Sex… MTV Style

Posted on: 09/29/08 4:20 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Tonight MTV launches their brand new show Sex… With Mom and Dad.

What a title.

I’ve got two words about this show: Dr. Drew.

Dr. Drew is the doctor giving advice on the popular radio show Loveline. If you’ve worked with kids for a while, then you’ve probably heard a mention of this racy show. In my city, it aires at 10:00 p.m. on one of the most popular radio channels. It’s truly X-rated. Kids and young adults call up for sexual advice. It’s hard to listen to. If you are a parent or youth worker, I encourage you to listen to it once. You won’t believe your ears.

This is the kind of advice kids are getting when it comes to their sexual decision making.

Now, we can probably expect the same kind of discretion with the new MTV show. This week David’s Youth Culture Window article tells you all you need to know about it. Take a look at that if you haven’t already.

“We” and “Them” at “See You at the Pole”

Posted on: 09/25/08 2:33 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Yesterday morning was an event called “See You at the Pole” (SYATP). Thousands of Christian kids around the country gathered around the flagpoles at their schools to pray… or… to take a stand… it really depends on the group.

Sorry, I just can’t get behind it.

I didn’t even mention the event in our EZINE or in my blogging the past few weeks. I’ve received emails asking me about the event and asking me to publicize it. I haven’t.

Why? Am I a SYATP hater?

I’ve never really verbalized my feelings about the event. My mom taught me… if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all. So for the last couple years I just kept silent. But people are beginning to ask questions. I even was forwarded this blog –SYATP is Stupid! – written from a guy who really doesn’t like the event.

Is this guy a hater?

I hate to admit it… (and I wouldn’t probably title my article like this guy’s), but I can’t disagree with this guy.

Here’s what I have noticed year after year at SYATP. Adults tell Christian kids to go stand at the flagpole and pray for their school. “It’s their right!” The event is “adult driven.”

Now fast forward to the actual Wednesday morning where a kid is standing next to the pole… struggling with one overwhelming thought. “What is everyone thinking of me right now?” Is that what we’re trying to accomplish?

A practice that is supposed to be our communication with God has just turned into a giant struggle with pride. Temptation while standing at the pole is, “Look at me!” not, “Look at God!”

The question I have is simple. Where is the Biblical basis for this event? Because if we look at what the Bible says about prayer, I only find passages talking about how we should NOT pray to be seen by others. Jesus himself said that we should go and close the door to pray.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that anyone who has done SYATP has bad motives. A ton of us have tried SYATP with good motives. I’ve tried it for years. I’ve made videos, spoken at rallies, and encouraged my kids to attend. I think my motives were good. I think many of my kids motives were good. But after observing it for years, I’ve taken a step back and tried to take an honest look at the results. I encourage you to do the same. What did this event accomplish? Did it help my kids learn to pray? Was it helping them be an effective witness for Him? More importantly… ask yourself a bigger question. Why are we encouraging our kids to go do this public display of prayer when the Bible not only doesn’t support it, it seems to speak against it?

What the heck is SYATP? It’s more like SOKUF. Set Our Kids Up for Failure.

A couple years ago my friend KJ went to a local campus to watch it all go down. A handful of Christian students gathered around the flagpole staring at the ground. One of the kid’s friends came up and looked at the ground to see what his friend was staring at. Finally, confused he spoke up. “What are you doing man?”

The Christian kid looked up and said, “Are you a Christian?”

The friend said, “I don’t know. I don’t think so.”

The Christian said, “Then get out of here!”

I’ve written articles about SYATP before, trying to not stop the moving train, but maybe guide it to safer tracks. But I’m tired of trying to put icing on the turd. I’m just not pumping it anymore. SYATP breeds a mentality of “us” vs. “them.” It’s not in the literature, but it reeks of, We Christians need to stand up for what we believe… amongst these dirty pagans! Nice. That attitude will bring a ton of people to Christ! (sarcasm intended).

Sorry guys, but I just don’t think Jesus was in the Bible Club at his high school. I think he was in metal shop.

Jesus went away to pray a ton… I just don’t remember it being in front of everyone.

Am I wrong?

Another Freebie From YS

Posted on: 09/24/08 10:09 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Yesterday I received the YS Update, the free resource email from Youth Specialties (YS) that goes out to over 20,000 youth workers. The subject line: 10-Minute Talks- Ready to Go. (A nice little plug for my newest book, 10-Minute Talks) They even provided a link to a free sample talk out of my book (a different one than the freebie talk I provided a few weeks ago- so now people have two freebies from this book). I gotta give a little shout out to YS marketing.

