My 13-year-old's Perspective on Selena & Self-Esteem

Posted on: 06/30/11 2:53 PM | by Jonathan McKee

My 13-year-old Ashley asked me this morning, “Dad, have you seen Selena Gomez’ music video for Who Says?”

I told her that I’d noticed the video in the Top 10 on iTunes, but never had taken time to watch it. Ashley told me, “Dad… it’s got a great message for young girls about self esteem!”

Ashley loves music and is always talking with me about the songs on the charts. (Many have already seen the video we just posted on our YouTube page of Ashley sharing her perspective to you about how parents can help set media guidelines for music in your house). So I took her advice and watched the Selena Gomez video. I was impressed with what Ashley saw, so I asked her, “Why don’t you write down your thoughts for my blog subscribers.”

Ashley did just that. Here’s her unedited “2 cents” about what young girls are learning from Selena Gomez’ video Who Says:

I usually don’t listen to Selena Gomez and don’t really have a lot of her songs on my iPod. But the other day i was on iTunes and i saw her newest album was out. So I clicked on it and saw one of her newer songs. It’s called “Who Says.” I decided to watch the video for it, cause i heard one of my friends at school say that this song was amazing and she loved it so much. I was very surprised when i finished it! This song is a message from Selena to all the insecure girls out there, saying to not worry because we are all beautiful inside and out.

Here are some of the lyrics:

I’m no beauty queen
I’m just beautiful me…


Who says
Who says you’re not perfect
Who says you’re not worth it
Who says you’re the only one that’s hurting
Trust me
That’s the price of beauty

This song really stuck out to me after I listened to it. And what was even better was the video. It starts showing Selena at a photo shoot all dressed up and wearing really pretty make up. But then she leaves the shoot and walks around the city, the whole time signs in the city are spelling words like “beautiful.” Then, at the end of the video, Selena walks into a bathroom, changes out of her dress into shorts and a shirt, removes her make up, and walks out on the beach with her friends.

I will admit, I didn’t have high expectations for this song and video. But after watching the video and seeing how she wasn’t afraid to take off her make up and be real, my opinion changed. Its like a voice inside of me said “Why don’t you do that ever Ashley?”  I think that its really cool that Selena isn’t afraid to do that (take off her make up). I mean, we always hear about actresses and singers saying for us to not be insecure and stuff, but they never really do anything about it themselves. Seeing Selena do this was awesome!

This song and video really changed the way i think about myself, and it definitely inspired me to be true to myself and not be scared to be me.

I’m really glad that Selena had the guts to do that, and i applaud her for it.

Please Don’t Say “Gay”

Posted on: 06/28/11 4:51 PM | by Jonathan McKee

My daughter’s friend Paige attends a public school and recently had a teacher who came out of the closet. A few weeks after announcing he was gay, the teacher asked a noble request of his students. He worded it like this:

“Can I ask you a favor? A lot of you use the word ‘gay’ a lot in the context of being ‘stupid’ or ‘dumb.’ You say, ‘That’s gay’ when something is stupid. I think that’s really offensive. I would hope that you would please stop using ‘gay’ as a synonym for these negative terms.”

Paige, a Christian, walked up to her teacher after class when he was alone and asked him:

“Can I ask you a similar favor? You use the term ‘Jesus Christ’ and ‘Oh my God’ all the time, especially when you’re mad at something or expressing dissatisfaction about an issue. That’s really offensive to me because I have a relationship with Jesus, my God, and I have utter respect for his name.”

Paige’s teacher thought about it for a moment. He finally responded, “I’ll try my best to not say Jesus Christ. But I’m not going to stop saying ‘Oh my God.'”

It’s getting more and more difficult to be a teenage Christian today. And heaven forbid if we disagree with the homosexual lifestyle. Those young people that do are in the minority.

