|WHO SHOULD ATTEND THE WORKSHOPS?
Properly speaking, this whole page is meant to address this quite important question. We encourage you to read the entirety of the answers given here as it might prove relevant to you. But first, we want to present a little bit of the background on the reasons we hold these Workshops.
WHY DO YOU HAVE THE WORKSHOPS ON BIBLICAL EXPOSITION?
We are out to recover the centrality of God’s Word, taught in an expository way, to the benefit of the life and health of the church in our generation. In order for this kind of teaching to take place, the Bible must be properly understood and rightly handled in the course of preaching and teaching.
We also have a strategic reason for holding these Workshops. We are making a commitment to the few people responsible for preaching and teaching God's Word in a local church congregation. As such, the Workshops are meant to be practical. Among other things, we aim to instruct in a way of reading, understanding and teaching the Bible. We do not presume a particular doctrinal position from our participants. Rather, in the words of Spurgeon, we "do not look for any other means of converting men beyond the simple preaching of the gospel and opening of men's ears to hear it" (C. H. Spurgeon).
WHO ARE THE WORKSHOPS FOR?
Given the reasons stated above and given our understanding of Scripture, the Workshops on Biblical Exposition are generally for men who are responsible for regularly opening up God's Word for God's people. Specifically, they are for those men currently in pastoral ministry and, as such, are responsible for preaching and teaching God’s Word in congregational settings. Though vocational preaching pastors are our priority, the Workshops are open to those in general teaching ministry: including some lay-preachers, teaching Elders, seminary students or professors, teaching missionaries, and those serving in similar roles. Again, our priority is those who regularly preach or teach from God's Word.
I NOTICED YOU JUST SAID "MEN." WHAT IF I AM A WOMAN?
We are fully committed to training women for ministry through our Workshops on Biblical Exposition for women and through the Simeon Course on Biblical Exposition. But we also have theological commitments as to what that means. The Charles Simeon Trust adheres to a position on church leadership that is often identified as “complementarian.” While we do not support the ordination of women for pulpit ministry, we do believe that women are called to teaching ministry for women in biblically appropriate settings and should be trained for it as such. It is our conviction that the Church in North America has been particularly slow in this kind of training effort and that we need to do a better job of training women.
To put it differently, we believe that women and men are both called to proclaim the gospel message of Christ Jesus. And so, part of our work is to call women to take up their responsibility for reaching other women by teaching the Bible. Women need to be equipped for this task. While the local church should and will do much of this work, we believe that we can support the church in further enabling women. As such, we have established Workshops on Biblical Exposition for women in ministry. We believe that women who are working in ministry in churches need encouragement in their ministry and hope that, by encouraging women to participate in the Workshop for women in ministry, we can also establish a base for fellowship and encouragement.
WHAT ABOUT THE LEADERS?
Unity of perspective on the appropriate audience for the Workshops is extremely important to us at a leadership level. As such, we require both speakers and small group leaders at both men's and women's Workshops to assent to our doctrinal statement. Please note that this is a requirement for only our speakers and small group leaders. We gladly welcome those who disagree with us to participate in the Workshops.