by KidMin Staff/ April 10, 2017
Following years of involvement in Junior Bible Quiz, I’d like to suggest three areas that require focused intensity for Junior Bible Quiz to be successful in the local church:
JBQ practice must be fun.
It just must be, otherwise the kids get bored and become disinterested. Studying the Bible has never been an easy task, especially for those six years old.
Here are three ways to make practice more fun:
1) Play games. My Healthy Church offers a book full of games (Bible Fact-Pak Games & Activities Book) based around JBQ questions. Take advantage of this guide; use it. Your quizzers will love it. It allows for everyone to answer questions—not just your fastest ones.
2) Provide individual attention to what the quizzers have learned. Spend 15 to 20 minutes reviewing a checklist or other form of tracking to see which questions quizzers have learned and which ones they still must learn. Believe it or not, this is fun for the kids. They like to show off the questions they know, and they appreciate being directed to the areas where they need to learn.
3) Use different activity centers during practice time. True, some high-achieving quizzers would be more than happy spending the entire practice time just quizzing and getting all the answers correct. However, this will quickly disenfranchise most of the other quizzers. By using different stations that involve buzzing, game play, and review time, this appeals to kids with different learning styles. The rotation helps keep the kids engaged and helps them stay focused. This is a standard learning tool these days.
Parental involvement in JBQ is vital.
Let me explain one thing first: JBQ is a place and time where kids can come together and show what they've learned. It is during personal study time / devotional time spent with parents or guardians where new material is learned and old material is refreshed. What JBQ practice is not is a training time where we teach kids the questions ourselves. It's almost impossible to teach a child 576 questions in 1-1.5 hours a week for about 30 weeks a year. There is just not enough time, nor is it our responsibility. The purpose of practice is to guide, direct, and support parents in the everyday responsibility that they must disciple their children.
1) Parents need to practice with their kids. This is also known as devotional time. The core value of JBQ is discipleship. Jesus said to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). Our children constitute “all nations.”
2) One thing JBQ is not is a babysitting service. No, I'm not advocating that your parents show up at every single practice and every single quiz meet (although a lot do). What I am saying is that you and your parents need to determine what a reasonable amount of participation is. Many times parents are all excited about JBQ when they first learn about it and understand its purpose. However, somehow over time they begin to lose interest. They think that they don't have time for any kind of commitment, so they don't bother hanging around anymore. Practice time becomes “go shopping, have some coffee with a friend time.”
3) As children's leaders, we have an obligation to help teach and lead parents into their biblical role model. Teaching young people to be disciples of Christ is the main objective. We need to encourage them to prioritize their lives, to make sure that biblical principles are on the top of the list of things they want their children to participate in.
Without going into a long diatribe about baseball, basketball, and other sports (although important), they offer no real biblical value. I understand extracurricular activities are important to the social development of children. I am saying that JBQ meets, regional competitions, and team building events are all excellent social building opportunities. Everything should be done accordingly and with proper balance.
JBQ needs long-term goals and plans, which are key to long-term success.
1) Endurance. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:24 that we run the race to win. JBQ is a long-term commitment. Most people are involved in Bible quiz if they have children or grandchildren in the program. Finding ways to keep some of these volunteers takes time. Set proper goals and expectations for the growth of your program. Every church is different, so finding what’s best for the team is crucial. Always be positive and uplifting to the people around you. Pray that the Lord will bring people to your side to help you along the path. Be mentally prepared for what lies ahead.
2) Patience. The old saying, "Rome wasn't built in a day," is so true with JBQ. Sometimes just showing up is a big success and should be counted as a win. Continue to work with your parents and quizzers on a weekly basis. Encourage them to see the big picture. It’s not wins and losses that matter; it’s the Kingdom building that takes place that matters most. Preparing young people for what lies ahead and expanding God's sovereign Kingdom here on earth is the goal.
3) Preparation. Sometimes life gets so hectic we lose sight of our objectives. Years of experience has taught me to set a specific time aside, starting a couple of weeks before the next quiz match, go someplace quiet and read, pray, and plan. It is so beneficial. It takes a concerted effort and must be treated as a priority. Set aside an hour or two for emails, encouraging notes, statistical preparation, etc.
Do things in “bunches.” Print practice quizzes, prepare needed supplies for games, and make volunteer schedules all four weeks. Doing so in advance will save time. It might take just a few minutes longer, but the peace that comes from knowing that you’re ready is well worth it!
As the storms of life loom on our horizon, as the day of Jesus’ return draws near, we need to utilize this awesome tool that the Lord has provided in the form of Junior Bible Quiz to help spiritually prepare this generation and the generations to come.