This is a great question, and the answer may seem long and daunting, so let’s break it down into 10 simple steps:
- Communicate with your pastor or youth pastor that you desire to begin this ministry. They will need to support it in order for it to have the opportunity to grow and flourish.
- Bible Quiz is like any other ministry in that it needs good leadership. You may find yourself on your own at first. Don’t lose heart! As students become involved, it’s likely that a few of their parents will be interested in helping out.
- Since Bible Quiz is for teenagers, you probably will need to talk to a few of them to get them interested in being involved. I recommend a three-week trial period where students can come, check things out, and decide if they want to commit for the entire year. Bible Quiz is for students in 6th-12th grades. There is a separate level of quizzing for 6th-8th grade students called Novice. Older students compete in A-League quizzing. Many Districts also have a B-League, which is sort of a middle-range. When you contact the District leadership (step 8) you can find out what options are available.
- You’re going to need a few materials to get started. In Bible Quiz, students study from a Scripture Portion. Each student will need their own, but you may want to wait to purchase them until you know how many are actually going to commit. You also will need questions. Those familiar with JBQ know that the questions are all pre-determined. In Bible Quiz, the questions are written by several different authors and cover every conceivable corner of the book(s) being studied. You can purchase questions from this site. Unlike JBQ, you will not be given the questions beforehand. Your quizzers’ mastery of the material is what makes interrupting possible (see the tips for beginning quizzers to learn how).
- Since the purpose of Bible Quiz can be summed up in “discipleship through memorizing Scripture,” you can guess that when starting a BQ ministry you’re primary objective is to teach students to memorize. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to collect all the “smartest” kids from the youth group. The truth is that anyone can memorize if they approach it correctly. As you start practices, you’ll assign students to memorize a few verses every day. Usually 3 or 4 per day is a good start. Advanced quizzers can easily do 10-12, but that takes some work to get up there.
- You’ve gotten the blessing of church leadership, ordered some materials, and recruited quizzers. Now it’s time for the first practice. A lot of people think that this is some sort of meeting where you lay out “expectations” and “rules” to the kids. Instead, I prefer to have each quizzer memorize 2-3 verses right off the bat. Then we go over some questions over just those verses. When we’ve done that, they memorize a few more, and you repeat the process. This gets them into quizzing right away, and they realize how much fun it can be. At the end of practice, you’ll give each quizzer a schedule of verses to memorize and review before the next practice.
- After this, you keep having practices. Usually to start with 2-3 hours per week is good. If you’re team becomes very competitive and looks like they could make a run at Nationals, you’ll probably need to do more.
- Next, you need to register for competition. To do this, you’ll contact your District Bible Quiz Coordinator. If you don’t know who that is, don’t despair. Contact the District Youth Director’s office and they can help you out.
- The Bible Quiz competition generally starts in October with the first league quizzes. These are local or area competitions against other teams. There are also a variety of tournaments throughout the year that give quizzers a chance to quiz teams from all over the country. One of the best things you can do is get your team out to at least one tournament in your first year. Staying at a hotel, meeting new people, and quizzing against good teams can be a big motivator.
- The season culminates with District competition, which usually happens in April. From there, some teams will qualify for Regional Finals in May, and the top 5 teams there qualify for Nationals in July. Novice competition concludes the season at Regional Finals.
Obviously, this is an overview. Hopefully it can help you on your way to starting this outstanding ministry for students. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to answer your questions and get you on the right track.