Monday, March 31, 2008

About Bible quizzing

Imagine 15 teenagers tensely perched on metal folding chairs, intently watching the quizmaster reading.

“Time in. Question: according to Philippians 1:7, 'What is it?'” says the quizmaster.

There’s a mad scramble as teenagers leap to their feet but only one has lifted off the electrical pad first, and his or her light glows before the quizmaster.

“Number two, Refuge,” the quizmaster says. “Refuge” is the name of the team.

And Number Two has 20 seconds to give a word-perfect answer based on that verse.

For your reference, Phil 1:7 reads: “It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me.”

And so Number Two answers, “It is right for me to feel this way about all of you,” earning 20 points for his or her team.

That’s Bible Quizzing. I coached a team last weekend at a tournament in St. Joseph, Missouri with 15 teams doing a tune-up for national competition which will be in Minneapolis in April.

The season starts in September and quizzers are not expected to memorize all the material. For example, on my team, Alex had Ephesians, Timothy had 2 Timothy, Kay memorized Philippians, and so on.

The competition is fierce but every quiz starts with prayer and every quizzer encourages other quizzers – on their team and others.

We’re nearly done with this season and will start looking ahead to memorizing the book of Luke for next year.

We had 16 quizzes in 24 hours (each lasts about a half hour) and we all came home brain-numb. My team finished 7th out of 15 teams, not bad for a group of kids who had never been to this level of competition before.

But isn’t it cool to see teenagers filling their mind with God’s word?

It changes them, as we know it will. That makes it worthwhile for me.

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