Who’s Your Timothy?

Posted on: 07/14/15 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-father-son-jetty-sat-image31379935About 25 years ago I volunteered as a small group leader in the high school ministry of my church. It was there I met my friend Lorin, a man in his twenties who was discipling three teenage boys.

We love to throw that word “discipling” around, so let me describe precisely what Lorin did. Lorin met with these three teens once a week, encouraging them, praying with them, and studying the Bible-with these three he chose the books of I and II Timothy. After some time, the boys were so inspired by the teachings of II Timothy that they decided to memorize it… the whole book! So Lorin and the three boys Continue reading “Who’s Your Timothy?” »

Recruiting Your Volunteer Dream Team

Posted on: 05/21/15 9:42 AM | by Jonathan McKee

pictureHave you ever sat in church on a Sunday morning, looked around the room and coveted volunteers?

Okay, maybe it’s just me. I’ll notice a young couple I know sitting across the isle who are fun, relevant and on fire for God. All I can think of is…

“They’d be perfect youth ministry volunteers!
Middle schoolers would love these two!!!”

And then what do we usually do? We shake our head and say, “I wish they would sign up to help.”

And that is where we usually fail. Continue reading “Recruiting Your Volunteer Dream Team” »

Developing Student Leaders

Posted on: 05/7/15 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Mom and Teenager TalkingThis week I received a great question in the form of a tweet, one I’ve been asked repeatedly about mentoring young people.

Youth pastor Brandon asked me about developing today’s student leaders. He finished reading my book, Ministry By Teenagers, and was challenged by my emphasis to provide an adult mentor for each student leader. His specific question was Continue reading “Developing Student Leaders” »

10 Things That Made Me Pause in Uganda

Posted on: 09/22/14 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Uganda-childI’m in my second week of my visit here to Kampala. Three days left. We’ve done three full days of training, I’ve spoke at several schools, met with youth workers, preached three services yesterday (three 2-hour services… a little longer than I’m used to. Wow!), and spoke at an Anglican conference that brought people from all over the region. It’s been a crazy week… with some amazing moments!

Here’s 10 things that caused me to pause and take notice in Uganda: Continue reading “10 Things That Made Me Pause in Uganda” »

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” »

American Idol’s Spiritual Advisor

Posted on: 02/24/14 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

American Idol JudgesAmerican Idol is still captivating American audiences, and this season the show has brought a new adviser backstage to act as a “life coach” for the young Idol hopefuls… a Christian counselor who has been helping NASCAR drivers since 1999.

Let’s be honest, it’s not easy to find good clean family programming on that big television screen in our living room. There’s Duck Dynasty… and there’s… uh… hmmm… hold on… give me a minute and I’m sure I’ll think of something!

My family has really liked American Idol over the years, but sadly, at times the show has brought in mentors whose actions were a little questionable– like the time Continue reading “American Idol’s Spiritual Advisor” »

Discipling Teenagers

Posted on: 08/7/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

In the nineties youth ministry was so focused on ‘effective outreach,’ often ‘effective spiritual growth’ was moved to the back burner.

This went on for about a decade, until the church had to begin doing triage with kids who had been raised in the church, but never discipled to own their own faith.

Now the most common questions I hear from youth workers and parents are Continue reading “Discipling Teenagers” »

3 Best Practices Developing Young Leaders

Posted on: 07/15/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

I just heard my friend Doug Fields share three “best practices” developing young leaders helpful not only in the context of youth ministry, but also in the context of parenting.

Doug is a big believer in developing young leaders. In all three cities of his SLC2013 Conference this year, he pulled the adult leaders aside and prepped them for what they could do to help their students glean as much as possible from this leadership event. In this little face to face meeting, Doug shared 3 “Best Practices” adult leaders could make a habit of, not only at this conference, but this entire year, developing young leaders Continue reading “3 Best Practices Developing Young Leaders” »

Motivating Young People to Get Involved

Posted on: 06/24/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

WHY do young people get involved?

HOW do you get them involved?

What should we NOT do, when trying to get young people involved?

In this short and highly informative YouTube video from last year’s The Summit conference (from Youth Cartel), DoSomething.org’s Marah Lidey gives us examples of how they have engaged literally hundreds of thousands of young people to Continue reading “Motivating Young People to Get Involved” »

Students We Call “Orphans”

Posted on: 06/19/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

I always enjoy hearing from youth workers who used the free “Connect” training we provide on the FREE TRAINING TOOLS page on our website. Also referred to as “The Sticky-notes Training,” this little exercise is a fun training where you hand each of your leaders a stack of sticky-notes, encourage them to write down the kids they know and then stick them up on a wall on my “Six Types of Kids” graph (a process I outline in my Connect book, and provide a free ppt and video demonstrating it on our website).

A youth worker named Dave just tried the “sticky-notes” exercise with his team and discovered a group of kids they called youth ministry “orphans.”

Dave writes:

I bought your book Connect a few years ago when it first came out and used the accompanying powerpoint training with my staff and interns back in 2010. It was very effective stuff. As you know it is so easy to get caught up in the “doing” part and underemphasize the relational part of stumin, and that’s where we found ourselves Continue reading “Students We Call “Orphans”” »