|HOW TO PREPARE: SMALL GROUPS
The most important aspect of a Workshop is the time in Small Groups. We have dedicated the largest portion of our time together to this very thing. Four times, for 90 minutes each, the Small Groups will meet. And as such, it is extremely important that each person arrives prepared for these sessions. The time together will be most productive, the discussion most helpful, and the critique most clear, if each person is prepared well.
How are the Small Groups structured? What do they do?
You will be assigned to a Small Group in advance of the Workshop. There will be approximately 6-9 people in your Small Group, as well as a trained Small Group Leader and possibly an Apprentice Leader. Each person will have been assigned two texts on which to present (typically one each in two different Small Group sessions). You will have about 5 minutes to present on each text. The assignments are generally sent out 2-4 weeks in advance. As such, there will typically be a total of eight texts at the men's Workshops and six at the women's Workshops. This means, ideally, that more than one person will have been assigned to present on each text. These texts will be chosen to help illustrate the Principles of Exposition and/or to fit with the particular theme of a Workshop (which mean, most often, that they will come from a single book).
What happens during a Small Group session?
During the first Small Group session, the leader will pray for the group, make introductions, and re-iterate the plan for the Small Group times. The Small Group Leader will then move the group to the first text and the individuals who have been assigned those texts will present. One of them will be appointed to present first. For each presenter, a "first responder" will be assigned. The "first responder" is meant to listen carefully to the presentation and ask the first question to get the discussion going. After both presenters have presented on the text, and after both "first responders" have asked their questions, the discussion will be opened up to the whole group. At this point, the Small Group Leader or Apprentice Leader may also choose to reinforce the Principles of Exposition or ideas from the plenary sessions.
Who are the Small Group Leaders and Apprentice Leaders?
Each group will have a Small Group Leader assigned and possibly an Apprentice Leader. Tpyically, these are individuals who have participated in several Workshops and who have been through a somewhat rigorous training process directed by the Charles Simeon Trust. They are chosen in conjunction with the host church.
How should I prepare?
This is probably the most important question you can ask before arriving at the Workshop. As a participant, you actually have two assignments, one more general and the other very specific:
1. Generally prepare each of the texts in addition to those you have been assigned. You can check the specific Workshop page on this website a few weeks in advance to download a current schedule with the full list of assignments (if available). Try to read each text. Look at the context. Try to formulate a sense of the main ideas in the passage. The better each person is prepared on each text, the better the feedback and discussion will be for the whole group.
2. Specifically prepare each of your two texts. The goal of your preparation is for you to make a 5 minute presentation on what you would teach from your text and how you would teach it. In other words, we want you to be reflective and thoughtful about how you might present the text. You should begin by telling us the theme and aim of your talk (see the questions below), and then walk us through how you would teach the text using the preparation questions (see below). Please also prepare a handout on each text for your group that gives an overview of your work, including your answers to these preparation questions (you should bring approximately 10 copies).
To help you prepare, we have compiled study questions that will help you systematically approach your text. Feel free to add your own insights and methodologies into the mix. Also feel free to be creative in your presentation. These questions are a basic framework, a minimum of the preparation for which we are looking. We have also tailored these questions according to the specific literary genres of the Bible, so, pay attention to the specifics. Each set of study questions organized by literary genre is available to download here:
|SMALL GROUP PREPARATION WORKSHEETS
|Old Testament Narrative||docx [154kb]||pdf [14kb]|
|Epistles||docx [154kb]||pdf [14kb]|
|Hebrew Poetry and Wisdom Literature||docx [154kb]||pdf [16kb]|
|Prophetic Literature||docx [154kb]||pdf [14kb]|
|Apocalyptic Literature||docx [156kb]||pdf [15kb]|
|Gospel and Acts||docx [154kb]||pdf [15kb]|