Discussion Questions based Bishop Eaton's Opening Remarks

For those looking to process tonight's opening session in Ford Field at the ELCA Youth Gathering, here are some discussion questions you can use with your youth ministries. 

1. Bishop Eaton said, “The places the world calls godforsaken are exactly the places God is at work.” What are some of the places the world calls godforsaken?

To you, what does it mean for something to be godforsaken?

Think about the history that Bishop Kreiss gave tonight. Based on this and anything else you know about Detroit, do you think Detroit is godforsaken? Why?

What scripture passages support the idea that God is at work in the places the world calls godforsaken?

Do you think it's easier to see and experience God in the places the world calls godforsaken or in those that are well-off? Why?

How are you anticipating seeing God at work in Detroit this week?

2. Bishop Eaton asked us, “Can we have open eyes and open hearts to see God at work?” What does it mean to have open eyes and open hearts?

Why are open eyes and open hearts required to see God at work?

Aside from open eyes and open hearts, what else is necessary to see God at work?

3. Bishop Eaton said, “This is going to be a great gathering.” Based on what you've seen today, what parts of the gathering are you most excited about? Why?

4. The theme of the gathering is “Rise up together.” What do you think this means – for you? Our youth group? Our congregation? The ELCA? The city of Detroit?

Download a PDF of these questions here. 

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

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