I recently used appreciative inquiry to evaluate and reflect on our year of ministry with my student leaders. Among other things, I asked student leaders, “What are the most valuable aspects of our high school ministry?” and “How has our high...
I still remember some of the early program evaluations I conducted with parents.
I went into these meetings excited, ready to reflect upon the program year and celebrate all that God did in and through our ministry. Inevitably, though, my...
Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries has recently “been accused of deliberately excluding plus-size women from wearing its clothes by failing to make or sell womenswear in any size above Large.” According to Jeffries, “In every school there...
Today I'm linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker's 5 Minute Friday, in which we write for 5 minutes flat.
She sat across the table from me, fingers tapping wildly on the tabletop at a rate of a mile a minute.
Seconds later, this girl, normally so full...
Unlike so many homes, mine was one in which we frequently discussed money.
In fact, money is still one of my dad's favorite topics. When it comes to money, he often runs past any semblance of social respectability and instead proceeds to ask...
Shortly after my miscarriage, I made my most depressing Amazon purchase ever: A collection of books about miscarriage, loss, and grief. Among them was Mike Stavlund's A Force of Will: The Reshaping of Faith in a Year of Grief.
The point at which I realized this school year was going to be a challenging year of ministry came even before it officially began.
It happened last August at a music conference I attended with several of my colleagues. Despite considering myself...
Dear Senior -
For four years, you've graced our ministry with your presence. Now as your graduation approaches, I've found my thoughts drifting to you more and more frequently. I've used each thought I've had of you as a call to prayer.
I have a t-shirt from Youth Enterprise that has the word, “Whatever” written on the front with this passage written on the back:
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—...
In Lent, as we discussed the story of Jesus' arrest, my students were intrigued by Jesus' command to Peter to put away his sword because “all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”
Immediately, students began asking about...
In this book, Sarah weaves together her battle with breast cancer (which she was diagnosed with at the age of 27) with a...
As you know, I think it's incredibly important to discuss controversial topics like addictions, war, and gay marriage with high school students. What's more, the recent increase in the amount of resources (books, curricula, blog posts, and the...
Their stories litter the pages of Scripture, sometimes as main characters in the story of God and sometimes as more peripheral ones. Yet even in churches that affirm women in ministry, too often we overlook these women. We fail to...
If you look at the teaching schedule for the last month of my high school ministry's program year, you'll see the following topics listed: War, gay marriage, and the question, “Who's a child of God?”
What each of these topics have in common is...
Almost a decade ago, I was flipping through a youth worker magazine and came across an ad for a Welcome Pack. Unlike most ads, this one wasn't selling something. Instead, it was trying to convince youth workers to have their students complete a ...
As you know, my very favorite kinds of books are those that leave me in tears one moment and cause me to laugh aloud the next. Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed by Glennon Doyle Melton is definitely one of those books.
I'm 32 and childless.
Though this has not always been the case, right now, that's an incredibly painful thing for me to say.
My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We got married young and knew we didn't want kids right away. But after...
Three years ago, as part of a graduate school class I was taking, I conducted a thorough assessment of my high school ministry. Among other things, this assessment revealed that in the three years prior to it, only 22% of my congregation's...
This week's review is of Masterpiece: The Art of Discipling Youth by Paul Martin
What the book's about: As it's name suggests, this is a book about the faith formation of youth. Specifically, it's about discipling teens. What makes this book...
When I started my current youth ministry position nearly five years ago, my office was overflowing with old youth group t-shirts. I inherited hundreds of old shirts from a decade's worth of special events.
I felt as though I couldn't get rid of...
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: Parenting Beyond the Rules by Connie Albers
- 4 reasons why rules are important
- Review: The Eternal Current by Aaron Niequist
- To those who think youth group is no longer fun
- Review: Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount and His Confrontation with the World by D.A. Carson
- Review: When I Pray For You by Matthew Paul Turner
- In defense of games
- Review: Thomas Nelson’s NKJV Study Bible Full-Color Edition
- Why you shouldn’t prep for mission trips during your regular gatherings
- 4 reasons why bigger isn't always better
- Review: White Picket Fences by Amy Julia Becker
- Review: The Brick Builder's Bible
- 7 questions to help you decide when to cancel youth group
- Review: I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel
- 7 questions to help you determine the developmental appropriateness of a curriculum
- Why you can't sell hope
- Review: Learning to Speak God from Scratch by Jonathan Merritt
- Review: Sustainable Children's Ministry by Mark DeVries & Annette Safstrom
- Review: Called by Mark Labberton
- Five roles of adult leaders in large groups