Debriefing From Summer Ministry

Thank You!

I want to thank you for joining me in ministry this summer! It’s been a whirlwind and you’ve helped me learn so much.  I’m grateful for all the many conversations – both big and small, for the gifts you invested this summer, for the connections you made with kids that I could’ve have never made on my own and for the fun of serving together in kingdom ministry!

Though kingdom living is regular life for the Christian, there is something uniquely special about our season of life together this summer.  It’s been a small segment of the population of the world who can say they did a Harvest Summer. Thank you for giving, serving and leading.

“Re-Entering The World Seminar”

This summer, we have been in something of a bubble.

  • We have had our meals paid for.
  • We have had places to sleep.
  • We haven’t known anyone we have met.
  • We have had the opportunity to be ourselves around many people.
  • We haven’t seen too much TV.
  • We haven’t seen too many movies.
  • We haven’t listened to regular radio or news.
  • We have had time scheduled in all summer to hear sermons, listens to speakers, lead in worship.
  • We have subjected ourselves to the disciplines of waking up, reading, praying, meeting, devoting, relating and we have had fun.
  • We have been nice and have been the recipient of hospitality.
  • We have had the privilege of being in God’s presence…  where most people are in these places just one night, weekend or week, we were there all summer.


As we leave, there are a couple dangers…

1. We could think the important part was us.

This isn’t true.  God was the main focus of our summer.  We were privileged to serve in the ministry.

2. We would miss the message ourselves. (1 Cor 9:27)

Scripture speaks of sharing the message but then missing it ourselves.  We, ministry leaders, are in need of grace more than anyone.  What we have heard, learned and experienced about Jesus this summer – allow it to shape us.

3. We could assume that everyone else has changed.

We are the ones who have been changed.  People might ask us how the summer went, but then it will be back to regular life.  It’s you who will need to jump back in, share the joy of your experience this summer through actions, not always words.

4. We could base too much on the summer.

The summer was an opportunity…  and you will have plenty more.  In fact, all of life is designed to serve Christ through his Church in the world around us.  This is just a step, a place for you to experience, meet, encounter and grow… and I hope that will be a springboard to an awesome life.  A ministry summer with Harvest, as great as it may be, isn’t the end all – keep learning, growing and seeking ways to serve God!


As we go home:

  • Help out.
  • Don’t let the fact that you are tired from the summer make you irritable for your family and friends.
  • Be an audience…  listen to stories, find out what they did, have fun listening to them!
  • Offer grace to each other and those around you.
  • Stay connected on social media – be an encouragement.


When you are invited to share about your experience.

  • Make a couple general statements, then be sure to have one or two concrete stories about the summer experience that people in your church or family can latch onto.  You will want to use names and details so that they can experience a little portion of the summer with you.
  • See if you might be able to have a chance to share about your ministry in your church…  This isn’t an everyday deal – traveling all summer.  You have really been a big part of the mission.


As you move on in life:

  • Don’t ever abandon the teachings of Jesus.
  • Have fun being a Christian.
  • Keep a open ear out for God’s call on your life.
  • Continue to support Harvest through prayer, giving and love.
  • Attend some of the school year conferences if you can! Bring a group from your church.
  • Serve on mission trips and camps as you become an established adult.
  • Always volunteer to be a host family once you get your own house.
  • Don’t assume you are an expert now that you have traveled in ministry – always keep a learning attitude.
  • However, don’t be selfish with what you do know… You have experience in camps, churches services, event planning, t-shirts and sales for events, camps programming, counseling, devotion leading, teaching, music, classes, relational ministry, administrative duties, letter writing, hospitality, flexibility, and much more.  Lots of pastors and youth pastors and worship leaders would love to have you help them in ministry…  jump in.


Other Stuff:

  • After making it through a summer with me and the ministry, I want to be available as a reference for you.  If you need any references for jobs or other applications, just let me know.
  • For as long as I’m there, Troy, IL is a place you can call home!  Come by anytime.


Debriefing Questions:

1. Before I left for the summer I felt…

2. As we are closing the summer I feel…

3. Were you surprised by what we accomplished this summer?

4. What is one thing I have to smile about when I think back on the summer ministry?

5. What age group did you most connect to – kids, jr. high, high school, college, adults?

6. What’s one thing you discovered that you liked this summer, as far as leading in ministry goes, that you had never experienced before?

7. How do you think people perceived you this summer?

8. How did you relate to team members?  How do you feel they responded to you?

9. What did you learn about yourself this summer?

10. What about your faith – has it grown? Been challenged?  Strengthened?

11. What is a concrete example of something that you have learned from someone this summer that you would like to incorporate into your own life?

12. Did you sense that God answered any prayers this summer?  What’s your impression of how God worked through our team this summer?

13. Did you get any direction, calls, confirmation, clarifications or awakenings from the Lord this summer?

Bonus Question:  If you became the director of Harvest Ministry, what would you do?  What kind of vision would you have?  Any thoughts for me as I continue to serve the Lord in this unique way?

(C) 2015 Harvest Ministry Teams / Troy, IL / Tim Price 

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