The VMAs: Insight into Our Kids Music

Posted on: 08/28/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

What music videos are most teens watching?

What songs fill your teens’ music library in that device in their pocket?

Which artists are the biggest role models for young people today?

What truths are your teens gleaning from these heroes?

The VMAs answered these questions with a megaphone on Sunday night, and surprisingly… people were actually surprised with the answers. Funny. The event wasn’t surprising in the least. It was typical Lady Gaga, typical Miley Cyrus, typical Justin Timberlake, Typical Bruno Mars… typical MTV.

Sad that “typical” is often confused with “no big deal.”

So what can we take away from cable’s #1 entertainment telecast of 2013 among young people age 12-34? Glad you asked.

Here’s our Youth Culture Window article unveiling what millions of young people gleaned from this eccentric and aberrant pop culture jamboree this year.


Video Interview

Posted on: 08/26/13 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Last week I did a few interviews about parenting, youth ministry and springboarding conversations with young people today.

Paul Turner posted his Google+ video interview up on YouTube already; some of you might find it fun to eavesdrop into our conversation about my new piece of fiction I wrote to start conversations with teenagers.


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What We’ll See at the MTV VMAs Sunday

Posted on: 08/22/13 10:33 AM | by Jonathan McKee

MTV is rolling out the heavy hitters this year for the 2013 VMAs: Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis… practically everyone teens want to see.

The question is: what will young people take away from Sunday night’s show?

This Sunday night literally millions of young people will be watching the MTV Video Music Awards (the VMAs), an event where the most popular celebs in music, movies and television come together to celebrate the greatest music videos of the year. This event always provides a sobering glimpse Continue reading “What We’ll See at the MTV VMAs Sunday”

Parenting 17-year-olds like 18-year-olds

Posted on: 08/21/13 3:32 AM | by Jonathan McKee

The last 6 months I’ve been conducting a little experiment; but, instead of using rats… I used my daughter.

No, I didn’t cage her, send her through a maze and reward her with pellets. I did something a little more drastic in most conservative parenting circles: I freed her from all rules and restrictions at age 17½.

Some of our friends thought we were nuts, and at times… we wondered. But we refrained from retightening our grip.

This week my daughter turned 18, and Continue reading “Parenting 17-year-olds like 18-year-olds”

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Skeptical about Zombies

Posted on: 08/19/13 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Not a lot of people know exactly how many hurdles I encountered trying to publish a Christian book for teenagers with the word “zombie” in the title. I won’t name publishers, but I had several tell me verbatim, “Sorry, we can’t publish anything with the word zombie in the title.”

My Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenagers was officially released last Thursday, and by its release date we were already blessed with piles of pre-orders and even 18 reviews from youth workers and parents who gave it a try on Amazon. Many have approached the book with skepticism, but so far, anyone who has actually given it a gander (we provide the first four chapters as a free download here) has responded positively to its forthright approach using a fictional premise to provoke conversations with teenagers about real issues teens are facing today.

I ‘m humbled with the positive response. I’ve actually Continue reading “Skeptical about Zombies”

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Flying to Uganda

Posted on: 08/15/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

On September 2nd I fly to Uganda to train youth workers and parents in the city of Kampala…

and I am SOOOOooooooo out of my comfort zone!

I’m not talking about lions, huts or language barriers… I’m talking about “preparation.” Everyone keeps telling me, “be prepared for the unprepared.” My focus right now is doing a lot of listening.

This will be my first time Continue reading “Flying to Uganda”

Meme Contest

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

For any of you who have teenagers or work with teenagers, you know what a “meme” is. Those crazy little pictures with a funny caption that teenagers pass along to each other (often from iFunny, reddit, or even Google images).

That’s why we’re giving away a bunch of prizes (including a $100 gift card to Starbucks, Best Buy or Amazon) to the best zombie-themed meme, in celebration of my brand new book, The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenagers, releasing this week!

THE CONTEST IS SIMPLE Continue reading “Meme Contest”

Time to Tweet

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

One of the fun ways I enjoy keeping you current is through 140 characters or less! (Isn’t that brevity lovely!)

I’m speaking of Twitter, of course, and this month I’m rewarding you for following my Tweets with some fun contests, giveaways and resources.

My Twitter account is a vehicle I use to tell you about new resources, articles, funny anecdotes, and the newest trends and news in the youth-ministry/parenting world. For the rest of August, I’ll be rewarding those of you who decide to follow me and reTweet!

It’s this simple. I tweet something you like… you hit that nice little reTweet button and reTweet my Tweet. Each time you reTweet me, your name goes in the hopper to win. I’m giving away a book per week this month, a choice of any of my books, including my brand new Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenagers which is shipping this week.

Happy reTweeting!!!

Discipling Teenagers

Posted on: 08/7/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

In the nineties youth ministry was so focused on ‘effective outreach,’ often ‘effective spiritual growth’ was moved to the back burner.

This went on for about a decade, until the church had to begin doing triage with kids who had been raised in the church, but never discipled to own their own faith.

Now the most common questions I hear from youth workers and parents are Continue reading “Discipling Teenagers”

Responding to The Jonas Brothers’ New Music Video

Posted on: 08/5/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

I like to keep an eye on the music charts and see what young people are putting in their heads. The next few months, and even weeks, will be interesting, because new music is on its way from Katy Perry (Aug 12), Lady Gaga (Aug 19) and others. But among these, it was the new Jonas Brothers music video that caught my attention.

Unlike so many artists today who become the heroes and role models of kids today, The Jonas Brothers seem to have kept a pretty clean slate. Back in 2008 Continue reading “Responding to The Jonas Brothers’ New Music Video”