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Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry: A personal and practical guide to starting right Paperback – July 30, 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Since forever altering the course of the youth ministry world with his best-selling, groundbreaking book, Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry, Doug Fields' mind---but especially his heart---has been focused on the many unique needs of new youth workers. Doug translated his passion, insight, and vision for his beloved 'rookies' into what you're now reading, Your Fist Two Years in Youth Ministry---hands-down the most comprehensive companion to not only surviving, but also thriving, during the most crucial phase of youth ministry. Employing his renowned wisdom and humor---as if you and Doug were chatting over a long, relaxing meal---the author disarmingly relates stories and principles from his own successes and failures over 20-plus years in youth ministry. In the end, he offers treasure troves of practical advice, all in the hope that new youth workers can travel a smoother path and achieve real longevity in a church culture that all too often chews them and spits them out. Doug covers all-important issues such as: - Dealing with discouragement - Establishing a solid spiritual foundation - Building effective relationships with students - Resolving conflict - Ministering to parents and families - Trailblazing change - Working with volunteers - Defining a realistic job description - And many others! In addition, a chorus of insightful sidebar voices joins your conversation with Doug, among them ministry veterans Jim Burns, Steve Gerali, Mike Yaconelli, Helen Musick, Chap Clark, Marv Penner, Rick Warren, Jana L. Sundene, Bo Boshers, Duffy Robbins, Tony Campolo, and Richard Ross, all who've composed extensive, topical essays for each of the dozen chapters. Your First Two Years of Youth Ministry is a must-have tool for new youth workers, volunteers, seminary professors and students, senior pastors, elders, church boards---even veteran youth workers who've been ministering in unstructured environments and are now asking, 'What did I miss? What can I still learn?' The first two years of youth ministry are never easy. But never fear. Doug fervently assures us: 'Hang on. Hope's coming!'

About the Author

Doug Fields has been a leader in youth ministry for over 30 years. In addition to being a youth pastor at two churches for 11 and 20 years, Doug is the founder of Simply Youth Ministry, the co-founder of Downloadyouthministry.com, the author of more than 50 books, and is currently working with Youth Specialties & Azusa Pacific University (HomeWord’s Center for Youth/Family). More information about Doug is available at www.dougfields.com.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan/Youth Specialties (August 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031024045X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310240457
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. Gibson on February 9, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mean parents?

Not everybody will like me?

Kids won't remember all of my message points?

The elder board might not think turning the baptismal into a hot tub is a good idea!? OH MAN!

Maybe you're like me (a new youth leader) and you have a crazy list of "must read" books and you have no idea where to start. I know the feeling folks (I'm there right now). But one book that everyone agreed that I start with was this book.

I was stepping into a ministry where the demographic difference (education, church background, age) was so different I had no idea where to start.

Do I host a huge event? Tell stories? Go through 1 Chronicles!? AHHH!

Doug Fields put together a very helpful,practical and honest book. The entire book is put together in a readable way.With writings from both Doug Fields and other ministers from around the country who are in the battlefield right now. The contributing writers do more than validate, but they relate the topics to their real world experience. Finally a book with more than just concepts and theories!

First you'll probably read it straight through, but afterwards it will turn into a quick reference book. If anything just to re-affirm how you're going to handle a difficult situation.

As a single new minister, I felt absolutely clueless about parents. What do they really want from me? A couseler? A listener? A babysitter?

Doug very clearly lays out what parents need from you and how you can pour your life into their's without telling them how to raise your kids. I loved it when he talked about parents being experts on their children, so don't treat them like an idiot when you don't agree with how they want to raise their own children.
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Format: Paperback
I'm a senior in high school and I'm working as an intern with my church's director of youth ministry through a program at school. My mentor gave me this book as recommended reading. It was an interesting read from the stand point of both student involved in the youth and as an intern. I felt many of the points made about teenagers - we're watching you (sounds creepy huh?), we want something bigger than ourselves, we want adults to invest and believe in us - were hit right on from a student perspective. I really liked that he breaks down practical ways to approach the challenges of working in ministry; I felt many of these principles could be applied to different types of ministry. Fields does an excellent job of taking Biblical principles and walking you through how to handle them. He provides guidelines to implementing what the Bible asks of us and that's very helpful. I'd also like to say that I really admire his emphasis on relationships over programs and using programs as a tool to build relationships. This is unbelievably true and it works: I am evidence of it. I love my church and my relationship with God has grown dramatically because of relationships through the youth ministry. I can't say enough how important that is!

Stylistically/technically speaking, the book has some typos that really surprised me. I love English so things like that are glaring to me and frankly shocked me in a final publication of a book. His writing style is lighthearted, which is nice, although his jokes become predictably placed; still nice, but not as effective.

Overall I believe this is a great resource for guidance through ministry life.
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By A Customer on July 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is wonderful for anyone interested or involved in youth ministry. It provides an amazing Biblical foundation, as well as a plethora of advice from seasoned ministers. I would surely recommend this book to anyone in youth ministry.
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Format: Paperback
The beast of youth ministry is burnout, which is sadly a reality for so many youth leaders who start out strong, work tirelessly for the church, and fade into exhaustion-- and unfortunately, sometimes resentment. Youth ministry is difficult, and people who are just beginning their journey need advice from experience, advice that warns of those in the church who may hurt your feelings, advice that provides guidance in the planning of programs and curriculum... Advice that reminds you, "You will inevitably mess up; but you are human and you are learning. Don't give up!" This book is very insightful, and encourages people to take the long-term perspective, that youth ministry is about the marathon, not the short-distance race.

Reading this book really is like sitting down with a mentor who knows the doubts and fears you possess- and those you have not yet embraced- and prepares you for reality, for better or worse. My suggestion: read it before you enter a YM position, and read it again six months into your position, and again 12 months into the position. The wisdom will be new every time you read it as you gain more experience, and you will value the reminder in times of confusion and concern, that Christ is with you always.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you get the Kindle version, read this.

First, content-wise, this was a great book. From start to finish. Fields does a good job of putting youth ministry back into the category of Christian ministry. While he deals very specifically with the facets of youth ministry, his broader-picture perspective is much needed.

But if you get the Kindle version, be warned:
- this was probably scanned and never kindle-edited. There are a lot of missing spaces between comma and word. And occasionally there are entire words missing.
- there are no page numbers. Not a big deal, but when I read a Kindle, I like it to feel like a book.
- no X-Ray. I don't use this feature, but if you do (fyi).

It's still readable on Kindle, but if I knew this, I'd have gone with the paperback.
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