David vs the Strip Club Owner

Posted on: 04/6/11 5:37 PM | by Jonathan McKee

David R Smith, the guy who writes well over half of our Youth Culture Window articles, was talking to me on the phone earlier this week about an upcoming debate he has at his college ministry on the campus of The University of South Florida. He told me that he was hosting a debate on pornography at his ministry facility with Joe Redner, owner and operator of the Mons Venus, a world-renowned strip club in Tampa, FL.

The debate is going to center on the effects of pornography; are there any, and if so, are they good or bad?

David has told me he’s taken a huge leap of faith in this arena. Redner has made millions of dollars through adult entertainment, and has spoken at hundreds of venues like the one Thursday night, espousing his views on pornography. Simply googling the name “Joe Redner” reveals tons of information about the guy; he’s also on Wikipedia. In short, this guy is a giant in the adult entertainment business.

David wisely met him for lunch earlier this week; at that meeting, Redner made many disparaging remarks about the idea of God, verbally embraced atheism, and promised David he’d embarrass him in front of the campus body.

Hmmm…sounds like another story involving a giant who hated God and a guy named David….

I’m using today’s blog to ask you to pray for David. He’s going to have audience with an incredible amount of college students Thursday night, and he’d greatly appreciate your prayerful support. Who knows what could come out of this night. Clearly, David has the truth. Let’s ask God to give him the words, the insight, and the clarity to communicate those truths to college students in South Florida.

The debate starts live at 8:15pm EST, Thursday night (for those in the Tampa area who would like to attend, it’s at the Crosswinds ministry building on 50th Street next to the new athletic fields). David has told me there’s a tech team in place to film the entire event so we can make it available to our blog and Ezine users at a later date. In addition to determining a winner and loser, college students will also be given a chance to state whether their belief AND USE of porn will shift as a result of this conversation. We’ll share that with you as soon as we can.

Thanks for your help in this. David has already expressed his gratitude to me on behalf of your prayers for him.

Hilarious Promo

Posted on: 04/5/11 11:51 AM | by Jonathan McKee

This video was too good to not share.

As most of you know, our www.TheSource4YM.com has a “STUPID SKITS” page. Yes… they truly are just stupid skits. We’ve found that skits can be a fun way to break down walls with kids. Young Life has been using them successfully for years.

I just received an email from Joel, a Youth for Christ/Campus Life guy in Kansas who used one of the skits from our skit page, shooting it as a promo video for their Campus Life.

Hilarious! Check it out:

If you can’t see the embedded video, click here.

(My favorite part is when the 300 music kicks in and the chair gets back up!)

Good job Joel! Give your kids props from us here at THE SOURCE!

Getting Kids Talking Using Dawn Treader

Posted on: 04/4/11 6:44 PM | by Jonathan McKee

You’ve heard me say it countless times, “Look for any opportunity to get kids talking.”

Most parents and youth workers would love opportunities to get kids to share their thoughts and feelings about real life issues. I want to help you by putting as many tools in your hands to help you do this. This week, the front page of our www.TheSource4YM.com web page is featuring a brand new MOVIE CLIP DISCUSSION using two different online clips from the movie Voyage of the Dawn Treader to get kids talking about overcoming temptation.

Rather than me yapping about it… just take a peek here. Everything you need is there, including the clips, questions, scripture and a wrap up.

If you read it or use it, be sure to add your comment and/or rating to it and let us know what you think.

Gaga #1 Role Model

Posted on: 04/1/11 10:06 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Last weekend at my parents workshop most parents were shocked to discover that Lady Gaga was rapidly becoming one of the biggest role models and hero for this young generation.

Many of our Christian kids are confused. One moment they see her stripping down to a g-string and dancing seductively in her music videos, and the next minute, she’s thanking God and raising money for homeless, or more recently, the people of Japan.

Pay attention. Gaga is playing it smart in her marketing of herself. She’s giving kids everything they want, plenty of eye candy, permission to be risque’ (indulge in every desire you feel, after all, you were born this way), and then wraps it up in a pretty “I care for this world” package.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Gaga is a fake do-gooder. I think she truly is looking for something more in her life, and it feels good to help others. Gaga has given away premium concert tickets to people who volunteer at least 8 hours helping LGBT youth, and recently, she raised literally millions for Japan relief. Gaga was one of the first to jump on the “Help Japan” wagon. She immediately created a place on her site where people could buy wristband with profits helping Japan… efforts that were extremely successful.

I was pleased to see that the Christian community responded to these efforts as well. YFC international urged people to help Japan, and even local churches like Bayside in the Sacramento area helped Japan, raising $170,000 for relief efforts.

But when it comes to “do-gooders,” it’s Gaga who tops the list in many young people’s minds. DoSomething.org, a charity organization for teens and social change, took a poll of the top celebs who used their celebrity powers for the most good. They named Gaga the #1 key influencer, beating out Taylor Swift, Ellen, Justin Bieber… even Oprah.

Two month ago I taught a workshop where I spent some time talking to young leaders about today’s youth culture. In my presentation I talked a little about Gaga and what she was teaching young people, specifically the sexualization of our young girls. Afterward my workshop, a student leader, 17-years-old, came up to me and said, “Gaga’s not bad you know. She actually prays and helps homeless people.”

Well there we have it.

This was a kid that was one of the spiritual leaders of her group.

What would your kids say about Gaga? Does helping Japan trump promiscuity and irresponsibility? Maybe it’s a conversation worth having.