Quilt Sunday

Two weeks ago, our church celebrated Quilt Sunday, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite Sundays of the year.

On Quilt Sunday, every pew is draped with several quilts – each handmade as a labor of love by six little old ladies in our...

The Greatest Generation

The Greatest Generation is a term coined by journalist Tom Brokaw to describe the generation of Americans who grew up during the deprivation of the Great Depression, and then went on to fight in World War II, as well as those whose productivity...

Little children & church

I’ve often wondered why, if Jesus told his disciples in Mark 10:14 to “Let the little children come to me, do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs,” that so many churches today don’t...


If you were to take a poll of youth workers in the United States and ask them, “Who is the most influential youth worker in America today?” I think the overwhelming response would be Doug Fields, the Pastor to Students at Saddleback in...

The excess that surrounds me

For a long time, I’ve joked with my husband, Doug, about how he lucked out marrying someone who really does not enjoy shopping.

That said, I confess I have a weakness: The clearance rack at Kohl’s and REI. I can’t enter either of...

Raising each other's kids

In the last 3 years or so, my husband and I have noticed a trend: We’ll befriend a couple who we really get along with, share interests, and genuinely enjoy being with. Before long, the other couple gets pregnant. Nine months later, the baby...

Outcome-based education

During the past month, I’ve been inching my way through Scot McKnight’s “The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible,” a book which I definitely recommend.

One of the things that Scot talks about in this book is...

Remembering September 11

This year, for the first time since September 11, I woke up on September 11 unaware of the date and not thinking about the tragedy that occurred 8 years ago. It wasn’t until I was about half way through the day that I logged onto Facebook...

The Health Insurance Fiasco

Like many others around the country, on Wednesday night, I watched President Obama’s address to Congress regarding health care with interest.

For our entire married life, which equals our entire adult life, Doug & I have always had...

Outdoor Kitty

Since July, Doug & I have been feeding a stray cat. Since I’m a cat person who routinely feels bad for homeless kitties, this really isn’t all that unusual for us.

The problem is that little by little I began to love this...

New Beginnings

Today marks the start of my 8th year in youth ministry, and the start of my 2nd year at Faith. What a journey it has been!

Last year, when I began my ministry at Faith, I was cocky and pretty sure of myself and my approach to youth ministry. So...

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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