People always ask me how happy I am with my publishers, who I like best, etc. I’ve had 7 books published so far, 5 of which are already in print, one e-book, and one that is coming out next year. Of those 7 books, I’ve had 3 publishers: Gospel Light (my first book, The Top 12 Resources Youth Workers Want), Group (my book on recruiting and managing volunteers, The New Breed), and Youth Specialties for every other book.

I’ve got nothing to say about Gospel Light (I’ll leave it at that).

I love Group. They’re doing a great job with my book.

But if you asked me who seems to be really getting my book out there in magazines, emails, web promos, etc… I would have to say YS. YS constantly features my books in their email publicity and web promos. My first book with them was even on the cover of their YS Magalog. They get it done.

YS also brings me out to their conventions to teach workshops on the titles of my books. This is good fun, and a great opportunity to equip youth workers… but I’m sure it doesn’t hurt book sales either.  🙂

It’s funny… I noticed that YS has my newest book priced a little higher than we do on our page.  He he… I guess that means that my subscribers will want to buy it here.  🙂  Either place is good for both of us.

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When Paparazzi Catch Miley… Going to Church?

Posted on: 09/23/08 9:23 AM | by Jonathan McKee

It’s amazing how many emails I get asking about Miiley as a role model for our young girls today. Yes, Miley’s been in and out of the news for good and bad. But you gotta love it when a celeb’s top news is, “Miley & Underwear Model Go to Church.”

Miley’s been getting all kind of flack lately for dating some 20-year-old guy (personally, I think that’s an issue to take up with her parents, not her). But hey… at least she took the guy to church.  🙂

I love this pic from’s gossip page!

This is also a pretty good representation of the “Gen Y” church apparel.

 (thanks to Jamie Locklin for the forward)

Escape Beagle

Posted on: 09/20/08 11:05 PM | by Jonathan McKee

When I was 7 we got a little beagle mix (okay… it was a mutt! It had beagle, basset, and perhaps some collie. He was a short legged, long furred beagle). Besides being cute… he was an escape artist. Amazing actually. That’s why I found this YouTube video particularly funny. (Shout out to Sparky!)

Is it just me, or were you cheering for the little guy! (I love it at the end when his little friend puts his/her paw up on the door like, “Hey, let me out!”)

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Tough Speaking Engagements

Posted on: 09/18/08 8:10 PM | by Jonathan McKee

My friends over at Youth Specialties featured me as a guest blogger this week again on their YS Blog.

At the YS conventions this year, one of the seminars I’m teaching is based off my new book 10-Minute Talks. The seminar is about speaking to a generation with a short attention span. This is my second time guest blogging on the subject.

This time I shared about one of my worst speaking engagements… ever!

My worst speaking experience by far was an event I did on New Year’s Eve. The guy who booked me explained the event to me. “The gym will be full of kids we draw from local neighborhoods. They’ll be playing basketball, dodge ball, hanging out, eating, etc.”

I asked, “Well, how are you going to pull them together for me to speak to them?”

He was silent. He hadn’t even thought about it.

I clarified, “You do realize that we don’t want to just stand up on stage and say, ‘Hey everybody… drop your dodge balls for a second, I want to tell you about Jesus!’”

He agreed and I gave him suggestions of some fun up front activities and videos that would help him transition everyone into a seated position with their attention on stage.

Fast forward to 11:28 New Year’s Eve. I’m on at 11:30. Kids are smattered around the room…

Click here for the entire blog.


Almost All American Teens Play Video Games

Posted on: 09/17/08 9:48 AM | by Jonathan McKee

“Almost all” … that’s a pretty big number.

Pew internet & American Life Project just conducted a survey finding that 97% of teenagers ages 12-17 play computer, web, portable, or console games.

Some of the findings:

50% of teens played games yesterday.

86% of teens play on a console like the Xbox, PlayStation, or Wii.

73% play games on a desktop or a laptop computer.

60% use a portable gaming device like a Sony PlayStation Portable, a Nintendo DS, or a Game Boy.

48% use a cell phone or handheld organizer to play games.

I always find it interesting to see what games kids are playing.

The ten most popular games among American teens:
1. Guitar Hero
2.Halo 3
3.Madden NFL
5.Dance Dance Revolution
6.Madden NFL 08
8.Grand Theft Auto
10.The Sims

What about game ratings?

32% of gaming teens report that at least one of their three favorite games is rated Mature or Adults Only.

79% of M- and AO-rated game players are boys, and 21% are girls.

A USA TODAY article touched on game ratings as well, summarizing some of the key findings of the report:

Young people are routinely able to get their hands on games that are rated “M” (for mature) or “AO” (adults only). Three-quarters of parents who were surveyed said they “always” or “sometimes” check the ratings on their kids’ games. And yet, half of boys who were questioned listed a game with an “M” or “AO” rating as one of their favorites, compared with 14% of girls.

