Yesterday, I had a pretty awful mental health day. I spent much of the days in tears. Since writing has always been how I've processed and made sense of the world, I decided to write about the experience. The simple act of writing did my heart and...
In these unprecedented times, with a massive number of churches opting to live stream their worship services in order to protect the public’s health and love our neighbors, families with young children might find themselves wondering, “That sounds...
I love to read. In fact, it’s one of the things I love most in the world. Because of how much I love and value reading, I want very much for my daughters to become avid readers.
I also, more importantly, want them to become committed followers of...
Dear Future Self –
I want you to remember this week ten years from now.
This is the week you made a controversial parenting decision. Oh, don’t get me wrong. It isn’t the first you’ve made. It won’t be the last. But this is the one I want you to...
As a person, youth worker, and parent, I value hard questions. Yet, I also admit feeling completely flummoxed when my four-year old asks me hard questions. For that reason, I was excited to read When Kids Ask Hard Questions: Faith-filled Responses...
In the days leading up to the birth of our second daughter, Kendall, our oldest daughter, Hope, would often curl up in my shrinking lap and fearfully ask, “Will you still love me after the baby comes, Mama?”
Of course, I reassured her that I...
What the book's about: They Call Me Mom by Michelle Medlock Adams & Bethany Jett offers 52 encouraging devotions for every moment of motherhood.
Why I read this book: As a mom who's love language is words of affirmation, I'm...
As a working mom who’s got a job, a side hustle, a four-year old, and a five-month old, my life often feels as though it’s a bit out of control. For this reason, I was intrigued by the title of Kristi Clover’s book, M.O.M: Master Organizer of...
I grew up with what can only be described as an eclectic Christmas tree: Gold ornaments from my grandparents hung alongside Hallmark ornaments as well as homemade ornaments. One of my mom’s all-time favorite ornaments is an angel I made when I was...
I love geeking out on research. And when that research is related to youth ministry, it’s even better. For that reason, I was excited to read David Kinnaman and Mark Matlock’s Faith For Exiles: 5 Ways for a New Generation to Follow Jesus in...
Like many youth workers I know, I make it a point of reading anything that Kara Powell writes. She’s brilliant and so is the research that she and Steven Argue do at Fuller Youth Institute. It continues to shape the way I do ministry and for the...
Dear John –
You don’t know me, but your books have sat on my shelf long enough that I like to think of you as a friend so I‘ll call you by your first time.
Your book, 12 Ordinary Men, was hugely influential in my understanding of the apostles and...
I was in my 30s before I began wrestling with the concept of my privilege, thanks largely to a senior pastor who was passionate about fighting systemic racism. My interaction with him sparked my desire to continue learning about and understanding...
After attending her first night of our high school ministry, a new adult leader recently told me, “I can’t believe how much the kids talked!”
It’s true. My high school kids talk a lot.
Now, maybe they’ve always been like that… But I think their...
I’ve been on maternity leave for the last eight weeks. While it’s been an incredible gift to bond with my newborn daughter, Kendall, I’m also ready to go back to work.
Despite this, I’m guessing I won’t be saying this after tomorrow. In my...
We currently have an 8-week old and a 4-year old, which makes getting to church a challenge. Because we want to cultivate a strong faith in our kids, attending church is a priority for us. But doing so is HARD. Based on our experience, here are 8...
My research into what high school teens believe about Jesus (published in The Jesus Gap) has made me particularly aware of how important it is to help people understand that ALL of Scripture points to Jesus. Knowing how important this is, I’m...
I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve heard someone say this about my newborn daughter, Kendall. It is, after all, what you say when you meet a new baby.
It’s also what my faith says about newborns. According to the ...
As another school year rapidly approaches, I’ve found myself thinking about two different pictures of youth ministry.
One of the things that my teens most enjoy talking about is science and faith. Note that I said talking about; Not debating. Having facilitated this conversation a number of times in the past, I wanted to freshen up my approach with some fresh...
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
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