the Monday Morning Debrief: And then, this happened…

images-7A five star…right in the back…with no shirt on.

Oh man did that hurt. Just moments earlier, Cory (a volunteer leader) and I just had our students rolling in laughter and embarrassment as I appeared in an oversized diaper with black socks and brown shoes on…that was it. My name was New Year, Mr. New Year. We led them in a fun game as students took pictures and videos of us, posting them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Regardless, it was a great way to start off the new year and get the students excited.

And then, the five star happened.  Some student thought it would be really funny if he five-starred me as I was leaving the room.  He got laughs alright, but I was in pain.

Have you ever been five-starred? Oh man do they hurt. I mean really hurt. It’s like a full-blown bellyflop times 10!

I was in pain and the last thing I wanted to do was shrug it off and move on to the next thing at group.  What turned out to be some fun we created became students laughing at what this kid did to me and was kind of a distraction.

How do you respond when things are going great, kids are excited and then a student takes something too far and tries to insert their brand of “fun” into the mix?

I’ll tell you that the last thing I wanted to do was love that student and move on. Fun was happening and then I was in pain…a lot of it (have I mentioned how much pain I was in???). LOVE was NOT what I was thinking. In fact, probably anything but LOVE was what I was thinking.

However, had I responded in anything but love…

  • I could have really discouraged him and made him feel like he wasn’t welcome to be back in the group.
  • I could have showed students that I am good at dishing it out, but not good about taking it.
  • I could have done a lot of damage between myself and students.

The reality was NOT responding in anger was really, really, really hard. But, I probably would have been justified for being upset and scolding the student.  But I didn’t.

What I should have done was take him aside later and let him know what we were trying to accomplish, how he impacted that and honestly, how it made me feel considering he was one of the “leaders” of the group.  But I didn’t.  I just simply laughed it off and told him how much pain that caused me.  He didn’t apologize or anything like that and it has not affected our relationship at all.  But, boy, if I would have lashed out and scolded him in anger, I’m sure it would have.

So, what about you?  Have you ever been in one of those situations?  What did you do?  How did it work out?

Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

One thought on “the Monday Morning Debrief: And then, this happened…

  • May 19, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Man. I admire your patience.


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