We know that kids learn in different ways. Adults do too for that matter. Learning can happen for some by just hearing about a subject, for others they need to see the words or information being taught, and still others learn best through hands-on activities and experiences. Knowing this, it is important to take the time to debrief games that you play in your kids ministry. This will help those hands-on learners grasp in a more solid way the connection between everyday life and their relationship with Jesus.
What is a Debrief?
A debrief is a short time in which you gather the kids to explain how the activity and/or game connects to our relationship with Jesus. This is best done right after the activity is over so that is still fresh in their minds. Be sure to have a clear connection to Scripture. The best debriefs are planned out in order to ensure effectiveness and relativity. With no preparation you will be in a “wing it” type approach, mainly speaking from your own knowledge, perhaps with a weaker spiritual connection. With planning you can incorporate a more concrete connection which is important for kids, as well as Scripture to go with it. Nothing will be sure than the truth that is in God’s Word, so why not use it bountifully?
Tips for Debriefing
–Remove distractions (face the kids away from potential distractions: TVs, other kids playing games, windows they can see out of)
–Be one level removed (if the kids are sitting, you kneel; if they are kneeling, you stand)
–Use objects and personal stories (kids are concrete learners. So, applying spiritual concepts to concrete examples, like objects, helps create a strong connection in the mind of a child)
–Root it in Scripture (read from the Bible… that helps them know it is truth from the Word)
–Make eye contact (if you are outside, remove sunglasses)
Debriefing activities can be some of the most powerful and effective times of learning for those kids who learn best with a hands-on, concrete example type of learning.