The Source for Youth Ministry
Jonathan's Resource Ezine

Weekly Resources, Ideas and Articles from The Source for Youth Ministry
Tuesday, December 7, 2004

In This Issue

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Featured Article: The EITHER/OR Dichotomy- Is LIFESTYLE or VERBAL Evangelism More Effective When Reaching Out to Postmoderns?

By Jonathan McKee
December 7, 2004

Greg Stier recently interviewed The Source's Jonathan McKee about his new book from Youth Specialties, Do They Run When They See You Coming. We thought you'd enjoy hearing an excerpt from their dialogue as they talked about the "balance" between "Lifestyle" and "Verbal" Evangelism, specifically in reaching out to Postmoderns.

Greg Stier and Jonathan McKee have a similar passion ... reaching out to Postmoderns. Both are speakers, authors and contemporary voices bringing a relevant message to an "unchurched" generation.

NOTE: This is just an excerpt from the interview - CLICK HERE for the entire interview.

Greg: ... One of the things I find with youth leaders is that, when it comes to evangelism, they are either too quiet, or too loud. They either are too quiet-they think that kids should just see it in your lives and run up and ask you. Or they're too loud-they have a bullhorn kind of Christianity that takes a tract and crams it down your throat. I don't think either extreme works when it comes to reaching Postmoderns. You really provide a Biblical, balanced, relevant approach in your book.

Jonathan: That was my goal. And I think that's why we titled it Do They Run When They See You Coming? because I myself struggled with that. Where is the balance? I mean, do they see me coming with my tract and my canned presentation? You see, I think sharing the Gospel is a lot more than just "presentations." Today kids, more than anyone, can spot a fake. They've got words for fakes. You're a "poser" if you ain't the real deal. You're "frontin'" if you're putting up a false front but are different inside. This generation of Postmoderns know that actions speak louder than words. Yet, so many people out there are looking to convert, looking for an opportunity to give a "presentation," when their lifestyle isn't communicating that.

Greg: I think in our approach to Postmoderns, sometimes there is a tendency to have an "either/or" dichotomy. Either you "lifestyle" or you "verbalize." And personally, I don't think that's a Biblical approach. That's why I like your book. You've got a good balance of understanding that the powers in the message will transform but the authentication of that message is in the messenger.

You know, Howie Hendrix was once asked by a seminary student on a plane trip, "Which is more important: lifestyle or verbal evangelism?" Howie Hendrix replied, "Well, which wing on this plane is more important?" They're both equally important: The message of the Gospel delivered through a messenger whose authentically seeking to live that message as consistently as possible. And when that happens, I think you get someone who lives it loud and whose not ashamed to bring it up and turn conversations naturally toward Jesus. Not so much going through a presentation as much as explaining the good news of the Gospel and how they're being infected and affected by it.

Jonathan: I can't agree more about "either/or." I spent an entire chapter talking about that phenomenon. Some people have an aggressive approach. This is the approach where people are selling Jesus. It even has the presumptive close: "Would you like to attend the 8:00 or 9:30 service with me this Sunday?" This sends people running. Yet, others have a passive approach. They just sit around and wait for people to come up to them and talk to them. And when it comes down to it ... these people never share the Gospel with anyone.

Greg: That's where your book was very refreshing. A lot of books are "either/or." But your book talked about and gave practical examples of both. "Live it and give it." And in that order. This doesn't repel people from us.

Jonathan: I think the thing that surprises me is how often the aggressive approach is taught ... or slapped on t-shirts. We didn't see Jesus using this approach. Jesus, who didn't have a watered down Gospel by any means-ask the rich young ruler that, was all about helping others with no strings attached. He would see hungry crowds and just say, "Let's feed 'em." He saw the sick and blind and just healed 'em. He saw a slimy tax collector and he said, "I'm going to go eat dinner with this guy!" You didn't see him using back door approaches to try to share the Gospel. So I think it's funny how sometimes in ministry we are so focused by "the tract" or "preaching at people." I just didn't see Jesus ever forcing it.

