The After-Christmas Mixer

Posted on: 01/8/13 12:30 PM | by Jonathan McKee

My good friend Danette Matty from Nebraska just emailed me to let me know that she missed doing our “Christmas Mixer” this year  (from our Games & Icebreakers page) with her small group, so she decided to tweak it and make it an “After-Christmas” mixer, basically a good list of small group ice-breaker questions.

I love the idea. Here’s some of her questions:

Post-Christmas Regroup Q’s

  1. The first thing you did on Christmas Day is….
  2. Where was the last place you went shopping for Christmas?
  3. Name a Christmas tradition your family participates in.
  4. Name the place you stayed the most during Christmas break.
  5. What was your favorite Christmas gift this year?
  6. What was the coolest gift you gave someone this year?
  7. What was your favorite Christmas present of all time?
  8. What class are you most looking forward to getting back to this week, or, who are you most looking forward to seeing that you didn’t see over break?

5 Copies of Chris Tomlin’s Newest

Posted on: 01/7/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

It’s time to give away some CD’s. I have 5 copies of Chris Tomlin’s brand new Burning Lights CD, releasing January 8th, and I’m going to give them each away to five winners (WINNERS POSTED BELOW more on that in a minute).

Chris Tomlin delivers once again with this CD. My favorite is probably the first song, track 2, Awake My Soul, where he joins with Lecrae for a song that you’ll eventually hear sung in churches around the world. Tomlin’s music has that impact.

Tomlin has a way of putting God’s word to melody like no other. The first time I heard track 3, Whom Shall I Fear, I found myself worshipping along with song.

The whole album is good. My favorite might just be track 11, Thank You God, featuring Phil Wickham. It’s a sincere and honest prayer.

This is one you’ll definitely want to get!

So let me start you off by giving 5 people the CD. Here’s how we’ll do it: I’ll randomly chose 5 people who use the comment feature in this post and post two things:

  1. Your favorite Christian song that you’ve listened to in the last year.
  2. Your favorite secular song in the last year.

I’ll start.

  1. My favorite Christian song I’ve listened to in the last year has probably been Gungor’s Beautiful Things (yes, this is a 2010 song, but I didn’t find it until early this year).
  2. My favorite secular song I’ve listened to in the last year is one I just talked about in our most current Youth Culture Window article about the top hits of 2012. That is Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye.

Your turn! Use the comment feature to post your two favs and I’ll choose the winner  tomorrow, on the release date, January 8th at noon, Pacific time! I’ll Tweet the winner, then post it right here on this blog post.

WINNERS: Great list of songs posted. Thank you all for your submissions. I think Matt Redmond’s 10,000 Reasons was the overwhelming choice of Christian songs. And secular… maybe Call me Maybe. Here’s the 5 winners:

1. Josh Stitcher (Matt Redmond and The Script)
2. Dan Neighbors (Gungor and Coldplay)
3. Roger (Matt Redmond and Fun)
4. Kelly Sykes (Matt Redmond and Pink)
5. Julie Smith (who was  brave enough to admit that Pay Phone was her favorite secular song! LOL)

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The Popularity of Unaffiliated

Posted on: 01/2/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

A new year brings new trends, and one of these growing trends just might be claiming “unaffiliated.”

On December 18th, The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released their newest Global Religious Landscape study. In other words… who believes “what” around the world?

Christians led the pack, with 31.5% of the population claiming, “I’m Christian.” Muslims came in second (23.2%)… and then the bronze winner… “Unaffiliated.”

The picture in America isn’t much different. The number of unaffiliated rose from 15% to 19% in the last 5 years. Even more intriguing… when you break it down by age. Pew’s other recent report, “Nones” on the Rise, provides this nice chart showing the recent trends in affiliation, by generation:

As you can see, the younger the American, the greater the chance of being unaffiliated with any religion. My son’s age group (born 1990-1994) leading the pack with 34% unaffiliated.

Interesting enough, unaffiliated shouldn’t be confused with being an atheist or agnostic. While 19% of Americans claim unaffiliated, less than 5% still claim to be either atheist or agnostic. Does this mean they’ve never had doubts? Actually, PEW asked a question about doubting God’s existence. When asked if they’ve never doubted the existence of God, 80% of Americans said, “Yes, I’ve never doubted this,” compared to 88% in 1987.

What does all of this mean for us, especially those of us working with young people?

It means many of us are going to encounter different types of kids in our respective mission fields and we should take some time to consider who they are, what they believe and what our conversations with each of these kids just might look like. This is exactly what I teach in my CONNECT training workshop, and what we taught in this little youth leader training video on YouTube, Connecting with the Six Types of Kids.

(When I hear the words “unaffiliated,” I think “not interested kid.”)

What about you? How are you going to connect with each of the six types of kids we encounter in today’s culture?

FOR FURTHER READING… you’ll enjoy Jonathan’s book Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, where Jonathan helps youth leaders connect with the six types of kids they’ll encounter in their community.