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,...
Posts tagged “Discipleship”
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...
Let me tell you a secret.
I hate accountability groups.
Oh, I know I shouldn’t say that.
I know they’re a valued part of many churches and youth groups, a way to keep wayward teens accountable for their actions.
I know that as a youth pastor, I’m...
My first year in ministry, I was 22 years old.
I was young and naïve, incredibly passionate and excited to be in ministry. I was also arrogant, convinced I was God’s gift to the church (or at least to the particular church I was serving in).
Earlier this year, I had the privilege of writing a piece on Sticky Faith – research that I very much admire and respect from Kara Powell and the folks at the College Transition Project - for The Christian Century.
A few weeks ago, Christian...
As is often the case, my students got emotional during the final worship service of our recent mission trip – a meaningful, poignant foot washing service. Tears still streamed down many of their faces as we left the worship space and went to ...
When I tell people that students sometimes teach and lead discussions in my ministry, I often hear something like, “Must be nice. What did you do with all your time off that week?”
What people don't often realize is how much work it is to equip...
This week's review is of Masterpiece: The Art of Discipling Youth by Paul Martin
What the book's about: As it's name suggests, this is a book about the faith formation of youth. Specifically, it's about discipling teens. What makes this book...
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
- Social distancing, masks, & caring for one another
- Review: Made to Move Mountains by Kristen Welch
- Stuff You Can Use: Fall Teacher Blessing via Zoom
- Notes from the pandemic: The difficulty of watching church with kids
- Sending Ritual for College Students
- Seven Things the Church Can Learn from The Babysitters Club
- 6 things I learned from virtual VBS
- 17 Keys to Making Virtual VBS a Success
- Is this the end of short-term missions?
- A sanitized MLK
- 8 reasons why our youth ministry isn't regathering
- Is the church going extinct?
- I hope they'll listen
- Notes from the Pandemic: Exhaustion
- Notes from the Pandemic: Mentioning the Unmentionables
- Notes from the Pandemic: Self-sacrifice
- Life from death
- On dance classes, motivation, & $50 costumes
- What Nancy taught me
- Church homes