I appreciate Paige’s boldness for a couple reasons:

1. Her approach was bold, but humble. Paige didn’t confront her teacher in front of the whole class. She didn’t do it for attention. Paige approached him because she really felt that he was being unfair to her and other believers. Paige has no problem with people who engage in homosexual acts, any more than those who gossip or engage in premarital sex. But she doesn’t think it’s fair for her teacher to ask for a consideration that he’s not willing to provide to believers.

Paige’s humble approach could have been costly. This is the man who is going to give her a grade that will be on her transcript forever. Sometime standing up for truth has a cost. A local Presbyterian church just spend 1.2 Million to remove themselves from a denomination that is going to allow gay clergy. I know the leaders in this church and some of the other pastors quoted in this article. These are godly, compassionate people who are standing firm on their beliefs… and the cost is great.

2. Paige just wants an even playing field. I don’t know if she would call it that, but Paige is experiencing something that most Christians are beginning to face today. We are being teased for our beliefs.

Yes, as Christians we need to understand a little history here. For as long as I remember, people have been unfair to homosexuals. Think about it. The homosexuals are a group who, I believe, struggle with a sexual sin. For years people have laughed, teased and made fun of homosexuals. Why haven’t we done the same with gossips? Why haven’t we teased those who have premarital sex? Why haven’t we teased those who cheat on their taxes?

Homosexuals have been mocked, ridiculed and bullied. It’s one of the great blemishes in our history.

But in the last few years the tables have turned. Over half of America now thinks that homosexuality is fine. More and more states are beginning to legalize gay marriage. And now… Christians are the ones being mocked.

Let me ask you a question: when you see a Christian portrayed on TV today… how are they portrayed? What about when you see a homosexual portrayed on TV (on every show)?

If someone makes fun of a Christian in the media, everyone laughs. If someone makes the slightest jest about gays, apologies have to be issued, and people are fired.

June is gay pride month. When is it okay to be proud about loving Jesus?

Now, even if Christians, in their freedom of speech, practice their first amendment rights to voice their disagreement with the homosexual lifestyle, they have to be EXTREMELY careful voicing their beliefs. I’m not talking about condemning homosexuals- that’s not cool. I’m talking about if a Christian just says, “I think homosexual acts are wrong.” If we simply state that belief, we’re deemed “hateful.”

I respect Paige for standing up for her belief.

What would you do in that situation?

How can we follow a Biblical model, showing compassion and love, while not compromising truth?

Clean Comedy

Posted on: 06/27/11 10:24 AM | by Jonathan McKee

I really love good standup comedy. The problem today is that most standup is pretty raunchy.

It’s hard to find comedians that are appropriate, especially for the entire family. I can only think of a handful of truly great “clean comedians.” The two current “clean” comedians that rise to the top would be Brian Regan (uses “damn” or “Hell” every once in a while) and Tim Hawkins. Both of those guys have me in stitches the entire show. (I actually spoke after Tim Hawkins did a standup routine once… it was a hard act to follow, believe me!)

In my search for good comedy I have to admit I’ve enjoyed the Thou Shalt Laugh series. Each DVD is an evening featuring a gathering of Christian comedians. I’ll be honest… each DVD is hit and miss, but they always have a few good nuggets in there to make it worth it.

I just watched Thou Shalt Laugh 5 last night with my family… it was definitely worth it. (We’re giving away 5 of those DVD’s and 5 of my books next week in our little contest- make sure you join in. See here.)

When you watch it, don’t bail out early. I’ll be the first to tell you that Thou Shalt Laugh 5 didn’t start strong. The host, Chonda Pierce, took a little warming up. And the first comedian was completely forgettable. I don’t think I chuckled once during his entire act. It’s sad… because the comedians to follow knocked the ball out of the park!

Canadian comedian Leland Klassen was next, and he had Lori, myself and all three of my teenagers rolling! His antics were hysterical and his physical comedy was really creative.

Leland was followed up by my favorite of the bunch, Bone Hampton. Bone, who jests that he’s black, not “African American” was definitely the highlight. I’d pay to hear him alone. Hilarious and clean. Rather amazing.

