Prioritize what others need

I took most of the week off between Christmas and New Years, as did most of my colleagues. During that time, my family vacationed in San Antonio. We explored, rested, and had fun. We shut our laptops and distanced ourselves from our jobs.

When I returned to work after the New Year, I immediately asked myself, “Why did I just take a vacation? I have SO MUCH to do!”

Our winter retreat loomed before me, a mere 11 days away. I had a theme and a general sense of the Bible story that would serve as it’s basis, but not much more than that.

That morning, I created a to-do list – listing out every single thing I had to complete before the winter retreat began. The completed to-do list was multiple pages long. I had no idea how I would finish it in time.

So I took another pass through my list to prioritize the items on it.

As a creative person, I wanted to begin with the things requiring the most creative energy: Crafting the retreat content and creating experiential prayer stations.

The things I wanted to do last were the administrative tasks: Confirming we had all the necessary forms from everyone, writing checks, and assigning roommates.

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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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