The new gender equality

On the way to our summer mission trip in Red Lake Indian Reservation, an ELCA church graciously allowed us to spend the night in their facility. The next morning, we worshiped with them.

Later, many of my students commented on how the church we...

Reaching the Marginalized

Recently, I met with a potential adult leader. I shared my heart with him, interviewed him, and then asked if he had any questions for me

He proceeded to tell me about how his son, who’s now in his 20s, was never involved in our church’s youth...

8 questions to ask potential leaders

One of the steps in my adult leader recruitment process is an interview. Interviews provide me with an invaluable opportunity to get to know a potential adult leader (and for him to get to know me.) 

In addition to basic "getting to know you...

The couch

As I've been reading the Bible in Margaret Feinberg's 40 Day Bible Reading Challenge, I've been struck by the physicality of our faith. Our Christian faith is one that's very much attached to people and places. It is physical, tangible, and real....

Pausing to Pray

This week marks the slow trickle of kids returning to school in my community.

The return to school also means that the start of my fall youth ministry program is imminent. Needless to say, it's a stressful time of year, especially for a Type-A...

Who defines the light?

Like so many church kids, I associate the word light with songs.

First, it was “This Little Light of Mine”. Thanks to this song, even as a young child I knew I was supposed to let my light shine rather than hide it under a bushel or let Satan...

Millennials on Missions

Millennials love social justice.

Give today's high school students an opportunity to serve, and most will take it. They'll readily fork over their money in support of companies, such as Toms, that benefit others. They'll also wield a hammer, make...

It's OK to doubt

As is often the case, my students got emotional during the final worship service of our recent mission trip – a meaningful, poignant foot washing service. Tears still streamed down many of their faces as we left the worship space and went to ...

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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