Re-entry teaching for short term teams

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Helping short term teams or outreaches get the most out of their experience often requires a certain amount of debriefing and re-entry preparation. Even if it is a weekend experience, that time can be life changing. The aim is to help a group to take the best of their experience back into their daily lives as a growth step rather than an isolated mountain top moment.

  • Evaluating the time. What has been learnt
  • What goals or aims or changes make in daily life?
  • How to deal with the post event blues
  • Future opportunities to serve. (If they liked their time they might want to do more with you or YWAM in the future)
  • For you - getting information to help you improve.

Here is a recent letter I wrote to 11-15's following a week a team of 30 of them spent helping me at a holiday club (with 120 under 11's!):

Dear Everyone,

I am sitting in my office today trying to keep my eyes open. Outside the temperature is rising so I have the window open and now can't concentrate because they are building next door and making a racket! It feels like I have come down to earth with a bump after last week. How about you?

I was thinking that perhaps you might feel like that too? Last week was crazy, exciting, energetic, hard work, challenging and spiritually dynamic. Are you finding this week dull? If so you probably are not alone. I have found so many times that after a wonderful week like the VBS where I hit a "spiritual high" the week after feels like a crash and I wonder if I got anything at all out of it? If I changed at all.

Well, you did change! What is happening is just the normal reaction of your body and emotions. We can't always be go go go go without needing rest. We can have loads of fun and input and then it all goes and seems empty by comparison. So what you are feeling is normal!

What could you do about it? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Have a good rest. Enjoy sleeping. Recognise you are tired and may be a little grumpy too. It will pass.
  2. Call up some of your new friends from the VBS and go and do something together. Enjoy each other. Try to deepen your new friendships.
  3. Enjoy good food! You expended a lot of energy. You might be extra hungry! That's OK.
  4. Have some relaxed "chill time" with God. Take your favourite drink, food, find a quiet spot. Put your calmest music on and simply hang out with God. Don't worry about praying/reading etc. Just be. Let what comes from that time come. Enjoy God.

I hope that helps a little. Take care,