It's January. That means that once again, it's time for K-Love's 30-Day Challenge – something I have some concerns about. In response to my concerns, today I'm continuing to critically evaluate some of the songs that K-Love...
The beauty of this is that it allows each leader a moment in the spotlight,...
My church does not own vans. This means that with the exception of our summer trips (when we rent them), we depend on the goodwill of parents to drive us to and from various events, including our winter retreat.
Often, this means that teens are...
Young, naive, and convinced we were right and traditional music...
One of my concerns about K-Love's 30-Day Challenge is that it seems to invite people to thoughtlessly consume Christian...
You spend a lot of time, energy, and money on X. And sure, teens are...
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how to brainstorm with teens. People hesitant about utilizing teens in this process often ask some variation of this question:
What if the things teens WANT to talk about aren't what they need to talk about in order...
If you walk into my house, you'll notice stacks of books everywhere - evidence that I'm an avid reader.
Much to my dismay, I read fewer books this year than last. As my husband pointed out, though, I also wrote one so I guess I can't be too...
Although I failed to see the movie, God's Not Dead, when it was in theaters last spring, knowing the basic plot - A Christian kid decides to defend the idea that “God's Not Dead” to an atheist philosophy professor – I made a note to myself to...
I still remember the day youth ministry got fun.
It was during a meeting with my adult leaders in my rookie year in youth ministry. As we went through our upcoming youth ministry gathering, I remember sitting there thinking, “You guys are fun....
Earlier this year, this youth minister meme began showing up everywhere in social media:
While it made me chuckle, I couldn't help but think, “This confusion is real.” People really don't understand what it is we do.
And this is true not just of...
Over the Christmas holiday, I've got an entire day blocked out in my schedule in order to figure out our ministry's spring calendar. The dates of our major events (like retreats) were announced months ago, but things like trip meetings and events...
This fall, my high school youth ministry watched and discussed clips from the movie, "Noah". Despite the fact that this movie angered plenty of Christians, I found it invaluable for sparking conversation about a story that we oftentimes ...
About four years ago, my student leaders suggested our youth ministry begin hosting book clubs. They wanted a time outside of our regular youth ministry gatherings to come together and discuss interesting books.
As someone who loves to read, I...
As someone who both loves to travel and to write, I was excited to read Allison Vesterfelt's Packing Light: Thoughts on living life with less baggage.
Despite taking me a while to get into, I ended up thoroughly enjoying this book. In it,...
On Sunday mornings, we utilize small group discussions as part of our large group teaching in our high school ministry.
Currently, we're in the midst of a series called “Jesus' Family Tree”. It's our way of talking about the characters in the...
1. Are open-ended. They cannot be answered with yes or no. This is important because when given the...
As a youth worker, I've attended and led my fair share of small group Bible studies. Some have been really good and others have simply tanked. More often than not, the ones that have tanked are the ones in which the leader fails to ask...
Until last year, I'd never heard of WestJet. Then, on a vacation to Canada, we had an enjoyable experience flying WestJet. Six months later, I, along with millions of others, was captivated by WestJet's Christmas miracle video. This video featured...
While in Rwanda for our international missions trip, we went shopping at an artisans' market.
While there, I couldn't take my eyes off the crib mobiles.
Eventually I confessed as much to my husband. He assured me that even though we did not yet...
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 God Made the World by Matthew Paul Turner
- Dear Future Self: Thoughts on priorities, refugees, and welcome pack deliveries
- Review: When Kids Ask Hard Questions, edited by Bromleigh McCleneghan and Karen Ware Jackson
- 8 tips for transitioning older kids into their big sibling role
- Recent Reads: They Call Me Mom by Michelle Medlock Adams & Bethany Jett
- Review: M.O.M. Master Organizer of Mayhem by Kristi Clover
- The ghettoization of Christmas trees (and youth ministry)
- Review: Faith For Exiles by David Kinnaman and Mark Matlock
- Review: Growing With by Kara Powell & Steven Argue
- An open letter to John MacArthur
- Review: Be the Bridge by Latasha Morrison
- 5 ways to get teens talking
- Review: Stretched Too Thin by Jessica Turner
- 8 ways to help families with babies worship
- Review: The Jesus Who Surprises
- Fearfully and wonderfully made breasts
- Will you let your shoes fly in welcome?
- Review: Mere Science and Christian Faith by Greg Cootsona
- Teaching kids to like worship
- When Should You Take an International Mission Trip?