My church is just a few blocks away from Panera, which serves as my second office. On occasion, we hold our staff meetings there. I also regularly meet with adult leaders and students there. I do so for many reasons. As a youth worker, I want to...
In junior high, I was a member of my school's volleyball team.
I loved being part of the team. I even enjoyed playing volleyball. Here's the catch: I wasn't very good. I just happened to attend a school that was so small that in order to field a...
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: Same.
You and I, we're different.
I was born in the United States. You...
Since my husband and I have been very public about our experience with miscarriage, we're often asked by people, “What should I say to someone who's had a miscarriage?” Based on our experience, here are 5 things we recommend you avoid saying and 7...
It's easy, I think, for teens to pity people, to feel sorry for someone else. It's much harder for teens to cultivate and develop empathy, the ability to feel and understand another person's experience. This is true, I'm afraid, even for church...
Image Credit: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/02/shocking-image-of-drowned-syrian-boy-shows-tragic-plight-of-refugees
Like so many others, I wept when I saw the image of the dead Syrian boy on the news the other night. How can you...
When they hear how much of a role my student leaders have in creating our ministry's vision, other youth workers often look at me as though I'm crazy. They wonder, Why would you entrust your teens with creating your vision?
To which I say, Why...
What the book's about: In Holy is the Day, Carolyn Weber explores what it means to experience God's grace in the ordinariness of daily life, as well as in the extraordinariness of life's defining moments.
Why I read this book: I heard...
What the book's about: For the Love is a collection of essays from Jen Hatmaker about topics including parenting and faith.
Why I read this book: Ever since reading Seven, I've been a fan of Jen Hatmaker. Naturally, I was eager to get my...
Sweet Girl -
This is the week of your baptism, an event which is a big deal to your dad and I.
Baptism is a strange thing for us... Something we both have some baggage with.
Our parents had each of us baptized when we were babies. Me at your...
In response to last week's post, “What's the Catch?”, Kyle asked a great question:
I love the catch-free scenarios that we can come up with. The only thing I struggle with is making that connection of a kickball game attender to something else...
On Saturday, my youth ministry gathered together to play the summer's hottest game: Slip 'N Slide Kickball.
One of my seniors, a student leader in my ministry, came up to me at the start of the event, eager to share with me her experience of...
A few weeks ago, we looked at 3 types of parents that you'll work with as a youth pastor. Today, we'll continue looking at strategies for dealing with each type of parent. Here are 7 strategies for working with spaceship parents – those who are...
What the book's about: Unlocking Mission & Eschatology in Youth Ministry is part of the series, "A theological journey through youth ministry", which tackles pressing theological issues as they relate specifically to youth...
In junior high, I began accompanying my school's weekly chapel service on the piano. It was a way for me to use my gifts to serve and glorify God even as an introverted kid. It was also what made hours of practicing the piano start to feel worth...
A few weeks ago, we looked at 3 types of parents that you'll work with as a youth pastor. Today, we'll continue looking at strategies for dealing with each type of parent. Here are 7 strategies for working with airplane parents, those parents who...
Twice over the weekend, people told me that I should see The Good Lie, a 2014 movie starring Reese Witherspoon about some of the lost boys of Sudan – children who fled Sudan as refugees without either parent.
As someone who's stood in a refugee...
In youth ministry, summer is the prime time for attending camps, conferences and mission trips. Regardless of what type of summertime activity you participate in with your youth, it's important to process your experience with your teens. Here's...
Eight weeks ago, I had a baby girl, Hope.
My pregnancy was wrought with all kinds of trouble and fear.
I hoped it would be unashamedly excited for me,...
Last week, we looked at 3 types of parents that you'll work with as a youth pastor. Starting today, we'll look at strategies for dealing with each type of parent. To begin, here are 7 strategies for working with helicopter parents, those parents...
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
- Why you should meet with teens in public places
- Student Leadership Basics: Announcing Your Team
- Really just the same
- What to say (and not say) when someone miscarries
- How to teach teens empathy
- Dead Syrian Boys
- Student Leadership Basics: Crafting Vision
- Recent Reads: Holy is the day by Carolyn Weber
- Recent Reads: For the Love by Jen Hatmaker
- To my daughter on her baptism
- Can it really all be catch free?
- What's the catch?
- 7 tips for dealing with spaceship parents
- Recent Reads: Unlocking Mission & Eschatology in Youth Ministry by Andrew Root
- The visibility problem
- 7 tips for dealing with airplane parents
- The poster children for refugees
- 6 Reasons to Process During Camps, Conferences, and Mission Trips
- The Maternity Leave Sabbatical
- 7 strategies for working with helicopter parents