As with retreat booklets, I thought that for something to count as a...
What the book's about: Lauren Winner's Real Sex is a book that talks openly and honestly about sex, confronting the lies both our culture and the church tell about it. It also explores the discipline of chastity.
Why I read this book:...
The first retreat I ever led was about authentic relationships. I spent HOURS prepping every aspect of this retreat – including hours on a retreat booklet for participants. The retreat booklet contained cartoons, quotes, the Bible passages we were...
What the book's about: As it's subtitle suggests, Damaged Goods is about new perspectives on Christian purity. Using her own story as well as stories from interviews she conducted, Dianna explores some of the damage Christian purity...
This weekend is my youth ministry's annual winter retreat. During it, my high school students and I are exploring the book of Revelation.
After learning what our topic is, I've lost track of how many times someone has asked me, rather...
Sarah Bessey is a writer's writer. Her words are beautiful; Her language, poetry. She's someone I read when I need inspiration.
Needless to say, my expectations about her second book, Out of Sorts, were incredibly high, so much so that I...
Churches today are struggling financially.
Oh, I know that's not true of ALL of them.
But I know it's true of a lot of them.
As a result, it's entirely possible for you to do the hard work of crafting a budget proposal only to be told, “We'd love...
I first heard Brenda Salter McNeil speak when I was the Youth Pastor at a multi-ethnic congregation in the suburbs. Knee-deep in the (often) painful reality of cross-cultural ministry, I found her words both challenging and inspiring.
Now, in a...
I'm thrilled to be guest posting today in Abby Norman's series, Sane for the Holidays.
November has traditionally been a dangerous month for me.
It’s when people start blogging about their ideas for advent. In a single day, you can see...
At my very first youth ministry interview, I remember asking the committee if there was a youth ministry budget.
The committee said yes and I naively accepted it's answer at face value.
Shortly after accepting that job, I asked the senior pastor ...
Life is full right now... So much so that it's taken me a solid week to get this blog posted. It's better late than never, though, right?
What I'm Reading:
I read 8 fiction books during the last two months. My favorites...
Your budget proposal should contain two things:...
What the book's about: A Good and Perfect Gift by Amy Julia Becker is a book about her daughter, Penny, and in particular, Penny's Down Syndrome diagnosis. It's a book about parenting and above all, it's a book about grace.
At the conclusion of my junior year in college, I studied abroad in Moscow, Russia. Despite the fact that at the time, Russia was safe, to my parents – who came of age during the Cold War – Russia was a very scary place. The idea of their daughter...
Once you've translated your dreams into numbers, the next step in crafting your budget proposal is to determine where your ministry's budget will come from. Typically, youth ministries derive their budget from a combination of three sources:
This fall, my high school teens and I have been discussing various “isms”. On the first week of this series, we wrestled with materialism, using the story of Jesus and the rich young ruler to do so. In this story, a rich young ruler asks Jesus...
After you've let your dreams percolate, the next step in crafting your budget proposal is to translate your dreams into actual numbers.
To do this, go back through your lists, paying particular attention to your answers to this question: What...
One of my early church memories is participating in my church's pony express giving campaign – a campaign in which a saddlebag was passed from home to home along with stories about our church's ministries and our pledge cards. Families were then...
Twice since returning from maternity leave, I've attended work conferences with my infant daughter, Hope. The first time, Hope was two months old; The second time, she was five months old. After the first go-round, I instagrammed the picture...
On a recent call with Alan Roxburgh, author of Structured for Mission, I heard Al say two really compelling things. First, people are no longer hardwired to go to church like they once were. Second, given this changing culture, those of us who...
Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry
Jen serves as the director of youth ministry at Faith Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, 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). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. When not doing ministry, she and her husband Doug can be found hiking, backpacking, and traveling.More about Jen
The Real Jesus
The Jesus Gap
What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus
Based on National Research
- Guest Post: The Number One Reason for Student Leadership by Rachel Blom
- Stuff You Can Use: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Prayer Station
- How a youth group ministered to its congregation
- Life-giving rules
- Stuff You Can Use: Washed Up Prayer Station
- 7 ways to support girls in your ministry
- Stuff You Can Use: What Are You Afraid Of? Prayer Station
- Review: The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones
- Saying Good-Bye Well
- Burying the Alleluias
- What about those who are anti-refugee?
- Review & Giveaway: Alongside by Sarah Beckman
- An interview with Michelle DeRusha about Katharina & Martin Luther
- A modern-day version of the Good Samaritan
- 7 things not to do during seasons of change
- Addressing Parental Concerns
- Review: Katharina and Martin Luther by Michelle DeRusha
- 7 ways to support your church during seasons of change
- What I'm Into (December 2016 / January 2017 Edition)