On a middle school campus

Posted on: 12/11/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

This semester I’ve had the privilege of hanging out at a middle school just 14 minutes from my house and we’re getting ready to start a campus ministry reaching the campus… but it’s not easy.

I met the principle earlier this year when I was doing research for my bullying book. I love this guy. He’s an amazing educator who is more “encourager” than “disciplinarian”… the school is so lucky to have him. I got to know him a little better when he brought me out to teach my Parenting the Smartphone Generation workshop to the school’s parents, and I’ve been hanging out on campus about once a week with him during lunch since.

One day I mentioned that it would be cool to see a Campus Life or Young Life club on campus and he welcomed the idea. So I literally walked into the church across the street, met the youth pastor and said, “Do you want to help me reach this campus?”

That was about two months ago and now this church is partnering with Campus Life and myself to try to get something started.

Here’s the difficult part: even though we have an open invitation to hang out with kids at lunch on campus, we can’t invite them to church or Campus Life. I’m not blaming the principal… I’m not even upset at him. He’s actually protecting us. Because if we were walking around the campus passing out fliers for this “Christian club,” all it would take is one phone call from a parent to the district office and every positive mentor with access to that campus would be removed for the year (something we’ve talked about quite a bit on our CAMPUS MINISTRY CORNER resource page on TheSource4YM.com). Kids can invite other kids, but we can’t.

So that’s the challenge. We need to meet some kids (which we know a few from the church across the street), and have theminvite friends to Campus Life… and once we have a momentum of about a dozen kids… kids bring more kids, then it will build momentum.

Today we were on campus hanging with kids again… not talking about church or Campus Life, just hanging out (which is really fun, actually). But we’re eager to start building momentum and meeting even more kids in January.

I’ll be keeping you posted along the way. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of amusing stories of things that don’t work(which are always great lessons).

And think. Maybe the campus near you would be open to you being on campus and getting to know kids. Who knows. Only one way to find out (and here’s a little bit of help in this article, “How to get on campus”).

What are you waiting for?

Yeah… we’re just giving these away

Posted on: 10/1/18 4:40 PM | by Jonathan McKee

I’ve got a bunch of good stuff to give away this month—including this pair of Oakley’s (leftover from our running/biking fund raiser), and four signed copies of my upcoming book, The Bullying Breakthrough—so let’s have a little contest!

This contest is especially for youth workers. So if you serve with young people in any way, follow the three steps below and I’ll draw 5 winners out of a hat at the end of the month.

Most of you saw we launched our newly revamped TheSource4YM.com website last week. Well, we’re working out the kinks and we’d like your feedback. So we decided to offer the simplest contest in the world. It’s easy: just try out one of our resources, then send me a sentence or two of feedback. Your feedback automatically enters you to win.

Here’s the details—follow these three steps:

 1. Jump on TheSource4YM.com and click around the new site

2. Choose a page you’d like to try out. DON’T just tell me, “I love your games page. We use it all the time.” Actually take a few seconds and give it a test drive. Here’s some ways you can help us evaluate one of these:

For example, if you like the Games & Icebreakers page with over 1,000 free game ideas, then click the CUSTOM GAME SEARCH button and try a search for your unique setting. Maybe you choose a game for 1-20 kidswith no prep timewhere all playand it only takes one or two quick props(you don’t have to select every criteria—the less you select, the broader the search). Hit SEARCH. How did the search turn out? Which game is a perfect fit? Or, if the search didn’t seem to match your criteria… be specific… which game didn’t match up? (We have our game guys going through ALL 1,000 games right now tweaking this to perfection. So we value your feedback!)

Or maybe you like the Music Discussions page with literally hundreds of songs ready to discuss “ready made” for you with scripture and small group questions. Try a song. How was the transition statement and/or wrap up? How relevant were the small group questions? Which was one music discussion that really looked good to you? Did you encounter anything you didn’t like?

Or maybe you liked the Free Training Videos page, which has exactly what the name implies—completely free youth ministry training videos helping you with anything from game leading to skit leading, evangelism, connecting with kids, leading small groups, etc. Did the video provide you with good ideas? Which one did you especially like? Any training you didn’t see that you would like to see?

3.  Simply comment in this blog post OR hit me with a reply to this post and tell me three things: your name, your city, and your feedback.

Anyone who can follow those instructions is automatically entered into the contest. I’ll be drawing the names on the last day of October! So take your time this month and give these resources a try!

Thanks everyone!

Remember when we looked like this?

Posted on: 08/28/18 11:18 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Remember when we looked like this?

