BSS 2 Field Test . . . at last!
Five to six years ago, David noticed a changing demand among national church leaders. Our old course, Bible Study Methods 1 & 2, was not being effectively used. As a seminary graduate himself, he knew the critical value of using Bible study skills for effective preaching. He was determined to find a better way to develop this skill among national pastors. Thus began the effort to revise the old courses under the new name, Bible Study Skills 1 & 2 (BSS 1 & 2). Yet the challenge remained – would the new courses be more user-friendly and result in broader use among both young and older church leaders?
In 2018 we finished the revised BSS 1. After major revisions with BSS 2, it was ready for the final field test. Then a series of unexpected delays occurred again and again. Initially, all seemed to be directly related to bad weather conditions. Eventually, all our options for a genuine field test were exhausted. Now what? We were unwilling to put a course on the market without a proper field test experience. We prayed for some kind of solution.
Finally, a group of church leaders agreed on a date and an excellent venue. Everything was lined up for October 21-25. Once again the unexpected happened. On the day one of the key authors/teachers was scheduled to travel to the field test site, his wife had a sudden relapse from a serious illness. He knew he must stay home to help his wife, but this also meant that the field test could be called off. It was obvious to us these setbacks were not simply bad timing, but rather this course and those involved with it were under attack. We prayed . . .
Thank the Lord, that the teacher’s wife recovered quickly and he arrived at the field test site just before his full day of teaching. And the results of the field test? They were much better than we expected.
- We expected only 15-20 church leaders would attend, but 30 showed up!
- We were concerned BSS 2 would be too deep/scholarly for the students and the course would lose their interest. Instead, they loved it and felt it was very useful.
- Since our teachers knew none of the students beforehand, we expected only polite responses. To our delight, they initiated questions, had excellent group discussions, and correctly answered most questions from the exercises or from the teachers.
The 5-day field-test resulted in plenty of practical feedback to help David and our curriculum team adjust and improve BSS 2. Please pray that BSS 2 will be wrapped up by late April 2020.