Doug Fields is a veteran youth worker, who, as many of you know, has been one of my mentors from a distance over my years in youth ministry. He has written some of the best books, started several resource organizations, and recently got back into being a youth pastor after a few years of speaking and running Download Youth Ministry

Early in his ministry, he had an experience greeting a new teenager that was incredibly awkward moment. We all have moments that don’t go so well. But with all the changes, youth ministry is still all about moments.

In his NYWC 2019 Big Room talk, Doug pointed out there is a common thought around youth ministry today: Everybody in our youth ministry is just too busy, and he followed it up with this statement: “Busy is not a Christian vs. a non-Christian issue. It’s actually a heart issue.”

We often hold busyness up as an achievement lately. When people greet us, and we say we’ve been busy, we often wear it as a badge of honor.

As Doug pointed out, “We are called to follow a Savior and to talk with Him, not to run ahead of Him.” We’re calling teenagers to walk with Jesus, but the question Doug presented today was: Are you walking with Jesus?

Are we substituting abundance for busyness?

So often we meet the pressure in ministry with an increased pace.

But Doug believes, “Busy is an enemy of love.”

Dallas Willard has been quoted, saying that the one word he would describe Jesus with is relaxed. We see it all throughout His ministry. He was never in a hurry. But as Doug said, “Presence is more important than busyness.”

John Ortberg also has a great thought about this concept: “Love and hurry are fundamentally incompatible.”

What should we do? Doug had two suggestions:

  • We have to become comfortable with “NO.”
    We’re often choosing between great opportunities and greater opportunities. For some of us, we are probably being bigger heroes to our ministries than our home/family.
  • Become aware of what is beneath the “YES.”
    Why are you agreeing to all these things? What is the root reason? Some of the reasons might be things we need to deal with. 

Doug then declared, “Busyness is a choice, and there is a price to pay for it.”

So what’s the worst that can happen if you say no? You lose your job? As Doug said, there are others who have lost their marriages and more. This is something we have to address!

Wrapping up, Doug reminded us that there is only one Savior and you are not it.


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