Walt and Jim

Posted on: 10/10/08 10:00 PM | by Jonathan McKee

This weekend I’m at the Youth Specialties National Youth Worker’s Convention in Sacramento. It’s been a lot of fun hanging out with youth workers; yesterday I already gave you a quick highlight of some of the people we’ve been seeing and talking with.

Today Brandon and I got a chance to sit down with CPYU.org ‘s Walt Mueller and talk youth culture. Walt is the real deal. He wakes up every morning with “the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other.” I love his ministry… if you haven’t checked out his youth culture website, definitely take a peek. Walt’s the man!

I loved having Brandon with me when I met with Walt. Before I knew it, the two of them were talking about what books they were reading (Brandon is a READER!!!!), their favorite authors… then they got onto reformed theology. They were talking WAY over my head.

You’ll be getting a little of the “goods” from those conversations soon in a podcast format and in a new thing we’re going to be launching soon called “FOUR MINUTES OF MINISTRY” … small little YouTube videos about youth ministry.

After lunch I connected with Jim Burns. Jim is an old friend (not old in age… he’s just a puppy!) who has been an encouragement to me before I even started THE SOURCE FOR YOUTH MINISTRY. He even helped me get my first book published. It was a blast spending some time with Jim. I’m really excited about some of the “purity” resources he is developing to help our kids understand God’s plan for them sexually.

You’ll be catching a glimpse from Jim soon also in one of our upcoming “FOUR MINUTES OF MINISTRY” videos.

Tomorrow it’s a busy day of more meetings, and a few last minute touches on my training workshops for Sunday.


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Thursday at NYWC

Posted on: 10/9/08 11:14 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Thursday was a fun day at the YS National Youth Worker’s Convention in Sacramento. I met my youth worker buddy Brandon before and we drove there together. At the convention we immediately saw some youth ministry friends: Tic Long, Les Christie, Jim Burns, Walt Muellar, Kara Powell, Wayne Rice, Cliff Carey from Hume Lake, Ryan and Trevor from Paradise… a bunch of folks.

Brandon and I got a chance to sit down and talk with Marko about Youth Ministry 3.0 as well. If you haven’t heard the buzz, Youth Ministry 3.0 is Marko’s new book talking about a much needed change in youth ministry. Brandon and I got to read the transcript a few days ago and we chatted with him about it. It’s hot off the press for this convention and will be available through YS in a few weeks (although the YS site says February… not sure why).

We’ll be doing a podcast with Marko on the subject soon to let you in on the discussion. Fascinating stuff. I really like how Marko is stretching us to think. I’m still be stretched by it all.

The actual sessions and seminars start tomorrow. I don’t teach until Sunday (whew!), so I’m spending time mingling with youth workers and chilling with Brandon.

Side note about Brandon– you can all pray for him right now. Brandon’s church has been having financial trouble lately and had to cut costs… so they cut the most productive ministry they had- youth ministry. So Brandon has been “unemployed” now for a week. He’s looking for a youth ministry job… he’s got several Sacramento churches looking at him. Whoever snags him will be lucky to get him. Brandon is an amazing guy. God’s really done some amazing work in his life.

I’ll continue to blog throughout the convention.

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RoadTrip to YS NYWC This Week

Posted on: 10/8/08 9:17 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Road TripThose of you who are our THE SOURCE PODCAST subscribers, you may remember a little special episode between episode #7 and #8 where my youth worker buddy Brandon and I took a roadtrip to the Youth Specialties National Youth Workers Conference last year in San Diego. This fun little podcast had far less “content” in it than normal, but a whole bunch of fun! Brandon and I surveyed various authors and speakers, “perused” the book stores, and even let you eavesdrop into some of the sessions. It was fun stuff.

Brandon and I are gonna be reprising this little venture with a road trip to the Sacramento Convention this weekend… which is 20 minutes from our houses (that makes a nice commute!)

In addition, we’re going to be giving away books to anyone who spots us at the YS Exhibit Hall on Thursday night. Brandon and I will be donning a backpack (can you don a backpack???) full of my first book, The Top 12 Resources Youth Workers Want. Anyone who sees us Thursday night in the E.H. and mentions the book… we’ll give it to them free. Not bad, huh?

I’ll also be blogging about the YS Conference throughout the weekend. I teach two workshops on Sunday and lead a discussion on outreach. For the rest of the weekend I’ll be connecting with other youth workers, authors and speakers… as well as recording some podcasts and video.

I’ll be doing the same at the Pittsburgh YS Conference if you’re considering attending one.

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Papa, Dude, or Leader?

Posted on: 10/6/08 9:06 AM | by Jonathan McKee

My dad just released a great article over at VolunteerPower.com … maybe I’m biased, he used an experience with my son as an example. He talks about his role with my son and how it changes from Papa, to an advisor, and sometimes even “dude.” (when they are looking at cars!) In this same way his role changes as a volunteer leader. He proposes that volunteer leadership can look much like being a grandparent.

In this article about volunteer management, he asks the key question:

How do we communicate worth and potential with our volunteers in such a way that they use their gifts and talents to fulfill the mission of our organization?

Then he explains that the answer is found in the balance of two leadership factors: Guidance and Trust. I know any of us who work with volunteers has bounced back and forth wondering, “How much hands-on direction do I need to give?” That ties to, “How much confidence to I have that I can depend on the volunteer?”

Great article.

Last week, GROUP’s “Church Volunteer Central” sent out an e-newsletter featuring another article of his, one on training this new breed of volunteers. That article takes a story from our book, a story when I did a ride-along with my LAPD buddy a little while ago. Fun stuff!

Levi’s Encourages You to Unbutton Your Beast

Posted on: 10/3/08 8:47 AM | by Jonathan McKee

I was watching prime time a few weeks ago and saw a Levi’s commercial that made my mouth hit the floor. This was a commercial, so I figured, “They aren’t going to go there.” But as the couple kissed, her shirt came off, then his pants began to unbutton… I wondered for a second if I had somehow accidentally subscribed to HBO.

“Unbutton Your Beast.” Such is the new campaign for Levi’s.

Now they’ve got a website hoping the idea will go viral (thanks for the link Alan). I can’t even begin comment… you just have to look for yourself:





The Chart-topping Message of “So What”

Posted on: 10/1/08 12:03 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Pink is back on the top of the charts… and boy is she pissed!

Her angry new song, “So What” is heard everywhere- radio, internet, iPods and ringtones. Her video is being downloaded by the millions. Kids know the song. Many have seen the video. The question is, “What message are kids getting?” and “How can we talk to them about this message?”

You’re in luck. On Monday I just penned a discussion that youth workers and parents can use with their kids about this trendy new song.

Pink, the #7 most popular artist on MTV’s coveted list, has been around for a while. In 2000, Pink’s name became known when she jumped into the Top Five of the charts with her hit song, “Get the Party Started.” She’s bounced around the charts since, but only recently rose to #1 with this heated new song, “So What” that she performed live at the recent MTV Video Music Awards. Now “So What,” a song expressing Pink’s reaction to hurt, has been riding #1 for a while. Today, it’s #2 in the Billboard Hot 100, #2 iTunes song, #3 iTunes video, and #3 iTunes Top Ringtone.

The video shows Pink’s reaction to pain. She responds with denial (“I’m alright!”) and violence. (“I wanna start a fight!”) it’s a message you just have to see for yourself.

Here’s her video, including Pink’s live introduction on MTV2.

So how should our kids react when bad things happen? Should they take Pink’s advice and get drunk, vandalize, and get into fights?

That’s what we discussion in this new MUSIC DISCUSSION on our web page.