Five Minute Friday: Encouragement

5minutefridayToday, I'm linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker‘s Five Minute Friday. The rules: Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. 

This week's prompt: Encouragement.

I met with him a few weeks ago to discuss his role on our student leadership team.

As we did, I affirmed and encouraged him. I also challenged him.

I told him that as I looked at our winter retreat roster, I saw a hole in male leadership amongst our students.

I dared him to grab it.

“Step up,” I said. “You have what it takes. You can do this. Be the leader I know you are.”

He didn't say much other than what was necessary to acknowledge he heard me.

Afterward, I second-guessed myself, wondering if the time was right to issue this challenge to him.

But once spoken, words cannot be taken back.

So I prayed.

I watched.

And I waited.

At the winter retreat, I saw him respond to this challenge and rise.

His participation in our large group discussions reached an all new high as he thoughtfully considered and responded to a variety of questions.

He delivered a powerful devotion. Afterward, the pride he felt in doing so was readily apparent, evident in the dopey grin he wore on his face.

He watched out for the guys on the margins and went to them, connecting with them on their terms.

He initiated a “male bonding” time.

In short, he became the leader I knew he could be.

In doing so, he taught me that sometimes, all we need to become the leader or person God created us to be is encouragement. 


Linda Fode

Isn't it a blessing to encourage the next generation. I appreciated your post.

Posted by Linda Fode , about 9 years ago


to encourage others to be the blessing you know they are called to is a blessing in and of itself! Great job!

Posted by April, about 9 years ago

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.

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Jen's Books

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A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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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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