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Hospitals and hope

Hope Giving Key

I chose my word for 2015 – hope - while in the hospital for the last two days.

For the last two years, choosing a word of the year has been a healthy practice for me. In 2013, I chose the word brave. Last year, my word was enough. Both shaped...

Why accurate communication is important

I like to think that I'm pretty good at communicating with the parents of teens in my youth ministry. I send out a weekly e-mail filled with details about upcoming events. I make sure to include announcements in our Sunday bulletin. I post updates...

Learning to rejoice

My husband and I have a New Years Eve tradition wherein we ask each other a series of questions in order to reflect upon our year together. Rather than use a prescribed list of reflection questions, ours differ by the year in order to uniquely...

Keep It Going

I’ve often heard people moan about the ineffectiveness of big youth ministry events like the 30 Hour Famine or summer mission trips. Such rants usually go something like this:

You spend a lot of time, energy, and money on X. And sure, teens are...

My Favorite Books of 2014

If you walk into my house, you'll notice stacks of books everywhere - evidence that I'm an avid reader. 

Much to my dismay, I read fewer books this year than last. As my husband pointed out, though, I also wrote one so I guess I can't be too...

A week in the life of a youth pastor

Earlier this year, this youth minister meme began showing up everywhere in social media:

Youth Pastor Meme

While it made me chuckle, I couldn't help but think, “This confusion is real.” People really don't understand what it is we do.

And this is true not just of...

How to brainstorm with teens

Over the Christmas holiday, I've got an entire day blocked out in my schedule in order to figure out our ministry's spring calendar. The dates of our major events (like retreats) were announced months ago, but things like trip meetings and events...

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the director of youth ministry at Faith Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. When not doing ministry, she and her husband Doug can be found hiking, backpacking, and traveling.

More about Jen

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What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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