Tag Archives: Doug Fields

Youth Curriculum Review Series – 2015 Edition (cont.)

In the final installment of the Youth Curriculum Review of 2015, let’s take a look at some small group curriculum.

41efF+SLSLL._SX404_BO1,204,203,200_Creative Bible Lessons in Job by Doug Ranck.  Let me just say this.  I have searched and used many youth curriculum, and one of the curricula that I often recommend is the Creative Bible Lessons.  Here’s what you get with this curriculum.  A starter or icebreaker for the lesson that often comes with multiple options with minimal setup but maximum effectiveness.  Then the lesson is dynamic, easy to teach, good foundation of Scripture, and a good challenge.  In the end, there are discussion questions and worksheets that work very well in the small group setting.

66475Serving Like Jesus by Doug Fields & Brett Eastman.  This was a good fit for small group, but on a heavier teaching night, it would not work as well.  The teaching material is limited and often required some additional work.  However, the discussion questions and outlined series were phenomenal.  I actually added to the series by inviting people in the church who were serving like Jesus to interview them.  That added to the material.  The highlight of this curriculum was definitely the plethora of interaction and discussion questions.  So if you struggle in the teaching side, this might not be best series.  But in a small group setting with shorter teaching and more discussion, this is perfect.

indexSurrender by Francis Chan.  Disclaimer to begin:  I’m a huge Francis Chan.  I’ve read every book he has written and Crazy Love happens to be in my top 5 books of all time.  That being said, this series is a small group goldmine for many reasons.  It provides a DVD series to break up your teaching.  The subject matters are not fluff, but are very challenging, relevant, and hold the interest well.  The lesson is very well put together and Biblically based.  The discussion questions provided allow the small groups to flourish and have great follow-up.  The only down side is it only 4 weeks.  Other than that, it is well worth using for a “break” series during the year, to finish the year, or even in a retreat setting.

 

 

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Evangelism Training Curriculum

evangelism_1Last week, we kicked off the Evangelism blog series with Trying Something New in Evangelism.  Evangelism must be an integral part of any student or youth ministry.  But where do you start?  In the next few weeks, I’ll be presenting ideas, recommendations, and evaluations of evangelism resources that may help revitalize student’s passion, training, and execution of personal evangelism in their lives.  Let’s begin with the evaluation of evangelism training curriculum…here are a few I have used in the past:

Contagious Christian (Youth Edition)

The Good:

  1. Helped the teen understand their evangelistic style – confrontational, intellectual, testimonial, interpersonal, invitational, & serving
  2. Eliminated excused based on characteristics or weaknesses of student
  3. Promoted the use of testimony in witnessing

The Bad:

  1. Weak on developing a evangelism method/gospel presentation
  2. Teens struggled to put material into practice

Recommendation:  This would act as a good complement to Evangelism training, but was not effective in a stand-alone series.

 

Evangelism Explosion (Adult Version)

The Good:

  1. Superior evangelism method training/gospel presentation
  2. Develops a consistent, usable witness script
  3. Provides valuable illustrations and clarification points for non-believer conversations

The Bad: (more difficult, than bad)

  1. Length – 13 week session, which includes memorization & visitation

Recommendation:  For ready-to-work, mature students, it is highly recommended for evangelism training

 

Everyone Matters (Simply Youth Ministry)

The Good

  1. Good utilization and development of testimony
  2. Fair assessment and explanation of the evangelism process, very real & honest

The Bad

  1. Brief – example would be the Gospel explanation is one session.
  2. Does not contain a strong evangelism method training

Recommendation:  Provides a good introduction to evangelism, but not enough content for complete training.

 

2nd Greatest Story Ever Told (Simply Youth Ministry/Doug Fields)

The Good

  1. Fits well in a mission training context
  2. Good, practical development of student’s testimony

The Bad

  1. Strictly used for testimony work, not evangelism training as a whole

Recommendation:  Good tool in developing testimony, not complete evangelism training.

