Jonathan McKee - The Short Version
Jonathan McKee, president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of numerous books including the new The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenagers, Should I Just Smash My Kid's Phone?, and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, and the award winning book Do They Run When They See You Coming? Jonathan speaks and trains at conferences, churches and events across North America, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan and his wife Lori, and their three teenagers Alec, Alyssa and Ashley live in California.Jonathan McKee - The Long Version
A lot of people ask how Jonathan's ministry equipping youth workers and parents came into existence. The answer is...by accident.
In 1999, a youth worker named Jonathan McKee, father of three, started a Web site called JonathansResources.com. This site was a free resource for youth workers providing curriculum, activities, and ideas, as well as articles about youth culture, teenage attitudes, and trends.
Jonathan started this site because, at the time, he found very few free youth ministry resources on the Internet. Sure, a lot of sites offered a couple of freebies and an abundance of items for sale, but no sites were dedicated to providing truly free resources with no strings attached. So Jonathan dumped the contents of his youth ministry file cabinet-all the messages, activities, and resources he'd developed over the years-into JonathansResources.com. The front page had a simple message: "Everyone in youth ministry can use some free resources-here's a bunch!"
And then something happened.
Youth workers and parents from all over the world began reading Jonathan's articles and using his free resources. Before long Jonathan had tens of thousands of readers every time he released a new resource.
In the fall of 2001 Jonathan and his wife Lori faced a decision. Continue working with the hundreds of kids in their ministry in Sacramento, all while posting resources after hours...or go full-time helping youth workers across the globe. After praying about the decision and talking with several friends who were supporters of his existing local ministry, they decided to go full-time equipping youth workers and parents. In July of 2002, Jonathan gathered a board of directors and started the nonprofit organization, The Source for Youth Ministry (www.TheSource4YM.com on the Web). Before long they were averaging more than 100,000 unique visitors each month.
In the years to follow, Jonathan became devoted full time to speaking, training, and providing free resources for youth workers, using his speaking and training income to help fund the ministry. In those years Jonathan also had a dozen books published, including The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenagers, Candid Confessions of an Imperfect Parent, and the very popular book about mentoring teenagers, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, and two award-winning titles, Do They Run When They See You Coming? and Getting Students to Show Up.
As The Source for Youth Ministry grew and developed, another interesting development occurred-the site was attracting more and more parents. Since www.TheSource4YM.com offered free discussion guides based on movies and music, free movie reviews, free weekly articles about youth culture, media, and research about teenage attitudes and trends, youth workers began sharing the site's contents-especially Youth Culture Window articles -with parents. Then parents began subscribing to Jonathan's Blog . Before long, Jonathan found himself doing as many parent seminars as youth ministry training workshops
That's when Jonathan decided to expand. The Source for Youth Ministry purchased www.TheSource4Parents.com and began developing a free resource web site specifically for parents. This site would mirror www.TheSource4YM.com in some areas (movie reviews, Youth Culture Window articles, Jonathan's Blog) but also provide some resources unique to parents. Jonathan enlisted the help of Christian authors such as Jim Burns , Al Menconi and Wayne Rice to bring articles with one focus-"Parenting Help." In addition, Jonathan's team of writers began revamping some of the popular MOVIE CLIP DISCUSSIONS and MUSIC DISCUSSIONS from www.TheSource4YM.com, customizing them for parents to use with their teens and tweens. The new parenting site also offers a question-and-answer page called ASK THE SOURCE where real parents provide real answers to real questions.
We can't wait to see what God has for this ministry next!
Jonathan's Wife and Kids My wife Lori and I were married in February of 1991. Each year since has grown better and better. We met in the college group of the church we were attending at the time. After our first date we spent 2 solid days together. On the third day I told her that I was going to marry her
She broke up with me!
Thank God she eventually took me back. We spent every moment together, running together, doing ministry together; we quickly grew to become best friends. That's one of the things I like best about Lori ...she's not just the beautiful woman I married, she's my buddy!
Our marriage is a bond between three of us: me, Lori and God. We depend on Him daily. We share our struggles with each other and bring them to God. We both depend on Him to help us through the rough times. As much as we love each other, I don't know how we could do it without Him.
God gave us three wonderful kids: Alec, Alyssa and Ashley. Alec is now off at Vanguard University in Southern California, Alyssa and Ashley are both in high school. You can hear plenty more about them in my blog and in my book, Candid Confessions of an Imperfect Parent.