Intergenerational Starts With Me

I’m an introvert. I love people, but I hate large groups and I despise small talk.

This means that my least favorite time of Sunday mornings is “coffee hour”. I dread this time so much so that most weeks, I make a mad dash from worship to the Youth Room, skipping over the hated coffee hour all together.

I justify this by saying that as the youth worker, in order to make students feel welcome I have to be in the Youth Room early so that I can greet students as they arrive. What’s more, I know that unlike downstairs during coffee hour, upstairs in the Youth Room, I routinely have meaningful conversations with teens.

And while all of those things are true, this year, my student leaders and I set some God-sized goals for ourselves and our youth ministry. Among them: To better connect with others of all ages in our family of faith.

To this end, this year, we interviewed some of the saints of our congregation to find out why church matters. I also intentionally attended a host of holiday parties and open houses (An introvert’s nightmare!) in order to deliberately cultivate relationships with people from my congregation who are not in some way involved in my youth ministry. Yesterday, I even spent time sharing about our youth ministry with a circle (an earlier, perhaps more social form of a small group) of women, most of whom were probably in their 70s and 80s.

Read the rest of this article here.

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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