Are games actually effective in youth ministry?

Posted on: 09/25/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

It’s an interesting question, coming from a guy who has over 1000 free game ideas for youth workers on the brand new TheSource4YM.com

But honestly… that’s why I asked the question. Because our GAMES & ICEBREAKERS page is our most hit page on the website, and I want to make sure that youth ministries aren’t “just playing games”… I’m hoping that games serve as a springboard to meaningful conversation.

That’s why on our newly revamped website (have you seen it… it’s literally only been up a few days now), I put our newest FREE TRAINING VIDEO, a YouTube video titled, “Are Games Effective in Youth Ministry” right there on the side bar in hopes that visitors to our page will click and be challenged by what I ask them:

So if you’re in youth ministry, what about you?

Why do you use games? What’s your purpose?

If Dr. Seuss was in youth ministry

Posted on: 08/30/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Earlier this week I was looking through the archives of the articles I wrote to youth workers back in the days… really fun looking through it all. I found this little gem from April of 2005 (I had totally forgotten about this). It gives you a glimpse of the type of kids I worked with… NOT very politically correct, mind you (apparently the filter was completely off back then).

WHAT IF DR. SEUSS HAD CHAPERONED ONE OF YOUR
YOUTH MINISTRY EVENTS?

One kid, two kid,
old kid, new kid.
Flabby kid, toned kid,
clean kid, stoned kid Continue reading “If Dr. Seuss was in youth ministry” »

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” »

the three vital practices of today’s youth pastor

Posted on: 01/23/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

“How can I become the best youth pastor possible?”

Wow! Talk about your huge questions! I just received that exact question in an email. Well, actually, he asked…

Can you please give me your best advice on how to become the best youth pastor possible? The students deserve the best and so I want to give it to them. Even if you just want to give me a Top 10 list of books that would help me, that would be helpful.
~Trent

MY RESPONSE:

Trent, Wow, how to summarize youth ministry… in one email. That’s a big question. I’ll simplify it to three vital practices and then link a bunch of helpful reading as requested Continue reading “the three vital practices of today’s youth pastor” »

Back to School Conversations

Posted on: 08/23/17 3:03 PM | by Jonathan McKee

If your kids aren’t already back to school, they’re headed there. Sure that means new classes, homework, and all that goes along with the academic aspects of school… but that also means navigating new and old friendships, trying to fit in, and wondering if everyone likes you, not just at school, but also on every app with a like button.

This is where you come in. The typical response from caring adults like parents, grandparents, coaches and youth pastors is to ask about school Continue reading “Back to School Conversations” »

Top 30 Youth Ministry Blogs

Posted on: 03/21/16 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Top-30-YM-Blogs-300x300This month YouthMinistry.com posted the Top 30 Youth Ministry blogs and thanks to readers like you, we made the list… twice!

They listed THE SOURCE FOR YOUTH MINISTRY in slot No. 5, and then my personal blog JonathanMcKeeWrites.com in slot No. 12.

Take a peek at the whole list Continue reading “Top 30 Youth Ministry Blogs” »

Top 3 qualities I’m looking for when I hire

Posted on: 03/8/16 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

LeadershipSomeone just asked me, “Jonathan, we’re looking for a new youth pastor. What would you look for in a youth pastor?”

What would you say?

Good speaker?

Kids like them?

Organized?

(Those are the ones I hear from people frequently.)

To be honest (see what I did there?), none of those three above make my top three Continue reading “Top 3 qualities I’m looking for when I hire” »

Poor Leadership 101

Posted on: 11/23/15 6:54 AM | by Jonathan McKee

No-KidsThe youth ministry was fizzling out and no one knew why.

It was as simple as this: kids weren’t meeting Jesus, and the ones that already knew Jesus weren’t growing. As a result the group had sputtered and was on the verge of dying.

If it were a horse it would have been put down.

This past year I have had the opportunity to spend time with Continue reading “Poor Leadership 101” »

Expelled… or Vicus?

Posted on: 10/29/15 5:52 AM | by Jonathan McKee

VicusI love hearing youth ministry stories and ideas from youth workers around the world, and yesterday I heard one that really “popped.”

We’ve been in South Africa for 3 days now, playing tourist, hanging out with youth workers, and speaking at a conference here in Cape Town. In that time, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know this new “mate” of mine named Vicus.

Vicus has been in youth ministry for a decade, and really has a heart for troubled kids. He’s developed such good relationships with schools in the area (coaching and serving the schools) that the schools literally will call him up and say, “We’ve got a teenager you need to talk with.” In fact, certain teenagers have been given a choice: get expelled or spend time with Vicus.

Most kids choose time with Vicus. And this time ends up being pretty therapeutic for these kids.

Vicus puts them to work at a Continue reading “Expelled… or Vicus?” »

Chaperone… or Sherpa?

Posted on: 10/20/15 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Youth-LeaderWhat do you call your adult leaders in your youth ministry? Chaperones? Leaders? Ministers? …Steve?

Is there a word that captures their purpose a little better?

I’ve taught my Connect workshop to youth leaders 3 times in the last 7 days in 3 different states, and my message didn’t change:

“We don’t need more Chaperones; we need caring adults who are willing to connect with young people, love them, and engage in meaningful conversations.”

Last Saturday I taught this workshop in West Houston, and a youth worker named Dave Blanchard hosted it, inviting his team of Sherpas. Yes… a Sherpa Continue reading “Chaperone… or Sherpa?” »