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Bible Quiz -- not just a teens' game

Fri, 23 Sep 2005 - 4:23 PM CST

Assemblies of God National Bible Quiz programs provide outstanding opportunities for elementary students all the way up to senior adults to learn the Word of God in depth through cooperative competition. While Bible Quiz is often thought of as just a teens' game, some churches offer programs to anyone interested -- no matter the age.

First Assembly of God of Greater Lansing (East Lansing, Michigan) has a Bible Quiz team for churchgoers of all ages. In addition to its participation in national programs such as Junior, Teen and Adult Bible Quiz, the church offers an extra level of quizzing called PeeWee Bible Quiz.

The Michigan District started the PeeWee level for kids in kindergarten through third grade nearly 18 years ago. First AG Greater Lansing has been offering PeeWee Quiz to kids for nearly 15 years.

PeeWee participants are quizzed on questions that come from the Junior Bible Quiz (JBQ) Bible Fact Pak. While JBQ kids are quizzed on 10-point, 20-point and 30-point questions that increase in difficulty with each level, PeeWee kids are quizzed only on 10-point questions from the same Fact Pak. The 10-point questions are on basic Bible facts like, "Who was the first man and first woman," for example.

Last year, 17 Michigan churches participated in PeeWee and about 100-120 quizzers attended each event. The young quizzers scrimmage in November and compete in sectional finals in February.

Tammy Scott and her husband Rod are the Michigan District PeeWee Bible Quiz coordinators.

"PeeWee Bible Quiz has been a great way for young quizzers to get started," says Tammy Scott. "The competition level is less intimidating and we try to make it fun. It is a great way to introduce quizzers to JBQ, and it allows them to go into JBQ with experience and confidence."

The top teams at sectional finals can go on to participate in the JBQ state competition in May, participating in the "10s" category and getting a taste of Bible Quiz competition at the state level.

The church, pastored by Curt Dalaba, also has strong JBQ and Teen (TBQ) Bible Quiz programs. Elementary students up to sixth grade study from the JBQ 576-question Bible Fact Pak available through Gospel Publishing House (GPH). The Fact Pak teaches Bible facts, doctrines and includes selected verses for memorization.

"Some of our goals," says Ken Andrews, JBQ coordinator for First AG, "are to get kids excited about God's Word, to start building an interest in the Word, to make sure that they know Jesus, to start a discipline of looking into the Bible daily and to build a foundation in the lives of these kids based on the Bible."

The church has been to five TBQ national finals. Teens around the nation, grades 6 through 12, are memorizing Romans and James this year and can be quizzed on any fact from geography to people, or asked to recite any passage from the two books.

Maureen Harr, TBQ coordinator for First AG for the past 10 years, says the AG National Youth Department offers many resources to help the teens with memorization and Bible facts including the complete Scripture portion for the season, a concordance, a chapter analysis and quote cards to name a few. The resources are available through GPH.

JBQ and TBQ teams that excel in state and regional tournaments will go on to compete in the annual national competitions next summer.

Judy Klein, Adult Bible Quiz (ABQ) coordinator for First Assembly, is a mother of eight and has had children participate in each stage of Bible Quiz.

"My kids in college say Bible Quiz helped them to memorize their course material at school," says Klein. "God blesses them mentally and spiritually that way.

"They also get the opportunity to go on trips and meet kids from other churches across the nation," Klein continues. "The kids encourage one another. It's great fellowship."

Klein loves participating in ABQ because it keeps her dedicated to studying the Bible and it helps her encourage her kids to study their Bible Quiz material. This season, the adults will be memorizing James 1-5. ABQ, for ages 18 and up, is in its third season at First Assembly.

Since there are no study resources specifically for ABQ, teams throughout the country study selected passages from the same Scripture portion booklet used in TBQ. Klein puts together a handbook for her team that includes TBQ practice questions available through GPH.

Klein explains that ABQ is just a scaled down version of TBQ. While TBQ teams compete once a month with practices every week, First AG's ABQ team has optional practices once a month and competes once a year at an event held at the church on a Sunday afternoon in April. A final championship round is held during the evening service and awards are given.

Whether or not state and regional competitions are held for ABQ teams depends on the number of teams in the district and it is up to the district to coordinate them. As of now, Michigan holds no state competition for ABQ, but Klein says she hopes that will change as some Michigan churches have expressed interested in starting ABQ programs.

