Today, I'm linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker‘s Five Minute Friday. The rules: Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. 

 This week's prompt: Fly.

The first youth ministry I served was called FLY – an acronym that stands for Faith Lutheran Youth. Oddly, five years after leaving that congregation, I found myself serving at another whose youth ministry also shares this name, FLY.

For this reason, I no longer associate the word fly primarily with birds or planes or things that move through the sky. Instead, I think of

- Youth Ministries;

Fly Cursive

- The cursive FLY painted over the door to our Youth Room;

- Broken-hearted and moody teenagers;

- Red "noodies" with FLY written boldly on the front and 2 Corinthians 5:17 awkwardly displayed on the butt;

Fly Block

- The bold FLY canvas painted by one of my students during a Youth Room Makeover;

- Bibles thrown haphazardly around the youth room, pages askew from countless students racing one another to find the Scripture passage we're currently exploring;

- Teens who willingly try new things, even though they know doing so is risky and vulnerable, because they've found in FLY a community that is safe;

- Tears shed from laughing so hard your stomach hurts and from crying with someone who's experiencing the darkest days of their lives;

- Moments of frustration, so severe and so acute that I want to run from the Youth Room and never return;

- And moments of transformation - of students having powerfully encountered Christ - that leave me breathless, overwhelmed by the goodness of God and the privilege of being a youth worker.


Lisa @this is a wand

Fly is a fitting acronym for the wonderful work you do! I enjoyed the snapshots of how you and your students "fly" - thanks for sharing, visiting from FMF

Posted by Lisa @this is a wand, almost 10 years ago

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.

More about Jen

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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Now Available!

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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