During our time with Life Changers, a panel of...
Every ministry has a sacred cow.
Sometimes sacred cows need to die.
But how do you kill a program in a healthy way?
Here are the steps I follow in order to slaughter sacred cows:
1. Enter a time of prayer and discernment. Since people are, by...
Having attended a Lutheran grade school, a Catholic high school, and a Methodist church, I grew up with very ecumenical influences. Even so, as an 18-year-old heading off to college, I considered myself to be Methodist. So upon going to college, I...
Katie's Closet is a thrift store that's open once a week. Community members...
A well-meaning woman at church recently asked me, “You're not still taking kids to Rwanda, are you?”
Unsure what she was referring to, I said. “Yep! We leave July 19.”
She then proceeded to tell be about the “border war” between Rwanda and the...
My husband and I recently visited the Field Museum in Chicago. Knowing we'd soon be leaving for Rwanda, we made a point of visiting the museum's Africa exhibit. Near the start of the exhibit, there was a room intended to equip people with basic...
The first night, our youngest adult leader, who graduated from college just a few short weeks ago, shared hers. Without a doubt, it was powerful –...
Ask me to describe a refugee camp and I’ll start with the smell.
It’s the smell of far too many people living in far too...
Last week, I led our youth ministry's junior high and high school mission trip to Milwaukee. While there, we served at a warehouse in the inner city called Adullam. The warehouse is located very near what police have deemed to be the worst...
Small groups are an integral part of many youth ministries. Good small group communities foster deep relationships between students and adult leaders. In the process, they push students toward God in very real ways. Unfortunately, small groups...
What the book's about: In Acts of Faith , Eboo Patel chronicles his journey to embrace his Islamic faith. In the process, he shares what he learns about the importance of religious pluralism, including the inception of the Interfaith Youth Core....
Last week, I was privileged to lead our junior high and high school mission trip to Milwaukee through Youth Works Missions. In Milwaukee, we stayed at Unity Lutheran Church, a gracious, hospitable church located in the Bayview area. This church is...
A month from today, I'll be leading a team of high school students on a short-term mission trip to Rwanda through International Teams. In honor of that, today, I'm linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy in this month's edition of Twitterature in...
One of my congregation’s pastors left in March. Since then, I’ve feared people would assume I’d take on many of her responsibilities since she and I worked closely together.
The problem is, there’s no room in my schedule to do so. Like everyone...
Last week an article on Leadership Journal entitled From Youth Minister to Felon made it's rounds in the Christian blogosphere.
The article was written by a youth pastor now behind bars for statutory rape. Like others, I was horrified by...
What the book's about: Bird by Bird is a book about writing that encourages, challenges, and inspires writers. With Anne's typical wit & style, it offers strategies for writing as well as a reminder that in the end, writing is about more than...
My first night at my current church, I asked students to grab a Bible. I don’t remember what we were exploring. I do, however, distinctly remember the stunned look on their faces.
I didn’t think much of their reaction until my second gathering,...
Last week, I heard a “Plugged In” review of the movie, The Fault in Our Stars , on K-Love. I read the book - a well-written young adult novel by John Greene about two teenagers with cancer - about a year ago, after hearing countless students...
I am a big believer in the power of experiential learning. To this end, instead of giving a talk about prayer, I'd much rather create a series of prayer stations designed to give students the opportunity to pray in a variety of ways.
A few weeks ago, my youth ministry held it’s third annual spring banquet. The event started after my student leaders approached me, saying they wanted to hold a dance for our youth ministry.
That thought made me want to vomit.
Rather than express...
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
- 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?
- Picture Rules for Mission Trips
- Review: The Power of Vision by George Barna
- Yay! Jesus Bread!
- Review: Glorious Weakness by Alia Joy
- Why you shouldn't build mission trips around seniors
- Why opening presents is an important part of toddler birthday parties
- Should you confirm in the spring or the fall?
- 6 ways to make a service-oriented mission trip more justice focused
- 5 marks of a justice-focused mission trip
- Review: Parenting Beyond the Rules by Connie Albers
- 4 reasons why rules are important