Any ABQ team may compete in the ABQ national finals held the last day of the TBQ finals -- even if the church's TBQ team does not qualify. ABQ teams pay a fee to participate and all funds raised go towards TBQ scholarships. According to the National Bible Quiz Department, 15 ABQ teams competed at the 2005 finals.

"It's fun to see the young adults in ABQ -- some just out of TBQ -- interact with older ABQers," says Klein of ABQ. "It's really neat to see them encourage one another."

At First Assembly, teens in TBQ are responsible for running the annual ABQ tournament held at the church. They officiate, keep stats, act as quizmasters, resolve any problems that may arise and make playoff decisions. Some TBQ teens are even involved in ABQ practices, training and sharing tips with adults.

Bible Quiz offers opportunities for people of all ages in the church to connect, interact and learn God's Word in a way that is effective and fun.

"As a parent, Bible Quiz helps hold me accountable to teaching my children the Word of God," says Karen Andrews, PeeWee Quiz coach for First AG. "Because of Bible Quiz, my children have memorized more Scripture than I could ever have imagined possible. God has certainly blessed them because of their efforts and His Word will not return void."

For more information on national Bible Quiz programs, visit http://biblequiz.ag.org/. For more details on PeeWee Bible Quiz, contact Michigan District Coordinators Rod and Tammy Scott at (517) 323-3285 or rodtammy@aol.com. Resources are available at http://www.gospelpublishing.com/.


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Assemblies of God National Bible Quiz programs provide outstanding opportunities for elementary students all the way up to senior adults to learn the Word of God in depth through cooperative competition. While Bible Quiz is often thought of as just a teens' game, some churches offer programs to anyone interested -- no matter the age.

First Assembly of God of Greater Lansing (East Lansing, Michigan) has a Bible Quiz team for churchgoers of all ages. In addition to its participation in national programs such as Junior, Teen and Adult Bible Quiz, the church offers an extra level of quizzing called PeeWee Bible Quiz.

The Michigan District started the PeeWee level for kids in kindergarten through third grade nearly 18 years ago. First AG Greater Lansing has been offering PeeWee Quiz to kids for nearly 15 years.

PeeWee participants are quizzed on questions that come from the Junior Bible Quiz (JBQ) Bible Fact Pak. While JBQ kids are quizzed on 10-point, 20-point and 30-point questions that increase in difficulty with each level, PeeWee kids are quizzed only on 10-point questions from the same Fact Pak. The 10-point questions are on basic Bible facts like, "Who was the first man and first woman," for example.

Last year, 17 Michigan churches participated in PeeWee and about 100-120 quizzers attended each event. The young quizzers scrimmage in November and compete in sectional finals in February.

Tammy Scott and her husband Rod are the Michigan District PeeWee Bible Quiz coordinators.

"PeeWee Bible Quiz has been a great way for young quizzers to get started," says Tammy Scott. "The competition level is less intimidating and we try to make it fun. It is a great way to introduce quizzers to JBQ, and it allows them to go into JBQ with experience and confidence."

The top teams at sectional finals can go on to participate in the JBQ state competition in May, participating in the "10s" category and getting a taste of Bible Quiz competition at the state level.

The church, pastored by Curt Dalaba, also has strong JBQ and Teen (TBQ) Bible Quiz programs. Elementary students up to sixth grade study from the JBQ 576-question Bible Fact Pak available through Gospel Publishing House (GPH). The Fact Pak teaches Bible facts, doctrines and includes selected verses for memorization.

"Some of our goals," says Ken Andrews, JBQ coordinator for First AG, "are to get kids excited about God's Word, to start building an interest in the Word, to make sure that they know Jesus, to start a discipline of looking into the Bible daily and to build a foundation in the lives of these kids based on the Bible."

The church has been to five TBQ national finals. Teens around the nation, grades 6 through 12, are memorizing Romans and James this year and can be quizzed on any fact from geography to people, or asked to recite any passage from the two books.

Maureen Harr, TBQ coordinator for First AG for the past 10 years, says the AG National Youth Department offers many resources to help the teens with memorization and Bible facts including the complete Scripture portion for the season, a concordance, a chapter analysis and quote cards to name a few. The resources are available through GPH.

