Top 5 Scary Movies… and 1 TV Show

Posted on: 10/31/15 4:37 AM | by Jonathan McKee

It-Follows-scaryIt’s Halloween in America today (as I write here from South Africa), and for many of us, that means it’s time to sit down on the couch, pop some popcorn and watch something scary.

This generation loves scary movies, and honestly, most the films they watch are nothing but feeble attempts at the genre. So what scary flicks are actually worth watching?

As a movie reviewer, I get an opportunity to watch quite a bit of movies, and chat with some pretty cool film makers and talk about this genre. So what are my favorites?

Here’s my top 6 scary flicks… five movies… and one TV show (it’s my list, my rules!), in no particular order Continue reading “Top 5 Scary Movies… and 1 TV Show”

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Expelled… or Vicus?

Posted on: 10/29/15 5:52 AM | by Jonathan McKee

VicusI love hearing youth ministry stories and ideas from youth workers around the world, and yesterday I heard one that really “popped.”

We’ve been in South Africa for 3 days now, playing tourist, hanging out with youth workers, and speaking at a conference here in Cape Town. In that time, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know this new “mate” of mine named Vicus.

Vicus has been in youth ministry for a decade, and really has a heart for troubled kids. He’s developed such good relationships with schools in the area (coaching and serving the schools) that the schools literally will call him up and say, “We’ve got a teenager you need to talk with.” In fact, certain teenagers have been given a choice: get expelled or spend time with Vicus.

Most kids choose time with Vicus. And this time ends up being pretty therapeutic for these kids.

Vicus puts them to work at a Continue reading “Expelled… or Vicus?”

Heading to South Africa

Posted on: 10/22/15 10:28 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Cape TownI’m not sure how to pack…

Lori and I are headed to Los Angeles (85 degrees) to run a half marathon, then we fly to Cape Town (73 degrees) where I’ll speak at a conference next weekend, then we stop off in Munich (49 degrees) for an extended layover (3 days) on the way home just for fun.

Do you even own 14 pairs of underwear?

I’m really excited about this conference in South Africa. My dad and I are training youth workers for 3 days, then we’re speaking in a local church. Should be great fun! If you’re in South Africa… take a peek HERE, or get your tickets HERE.


Chaperone… or Sherpa?

Posted on: 10/20/15 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Youth-LeaderWhat do you call your adult leaders in your youth ministry? Chaperones? Leaders? Ministers? …Steve?

Is there a word that captures their purpose a little better?

I’ve taught my Connect workshop to youth leaders 3 times in the last 7 days in 3 different states, and my message didn’t change:

“We don’t need more Chaperones; we need caring adults who are willing to connect with young people, love them, and engage in meaningful conversations.”

Last Saturday I taught this workshop in West Houston, and a youth worker named Dave Blanchard hosted it, inviting his team of Sherpas. Yes… a Sherpa Continue reading “Chaperone… or Sherpa?”

Multiplying Disciples

Posted on: 10/15/15 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Gospelize-Your-Youth-MinistryDo you create lifelong disciples who go out and make other disciples?

Think about that for a second. I’m not asking if your kids go to church or wear Christian t-shirts. I’m asking if they get so excited about Jesus that they can’t help but tell others about Him.

I know, I know. That sounds so… 2,000 years ago. (Dare I say… the book of Acts?)

Last Saturday my family and I connected with my good friend Greg Stier at the National Youth Workers Convention and we talked about that very subject—Gospelizing your youth ministry, a spicy “new” philosophy (that’s 2,000 years old) Continue reading “Multiplying Disciples”

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The Gospel According to The Walking Dead

Posted on: 10/13/15 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Families-Watch-Walking-DeadAmerica popped popcorn and settled into their couches Sunday night to watch one of their favorite TV shows… a cable show, no doubt… The Walking Dead. The show drew even more viewers than Sunday Night Football.

I was in SoCal speaking at the National Youth Workers Convention this weekend, so my brother took the reins of our fastest growing blog, The Gospel According to The Walking Dead, writing an amazing post discussing the Season 6 Premiere, and provoking an intriguing discussion about Romans 12. His post was so nerdtastically captivating, I asked him to write more upcoming discussions for the blog.

Here’s just a snippet of his post:

This is what I love so much about this show. Alexandria serves as the perfect metaphor Continue reading “The Gospel According to The Walking Dead”

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The Most Vital Skill in Youth Ministry

Posted on: 10/8/15 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

connect-artwork“What is the most important skill I need to teach my volunteers?”

That’s what my friend Brandon asked me when he was planning his fall training with all of his leaders.

What would you answer?

Without hesitation I answered him, citing a ministry skill that trumps all others:

“Connecting with young people.”

“Go back to your Bible.” I always tell youth workers at my training workshops. “What did Jesus model? Did he sit there in the synagogue Continue reading “The Most Vital Skill in Youth Ministry”

Moving Kids from Tech-dependent to Tech-enabled

Posted on: 10/6/15 7:36 AM | by Jonathan McKee

girlsdistractedphonesDoes the smartphone help communication… or hinder it?

That one of the questions I ask when I’m teaching young people to be smarter than their smartphones.

“Think about it,” I suggest. “How many times are you sitting in a circle of your friends and none of them are talking because their heads are all down staring at their phones?”

Students always laugh and point to each other. “That’s so you!”

My point is clear: Phones can be really convenient tools helping us communicate with friends outside the room, but they become a hindrance when they interfere with our connection with people inside the room Continue reading “Moving Kids from Tech-dependent to Tech-enabled”

What would you have done?

Posted on: 10/1/15 10:37 AM | by Jonathan McKee

make-up“Turn around! Now!” That’s what she said, and my dad had no idea what to do.

Have you ever noticed that most tough parenting (and grandparenting) decisions aren’t black or white? Think about it. If they were… the choice would be easy. But parenting is never that easy… is it?

Let me give you an example with my own kids a while back– a grandparenting example. This was one of those sticky situations that my dad experienced when my daughters were in eighth and tenth grade and Lori and I were Continue reading “What would you have done?”

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