Fortunately, the state of Teen Bible Quizzing – and Nazarene Teen Bible Quizzing in particular – is by no means broken. It is extremely fun to play and exciting to watch! But have you ever asked yourself, “Self, what would I change about Teen Bible Quizzing to make this wonderful ministry even better?” Obviously I have. I even came up with a concise, 3-bullet point answer perfectly formatted for quick consumption as a blog post (what a coincidence!):
Several other Bible Quizzing programs, such as the Christian and Missionary Alliance, allow a quizzer who has answered four questions correctly – excluding bonus questions - to remain in the quiz to answer bonus questions. From a personal perspective, I can see how this would change my strategy at a Nazarene quiz. As it is now, sometimes my top quizzers are out of the game before the half-way point. With this rule change, each game’s unique circumstances would force me to decide if I should bring in my extra quizzer now or wait until later. Is the corresponding quizzer on the other team making errors? Does my bench player already have 2 errors? Also, keeping a knowledgeable quizzer on the seat for bonuses would eliminate the advantage of the “no risk” jump given to the opposing team when the seat is left vacant.
2. Replace the "Situation" question with an "In What Chapter" question
As I was writing competition and practice questions for the next quiz season I had the crazy idea that quizzers should know where to find a particular verse - even if it is from a Gospel. Yes, like I said, crazy.
We ask “In What Book and Chapter” questions for the Epistles, so why don’t we ask “In What Chapter” questions for the Gospels and Acts? To me, knowing where to find a particular verse or portion of scripture when you need it is a very useful skill to have – especially when you are trying to lead someone to Christ.
Additionally, the “Situation”-style question can continue to be asked as a “Context” question. Existing “Context” questions already require multiple-part questions or answers. This would be the perfect way to keep the spirit of “Situation” questions alive in the game.
Quizzers should know where to find a particular verse - even if it is from a Gospel.
While quizzing on the Gospel of Matthew, the Quizmaster asks, “Finish this verse: Bl-“. A quizzer jumps and the Quizmaster doesn’t utter another syllable. Faced with 8 possibilities, the quizzer – even though they know all of the possible answers because they have put in countless dozens of hours of study – is forced to guess which one the Quizmaster needs to hear. They guess “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Unfortunately, the Quizmaster does not show them mercy and rules them incorrect.
Now imagine what could have happened: The quizzer – full of confidence and a gift of a quick-twitch tongue – fires off within 30 seconds 8 Memory Verses that begin with the “Bl-“ sound. The Quizmaster rules them correct and the crowd erupts in cheer!
As long as all of the information given in the multiple answers is correct, why not allow a quizzer to answer a Memory Verse question as a multiple? It seems arbitrary not to do so since all other types of questions allow quizzers to form multiple questions and answers when they pre-jump. Memory Verses deserve to be treated fairly!
All other types of questions can be answered as a 'multiple'. Why not Memory Verses?
So what are your thoughts? What would you change or add to keep Teen Bible Quizzing relevant, fresh, and exciting?
I did think of other, more ambitious ideas. But to be honest, some of them had the potential to change too much of the way the game is played. One day, though, I’ll host my own tournament and put some of these ideas to the test. After all, as wise man once said: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”