The key to surviving Christmas craziness: Less, not more

“You’re in ministry. How do you avoid the insanity of this Christmas season?” my friend recently asked. “I’ve got three kids and between all the church and school programs, we’re always busy!”

There was a time when I added to the Christmas chaos, hosting Christmas parties, special worship nights, and programs for the adult leaders and kids in my youth ministry. But then, in my conversations with parents, I started hearing more and more people echo my friends’ sentiment. At Christmas, people’s to-do lists are at all-time highs. It’s like we pass this season of waiting by filling our calendars. We’re tired and longing for time with our families.

What parents actually want during this time of year is LESS, not more.

After 15 years in ministry, I’ve finally started listening to them.

As a ministry, we no longer host additional Christmas programs. Instead, we limit our festivities to our regularly scheduled youth group times. We replace one of our Wednesday night programs with our Christmas party. In doing so, we avoid adding another thing to families’ already crazy calendars (something that, not-so-coincidentally, also boosts our Christmas party attendance.)

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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