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Author Archive | Doug Fields

Doug Fields Invitation to Be a Part of Student Leadership Conference 2014

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Dear Youth Worker,

Every year I made it my goal to have every single summer detail figured by Easter. And every year I never quite made it… please tell me you can relate. I was always tinkering with programs and adding new summer opportunities to the calendar.

My guess is that you might still have some loose ends with your summer calendar plans too. Hopefully you will leave yourself a couple days between activities to catch up on sleep, collect permission slips, and just maybe vacuum out the church van.

As you may know I have hosted Student Leadership Conferences for about 10 years and this summer we’ve got 3 dates and locations that we want to invite you to attend. We don’t want your entire youth group… just those you’ve identified as leaders (or potential leaders). If you can’t come, consider sending a responsible volunteer.

Why? For several years I have seen firsthand the return on investment when teenagers attend SLC. I watched it up-close in my own ministry, and I have seen it played-out 1000’s of times with other youth ministries across the country. When student leaders are invested in, they become servant leaders and they pursue opportunities and possibilities. They begin to lead and serve in your youth ministry instead of occupy chairs waiting to be entertained. Some student leaders begin to disciple younger students while others reach their school and city. Bottom line, teenagers who attend SLC return to your church different. This is why I will continue to provide this conference year after year.

I want to invite you to identify some students to attend SLC this summer who you want to return different than when they were sent. I can’t wait to meet you and help strengthen your ministry by training your teenagers. For more information about SLC, including schedule and how to reserve your spots, please visit us at www.studentleadershipconference.com

It would be my honor to invest in your student leaders!

Doug Fields

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5-Minute Youth Ministry: Student Leadership with Doug Franklin

Here’s another episode of DYM’s 5-Minute Youth Ministry! A quick 5-minute interview on one subject with a special guest. A quick burst of training and insight for you and in this episode, I talk with Doug Franklin about student leadership in youth ministry. Good stuff here to consider!

DF

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WEEKEND GIVEAWAY: The Spirit Behind Badge 145

behind_the_badgeHere is a fun giveaway a little outside of our normal ones!

Jim McNeff is my friend who served as a volunteer in the high school ministry at Saddleback Church for years. He is also a thirty-year law enforcement veteran who recently authored, The Spirit behind Badge 145. There is entertaining drama from the real world of police work in this book, but the true purpose is the truth of Scripture found in each chapter that points readers to Jesus. The book will provide great teaching illustrations or make a sweet gift for a relative in law enforcement, or one of your own volunteers.

Jim’s stories include homicide investigations, major drugs busts, taking down a mafia figure, a fatal encounter with a man trying to split him in half like firewood, and a gut-wrenching story telling how his partner lost his life after making a series of destructive choices. The Spirit behind Badge 145 will resonate with men and women of all ages, as the relational challenges encountered by cops are a significant part of the story. Jim and his wife Jamie, share a powerful testimony of infidelity and the restorative powers of forgiveness. This book is about more than a person in uniform. It is about the Holy Spirit as their driving force.

Frequently a book of this nature pats the author on the back for a job well done. Jim said the writing process for him was more the experience of “a Christmas turkey being gutted, cooked to perfection, and then artfully placed on a serving tray for consumption.” While his stories are entertaining and somewhat self-effacing, he said they are meaningless unless connected to His story—Jesus. While law enforcement is the backdrop for The Spirit behind Badge 145, the message is for anyone who desires to grow in faith because the Cross has no limits.

We’re giving away 3 copies of the book! Just leave a comment this weekend and WIN! You can also pick up the book at a huge discount right now, too – just $3.82 for Kindle on Amazon, too!

DF

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5-Minute Youth Ministry: Marriage with Jim Burns

Here’s another episode of DYM’s 5-Minute Youth Ministry! A quick 5-minute interview on one subject with a special guest. A quick burst of training and insight for you and in this episode, I talk with Jim Burns about the importance of a healthy marriage to your ministry. Good stuff here to consider!

DF

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5-Minute Youth Ministry: Hurting Teenagers with Megan Hutchinson

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Here’s another episode of DYM’s 5-Minute Youth Ministry! A quick 5-minute interview on one subject with a special guest. A quick burst of training and insight for you and in this episode, I talk with Megan Hutchinson about helping all of the hurting students in your ministry. Good stuff here to consider!

DF

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5-Minute Youth Ministry: Helpful Apps with Chris Davis

Here’s another episode of DYM’s 5-Minute Youth Ministry! A quick 5-minute interview on one subject with a special guest. Just a quick burst of training and insight for you to enjoy weekly. In this episode, I hang out with Chris Davis (of Youth Ministry Geek) and talk about the most helpful apps for youth leaders. Good stuff here to consider!

