This is a book that needs a different title. Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry by Doug Fields should be entitled, How to Start Right and Thrive in Youth Ministry for Decades or something to that affect. If Matt Brinkley’s book Stay The Course Of Youth Ministry goes into the biblical and practical principles of longevity as a youth worker, then Doug Fields’ work delves more into the “how-to” aspects of starting right and continuing strong in youth ministry for many years. Fields does a fine job stressing the importance of a solid spiritual life in Christ. This book will truly help either a novice or veteran in the high calling of ministry to youth and their families.
The book is set around Fields having a meal with a relatively new youth minister and discussing ways to be used by the Lord to establish Christ-honoring youth ministry. His “advice over a meal” approach works well. Interspersed throughout each chapter are brief essays by experienced youth workers who support and complement Fields’ ideas. Also helpful are comments “from the trenches,” where people share practical applications to real church situations.
This book covers the essentials for youth ministry; how to make positive changes that people can live with, working with a youth ministry team, being a family friendly youth ministry, the importance of being with students, dealing with discouragement and handling conflict in a godly manner, among other areas of discussion. Probably the most important chapter in the whole book is the last chapter on “What do I do now?” It shows the importance of consensus in terms of expectations and having a workable job description that all involved can live with. Even the final appendix is really useful.
I recommend this book to anyone involved in youth ministry, whether paid or volunteer. Doug Fields answers a lot of common questions about youth ministry. The Lord can also work through these concepts and suggestions to assist any youth worker to the great glory, honor and praise of Jesus Christ. Buy the book-it will help your church and its youth ministry reap blessings for years to come.