Recruiting Help is Still Changing

Posted on: 08/29/12 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Five years ago this fall we released the first edition of The New Breed, claiming that volunteers are different… and the way we recruit and manage them needs to be different. Any youth worker, children’s worker, or volunteer manager of any kind probably has noticed that. Maybe that’s why The New Breed is my top selling book on Amazon right now.

Interestingly enough… things have changed exponentially in 5 years, changes that are affecting all of us and calling for an even greater up-to-date leadership. To be ahead of these changes, we have just released the second edition of The New Breed. Here’s an excerpt:

Today’s volunteer doesn’t need a dayplanner, a watch, a computer, or even a landline…they just need a smartphone.

What is next? Real-time hologram projections of my board members at our board meetings?

I almost hesitate to write about technology, in fear that by the time it goes to print it will already be out of date. You’d be amazed if you saw how much we had to already totally revamp the technology chapter for the second edition of the book. So much has changed in just 5 years. For example: Continue reading “Recruiting Help is Still Changing”

The “Right” Kind of Porn

Posted on: 08/27/12 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

People have described me as “edgy” at times when I speak, because I’m not afraid to talk about the uncensored truth. I’ve even offended a handful of ultra-conservative individuals when I shared my talk, “Sex Isn’t Naughty,” using scriptures like Proverbs 5:18-20 to teach the unedited truth about God’s design for sex.

But when I read articles like last week’s piece about Internet Porn and Body Image in the Huffington Post… my “edginess” might be put into perspective. Especially when psychologist and author Vivian Diller, Ph.D. proposes a “right” versus “wrong kind” of porn.

I encourage you to read the whole article, so we don’t take her words out of context. It’s a thought-provoking article suggesting that pornography today has distorted sex to become Continue reading “The “Right” Kind of Porn”

Reading… for Fun?

Posted on: 08/24/12 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

My wife loves reading. My girls really enjoy reading.

I… I love movies.

When I’m not speaking, training, or writing, I’m at my desk all day reading journals, articles and studies about youth culture, ministry or parenting. Being completely honest… the last thing I want to do at the end of my workday is pick up a book and read for “relaxation.” If I wanna relax I’ll hang out with my kids, go kayaking, or plop down with Lori on the couch and watch something fun.

I know some people like reading for relaxation. I do it on occasion (usually because I have to)… but I just don’t enjoy it. I wish I did.

I know… it’s ironic. I’m an author… and I don’t like reading. Books offer so much more than the articles and journals I frequent. For example: Yesterday I received an email from a Christian group complaining about how our country was founded on Christian principles and it needs to return to those principles. Some guy was quoting Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and putting words in their mouths. I researched a bit and found Continue reading “Reading… for Fun?”

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Jeff Foxworthy, The Bible and Primetime

Posted on: 08/23/12 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Normally I wouldn’t think that the words Jeff Foxworthy, the Bible and Primetime would be used in the same sentence… but tonight, they will be.

Many of you have been hearing the buzz about the Game Show Network’s newest game show hosted by Jeff Foxworthy. It’s called The American Bible Challenge and it is set to premiere tonight, August 23, 8PM on the Game Show Network.

Our movie guru Todd and I were lucky enough to get a sneak peek at the premiere episode and think many of you will want to give it a peek for yourselves on cable tonight.

Todd sat down with his family to watch the sneak peak this week and shared his thoughts Continue reading “Jeff Foxworthy, The Bible and Primetime”

Deciding If Hunger Games Is Appropriate

Posted on: 08/20/12 5:00 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Are parents preparing their kids to make good media decisions… or just over-protecting them?

Last weekend I sat with a young couple who were trying to decide whether the box office smash Hunger Games, now on blu-ray and DVD, is appropriate for their middle school daughter.

The wife concluded, “The two of us are going to watch it first, then we’ll determine if it’s appropriate for her.”

I applaud their methodology. If you think that a movie is questionable, then screen it first. ask yourself the four questions I asked in my post, After Seeing Hunger Games: Continue reading “Deciding If Hunger Games Is Appropriate”

A Peek at Today’s Music

Posted on: 08/18/12 10:17 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Have you looked at the music charts lately? Allow me to give you a quick glimpse.

