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...
A few weeks ago, our friend Emile, a Congolese refugee, attended one of my mission trip meetings to help prepare a team headed to Rwanda for what they will see and experience in the Kiziba Refugee Camp.
As part of our time together, I interviewed...
Since being resettled, Emile's English has improved immensely. Nevertheless, he...
We also experienced African hospitality. We were served a bounty of traditional African...
Every year around this time, I struggle with what to give our graduating seniors.
Early on in my career, I’d actually spend weeks agonizing over this. Indecisiveness would paralyze me until eventually, I’d give up and order a cheesy graduation...
My youth ministry recently held it's 8th Grade Orientation. Wanting to give 8th graders a taste of what our high school youth ministry is like, we included a discussion. My student leadership team chose the topic - identity - and I wrote the...
Last night, my train stopped shortly after it began moving due to a storm-related delay. Apparently, the power was out along the tracks, making it impossible for us to continue forward.
Immediately, commuters lashed out, complaining about the...
If you pick up my copy of Youth Ministry in a Multifaith Society by Len Kageler, you'll notice that nearly every page in the last three chapters is dog-eared. It's that good.
In this book, youth ministry researcher, professor, and practitioner,...
Even though I consider myself to be a refugee champion and even though we had the supplies on hand to do this...
In recent weeks, student leadership team interviews have taken over my life. These one-on-one meetings are follow-up conversations to the written application filled out by each applicant. They typically take about an hour each.
I know that's a LOT...
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?