Teenage Tech Advice

Posted on: 06/17/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Last week I had the privilege of teaching at Doug Field’s 2013 Student Leadership Conference in Dallas (the next two are in July). Wednesday night when I arrived, I interviewed a bunch of student leaders, recording their answers for my “Lure of the Glowing Screen” workshop.

I asked these student leaders the following question: What advice would you give to a young person if they just got a new iPhone for Christmas?

Here are some of the answers I received:

“Don’t drop it!”

“Don’t let it become an idol in your life. You need to honor God first.”

“You gotta be careful with Continue reading “Teenage Tech Advice” »

The Lure of the Glowing Screen

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

I’m going to bribe you for your input! (WINNERS posted below)

I’m really excited about the two new workshops I’m developing for SLC2013… and I’d love your feedback. (So much, in fact, that I’ll choose two people who comment in this post and give them each a free copy of any one of my books).

I’m really excited about this event. It’s Doug Fields Student Leadership Conference in three cities this summer. I’m speaking there, along with Doug, Josh Griffin, The Skit Guys, Jim Burns, Duffy… and more. It’s 48 hours of Continue reading “The Lure of the Glowing Screen” »

800 Youth Leaders

Posted on: 04/17/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Last weekend was a lot of fun for multiple reasons… but one of the big ones was my time hanging with over 800 youth workers at the YS Palooza event I taught at in Philly on Saturday. Allow me a minute to brag about Youth Specialties (YS) real quick.

I don’t work for YS. I speak at a lot of their conferences, and have written a handful of books published by them… but I’m just a “hired gun,” so to speak. As a guy who speaks at a lot of different conferences and events, I have to commend YS for the amazing job they are doing helping the front line youth worker.

Take last Saturday for example. At this event they brought in Continue reading “800 Youth Leaders” »

Tickets for Two in Southern CA

Posted on: 04/8/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

This May will be the second year I’ll be speaking at the FAM Conference May 16-18th with my friends Doug Fields and Jim Burns at Azusa Pacific University in Southern California. I’ve got an exclusive discount for all of you and two FREE registrations to this amazing 3-day event! (WINNER POSTED BELOW)

I’m thrilled to be a part of this innovative conference again this year. I’ll be teaching the parenting track, and Doug and I will actually be releasing our brand new workbook helping parents set realistic rules and boundaries in the home, Should I Just SMASH My Kid’s Phone! I’ll also be teaching a brand new workshop on the same subject as one of the Super Seminars.

The conference offers something for everyone Continue reading “Tickets for Two in Southern CA” »

Getting People to Open Up

Posted on: 12/17/12 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Sometimes it’s hard to get people to open up in a group setting. In these situations, nothing proves more effective than a creative question.

“If you had to have the exact same meal for the next twelve months… what would you choose?”

It’s amazing how fun questions provoke people to open up.

These questions might simply begin with: “Lets go around the circle and each of us share…”

I’ve done it with teenagers in small group settings:

“Let’s go around the circle and each share our high and low of the week.”

“If you could repeat any day of your life, what would that be?”

“If you could go back in time to before you went to high school/junior high and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?”

I’ve done it with my own kids:  (15, 17 and 19)

“If you could go on vacation anywhere and bring just one person, where would you choose and who would you bring?”

“If you could have one superpower, what would you choose and what would you use it for?”

“What was the last thing you cried about?”

I’ve done it with adults at a board meeting or Bible study:

“Let’s go around the circle and each share your name and something about the shoes you’re wearing.”

“If you were stuck in an elevator for 24 hours with one person, who would you like that person to be?”

“Describe your most embarrassing moment.”

These little discussion questions seem to always bring a laugh and give everyone a little peak into each other’s lives.

What about you? What are some of your favorite questions to ask in these scenarios?

Will Young People Actually Vote?

Posted on: 10/22/12 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

In 2008, the answer was a definite “yes.”

In 2012… yawnnot so much.

No one would deny the impact that young voters had on the 2008 election. Fast Company, in their April 2009 issue, named Facebook’s co-founder Chris Hughes, “The Kid Who Made Obama President.” Chris used Facebook to help get young people excited about Obama.

