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Budgets are (not) boring!

As the Church Council President adjourned our congregation’s annual meeting, the high school teens swarmed me.

“How can it just end like that?”

“We still have questions about the budget!”

They quickly rattled them off, rapid firing one after...

What would Jesus have me do?

“Lots of balloons popping will give me a panic attack,” cried my student as she walked into our prayer station room in tears.

Moments before, I’d given students directions about how to complete our prayer stations, urging them to take them...

Prioritize what others need

I took most of the week off between Christmas and New Years, as did most of my colleagues. During that time, my family vacationed in San Antonio. We explored, rested, and had fun. We shut our laptops and distanced ourselves from our jobs.

When I...

The key to surviving Christmas craziness: Less, not more

“You’re in ministry. How do you avoid the insanity of this Christmas season?” my friend recently asked. “I’ve got three kids and between all the church and school programs, we’re always busy!”

There was a time when I added to the Christmas chaos,...

There is joy

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: Joy.

Joy 600x600

I know joy is a fruit of the spirit, but it's one I struggle with. Joy...

What I'm Into (November, 2016)

What I'm Reading:

Fiction:

I read 4 fiction books in November.

Best mystery: The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan. 

Most thought-provoking: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. This is a fiction book about racism. It is beyond...

It's about their friends

On the night of the 2016 election, I sat glued to my television, watching the Presidential returns come in. As the night wore on and Donald Trump’s lead grew, my heart sank.

That’s when my phone began dinging.

I received text after text from the...

Wrestling with privilege

“Being in jail is the best thing that's happened to me this whole game!” cried Ben in anger. For a moment, I thought he was going to flip his Monopoly board over in a fit of rage.

He didn't – even though the game never improved for him.

It...

Where are all the youth?

One of the questions I hear most frequently from the older people in my congregation is, “Where are all the youth?”

I’ll admit this question frustrates me. Underneath it is typically one of two beliefs:

1. There are no youth in our congregation.
2....

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the director of youth ministry at Faith Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, 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). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. When not doing ministry, she and her husband Doug can be found hiking, backpacking, and traveling.

More about Jen

Jen's Books

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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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