Team leader debriefing guide: Session 2

Devotional – Seeing God at work in our lives
  • Sing some of your team’s favorite songs together. Pray that you will feel God’s presence and comfort during this session.
  • Have team members draw a picture of something that symbolizes the most important thing God taught them on the trip. In smaller groups, ask them to explain the symbol to each other.
  • Gather together as a whole team and ask for volunteers to share their symbol of what God taught them and how they have grown in their faith.

Reflections

Give your teammates a few minutes to reflect on the questions in “Reflections on coming home” below, and ask them to share some of their reflections with the group. You may want to divide the team into smaller groups for this activity. Ask each person to share a specific prayer request.


Reflections on coming home
  • Describe the one or two images that stand out from your trip.
  • What part of this experience was the most challenging to you? What was the easiest?
  • What did you learn about God’s mission in the world? How did you see God at work?
  • How has your relationship with God changed as a result of this trip?
  • What did you learn about your team and about team ministry?
  • How would you describe your feelings right now? (Joyful, grief-stricken, exhausted, peaceful, grateful, heartbroken, hopeful, confused, resentful, etc.) Explain.
  • What do you miss most about your host country?
  • What are you thankful for now that you are back home?
  • Name some people who really touched your life during this experience. What did you learn from them?
  • What changes (if any) will you make in your life based on what God taught you?
  • Would you go on another mission trip? Explain.

Team discussion – Short-term to long-term commitment

Maintaining connections with your new brothers and sisters: allow the team to brainstorm about suggestions for keeping in contact.
  • Pen pals
  • Sister church relationship
  • A trip next year
  • Regular prayer for them
  • E-mail
  • Exchange of pastors, youth, laypersons
Encourage those who may have promised to write to their friends in the host country to do so in the following week. Send thank you notes to your hosts if you haven’t already. Encourage team members to send thank you notes to their supporters.

Pictures: Take some time to look at any photos the team may have brought along. If you have several really good pictures (close-up, candid shots of people), please e-mail them to EMM at photos@emm.org.


Sharing our story

Brainstorm ideas for sharing your story with your church family. Develop a testimony or program to fit within various time frames. For example, during a worship service you may only have 3-10 minutes. If you speak to your church during a special mission program, you may have as much as an hour. In either case, seek God’s guidance when preparing your presentation.


Ideas
  • Thank the congregation for their support.
  • Share one or two 2-minute testimonies/stories about how you saw God at work during the experience.
  • Have the team sing a song from the host country.
  • Avoid sharing negative comments about the host country. If there were trouble spots in the experience, save that discussion for your private team meetings.
  • Invite people to the mission program where you will tell more stories and show slides/videos (a maximum of 10-12 minutes long).
  • Prepare a simple meal of the food of your host country.
  • Pray for specific needs you saw in the host country.
  • Invite people to go on the next mission trip.
Seek God’s direction as you consider ways to use what you have learned to share God’s love with others.
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