Permission to be you

During a recent mission trip, I asked various leaders to share their faith stories with everyone.

The first night, our youngest adult leader, who graduated from college just a few short weeks ago, shared hers. Without a doubt, it was powerful – filled with the kind of experiences you’d expect of a twenty-something-year-old, yet relatable to high school students and full of Jesus.

Shortly afterward, one of my student leaders approached me. She was scheduled to give her testimony the next night and wanted to talk about it. I assumed this young leader – a soon to be high school sophomore – simply needed some last-minute encouragement about the testimony she’d written and prepared to give.

Instead, it quickly became clear to me that this student leader was actually panicking over her testimony. After hearing the first leader’s testimony, she’d convinced herself that hers wasn’t good enough. It didn’t feel like the other leader’s did, nor did it have the same format. Not to mention, according to her, the other leader’s stories were far more powerful than hers.

Read the rest of this article here. 

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the director of youth ministry at Faith Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, 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 the forthcoming 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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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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