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Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry: A Personal and Practical Guide to Starting Right
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Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry: A Personal and Practical Guide to Starting Right

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,001 ratings  ·  64 reviews
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 Yo ...more
Paperback, 290 pages
Published July 30th 2002 by Zondervan
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4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,001 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Dec 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
As the title suggests, this book is a how to guide for the new youth minister. It lays out the difficulties and struggles that you may face and how you should deal with them. Everything from how to deal with discouragement to building effective relationships, and from dealing with parents to leading a team. The author, Doug Feilds is a 25 year veteran of youth ministry. He has been through a lot, and he shares personal examples tendered with encouragement and advice from his heart for the "rooki ...more
Jake Byrd
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Important book for leaders in Student Mninetry

This book is a very relatable and helpful resource. There were many times that I was reading about issues that come up in youth ministry and I felt so much relief knowing I wasn’t going crazy thinking those very thoughts! For that and many practical helps, this book was an encouraging and entertaining read. The book is a bit broad and operates from more of a large church context, but it is an essential resource that will help any youth leader have a
I found this book to be very helpful in a practical sense. I learned a good amount from reading this book. I will apply these principles for sure. In some ways I feel that my heart softened and my skin thickened. I love the youth I serve...but boy oh can definitely be trying at times. I really appreciated the added humor as well. It was great to feel connected to others through their testimonies and stories of serving in youth ministry. There are so many ways we can all relate to each o ...more
Adam McKinney
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5/5. Was somewhat helpful in concieving of some struggles a youth minister might face early on and over time in ministry. There were also a number of practical tips throughout, but I never found a compelling Biblical justification and blueprint for youth ministry like Brian Cosby's "Giving up Gimmicks" offers, for instance.
Jorge Morales
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Practical concepts, advices and information for new youth ministers. Although it is focused for youth ministry, the information could be applied for regular pastoral ministry. Any new minister should read it.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Extremely helpful! This has both calmed my fears as a new director of youth ministry, and given me some concrete steps going forward in a way that both delved deep enough to satisfy, but didn't overwhelm. A great "beginner's" book for youth ministry in any Christian denomination!
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Didn't expect much, was pretty skeptical of it being well thought-out. It had a surprisingly strong philosophical foundation, and was incredibly practical (of which I need help with). It's definitely a book I will go back to and refer to to help plan and evaluate my ministry.
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really solid and thorough book for beginning youth pastors and workers.
One of those books that people recommend when you first start out, and is actually worth the time.(Even if it takes you almost 2 years to read, like it did me, haha. My fault, not the book's)
Joshua Thomas
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great encouragement and advice as I am beginning this journey myself.
Nathan Hardt
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sometimes hard to follow on Kindle, but packed with lots of great content. "Voice from the trenches" section gave a lot of interesting perspectives from youth workers besides the author.
Barak Fredrickson
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really practical and will definitely revisit it over the years.
Oct 10, 2017 rated it liked it
References. Great for building a team in youth ministry. Dog-eared a few good bits.
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: church-ministry
A must read for Youth Ministry.
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Very helpful. I recommend reading the last few chapters BEFORE starting a job, if possible. But wherever you are in ministry, I'd say reading this book is a good idea. It's an easy read :)
Travis Johnston
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: millar
Good. More scripture would have been of benefit, but a good book of one is heading into youth ministry.
Logan Webster
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked it
Ryan King
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
As a new church youth ministry person (aside from previous years of camp experience) Doug Fields book was a great overview. Though I have no degree, this book laid out the practical guidelines and struggles that one experiences in their first two years. I enjoyed this book because it really felt like talking to a friend who understands the weird, stressful, joyful, tough, amazing world of youth ministry.

At first I didn't like this book, it seemed obvious and redundant and kind of Christian-clich
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
If books were food, then this one is a juicy steak that comes in a four-course dinner.

There's just so much good information and advice in this book that it's easily a must-read for anyone about to be in youth ministry, is currently serving in youth ministry, or has an interest but doesn't know what to expect. Doug Fields has been in youth ministry for quite some time now and clearly knows what he's talking about (there's even a chapter that discusses things he's learned from his mistakes). Thoug
Jang David Kim
Oct 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: youth-ministry
I have been giving this book out to all my youth ministry pastoral staffs over the years. It is very practical and helpful insights on how-tos of youth ministry. This is important for those who only had theological training or had limited experience in youth ministry. So as the title says, "a personal and practical guide to starting right," it accomplishes its vision.

