I don’t have a passion for youth ministry, but I do have a passion for research, reading and encouraging others to find their ministry niche. Since we’ve recently started a youth group at St. Paul’s, I’ve been searching for helpful material, and this book is one of the resources I’ve come across.
The author, Doug Fields, has been a paid youth leader with more than two decades of experience. He writes primarily from the perspective of a large church with a staff–a far cry from our situation. However, much of what he has to say is still pertinent, not only to youth ministry but leadership development and spiritual formation in general. I was especially interested in the chapters on how to identify and encourage new leaders and conflict resolution.
Each chapter has discussion questions, and this book could easily be used as a resource for youth ministry volunteers and workers in a small group setting. Information is interspersed with Doug’s personal experiences, and quotations from other youth workers, making for a style that engages and is highly readable. The appendix includes frequently asked questions and a youth ministry volunteer commitment form example. There is also a website you can go to http://www.dougfields.com for further information.
VERDICT: 4 stars. Definitely worth checking out if you have or are starting a youth ministry.