I'm Not a Bible Scholar

More often than not, my attempts to recruit adult leaders are met with the recruit saying something like, “You know I’m not a Bible scholar, right?”

So often, I just want to respond, “You know I’m not looking for a Bible scholar, right?” Usually, however, I bite my tongue and refrain from saying this, even though it’s true.

I don’t expect (or even want) my leaders to be Bible scholars.

That said, I know such a response is usually a reflection of a recruit’s deeper insecurities:

I don’t know enough. I’m not good enough. Therefore, God can’t possibly use me.

How I long in these moments to remind recruits of all the inept, seemingly inadequate people God has used throughout the history of our faith. But instead, I refrain from saying that as well, knowing that eventually, experience in (and affirmation from) serving in our youth ministry ministry will teach them that.

Instead, I shift the focus away from what these recruits think they can’t do to what I’m actually looking for in adult leaders in my youth ministry:

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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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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