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). The most important aspect of a Workshop is the time in Small Groups, and so 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 sent out a few weeks in advance in order to give you time to prepare.
An assigned 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 has 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.
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 have two assignments:
Prepare both of your two passages using the provided Small Group Worksheet. You will be asked to walk your group through each of your passages, explaining how you have prepared. Please also bring copies of both of your worksheets for everyone in your group.
You should be familiar with all of the passages (even those you have not been specifically assigned). You can 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 each of 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 created 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. Another really good way to get familiar with the concepts and terminology is to take our First Principles Online Course. It includes videos on each of the basic principles of exposition. And of course, always feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.