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Teens and Mobile Tech
Helping Teens Find a Balance In Their Use of Tech
David R. Smith

We’ve all seen kids staring at their cell phone screens banging out text messages or kids connected to tablets via earbuds playing games, surfing the web, or watching online videos. But, just how much time does a kid spend staring at a screen these days?

According to research, more time...
JONATHAN'S BLOG: Engaging Today's Teens in Meaningful Conversation
Canadian TV show My New Day just posted three of their shows online where the hosts Bob and Audrey interviewed me about engaging today's teenagers in meaningful conversation. (You'll see Part 1, 2, and 3 all linked on this page. Part 1 really gets started at about 8:45 into it, the rest dive in right away.)

These videos are great clips to show to parents about how to use everyday real-world occurrences to get our kids talking about stuff that matters.

Here's an excerpt from part 3:

Jonathan: It’s funny. If we put 10 parents together from the same church and you asked, “What do you allow and not allow in your house?” Then…

Audrey: You’d get 10 different answers.

Jonathan: Yep. You’d see some who are more strict, some more lenient. And funny enough, when you look at all the parenting experts, all the researchers writing about this stuff, they all will disagree about how strict or how lenient they should be, but they all agree on one thing: we need to talk with our kids about this stuff all the time.

Audrey: Meaningful conversations.

Jonathan: Yep. Literally the most conservative Parents Television Council and Planned Parenthood are both saying, “Talk with your kids about this stuff,” albeit, two different things they’re saying we should say…

Audrey: Yes. (laughing)

Jonathan: But every expert out there agrees. So we can use pop culture to do this, to ask, “Is what she just sang in her song, is it right?”

(My New Day, Get Your Kids Talking, Part 3, beginning at 7 minutes and 43 seconds)

I was interviewed four more times on this same show, posting next month about my new book, More Than Just the Talk.

Season 5, Episode 15, Try
As the season finale’ rapidly approaches, Rick slowly seems to be derailing… Or does he? For five seasons Rick has carried the burden of leader, making life and death decisions for the group and bearing the full weight of the

CAMPUS MINISTRY CORNER: The Power of Coming Together
Last weekend I was in a small town outside of Minneapolis where I witnessed something I rarely see in the world of youth ministry. I saw a network of 8 youth workers from different ministries come together to share ideas and do ministry together.

I almost pinched myself. A Lutheran, a Baptist, a Methodist, someone from the Covenant church and a Campus Life leader were drinking coffee together (sounds like a joke, right?) Yes, it’s not the first time I’ve seen it, but let’s just say I don’t see it often.

The youth ministry buzzword at hand here is called Networking. Faith leaders coming together to encourage each other, support one another and talk ministry. It’s something that doesn’t happen as often as it should.

I know, because I fly into about 30 cities a year to speak at conferences and events. In the majority of the cities I’ll sit down at dinner with a youth pastor and begin talking ministry. I always ask, “Do you know the youth pastor at the big white church I passed two blocks South? What about the church two blocks east across the park?”

4 out of 5 times the answer is, “No.”

“I’ve just been really busy. I’ve been trying to get things in motion here first, then I intend to start networking.”

Sadly, it rarely happens.

This small network outside of Minneapolis not only meets regularly, they run a weekly campus ministry together. Eight churches and Campus Life combine efforts to feed 400 to 450 kids weekly at the local high school. One of the churches is strategically located across the street from the school. Every Thursday, students have the option of going “to church” for lunch. They eat, they have fun, and they hear a little truth from God’s word.

The eight churches take turns providing the lunch, and all the churches provide leaders who interact with the kids each week.

None of the churches could do it on their own. But eight churches standing together… stronger than the Ecclesiastes 4 cord of three strands!

What might you accomplish if you came together like this?

What’s stopping you from stopping by that church down the street and inviting the youth worker to lunch this week?


Movie Reviews and Quick Q's:
Into the Woods (3/24/2015)

Posted on March 3/25/2015, 2015 at 12:06 PM
YouTube Discussion Starters:
Free Pizza (Pay It Forward)

Posted on March 3/12/2015, 2015 at 12:00 AM
Video Game Reviews @
Murdered- Soul Suspect

Posted on February 2/14/2015, 2015 at 08:03 PM
Music Discussions:
Shake It Off

Posted on January 1/15/2015, 2015 at 12:00 AM
Outreach Resource of the Week RSS Feed
Jesus Face-to-Face

If you’re looking for some solid teaching material for Easter, check out this FOUR-FOLD resource from our TALKS/SERMONS page. It’s got four completely different, fully-manuscripted messages to help you present the Gospel this Easter season.


Each talk/message will provide a title, the passage, the main point, the sound byte, the rationale, and stories, quotes or examples you can use. If you….

Spiritual Growth Resource of the Week RSS Feed
The Amistad

We feature this resource from our MOVIE CLIP DISCUSSION STARTERS page every Easter because it’s one of the most powerful tools we offer. Based on a great scene from a blockbuster film, it’s guaranteed to get your teens thinking about the story of Easter.  


The Movie Clip: “This is just a story.” 
The Amistad was the name of a slave ship traveling from Cuba to the U.S. in 1839, which was filled with a cargo of Africans who have been sold into slavery. Even though they are chained in the cargo hold of 

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