue reading “The hours leading up to Jesus’ death as told by two children” »

Easter talks, ideas, movie clip discussions…

Posted on: 03/28/18 9:54 AM | by Jonathan McKee

It’s amazing how many FREE resources there are that can help us dialogue about Jesus this week approaching Easter.

I was just clicking through our TheSource4YM.com movie clip discussions page and watched some amazing clips (from secular movies no doubt) with CLEAR Gospel presentations or scenes begging for discussion (I still can’t believe how clear Steven Spielberg’s film Amistad presented the Gospel!!)

For those of you in ministry who are looking for impactful Easter discussions… we’ve got a bunch of free ones Continue reading “Easter talks, ideas, movie clip discussions…” »

Mom, Is Justin Bieber a Christian?

Posted on: 01/9/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

It’s a question kids are asking, and a question Moms don’t quite know how to answer.

Similar to the question, “Mom, is Chance the Rapper a Christian?” …you can’t help but wonder, who am I to even answer that question?

But it’s being asked.

Maybe we’re confused because we’ve read about Justin’s troubles with the law (from 2014 granted) or heard him singing and collaborating on some pretty worldly tracks (okay, maybe that’s a little more recent)… and then moments later we see him unashamedly dancing to worship music or posting a powerful Instagram post praising Jesus for “changing me from the inside out.” Continue reading “Mom, Is Justin Bieber a Christian?” »

I just got a facelift

Posted on: 01/4/18 3:23 AM | by Jonathan McKee

No… not my actual face…our websites!

I guess a New Year means a new look. We’ve been busy working behind the scenes to make free resources even easier for you to find. So enjoy the new look and new top bar navigation for both our PARENTS page and YOUTH MINISTRY page. If you are making a difference in the lives of kids… we want to make your job easier!

We want you to be able to get the free resources you need just a click away. So enjoy our…

Continue reading “I just got a facelift” »

Imposing our ideas of Jesus

Posted on: 12/5/17 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

A Northeastern village in Spain was the home of a magnificent fresco painting of Jesus on the church’s wall.

Time took its toll on the painting…

moisture on the wall caused it to fade.

In 2012 an elderly parishioner named Cecilia Gimenez acted on her own to restore the project… tragically failing in her attempt.

The results? Continue reading “Imposing our ideas of Jesus” »

Engaging Young People with Stranger Things

Posted on: 10/24/17 6:29 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Young people love them some Netflix… and this week they’re especially buzzing about Stranger Things, because Season 2 will be premiering this Friday… and everybody’s talking about it!

That means literally millions of people won’t be going outdoors this weekend, because they will be at home binge-watching the entire season in one sitting! That also means that many are re-binging on Season One again this week to prep for the big premiere.

Did you know that we have free discussion starters for EVERY episode of Stranger Things on our Continue reading “Engaging Young People with Stranger Things” »

Does Sexy Music Really Affect Me?

Posted on: 08/30/17 1:30 PM | by Jonathan McKee

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 Continue reading “Does Sexy Music Really Affect Me?” »

Back to School Conversations

Posted on: 08/23/17 3:03 PM | by Jonathan McKee

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 Continue reading “Back to School Conversations” »