DF

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5-Minute Youth Ministry: Small Groups with Jessica Torres

Here’s another episode of DYM’s 5-Minute Youth Ministry! A quick 5-minute interview on one subject with a special guest. Just a quick burst of training and insight for you. In this episode, Doug Fields talks with Jessica Torres about why she loves small groups. Good stuff here to consider!

DF

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5-Minute Youth Ministry #3 w/Dave Bixby

Here’s another episode of DYM’s 5-Minute Youth Ministry! A quick 5-minute interview on one subject with a special guest. Just a quick burst of training and insight for you. In this episode, Doug Fields talks with Dave Bixby, Vice President of Azusa Pacific University about why students should attend a Christian college. Good stuff here to consider!

JG

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Refreshing Your Marriage Conference – March 14/15

One of the really fun parts of my life is speaking to couples about marriage. And after 29 years of marital bliss with the perfect woman, I can honestly tell you that every marriage needs at least a yearly tune-up, a time when you can look each other in the eyes and assess the state of your marriage.

My team at HomeWord at Azusa Pacific University offers this yearly opportunity at “Refreshing Your Marriage” a conference on March 14-15 where Cathy and I, along with Jim and Cathy Burns, will be speaking to couples at all different stages of their marriages. It’s a relaxed environment where we will laugh together and spend time growing in our marriages.

So I would suggest making a longterm investment in your marriage this Valentine’s Day and surprising your spouse with a registration to RYM.

Register now at http://refreshingyourmarriage.com!

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5-Minute Youth Ministry – Episode 2 w/Mark Matlock

Introducing 5-Minute Youth Ministry! A quick 5-minute interview on one youth ministry subject with a special guest. We’ll hit these up here on the blog every so often to give you and/or your team a quick burst of training and insight. In this second episode, Doug Fields talks quick with Mark Matlock about ways to care for your volunteers. Really good insight here for all of us in youth ministry!

JG

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INTRODUCING: 5-Minute Youth Ministry – Episode 1 w/Cathy Fields

Introducing 5-Minute Youth Ministry! A quick 5-minute interview on one subject with a special guest. We’ll hit these up here on the blog every so often to give you and/or your team a quick burst of training and insight. In this first episode, Doug Fields talks quick with Cathy Fields about what it feels like to a spouse when you come home late from ministry. Some good insight here for all of us!

JG

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GUEST POST: Think as You Plan

As I write down these thoughts, I’m neck-deep in preparations for our annual state Youth Convention. A few thousand teenagers will descend upon Syracuse in a couple months, all with the hopes of having a wonderful weekend. There will be over 150 people working behind the scenes to make that hope a reality.

I know I’ve done a good job planning when I’m not running around at Convention like the proverbial headless chicken. My goal is to work hard enough and plan smart enough that I can actually enjoy the weekend, attentively host the speaker and spend time in meaningful conversation with other leaders.

Here’s five ways to think as you plan events:

Think Big
Communicate the big picture…what’s the vision? What’s the purpose of the event? Communicate it often. Often we get so drawn into the details that we can’t see the forest for the trees. A well-run event without a clear purpose is a shell of what it should be.

Think Long
How can you leverage the event to create long-term impact? That may mean reevaluating the components, the emphasis and/or the budget allocations of the event. It has to be more than an event; think sustainable and transferable. How is your event helping the local church make disciples?

Think Team
The #1 key to pulling off events? Get the right people in the right place. Surround yourself with people who are strong where you are weak and who are proven leaders. One other key: surround yourself with people who will buffer you from onsite drama and not create or exacerbate it.

Think Lists
I’m not a list maker. But at event time I depend on them. Create checklists, timelines and systems to both serve the event and make it sustainable in the future. If I’m not here next year, a team should be able to take my lists and run it.

Think Thanks
Thank your team before, during and afterwards. A handwritten note, public recognition, a pat on the back in the midst of the event, a small gift, etc… Those things make a difference. Be gracious. Be grateful. You haven’t done it alone!

David Hertweck served as senior associate pastor of Trinity A/G in Clay, NY for over eleven years. He served as the lead pastor of inside-out student ministries and element young adults ministries and as a worship leader. He is an ordained Assembly of God minister. He presently serves as the District Youth Ministries and Chi Alpha Director. He’s also the author of The Word: a 31 day devotional… buy one and make as many copies as you want.