The other guys were okay. Chuckles and laughs. And Chonda became funnier as the night went on. But Bone and Leland made the whole night worth it. I think you’ll agree.

Who are the current “clean comedians” that you enjoy?

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Do Games Still Work?

Posted on: 06/24/11 4:25 PM | by Jonathan McKee

It’s summer and a lot of youth workers are on our site searching for fun games and activities. Add to that our fun little game rating and commenting contest we’re having right now where I’m giving away 10 prizes, both DVDs and books (peek here for details).

This brings up a big question. Do games still work?

Some people seem to be casting stones at ministries who still use games. Are games a tool of the past? Do they no longer open doors?

That’s the question I asked this week in my guest post on Tim Schmoyer’s Life in Student Ministry blog… an article I titled, To Play Games or Not to Play Games. Here’s a couple snippets:

The location wasn’t anything special—a multi-purpose room of a small little church. But about 70 students, gangbangers and high school dropouts from the community were gathered, laughing, playing games and having fun.

Games? Yes, gangbangers playing games.

30 minutes later the leader told a story and began a discussion about real life issues. This week the topic was death. A student laid down in the front of the room as if in an open casket at a funeral, and friends of the teenager began coming up and giving eulogies.

The leader wrapped up by sharing the Gospel. A handful of kids checked a box on a card saying, “I’d like to talk about this more.” Three one-on-one meetings happened that week between a caring adult and students. One of the students gave his life to Christ.

Across the country I visited and entirely different venue:

Every Thursday night teenagers would gather together here. A little music, a video, then a student would come up and share their story—or testimony as some like to call it. Then the leader would open the word and share for about 25 minutes. Week after week teenagers gave their lives to Christ, grew in their faith, fellowshipped with other believers and worshipped their creator.

When I talked with the leader of the group, the subject of games somehow surfaced. “We don’t play games here!” The leader snapped. “High school kids don’t want to play games,” he continued. “They want something relevant to their lives.”

Really? Games don’t work?

Who’s right?

That’s what I seek to answer in that blog. Read it, jump in and comment.

Sexy Little Girls

Posted on: 06/22/11 3:57 PM | by Jonathan McKee

I’m a father of two girls. I go shopping with them often. Let me say it simply: It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to find modest clothes and bathing suits for my daughters.

The fashion world is putting the pressure on, nudging young girls to get too sexy too soon. But most kids are on board. They’re simply following the fashion of their role models.

The question many parents and youth workers have is: where do we draw the line? We could be like the one mom we all know at church that always dresses her daughter in Amish-like apparel. I know her daughter well (I’ve met hundreds of them). When she turns 18 she’s going to rebel completely. She’s already started. Or I guess we can do the opposite and be like the overly-permissive parents of many of the girls we see on public high school campuses– girls who hardly wear anything at all.

Parents have a choice to make. Are they supposed to sway to either of these extremes? Is there a modest balance?

Youth workers have an equally difficult choice to make. In the U.S., it’s more difficult the next couple of months. The weather is hot, and that means bikinis, shirts with spaghetti straps, and other revealing attire. (As I sit here, my girls are at church camp- a camp that doesn’t allow two piece bathing suits. Some of the girls from our church literally didn’t have one-piece bathing suits. This can be a tough rule to enforce)

A FEW THOUGHTS:  (first I’ll link a couple great articles on the subject, then we’ll talk about what parents can do, then I’ll touch on how youth workers can set guidelines)

David wrote a really powerful article on this subject this week, Short Skirts, Short Shorts and Short Shirts. Here’s just a snippet:

According to their article published in the research journal Sex Roles, of the 5,666 pieces of clothing studied, 31% of them had “sexualized characteristics.” The sexualization of the clothing was usually in the form of “frequently emphasizing the look of breasts” or bringing “attention to the buttocks.”

