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A sanitized MLK

Over the last few weeks, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about Martin Luther King Jr.

As a kid, MLK was the ONE black man I learned about in a positive way. He was the pastor who gave the “I have a dream” speech and who advanced the notion of...

Is the church going extinct?

Perhaps in the last few weeks, you’ve seen a meme like this one:

Murder Hornets

I certainly have.

Between the pandemic, the murder hornets, the killing of another black man, the protests, and the riots, I've heard more people than ever before say something...

I hope they'll listen

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Hope is very into party planning right now.

Yesterday, she planned a carnival for our family to participate in, complete with individual tickets for each activity – tickets she spent two hours making.

One of the carnival activities was CHALK,...

Life from death

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As we stood at my mother-in-law’s casket, my nearly two-year-old nephew chased my four-year-old daughter around the empty funeral home room – something they could do since, thanks to the COVID-19 restrictions, the room was empty except for us.

...

On dance classes, motivation, & $50 costumes

At the start of the New Year, we signed our then 4-year old daughter, Hope, up for a dance class at the local park district.

Hope LOVES to dance. We’ve known that for a while and figured this would be a fun way for her to learn some skills and...

What Nancy taught me

The weekend after I miscarried, my mother and father-in-law, Nancy & Keith, showed up at our house.

Truth be told, I didn’t want them there.

I didn’t want anyone there.

I was knee-deep in some of the most profound sadness I’d ever...

Church homes

In every church I’ve ever been on staff at, we've inevitably wrestled with the question, “Who belongs?”

Oh, we never say it like that.

Instead, we raise questions like, “Who is active here? Who worships here? Or who gives an offering here?”

We...

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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