Program Structure

Program Structure
Program Structure

Harvest the Power is flexible to adapt to your needs.

It presents 12 two-hour workshops in three units which focus on a leader's identity, purpose and path. Each unit includes four workshops.

Workshops can be offered in the suggested sequence as a 12-session lay leadership development program or in another combination and/or order. For example, you could offer the Identity unit (Workshops 1-4) for a group that includes some new congregational leaders. Or, offer the Purpose unit (Workshops 5-8), to help current leaders explore several aspects of the experiences, challenges and responsibilities of their role. The Path unit (Workshops 9-12) can prepare leaders to help a congregation develop new organizational, cultural and spiritual capacities to face a particular challenge.

Alternatively, design your Harvest the Power program around themes of self, community, leadership or vision. You might offer Workshops 1, 5 and 9 as a three-workshop series to help leaders explore their identity, purpose and path through the lens of personal spirituality and faith. Or, lead Workshops 2, 6 and 10 to focus on the relationships that connect a congregational community and to strengthen a leadership team's bonds. You might offer Workshops 3, 7 and 11 for a group that wants to acquire or improve congregational leadership skills and strategies. Workshops 4, 8 and 12, the vision sequence, would be appropriate for an established leadership group working on long range planning.

Most of the workshops can be divided to form two, one-hour experiences. You could include part of a workshop in a committee, task force, small group or governing board meeting. Workshops, or parts of workshops, can also be presented during day-long or weekend leadership retreats.

This grid presents the units and theme tracks of Harvest the Power's 12 workshops:


Unit 1:

IDENTITY — Who are we?

Unit 2:

PURPOSE — What ends do we serve?

Unit 3:

PATH — In what way will we lead?

Theme 1: SELF

Personal journey as a leader

Workshop 1:

Leadership Journey

Workshop 5: Fated to be Free

Workshop 9:

Facing Danger

Theme 2: COMMUNITY Interaction between leaders and the community they serve

Workshop 2:

Unitarian Universalist Journey

Workshop 6:

Caring for Ourselves and Each Other

Workshop 10:

Understanding Systems in Your Congregation

Theme 3: LEADERSHIP Healthy leadership presence and qualities

Workshop 3:

Power and Authority

Workshop 7: Integrity

Workshop 11:

Keeping Distress Productive

Theme 4: VISION Leading with purpose and vision

Workshop 4:

Turning Points and Moments of Grace

Workshop 8:

Imagination and Creativity

Workshop 12:

Adaptive Leadership

All Harvest the Power workshops follow the structure described below:


The Introduction summarizes the workshop content and offers guidance for implementing the workshop.


The goals provide the desired outcomes of the workshop. As you plan a workshop, apply your knowledge of your group, the time and space you have available and your own strengths as co-leaders to determine the most important and achievable goals for the workshop. Choose the activities that will best serve those goals.

Learning Objectives

The learning objectives describe specific participant outcomes that the workshop activities are designed to facilitate. They describe what participants may learn and how they may change as a result of the experience of the workshop.


This useful table lists the core workshop activities in order and provides an estimated time for completing each activity. It also presents the workshop's Faith in Action activity and Alternate Activities.

Workshop-at-a-Glance is not a road map you must follow. Rather, use it as a menu for planning the workshop. You will decide which elements to use and how to combine them to best suit the group, the meeting space and the amount of time you have.

Keep in mind that many variables inform the actual completion time for an activity. Whole-group discussions will take longer in a large group than in a small group. Consider the time you will need to form small groups or relocate participants to another area of the meeting room.

Spiritual Preparation

Under the heading Spiritual Preparation, each workshop suggests readings, reflections and/or other preparation to help facilitators grow spiritually and prepare to facilitate with confidence and depth.

Part of growing as a leader is learning to pay attention to the accessibility needs of workshop participants. Review Workshop 1, Leader Resource 1, Accessibility Guidelines for Workshop Presenters, before each workshop.

Workshop Plan

The workshop plan presents every element of the workshop. The workshop elements are:

Welcoming and Entering. This section offers steps for welcoming participants as they arrive. It is recommended that you complete the preparations in the Welcoming and Entering section 15 minutes before a workshop's scheduled beginning.

Opening. Each workshop begins with a short opening ritual, including a welcome, a chalice-lighting and a reading or song. Shape the opening ritual to suit your group and the culture and practices of your congregation.

Activities. Several activities form the core content of each workshop. To provide a coherent learning experience, present the activities in the sequence suggested. Harvest the Power offers a variety of activities to address different learning styles. Generally, workshops balance listening with talking, and include individual, small group and whole group explorations.

A ten-minute break is built in to every workshop near the halfway point. The break usually comes after a long or challenging activity so participants can stretch before engaging with new information and activities. You may want to arrange for beverages and a snack for this time or invite and schedule participants to provide these items.

Each activity presents the materials and preparation you will need, followed by a description of the activity:

  • Materials for Activity — List of the supplies you will need.
  • Preparation for Activity — "To do" list that specifies all the advance work you need to do for the activity, from purchasing art supplies to writing questions on newsprint just before participants arrive. Look at the preparation tasks several weeks ahead to make sure you have ample time to obtain items and make special arrangements if needed.
  • Description of Activity — Detailed directions for implementing the activity with your group. Read activity descriptions carefully during your planning process so you understand each activity and its purpose. Later, when you lead the group, use the description as a step-by-step, how-to manual.
  • Including All Participants — Specific accessibility guidance provided for activities that have unusual physical circumstances or for which a reminder about inclusion may benefit leaders. Please consult Workshop 1, Leader Resource 1 for general suggestions to meet some common accessibility needs.

Faith in Action. These activities offer participants an opportunity to put their Unitarian Universalist faith in action and apply workshop learning in the congregation or beyond. It is hoped you will provide Faith in Action activities as part of the Harvest the Power program. You may also download the Faith in Action section and combine it with the Taking It Home section as a handout or email to participants after each workshop. (Note: You can customize Faith in Action, Taking It Home or any other component of a Tapestry of Faith program: Download it to your own computer and edit it with your own word processing program.)

Closing. Each workshop offers a closing ritual that signals the end of the group's time together. During the Closing, you might introduce the workshop's Taking It Home or Faith in Action ideas, invite participants to share briefly, and offer closing words. Like the Opening, the Closing grounds a shared learning experience in ritual. Shape your closing ritual to fit the group and the culture and practices of your congregation.

Leader Reflection and Planning. Find time as co-facilitators to discuss these questions after each workshop to strengthen your skills and your understanding of the group.

Alternate Activities. Each workshop offers at least one Alternate Activity to substitute for a core activity or add to a workshop. An Alternate Activity may need more time than a parallel core activity or require access to technology. It may use a different approach to presenting core material or extend learning in a particular direction not covered by a core activity.

Review Alternate Activities along with the core activities when planning a workshop. Select the activities you feel will work best for you and the group. Keep in mind the benefits of a well paced workshop that includes different kinds of activities.

Resources. Harvest the Power workshops conclude with three resource sections which provide all the materials you will need to lead any activity in the workshop.

  • Stories — Narratives from the Sources of our Unitarian Universalist tradition that illuminate and support the workshop activities.
  • Handouts — Sheets you will need to print out and copy for participants to use in the workshop.
  • Leader Resources — Background information and/or activity directions you will need during the workshop.

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