Jonathan McKee - The Short Version
Jonathan McKee - The Long Version
, president of The Source for Youth
Ministry, is the author of numerous books including the new Should I Just Smash My Kid's Phone?
, and youth ministry books like
Ministry By Teenagers
Connect: Real Relationships in a
World of Isolation
, and the award winning book Jonathan speaks and trains
at conferences, churches and events across North
America, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his
. You can follow Jonathan on his blog
, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help.
Jonathan and his wife Lori, and their three teenagers Alec, Alyssa and Ashley live
A lot of people ask how Jonathan's ministry equipping youth workers and parents
came into existence. The answer is...by accident.
In 1999, a youth worker named Jonathan McKee, father of three, started a Web site
called JonathansResources.com. This site was a free resource for youth workers providing
curriculum, activities, and ideas, as well as articles about youth culture, teenage
attitudes, and trends.
Jonathan started this site because, at the time, he found very few free youth ministry
resources on the Internet. Sure, a lot of sites offered a couple of freebies and
an abundance of items for sale, but no sites were dedicated to providing truly
free resources with no strings attached. So Jonathan dumped the contents of his
youth ministry file cabinet-all the messages, activities, and resources he'd developed
over the years-into JonathansResources.com. The front page had a simple message:
"Everyone in youth ministry can use some free resources-here's a bunch!"
And then something happened.
Youth workers and parents from all over the world began reading Jonathan's articles
and using his free resources. Before long Jonathan had tens of thousands of readers
every time he released a new resource.
In the fall of 2001 Jonathan and his wife Lori faced a decision. Continue working
with the hundreds of kids in their ministry in Sacramento, all while posting resources
after hours...or go full-time helping youth workers across the globe. After praying
about the decision and talking with several friends who were supporters of his existing
local ministry, they decided to go full-time equipping youth workers and parents.
In July of 2002, Jonathan gathered a board of directors and started the nonprofit
organization, The Source for Youth Ministry (www.TheSource4YM.com
on the Web). Before long they were averaging more than 100,000 unique visitors each
In the years to follow, Jonathan became devoted full time to speaking, training,
and providing free resources for youth workers, using his speaking and training
income to help fund the ministry. In those years Jonathan also had ten books published,
including his parenting book, Candid Confessions of an Imperfect Parent, the very popular book about
mentoring teenagers, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, and two award-winning
titles, Do They
Run When They See You Coming? and Getting Students to Show Up.
As The Source for Youth Ministry grew and developed, another interesting development
occurred-the site was attracting more and more parents. Since www.TheSource4YM.com offered free discussion guides based on movies and
music, free movie reviews, free weekly articles about youth culture, media, and
research about teenage attitudes and trends, youth workers began sharing the site's
Culture Window articles -with parents. Then parents began subscribing to
Jonathan's Blog . Before long, Jonathan
found himself doing as many parent seminars as youth ministry
That's when Jonathan decided to expand. The Source for Youth Ministry purchased
www.TheSource4Parents.com and began
developing a free resource web site specifically for parents. This site would mirror
www.TheSource4YM.com in some areas (movie
reviews, Youth Culture Window articles, Jonathan's Blog) but also provide some resources
unique to parents. Jonathan enlisted the help of Christian authors such as Jim Burns , Al Menconi and Wayne Rice to bring articles with one focus-"Parenting Help." In addition,
Jonathan's team of writers began revamping some of the popular MOVIE CLIP DISCUSSIONS
and MUSIC DISCUSSIONS from www.TheSource4YM.com,
customizing them for parents to use with their teens and tweens. The new parenting
site also offers a question-and-answer page called ASK THE SOURCE where real parents
provide real answers to real questions.
www.TheSource4Parents.com is now
building momentum, helping one parent at a time with a regular dose of helpful parenting
videos on their YouTube page,
and a Facebook page where
parents can interact.
We can't wait to see what God has for this ministry next!
Jonathan's Wife and Kids
My wife Lori and I were married in February of 1991. Each year since has grown better
and better. We met in the college group of the church we were attending at the time.
After our first date we spent 2 solid days together. On the third day I told her
that I was going to marry her
She broke up with me!
Thank God she eventually took me back. We spent every moment together, running together,
doing ministry together; we quickly grew to become best friends. That's one of the
things I like best about Lori ...she's not just the beautiful woman I married,
she's my buddy!
Our marriage is a bond between three of us: me, Lori and God. We depend on Him daily.
We share our struggles with each other and bring them to God. We both depend on
Him to help us through the rough times. As much as we love each other, I don't know
how we could do it without Him.
God gave us three wonderful kids: Alec, Alyssa and Ashley, who are all three in college/out on their own. You can hear plenty more about us in my blog and in my book, If I Had a Parenting Do Over.