Jan 12, 2010 David Lang

A Tale of Two Davids

Back when I was in college, I served as one of two interns helping with a local church's youth ministry. The other intern was also named David, and he was a brilliant guy who eventually went on to become a professor of medieval history. The two of us worked together to plan youth events and Bible studies, and as we did, it was interesting to me to see how differently we each approached those tasks.

The other David's first impulse was to turn to the youth ministry's library of planning materials. He'd find some lesson outline on the topic we were supposed to cover, flesh it out with a suitable activity from some idea book of youth activities, and then tackle whatever preparatory work needed to be done.

My approach to planning a Bible study or activity was very different. I was loath to thumb through all those resource books trying to find something I could tweak to my own purposes. I preferred to go for a walk, pray, and think through how best to get across what I'd been assigned to teach. I knew I was probably reinventing the wheel, and it was obvious I was taking much more time to prepare than the other David. Yet somehow, I couldn't bring myself to work any other way. While I recognized that my approach was much less efficient, I also felt that when the time came to teach the material, I had made the lesson my own. Whether or not it was really true, I liked to believe that such personal ownership made for a better lesson. At the very least, by the time I was ready to teach, I was passionate about the subject matter.

Why am I recounting all this ancient history? Because it occurs to me that I still tend to study in this fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-even-if-it-means-reinventing-the-wheel sort of way. Even though Accordance lets you set up workspaces ahead of time and save sessions for various purposes, I rarely do that myself. I'll tend to begin with a simple search window containing the main Bible text or translation I want to study, and then access whatever resources I need as I work through the text. Because I'm not the procedural type who always follows the same basic method, setting things up ahead of time would largely be counter-productive for me. That's why I love Accordance's speed and efficiency when it comes to accessing resources and features. It enables me to study in the loosey-goosey, free-wheeling way with which I'm comfortable, without getting frustrated by unnecessary steps or needless waiting for the program to catch up.

At the same time, Accordance also accommodates those of you who develop specific tasks and layouts for particular kinds of study. If you're like the other David, you love to create Favorite workspaces and other custom setups that you can turn to whenever the need arises. Being able to tailor everything to your specific needs enables you to work as efficiently as possible.

Whichever of these two Davids you most resemble, Accordance is designed to adapt to your own method of study, rather than forcing you to work in some predetermined way.

Bookmark and Share

Archived Comments

Donald Stidwell

January 12, 2010 10:43 AM

I agree. I'm the other David and love the flexibility Accordance provides. I have 3 workspaces set up - One with the ESV Study Bible and associated resources, one with the KJV with commentaries and dictionaries and one with my Spanish language Bibles. I've never had such great flexibility in Bible study before!

Jerry T

January 12, 2010 1:36 PM

I am very much like the other David.  I can hardly study unless my workspace is organized just right (OCD?).  However, I can see the benefit from your approach.  

By being organized, it is possible to get too locked into your pre-arranged method.  Though your choice of modules may be sufficient to suit your needs, there is a chance that by being so methodical that you miss out on or forget about the plethora of other quality resources hiding in your Resource Palette.

Perhaps you could give us an example of your "loosey-goosey" workflow?  Some of us might benefit from a walk on the "wild side" of studying.