Social media making kids less “social”

Posted on: 02/27/17 3:28 AM | by Jonathan McKee

My friend Ryan brought this YouTube video to my attention… a creative insight into how social media is making us less “social.” It’s super short, incredibly insightful… and guarantied to provoke conversation.

Here’s the video and some followup questions to engage in meaningful conversation with your kids:

Questions you could ask Continue reading “Social media making kids less “social”” »

Engaging kids in conversations about “Stranger Things”

Posted on: 02/23/17 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

I’m loving this new Netflix Discussion page!

Yeah! Using Stranger Things to discuss Luke Chapter 11. Whodathunkit?

A few months ago we announced a brand new resource on our page … our brand new Netflix Discussions page. The page gives parents ideas for dialoguing about what they watch with their kids on Netflix.

No, we don’t expect moms and dads to sit their kids down and Continue reading “Engaging kids in conversations about “Stranger Things”” »

Terry Crews’ Porn Addiction

Posted on: 02/29/16 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Terry CrewsActor Terry Crews took a bold step this month, going public about his past addiction to porn.

Many know Crews from his acting in shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine or even his voice work in the Veggie Tales Celery Night Fever video. He’s an ex-NFL player and a role model to many.

In his vulnerable Facebook post he talks about his Continue reading “Terry Crews’ Porn Addiction” »

Fun Resources for the BIG GAME

Posted on: 02/2/16 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

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” »

3 Steps Preventing Bullying and Gossip

Posted on: 01/12/16 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee


“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” »

Top 5 Blog Posts of 2015

Posted on: 01/5/16 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

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” »

Training Your Own Volunteers

Posted on: 06/3/14 5:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

pictureIf you’re a ministry leader, what do you do to keep you leaders sharp?

It didn’t take long for me to discover that all my volunteers enjoyed two things: food and socializing. So I decided to provide both, by gathering all my volunteers together once a month for dinner, with a little dash of training and equipping. My budget was small so we just did a potluck dinner at a different house each month. We would spend the first hour just eating and enjoying each other’s company. Once we finished eating, I spent a little time teaching them about youth culture or sharpening their ministry skills.

So what kind of training can we offer our volunteers without having to bring in a professional? Continue reading “Training Your Own Volunteers” »

5 Days of Get Your Teenager Talking- DAY 5

Posted on: 04/4/14 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

talking-with-teensEach day in my blog this week I have given you a little somethin’ you can use to provoke meaningful conversations with young people. (Click here for Monday’s, Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s, or Thursday’s.) My brand new book, Get Your Teenager Talking has 180 conversation springboards that “get teenagers talking”… I thought I’d share some with you. Here’s one more:

Conversation Springboard No. 5:

Which kids are happier: those who eat whatever they want, drink alcohol, and smoke, or those who eat healthy foods and live a healthier lifestyle?

A recent study suggests an unhealthy lifestyle is linked to unhappiness. In fact, in their analysis of five thousand young people between the ages of ten and fifteen, researchers discovered Continue reading “5 Days of Get Your Teenager Talking- DAY 5” »

Please Don’t Say “Gay”

Posted on: 06/28/11 4:51 PM | by Jonathan McKee

My daughter’s friend Paige attends a public school and recently had a teacher who came out of the closet. A few weeks after announcing he was gay, the teacher asked a noble request of his students. He worded it like this:

“Can I ask you a favor? A lot of you use the word ‘gay’ a lot in the context of being ‘stupid’ or ‘dumb.’ You say, ‘That’s gay’ when something is stupid. I think that’s really offensive. I would hope that you would please stop using ‘gay’ as a synonym for these negative terms.”

Paige, a Christian, walked up to her teacher after class when he was alone and asked him:

“Can I ask you a similar favor? You use the term ‘Jesus Christ’ and ‘Oh my God’ all the time, especially when you’re mad at something or expressing dissatisfaction about an issue. That’s really offensive to me because I have a relationship with Jesus, my God, and I have utter respect for his name.”

Paige’s teacher thought about it for a moment. He finally responded, “I’ll try my best to not say Jesus Christ. But I’m not going to stop saying ‘Oh my God.'”

It’s getting more and more difficult to be a teenage Christian today. And heaven forbid if we disagree with the homosexual lifestyle. Those young people that do are in the minority.

