What the book's about: Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist is about learning to say "no". It's about "real over image, connecting over comparing, meaning over mania, depth over...
“Being in jail is the best thing that's happened to me this whole game!” cried Ben in anger. For a moment, I thought he was going to flip his Monopoly board over in a fit of rage.
He didn't – even though the game never improved for him.
One of the questions I hear most frequently from the older people in my congregation is, “Where are all the youth?”
I’ll admit this question frustrates me. Underneath it is typically one of two beliefs:
1. There are no youth in our congregation.
What I'm Reading:
I read 5 fiction books during October but sadly, no non-fiction books.
Best mystery: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena. Definitely not as good as last month's I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh, but still...
Apparently, if you want optimal choices, you have to buy toddler halloween costumes in July. Not knowing this, I went at the end of September and thought I was doing good. Instead, I found only two left in my daughter's size: An adorable dog and a...
At a recent training, I sat at a table full of strangers. Rather quickly, we were asked to share vulnerably. One of the women at our table began, saying, “I have some thoughts, but I don't know if you're going to like them.”
Hoping to reassure...
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: Park.
They're typically two of her first words after waking....
What the book's about: Broken Hallelujahs is as, the subtitle says, about learning to grieve the big and small losses of life. It reads like a memoir and indeed, Beth shares vulnerably from her life. Yet, it's packed with theology and practical...
“Why?” I asked him.
In response, he said, “Because...
Recently, a student arrived at our youth ministry's gathering significantly early. So I asked him about his day. Specifically, I asked, What was the worst part of your day?
Immediately, the student responded, “Someone hit me.”
Needless to say, I...
What the book's about: H3 Leadership by Brad Lomenick is about the characteristics of a leader, which include being humble, staying hungry, and always hustling.
Why I read this book: I try to always be reading a leadership book. This...
We kicked off our fall programming this year by wrestling with the question, “Does God exist?”, a question prompted – at least in part – by the fact that some of our freshmen are adamant about their belief that God does not exist.
Part of the...
While on vacation, my extended family and I went boating, something I have fond memories of from childhood vacations.
As is often the case when extended family gathers, as we sat around the beach, people started telling stories. One story was told...
What I'm Reading:
The end of summer and the beginning of fall have been CRAZY! Nevertheless, I read 7 fiction books during the last two months.
Best beach read: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty. I don't typically consider...
I stopped at the library yesterday to pick up some books I'd reserved. When I did, the librarian asked me if I'd found “Goose Needs a Hug” yet.
When I said it wasn't lost, she responded, “Oh. I just assumed it was since you've had it since July....
This year, I'm particularly excited about my adult leadership team because it includes a combination of returning and new leaders. Last week, we discussed five contributions veteran leaders make to your team. But the truth is, new leaders...
One of my consistent struggles with Christianity is that it can feel as though there is no place for those who struggle, for those who doubt. So many Christian books are written from this struggle-free perspective.
I remember being acutely aware...
One reason why I'm particularly excited about this group of...
What the book's about: Waking Up White chronicles the author's, Debby Irving's, journey in discovering her part - as a white woman - in the story of race in America.
Why I read this book: Each year, my senior pastor selects a book for our...
Dear Todd and Margo -
I admit, I don't know if these are actually your real names. They're likely not. But when we had the misfortune of meeting you tonight at dinner, you reminded my husband and I an awful lot of Todd and Margo Chester – the...
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
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