Ask About the Worst

A few weeks ago, I sat down next to an eighth grade boy. Wanting to engage him in conversation, I asked, “How's school?”

I got a typical junior high boy answer: “Good.”

So I asked him a follow-up question. “What's been good about it?”

To which...

Two for One

Throughout my career in youth ministry, people have occasionally asked me if my husband would be willing to do something.

I used to answer these questions on his behalf, (always saying "yes"), sometimes without first even checking with him.


Solid food

“In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the...

5 reasons to debrief

Recently, my congregation participated in a church-wide, intergenerational day of service. As part of this, we launched people into their service experiences straight from worship. People then served in three areas for two hours each before...

Review: Let's All Be Brave by Annie Downs

I am not brave.

There have been times (usually when there's a sheer cliff on one side of me) when my husband and I have been backpacking when I've literally been paralyzed by fear, unable to take a step forward.

I'm also extremely risk averse.


The awful Mom's Night Out

Last spring, we saw a preview for Mom's Night Out . The preview had a few funny clips in it, so last night we rented it.

I'll admit, I was also curious as to why K-Love kept promoting this movie. To me, it looked far too mainstream (as in, it...

How to prepare for the fall

I snapped at my boss yesterday.

I realized it a few hours later and sent him an apology in which I also said, “I’m operating out of a place of depletion and stress right now.”

That’s not an excuse. It’s more a confession of my current reality.


The Face of ALS

Long before it was cool, I gave to the ALS Association.

Those gifts had nothing to do with dumping ice water over my head... Or failing to do so.

I gave because to me, ALS is personal. It's not just a rare disease. It's the disease my...

Review: Overrated by Eugene Cho


Eugene Cho is a pastor and founder of One Day's Wages, an organization that he sacrificed a year of his own salary for in order to begin. To say the least, he's an intriguing character in today's evangelical landscape.

The fact that he believes...

5 keys for training adult leaders

All around me, students are headed back to school. As school looms before us, so, too, does the start of fall programming. In my context, fall programming for students begins the day after Labor Day. Fall programming for adult leaders begins two...

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry


Jen Bradbury is a career youth worker with a diverse spiritual heritage that makes her uniquely qualified for youth work. Jen currently serves as the youth director at Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, IL and writes for Youth Worker Journal and the Immerse Magazine. She lives in Glen Ellyn, IL with her husband, Doug.

More about Jen

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What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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