by KidMin Staff/ November 22, 2016
I don't know exactly how it happens, but if I take a quiz box and set it on a table in a room with kids, they naturally gravitate to it. They'll spend a few minutes investigating it, playing with the buzzer, and figuring out how it all works. Then something strange and wonderful happens: They naturally begin to ask questions. I call this a jeopardy effect. I think somehow Alex Trebek has touched every person in America. Because of this, we all know how to “buzz in.”
Junior Bible Quiz is naturally intriguing to kids. And we all know JBQ is possibly one of the most successful and best ways to disciple children in God's Word. But have you ever thought about it as an outreach tool? Let me give you a few points on ways you can use JBQ to reach children in your community.
Sidewalk Sunday School: The first time I heard of JBQ being used as an outreach tool was years ago at a church plant at Glad Tidings Assembly in Ocoee, Florida. Pastor Kyle Alford* used JBQ as the Sidewalk Sunday School curriculum to reach out to kids in his community. Bible Fact-Pak questions were intermingled with other questions for a fast-paced, fun activity. Invoking the “Jeopardy effect” with kids proved to be a successful attraction.
I remember the first quiz meet I attended with Glad Tidings AG. The leaders took a whole bunch of kids in on a bus. The kids were involved, engaged, and had fun. To this day, many of those kids from the community are active members of their church.
A Fund-Raiser and An Outreach: Several years ago I was aware of a church needing to raise funds to attend the National JBQ Festival. What this particular team did was stand out in front of Walmart and ask passersby to read them questions from the Bible Fact-Pak. The quizzer would offer various point value cards, and the customer was to ask the question on the card. If the quizzer could answer the question correctly, a donation would be made by the customer.
This obviously raised a lot of questions from the customers. Many of those JBQ questions would lead to questions from the customers about eternal life. Remember, when young kids quote Scripture to an unbeliever, it's an all-inspiring thing. It stirs deep emotions in the listener. The key here is to have several adult leaders on hand to answer customer questions that might be too difficult for the quizzers.
The key to using JBQ is to think outside the box. Hebrews 4:12 reminds us that the Bible is living and active. Like this, JBQ needs to be flexible and adaptable to the cultural needs of our society. If we don't change with the times, JBQ will cease to be the effective discipleship tool that it was originally intended to be.
*Citation from Pastor Kyle Alford: “We did use JBQ as a primary discipleship tool when we did the church plant in Ocoee. We had quite a few Sidewalk Sunday School kids whom we "bused in" for JBQ. We also encouraged our outreach kids in Tallahassee to come to JBQ, and it was wonderful all around—great discipleship and added diversity (not just kids who are churched) to our program.”