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  • Writer's pictureJack Hager

Only Thing I Do In Which I Can't Lose

In an hour I will board a bus with 35 teens and a few adults to travel to Wisconsin Dells for the annual National Bible Quiz competition.

I've been involved in Bible quizzing since 1978. Back then we quizzed King Jimmie, and questions/answers were on 3x5 cards.

Things have changed a we use computers, randomizers, and apps.

The methods have changed, but not the purpose.

And the purpose is simple - get teens into the Word of God and thus the Word of God into teens.

So how does quizzing work?

Each season there is different material...this year it is Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Philemon.

A quiz team consists of seven teens. The coach divides the material up among those students. (although there are some who memorize ALL the material!)

One of the distinctions of Bible quizzing is the teens study/memorize in context, as opposed to a hodgepodge of selected verses. Context is huge, and prayerfully these teens will alwaysl remember its importance.

A quiz consists of two six minute halves. Teens sit on pads that are tied in to the computer. As the 'quizmaster' asks the question, as soon as a quizzer feels he knows the question/answer he/she leap to their feet, and as they leave the pad a light comes on the quizmasters computer. He is supposed to stop immediately...mid syllable, upon seeing the light. The quizzer then has 20 seconds to provide the correct question and answer with no words that do not appear in the verse. Verses have multiple questions

Questions are directly from the verse.

For example, "According to John 3.16 Who so loved the world?" with the answer, of course, God. Quizzers are zoned in, watching the quizmasters mouth to try to discern what the interrogative is.

Some of the questions require the answerer to quote the verse perfectly: "According to John 3.16 quote".

The competition is difficult, impossible to describe in words. It is intense, demands a lot of time studying to prepare, and, well, is a lot of fun. The sportsmanship of almost all the quizzers is encouraging.

And the purpose is not to win a trophy, but to hide God's Word in their hearts and allow it to transform, equip, and encourage lives.

Because the WORD of God does the WORK of God,

At the end of a day of quizmastering...on any level...I am a tied up knot. As a quizmaster I strive to be consistent in my reading, fair in my judgments, and encouraging in my demeanor.

It is really hard. But I absolutely love doing it.

And, yeah, I love quizzing. I directed the program in New York/Pa for 21 years. I'm certain I'm the oldest living quizmaster.

It is a responsibility, It is a task. But it remains an immense privilege.

And I can't lose! I can preach and blow it, counsel and blow it, etc...but encouraging teens to study/memorize God's Word is a win win for all.

You can gain a bit more insight by going to

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