I think others are too harsh in their complains that it's not theological or spiritual but that's NOT what his book was meant to
As the title suggests, this book is a how to guide for the new youth minister. It lays out the difficulties and struggles that you may face and how you should deal with them. Everything from how to deal with discouragement to building effective relationships, and from dealing with parents to leading a team. The author, Doug Feilds is a 25 year veteran of youth ministry. He has been through a lot, and he shares personal examples tendered with encouragement and advice from his heart for the "rooki ...more
Drew Fajen
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Doug Fields is an expert. He lays out quality, specific guidelines for how to go about your first two years in youth ministry-- whether youth staff or full time minister. This book is overflowing with great advice and guidance. Doug writes as if he were mentoring you and the whole book feels very pastoral. He lays out how to go about solid evaluative, structural, and spiritual leadership as a leader in youth ministry.
While this book says its for the first two years, I've just finished my first t
I was a youth director for a little under two years at a small church plant in Minnesota. On my best day, I had 5 students...right before I transitioned out of the role, I was down to 1. I started reading this book about 4 months after I accepted the role as Youth Director, but only read the beginning of the book. Even though I've heard good things about Doug Fields, I did not find this book very engaging. There were a few helpful hints, so I'll give it a 2-star rating, but overall, I didn't lov ...more
Aug 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
After getting over my I-know-what-I'm-doing pride, I found that this book is a valuable resource for doing ministry the right way. It's not a step-by-step guide because those don't universally exist anyway. Rather, this book gives you lots to think about and is fluid enough for you to implement many of the principles in your own ministry. I've put what I've read into practice already, and it's proven itself.
Maria Virginia
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Youth Ministry Commitments
1. I will move slowly.
2. I will regularly check my motives and evaluate my heart.
3. I will steer clear of the numbers game.
4. I will not criticize the past.
5. I will avoid the comparison trap.
6. I will focus on my priorities.
7. I will pace myself.
8. I will serve.
9. I will be a learner.
10. I will pursue contentment.
And that's just the first chapter!
Robert Reed
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very informative.

I will refer back to this book over and over throughout the years. I may get a hard copy, however. The kindle edition was difficult to follow. I imagine the hard copy of this book has small blocks with quotes from various youth ministers scattered throughout the pages, but in digital form there are no blocks, meaning that you see quotes stuck in the middle of paragraphs for no apparent reason or indication that the speaker has changed.
Symon Pratt
Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Read this 10 years ago when I first became a paid youth worker. I'm now working through it as a Senior Pastor with my Youth Pastor. I think the word 'youth' could be taken out of the title as I'm finding it helpful again in my first two years in Senior Church Ministry.

This book should be in every youth pastor & volunteers hands
Paul Kelly
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009, youth-ministry
Great resource for youth ministers, first two years or not. Fields covers some great issues related to doing youth ministry in a church. While giving a nod to volunteer leaders, Fields is really writing to professional youth leaders. With very few exceptions, I thought his advice was dead-on. Conversational. Easy to read. Clear application. Great book.
Jeremy Mansfield
Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. Truly gave me great advice to think about and encouragement as I pursue full time Youth Ministry. Also gave me some great things to discuss and suggest for improvement in the youth ministry I currently serve. I will be referring to his book throughout my life as a Youth Pastor.
Feb 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Well, I'm not really the target audience for this. (I'm a UU volunteer RE teacher, not a Christian youth minister.) I have to translate the author's Christian perspectives into a UU context, which doesn't always work (he warns against preaching heresy, for one!). However, there's some good advice here.
Ali Campbell
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Excellent book for volunteer or veteran alike. Great practical and spiritual stuff giving you all you need to develop and sustain a holistic approach to your youth ministry. Get it, refer to it regularly.
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“Calling students on the first day of school and praying for them. Sending students photos taken of them at youth group events. (Always get double prints.) Dropping by their workplaces just to say hi. Attending the last quarter, inning, or set of their games. (Although you can drop by earlier, coming at the end affords the opportunity to interact with your students after-ward.) Mailing favorite snacks to arrive on their birthdays. Calling students' parents just to brag on them. (e.g.,“Mrs. Gates, your son Billy is doing some amazing things with computer graphics for our small groups!”) Taping notes of encouragement to the front door during exams or other stressful periods. (Ring the doorbell and disappear.) Actually taping notes of encouragement directly on students. Inviting students over for dinner. Letting a group of (same-sex) students spend the night. Following up a few days after a student shares a prayer request. Using your students as positive illustrations in your message or Bible study. (It's always a good idea to get permission first.) Mailing goofy postcards for no reason. Dropping off brain food (a double cheeseburger) the night before a big test. Asking students—on a one-to-one basis—to pray for you. Remembering students’ names” 0 likes
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