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Brian Bither


Brian Bither

John Wesley FM Church
Indianapolis, Indiana
Quizzed 1997-2004
Inducted 2019

Bio

Brian is a pastor in a Mennonite Church in Indianapolis. In addition to preaching, teaching, visiting the sick, offering counsel, and performing the standard pastoral duties, he has gotten involved in working with immigrants in recent years, ranging from Burmese Christians who fled to the United States due to religious persecution in Myanmar to Central American immigrants living here in the United States. The common commitment to Christ and familiarity with Scripture is often the key to helping to overcome cultural, political, and even linguistic barriers.

Questions & Answers
What were the highlights of your quizzing years?

Our trip to Quiz Finals to Seattle Pacific in 2002 was an inspiring and eye-opening experience, even though we didn’t do very well.

Quiz Finals in 2004 was the year that our team did the best – coming in 2nd – and when I won the STV Individuals competition while my sister (Amy Bither) won the YTV individuals competition.

What was your favorite scripture? Why?

2 Peter 3:9

"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."

It takes some of my deepest insecurities about the apparent absence of God and claims that what “looks like” absence (or “slowness”) is actually God’s patience. I still think this is one of the most profound and underappreciated verses in the Bible.

How did quizzing affect you as a teen?

First and foremost, it gave me direct knowledge of the Word of God, which was not mediated through a person or perspective but was direct. By repeating the words of Scripture regularly, it shaped my thoughts and worldview, and even my language. How many teenagers say, “By no means!”?

It taught me how to memorize facts and process large amounts of information, which has helped me succeed in educational institutions ever since then.

It gave me a sense of the larger Church and helped connect me to many people across the Free Methodist world, which was quite helpful in my initial pursuit of ministry.

It was a significant point of bonding for some of my church friends and my family. Many of my cherished memories of interacting with my father in particular come from time we spent together in Bible Quizzing.

What difference has quizzing made in your life to this day?

The difference has been profound, and it’s hard to simplify it into a few answers, but here is an attempt:

My deep familiarity with Scripture has been extremely helpful for me as a theologian, because people often make claims about the Bible or based on the Bible, and I can usually identify what Scriptures they are alluding to instantly, I can consider it in light of its broader context, or at least I can look it up and find it quickly to assess whether I agree with the claim or not. It helps me be a good “Berean” Christian.

Knowing how to memorize and regurgitate information is still useful, and I use some Bible Quizzing tricks whenever I prepare for a sermon or need to have a large amount of information on hand in a meeting.

I often think about Bible Quizzing as a great program that churches can start to help teenagers get connected with other people and involved in something meaningful and productive. Although several young people are over-programmed in our society, there is still a large portion of teenagers who are left to themselves, with nothing to do, and I long to get them all involved in Bible Quizzing.

As many people say, the Scriptures “come” to you at key moments in your life as the voice of God at moments when you need to hear it. My spiritual journey has been largely shaped by the Scriptures I memorized in Quizzing.