12 Reasons You Should Commit To Bible Quizzing


Author: Grace Wilson

As a middle schooler, my parents asked me, "Do you want to be on the Bible quiz team? The church put an announcement in the bulletin. Not only is it good for you, but it sounds fun!" I wasn't interested. How I wish now that my parents had required that I try it for a year; I'm certain that I would be better off now had I committed to it then. I didn't think about quizzing again until the summer after my sophomore year of high school, when I determined that I needed to memorize more scripture in order to strengthen my faith. "What better way than to do quizzing?" I thought. What I have found after quizzing for two years of high school and coaching for two years (going on three!) of college is that this ministry is one of the most holistic and deep sources of my - and many others' - personal development.

(For those who don't know what quizzing is, it is essentially a ministry devoted to building the faith of teens and preparing them for Christian life through Bible study. The fun component is that quizzing takes you to new places for the tournament competitions. The particulars of rules and policies differ from denomination to denomination, but for this article I've attempted to neutralize my experience with Free Methodist quizzing to encompass aspects of other quizzing styles.)

Here is my case in favor of Bible quizzing.

Through Bible quizzing you can...

1. Discipline yourself in study - work ethic matters.

Self-discipline is hard work that many engage in for the wrong reasons. Yet, in Bible quizzing, you have the perfect opportunity to practice a spiritual self-discipline by studying scripture. Regular time spent studying will produce good results both spiritually and competitively. Not only can you distinguish yourself by forming a good work ethic that will transfer to other areas of life, but you can also be distinguished as one of the few who take care to study the word of God.

2. Memorize large amounts of content.

Luckily for you, you only need to memorize an average of 45 verses verbatim! Now, let's talk about the other 800... Don't let the numbers get you down - you might be surprised to know that many quizzers are able to memorize the season's material in its entirety. That can be you if you put in the hours of focused effort to memorize and review those 25 chapters. Because you might be worried about that amount of material, remember that the human brain is capable of storing somewhere between 10 and 100 terabytes. Translation: you can remember between 10,000 and 100,000 gigabytes; I suppose that's a bit more than my smartphone. Don't stress about not being able to fit that much into your head! It's more likely that you've not exercised your brain to that point before. Try memorizing large amounts by breaking it down at first. (Note: all quizzing-related numbers in this section are my estimate of an average season's material - not an official estimate.)

3. Make meaningful friendships.

ahem - encourage each other to study for the next tournament. The best part of these friendships is the sense of shared purpose, and that you have an excuse to travel to other parts of the country... "Mom, Sarah's parents don't mind if we stay at their house on our way there! That's free!!!"

4. Work as part of a team.

Most of quizzing competition happens in teams, which means that it's to your advantage to know the strengths, weaknesses, and styles of your teammates. Not only are you quizzing your best for God and yourself - you also have other people to do your best for. From them, you can give and receive encouragement and energy to keep you going, much like the intent of the church.

5. Develop self awareness.

"Know thyself" said Socrates to those who tried to understand complicated matters because knowing yourself is surely one of the most complicated subjects of all! The process of Bible quizzing tends to create self-reflective individuals because of the diversity of situations and people that they encounter in quizzing. You soon discover how easily you may overestimate your studying endurance or underestimate your memory skills. You won't know until you try.

6. Establish service and leadership skills.

Because of the emphasis on Christian service, quizzing provides opportunities to serve both your community and other communities that you travel to for the national finals competition. Quizzers of all ages are encouraged to do their part and to innovate new ways that the Bible quizzing ministry can better minister. As a result of this emphasis, you aren't only building your résumé; you could find your life forever impacted by a role leading your team or participating in a service project.

7. Learn how to get along with people who rub you the wrong way.

Sadly, you probably won't be best friends with everyone you meet through quizzing - you may not get along with some people, whether they're quizzers, coaches, or quiz masters. You will probably find yourself disagreeing with some policy or practice in the overall structure of quizzing. The good news is that disagreements aren't sinful if you handle them with respect to the person(s) you disagree with. There are valuable "tried and tested" channels for appropriately communicating and resolving issues, which will teach you how to maintain respect for others while seeking right action. As a result, you will find opportunities to practice kindness and patience.

8. Learn how to pack well.

You are allotted a duffel bag and a pillow for your luggage since there's only so much trunk space in the church van. It's only one night, kid! Don't bring the bathroom sink with you! And don't forget that your friends will only stick around if you remember deodorant and clean socks.

9. Learn how to be a good house guest (and host).

On the monthly tournament trips, you will encounter all sorts of people, styles of living, and foods. You can bet that you'll be offered a food that you strongly dislike! And you will be encouraged with the most loving kind of social pressure to decline it politely if you fail to be considerate of the cook the first time you respond. Though the quiz trips may give you entertaining stories about staying overnight in a fancy mansion or a... less than hygienic home, you will learn what is courteous to provide your future guests.

10. Practice punctuality and quick responses.

Quiz meets are known for their schedules' inevitable changes and delays - isn't that the case with any event that humans are involved in? Anyways, quizzers oftentimes help to put the meet back on schedule when they can answer quickly and correctly; this is how we know that they have learned that time is of the essence! Besides, no one wants to get home late because your parents will wake you up to go to church the next morning regardless of the time you got in. Besides this aspect of punctuality, you learn to speak quickly - you must, because sometimes twenty seconds feels awfully short for squeezing in your whole answer!

11. Handle wins and losses - be competitive and sportsmanlike and resilient

Quizzing is a "hot spot" for emotions running high. When you're invested in any competition, you do it hoping to win; by all means, sharpen your skills and your teammates' so that everyone will end up enriched! Be a good competitor! But the chances that you'll win it all every time are 0.0032% (facetiously) so you're going to need to learn to manage the unavoidable anger, disappointment, and frustration you will feel toward your opponent, team, and yourself. Fortunately, failures can propel you to trying harder the next time! When you win, don't flaunt it or else you'll be notoriously supercilious. Remember, God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. Ultimately, the wins-losses doesn't matter if you have the resilient, humble spirit that is most celebrated in quizzing.

12. Learn the word of God and know God.

Of the mountain of benefits that Bible quizzing offers, this is the peak from which you can see the world anew -the view of the big picture that matters more than the rest. For followers of Jesus today, perhaps the biggest antidote to our cultural condition would be spending time mulling over scripture by committing it to memory. "Committing to memory" is a phrase that requires more than we typically practice. Committing to put something in our permanent memory is essentially the same as committing to relationship; when seeking relationship, you find within yourself a passion to find out everything there is to know about the one you seek relationship with. Consider this when you study scripture so that you may know the Lord God, Yahweh, who inspired the scripture so that people might share life with Him.

After noting so many benefits, it seems silly that anyone wouldn't want to do Bible quizzing! Granted, this isn't the only activity that develops character, but it's perhaps the most motivating way to get into scripture aside from personal reasons. Once you've entered the community that quizzing fosters, you come to know the church in ways that are inspiring, enlivening, and heartening. Let's keep following together, friends.

Posted on April 19, 2017