3 Things I Learned about Youth Ministry from the Oscars

Ellen Degeneres Serves Pizza To Celebs At Oscars 2014 VideoLike millions of others, on Sunday, I watched the Oscars. One of my favorite parts of the show was when it’s host, Ellen, ordered pizza. A few segments later, she escorted Edgar, a stunned delivery man carrying three pizzas onto the stage. Together, they walked into the audience, delivering greasy pizza to celebrities dressed to the nines.

Of course, the moment was funny. Beyond that, however, it also taught me three important things about youth ministry:

1. Blending the ordinary with the extraordinary creates special moments. What made this bit funny was the absurdity of ordering (and eating) such an ordinary food on a night designed in every way to be extraordinary. By blending the ordinary with the extraordinary, Ellen created a moment. In the same way, when we in youth ministry blend the ordinary with the extraordinary, we create moments in which God shows up. When, for example, amidst the craziness of a mission trip, we bring an extra lunch to our work site so that we can share a meal with the family we’re serving, God moves. When, in the midst of a fun-filled weekend retreat, we take time to silently gaze at the stars, students experience God in new and profound ways.

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Image Credit: JustJared.com

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, 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), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

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A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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