Archive for 2016


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: Rest.

Five Minute Friday 4 300x300

I woke up with a migraine yesterday, the worst I've had in a long...

How to respond when teens claim to hate Jesus

I love Jesus.

That's probably not surprising to you. As a youth worker, I'm guessing you love Jesus, too. What's more, I'm guessing you want the teens in your congregation to love Jesus. But what happens when they don't?

Because let's face it,...

The importance of the nursing God

At a recent conference, I attended a workshop where, among other things, the presenter made the case for using gender-neutral pronouns to teach children and youth about God.

This is a debate that rages in a lot of circles. People fear that if we...

Why I Don't Do End-Of-The-Year Parties

In my community, it's officially the end of the year. Schools get out in the next couple of weeks and it seems that between now and then, there's a steady onslaught of end-of-the-year festivities, including parties. In some instances, students...

What I'm Into (April, 2016 Edition)

What I'm Reading:


April was an INSANE month. Nevertheless, I still got some reading in. 

Best mystery:  What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan  

Perfect beach read:  Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny...

Using movement to engage teens

Like many congregations, mine uses a traditional educational hour or Sunday school format. This means that our junior high and high school students meet separately for 45-minutes each on Sunday mornings.

I love the opportunity this time provides...

7 ways to cultivate spiritual curiosity

Recently, a new youth worker told me about how, after taking his first job in youth ministry, he decided the best way to begin his ministry would be to do a series addressing his high school students' questions about their faith. His first week on...

My Good Samaritans

As part of our preparation for our upcoming Peacemaking Trip, we've been wrestling with the story of the Good Samaritan. In it, a lawyer asks Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” In response, Jesus tells a story about a man who gets robbed, stripped, and...

What I'm Into (March, 2016 Edition)

What I'm Reading:


I read a lot during the month of March, finishing six fiction books. 

Best mystery: She's Not There by Joy Fielding. I've been a fan of Joy Fielding for years. This was a well-written, engaging read about a...

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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