You can view the entire Pew report here. It starts with a “summary” section that only take a few minutes to read- fascinatiing stuff.

(shout out to YPulse once again for highlighting this report)

If parents said, “you can’t watch this…”

Posted on: 09/15/08 5:29 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Time Magazine just came out with an amazing article called “The Truth About Teen Girls.” My favorite part of the article- a quote from an MTV producer who tells it like it is. Wow!

I’ll give you the whole paragraph, emphasis mine:

Middle school counselor Julia Taylor of North Carolina had a conversation with her sixth-graders last year that worried her. “A lot of them were watching The O.C.,” she says. “I just remember the show’s multiple sexual partners, the cocaine use, and then at the end, they drink, they drive, they set fires, but all is well! There are never any consequences.” Taylor understands the media better than many. Her sister Mary is a producer who has worked on MTV shows including My Super Sweet 16 and Spring Break. “I’m messing them up, and she’s fixing them,” says Mary jokingly. But Mary also suggests that if nobody were watching the shows or buying the products that are advertised on them, they wouldn’t succeed. “We’re not Little House on the Prairie anymore,” she says. “The world is different. If parents said, ‘You can’t watch this,’ and the ratings dropped, maybe we would change things.”

The entire article is good. Here’s another snippet:

…teenage sexuality is growing only more heated. Girlhood sexiness seems to be everywhere: on TV shows and in movies, in advertising, in teen magazines and all over the Internet. Most disturbingly, it seems to be coming from the girls themselves: the way they dress, the way they text, the way they present themselves on Facebook and, oh, mercy, what they get up to at parties. There are whispers, stories for which the anecdotal evidence–from school counselors and child psychologists and mothers–keeps accumulating like a national pile of unwashed laundry. These suggest teen girls are getting very liberal with sexual favors, especially of the type detailed in the Starr report. In one generation, girls seem to have moved from Easy-Bake to easy virtue.

Click here for the whole article. (thanks to David and Ypulse for bringing the article to my attention)


Top 100 Songs in the Last 50 Years

Posted on: 09/14/08 8:33 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Anyone frequenting my blog knows that I often site the music charts, noting what kids are listening to today. Here’s a little peice of history that’s just plain fun.

Billboard’s Hot 100 list is now 50 years old, and to celebrate, they put together the All-Time Top Songs from the last 50 years (and it’s hilarious to read the comments and bantar that follows the list… a lot of people all riled up about a song THEY think should have made the list. Then one guy, obviously Billboard’s guy, straightens them out with all the facts of how long those respective songs actually made the list, etc. I think I had more fun reading the comments than the actual list!). Most of the songs have a Youtube link to the video.

Here’s the top 10 from their list…

#1 is Chubby Checker’s THE TWIST

Santana Featuring Rob Thomas

Bobby Darin

LeAnn Rimes

Los Del Rio

Olivia Newton-John

Debby Boone

The Beatles

Mariah Carey

Toni Braxton

Click here for their entire list (and the comments)

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Girl Auctions Off Her Virginity

Posted on: 09/12/08 5:58 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Wow… this is sad on so many different levels. This is from my local news here in Sacramento, our CBS Channel 13:

A Sacramento State grad is trying to make money the old fashioned way, by auctioning off her virginity to help pay for her graduate studies.   And so far, bidding is up to $250,000.

The 22-year-old who is using the pseudonym Natalie Dylan for safety reasons is going through a legal brothel in Nevada to sell her virginity. “The main purpose of this is to finance a couple things in my life,” Dylan told CBS13.  “I think empowerment of women is picking yourself up and doing something on your own to better yourself.”

Better yourself? I guess she missed the point of the 1993 Robert Redford, Demi Moore film, Indecent Proposal.

Dylan says she’s already taken a polygraph test to prove her virginal status, and is also willing to undergo a medical exam.

The auction will take place at the Bunny Ranch in Carson City, Nevada with bids coming in through their website.  Owner Dennis Hof tells CBS13 that eBay rejected the auction, so he’ll handle the entire process.

Here’s the kicker.

Hof says Dylan is a bright, beautiful young woman who’s going to consider a number of factors in her decision because she wants her first time to be a positive experience. “Natalie is a very smart girl. All she wants to do is get her master’s degree in family and marriage counseling and be a psychologist.  She’s selling her virginity to accomplish that,” Hof told CBS13. “She’s smart enough to sell it.  This is empowering her.”

Hmmmmmm.   (click here for the entire article and the news video- the opinions people share in the video are intriguing!)

(thanks to Brandon for forwarding this)