When teasing goes too far

Do your kids resonate with 13 Reasons Why?

Do they ever feel, or have any friends who feel bullied, teased, mocked, or pushed too far?

My longtime blog readers might remember me talking about a book I have been writing literally for years now—the story of a high school kid who was teased and mocked beyond the tipping point. I finished the book and hope to get it published this year.

That’s where you come in.

I never release a book until I’ve had a bunch of people preview it first and give me feedback

Continue Reading More…..

Posted in Books, Bullying/Cyberbullying, Youth Culture | Tagged , , | Comments Off on When teasing goes too far

Free 7-week Parenting Curriculum

Many of you have been asking me about the free 7-week parenting curriculum I announced on social media last month.

It’s here!

We just uploaded the first two videos to our “If I Had a Parenting Do Over” playlist on YouTube, and the remaining 5 are going up in the next 24 hours.

I actually got the idea during

Continue Reading More…..

Posted in Books, Parenting, Smartphones/Cell Phones | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Free 7-week Parenting Curriculum

Why 13 Reasons Why

Suicide, upskirt photos, social media, bullying… it’s almost as if someone posted a hidden camera in the hallways of the high school down your street. The realism is a little too close to home, and parents are beginning to worry.

Should our kids be watching this?

If you have teenagers, work with teenagers or even have crossed paths with a teenager in the last month, you probably have heard them talking about 13 Reasons Why. It’s the newest bingeable series from Netflix touching on everything teenager

Continue Reading More…..

Posted in Discussion Ideas, Entertainment Media, Internet, Movies, Parenting, Self Image, TV, Youth Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Alone

Yesterday I sat in a restaurant on my drive back from a speaking engagement and voices grew loud behind me.

“You don’t understand!”

“I understand perfectly. You’re failing.”

The voices were growing loud enough that people at other tables were pausing and awkwardly looking over at the commotion.

I snuck a glance. A teenage boy, probably 16 or 17-years-old, was typing on his phone, trying his best to ignore his mom while she sat across the table from him with her arms crossed

Continue Reading More…..

Posted in Church, Parenting, Youth Culture | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Lost a friend

Youth Ministry lost a good friend this past weekend. My friend Rob Maxey, Executive Director of Youth for Christ here in Sacramento passed away Friday after a long battle with cancer.

Even if you didn’t have the pleasure of meeting Rob, many of you actually knew him by reputation. Rob is the friend I featured in my book CONNECT who literally taught me how to talk with kids on campus (the guy who said, “Hi, I’m his parole officer”). Rob is the friend whose stories I’ve used at countless youth ministry trainings and parent workshops because of his amazing grasp on how to connect with today’s young people

Continue Reading More…..

Posted in Personal | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Men really hate solitude

This week as I read about Jesus’ final hours, I can’t help but notice how often He went alone for some time of solitude to pray.

Men hate getting alone to just be quiet!

I think you’ll be surprised to discover exactly how much they hate it.

I’m co-writing a book right now with my friend Curt Steinhorst about capturing attention in a world full of distractions, and we devote an entire chapter to finding solitude, turning off the noise and actually allowing ourselves to process.

Men don’t do this naturally.

Continue Reading More…..

Posted in Faith, Prayer | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

When Teens Doubt

It’s sad, but I hear it more and more each year.

Every weekend at my parent workshops I get at least one question about it… and I constantly receive emails asking the same thing:

What do I do when my teenager tells me they don’t believe in God?

Here’s an email I just received:

Jonathan,

Thank you for all the wonderful ideas and advice! We are taking it all to heart in raising our teens. The question I have is, how do you apply these strategies in your book with a 16 year old who has decided she doesn’t believe in God the way you’ve taught her? She is not going to have the same moral compass you’re wanting her to make decisions from . . .

Continue Reading More…..

Posted in Church, Faith, Family, Parenting, Youth Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on When Teens Doubt

Where kids actually adopt their values

“My 16-year-old wants Instagram and I won’t let her have it. Is that bad?”

It was an honest question from a mom after one of my recent parent workshops.

“Why don’t you let her have Instagram?”I asked.

“Well… it’s social media, and that’s bad… right?” She replied indecisively.

“When she’s 18 and she goes off to college, do you think she’ll get it?”

Continue Reading More…..

Posted in Faith, Jonathan's Rant, Parenting, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

face to face and hashtag evangelism

A live evangelism training that will create Gospel conversations both in person and on social media?

Yeah… God can absolutely pull that off, and no better person to work through than Greg Stier.

If you’ve been in youth ministry more than a minute, than you probably have seen Greg’s training videos, or heard him teach either at venues like the National Youth Workers Convention or at one of his Dare 2 Share events to a stadium full of teenagers passionate about sharing their faith. Greg is all about sharing the good new of Jesus and equipping other to do it.

And so am I. That’s why I’m super excited about the potential of

Continue Reading More…..

Posted in Evangelism, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on face to face and hashtag evangelism

A remarkable man

Last weekend I encountered a man so remarkable, the experience was life changing.

I didn’t expect it. I was visiting Maui by myself for the quickest trip to the island I’ve ever had, there and back in just a weekend for a friend’s wedding (not the choice way to do Maui). The ceremony was ocean-side in the beautiful Kahanu Gardens in Hana, a truly precarious drive, but breathtaking scenery.

As we were waiting for the ceremony to begin… this man caught my eye.

He was Hawaiian with a chiseled jaw, a tribal tattoo on his left cheek, and his grey hair pulled back tightly into a bun. He was probably one of the eldest people at the wedding, but no doubt one of the most physically strong. He was perfectly composed

Continue Reading More…..

Posted in Evangelism, Faith, Personal, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments