The Source for Youth Ministry
Jonathan's Resource Ezine

Weekly Resources, Ideas and Articles from The Source for Youth Ministry
Wednesday, September 26, 2007

In This Issue

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Evan Almighty Giveaway: We're giving away 5 "Evan Almighty" DVDs to the top 5 fliers submitted

Evan Almighty Yes, it's that simple. We want to see your youth ministry event fliers. And anyone that sends us a flier for one of their recent youth ministry programs or events registers to win one of 5 "Evan Almighty" DVD's that we'll be giving away on its release October 9th!

Here's the skinny: Jonathan will be teaching a workshop at the Youth Specialties National Youth Workers Convention this year based on his new book Getting Students to Show Up. In this workshop, he likes to show numerous examples of recent youth ministry events and programs. So we'd like to see what you got! (How's that for proper English!)

Your flier qualifies you to win "Evan Almighty" on DVD, a movie The Source movie reviewer Todd Pearage calls "one of the funniest family-friendly movies this year." Todd gave it his highest rating, "Worth Buying."

  1. Send a jpg or a PDF of one of your recent program or event fliers. It MUST be a jpg or PDF and it must be under 1MB. Ask your local graphics guy or tech geek friend how to make that happen (any submissions outside these specs will not be eligible).

  2. Include the following four logistical items:
    • Your name
    • Your youth ministry title (jr. high coordinator, volunteer, janitor, etc.)
    • Your phone number
    • Your correct mailing address

  3. Tell us a little about the event, the purpose, the attendance, and the results.
  4. Type these words to us in the email: I give Jonathan McKee and/or The Source for Youth Ministry permission to use this flyer and this information as an example for any of their trainings, articles, books or resources.

That's it! Enter now!

Email your submission to

Don't Miss Movies: This week is the week for movies-and especially the week for football films! Check out some great recommendations from Jonathan & Todd including the new family film starring "The Rock" called The Game Plan. Also enjoy the DVD releases of We Are Marshall, and the TV series Friday Night Lights.

It MUST be football season... or that just happens to be the common denominator between these three stories. But you don't have to be a football fan to like these three. Check out Jonathan and Todd's "2 Cents" on these recent theatrical and rental releases.


The Game Plan (9/28/2007)

Rated PG for some mild thematic elements.

Directed by Andy Fickman (She's the Man)

Starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Madison Pettis, Kyra Sedgwick, Morris Chestnut

Jonathan's Rating: Worth Buying

The Game Plan is probably my favorite family film of 2007. It was especially fun for me because I saw the screening on one of my daddy/daughter dates with my 10 year old. We laughed hysterically throughout... and even cried for a moment or two. The film has a great balance of humor and heart.

My daughter and I both agreed, "This film will definitely be one that we buy and watch over and over again."

NFL star quarterback Joe Kingman was set: status, money, and raw talent. His lifestyle was straight out of GQ magazine: a sports car with a price tag larger than my house and a luxury apartment with all the modern amenities a bachelor desires. But football was Joe's true love. According to Joe, "Beyond the field, nothing else matters." And his mind was set on grabbing the next championship.

That was his game plan-what could go wrong?

Enter seven-year-old Peyton stage left.

Joe discovers that he has a seven-year-old daughter from a previous relationship (a premise that is probably the only thing that gave this film a PG rating, hence the MPAA's wording "mild thematic elements." Because the film has almost no objectionable material. I was actually surprised that it wasn't rated G). Peyton moves in with him, and Joe's "game plan" begins to unravel.



We Are Marshall (9/18/2007)

Rated PG for emotional thematic material, a crash scene, and mild language.

Directed by McG (Charlie's Angels, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle)

Starring Matthew McConaughey, Matthew Fox, David Strathairn, and Ian McShane

Jonathan's Rating: Theatre Worthy

Todd's Rating: Rental

We agree that the story behind We Are Marshall is powerful and inspiring.

JONATHAN'S WORD: I thought they pulled it off.

TODD'S WORD: Sorry, I didn't think the movie lived up to the legacy.

That legacy is the true story of the 1970's Marshall "Thundering Herd" football team. Marshall University is nestled in Huntington, WV, a town that loves and supports it?s college football. For the residents of Huntington, it's more than a game, it's a way of life. So when the team's plane crashed on a return trip from North Carolina, and 75 members of the team, coaches, athletic staff and prominent citizens died, the town must learn how to deal with tragedy. Feeling the pressure from parents and the community, and with only freshman (who are ineligible) and three injured players, Marshall's president Donald Dedmon (David Strathairn) considered abandoning the football program. But the students of Marshall rally the cause and Dedmon begins the search for a new football coach. After an exhaustive search and everyone declining, Coach Jack Lengyel (Matthew McConaughey) accepts the job of rebuilding Marshall's football program.

TODD'S WORD: I love sports movies. Movies like Rudy, Miracle, and Remember the Titans that tell the story of underdogs; stories of hope, perseverance and overcoming the impossible. We Are Marshall certainly fits into that category, and although it comes close, in the end it just doesn't measure up. Throughout the film I was left wanting more...more passion, more emotion, more football.

JONATHAN'S WORD: Are you sure that you didn't accidentally wander into a different theatre? Were you watching Tranformers? Because, you're right... Tranformers wasn't a good football film.

TODD'S WORD: Nope. It was definitely We Are Marshall. Don't get me wrong, a few moments rise above average, and the football action was pretty good. But it just never seemed to grab me and pull me in.

JONATHAN'S WORD: Did you ever play football?

TODD'S WORD: Of course I did.

JONATHAN'S WORD: How many blows to the head did you take?

