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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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New Research Reveals Over 70 Percent of Marriages Intact

Wed, 17 Sep 2014 - 3:48 PM CST

For decades, the "fact" that one out of every two marriages ends in divorce has permeated the U.S. culture. And a raised eyebrow has been constantly directed at the Church, whose divorce rate was thought to have reached 50 percent as well.

These condemning statistics — and many more — have been repeatedly quoted by leading experts, the media, and even from the pulpit as fact.

But the results of an intensive study have revealed that oft repeated "facts" on marriage statistics are fiction. Moreover, these "facts" are not even close to accurate.

Shaunti Feldhahn
Feldhahn

Shaunti Feldhahn, a Harvard-trained social researcher, spent eight years researching the facts about marriage statistics with her senior researcher, Tally Whitehead. What they discovered surprised even them — marriage in the United States is an incredibly successful institution.

According to their findings, the urban legends that became "marital facts" were based on decades-old "projections," not facts. The actual numbers tell quite a different story.

When comparing the actual statistics to what are now nothing more than "marriage urban legends," the differences are shocking:

* More than 70 percent of all first-time marriages are still intact. Of the less than 30 percent no longer together, that figure includes widows/widowers whose spouses have died.

* The divorce rate of those who attend church is less than that of those who do not attend — up to 50 percent less. Based on her exhaustive research, Feldhahn says the divorce rate of those who regularly attend church is likely in the teens to single digits.

* Feldhahn's study found that 80 percent of married people consider themselves happily married.

* She also discovered that most remarriages are successful.

Dr. Greg Smalley, vice president of Family Ministries at Focus on the Family, adds that there's even a statistical difference when it comes to Christian marriages. "The truth is, there's a huge difference between Christlike marriages and two Christians who are married," he states. "There is almost no divorce with the first — people who pursue Christ, they're staying together because Christ makes a difference."

Smalley also cites another significant study concerning couples who described their marriages as "in crisis" five years ago. Of the couples who chose to stay together, two-thirds now rate their marriages as satisfying.

Greg Smalley
Smalley

"When people hit rocky times, their hearts tend to shut down, they give up and they believe their marriage is over . . . the media and statistics continually reinforce that message," Smalley observes. "But for those who hang in there, weather the storm, and get the help they need, two-thirds now love their marriage!"

Roger Gibson, senior director of Adult and Family Ministries at the AG national offices, was greatly encouraged by Feldhahn's findings.

"Overall, this is groundbreaking for the church and culture," Gibson says. "I think a lot of pastors, leaders and couples have been so influenced by the negative press of divorce statistics that we simply started to give up on marriage. Against such a pessimistic cultural view, Shaunti's research puts the fight back into the case for marriage."

In her quest for the truth, Feldhahn says that she "spoke with leading researchers, dug into the complexities, and began realizing the vast scope of misinformation, incorrectly-interpreted research, studies that downplayed positive findings, and quite often, commonly-cited statistics based on studies that didn't even exist."

One of the most troubling results of her findings is that for decades, some of the most common statistics about marriage were not only unfounded, they discouraged those considering marriage and those who were already married. The statistics seemed to unequivocally declare that the chances of having a lasting marriage, much less a happy one, were far from certain — and the odds were getting worse all the time.

But even that's not true. Feldhahn says that in fact, divorce rates have been declining, despite the promulgation of the urban legends surrounding marriage.

Gary Allen
Allen

Gary Allen, a former U.S. Navy and police chaplain who spent nearly 30 years pastoring Assemblies of God churches, is currently the pastoral advisor/counselor at the AG National Leadership and Resource Center (NLRC). He says Feldhahn's findings confirm what he has personally believed, but had no way to prove.

"In all my years as a chaplain, neither the Navy or police stations I worked with had a divorce rate near 50 percent," Allen states. "And in the churches I served, the couples I married, I believe nearly all of them are still married."

Allen adds that he read on an online dating site that in a survey of more than 19,000 couples married between 2005 and 2012 through the help of this online service, the marital break-ups were under four percent.

Although the time frame is relatively brief (7 years), Allen says this example shows the importance of being intentional in marriage. "As a pastor, couples who came to me went through six weeks of intensive pre-marital counseling," he says. "So, I believe, through my personal experiences, the online study, and Feldhahn's research, with just a little effort on the front end, marriage should be an anticipated successful venture — nothing like this 'roll of the dice,' 50-50 chance that we've been led to believe."

Smalley agrees and says that you can't underestimate the impact of hope — or the lack of it — in marriage.

"I've interviewed many millennials," he says, "and even though they've come from the most divorced generation in the history of our nation, their desire is to be married for a lifetime, but they're not sure it's possible. They've heard over and over again the 50 percent divorce rate; that statistic sticks with them and they're afraid."

And even when marriage is entered into, there is still the spiritual aspect to consider.

"Satan is so attacking us during this time," Smalley says. "We don't often talk about the spiritual battle that is going on, but Satan wants to destroy marriages - he's saying 'You're right, you'll never make it, your marriage is doomed.'"

Roger Gibson
Gibson

But Smalley says when young people are given hope, when they hear that 60-70 percent of marriages are making it, there's a different mindset about marriage, not to mention the ability to weather the difficult times marriages can experience.

"Give people even a tiny bit of hope to hold on to," Smalley observes, "and they start thinking that if someone else can make it, maybe they can too!"

Gibson says Feldhahn's research could ultimately shape the culture of future generations who might think marriage is "old school."

"With cohabitation on the rise over the years, it is obvious many couples don't value marriage or the covenant between husband, wife and God," Gibson says. "However, with Shaunti's new discovery of marriage between husband and wife showing a higher level of happiness, it could be the tipping point to the revitalization of the family."

Feldhahn's findings are also significant for churches and ministries.

"This is our opportunity to cultivate a different mindset about marriage," Smalley says. "Marriage is amazing. God designed it — it's His idea, and God doesn't create junk. It is not only possible, but it's expected that you will have a successful marriage!"

 

Authors: Dan Van Veen

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