We know that watching sexy TV shows has a direct correlation to early sexual activity, as does listening to sex-laden songs. But is there also an effect on girls who wear clothing that’s sexual? The researchers claimed that “Dressing girls in this way could contribute to socializing them into the narrow role of the sexually objectified woman.” (CLICK HERE FOR THE ENTIRE ARTICLE)

Some great discussion has transpired in the comment section of this article. I encourage you to check it out and/or join in.

I think parents inside and outside of the church are growing frustrated with some of the companies that are “selling out” to this kind of “oversexualized” clothing for young girls. A while back I blogged about an ABC news report titled, Too Sexy Too Soon, with a great video on the subject. Some parents are getting fed up with this “corporate pedophilia.”

So how can parents set guidelines?
First… I don’t think we need to over-react to either extreme mentioned above. Personally, I don’t see the need to wrap up our girls head to toe. I’ve had a conversation with my girls about the way they dress because of the simple truth that it affects the guys around them. I’ve talked about how “visual” guys are and how much bikinis and revealing tops can affect them. These have been good conversations.

Does that mean that we never have disagreements about apparel in my house? Ha! We have to remind my girls quite often. (I actually talk about this and some guidelines we use in greater detail in my book, Candid Confessions of an Imperfect Parent)

But Lori and I don’t just give up. We’ve set realistic guidelines and we’ve explained why they exist. My girls (13 and 15) are pretty cool with that.

What about youth workers?
How is a youth worker to respond when it’s summer camp and a girl shows up in a revealing two piece? (not that all one-peices AREN’T revealing!)

I actually addressed this on our ASK THE SOURCE page when a youth worker wrote and asked about a situation where they were trying to figure out a dress code for church activities, and how to approach kids that didn’t follow the code.

Here’s a snippet of my response:

I also think you can handle a lot of this one-on-one. If you see someone wearing something risqué, you can have a female staff talk with her. I would use discretion and be sensitive to “unchurched girls.” You don’t want to scare a kid away from the church over a bathing suit. And let me assure you- the world has no problem with small swim suits.

I spoke for a church last year at a one week water-ski camp and they had a similar rule about bathing suits. Sure enough, a few girls wore risqué suits. I saw two female staff approach girls about this. It was interesting to see the difference in the two approaches. When someone first voiced the concern, the two staff girls spoke up. The first announced, “I have no problem telling her to change. Where is she? Watch this!” I think this staff girl was a little more excited about the chance to enforce her power than she was caring about the individual. The girl’s reaction was not good. Not surprising.

However, the second staff lady handled her situation quite well. She was one of the mothers on the trip and when the situation arose, she simply said, “I’ll talk with her.” You should have seen her gentle approach. She just walked up to her, put her arm around her and said something to her about “a pretty girl like you doesn’t need any more help getting guys to look at you.” Then she joked with her. “Why don’t you wear this t-shirt this week over that suit and have mercy on some of our guys.”

I remember that incident well. It’s amazing how most situations can be defused when you and your team of leaders pour on “love.”

So what do you think? How are youth workers and parents to set these guidelines? Where do you draw the line?

Just Comment to Win DVDs and Books

Posted on: 06/20/11 10:46 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Let’s have us a little contest. I’m gonna throw 10 prizes into this one and make it really simple to win!

Here’s the skinny: we just totally revamped our GAMES & ICEBREAKERS page on last week and now we want your comments and votes! Every comment or vote you make, you get entered to win any one of my books (your choice) or a DVD of the brand new Christian comedy concert, Thou Shalt Laugh 5. Ten Prizes total (more on the contest in a minute).

It’s like this. When some people think of …they think “Awesome game ideas!” Well… our GAMES & ICEBREAKERS page just got logarithmically more awesome, because now you have a louder voice!

Let me explain. Our web guys have been working hard, revamping many of the free resources on our web site to include comment and rating features. This way, you can rate resources with 1 through 5 stars and/or comment. Our GAMES & ICEBREAKERS page now has this feature on all 919 of our free game ideas. That means when you play HAPPY SHAKE and your junior highers love it, you can give it 5 stars and use our comment feature to tell us the game was a hit! (I just did!) Similarly… if you jump on our SICK & TWISTED GAMES page and choose to play CHOCOLATE DROP… but don’t organize the game so that the audience can see the action, then you might want to comment and share your experience. That way others will steer clear of the same problem.

