Chaperone… or Sherpa?

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?” »

Posted in Youth Ministry Philosophy | 1 Comment

Multiplying Disciples

Gospelize-Your-Youth-MinistryDo you create lifelong disciples who go out and make other disciples?

Think about that for a second. I’m not asking if your kids go to church or wear Christian t-shirts. I’m asking if they get so excited about Jesus that they can’t help but tell others about Him.

I know, I know. That sounds so… 2,000 years ago. (Dare I say… the book of Acts?)

Last Saturday my family and I connected with my good friend Greg Stier at the National Youth Workers Convention and we talked about that very subject—Gospelizing your youth ministry, a spicy “new” philosophy (that’s 2,000 years old) Continue reading “Multiplying Disciples” »

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The Gospel According to The Walking Dead

Families-Watch-Walking-DeadAmerica popped popcorn and settled into their couches Sunday night to watch one of their favorite TV shows… a cable show, no doubt… The Walking Dead. The show drew even more viewers than Sunday Night Football.

I was in SoCal speaking at the National Youth Workers Convention this weekend, so my brother took the reins of our fastest growing blog, The Gospel According to The Walking Dead, writing an amazing post discussing the Season 6 Premiere, and provoking an intriguing discussion about Romans 12. His post was so nerdtastically captivating, I asked him to write more upcoming discussions for the blog.

Here’s just a snippet of his post:

This is what I love so much about this show. Alexandria serves as the perfect metaphor Continue reading “The Gospel According to The Walking Dead” »

Posted in TV, Youth Culture | Leave a comment

The Most Vital Skill in Youth Ministry

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” »

Posted in Speaking/Training, Youth Ministry Philosophy | Leave a comment

Moving Kids from Tech-dependent to Tech-enabled

girlsdistractedphonesDoes the smartphone help communication… or hinder it?

That one of the questions I ask when I’m teaching young people to be smarter than their smartphones.

“Think about it,” I suggest. “How many times are you sitting in a circle of your friends and none of them are talking because their heads are all down staring at their phones?”

Students always laugh and point to each other. “That’s so you!”

My point is clear: Phones can be really convenient tools helping us communicate with friends outside the room, but they become a hindrance when they interfere with our connection with people inside the room Continue reading “Moving Kids from Tech-dependent to Tech-enabled” »

Posted in Entertainment Media, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Social Media, Youth Culture | Leave a comment

What would you have done?

make-up“Turn around! Now!” That’s what she said, and my dad had no idea what to do.

Have you ever noticed that most tough parenting (and grandparenting) decisions aren’t black or white? Think about it. If they were… the choice would be easy. But parenting is never that easy… is it?

Let me give you an example with my own kids a while back– a grandparenting example. This was one of those sticky situations that my dad experienced when my daughters were in eighth and tenth grade and Lori and I were Continue reading “What would you have done?” »

Posted in Parenting, Personal | 4 Comments

9 selfies per week

teenagers-selfieShe holds her phone up at a high angle and strikes a sexy pose.


She inspects the picture. “Nope. Too much arm fat.” She tries again.

After four or five tries she captures the image she wants. Now to apply filters…

Funny… five years ago no one even knew what a selfie was. Now, Millennials average 9 selfies per week, spending an average of seven minutes perfecting each one before posting. That’s adds up to about Continue reading “9 selfies per week” »

Posted in Parenting, Self Image, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Social Media, Youth Culture | 1 Comment

Book Cover Winners

52-Ways-to-Connect-MCKEEThanks to so many of you last week who gave me feedback on my blog about my new book cover. I, and my publisher, both really appreciate it! It was great to hear what you all thought.

I turned it into a little contest, prompting you that I’d pick five names out of a hat and give them a free copy of the book once it’s on the shelves in the spring. We picked– and here’s the five names Continue reading “Book Cover Winners” »

Posted in Books, Contests | 1 Comment

Which book cover do you like?

My publisher just sent me two sample covers for the new book I’m writing to parents about connecting with their “Smartphone obsessed” kids.

Which cover do you like better? Use the comment feature below… in fact… anyone who includes their name and city in their comment, I’ll drop your name in a hat to win a free copy of the book when it hits the shelves. I’ll draw 5 names and give away 5 of them!


Or take a peek HERE at the other books I’ve written
(or my Amazon author page HERE).

Posted in Books | 134 Comments

Top 10 Things I Learned After 1 Week in an RV

RV-trip-funnyJust got back on a really fun trip, just me, Lori and my parents for one week in an RV, traveling 1,000 miles across four states, from Boise, through the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone.

We all had a great time. Here’s what I learned:

  1. Farts are twice as loud in an RV.
  2. Each stop at the gas station required a month’s salary! (Yes, this baby drank like a camel at the pumps!)
  3. Always check the connection on your sewer hose before pulling the “black waste” valve. (Can you say fountain o’ feces?) Continue reading “Top 10 Things I Learned After 1 Week in an RV” »
Posted in Family, Humor, Personal | Leave a comment