JBQ and the Judge

Preparation Tasks for JBQ Officials and Leaders


by Todd Papendick/ January 24, 2017

Judges’ Ruling.  Why do these words cause apprehension for everyone?  What steps are necessary to ensure we can rely on our officials?  Every official needs to know who they are, what their role is, and how to fulfill that role. And we all need to be aware of the personal love of God.

In JBQ, it is impossible to minister to children and parents if we do not know God’s love for us. (See 1 John 4:7-12.) If we are driven by human motives, our actions will be determined by human (sinful) nature. Unfortunately, we have seen the result of our human actions and reactions in competition. We must live in God’s love and demonstrate His love to the children and adults in our JBQ ministry. When parents witness and experience His love, they (as officials) will be able to reflect His love to the children (quizzers).

Every adult in JBQ should be pointing toward Jesus. In Luke 24, after Jesus’ resurrection, He appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Verse 27 illustrates the purpose of JBQ: “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”  Later in the same chapter, Jesus appeared to all the disciples and stood in their midst. When He was the focal point, Jesus demonstrated and verbalized who He was. “Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45) and commissioned them for ministry.  When Jesus is the center of our lives and ministry, He gives us understanding, He gives us His power, He gives us His blessing, and we are ready to serve.

Every official is expected to be a “judge.” It is not enough to train someone solely to be a timekeeper or scorekeeper. All officials need to be able to judge, not only the quizmaster or experienced officials. Why is being a judge so important? In Scripture, God is referred to as a judge over 100 times. When a child in JBQ hears that God is the Judge, most picture the judges that are put before them at a quiz. Children expect a JBQ judge to embody the characteristics of the Perfect Judge. How do we meet this sobering challenge to portray a righteous, holy Judge?

The first step is to give every volunteer the proper tools and training. Every official (and coach) should read the JBQ Guidelines at least once the week before any quiz meet in order to become more familiar with the rules and where they appear in the guidelines. All officials should also regularly participate at JBQ practice to enhance their knowledge of the JBQ Fact-Pak questions and answers. They will also gain experience as they oversee practice matches. 

Another great resource is the JBQ Manual, which not only contains tips for officials but also has tests for officials. While a test is an excellent way to determine an official’s knowledge of the JBQ guidelines, it is important to note that there are other attributes of officials which cannot be measured with a test. A good quizmaster is articulate and capable of serving in leadership of a quiz room.  Judges must be willing to serve unnoticed while making tough decisions easily.  My rule of thumb when making decisions in JBQ is that I should be able to discuss any decision I make. When a decision is easy to discuss, then it is probably the correct decision.

Great officials do not appear overnight. Every match, every quiz meet, and every situation will make each official more confident in their role. Experience is a good teacher. Give the Holy Spirit time to perfect His work in our lives. Finally, pray for heavenly wisdom (James 3:17).  While God will not dictate our every move, when we are moving with Him in the right direction, His peace will prevail.

Being an official is just one role for adults in JBQ.  All adults are mentors for the children in the JBQ ministry.  When we reflect God’s love for us and keep our focus on Jesus, we will experience success no matter what role we have in JBQ.