Archive for 2015

What I'm Into (July - September Edition)

I blinked and suddenly it's fall, I'm back at work, and Hope is 4 months old. Where oh where did maternity leave and the summer go? Since I somehow missed doing several monthly recaps, we're going to take July - September in one fell swoop. 


Why I don't hold lock-ins and you shouldn't either

If you look in Webster's dictionary, I'm pretty sure lock-in is defined as a youth worker's hell.

OK, maybe not... But let's be honest, they're certainly not our favorite events, or at least, they're not the easiest events.

Maybe they're also not...

The doubts that consume me

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: Doubt.

Five Minute Friday 4 300x300

As a youth worker, Sundays are my favorite day of the week. It's the...

A good baby?

Good Baby

Since becoming a parent, there's one question I've been asked more than any other:

Is Hope a good baby?

Embedded into this question are several others including,

Is Hope colicky?
Does Hope cry a lot?
Is Hope eating well?
Does Hope sleep...

Student Leadership Basics: Announcing Your Team

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...

Really just the same

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.

Five Minute Friday 4 300x300

You and I, we're different.

I was born in the United States. You...

How to teach teens empathy

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...

Dead Syrian Boys

Dead Syrian Boy

Image Credit:

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...

To my daughter on her baptism

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...

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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