Teaching teens about divorce

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...


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.

Five Minute Friday 4 300x300

I'm not good at waiting.

For a type-A, driven person, waiting feels...

Hospitals and hope

Hope Giving Key

I chose my word for 2015 – hope - while in the hospital for the last two days.

For the last two years, choosing a word of the year has been a healthy practice for me. In 2013, I chose the word brave. Last year, my word was enough. Both shaped...

Why accurate communication is important

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...

Learning to rejoice

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...

Keep It Going

I’ve often heard people moan about the ineffectiveness of big youth ministry events like the 30 Hour Famine or summer mission trips. Such rants usually go something like this:

You spend a lot of time, energy, and money on X. And sure, 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

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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