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10 Questions for a Relational Leader

Yesterday I had the opportunity to talk about Relational Leadership to a group of seasoned pastors (who all oversee paid staff). While very few youth workers have the opportunity to lead a paid staff, most have the privilege of leading volunteers and can definitely set their sights on being a relational leader (all that to say—I thought of you and figured you might be able to glean something from this post).

It’s my observation that the busier the leader, the less he/she has the space to genuinely care for people they work with and their leadership slowly (and often unknowingly) morphs into a transactional leadership.

Relational leader: “I care for you as a person. I want to help you win.”
Transactional leader: “I want you to do this for me. I need to win.”

Below are some questions that might be worthy of your time and reflection. It’s my experience that a leader will tend to think a little deeper when they can slow down and make time to reflect and evaluate. I find that many church leaders are intentional about the doing (maybe even overly strategic), but they give little intentional value to the slowing down and reflecting segment that is required of good leaders.

Here are 10 questions to get you thinking about your own leadership emphasis.

1. How might I build in space for rest and reflection?
2. Is it possible to lead a ministry and create a rhythm for myself and my team that’s sustainable?
3. Am I personally leading out of having space (margin) in my life?
4. Can I be refreshed and energized at the current pace that I’m living?
5. Am I creating space for my team to love one another and consider the spiritual needs of our target audience?
6. What is required of me as a leader to help others win?
7. Can spiritual formation and leadership development go together?
8. Am I using people to get tasks accomplished or am I developing them to trust Jesus, follow Jesus, and reflect Jesus?
9. I may not be able to set the vision for the church, but I can set the values of how I’m going to treat and lead people.
10. Am I genuinely excited for the success of the leaders I oversee?

I hope you’ll find some time to honestly answer these questions and think deeply about your leadership style.

df

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Busy in Ministry

Have you ever noticed that in ministry-circles we’ll often treat busyness as a badge of honor? You run into a friend at a ministry conference who you haven’t seen in awhile and the exchange might sound something like this:

  • “Hey, how are you doing? Stayin’ busy?”
  • “Oh, I’m slammed! You?”
  • “Yep, totally in over my head!”
  • “Yeah, me too. Can’t believe the season we’re in right now. God is really blessing…”
  • “I hear you. Good times. Who needs sleep anyway, right? The enemy doesn’t sleep so why should we?”
  • “Glad to hear you’re doing well!”
  • “Yeah, you too. Congratulations!”

Doing well? Really? Is being busy truly good? Well, in the eyes of many, busyness is a sign that you’re doing something special. People need you. You’re important. You’ve arrived.

Wait, that’s a lie. Do you see it?

Busyness is not contained to the ministry-space either… it’s common and everywhere and destroying lives.

I have a good friend who has bought into this lie and his busyness translates into rarely being at home. I know him well enough to gently and lovingly confront him on this situation. He listened, but quickly became defensive. He said, “Doug, I’ve got to stay busy to pay the bills.”

Personally, I think he has a lot of unnecessary bills that are more tied to status and success than survival. He recently bought a brand-new Hummer. He said he purchased the expensive vehicle because it was “safe.” Sorry, but I’m a little skeptical. He has also chosen to live in a neighborhood that is far above his means, where he can show off his overpriced military artillery (albeit “safe”) vehicle.

I guess he was telling the truth when he said he was “staying busy to pay the bills.”

This type of living is killing people. It is destroying marriages, crippling families, shriveling hearts, and eating away at the ability to experience the fullness of life that Jesus offers.

How about your life? Do you wish you could pull back the throttle of your schedule? If so, could part of the solution be to confront the lies that are justifying your busyness? Are you making poor choices to make you feel successful in ministry?

As you continue on the journey to face those lies… start by finding some moments in your day when you can pull off the race track and stop, become quiet, and connect with Jesus? Cease activity, if only for a few moments, and consciously focus on walking with Jesus… not running ahead of him. Ask Him to help you in your choices.

I think when those of us who are leading ministries “get it” then we can begin to infuse “it” into our ministries and families

Give it some thought… unless you’re too busy.

On a similar journey that I continue to battle,
df

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POLL: Final Cover Decision for “Be Her Hero” by Doug Fields

Thanks gang for voting on the cover of my newest book (click here to see results). There were 5 options and your vote really counted. Now, there’s 3 variations of the winning cover! You might ask, “Why?” Well, it is because I’m a cover-snob and there’s slightly different looks and feel with each one.

Would you please gift me one more time and pick your favorite of the 3? Even if you don’t like the cover, which do you dislike the least?

cover1 cover2 cover3

Grateful,
doug

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