Archive for October 2016


Apparently, if you want optimal choices, you have to buy toddler halloween costumes in July. Not knowing this, I went at the end of September and thought I was doing good. Instead, I found only two left in my daughter's size: An adorable dog and a...

Suspend Judgment

At a recent training, I sat at a table full of strangers. Rather quickly, we were asked to share vulnerably. One of the women at our table began, saying, “I have some thoughts, but I don't know if you're going to like them.”

Hoping to reassure...

The park

Today, I'm linking up with Kate Motaung's Five Minute Friday. The rules: Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

This week's prompt: Park.

Five Minute Friday 4 300x300

“Shoes. Door.”

They're typically two of her first words after waking....

Great youth workers

I recently spoke about The Jesus Gap. Afterward, a youth worker approached me and said, “If you're as into discipleship as you think we ought to be, you're probably not a very good youth worker.”

“Why?” I asked him.

In response, he said, “Because...

How to respond to difficult situations

Recently, a student arrived at our youth ministry's gathering significantly early. So I asked him about his day. Specifically, I asked, What was the worst part of your day?

Immediately, the student responded, “Someone hit me.”

Needless to say, I...

The Key to Asking Vulnerable Questions

We kicked off our fall programming this year by wrestling with the question, “Does God exist?”, a question prompted – at least in part – by the fact that some of our freshmen are adamant about their belief that God does not exist.

Part of the...

Don’t Pigeonhole Students

While on vacation, my extended family and I went boating, something I have fond memories of from childhood vacations.

As is often the case when extended family gathers, as we sat around the beach, people started telling stories. One story was told...

What I'm Into (August / September, 2016 Edition)

What I'm Reading:


The end of summer and the beginning of fall have been CRAZY! Nevertheless, I read 7 fiction books during the last two months.

Best beach read: Truly Madly Guilty by  Liane Moriarty. I don't typically consider...

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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