LYNCHBURG, Va. – “There is a difference between a healthy youth ministry and a flashy youth ministry,” said Doug Fields, youth pastor at Saddleback Church. Speaking to the 13,000 attendees at SuperConference ’03, Oct. 5-8 on the Liberty University campus, Fields emphasized the need for youth ministries to be purpose driven.
Health is the goal of a purpose-driven youth ministry -- a healthy youth ministry," Fields said.
According to Fields, a good youth ministry will balance the five purposes: evangelism, ministry, worship, fellowship and discipleship, in building a strong purpose statement for the youth ministries.
The statement should not only be easily comprehensible, it should define why the ministry exists, and show students how they could benefit by participating in it.
In addition, Fields said the statement should be mentioned repeatedly.
"What you quit talking about will be forgotten," he added. Repeating the purpose statement over and over will not only help the youth remember, but it will lead them to a deeper understanding of it.
In return, the purpose statement will clarify a ministry’s existence, minimize conflict and create excitement among the members, he said.
Fields has been the youth pastor at Saddleback since 1992 but has been in youth ministry for more than 20 years. Saddleback’s senior pastor, Rick Warren, is the author of the award winning book, “Purpose Driven Life.” Fields authored the complementary, “Purpose Driven Youth Ministry.” Fields wrote more than 25 books about teenagers, parenting and youth ministry and frequently teaches seminars on the subjects.