Developing a New Perspective

I’m a new mom. Currently, my 9-month old daughter, Hope, is into everything. She’s a speedy crawler who’s started pulling herself up and cruising along furniture.

As Hope has become more mobile, I’ve become increasingly aware of the dangers lurking in my house. Hope’s doctor once told me that the best way to know what you need to childproof is to get down on your hands and knees and crawl around the floor. She assured me that doing so would enable me to see things from a new perspective and in the process, better protect my daughter.

One day, I heeded the doctor’s advice. I got down on my hands and knees and started crawling. Sure enough, I saw my house from an entirely different perspective. Curtain cords suddenly looked like nooses; paper clips accidentally left on the floor became choking hazards.

As I was crawling around in search of hazards, it occurred to me that parenting isn’t the only area in which I sometimes need a new perspective. So is ministry.

I mean, let’s be honest. Sometimes in youth ministry, we get stuck in a rut. We do things the way we’ve always done them because it’s easiest. We know how to do them that way. We know that by doing them that way, we’ll meet little, if any, resistance. If we continue to do something the same old way, we can coast for a while, almost on autopilot. The problem is that at some point, the old way of doing things stops working. When that happens, we need to find a way to see our ministry with new eyes.

With that in mind, here are four strategies for developing a new ministry perspective:

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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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Jen's Books

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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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