Program Structure of the "Bringing the Web to Life" Curriculum
Eight of the nine workshops have the same basic structure. Each hour-long workshop begins with a chalice lighting and check in and concludes with a Taking it Home handout, which is a review of the session and an invitation to participants to practice the things they’ve learned throughout the week and share what they learned with others. Workshop 3, Meaning of Leadership Worship deviates from this structure in that it is a worship. There are multiple alternate activities to ensure you can create a worshipful space that is right for your group.
The topics of each workshop are based on one of the eight components of the Web of Youth Ministry: spiritual development, beloved community, justice making, faith exploration, multi-generational relationships, covenantal leadership, identity formation and pastoral care. The curriculum begins with a workshop that introduces the Web of Youth Ministry.
Each workshop provides these sections:
A quote introduces each workshop. Discussing the quote with your co-leader can help you feel grounded in the ideas and activities you will present. The quotes are also included in Taking It Home.
The Introduction gives an overview of the workshop's concepts. The Introduction will alert you to special considerations for planning and leading the workshop and its activities.
Goals provide general outcomes for the workshop. As you plan a workshop, consider the group, the time and space available, and your own strengths and interests as a leader to determine the most important and achievable workshop goals and the activities that will best serve those goals.
Learning Objectives identify specific participant outcomes for the workshop—what a participant will learn, become, or be able to do as a result of the workshop. They are the building blocks to achieve the larger goal of leadership development.
This table lists core workshop activities in their recommended order with estimated times to conduct a 60-minute workshop. It is a guide for your own planning. The table also includes alternate activities.
Many variables affect the time required for an activity. Large-group discussion takes more time than small-group discussion. Small teams can do some activities more rapidly than large teams, but they may then require more time to share with others what they have done. Youth enthusiasm may lead you to continue an activity longer than planned; youth disinterest may lead you to move on more quickly than you had expected. Remember to plan time for moving participants from one space to another and to clean up.
Each workshop offers a spiritual reflection to help you prepare to lead. Taking time in the days before the workshop to reflect on its content, and in the moments before the workshop to center yourself, will support and free you in your work with youth. With your co-leader, take advantage of these exercises to grow spiritually as a leader of youth.
The Workshop Plan presents every workshop element in detail and in the sequence shown by the Workshop-at-a-Glance table. It also includes Leader Reflection and Planning, Taking It Home, Alternate Activities, and Resources. If you are reading the program online, you can move as you wish among a workshop's elements: Opening, Closing, Activity 4, Resources, etc. Each element occupies its own web page. You can click on "Print This Page" at any time. If you click on "Download Entire Program" or "Download Workshop" you will have a user-friendly document on your computer to customize as you wish using your own word processing program. Once you decide which activities you will use, format and print only the materials needed.
A description and discussion of various Workshop Plan elements follows:
Opening: Openings reinforce the themes of the workshop and include:
- Lighting of the chalice
- Check in.
Activities: Two to four core activities are suggested for each workshop. Each activity may include a materials list, preparation steps, a full description, and/or ideas for adaptations to meet participants' needs.
Closing: Closings provide a ritual, usually including a reading or a reflection, extinguishing the chalice, and distributing Taking It Home.
Leader Reflection and Planning: It is helpful and personally enriching to spend a few minutes at the end of a workshop reviewing the experience and planning what to do next.
Taking It Home: This section summarizes the workshop's themes and activities and suggests extensions—for example, projects to create, journaling to do, or things to practice.
Alternate Activities: You can use alternate activities in place of, or in addition to, core activities. You can also use them outside the program for family retreats, multigenerational dinners, or other events involving youth. The format for alternate activities is the same as the format for core activities.
Resources: Resources contains the handouts and any other resources you will need to lead the workshop.
Under the heading Handouts, find any material you need to copy for all participants to use in the workshop.
Under Leader Resources, find all other components you need to lead the workshop activities. These may include role play scenarios; a puzzle for you to print out and cut into pieces; a series of questions you will be asking participants; or a story to read to participants.