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The food took to longer to cook than we had planned, we didn’t know the names of the guests and no one came forward after the talk.

Sound familiar?

As we head into the final push of 2018 it is a perfect time to pause and reflect.

I am sure much has happened in your practice this year, it has in mine. So, it is important to capture some reflections now because by this time next year we will have forgotten! The reality of ministry is life moves on quickly. I know I am already planning for the summer camp.

This is not just for the paid staff though. I recognize that many volunteers are stretched for time and often we don’t want to ask them to do yet another task, but reflection should be a core task for all of us. Devising a simple and consistent structure for this can be one way of involving everyone.

I have found the PICKS process a simple tool for gathering info and starting the whole team reflecting together. It starts by capturing numerical data i.e. how many attended, are they regulars or friends invited for the occasion, etc. Not that numbers are a measure of success, but they are important to define as you plan next year’s outreach. Then there are 5 key points to reflect on:    

Positives – What went well? It is vital to celebrate the wins. Yes, we want to learn, but we also want to celebrate. Did the team work well together, was the game engaging, did you get any feedback from young people or parents?

Improvements – What could have gone better? Perhaps the staff member working the hot chocolate stand could have had control of the whipped cream instead of a free for all!   

Create – What do we need to create for next time? This can be the small things that would make life easier, such as: do we need clearer signage for drop offs? Or it can be bigger things, such as: do we need to curate a multi-sensory zone? These are things we need to come back to way ahead of the next event.  

Kick Out – this is about activities, ‘things’, event specifics and NOT PEOPLE! What bombed so bad it needs to just stop? We did a balloon drop once. It was great until balloons started being popped and quite a few young people were totally freaked out. It needed to stop & young people needed to know that before the next event.

Stuff – Like that one cupboard full of random bits. We need space to add in reflections that don’t fit the box, or to note patterns emerging. Is this the 4th event Daisy has brought 10 new friends to? If so how can we equip her in her mission?

– Gemma Dunning  


Discussion Questions:

  1. What are the measurements for your ministry?
  2. What systems can you put in place to capture the reflections of the whole team?

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