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Is it really hero time?

As I watched Disney's new Beauty and the Beast with my husband this weekend, I was captivated by Gaston – the narcissistic man who wants to marry the book-loving Belle – in a way that I didn't expect to be.

Gaston

At multiple points in the movie,...

Abandon

Today, I'm linking up with Kate Motaung's Five Minute Friday. The rules: Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

This week's prompt: Abandon.

Abandon 600x600

It snowed here on Monday.

Late winter snows aren't unusual in the...

Life-giving rules

Our youth ministry has a set of ground rules that we reiterate every time we gather. They’re basic things that establish how we relate to and interact with one another. Our ground rules include:

1. When one person talks, everyone else listens. To...

Saying Good-Bye Well

Three years ago, our associate pastor left to take another call. Our church immediately scheduled a farewell dinner. I assumed the students who she’d worked closely with during her tenure at our congregation would attend. While some did, most didn...

Burying the Alleluias

20170301 Bradbury Lamenting

“We’re going to bury the Alleluias on Sunday,” my colleague told me.

Although I’d grown up in a church where Lent was a thing, I’d spent the previous five years working at a non-denominational church that didn’t observe it.

Needless to say, when...

Review: Alongside by Sarah Beckman

As a youth worker, one of my roles is to come alongside families during times of struggle and provide pastoral care. As part of this, others often ask me, “What can I do for Person X?”

During times of crises, people want to be helpful but they...

Addressing Parental Concerns

“I can’t do the Famine,” one of my active, never-miss-an-activity students informed me.

“How come?” I asked.

“My mom doesn’t want me to starve myself,” she said.

It’s something I’ve heard a lot over the years. For many students, fasting – the...

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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