Set Aside Judgment


Whenever we come into contact with other people, there’s a temptation to play the comparison game. This is true of theology as much as anything else.

Theological differences are often especially apparent during events like the 30 Hour Famine,...

What I'm Into (July - September Edition)

I blinked and suddenly it's fall, I'm back at work, and Hope is 4 months old. Where oh where did maternity leave and the summer go? Since I somehow missed doing several monthly recaps, we're going to take July - September in one fell swoop. 


Why I don't hold lock-ins and you shouldn't either

If you look in Webster's dictionary, I'm pretty sure lock-in is defined as a youth worker's hell.

OK, maybe not... But let's be honest, they're certainly not our favorite events, or at least, they're not the easiest events.

Maybe they're also not...

The doubts that consume me

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: Doubt.

Five Minute Friday 4 300x300

As a youth worker, Sundays are my favorite day of the week. It's the...

A good baby?

Good Baby

Since becoming a parent, there's one question I've been asked more than any other:

Is Hope a good baby?

Embedded into this question are several others including,

Is Hope colicky?
Does Hope cry a lot?
Is Hope eating well?
Does Hope sleep...

Student Leadership Basics: Announcing Your Team

In junior high, I was a member of my school's volleyball team.

I loved being part of the team. I even enjoyed playing volleyball. Here's the catch: I wasn't very good. I just happened to attend a school that was so small that in order to field a...

Really just the same

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: Same.

Five Minute Friday 4 300x300

You and I, we're different.

I was born in the United States. You...

How to teach teens empathy

It's easy, I think, for teens to pity people, to feel sorry for someone else. It's much harder for teens to cultivate and develop empathy, the ability to feel and understand another person's experience. This is true, I'm afraid, even for church...

Dead Syrian Boys

Dead Syrian Boy

Image Credit:

Like so many others, I wept when I saw the image of the dead Syrian boy on the news the other night. How can you...

To my daughter on her baptism

Sweet Girl -

This is the week of your baptism, an event which is a big deal to your dad and I.

Baptism is a strange thing for us... Something we both have some baggage with.

Our parents had each of us baptized when we were babies. Me at your...

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the director of youth ministry at Faith Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, 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). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. When not doing ministry, she and her husband Doug can be found hiking, backpacking, and traveling.

More about Jen

Order Jen's Book, “The Jesus Gap”

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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