Step down from the stage

This fall, my high school teens and I have been discussing various “isms”. On the first week of this series, we wrestled with materialism, using the story of Jesus and the rich young ruler to do so. In this story, a rich young ruler asks Jesus...

Budgeting Basics: Dream Big

One of my early church memories is participating in my church's pony express giving campaign – a campaign in which a saddlebag was passed from home to home along with stories about our church's ministries and our pledge cards. Families were then...

Call them by name

The other day, a teen walked into our youth room. Another student immediately grew excited and exclaimed, “Oh great! It's the funny kid!”

I'm pretty sure the funny kid didn't hear this other teen and for that I'm thankful. I responded by greeting...

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...

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

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What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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