What if God isn't speaking?

Recently, I found myself in a Bible study in which the leader asked, “What is God telling you to do as a result of this passage?”

I had a moment of absolute panic in which I thought, “Nothing. Right this second, I honestly don’t hear God saying...

Mission Trip Prayer Buddies

One finding that's stuck with me from Sticky Faith is, "More than any program or event, what made kids more likely to feel like a significant part of their local church was when adults made the effort to get to know them."

One of the best ways my...

How to kill sacred cows

Every ministry has a sacred cow.

Sometimes sacred cows need to die.

But how do you kill a program in a healthy way?

Here are the steps I follow in order to slaughter sacred cows:

1. Enter a time of prayer and discernment. Since people are, by...

Where's your allegiance?

Having attended a Lutheran grade school, a Catholic high school, and a Methodist church, I grew up with very ecumenical influences. Even so, as an 18-year-old heading off to college, I considered myself to be Methodist. So upon going to college, I...

Did you know there was a genocide there?

A well-meaning woman at church recently asked me, “You're not still taking kids to Rwanda, are you?”

Unsure what she was referring to, I said. “Yep! We leave July 19.”

She then proceeded to tell be about the “border war” between Rwanda and the...

The cost of misinformation

My husband and I recently visited the Field Museum in Chicago. Knowing we'd soon be leaving for Rwanda, we made a point of visiting the museum's Africa exhibit. Near the start of the exhibit, there was a room intended to equip people with basic...

Permission to be you

During a recent mission trip, I asked various leaders to share their faith stories with everyone.

The first night, our youngest adult leader, who graduated from college just a few short weeks ago, shared hers. Without a doubt, it was powerful –...

How not to lead a small group

Small groups are an integral part of many youth ministries. Good small group communities foster deep relationships between students and adult leaders. In the process, they push students toward God in very real ways. Unfortunately, small groups...

Just Say "NO"

One of my congregation’s pastors left in March. Since then, I’ve feared people would assume I’d take on many of her responsibilities since she and I worked closely together.

The problem is, there’s no room in my schedule to do so. Like everyone...

Where was the church?

Last week an article on Leadership Journal entitled From Youth Minister to Felon made it's rounds in the Christian blogosphere. 

The article was written by a youth pastor now behind bars for statutory rape. Like others, I was horrified by...

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry


Jen Bradbury is a career youth worker with a diverse spiritual heritage that makes her uniquely qualified for youth work. Jen currently serves as the youth director at Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, IL and writes for Youth Worker Journal and the Immerse Magazine. She lives in Glen Ellyn, IL with her husband, Doug.

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