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The Value of Debriefing Your Team

Paula Dannielle
Paula Dannielle Friday September 8, 2017
<? echo $type; ?> The Value of Debriefing Your Team

Anything worth doing, is worth reviewing, so we can see how to do it better. From worship services, to events, to camps and retreats, we have a responsibility to continue to improve and give God and our families the best experience possible. One of the ways to continually improve is to celebrate the wins and evaluate and plan for things that need improvement. Debrief meetings—designed to celebrate the contributions of your team, evaluate the furtherance of vision, and examine the logistics—are beneficial opportunities that can lead to ministry enhancement and growth.

Every Sunday is coming! Events are necessary to continue to build relationships among ministry members. And everyone that is involved and giving energy to those things wants to win. Both worship services and special events take the talents of people to ensure their success. Even if the event doesn’t go according to plan, and things didn’t go as smoothly as anticipated, leaders must take time to show appreciation to the people who serve. People have an innate need to feel valued and know that their contribution matters. Take time to celebrate the things that went right before commenting on anything that needs improvement. Then end in celebration as well. Encouraging words make us feel like we can win. So even if as the leader, you don’t feel like the event or Sundays have been winning, point out pieces that went well and then next time your team might win, or at least come closer to it. Everybody wants to be a winner!

In order to keep kid and student ministry from being a plethora of endless events with no definitive direction, the ministry needs a strategy, with goals and objectives, that all point to the accomplishment of a vision. Evaluating and debriefing worship services and events according to that vision keeps everyone on the same page and keeps the ministry on track. The vision (where you want to go) is influenced by your strategies (how you plan to get there). Each worship service and event should have goals and objectives connected to one of those strategies and that is designed to further vision. Before the event, ensure that the goals and objectives meet the strategy. Then during debriefing, evaluate if the goals and objectives were accomplished, if the ministry strategies were met, and then discuss how the event accomplished vision. If the worship services or events are not furthering vision, then reevaluate and reconstruct their design.

While vision is essential to keep us on track, policies, procedures, and practices keep us safe spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Policies, procedures, and practices also sync up expectations in regard to what is acceptable and unacceptable norms and behaviors within a group of people. During a debriefing meeting, highlight those policies, procedures, and practices that were done well. Then discuss the ones that weren’t executed so excellently, determine where the breakdown happened, and come up with solutions to remedy them from breaking down in the future.

Debriefing meetings should be purposeful, evaluate vision and strategy, and take into account policies, procedures, and best practices in order to minimize the subjectivity of varying opinions and to keep your team on the same page of standards. Debriefing meetings can further a team’s ability to work together and improve programming for families.

Paula Dannielle is originally from Phoenix, AZ. Currently, she serves as the Family Ministry Director for the Uptown campus at Forest Hill Church in Charlotte, NC. Paula holds degrees from Arizona State and Emory University, and has served in family ministry for over 20 years. She is passionate about empowering churches to partner with families in growing the faith of the next generation. Also, Paula is the founder of Purpose Over Rules, a family ministry coaching company. Paula is honored to share her journey with three gorgeous daughters: Chayil Destiny, Charity Joy, and Cherish Faith. In her "spare" time, you can find Paula vegging out and watching WWE or re-runs of Scandal.