JBQ and TBQ teams that excel in state and regional tournaments will go on to compete in the annual national competitions next summer.

Judy Klein, Adult Bible Quiz (ABQ) coordinator for First Assembly, is a mother of eight and has had children participate in each stage of Bible Quiz.

"My kids in college say Bible Quiz helped them to memorize their course material at school," says Klein. "God blesses them mentally and spiritually that way.

"They also get the opportunity to go on trips and meet kids from other churches across the nation," Klein continues. "The kids encourage one another. It's great fellowship."

Klein loves participating in ABQ because it keeps her dedicated to studying the Bible and it helps her encourage her kids to study their Bible Quiz material. This season, the adults will be memorizing James 1-5. ABQ, for ages 18 and up, is in its third season at First Assembly.

Since there are no study resources specifically for ABQ, teams throughout the country study selected passages from the same Scripture portion booklet used in TBQ. Klein puts together a handbook for her team that includes TBQ practice questions available through GPH.

Klein explains that ABQ is just a scaled down version of TBQ. While TBQ teams compete once a month with practices every week, First AG's ABQ team has optional practices once a month and competes once a year at an event held at the church on a Sunday afternoon in April. A final championship round is held during the evening service and awards are given.

Whether or not state and regional competitions are held for ABQ teams depends on the number of teams in the district and it is up to the district to coordinate them. As of now, Michigan holds no state competition for ABQ, but Klein says she hopes that will change as some Michigan churches have expressed interested in starting ABQ programs.

Any ABQ team may compete in the ABQ national finals held the last day of the TBQ finals -- even if the church's TBQ team does not qualify. ABQ teams pay a fee to participate and all funds raised go towards TBQ scholarships. According to the National Bible Quiz Department, 15 ABQ teams competed at the 2005 finals.

"It's fun to see the young adults in ABQ -- some just out of TBQ -- interact with older ABQers," says Klein of ABQ. "It's really neat to see them encourage one another."

At First Assembly, teens in TBQ are responsible for running the annual ABQ tournament held at the church. They officiate, keep stats, act as quizmasters, resolve any problems that may arise and make playoff decisions. Some TBQ teens are even involved in ABQ practices, training and sharing tips with adults.

Bible Quiz offers opportunities for people of all ages in the church to connect, interact and learn God's Word in a way that is effective and fun.

"As a parent, Bible Quiz helps hold me accountable to teaching my children the Word of God," says Karen Andrews, PeeWee Quiz coach for First AG. "Because of Bible Quiz, my children have memorized more Scripture than I could ever have imagined possible. God has certainly blessed them because of their efforts and His Word will not return void."

For more information on national Bible Quiz programs, visit http://biblequiz.ag.org/. For more details on PeeWee Bible Quiz, contact Michigan District Coordinators Rod and Tammy Scott at (517) 323-3285 or rodtammy@aol.com. Resources are available at http://www.gospelpublishing.com/.


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Turning Evil into Blessing: The Ferguson, Missouri, Conflict

Tue, 19 Aug 2014 - 9:41 AM CST

The streets of Ferguson, Missouri, have fluctuated between violence, calm and renewed violence following the shooting death of Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old, by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer, in a confrontation on Saturday, August 9.

After two failed attempts to restore order by police, as violence and looting erupted again over the weekend, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has set a curfew and called in the National Guard.

Destruction, violence, hatred, division, death. "The only one sitting back and laughing at this all is Satan," says Jack Hembree, pastor of Bethel Fellowship (AG) in Florissant, Missouri — located just a few minutes  from where rioting has broken out. Hembree, who expressed his grief in a note to his congregation over the violence, urged his congregation not to "take sides," but instead bring Christ into the situation.

"The differences that divide us were not created by God but designed by the enemy. It is time to battle not with a gun, bottle, or badge, but with prayer and the Word of God," Hembree wrote. "Lay down our economics, our political persuasion, our differences, or whatever is hindering the power of the words of God from working in us and pick up the cross of Jesus Christ that brings forgiveness, confession, repentance, acceptance, love, freedom, and life."

And his church has joined other churches as members of the Metro North Church Alliance to do just that.

