Yesterday the Bible Quiz Fellowship leaders met in Kansas City to discuss the Nationals (Colorado Springs) held just two weeks ago, the 2017 Tournament (which will be held in April in Kansas City), technical issues, proposed rule changes, and a lot more.
These people are, with only a couple exceptions, in vocational ministry and involved in many other facets of youth work other than quizzing. But they take a couple days out of their schedule, pay their own way, and gather together to trust the Lord to unite us in a way that would benefit the quizzers.
Imagine around 20 type A's discussing various viewpoints of various aspects of any program. It could be explosive; but the Lord graciously allows us to work together even when it calls us to disagree, agreeably.
All are focused on this thing called Bible quizzing being as "fair" (just), as smooth, as encouraging as possible in the midst of intense competition. All want to honor the Lord first, and honor the teens who put hundred and hundreds of hours of study and practice each season.
For those who are totally unfamiliar with BQF-style quizzing; the competition can look like it is simply a matter of luck. But luck comes to the prepared, and if we gave the teens a written test on their material, most would pass with flying colors. But the added spark of competition creates excitement as well as occasional bafflement.
But the end result is hundreds and hundreds of teens (and their parents) are memorizing chapters of God's Word each season. (the material for the 2016/2017 season is Luke) Coaches, staff, and parents (which can often be one person) have the opportunity to discuss the memorized verses...what is the first, primary meaning...how does what this passage teach affect the way I respond to problems, parents, other issues?
It is a cool tool. It is not an end in itself. The statistics will be forgotten, the trophies will end up in a box on a shelf or a thrift store...but the living Word of God will do the work of God.
I recently received this from a now 30-something ex-quizzer. It encouraged me; perhaps you:
The most powerful testimony someone can give is his own. Here is mine:
1. Bible Quizzing was a huge positive in my life and has paid dividends well after. I recall telling you at Youth Action camp as a 8th grader that I was going to take on Bible Quizzing that fall because I believed the competition would incentivize me to learn scripture like nothing had before. Not only was that true, but I will admit nothing since has been as effective either. Even thought I cannot now quote entire books verbatim (still proud of being able to do that with John once upon a time) or the myriad others we studied (Luke, Romans, et al), I am often aware that the material is in there in a foundational way. It is something that shaped who I am and how I think on a fundamental level, not simply in on the surface sense but as actual fundamental building blocks of thought and the very core mapping of how my brain works.
2. Later in life when I faced challenges and questions about faith (as all who are honest will admit come), my faith was never truly shaken and I believe a huge part of that was and is the ultimate words of truth grafted to my being through memory.
3. Some of the very best, most, and enduring memories I have from late childhood / high school were Bible Quizzing related, Nationals in particular. Seriously some of the very best times of my life and I will always be appreciative to you for making them possible.
So, though I'm not a fan of meetings (God so loved the world that He didn't send a committee), they must take place; and I am grateful to my brothers and sisters on the committee who come together, knit together in love, to enable quizzing to continue and, prayerfully, to grow.