Teenagers and YouTube

Posted on: 07/29/13 2:32 PM | by Jonathan McKee

I went camping last weekend with about 20 families from my church, all families with teenagers. I always look forward to this time away from technology. It’s fun to see teenagers sitting around campfires, swimming in a lake, hiking… probably one of the only times of the entire year I see teenagers without their phones out!

But it wasn’t totally tech-free for the four days we were there. At times a young person would pull out their phone in the middle of a huddle of teenagers and start playing music through their little iPhone speaker (something I’ll never understand… if I can’t hear it through good speakers, I don’t want to hear it at all), or a group would pull out one of their phones and immediately it would start, “Have you seen this one?” Then they’d show each other the newest and funniest YouTube video. Continue reading “Teenagers and YouTube”

Nudity and Sex… No Big Deal

Posted on: 07/24/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

We’ve seen an increase in nudity and sensuality on TV, in Music Videos, and other entertainment media in the last few years. Should we be concerned? Is America concerned?

STD rates are up in my city and up to 23% higher in my entire state. These rates are the highest among young adults age 15-24. I thought it was bad enough in 2008 when the U.S. Center for Disease Control informed us all 1 in 4 teenage girls in America have an STD. Is America’s chillaxed attitude about sex sending young people the wrong message?

My girls went to Italy and France last summer and saw some of the classic paintings and sculptures from brilliant artists like Michelangelo, DaVinci… and those other Ninja turtles. As they gazed at nude paintings in the Louvre and on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel… my wife didn’t cover their eyes.

So when is nudity art… Continue reading “Nudity and Sex… No Big Deal”

Proud Daddy

Posted on: 07/22/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Saturday was a fun day for me as a dad and a husband. I, once again, participated in Sacramento’s “no swim” triathlon called Eppie’s Great Race… but this time my wife and my daughter did it too.

My daughter Alyssa and I both did the “ironman” (run, bike, and kayak) and Lori ran with a team.

Both girls did better than they thought they’d do. They ran together, clocking roughly 8:30 minute/miles for the 5.82 mile run. Alyssa then hopped on her mountain bike for the 12.5 mile ride, averaging over 17mph (which is good for a mountain bike, especially after a run), then did the 6.35 mile paddle in about 57 minutes, for a total time of 2 hours and 33 minutes. She’s a stud!

My time was 3 minutes Continue reading “Proud Daddy”

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Experiencing New York City

Posted on: 07/17/13 10:23 AM | by Jonathan McKee

This past week I took my 15-year-old daughter Ashley on one of my speaking trips, speaking 8 times in three states… then two days in New York City just for fun!

Rather than blabbing all about it… here’s the picture highlights:

The flight out was very comfortable. It’s always nice when the person next to you doesn’t take up any of your elbow room at all Continue reading “Experiencing New York City”

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3 Best Practices Developing Young Leaders

Posted on: 07/15/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

I just heard my friend Doug Fields share three “best practices” developing young leaders helpful not only in the context of youth ministry, but also in the context of parenting.

Doug is a big believer in developing young leaders. In all three cities of his SLC2013 Conference this year, he pulled the adult leaders aside and prepped them for what they could do to help their students glean as much as possible from this leadership event. In this little face to face meeting, Doug shared 3 “Best Practices” adult leaders could make a habit of, not only at this conference, but this entire year, developing young leaders Continue reading “3 Best Practices Developing Young Leaders”

Evolution of the Bikini

Posted on: 07/10/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

How do most guys respond when they see a woman in a bikini?

That’s what a group of men at Princeton sought to discover. In their study they showed men photographs of scantily clad women and observed brain activity.

“They are responding to these photographs as if they were responding to objects.”

This is just a snippet of the research clothing designer Jessica Rey shares in this fascinating little YouTube video about the history of the bikini:

This video probably provokes polar responses from audiences, cheers from one end and sneers from the other (the teenage side of the audience). And that’s what I like about it. It’s heated topics like this that Continue reading “Evolution of the Bikini”

Speaking in NJ, DE, IL and More

Posted on: 07/8/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

This week my daughter and I are hopping on a plane Wednesday to fly out to PA and speak at the third and final Student Leadership Conference for 2013. I’m looking forward to seeing many of you there.

Then we drive just across the river from Philly into NJ where I’ll be training youth leaders Saturday night (the 13th), preaching Sunday morning, and teaching a parent workshop Sunday afternoon (the 14th). If you’re in the greater Philly/West NJ area… please come join us (more details here).

If you’re looking for an opportunity to bring me to your city to speak, train or do a parent workshop, consider looking at these upcoming cities where I’m already booked… I could save you travel costs Continue reading “Speaking in NJ, DE, IL and More”

Blocking Unwanted Web Sites

Posted on: 07/2/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

“What can I do to block my kids from wandering onto bad web sites?”

That’s the gist of the question I hear at least once a week and at every one of my parenting workshops. I just heard it from multiple youth workers (who happened to also be parents) last month at the Student Leadership Conference 2013 in Dallas.

The answer is never simple, because many parents are searching for a miracle pill, and unfortunately, that’s not what their kids need. I don’t blame parents—it would be nice to have some magic guardrails keeping our kids on course as they navigate today’s tumultuous waters. But the truth of the matter is, our kids need to learn discernment. Life is full of distractions, and young people need to learn to press on when the beautiful voices of the Sirens attempt to lure them to steer into the rocks.

But discernment isn’t learned instantaneously. We’re fools to think that our 8-year-olds, our 11-year-olds, and yes… even some of our 15-year-olds… are ready to meander through the red light district (like what they might find on the iTunes video charts) without wandering into trouble. So what can parents do to block off some harmful distractions during this vulnerable stage of teaching our kids discernment?

After my recent Lure of the Glowing Screen workshop, a youth worker named Robby asked if I had heard of blocking content at the router level. I had heard a little, but am no expert. He told me about a free resource he uses Continue reading “Blocking Unwanted Web Sites”