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When Smartphones Distract Study
by Jonathan McKee

The debate about technology is ongoing. Young people overwhelmingly are embracing their smartphones and other screens into every aspect of their life, while Mom and Dad are tempted to scream, “Can you put down that thing for even one minute!!!”

Parents, teachers, bosses… even pastors… are being forced to decide whether to embrace this technological dependence or fight it. Opinions vary. But a recent Michigan State study might just be gravitating towards fighting it.

The September 2012 study (not quite what I’d label a “new study,” as the article linked above did, but relevantly valid nonetheless) monitored the performance of MSU students in a classroom setting noting whether they were using laptops just to take notes, or multitasking as they listened. Those who “flickered between Facebook and their English notes” showed a noticeable drop in their grades. In fact, the more they were distracted by their gadgets, the further their grades fell.

JONATHAN'S BLOG: Want a sneak peak?
I just finished a brand new youth ministry book about mobilizing and equipping volunteers for ministry. I turn it in to the publisher in 7 days and would love to get some feedback to make some last minute tweaks before I turn it in.

Anyone want to preview my book this weekend? (UPDATE: I've already had an overwhelming response. I can have 5 more people look at it- but they'd need to be able to read it literally this weekend and have me comments by Monday at noon.)

The book is a short little resource, just 10,000 words (that's like just 2 to 3 chapters of most of my books), part of a creative new youth ministry set that GROUP Publishing is coming out with early next year. I won't give too much away about the project, but I'll let you know that Greg Stier is writing about evangelism, Marko is writing about parents, I'm writing about volunteers... and a few others are in the mix. Gonna be a nice little resource.

I'd love to get feedback and make any adjustments before I turn it in... so I welcome anyone in ministry who would love to read it this weekend and tell me your honest thoughts. Then I'll gladly give you a free copy of the real book when it comes out in 2015.

Interested? Email me ASAP at

Thank you all!!! I appreciate so many of you responding!
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Season 2, Episode 9—Triggerfinger
Crazy tension is starting to mount as our survivors are beginning to realize the living can be just as dangerous as the dead- perhaps even more. The danger is coming from within as Shane continues to unravel like a frayed

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From Sexting to Sex
Sexting and Sex in the Lives of Middle School Students
David R. Smith

We can’t necessarily explain it, but all of us notice it. 6th grade boys avoid girls like the plague…but when they become 7th graders, those same boys do all they can to capture the attention of girls.

Even if that means sending or requesting sexually provocative messages and photos...
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