Say What You Mean to Say

I recently asked my student leaders to evaluate who our ministry talks about most: God the Creator, Jesus the Savior, or the Holy Spirit.

My student leaders waffled between God the Creator and Jesus the Savior before one eventually suggested, “I think we talk about God more but you emphasize Jesus most.”

When I asked this student leader to explain what she meant, she described how whenever I ask a question, she and her peers almost always answer it with a statement about God. I then turn that “God-language” into either a question or statement about Jesus.

She’s right. With annoying frequency, I turn God-language into Jesus-language. Why?

Because in my research about what teens believe about Jesus (published in The Jesus Gap ), I found that one thing that contributes to a poor Christology is when we talk about God when we really mean Jesus.

As youth workers, we do this a LOT. Since we know that Jesus is God, we use the two names interchangeably.

However, this is confusing for students. For them, it makes no sense that Jesus can be both fully human and fully God. To them, that belief seems to defy the laws of both biology and reason.

Read the rest of this article here. 


And to help your students better understand Jesus, check out Jen’s student devotional, The Real Jesus, which includes 50 short devotionals that address the gaps found in the research published in The Jesus Gap.

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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