the brief debrief before the less brief deployment (a week of frideas)

This week, Frideas for use before Christmas break!

How many of your students went home for Thanksgiving?

If they did, then they got a “dry run” for the upcoming Thanksgiving Break, when nearly all those same students may be home for 7 times as long!

That means you have an unparalleled chance – this week – to help students prepare for their deployment back home… where families, boredom, lack of community, unhappy memories, reverse homesickness, or other dangers await. How can you help now?

…by debriefing their recent at-home experience and discussing the upcoming Christmas break.

(This also applies to any students who will be spending the week in-town or otherwise occupied during the Break.)

I think it’s a shame we college ministers so often see our task as confined to the in-season moments. We are the primary shepherd of these students during their Collegiate stage of life, regardless of geography for a weekend, a month, or even a semester (for those who study abroad). Why wouldn’t we take the time this week to debrief, discuss, or de-mystify the “going-home” experience? They’ve just gotten a taste; maybe they have some questions or concerns about the GIANT BUFFET of at-home-ness they’ll experience this winter.

Perhaps you can introduce the topic in an email and solicit counselees. Maybe you sit down with a small group and open up the subject. Maybe you encourage your student leaders to talk to those they’re discipling (and you talk to your student leaders, too). Regardless, this is an important week for helping your students maximize their upcoming Winter Break, spiritually and otherwise, because many of them just got a preview.


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