"What you don't see on the national media is the church," Hembree says. "The churches got together and marched down that same street the rioters marched on, passing out bags of supplies, food and toiletries to people. Church members stood in front of buildings through the night to make sure they were not looted. Church members parked in people's driveways to make sure they were safe all through the night. Church members went up and down the streets, cleaning up the mess. The national media doesn't show any of that.

"The people of Ferguson are very good people," Hembree says. "Yes, there needs to be some changes. We know that and it's nothing new, but it's a good community with good people."

Brian Schmidgall, executive presbyter and pastor of MiddleTree Church, located on the dividing line between North and South St. Louis and about three miles from the rioting, agrees with Hembree's evaluation of Christ being the answer.

"There will be people of profile flying in and getting their face in the spotlight because it's trendy and in vogue..., there will be social justice programs and systemic structure changes, but there will be the same problems 10 years down the road," Schmidgall says. "The one thing the church addresses is the heart. If you don't address the heart, then healing and recovery don't happen."

Schmidgall also observed a phenomenon of the digital age that he felt actually intensified and fueled the rioting.

"Social media is instigating a lot of this [violence]," he says. "As the mainstream media [originally] couldn't get access to the scene, social media was really getting charged and drawing a line in the sand for people - and everyone knows that if it's on the 'Internet' [or a text/tweet], it must be true..."

As Schmidgall works to bring a sense of stability in the midst of chaos, he believes this tragedy can be redeemed by God. The focus of MiddleTree Church, he says, is to bridge the divide between North and South St. Louis (the haves and have nots), and he believes the incident in Ferguson will open doors for the churches in his area to unite and be used by God to make a change in the community.

"The Lord's hand is priming this for good things," he says, adding that he'll be meeting with local ministers early this week to plan united action. "What the enemy meant for harm, I think the Lord is going to use this."

Pastor Aubery Kishna and his wife, Vimla, have been pastoring Jubliee Worship Center (AG) for the past 19 years. Their church is the AG church located closest to the demonstrations and rioting, occurring just down the road from the church. One church member lives in the apartment complex directly behind the looted and burned gas station that has appeared on national news.

Kishna, a bivocational minister, says they cancelled services on Wednesday, but held them on Sunday, encouraging members to pray for their community, while leading them in prayer for the families, school districts, and political leaders involved. They currently plan to hold midweek services this week.

The church, which runs about 40 to 50 people on Sundays, also took food from its pantry and partnered with another church, who was distributing food to those in need in the area of the demonstrations.  

The Kishnas both agreed that the community seems to be fairly peaceful during the daylight hours, but at night, things "get out of control." But Vimla, who is a teacher, says her school district, along with two others, were closed on Monday [August 18], due to the demonstrations.

AG Missionary Jay Covert, who oversees Urban Outreach Church Plants in East St Louis and Washington Park, where he is no stranger to danger, hasn't seen a strong reaction in his community or neighborhoods to the riots.

Having just been caught in gang crossfire several months ago while he and a visiting pastor drove around the neighborhood, Covert is concerned that the riot in Ferguson might not be an isolated event. That unless there's a God-driven transformation in the hearts of people, riots and violence may happen and intensify as a trend throughout the country before things get any better.

"Where we're at, murder is not uncommon," Covert explains simply. "Murders rarely get solved because no one talks, they're fearful - 'snitches get stitches' is the saying."

Kishna says that no matter what the outcome of the investigation, he feels deeply for the parents of Michael Brown. "We had a 26-year-old girl that we buried just a couple months ago," Kishna says. "She was at the wrong place at the wrong time and was caught in a gang shooting.... My heart breaks for Michael Brown's family. But not just for them, but for all the 'Michael Browns' who have been shot and killed on the streets by gangs. There's no one crying foul for them."

Hembree says that the weekend's renewed violence are making things very difficult and unsafe for churches, where prayer is even more of a focus.

"Some of the [ministry] efforts have been suspended for a few days," Hembree says, expressing concern about "outsiders" being the cause of the problems. "As of now, we are still proceeding with attempting to meet the needs of families in the area... [but] if it gets too dangerous, they will have to stop for the short term. Those decisions will be made daily."

Schmidgall says that it is vital for the church to be actively involved in the lives of people in the community. "If you have relationship, you have a voice," Schmidgall says. "Because if we don't have those relationships, what is going to happen if the outcome of the investigation isn't what people want to hear?"

Keywords: AG churches
Authors: Dan Van Veen

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