Connect by Jonathan McKee
Published by Zondervan/Youth Specialties
Four and a half stars
From beginning volunteer leaders, future full-time church staff, to experienced staff of many years, this book is for you. To anyone who works with students in a ministry setting, this is an absolutely great resource for you. Connect gives real and practical ways to be able to relate with students and to see how different students need different influences in their unique lives. McKee breaks it down as simple as that, from training your youth volunteers to breaking students down into groups to meet their individual needs.
The book is set up in an easy-to-read format by using charts and different fonts to emphasize the author’s points. It is organized in a nice, structured manner, allowing readers to refresh themselves on what they have previously read and allowing them to catch a glimpse of what is to come.
“This generation that feels so alone is looking for comradery in the wrong place…seclusion.” With this statement McKee sums up the first section of Connect (Connecting Through Real Relationships). Through the partnership of Illuminate by Evan Baden, McKee emphasizes that in a culture of media and social networking, students are more isolated than ever before. The need for one-on-one relationships is McKee’s punch line, and is shown through personal stories of students McKee has encountered.
With analogies such as “Mr. Krabs” and “No Strings Attached” types of ministry, McKee expresses to his readers on how these one-on-one relationships should be handled. Passionate adult volunteers are also a focus within the first section. He states that having leaders from different generations add unique and insightful perspectives, which is a much-needed aspect as we are to develop lasting relationships with students.
McKee divides the chapters in section two, into the six different types of students he talks about in the first section:
No Way Kid
- Not-Interested Kid
- Checking-Things-Out Kid
- Stagnant Kid
- Growing Kid
- Looking-for-Ministry Kid
McKee goes deep into how life and ministry affects each one of these unique kinds of students. Although he dedicates a chapter to every type of student and breaks them down thoroughly, you should definitely take a little time and take from the book how your own students fit into this ministry model. Through each chapter of this ministry model McKee goes on to show us through more personal stories and statistics that each of these students have unique personalities and have to be treated as such with care. I believe more Scripture could be used to help drive the points McKee is making, but he does not allow himself to become oblivious to how God has led him through these situations.
Connect is a must have resource for your library and will provide you with real, practical, and honest ways to serve a generation that is longing for genuine relationships.