the five minute kidmin debrief


Once every month I have the privilege of leading kids church at my church. I have two teen team members, a 19 year old young man and a 14 year old young lady. They are da bomb.

Our children’s director emails us our curriculum a couple of weeks in advance. Then, one week ahead of our scheduled Sunday, we gather to plan our lesson. We did this last Sunday. This morning we delivered our lesson as a team with each person carrying out specific responsibilities as leaders at times, and helpers at other times. It was fun!

However, we understand there is always room for growth. So, we gathered for a five minute debrief after all the children had left with their parents. That’s it. Just five minutes. But the information was fresh in our minds. We talked about what worked and what didn’t work. How we felt, and what could be better to make next time an even greater success. Just five minutes, sharing as colleagues in preparation for our next collaboration in a few weeks.

It gave me the opportunity to encourage one of the team members not to be too hard on himself when he struggled a bit. It also allowed me to recognize and affirm them when they created an environment in which students interacted with each other meaningfully on the content of the lesson, sharing insights discovered and ways to apply them. A powerful moment in the lesson, brought on by the sensitivity of the 14 year old as she recognized something special in the statement of a 9 year old girl during the discussion.

A simple five minute debrief, wisely executed, can ease insecurity, embolden fledgling confidence, affirm quality performance, and encourage ongoing growth and learning. Be present in the moment with the team and keep it simple, short, and positive.

When is the next time you will have a five minute debrief with your team? How will you frame it so that it speaks to immediate needs without feeling rushed, or going too long?

Try it. It can be cathartic for your team, and provide all of you with just in time learning opportunities that can get missed in formalized training situations.


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