Earlier in this Student Leadership Team Basics series, we talked about how the role of your student leadership team is to create a culture of welcome in your youth ministry. One specific way you can do this is by having your team recognize and...
On Sunday, my 7th and 8th grade teachers trickled into the Youth Room after Sunday School. On this particular week – the last of our program year – they'd also been joined by one my high school youth ministry's alumni who remarked there was a...
Letting teens influence my youth ministry's teaching calendar means that sometimes, we talk about topics I have no interest in or even real knowledge of; Topics that if, it were solely up to me, would never in a million years make our teaching...
I'm someone who needs a lot of encouragement and affirmation.
What I've learned after 13 years in youth ministry is that most teens do, too.
As a result, I try to be intentional not only about giving teens encouragement and affirmation, but also...
Some of my good friends are long-term medical missionaries in Nepal. Every once in a while, I'll get an e-mail from them saying, “We popsicle stick prayed for you this morning!”
Every day our friends – along with their three young children – pray...
Today, I'm linking up with Kate Motaung's Five Minute Friday. The rules: Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. This week's prompt: Meet.
Dear Baby Girl -
Yesterday, I was at work, discipling a teenager who I...
For the last several years, I've participated in the One Word 365 project, selecting a word to anchor my year. My word for this year has been hope – chosen during a scary pregnancy related stint in the hospital in January.
In addition to...
I recently received a message from a friend expressing excitement over the birth of my firstborn. To be honest, the word, firstborn, jarred me.
I am, indeed, expecting a Baby Girl in just a couple of weeks who – assuming all goes well - will be...
Since student leadership is really about discipleship, it's important to meet with your student leadership team regularly.
In my context, I meet with my student leadership team 4-6 times over the summer (plus an overnight leadership team retreat)....
I read three fiction books during April: Joy Fielding's Someone is Watching - a good mystery; Katherine Center's Get Lucky - a purely fun piece of chick lit, perfect for someone like me who's currently pregnant; And my...
As a youth pastor, I'm privileged to walk with teens as they transition from high school into college. Typically, teens leave high school with huge dreams and aspirations, feeling as though they can conquer the world. All too often, four years...
My husband and I both grew up doing theater. In college, we even directed a show together. As part of that show, my husband introduced me to the concept of writing the actors' bios (the ones that appear in the program) for them – something that...
In addition to requiring student leaders to read and blog, another way I train and equip students for leadership and in particular, for creating a culture of welcome is by conducting frequent evaluations of each week's youth ministry programs.
In my adulthood, there have been a number of devastating natural disasters that have ravaged our world including the tsunami in Indonesia and the typhoons in the Philippines. Each time, I've watched the scant news coverage, stunned by the horrific...
I first heard Becca Stevens speak several years ago at the ELCA's Youth Ministry Extravaganza. That year, she also spoke at the ELCA's triennial Youth Gathering. I was intrigued by her work. She's an Episcopal priest who founded a non-profit, ...
Like many other congregations, ours has struggled with transitioning 8th graders into our high school ministry after confirmation. Over the past several years, we've put a lot of time and energy into strengthening this transition process. To that...
In addition to requiring student leaders to read, another way I train and equip students for leadership and in particular, for creating a culture of welcome is through blogging. Blogging forces teens to intentionally think about their faith...
I'm a big believer in the power of experiential learning. To this end, instead of giving a talk about prayer, I'd much rather create a series of prayer stations designed to give students the opportunity to pray in a variety of ways.
Over the next...
Shortly after returning from a mission trip to Rwanda, one of my teens called me in tears. She’d just returned from a bookstore, where she’d noticed less than a row of books about the entire continent of Africa and none about Rwanda. “Don’t people...
Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day.
As I've seen news coverage leading up to this day, I've been reminded that the Holocaust isn't the only holocaust that's happened in our world.
Even though the world said, “Never Again” after the Holocaust,...
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
Order Jen's Book, “The Jesus Gap”
The Jesus Gap
What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus
Based on National Research
- Student Leadership Team Basics: Celebrating Birthdays
- That's Hard
- The Bible: Mars Edition
- How to Utilize Secret Pals on your Summer Trips
- Student Leadership Team Basics: Popsicle Stick Prayers
- Review: Hopecasting by Mark Oestreicher
- Firstborn but not first
- Student Leadership Team Basics: What to do at your regular meetings
- What I'm Into (April, 2015 Edition)
- Review: All Groan Up by Paul Angone
- Recognizing Graduates: Senior Bios
- Student Leadership Team Basics: Evaluating
- The earthquake in Nepal
- Review: Snake Oil by Becca Stevens
- The impact of 8th grade orientation
- Student Leadership Team Basics: Blogging
- Stuff You Can Use: Forgiven Prayer Station
- Developing a Global Perspective
- The Rwandan Genocide - A different Holocaust