So get to it! As you browse through the 919 different game and icebreaker ideas on our GAMES & ICEBREAKERS page, be sure to add your vote and share your comments. Your voice is important! PLUS… every time you vote with 1 through 5 stars and/or give a comment, your name is entered in to win in our little contest! Hurry… time is limited! (We end the contest on July 4th, Independence Day, and post winners July 5th!)


– jump on our new GAMES & ICEBREAKERS page.

– vote 1 through 5 stars and/or comment about games you’ve tried (“This one was a hit with my youth group- but make sure and have plenty of buckets of ice! We ran out!”)

That’s it. Every time you post a comment or a vote, your name is dropped into the hopper to win!


10 prizes total: 5 DVDs and 5 books. You can win any of my books in print, or a DVD of Thou Shalt Laugh 5. Personally, I’m a big fan of standup comedy. I love the Thou Shalt Laugh concerts because it’s comedy that the whole family can watch. Thou Shalt Laugh 5 has some great comedians… my favorite being Bone Hampton (a Thou Shalt Laugh alumni. My son and I still quote lines from his previous standup. “$4.50. Bye!”) You can get Thou Shalt Laugh 5 at most Christian retailers, Amazon, etc.

Communicating with Clarity- USE PROFESSIONAL RESOURCES

Posted on: 06/16/11 5:26 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Ken is a youth worker I met whose gift is NOT speaking. Ken would readily admit this if you asked him. His gifts are much more relational (compassion, hospitality, etc.) But for some reason, Ken insists on trying to write his own talks week after week and write his own small group questions.
Sadly, his talks are as boring as an insurance seminar and his small group questions are weak.
Ken isn’t a bad guy just because speaking and developing content isn’t his gift… Ken just needs to be willing to enlist some help.
Seek Help
For the last couple weeks in this blog I’ve been writing about how to communicate to young people in a way that’s memorable and clear. Today I’m going to wrap up the discussion with my final thoughts, simply imploring, don’t be afraid to get help!
I don’t know why this is even a problem for some. The only culprit I can even fathom is “pride.” But for some reason, bad speakers will often cling on to the responsibility of speaking or developing discussion material every week even though their material really stinks!
Before you get mad at me for being so blunt and even referring to some as “bad speakers,” I encourage you to read my post a few days ago about only USING GIFTED COMMUNICATORS. In this post I talk about the simple Biblical truth of people using their gifts instead of trying to force something that’s not their strength. The plain fact is, some people are not gifted in the area of speaking or developing content.
Maybe these people don’t know their material stinks. Maybe they think that it’s part of their job and if they don’t do it themselves, they’re done. Regardless, people like Ken who don’t have the gift of speaking or developing content often keep at it instead of enlisting help from someone gifted in that area.
Don’t do it!
Allow me to be the Simon Cowell in your life right now, if that’s what it takes. If speaking and writing isn’t your gift, stop speaking and developing your own content. Enlist some help.
Allow me to quickly clarify. In the last couple weeks we discussed the fact that some people are “stuck” in a speaking role every week. They might be the only one who stepped up to the challenge and frankly, no one else will do it. I advised this person to try several things:
          Talking shorter
          Using small group questions
These simple tools can help most of us, even those without the gift of communication, communicate with better clarity.
So let me add one final tool to the list: Use professional resources for your speaking and small group content.
Use Professional Resources
Let’s go back to Ken. Ken knows that speaking isn’t his gift, yet he speaks and writes his own content every week.
If Ken has access to books and/or is connected to the web, he has a cornucopia of content at his fingertips. Ken shouldn’t be afraid to use them. The Kens of this world should stop trying to re-invent the wheel. Use ready-made resources developed by those with the gift of speaking and writing.
I’m going to suggest a couple of resources that I’ve used, then I’m going to ask you all to chime in with your suggestions of what resources and curriculum you have used with great results.
Communicating for a Change– by Andy Stanley
In my blog about USING SMALL GROUP TIME I talked about several great free resources with small group discussion questions on our website. Be sure to check those out. In addition, try these:
10-Minute Talks– by Jonathan McKee (this material is good, even though the author is a nerd)
Most any video curriculum from Doug Fields like Love out Loud
There’s just a few. Now… WHAT RESOURCES HAVE HELPED YOU?

Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night”

Posted on: 06/14/11 11:59 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Katy Perry is at it again, and as always, our kids are paying attention.

Katy’s new video for Last Friday Night is already #1 on iTunes and has millions of views on YouTube. This funny but racy video features plenty of popular cameos, drawing viewers of all ages. Like much of Katy’s work, the song and video are really well done, but they are also chock full of subtle lies that our kids are definitely consuming a gallon at a time.

Sadly, most kids will call this video “clean.” It doesn’t have any sex, nudity or cussing.

Clean… right?

The lyrics say it all, opening with the line, “There’s a stranger in my bed.” Unfortunately, the song only digresses:

Pictures of last night
Ended up online
I’m screwed
Oh well
It’s a black top blur
But I’m pretty sure it ruled

Last Friday night
Yeah we danced on tabletops
And we took too many shots
Think we kissed but I forgot

Last Friday night
Yeah we maxed our credit cards
And got kicked out of the bar
So we hit the boulevard

Last Friday night
We went streaking in the park
Skinny dipping in the dark
Then had a menage a trois
Last Friday night
Yeah I think we broke the law
Always say we’re gonna stop-op

This Friday night
Do it all again
This Friday night
Do it all again…

The video takes a much more comedic approach, with Katy all geeked out with braces, glasses and a headgear (a creative alter ego named Kathy Beth Terry who she first tried on on Saturday Night Live). Katy wakes up in a house trashed from the party the night before. Rebecca Black (of the hit video Friday) helps give Katy a makeover, and then she’s desirable to all at the party (where she gets drunk, pukes, passes out…) You can check it out for yourself on YouTube.

As the song and video ends, our kids are left with the lyrics… “The Friday night, do it all again.”

The video is going viral, with cameos from Kenny G, Rebecca Black, Corey Feldman, Debbie Gibson, and some of the Glee Cast. An article on informs us that Perry has been “taking her kathy Beth Terry alter-ego to the next level, launching Facebook and Twitter pages for the fictional eighth grader.”

This video won’t be going away anytime soon.