In November 2008, young people rushed to the voting booths, and two thirds of millennial voters (18-30) voted for Obama.

You might remember the history of that past election. Technology was a big part in wooing young voters. In February 2007 Obama officially declared his candidacy, launching MyBarackOboma.com, a social networking site with about 2 million profiles and 35,000 volunteer groups that planned 200,000 offline events.

In May 2007 the campaign took over a grassroots Obama fan page on MySpace with 100,000 followers. It grew to 3.2 million supporters Continue reading “Will Young People Actually Vote?” »

Do What You Say You’re Gonna Do

Posted on: 09/14/12 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Wow. I’m a little disappointed in humanity right now. Scratch that… let me be more specific. I’m a little frustrated with my fellow Christians right now.

A little while ago my friend Doug Fields and I Tweeted to our followers asking if there were any youth workers in the Horn Lake/Walls, MS area, just south of Memphis who would be interested in connecting with a kid that needed to be reached out to. Our friend Mark Matlock even connected us with a pastor who knew many people from the area, and he too started asking for help.

I’ll keep it short: Most youth pastors didn’t even return our phone calls, and of three guys that I started a dialogue with about it… they didn’t even return our emails. Several of these guys even told me Continue reading “Do What You Say You’re Gonna Do” »

“I Hate Recruiting” Contest

Posted on: 09/4/12 12:18 PM | by Jonathan McKee

It’s time for me to give away a few copies of my new book about recruiting & keeping volunteers! (WINNERS POSTED AT BOTTOM OF POST)

If you’re involved in church leadership, then you know the power of volunteers. You also are familiar with the daunting task of recruiting volunteers to hang out with kids, to teach Sunday School… to clean up after the junior high banana split night!

We’d all probably love more volunteers… but how do you ask? Besides, what if they say “no.”

I hate rejection.

Sadly, that fear of recruiting (and rejection) often keeps us from asking people to become involved in our ministries.

So let’s have a quick contest. Continue reading ““I Hate Recruiting” Contest” »

Recruiting Help is Still Changing

Posted on: 08/29/12 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Five years ago this fall we released the first edition of The New Breed, claiming that volunteers are different… and the way we recruit and manage them needs to be different. Any youth worker, children’s worker, or volunteer manager of any kind probably has noticed that. Maybe that’s why The New Breed is my top selling book on Amazon right now.

Interestingly enough… things have changed exponentially in 5 years, changes that are affecting all of us and calling for an even greater up-to-date leadership. To be ahead of these changes, we have just released the second edition of The New Breed. Here’s an excerpt:

Today’s volunteer doesn’t need a dayplanner, a watch, a computer, or even a landline…they just need a smartphone.

What is next? Real-time hologram projections of my board members at our board meetings?

I almost hesitate to write about technology, in fear that by the time it goes to print it will already be out of date. You’d be amazed if you saw how much we had to already totally revamp the technology chapter for the second edition of the book. So much has changed in just 5 years. For example: Continue reading “Recruiting Help is Still Changing” »

The Final 2 Principles for Newbie Youth Pastors

Posted on: 08/15/12 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

How should a brand new youth pastor begin his or her job in ministry? That’s the subject we’ve been talking about in my last few blog posts, starting with your advice to “Neal Newbie.” Then I suggested there were 5 principles for “Neal Newbie” to consider. I shared the first principle here, and then two more.

Today, I provide the final two:

 4.    Demo Some Ministry Models

I recently bought a kayak from a small canoe and kayak shop near my church. When I asked them which kayak was for me, they basically answered, “I don’t know, why don’t you demo a bunch and tell us what works for you?” This little shop has a ‘demo’ program where you put a down payment down, then you get to try out any kayak you like and see what works for you. The reasoning behind this is because each person is so different it would be hard for a kayak salesperson to sell the same kayak to every person, male, female, tall, short, muscular… and not! There is no ‘one kayak’ that works for everyone.

If only people realized that in youth ministry. Just because a basketball program worked at your last church doesn’t mean the same program will work with these kids in this neighborhood, in this building, with these volunteers.

After a youth pastor asks questions of the pastor, the leaders, and the kids (Principle #1 and #2), he or she should Continue reading “The Final 2 Principles for Newbie Youth Pastors” »