I appreciate Paige’s boldness for a couple reasons:

1. Her approach was bold, but humble. Paige didn’t confront her teacher in front of the whole class. She didn’t do it for attention. Paige approached him because she really felt that he was being unfair to her and other believers. Paige has no problem with people who engage in homosexual acts, any more than those who gossip or engage in premarital sex. But she doesn’t think it’s fair for her teacher to ask for a consideration that he’s not willing to provide to believers.

Paige’s humble approach could have been costly. This is the man who is going to give her a grade that will be on her transcript forever. Sometime standing up for truth has a cost. A local Presbyterian church just spend 1.2 Million to remove themselves from a denomination that is going to allow gay clergy. I know the leaders in this church and some of the other pastors quoted in this article. These are godly, compassionate people who are standing firm on their beliefs… and the cost is great.

2. Paige just wants an even playing field. I don’t know if she would call it that, but Paige is experiencing something that most Christians are beginning to face today. We are being teased for our beliefs.

Yes, as Christians we need to understand a little history here. For as long as I remember, people have been unfair to homosexuals. Think about it. The homosexuals are a group who, I believe, struggle with a sexual sin. For years people have laughed, teased and made fun of homosexuals. Why haven’t we done the same with gossips? Why haven’t we teased those who have premarital sex? Why haven’t we teased those who cheat on their taxes?

Homosexuals have been mocked, ridiculed and bullied. It’s one of the great blemishes in our history.

But in the last few years the tables have turned. Over half of America now thinks that homosexuality is fine. More and more states are beginning to legalize gay marriage. And now… Christians are the ones being mocked.

Let me ask you a question: when you see a Christian portrayed on TV today… how are they portrayed? What about when you see a homosexual portrayed on TV (on every show)?

If someone makes fun of a Christian in the media, everyone laughs. If someone makes the slightest jest about gays, apologies have to be issued, and people are fired.

June is gay pride month. When is it okay to be proud about loving Jesus?

Now, even if Christians, in their freedom of speech, practice their first amendment rights to voice their disagreement with the homosexual lifestyle, they have to be EXTREMELY careful voicing their beliefs. I’m not talking about condemning homosexuals- that’s not cool. I’m talking about if a Christian just says, “I think homosexual acts are wrong.” If we simply state that belief, we’re deemed “hateful.”

I respect Paige for standing up for her belief.

What would you do in that situation?

How can we follow a Biblical model, showing compassion and love, while not compromising truth?

Do Games Still Work?

Posted on: 06/24/11 4:25 PM | by Jonathan McKee

It’s summer and a lot of youth workers are on our site searching for fun games and activities. Add to that our fun little game rating and commenting contest we’re having right now where I’m giving away 10 prizes, both DVDs and books (peek here for details).

This brings up a big question. Do games still work?

Some people seem to be casting stones at ministries who still use games. Are games a tool of the past? Do they no longer open doors?

That’s the question I asked this week in my guest post on Tim Schmoyer’s Life in Student Ministry blog… an article I titled, To Play Games or Not to Play Games. Here’s a couple snippets:

The location wasn’t anything special—a multi-purpose room of a small little church. But about 70 students, gangbangers and high school dropouts from the community were gathered, laughing, playing games and having fun.

Games? Yes, gangbangers playing games.

30 minutes later the leader told a story and began a discussion about real life issues. This week the topic was death. A student laid down in the front of the room as if in an open casket at a funeral, and friends of the teenager began coming up and giving eulogies.

The leader wrapped up by sharing the Gospel. A handful of kids checked a box on a card saying, “I’d like to talk about this more.” Three one-on-one meetings happened that week between a caring adult and students. One of the students gave his life to Christ.

Across the country I visited and entirely different venue:

Every Thursday night teenagers would gather together here. A little music, a video, then a student would come up and share their story—or testimony as some like to call it. Then the leader would open the word and share for about 25 minutes. Week after week teenagers gave their lives to Christ, grew in their faith, fellowshipped with other believers and worshipped their creator.

When I talked with the leader of the group, the subject of games somehow surfaced. “We don’t play games here!” The leader snapped. “High school kids don’t want to play games,” he continued. “They want something relevant to their lives.”

Really? Games don’t work?

Who’s right?

That’s what I seek to answer in that blog. Read it, jump in and comment.