What will I be doing at a Workshop?
Workshops consist of three things: Instructional sessions (plenary sessions on principles of exposition), Expositions (times of preaching/teaching from the Bible), and Small Groups (where participants present their work). In a lot of ways, the most important aspect of a Workshop is the time in Small Groups. As such, it is essential that each person arrives prepared for these sessions.
How are the Small Groups structured? What do they do?
You will be assigned to a Small Group in advance of the Workshop. Each person will be assigned two passages to present and you will have 5 minutes to present on each (in two different Small Group sessions). The assignments are generally sent out a few weeks in advance in order to give you time to prepare. Ideally, more than one person will have been assigned to present on each passage, so you won’t be the only person presenting.
The Small Group Leader will generally guide the group through the process. Someone will be assigned to read the passage and pray. Then, the two presenters will make their 5-minute presentations. For each presenter, a responder will be assigned. The responder is meant to listen carefully to the presentation and 1) say what they found helpful, and 2) ask the first question to get the discussion going. After both presenters have presented, and after the first of the responders have asked their question, the discussion will be opened up to the whole group. In due course, the second of the responders will be brought in and the discussion reoriented to the second presentation by the Small Group Leader.
How should I prepare my passages?
This is probably the most important question you can ask before arriving at the Workshop. As a participant, you actually have two assignments:
- Specifically prepare both of your two passages. Specifically, walk us through the Small Group Worksheet on each of your two passages, explaining how you have thought through each of the questions (see below). Please also bring copies of your worksheet for everyone in your group.
- You should prepare or, at least, be familiar with all of the passages (even those you have not been specifically assigned). You can find all of the other passages on the Workshop schedule, which the host church will email to you. Try to read each passage. Try to formulate a sense of the main idea in the passage. You might be asked serve as a responder (see above). The better each person is prepared on each text, the easier it is to respond and the better the feedback and discussion will be for the whole group.
When preparing your worksheets, of course, you might have some questions. Some of the terminology might be unfamiliar. You might not be quite sure what we want. In order to help you, we have prepared a small group preparation guide to help you work through the worksheet (see below). Do your own work in the text using the worksheet first, only going to commentaries much later in the process, if at all. And of course, always feel free to contact us if you have any questions, concerns, or simply want all the right answers in advance (because we totally have those and are willing to share).