Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Without Purpose

Day 12: A Book You Used To Love But Don't Anymore

Today will be a bit different - because I won't  be talking about a novel this time.

This is a book that I had to read for my youth ministry class in college. I read it a second time at the beginning of my internship a few years ago. I don't know if I ever LOVED the book - but I do know that I really liked it and I had a lot of appreciation for the author and all that he had done. It also gave me great ideas for ministry! But now... not so much.

Purpose Driven Youth Ministry by Doug Feilds. 

I particularly liked this book when I read it a second time. I was just starting out "on my own" in ministry and I knew that I would probably need all of the help I could get. So I sat in my office and read this book cover to cover. Taking notes, highlighting quotes I liked, analyzing every chart and diagram - I was going to be SUPER YOUTH MINISTER.

Then something changed - I actually started DOING youth ministry, and realized that not everything Doug Feilds said was the word of God in youth ministry, and not everything he suggested was going to work for my youth group.

That's the thing with this book. Doug Feilds is great, don't get me wrong. He has some awesome insight and experiences in ministry and I think he is a good resource. However - not everyone works at a church like Saddleback in California. The picture on the right is their worship center. I've been in there - this church is CRAZY HUGE.

The model in Purpose Driven Youth Ministry is very much for churches like Saddleback.

That's not necessarily my church.

I started then to read other books as well and came across one called Youth Ministry 3.0 by Mark Oestreicher. What I loved about this book was that it said was "Purpose driven is not the way the church is going. It works for some churches, but not all. Youth ministry is not one size fits all."

OK... that's not a quote. But that was the basic gist I got from this book.

Now, Youth Ministry 3.0 isn't the Bible of youth ministry. Nothing is. (Well.. other than the actual BIBLE, but you know what I mean.) It raises some great points though. I really feel like everyone in youth ministry (or even just ministry in general) should read this book. It's a great analysis of where we have been and where we need to go. It gets you thinking about really digging into what's going on in your church and truly getting to know what works for your youth. It points out that if you don't have a huge ministry like Doug Fields - it's OK! You don't have to, because you ARE NOT Doug Feilds and your church IS NOT Saddleback. You are you, and your church is your church.

Does Purpose Driven Youth Ministry have some great points and ideas?

Sure! It can be really useful.

Does your youth ministry need to look exactly like the one in this book?

Of course not! And that's OK. You do what works best for your youth.

Is Doug Feilds a good resource?

Heck yes! I really enjoy my emails I get from him 3 times a week for youth ministry tips and I like Group Magazine and his article. Great stuff!  But is it the end all be all? Nope. Not at all.

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