This weekend I’m flying to Albuquerque, NM to teach my Parenting the Texting Generation workshop. During the beginning of those workshops I always give parents a peek into the world of youth culture. Headlines often use scare tactics and talk about the minority of teenagers, so I focus on what the majority of kids are actually doing, which risky behaviors are prevalent, and what media sources have the biggest impact on young people. Then I spend the rest of the workshop helping parents not overreact, but instead “interact” with their kids and build lasting values.

Since most of you don’t live in New Mexico and can’t attend this workshop, let me give you a quick tour of what’s happening on the music charts at the moment. (Some of you have seen the YouTube video from early 2012, my little “tour of today’s iTunes”. This fun little segment of the workshop changes every time… simply because the charts are always changing.)

A Glimpse at the Most Popular Songs Today

Can You Blow My Whistle Baby?
Yeah, that is the chorus to Flo Rida’s hit song Whistle, and it just hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100. It’s been #1 on iTunes for a while now, but recently Continue reading “A Peek at Today’s Music”

The Final 2 Principles for Newbie Youth Pastors

Posted on: 08/15/12 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

How should a brand new youth pastor begin his or her job in ministry? That’s the subject we’ve been talking about in my last few blog posts, starting with your advice to “Neal Newbie.” Then I suggested there were 5 principles for “Neal Newbie” to consider. I shared the first principle here, and then two more.

Today, I provide the final two:

 4.    Demo Some Ministry Models

I recently bought a kayak from a small canoe and kayak shop near my church. When I asked them which kayak was for me, they basically answered, “I don’t know, why don’t you demo a bunch and tell us what works for you?” This little shop has a ‘demo’ program where you put a down payment down, then you get to try out any kayak you like and see what works for you. The reasoning behind this is because each person is so different it would be hard for a kayak salesperson to sell the same kayak to every person, male, female, tall, short, muscular… and not! There is no ‘one kayak’ that works for everyone.

If only people realized that in youth ministry. Just because a basketball program worked at your last church doesn’t mean the same program will work with these kids in this neighborhood, in this building, with these volunteers.

After a youth pastor asks questions of the pastor, the leaders, and the kids (Principle #1 and #2), he or she should Continue reading “The Final 2 Principles for Newbie Youth Pastors”

5 Principles for “Newbie” Youth Pastors- PART II

Posted on: 08/13/12 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Last week I asked you to chime in with your advice for my friend “Neal Newbie,” a brand new youth pastor. You all shared some amazing insight. In the next post, I finally chimed in with my two cents, raising the question, “How should a brand new youth pastor begin his or her job in ministry?” I suggested there were 5 principles to consider. If you haven’t read that post—make sure you go back and read that first principle. Today I continue my list:

NOTE: Today’s post is riddled with helpful links to articles and resources that expand on the topic. I think you’ll enjoy them.

2.    Start with People… not Program

This principle has a lot of crossover with the first principle I shared, but it deserves specific attention.

Effective youth ministry isn’t about dodgeball, pizza and all-nighters. Don’t get me wrong, I use all of these tools (and find them effective)… but they are just tools. And they definitely shouldn’t be the focus of any ministry.

Ministry begins with Continue reading “5 Principles for “Newbie” Youth Pastors- PART II”

5 Principles for “Newbie” Youth Pastors

Posted on: 08/9/12 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

How should a brand new youth pastor begin his or her job in ministry?

A couple days ago I asked for your advice for my friend “Neal Newbie,” a brand new youth pastor in a small church with just two teenagers currently attending Sunday School. What would you tell this guy? How does a youth worker know where he or she is supposed to start?

I think many youth workers might immediately start a midweek program. Others might start going on nearby campuses. Some might just assume fetal position, shivering in the corner of their office in hopes that the senior pastor never checks on them!!!

So where should my friend “Neal Newbie” start? Continue reading “5 Principles for “Newbie” Youth Pastors”

What Would You Advise Neal Newbie?

Posted on: 08/7/12 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

I have a friend who just started a job as a youth pastor for a small town church. When the church hired him, they were emphatic about two “vital” elements:

  1. Don’t change the room.
  2. Make sure you let the pastor know what’s going on.

So much to say… I don’t even know where to start.

I’ll go ahead and refrain from ranting, “Seriously? That’s all you require!!!” …skipping to the more intriguing subject matter. The fact is, my friend “Neal Newbie” hasn’t ever worked in youth ministry before, so this is his first crack at it. He met with me last week and basically asked me, “Where do I start?” Continue reading “What Would You Advise Neal Newbie?”