In the last few years, there have been a few books that changed the game for me; a few books that gave me a wake up call or a new vision. The Jesus Gap by Jen Bradbury will be one of those books.
In this book, youth pastor Jen Bradbury details her research into what teens really believe about Jesus specifically. Anyone who has paid attention (or read Almost Christian) over the last decade or so, will have a suspicion of the results she discusses. I know I did—but the reality was more complex than I imagined.
Jen shows for instance how teens believe Jesus was the Son of God, yet at the same time don’t believe He was divine. She details how few teens still believe Jesus was without sin, and how many believe you can be a Christian without believing in Jesus.
But the book doesn’t just bring ‘bad news’ about the sad state of teens’ beliefs in Jesus. It also gives many, many practical suggestions on how to put Jesus front and center in your youth ministry. Jen speaks from her own experience of course, which makes this book a far cry from a theoretical discussion of Christology, but way more of an inspiring how-to on teaching Jesus.
I’ll be re-reading The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus a few times to get the max out of it, that’s for sure and I advise you to do the same.