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?

Reaching LGBTQ kids

Posted on: 05/1/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

I’m away with my wife celebrating 27 years of marriage… having a blast with her, I might add… but we’re checking email every other day and doing about 15 minutes of work those mornings (not sure if that is allowed on vacation, but we’re both doing it).

Every time I log in and check into the real world I see an article addressing something in the world of LGBTQ, like raising genderless kids, or the new bill in California that everyone is freaking out about, or churches desperately wanting to know how to reach out to kids experiencing same-sex-attraction (SSA), and yes… the event we’re launching this fall helping church leaders respond to this issue in grace and truth Continue reading “Reaching LGBTQ kids” »

Confessions of an Overweight Youth Pastor

Posted on: 03/12/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

“I was 100 pounds overweight,” he admitted. “It was effecting my ministry, my marriage… everything! So I finally decided to do something about it.”

Overweight. It’s not a word we use much on Sunday mornings, but it’s all too common. Maybe even more common in the world of youth ministry. (How many French fry conversations and pizza nights can one person have?)

That’s probably why Josh’s story moved me. So I asked him to share it with us. It’s a success story and I think it will be an inspiration to all of you Continue reading “Confessions of an Overweight Youth Pastor” »

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?” »

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” »

building into young people during their gap year

Posted on: 08/9/17 9:32 PM | by Jonathan McKee

What do Chick-Fil-A, rapper Trip Lee and Sean McDowell have in common?

All three captivated my attention last weekend… and I think you’ll find ‘why’ fascinating.

Let me back up. For the last decade the youth ministry world has been wrestling with a tough question—one that parents are asking just the same:

Why are so many kids walking away from their faith during/after high school?

Continue reading “building into young people during their gap year” »

Men really hate solitude

Posted on: 04/11/17 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

This week as I read about Jesus’ final hours, I can’t help but notice how often He went alone for some time of solitude to pray.

Men hate getting alone to just be quiet!

I think you’ll be surprised to discover exactly how much they hate it.

I’m co-writing a book right now with my friend Curt Steinhorst about capturing attention in a world full of distractions, and we devote an entire chapter to finding solitude, turning off the noise and actually allowing ourselves to process.

Men don’t do this naturally. Continue reading “Men really hate solitude” »

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” »

Where kids actually adopt their values

Posted on: 03/28/17 10:38 AM | by Jonathan McKee

“My 16-year-old wants Instagram and I won’t let her have it. Is that bad?”

It was an honest question from a mom after one of my recent parent workshops.

“Why don’t you let her have Instagram?”I asked.

“Well… it’s social media, and that’s bad… right?” She replied indecisively.

“When she’s 18 and she goes off to college, do you think she’ll get it?” Continue reading “Where kids actually adopt their values” »

A remarkable man

Posted on: 03/14/17 3:46 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Last weekend I encountered a man so remarkable, the experience was life changing.

I didn’t expect it. I was visiting Maui by myself for the quickest trip to the island I’ve ever had, there and back in just a weekend for a friend’s wedding (not the choice way to do Maui). The ceremony was ocean-side in the beautiful Kahanu Gardens in Hana, a truly precarious drive, but breathtaking scenery.

As we were waiting for the ceremony to begin… this man caught my eye.

He was Hawaiian with a chiseled jaw, a tribal tattoo on his left cheek, and his grey hair pulled back tightly into a bun. He was probably one of the eldest people at the wedding, but no doubt one of the most physically strong. He was perfectly composed Continue reading “A remarkable man” »