How my student leaders hosted the Christmas Party without me

Our youth ministry had its annual Christmas party last week.

That, by itself, isn’t all that remarkable.

What’s remarkable is the fact that I wasn’t there. Nor were any of our ministry’s other adult leaders. We were at adult leader’s training. Meanwhile, our high school teens were partying.

Who was in charge, you might ask?

Our student leaders.

Our student leaders are not merely decorative. They don’t hold honorary titles. Instead, they have real responsibilities.

All semester long, they’ve led our youth ministry in an assortment of ways, during times my adult leaders and I have been present. We’ve offered encouragement and on occasion, corrections. We know what they’re capable of.

So when we sat down to schedule our Christmas party and quite simply, ran out of potential dates on which to do so, a student leader suggested they run the Christmas party without us.

After swallowing the momentary panic I felt, I thought, “Of course. That makes perfect sense. They’re ready to do that.”

So we moved the Christmas party to someone’s house so that even though there wasn’t an adult leader present in the room, there was still an adult (a parent) in the house. Then we spent the next several weeks planning the Christmas party during our student leadership team meetings.

Read the rest of this article 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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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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