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Top 10 Youth or Student Ministry Books

Here are a few that I would recommend (put in order of my favorites):

  1. Family Based Youth Ministryby Mark DeVries (My youth pastor growing up had me read this.  It redefined for me the role of the youth pastor, and my philosophy was forever changed.)
  2. The Greenhouse Projectby Mel Walker & Mike Calhoun (A collection of writings from some of my favorite people in youth ministry)
  3. Youth Ministry Management Tools (This book is awesome as a resource.  Not for simple reading, but will help you with administration – planning events, budget, team-building, etc.)
  4. Purpose Driven Youth Ministryby Doug Fields (Classic that reshaped youth ministry to what it is today, in a good way)
  5. Shaping the Spiritual Life of Studentsby Richard Dunn (One of the first youth ministry books I read, and loved the insight of walking along students in their lives)
  6. Pushing the Limitsby Mel Walker
  7. Sustainable Youth Ministryby Mark DeVries (One of my prayers is longevity in ministry, this book will help)
  8. ReThinkby Steve Wright
  9. Controlled Chaosby Kurt Johnston (Jr. High ministry, could you tell by the title?)
  10. 4 Hour Youth Ministryby Timothy Eldred (Want to get more efficient, or your teens more involved, here ya go)

Honorary Mention:  You Lost Me by David Kinnaman; Already Gone by Ken Ham

  1. top-10
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3 Tips For Planning Your Student Ministry Teaching Calendar

I have a sickness.  The other day, I received a shipment from Staples and you would have thought it was Christmas.  New pens, new highlighters, and a fresh, blank calendar…pure bliss.  Like a 6 year old in a chocolate fountain.

While I enjoy the process of planning out the teaching calendar, the anticipatory joy of spiritually impactful lessons…it does take more work than just throwing a couple series titles together.  In fact, it is a process that has developed for months.  Let me explain the process in steps.

  1. Feed the Need.  Survey your parents, students, and others to find out what the greatest needs and greatest interest of your students are.  More than likely you will hear topics like purity, end times, devotional life, and the list goes on.  So what I have done is come up with a 6 year calendar, where in the teaching times available, I can show how a 7th grader entering the ministry will learn these things in their 6 years in our student ministry.  (*Could be 4 year calendar if in high school ministry)
  2. Glad That’s Over.  The 4 or 6 year calendar is the heavy lifting of your curriculum planning.  Now the fun part.  Picking your teaching material/curriculum.  See, for me, I don’t choose the same curriculum for all 4 years.  I like to pick and choose, allow myself some flexibility with what I teach from, and what I teach.  I’ve used materials from:  Regular Baptist Press (my personal favorite – fits my teaching style & doctrine well), Youth Specialties, Simply Youth Ministry, Group Publishing, Answers in Genesis, Lifeway, and Zondervan.
  3. Make it Your Own.  Listen to me.  You are not Doug Fields or Andy Stanley, so don’t pretend to be.  Take the curriculum and make it your own, modify and teach it as if it was written just for YOUR students.  Put together you OWN PowerPoint.  Use personal illustration and make up your own introductory hook.  Make your students feel like the lesson is FOR THEM, and not for a church in California or Atlanta.

What about you?  What curriculum do you use?  Got any tips for your teaching planning?

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Confessions of a Youth Pastor I

All you pastors and youth workers out there, what do you want to confess?  Things that have been hidden in your heart that you want to get out there so others can hear you, encourage you, and help you realize you are not the only one.  Hey guess what, you are human, and you are not Doug Fields…so you may encounter some difficulties or feel inadequate.  Now is the time to share.  So, on the count of three, I am going to take off my sandals and jump in the deep end…no matter how cold it is.  1…2…3…

  1. I’m scared of the day when the students see me as old, out of touch, or not relevant.
  2. There are times when I feel way under-qualified to preach on a Sunday.
  3. I still ask my wife if I did ok after almost every lesson.
  4. I write down every word of my lesson for fear of drawing a blank.
  5. I wonder if my kids grow up to be in my youth group, will they like it?

I think that is good for now.  Now it’s your turn…what do you want to confess?  It feels good to take the swimmies off and jump in.  Give it a try!

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