Communicating with Clarity—USE SMALL GROUP TIME

Posted on: 06/10/11 1:32 PM | by Jonathan McKee

It’s been fun writing about speaking in this blog for the last couple of weeks. The subject has definitely invited some interesting discussion, most of the “heat” surrounding the topic of  the “length” of our talks.
For those of you who have missed the last few weeks, we’re talking about how to communicate to teenagers in a way that’s memorable and clear. So far, after introducing the subject, I’ve written spedifically about:
One question that has surfaced in the blog comments numerous times reveals the need to address today’s subject. People keep asking me, “What do we do if we aren’t good communicators?” I’ve addressed the answer to this question a little bit in my blog about “USING THE STORY,” because stories (one story, one scripture and one point) are powerful tools that most people can use with success. I also addressed the answer in my blog about USING GIFTED COMMUNICATORS, talking about how to identify and develop gifted communicators in your ministry. And TALKING SHORTER never hurt anyone.
But today I want to bring up another subject that I think is probably one of the most effective tools for any youth worker who has a message to communicate, and that is the use of small group time.
The average youth group in America has just over a dozen young people and is led by a volunteer. Some of these volunteers aren’t gifted communicators…. and that’s okay. Small groups don’t require leaders who can deliver dynamic expository sermons. They actually require a skill that most people find even more difficult to do: the ability to listen!
Small group leading should probably be called “small group facilitating.” Because the key to small group time is to get kids talking and leaders listening.
I speak at a dozen or more camps each year. Many of these camps have a small group time after I am finished speaking. The leader of the camp will always ask me to provide some discussion questions for the “cabin leaders” or “counselors.” It’s fun to walk around after my talk and peek in on these small group times.
Guess what I observe over 90% of the time?
Leaders talking, and kids listening.
Actually… let me rephrase my observation: Leaders blabbing on and on… and kids tuning out, wishing they were somewhere else.
What a wasted opportunity.
True small group time should always include the following:
1.       Good questions that stimulate conversation and help kids discover truth.
2.       A leader that knows how to ask questions… and shut up! (Sorry for using the “s-word.”)
Let me go back to that question that has been asked multiple times in the last couple weeks. “Jonathan, what do we do if we’re not a good communicator?”
My answer: Introduce a subject with some sort of discussion provoker, then divide to small groups with trained leaders.
Let me give you some help with this.
It doesn’t matter if your gift isn’t communication (Maybe you’re the only leader who actually shows up!), just kick off the discussion with something that gets their attention, and divide to small groups.
Let’s take a peek at what this looks like.
Our web site has a ton of these that are readymade for youth leaders. Jump on and access that dropdown menu on the top left hand side of the page where it says FREE RESOURCES & IDEAS. From that dropdown menu you’ll see a ton of great free resources that not only provide you with good discussion provokers, they also provide you with really good small group questions, scripture, and wrap ups. Take a peek.
From that dropdown menu you’ll see MUSIC DISCUSSIONS and MOVIE CLIP DISCUSSIONS. Both these pages use either music or movie clips to get kids attention. Then, they provide the transition statement you can use as you divide your kids into small groups (and everything you’ll need once you get them there). We also have a page from that same dropdown menu titled CURRICULUM & JUMPSTARTERS. That page has numerous subpages, most of which provide discussion provokers and/or small group questions. All these free resources are great for provoking discussion and dividing to small groups.
Life is full of moments that might be good discussion starters. I remember watching a lady digging through the garbage of a fast food restaurant for her keys, only to later find them in her back pocket. I thought to myself, “That’s a discussion starter if I’ve ever seen one!” Think about it.
          Are you ever looking for the right thing in all the wrong places?
          What kind of garbage are you digging through on your quest for answers?
So if you’re not a naturally gifted communicator, just use a discussion provoker and divide to small groups. But then, make sure you…
Our web site can help you in this area as well with our free training tools. Jump on and access that next dropdown menu at the top of the page—the one that says ARTICLE & FREE TRAINING. From that dropdown menu, access the FREE TRAINING TOOLS page and then click on HELP MY LEADERS. On that page you’ll see a handful of free ppt presentations we provide for free to help you teach your leaders about some of the essentials of youth ministry. Select the training titled, The DNA of Healthy Small Groups. This ppt training will help your leaders learn the essentials of leading a small group.
Use a tool like this to teach your leaders to LISTEN way more than they talk.
Small groups can be a great tool for anyone, dynamic communicator or not.
Why do you think I provided ready-made small group questions at the end of every one of the talks in my book 10-Minute Talks?

A Clip of Jonathan Speaking to Parents

Posted on: 06/8/11 10:05 AM | by Jonathan McKee

For those of you who haven’t had a chance to hear me speak live, here’s a quick clip of me speaking to a group of parents about raising media-saturated kids. There are several different clips from this talk on our YouTube page …you tell me which you like best:

If you don’t see the embedded video above, CLICK HERE TO SEE IT.

In this video I dive into some of the difficulties parents face in a world where their kids are literally saturated with media for over 9 hours a day. Addressing parents specifically, I gave them a taste of research, combined with a little bit of application helping them teach lasting values to young people today (principles I cover in much more depth in my new parenting book).

If you’d like to see the other two videos from this same talk, click below for direct links:

Humorous Inconsistencies in How We Parent

Parenting Morning, Noon, and Night…