Reaching the Marginalized

Recently, I met with a potential adult leader. I shared my heart with him, interviewed him, and then asked if he had any questions for me

He proceeded to tell me about how his son, who’s now in his 20s, was never involved in our church’s youth ministry. When I asked why this was, he said no one ever reached out to him. He then looked me straight in the eye and asked, “So what do you do to reach out to kids like my son?”

As I listened to this deeply personal question, it occurred to me how often we in the church miss the population that includes this man’s son.

As youth workers, we spend a lot of time discipling our church kids. Since we know Jesus came to seek and save the lost, we also spend a lot of time reaching out to unchurched kids in our communities. But what about those caught in between? How can we reach those students who are, for whatever reason, within our congregations and yet very much still on the margins of our ministries?

Though there’s certainly no magic bullet for this, here are seven ideas for getting started.

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.

More about Jen

Jen's Books

Now Available!

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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