Greg: But at the same time, He didn't hesitate to share. That's another reason I enjoyed your book so much. It's one of the few books about "lifestyle" that also focuses on sharing the Gospel. You have an entire chapter on "door opening questions." You have another chapter about sharing the Gospel story to this generation. And the refreshing thing about this Postmodern generation is how spiritual they are. You talk about this in one of your beginning chapters. You don't have to try to bring up spiritual things. This is the most spiritual generation around. I find that the "unchurched" are fascinated by the spiritual. I mean, you go to Barnes and Noble, Borders-there are spiritual books everywhere.

You know-you hear so many people in the church talking about Harry Potter. You know, I think Harry Potter might have done the church a favor in the sense that he creates spiritual conversations. Lord of the Rings, all these films. It's different than 10 years ago where it was a struggle to bring up spiritual things. Now, it just happens. It just happens naturally. And I think it's going to be those who are living their message authentically with a simple story to share that impact this generation for Christ.

Jonathan: I love how you talk about this in your Dare2Share events. You talk about living authentic lives and sharing their story. They learn to live it, and give it. And you do it in the context of a fun weekend event with all the right elements: a band they want to hear, powerful teaching, funny videos, and a taste of getting their hands dirty and serving others. I know your upcoming conferences are going to be life-changing.

Greg: Thanks. I'm looking forward to them. And we'll have your book available at all of them-a great tool to get into the hands of students and youth workers who want to reach out to the "unchurched."


An Affordable Evangelism Training Event for Your Student Leaders: Dare 2 Share Brings Greg Stier, David Crowder and More to Eight U.S. Cities ...

You and I both know the challenge behind getting students trained in how to share the gospel confidently and effectively, which is why I'm excited about Greg's vision and the ministry of Dare 2 Share. During this high energy and hard hitting two day conference, teens are challenged and trained to live and give their faith as a lifestyle. If you want your youth group to catch a vision for seeing their friends saved and plugged into your youth ministry, this is the conference you need to attend.

Here are the dates for the tour, click here for more information, or just click on the city nearest you for more details. Also- be sure and receive your FREE promo/training DVD by clicking on this link.

2004 - 2005 'Blaze: Ignite Your Passion for God' Tour Dates

City: Dates: Venue:
Denver November 5-6 Denver Coliseum Register Now!
Charlotte November 12-13 Cricket Arena Register Now!
Columbus January 14-15 Columbus Convention Center Register Now!
St. Louis February 18-19 Family Arena Register Now!
Lincoln February 25-26 Pershing Center Register Now!
Phoenix March 4-5 Dodge Theater Register Now!
Houston April 15-16 Reliant Arena Register Now!
Atlanta April 22-23 The Arena at Gwinnett Center Register Now!

To check out the weekend schedule and details, go to, or call 1-800-462-8355. Don't miss out on this great opportunity!

Something You Can Use: Wondering if there are Any Good Christmas Games, Ideas, or Discussions? Take a Peek!

Okay, the emails are starting to pour in. What can we do for Christmas?

A few Ideas:

  1. Who is Jesus Small Group Discussion-simple but affective CLICK HERE

  2. Compassion Like Cindy Lou-The Grinch video clip idea CLICK HERE

  1. Last years humorous list of the Top 10 Christmas Activities You Should and Shouldn't Do! CLICK HERE

  2. Human Christmas Tree and other Christmas Games CLICK HERE

  3. Play Doh Snow Man, Ho-Ho Slam and other Christmas Games CLICK HERE

  1. Last week's idea for a Napoleon Dynamite Night CLICK HERE


Jonathan's New Book is Here: And We're Giving Away a Free "Outreach Resource CD" With Every Order

The pre-orders have been sent!

So can you still get the free CD?

Good question: Because we've got less than 1,000 of our 2005 Outreach Resource CD's left-and we're giving them away for free to anyone who orders now.

Now, we know that you can go down to your neighborhood Christian book store today and buy this book. That's why we're throwing something in for free, just to say "Thanks for buying it from us!"


This is the book that everyone's talking about. Saddleback's Kurt Johnston says it best:

"Most youth workers feel like we just aren't reaching enough students for Christ-at least that's how I feel. In this book, Jonathan took me on a journey that was both convicting and encouraging at the same time! Instead of a few "happy hops to Heaven," Jonathan provides a holistic approach to reaching this generation of un-churched students."

Recommended by Mark Oestreicher, Bo Boshers, Jim Burns, Walt Mueller, Chap Clark, Wayne Rice, and more!


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