We’ve been revamping this thing for years! And hold on to your hats… because it’s about to get even better.

In the next couple weeks you all are going to see some welcome changes around here. Many of you have noticed that both my blog and TheSource4Parents.com have both been completely revamped: mobile friendly, new content at the forefront, much easier to navigate. Well the youth ministry site is about to get the same revamp (longtime needed)… Continue reading “Remember when we looked like this?” »

Super Bowl Party Quiz

Posted on: 01/29/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

It’s almost Super Bowl time… and that means our annual free BIG GAME Quiz! And this year… we’ve also included a free SlideShow game as an alternative!

For those of you have been following TheSource4YM.com for the past few years, you probably look forward to the fun little FREE resource we provide every year called the Super Bowl “BIG GAME Quiz!” (I just posted it and the free slideshop game HERE). The quiz is done by my sports-fanatic friend Todd Pearage (who many of you might know as the creator the DYM game “Sportsball”).

This FREE quiz/activity is a fun little party game you can use at your Super Bowl party at your church or your home Continue reading “Super Bowl Party Quiz” »

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” »

Helpful new free resources

Posted on: 05/31/17 2:27 PM | by Jonathan McKee

We have posted some really helpful free resources in the last month or two. I wanted to highlight a few in case you missed them.

NOTE: Whenever I meet any of you in person at conferences and events around the world, the one common statement I hear is, “Thanks for your web site.” Of which I always respond, “You welcome. What is it you use the most?” The responses are always intriguing. I think “games” is the most common response I hear from youth workers, and the “youth culture articles” is the second most common answer. “Parenting help articles” is by far the number one answer from parents.

I’m glad you like them… that’s why we keep them free.

Here’s a few you won’t want to miss Continue reading “Helpful new free resources” »

The Big Game QUIZ

Posted on: 01/30/17 4:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

It’s almost Super Bowl time… and that means our annual free BIG GAME Quiz!

For those of you have been following TheSource4YM.com for the past few years, you probably look forward to the fun little FREE resource we provide every year called the Super Bowl “BIG GAME Quiz!” (I just posted it HERE). This quiz is a fun little party game you can use at your Super Bowl party at your church or your home. People fill out the quiz as they enter your party, predicting scores, catches, runs, etc., then you fill out the results during the game and tally up the winner (and PLEASE… remember to tally up the answers during the game because that’s how the quiz works). Continue reading “The Big Game QUIZ” »

An Interview with Doug Fields & Josh Griffin

Posted on: 08/25/16 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Doug-and-Josh-GEffectively Resourcing Today’s Youth Workers
An Interview with Doug Fields & Josh Griffin

Both Doug and Josh have served on the front lines of youth ministry for literally decades. They are two of the leading thought-leaders in our profession and know incredibly well what it takes to equip teams of volunteers with the tools they need to effectively reach today’s young people with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. I was excited to sit down with them recently to talk a little bit about serving youth workers and running my favorite youth ministry resource organization: DownloadYouthMinistry.com (DYM).

* Be sure to peek at the freebie they are giving away to my readers at the bottom of this post… no strings attached!

JONATHAN: What are some of the resources each of you found yourselves on the hunt for in your own ministries decades ago?

JOSH: When Doug started, way back during the middle of the Civil War, there weren’t Continue reading “An Interview with Doug Fields & Josh Griffin” »

Summer Youth Ministry

Posted on: 07/19/16 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Youth ministers know we have a FREE TRAINING TOOLS page with all kinds of free training, including FREE TRAINING VIDEOS. (How to connect with kids, how to get teenagers talking, how to share your faith, how to lead games, how to lead skits… check it out!)

We’re halfway through our summer ministry. Take a peek at our brand new Summer Youth Ministry training video if you haven’t seen it yet!

summer-ministry-training

CLICK HERE FOR THIS NEW FREE TRAINING VIDEO

Free Ministry-Leaders Training in NorCal

Posted on: 03/30/16 9:00 AM | by Jonathan McKee

New-Breed-Wkshop-LOGO webRecruiting volunteers ain’t like it used to be. Volunteers have changed. Have you changed too?

I love ministry leaders.. and ministry leaders love FREE. So Saturday, April 9th I’m teaching a free training workshop in Northern California for any ministry leaders who recruit volunteers! (Thanks Youth for Christ for hosting this!)

The training is based off my two Group books on the subject (The Skinny, and The New Breed), equipping ministry leaders to Continue reading “Free Ministry-Leaders Training in NorCal” »