TODD'S WORD: Obviously not enough.

JONATHAN'S WORD: (sigh) I had the opposite experience in the film. The film really grabbed me. At the beginning, viewers might think, "Another football film." But the film immediately does a 180 with the plane crash. That's when the theme of the film really emerged. The film is really about healing.

It was nice that We Are Marshall didn't just try to insert in a nice "after school special" message of "It doesn't matter who wins or loses... it's how you play the game." We Are Marshall was one of the few films that convincingly portrayed where true victory lies. It doesn't rest on the scoreboard. "Victory" was a town that was able to get back up after they had been hit hard.


Friday Night Lights
(The TV Series, Season One)

Starring Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Taylor Kitsch, Adrianne Palicki...

Jonathan's Rating: Worth Buying

Emmy award winning Friday Night Lights (FNL) was by far my favorite TV show last year.

The crazy thing is... the show struggled when it came to ratings. The rumor is this: football fans wanted more football. Fans of "more substance" didn't even try the show because they thought it was just about football. But the buzz has started. Word is getting out. NBC secured a Friday Night spot for the series and Season Two will kick off October 5 at 9/8c.

Take my word for it, both football fans and computer techs will love Friday Night Lights. And as a youth worker, you'll love it. This show is one of the most real portrayals of today's teenagers (those who live in small towns will especially identify with it) I've seen.

Yes, real means that we get a glimpse of much of the world's junk. This show isn't for young children. But unlike MTV, reality shows or sitcoms, FNL doesn't glorify sex, partying, fighting, etc. More importantly, it shows the consequences of these activities. It's so refreshing to see a show that actually shows the consequences that a girl faces when she decides to have sex. Not just pregnancy or the risk of disease, but genuine regret and hurt. As a youth worker who has spent many sleepless nights at hospitals or in living rooms with hurting kids and parents, FNL is as real as it gets.

The story is based on the movie, which was based on the book. The book was a true story from the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Buzz Bissinger who spent 1988 in Odessa, Tex., a town obsessed with its champion high-school football team the Permian Panthers. Publishers Weekly called this book a "superb, if disquieting, portrait of heartland America." Seventeen years later the story was brought to the big screen. One year later the TV show was born.

The show, like the film is about a small town that lives and breathes football. The biggest celebrities on campus and around town are the football players, and the highlight of the week is the Friday Night Game.

The TV show unveils the stress put on the high school players to win and the fallout that occurs when they don't. The characters are real, the writing is incredible, and the acting is superb.

One of my favorite aspects of the show is the depth at which we get to know the characters. FNL doesn't allow you to dislike many characters. If we are introduced to a dislikable girl... the writer dives deeper into her story. And as we learn more about her story we begin to have compassion for her. As we learn more about her alcoholic mother, we begin to understand. But that's where FNL dives even deeper. Then we begin to learn the mother's story and why she is drinking. The more we are given the opportunity to step into the shoes of these shattered lives, the more we have the chance to feel compassion. FNL gives you the opportunity to put judgment aside and ask the question, "What is it like to be ________ ?"

If I had to say something negative about the show, I'd be critical of the casting of two of the characters because of their age. We've all seen it in movies: the 25 year old high school kids. Although most of the cast looks the part, you'll see a couple characters that look more like Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders than Dillon Panther cheerleaders. I understand why NBC makes these decisions: it's much more difficult to find decent 16 year old actors, and sometimes even more difficult to work with them. Overall, FNL did an incredible job.

The Season One DVD includes all 22 episodes plus some fun extra features. And this DVD set usually sells for less than $19.99, not bad for a TV series. Maybe that's why it's currently ranked #55 of all DVDs on Amazon right now, and it's #16 for boxed sets.

This show is a must see for youth workers.

Jonathan McKee is president of The Source for Youth Ministry and author of numerous youth ministry books like "Do They Run When They See You Coming?" and the brand new "Getting Students to Show Up." Jonathan studies youth culture and trends, speaking and training across the country and providing free online resources, training, & ideas for youth workers at

New Podcast Announces Winners This Weekend: Listen to Episode #7, launching this weekend, to find out the winners of our THE SOURCE PODCAST SUMMER GIVEAWAY!



Our Podcast listeners get special perks like THE SOURCE PODCAST SUMMER GIVEAWAY. Today was your last chance to win. It was as simple as this: you listen to the podcast... you had a chance to win any of these prizes:

A brand new Apple 30GB Black VIDEO iPod ($249 Value)

Getting Students to Show Up
Jonathan's new book Getting Students to Show Up and the FINAL COUNTDOWN Event Resource DVD.

Gospel Journey Adventure Kit
The Gospel Journey Adventure Kit from ($199 Value)


From left to right: Furby, Chris, Jonathan
Episode #7 Launches
This Weekend!

Listen to it for free on iTunes now!
(CLICK HERE) Or, if you don't have iTunes already... jump on Apple's web page for a free download, then click on our podcast page.

A Peek at Episode #7- In this episode join Timber-lee Camp's Chris Radloff along with Jonathan and Furby as they talk about managing volunteers. Chris Radloff is the ministry director over at Timber-lee where he has been recruiting, training and managing hundreds of volunteers each year. Jonathan noticed something different about the volunteers at Timber-lee. Impressed by their volunteer program, Jonathan asked Chris to share some of the basics he has learned over the years about volunteer recruiting and management.


  • In the "Youth Culture Window" section, Jonathan discusses media input in the lives of teenagers compared to adults.

  • Furby looks at the most popular resource currently on our website... a resource that you're not going to wanna miss in our "Resource Highlight" section.

  • They close the episode by answering some great youth ministry questions in the "Help Me" section.


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