JBQ: One Volunteer’s Story
I wish I could say I was actively seeking a ministry opportunity when I was approached by our children’s pastor. I wasn’t. I was actually enjoying sitting in the pew. I was a deacon, in charge of the properties, which meant I made sure everything got mowed, hedges got trimmed, etc.
One Sunday after service, the children’s pastor asked me if I would do her a favor. She wanted me to take the Junior Bible Quiz team to the league quiz match that Saturday. She said it would be easy. She said, “Someone will hand you a schedule, then take the kids from room to room. The kids will know what to do.” As a parent of one of the quizzers, she felt I had an obligation. Reluctantly, I agreed to go.
I picked up the team and went to the location that was hosting the quiz meet. I did as she asked. I found someone who gave me a schedule and sat down waiting for the matches to begin. Once we were dismissed, I went to the first quiz room. Sure enough, the team knew exactly what to do, and the match began.
At about the third or fourth question the trouble began. The other team interrupted the question; they finished the question and answered it. The next question was a repeat of the last question. I thought, how rude. They’re not even letting the person reading the questions finish. Not wanting to embarrass myself, I kept my opinion to myself.
Several more questions were asked in a more traditional style. Then it happened again, they interrupted! This time I’d had enough. I didn’t call for a point of order, timeout, or even an appeal. I didn’t know what those were. I raised my hand and said, “Excuse me, can they do that?” The quizmaster took pity on me, explained the rules briefly, and we proceeded with a quiz match. We lost every match that day.
You might think I left dejected, beaten, embarrassed, and downhearted. Something to the contrary happened. I got excited. I got really excited. During the course of the day I’d seen so many children quote off different Scripture verses or answer questions like “What is meant by the vicarious atonement?” I didn’t even know what was meant by vicarious atonement, and I have been saved more then 20 years.
So I volunteered to be the coach. I took JBQ seriously from then on. Junior Bible Quiz changed my life. It changed the dynamic of my family. It had a positive influence on my friends (who I begged, pleaded, even groveled to get their kids to join the Bible Quiz program at our church). Junior Bible Quiz changed who I was.
As a parent leader, Junior Bible Quiz will affect your life in many ways. Here are a few that have had the greatest impact on my life:
- Daily JBQ practice, better known as devotions, is a great way to disciple your children and will have lifelong effect. Without going into specifics, the Christianity retention rate of kids who are involved in Bible Quiz is much greater than of those who are not. My kids benefited from Bible Quiz. I have four sons. As a Christian father, one of my responsibilities is to make sure all four of my kids make it into heaven. My ministry starts at home, everything else was extra. Today, all four are serving the Lord. They range in age from 18 to 27. They’re actively involved serving in their churches. One plans on being a missionary, another is a high school English teacher at a private Christian school and a foster parent of 5 kids. All are actively involved in Bible Quiz. If our goal as parents is to see our kids in heaven with us, then Bible Quiz would be one of the best programs to do it.
- Increased Bible knowledge leads to doctrinal understanding. The 576 questions of the Bible Fact-Pak are based on the 16 tenets of faith of the Assemblies of God. By memorizing these questions, you and your child will have a greater concept of the doctrines on which our beliefs are based. In this day and age, with the secular world doing its best to make everything seem like it’s okay, it’s important to have a strong doctrinal foundation. If children aren’t biblically grounded so they understand why and what they believe, then gay marriage, living together, being gender neutral, to name a few, seems okay. Bible Quiz helps the student and the parent to grow together, grow stronger in the Word, and face tomorrow better prepared.
- As a parent leader, you’ll have the opportunity to make new friends and establish lifelong relationships with other quizzer parents. These relationships will make you stronger and prove to be beneficial in difficult times.
- These aside, the educational opportunities and scholarship benefits are many. Not only you as a parent leader but the other families will benefit from everything I’ve written here. This ministry has lifelong effects. As the time of our Lord’s return draws near, the world grows darker. At the risk of sounding cliché, what better thing can we do to prepare our next generation?