To Debrief or Not to Debrief, That is the Question


How do you, as the leader, think through or circle back to what happened or how things went during your group night? If we're the shepherds of our groups then we should be giving some thought to this each week.

The definition of debrief is to question someone about a completed mission or undertaking. So how do you do this as it relates to your group experience?

As a married group leader, I usually begin by making an observation or two to my husband as I'm loading the dishwasher and he's fluffing the pillows (he doesn’t care one bit about fluffed pillows, but knows it's my love language). He might ask a question like whether I noticed a particular person was quieter than normal.

Once we bring up the things we both noticed, we take it one step further and ask each other this question:

Is this something we should act on or gather more information about?

If you are a single group leader you might come up with a series of questions to ask yourself.  These days you can even talk to yourself out loud without people thinking you're crazy; they’ll just think you’re on the phone. Your questions to yourself might be:

  1. How did everyone seem tonight?
  2. Did I sense a need to check in with anyone in particular?
  3. Is there a need that should be addressed by me or the group?

Others in your group may be having conversations about what happened at group, but it's up to you to take action.