Most people in the youth ministry world are at least vaguely aware of recent research from both the National Study of Youth and Religion and the College Transition Project that suggests the faith we're cultivating in teens is not consequential and...
The other day, this tweet from People caught my attention:
Christina Aguilera takes an emotional trip to Rwanda, says "I know I will go back." http://t.co/aAU6D0QTeN— People magazine (@peoplemag) September 26, 2013
Having grown to love Rwanda...
My students are, in a word, obsessed with the 2012 movie version of Les Miserables . Knowing this, I decided to use Les Mis as the basis for our first, three-week series of the year. This series is written as discussions, designed to be...
Throughout my youth ministry career, I’ve intentionally taken students to worship in other Christian congregations.
The first time I did this I was working at a multi-ethnic congregation. One spring I canceled our own youth worship service for...
What the book's about: The subtitle for The Catalyst Leader - 8 essentials for becoming a change maker - accurately describes what this book is about.
Why I read this book: Since I believe leaders are lifelong learners, I...
One of my vivid high school memories is from a conversation I had with the dad of the kids I babysat for.
Somehow, as Mr. Manson drove me home, we began talking about the three key components of my spiritual heritage:
1) I attended a Missouri...
Yesterday, I received an e-mail from a parent telling me that her son (a high school freshman) would not be participating in my congregation’s high school youth ministry. This is not the first time I’ve received such a message from a parent. Each...
Summer's nearly over and your youth group members are returning to school. As a youth worker, you know what that means, right?
Even if your bags are barely unpacked from this summer's trip, it's time to start planning your next mission trip.
For the past month, my suburban community has been slowly making improvements to our sewer system.
Truthfully, I don't exactly understand the details.
What I do understand is that when the Insituform truck arrives outside my house, it's going...
Everyone faces “giants” in their lives: Fears, issues, and struggles that must be overcome. In their book, Five Stones: Conquering Your Giants, authors Shane Stanford and Brad Martin attempt to use the story of David and Goliath to “arm” us to “...
My students are, in a word, obsessed with the 2012 movie version of Les Miserables. Knowing this, I decided to use Les Mis as the basis for our first, three-week series of the year. This series is written as discussions, designed to be...
I am a musical geek.
Much to my husband's dismay, I listen to soundtracks constantly. Day and night, they're what I blast from Itunes.
Since I first got the soundtrack for The Book of Mormon nearly two years ago, one song has consistently...
This post is part of a synchroblog on Loving Nature: "Is God Green?"
Long before being green was a thing, my family was.
My parents have always driven highly fuel efficient cars. They rarely run their air conditioning. In the winter, their...
My first year in ministry, I was 22 years old.
I was young and naïve, incredibly passionate and excited to be in ministry. I was also arrogant, convinced I was God’s gift to the church (or at least to the particular church I was serving in).
I am unashamedly a fan of Kenda Creasy Dean. Her book, Almost Christian, is one I believe every pastor, youth worker, and parent should read.
As as result, when my colleague and I decided to use a book as the framework for our adult...
Recently, as I was reading through Scripture as part of Margaret Feinberg's 40 Day Wonderstruck by Scripture challenge, I was struck by the Message's paraphrase of 2 Kings 17:32-33, “They honored and worshiped God, but not exclusively… They...
More often than not, my attempts to recruit adult leaders are met with the recruit saying something like, “You know I’m not a Bible scholar, right?”
So often, I just want to respond, “You know I’m not looking for a Bible scholar, right?” Usually,...
What the book's about: The subtitle of Help! I'm a Student Leader accurately describes what this book is about - Practical ideas and guidance on leadership. It is written specifically for youth serving as leaders in a church context.
As an only child, my parents instilled in me the belief that I could do and be anything I wanted. An education at an all-girls Catholic high school reinforced this.
Rather than bemoan my gender, I was taught to embrace it; To not fear...
One of the best things my congregation does to help transition junior high students into our high school ministry is a tradition I inherited: The confirmation home visit.
Each fall, our associate pastor (who runs confirmation) visits all the 7th...
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
- Social distancing, masks, & caring for one another
- Review: Made to Move Mountains by Kristen Welch
- Stuff You Can Use: Fall Teacher Blessing via Zoom
- Notes from the pandemic: The difficulty of watching church with kids
- Sending Ritual for College Students
- Seven Things the Church Can Learn from The Babysitters Club
- 6 things I learned from virtual VBS
- 17 Keys to Making Virtual VBS a Success
- Is this the end of short-term missions?
- A sanitized MLK
- 8 reasons why our youth ministry isn't regathering
- Is the church going extinct?
- I hope they'll listen
- Notes from the Pandemic: Exhaustion
- Notes from the Pandemic: Mentioning the Unmentionables
- Notes from the Pandemic: Self-sacrifice
- Life from death
- On dance classes, motivation, & $50 costumes
- What Nancy taught me
- Church homes