Table of contents for Your first two years in youth ministry : a personal and practical guide to starting right / Doug Fields.
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essay writer profiles
before you dig in 
1. where do i start? committing to the essentials 
"In 1979 I was a rookie youth worker with no idea what I was doing. I took teenagers to R-rated
movies; I had a Jacuzzi party in the baptismal because a 12-year-old thought it would
be fun...Thankfully, a lot has changed..."
2. why do i feel this way? dealing with discouragement 
"Discouragement may be the single most powerful feeling that entices great women and
men to exit prematurely from youth ministry."
3. how do i stay spiritually fresh? establishing a heart foundation 
"Being connected to God on a daily basis is more important than any youth ministry semi-nar
you attend or any book you read."
4. what's most important to students? being with them 
"As you begin your youth ministry, please keep in mind that programs only exist to build
and strengthen relationships with God and with one another! Relationships are key to a
5. how do i work with parents? becoming family friendly 
"This is an important chapter conceived through struggle and pain. I'd love to save you
from some of the hurt I've caused and experienced."
6. why all the conflict? dealing with difficult people 
"During my years of leadership, I've experienced enough tension to fill an entire book. I've
shed tears, caused tears, avoided conflict, started conflict, confronted conflict, confronted
loudly, made enemies, gained supporters. Sometimes I've been right, but often I've been
7. who's the leader? understanding submission and supervision 
"When I struggle in my relationships with those in authority over me, it's often because I'm
criticizing others when I should be critical of myself. I need to consider the log in my own
eye before I point out the speck in another person's eye. (Have you read that somewhere?)"
8. where do i get help? working with a team of leaders 
"My greatest joy and most difficult task is building a team of other adults who will love
students and disciple them...If you find, develop, and empower leaders, you' ll be a valuable
asset to your church and set yourself up for success in future youth ministry."
9. can students handle responsibility? investing in student leaders 
"If you allow students to lead, you' ll have the privilege of encouraging, validating, and shap-ing
10. are we doing the right thing? evaluating youth ministry programs 
"You may be thinking, 'Why evaluate? I've barely started my ministry?' The earlier you get
in the habit of performing regular check-ups, the healthier your ministry will be. You don't
want to wait for major decay to appear in your ministry before you act."
11. how do i make changes? navigating the phases of change 
"Change has a way of making or breaking youth ministry leaders, especially within their
first two years...You have no easy, magic-formula, works-every-time procedure to imple-ment
change, but you can take some definitive actions to minimize conflict."
12. what do i do now? defining a realistic job description for your first two years 
"If you don't know what's expected, you're doomed to fail. Expectations exist, whether
spoken or not, and you need to discover them to be effective and stay healthy."
appendix a - youth ministry staff commitment form 
appendix b - 10 frequently asked questions 
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Church group work with youth.