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. Continue reading “Is evangelism shrinking across the U.S.” »
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” »
“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” »
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?” »
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” »
Posted in Entertainment Media, Faith, Leadership, Travel, Youth Culture | Tags: chick-fil-A, Christian Education, Impact 360, kingdom influence, sean McDowell, transformed, trip lee | Leave A Comment
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” »
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:
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” »
Posted in Church, Faith, Family, Parenting, Youth Culture | Tags: answers to tough questions, apologetics, christian faith, doubt, faith, parenting, skeptics, teenage doubters | Leave A Comment
“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” »
Posted in Faith, Jonathan's Rant, Parenting, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Social Media | Tags: bonding, boundaries, helicopter parenting, parenting, parenting teenagers, rebellion, rules, smartphone rules, teaching values | Leave A Comment
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” »