Letters to God

Posted on: 08/10/10 9:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

It’s time for a giveaway… twofold. A free curriculum for everyone, and some DVDs for those who are quick to respond.

I’ve got 5 DVDs of the new family film from some of the same guys that did Fireproof and Facing the Giants. The film is called Letters to God and is available on DVD today. It’s the heartfelt and inspiring story of what happens when one boy’s journey touches the lives of his family, friends and community.

This family film received the highest Dove Approval Rating and an endorsement from the Parents Television Council.

We have a free discussion curriculum you can use for this film on our MOVIE CLIP DISCUSSIONS page, including small group questions, scripture and a wrap up. Give that a peek here.

As for the DVDs? I’ll give them away to the first 5 people who use my blog comment feature to do one simple thing: Tell me which of our free MOVIE CLIP DISCUSSIONS is your favorite.

That’s it.

I’ll contact the first 5 to do so and get their mailing info.

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Just 1 Thing

Posted on: 08/9/10 8:57 AM | by Jonathan McKee

A little over a month ago a youth ministry blogger by the name of Jeremy Zach asked me, Tim Schmoyer, Mike King, Dan Haugh, and a bunch of other youth ministry folks to answer a single question: What is one thing (only one thing) you want to tell the youth pastor population?

I liked Jeremy’s get go… so I decided to indulge.

I kicked him back my answer and he posted it on his blog last week. Here’s a piece of it:


Jeremy asked me a good question. “What is the one thing you want to tell the youth pastor population?”

Nothing like narrowing it down to the nitty gritty! Boom! Pow!

Funny, I was asked this very question by a friend of mine, a fellow youth worker, just a few years ago. He said, “Jonathan, I’m about to have my first adult leader training. I want to give them something foundational for them as they minister to kids throughout the year. What one thing should I teach them?”

What would you say? Think about that for a second. “What one thing?”

I said the first thing that popped in my head. “I’d want to train my leaders to connect with kids and love them as Christ loves us.”

My friend responded, “Connect?”

“Yeah. Connect with kids. You know—take them out for coffee, go to their baseball game, get ice cream with them after school. Spending time with them and letting Christ’s love embrace them through you.”

My friend seemed to walk away surprised. I wasn’t telling him anything new. The “Connecting” concept is at least a chapter in most youth ministry books, but I think he wasn’t expecting it as the answer. I held my ground. Connecting was the most important thing.  

For the next year I began to notice something. Much of the youth ministry world wasn’t making “connecting” a priority. Youth ministries were getting good at programming, giving talks, big events and even Bible studies. But not much effort was given to connecting with kids one-on-one.

I noticed this “relational ministry” void every time someone would ask me questions about “problems” in their youth ministry. They would ask me about a kid that wasn’t responding, or a student leader who had fallen into sin, or a certain type of kid that they just weren’t attracting to their ministry. In all these situations I asked one question in return, “Have you tried connecting with them one-on-one?”

In most these situations I was met with a blank stare.

After the third or fourth time this happened to me within a couple of months, I thought, “You’ve got to be freaking kidding me!” I seriously wondered, How has this been overlooked…

CLICK HERE FOR THE REST of this blog telling this story which actually led to how my book CONNECT came to be.

A Movie for the Family… That Isn’t Cheesy!

Posted on: 08/5/10 3:23 PM | by Jonathan McKee

It’s funny… I almost hesitated to title this blog, “A Movie for the Whole Family.” Because that usually means… a cheesy movie that will put parents to sleep!

Pardon my candor. But that’s often the case.

I just screened the new Rob Reiner film Flipped… and it was amazing, and cheese-free! I really enjoyed it.

Many of you know Rob Reiner from films he directed like The Princess Bride or The Bucket List. But this guy’s list goes on: When Harry Met Sally, A Few Good Men, Spinal Tap, Misery, Stand By Me…  Yeah… Reiner has a lot of range.

I loved Flipped. It releases tomorrow- definitely worth bringing the whole family.

Here’s a snipped from my official review:

And I thought movies like this were extinct. Flipped brings good storytelling back to life!

A beautiful film… the type I’d bring the whole family to!

In the spirit of The Wonder Years or My Girl, Reiner takes us back to yesteryear when kids rode bikes to school, climbed trees and played outside.

When 7-year-old Julie met Bryce, it was first love. When 7-year-old Bryce met Julie, it was nothing close. Fast forward to junior high. Flipped follows Bryce and Julie from grade school to junior high, showing us their different perspectives along the way. The story is a journey through love, family-drama, and heartache.


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A Glimpse Into What Teens Watch

Posted on: 08/3/10 5:37 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Three times a year… yes, only three times a year, I tell you to set your DVRs to record an award show watched by teens. One of those is coming next Monday night on Fox: The Teen Choice Awards.

I always tell parents to put their kids to bed and turn on The Teen Choice Awards. This show is always a revealing look into our youth culture, giving adults a peek at many of the teen idols their kids listen to, watch and talk about. It’s healthy for adults to be in “the know” about these things.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking you to start listening to Katy Perry every day or watching Jersey Shore. This one glimpse will tell you plenty. Take last year for instance– Miley’s little pole dance, and Britney’s “Ultimate Choice” award. Click here for my entire synopsis of that event.

This year I wouldn’t expect much less with Katy Perry as a host and performing. We all saw what her performance brought at the MTV Video Music Awards.

So set your DVRS to Fox on Monday night.


Posted on: 08/2/10 7:19 PM | by Jonathan McKee

The weekend has been nuts. If you missed my blog Friday, my dad had a heart attack and gave us all a big scare. He’s home now and doing great.

But a funny little tidbit… when we were at the hospital this weekend we did several trips to the hospital cafeteria. For breakfast they had the calories and fat content, etc. posted for each item of food. I always look at two things when I’m eating something: Calories, and Calories from Fat.

The hopital posted the dietary information for “Bacon.” What’s wrong with this picture?!!!


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