by Mark Entzminger/ September 18, 2017
Question. Question number 1 for all the gumballs in the hotel lobby!
Wait, What? That’s not right—or is it?
If our goal for Junior Bible Quiz is for kids to master national-level competitive quizzing, then we’ve missed the point. But if our goal is to help kids fall in love with learning the Word of God, then we have a recipe for an amazing ministry within the local church.
The heart behind JBQ—the reason all 576 questions were written in the first place—was because leaders in the Assemblies of God feared a time when children would become biblically illiterate. There was no goal of taking teams to a national competition, because they were concerned with what would happen if kids associated winning and losing with the Word of God.
So, let’s go back to the heart of JBQ. Let’s make sure that as we start our quizzing season, we focus on helping kids fall in love with memorizing God’s Word.
Here are 10 quick ideas to help you launch an effective kid-friendly JBQ ministry this fall:
1. Keep it moving.
Pick up the JBQ Bible Fact-Pak Games & Activities Book from My Healthy Church, or just take any game kids love and connect it with knowing JBQ Bible Fact-Pak content. Only engage the team competition equipment as a means of prepping for a tournament when necessary.
2. You go first.
Ask coaches and parents to learn alongside the quizzers. Let them quiz you from time to time. Consider playing the games right along with the kids.
3. Make it messy.
As kids reach specific benchmarks of learning, find a way to play relays and games that get just a bit crazy or messy. Kids love this.
4. Eliminate confusion.
There are times when kids give a biblically correct answer, but it differs from what is on the card. Be sure to teach in those moments how the answer is correct, but that they are to be learning what is written on the card.
5. Give options.
Allow parents and kids to indicate whether or not they want to be coached for competitive quizzing or to be provided the individualized challenge of the Bible Master Award program.
Tell personal stories about what the content of the cards means to you. Let them know how this content impacts real life.
Let the kids know you care by knowing their story, listening to their needs, and praying for them in and out of class.
8. Stay calm.
Even if you are doing competitive quizzing, there is never any place to belittle and put children down. Don’t confuse your desire to win with the fact that these are still kids.
9. Ease into perfection.
Don’t require word-perfect answers for new kids, young kids, or at the start of the season. Your goal is to keep kids wanting to come back and desiring to study at home. The more it feels like an “assignment” the less they will desire to participate.
10. Communicate successes to parents.
Don’t miss out on the chance to let a parent know how you see their child growing in the knowledge of God’s Word. Encourage home participation from the entire family.
I hope you can see that by implementing some of these simple tips you can turn a traditional JBQ practice into an environment where kids love to memorize God’s Word.
Isn’t that what JBQ is all about?