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Teaching kids to like worship

Recently, we took our newborn baby girl, Kendall, to worship for the first time. Several people stopped us on the way into worship, which meant that despite our best efforts, we didn’t actually make it into worship on time. Despite this, we went...

Picture Rules for Mission Trips

My four-year-old daughter, Hope, LOVES taking pictures. I mean LOVES it. Spend a moment scrolling through our phones and you’ll typically see three types of photos:

1. Those obviously taken by my husband and I, typically featuring our family or...

Yay! Jesus Bread!

My daughter, Hope, has literally grown up in church. (That’s what you get when your mom works for one…)

When Hope turned two, she began asking questions about communion, which wasn’t surprising since she’d gone forward to the communion rail with...

4 reasons why rules are important

A student recently told me, “We used to like going on the mission trip because it was relaxed. There were no rules.”

She was referring to a mission trip I inherited.

Truth be told, I’d suspected this was the case for a while but never had someone...

In defense of games

I still begin most of our youth ministry’s gatherings with a game. 

Even though some youth ministries have moved away from games, I haven’t. When chosen well, unusual games are not only fun, but they also help move teens out of their comfort...

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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