1. Press release about joining the YS team (see below).
2. Info about the future of the Doug, Josh, Katie & McGill podcast CLICK HERE


Newly appointed executive director of Youth Specialties, Mark Matlock announced the addition of Doug Fields to the YS team. Fields is a veteran youth pastor who has served in churches for 30 years, the author of 50+ books and founder of Simply Youth Ministry.

Matlock states, “This is a huge boost to the excitement, direction and future of YS, I am thrilled to have Doug join our team. He is one of the leading influences and voices in youth ministry around the world. Doug’s experience in both the local church and within youth ministry organizations serves as a strong addition to the team we’re building to best serve and equip youth workers into the future.”

Fields served as youth pastor at Saddleback Church in Southern California for 18 years. Doug resigned in 2009 to focus on the growing demand of global youth ministry opportunities. Fields joined his mentor Jim Burns at Azusa Pacific University’s HomeWord Center for Youth & Family where he teaches youth ministry and hosts his summer Student Leadership Conference for teenagers.

Essentially, Fields is returning to his roots at Youth Specialties. In 1986, Doug began a 20-year relationship with YS where he was a primary speaker and one of Youth Specialties’ most prolific authors (including the best-selling Purpose Driven Youth Ministry). His early days with YS ignited his passion to launch Simply Youth Ministry (SYM) from his family garage. SYM grew quickly and larger than Doug’s desire to lead, manage and operate. Passionate about his own family and the local church he served, he looked for someone to take over the SYM operations. In 2006 Doug merged Simply Youth Ministry with Group Publishing to better manage what had become a leading brand in youth ministry resources.

Fields said, “I was so happy that Group embraced ‘my baby’ and helped make it healthier. Now, 5 years later, I’m still very pleased that SYM has a great home! I know they’ll continue to flourish even though I’ll no longer be leading it.”

Fields’ continued by saying, “I’m indebted to the years YS invested in me when I was a young youth worker and the thought of returning to invest in a new generation of youth workers makes me come alive. As I listened to Mark Matlock’s plans for the future of YS my excitement only increased. I believe my gifts can compliment Mark’s leadership and direction. I very impressed with Mark’s heart, passion, and vision for Youth Specialties. I’m honored that he’s excited to work with me and look forward to partnering with him to resource youth workers around the world. Mark is the type of leader I want to align with… YS is in great hands!”

“This is really an amazing God-thing,” says outgoing Executive Director Tic Long. “I could not be more excited for youth ministry. I have great confidence in Mark guiding the future of YS and now adding Doug… it’s ridiculous! I have known Doug for over 25 years I have seen his family, ministry, values, vision and character from up close and there is no one I respect more. They are going to make an incredible team in effectively serving and equipping youth workers around the world.”

Matlock added, “The mission of Youth Specialties continues to serve and equip the most diverse gathering of youth workers. We help youth workers help teenagers follow in the way of Jesus Christ. We believe Doug will help us further move toward achieving that mission. Doug has done so much for youth workers everywhere.”

In addition to the two fall National Youth Ministry Conventions and YS Palooza in winter/spring 2012, Matlock and Fields will be traveling to cities across the United States to host conversations with local youth workers.

For more information on Youth Specialties and Doug Fields visit www.youthspecialties.com & www.dougfields.com

Happy to answer any questions you might have…just leave em HERE. df