A mission trip adult leader recently mentioned that my predecessor believed that every student (and their friends) should participate in a mission trip. As a result, for years, my church has filled a coach bus with 40-50 students and headed out...
Posts tagged “Discipleship”
In the movie, Stepmom, a mom, Jackie (Susan Serandon) is dying of cancer, leaving her young children behind in the care of her ex-husband (Ed Harris) and his new wife, Isabel (Julia Roberts). In a poignant scene near the end of the movie, Jackie...
The world, and in particular, the United States is becoming more divisive.
Few people I know would disagree with that statement right now.
Yet, few people I know – including, or perhaps, especially – Christians, know what to do about that...
“Why?” I asked him.
In response, he said, “Because...
I love Jesus.
That's probably not surprising to you. As a youth worker, I'm guessing you love Jesus, too. What's more, I'm guessing you want the teens in your congregation to love Jesus. But what happens when they don't?
Because let's face it,...
What the book's about: As the subtitle of The Irresistible Revolution suggests, this book is about "living as an ordinary radical."
Why I read this book: I rarely reread books and yet this is the 3rd time I've read...
My church is just a few blocks away from Panera, which serves as my second office. On occasion, we hold our staff meetings there. I also regularly meet with adult leaders and students there. I do so for many reasons. As a youth worker, I want to...
When they hear how much of a role my student leaders have in creating our ministry's vision, other youth workers often look at me as though I'm crazy. They wonder, Why would you entrust your teens with creating your vision?
To which I say, Why...
What the book's about: Jesus Centered Youth Ministry is about creating youth ministries that are, in every way, rooted in Jesus. This book is a revised edition of the book first published by the same name 8 years ago.
Why I read this book:...
Today, I'm linking up with Kate Motaung's Five Minute Friday. The rules: Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. This week's prompt: Meet.
Dear Baby Girl -
Yesterday, I was at work, discipling a teenager who I...
Last week, we talked about how the fundamental role of student leaders is to create a culture of welcome. A common question I get in response to this idea is “How do you train and equip student leaders to create a culture of welcome?”
Once you know why you're creating a leadership team, what you're looking for in the students who are on your leadership team, and how you'll select your student leaders, the question still remains, how do you present the idea of a leadership team...
Why I read this book: As a youth pastor, I want teens to...
This year in our confirmation Sunday school class, we're discussing the five promises we ask teens to make at their confirmation:
- To hear the word of God and share in the Lord's Supper.
- To share...
When I took my first job in youth ministry over a decade ago, the idea of building a student leadership team was everywhere - in books, magazines, and at conferences. Since then, however, student leadership seems to have gone out of fashion. Sure,...
Several years ago, I interviewed Gordon MacDonald for an article for Youth Worker Journal. During our interview, Gordon talked about how one of the greatest things he's learned to do in discipling people is to welcome them into his home; That...
Over the past four weeks, my youth ministry has been experimenting with student led small groups.
Truth be told, this experiment was birthed out of a shortage of adult leaders. In an effort to keep the size of our small groups small, I invited...
In a recent blog post, Andy Blanks offers 20 ways to spruce up your Bible study. His suggestions are good and well worth a read.
That said, I struggled with one of them.
“Let students teach--Adapt your lesson so students are teaching each other,...
Our American culture does not handle death well. We don’t know how to grieve or how to be with people in their despair. Uncomfortable with silence, we attempt to fill it. When we do, we often say something dumb that only heightens everyone’s...
Last summer, my student leaders & I read and discussed the book, Help! I'm a Student Leader by Doug Fields. Using the questions below, we had some incredibly powerful discussions about leadership and faith.
Questions about Ch. 9 of Help! I'm...
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
A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm
Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders
The Real Jesus
The Jesus Gap
What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus
Based on National Research
- Review: When I Pray For You by Matthew Paul Turner
- In defense of games
- Review: Thomas Nelson’s NKJV Study Bible Full-Color Edition
- Why you shouldn’t prep for mission trips during your regular gatherings
- 4 reasons why bigger isn't always better
- Review: White Picket Fences by Amy Julia Becker
- Review: The Brick Builder's Bible
- 7 questions to help you decide when to cancel youth group
- Review: I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel
- 7 questions to help you determine the developmental appropriateness of a curriculum
- Why you can't sell hope
- Review: Learning to Speak God from Scratch by Jonathan Merritt
- Review: Sustainable Children's Ministry by Mark DeVries & Annette Safstrom
- Review: Called by Mark Labberton
- Five roles of adult leaders in large groups
- Guest Post: Four ways to cultivate partnerships with those you seek to serve by Emily Gorz
- Review: Grace Like Scarlett by Adriel Booker
- In defense of structure
- Guest Post: What I learned from being THE leader on a summer mission trip by Joe Yucha
- Processing what you learn