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?” »

The Most Vital Skill in Youth Ministry

Posted on: 10/8/15 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

connect-artwork“What is the most important skill I need to teach my volunteers?”

That’s what my friend Brandon asked me when he was planning his fall training with all of his leaders.

What would you answer?

Without hesitation I answered him, citing a ministry skill that trumps all others:

“Connecting with young people.”

“Go back to your Bible.” I always tell youth workers at my training workshops. “What did Jesus model? Did he sit there in the synagogue Continue reading “The Most Vital Skill in Youth Ministry” »

They are just so… SKINNY!

Posted on: 06/11/15 5:44 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Soooo-skinnyLast week a brand new set of books hit the shelves that are SO SKINNY…. any youth worker can read them!

Yeah, even that one intern!

Group Publishing had a creative idea of grabbing 6 authors on 6 vital youth ministry subjects. I was blessed to be one of those authors—writing “The Skinny on Volunteers.” Then Mark Oestreicher wrote Continue reading “They are just so… SKINNY!” »