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...
Teens often joked at the irony of being totally disengaged from their cell phones and technology...
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...
I typically love winter.
I love the holidays and our annual winter ski vacation.
This year, however, winter has drug for me... And since I live in the Chicago area, I know it's far from over.
Being pregnant, I can no longer ski....
So often, our experience has been that despite the fact the Bible emphasizes the importance of both Jesus and social...
The last time I taught about divorce in my youth ministry, the kids from divorced families left in tears.
I didn't set out to make them cry. In fact, I intentionally remember trying to set up our conversation so as not to isolate these vulnerable...
Our church's annual meeting was two weeks ago. Each year at this meeting, the pastor talks about the state of the church, we discuss various issues impacting the church, and we vote on a budget.
Although the meeting is open to all members of...
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: Wait.
I'm not good at waiting.
For a type-A, driven person, waiting feels...
Between a vacation at the start of the month and a doctor's ordered modified bed rest last week, I read a lot during January.
The Secret Keeper: I've lost track of how many times I've seen this book on...
The premise of Jon Weece's Jesus Prom is, I think, really good. According to Jon, “Jesus loved verbs. Verbs like love, come, rest, learn, hear, die, give, and go. So wouldn't it make sense that the people who claim to follow Jesus would love the...
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...
Like many ministries, our high school youth ministry held it's winter retreat over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. This year, our theme was Naked and Afraid: Vulnerability in Relationships. Throughout the weekend, the book of Ruth served as our...
I chose my word for 2015 – hope - while in the hospital for the last two days.
What the book's about: An Altar in the World is, quite simply, about discovering God beyond the walls of the church.
Why I read this book: After hearing people talk about the wisdom and beauty of Barbara Brown Taylor's writing for the...
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...
I like to think that I'm pretty good at communicating with the parents of teens in my youth ministry. I send out a weekly e-mail filled with details about upcoming events. I make sure to include announcements in our Sunday bulletin. I post updates...
My husband and I have a New Years Eve tradition wherein we ask each other a series of questions in order to reflect upon our year together. Rather than use a prescribed list of reflection questions, ours differ by the year in order to uniquely...
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...
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
- Life from death
- On dance classes, motivation, & $50 costumes
- What Nancy taught me
- Church homes
- The goal of politics
- Notes from the Pandemic: Eyes to See
- Notes from the Pandemic: Excitement - A familiar but unexpected emotion
- Notes from the Pandemic: Anger & Grace
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- Notes from the Pandemic: The joy of walking
- Notes from the Pandemic: Excuse me, my privilege is showing
- Notes from the Pandemic: The God I Believe In
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- 5 tips for creating DISCUSSION via Zoom
- Notes from the Pandemic: Palm Sunday & COVID-19
- Notes from the Pandemic: There Will Be Joy
- 11 Tips for Live-Streaming Worship with Kids
- 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