Shhh! You're in worship!

Yesterday, worship was more crowded than usual. As a result, by the time I finished getting ready for Sunday school and then snuck into our sanctuary, my usual seat was taken, leaving me with no choice but to sit somewhere new.

Doing so meant...

Review: Help, Thanks, Wow by Anne Lamott

I do not generally enjoy books on prayer.

Oh believe me, I've read my fair share – for small groups, class, and work.

But there tends to be something about these books that rub me the wrong way. Perhaps that's why even though I received Anne...



Today, I'm linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker‘s Five Minute Friday. The rules: Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. 

 This week's prompt: Fly.

The first youth ministry I served was called FLY – an...

What we care about

In the last two weeks, an important conversation has been happening in the virtual world about women in the church. 

The conversation erupted when popular evangelical blogger Rachel Held Evans tweeted: 


A few weeks ago, I visited our new members class in order to talk about our congregation's youth ministry.

None of the people in this class have high school aged kids and yet I went anyway, believing it's important for everyone in our...

What's on my bookshelves

One of the greatest gifts my Mom gave me is a love of reading. I grew up in a house that was loaded with books and I loved reading, even as a small child. 

Today, my house is the same way. We have books everywhere: Three dedicated shelves as...

Follow footsteps, not doctrine

There's a story in the Gospel of Matthew about a woman who hemorrhaged for twelve years.

It's not typically one we pay much attention to.

Why would we? In it's entirety, this woman's story comprises three verses. As with so many of her female...

Everyone Answers

My youth ministry discussion tanked on Sunday. Every question I asked fell flat. Despite my efforts to pry responses out of my students, they remained universally unengaged.

As a veteran youth worker, I know these days happen. Even so, they’re...

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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