The NABQT— the North American Bible Quiz Tournament—is a time where the best Bible quiz teams in the nation meet to compete. This year, it was held in Saint Charles, Missouri, with the fancy title of “Relationship and Revelation,” covering the Book of John for intermediate quizzers and the Book of John, the epistles of John, and Revelation for experienced quizzers.
Many times, Bible quizzers think of the NABQT as a time to meet other Bible quizzers and make new friendships that will last rather than the competitive tournament their coaches know it is. As a Bible quizzer myself, I know the fellowship is often more entertaining than the quizzing itself. When one quizzer was asked about the first word they think of relating to nationals, the answer was “fun.” Fun, I think, is something many non-quizzers don’t realize happens at the national competition. The fellowship and interaction with other quizzers is fun, yes, but even learning God’s Word and using it to glorify God in a quiz is fun.
As odd as it sounds to say it, winning is not everything in this ministry. Is it exciting? Yes. Does it make you feel accomplished to win? Yes. However, the more you win, the less time you have to do anything other than Bible quiz. Many times, Bible quizzers will get together and hang out late into the night in a hotel lobby if they don’t have to quiz the next morning. I know many of my friendships I have made have been at one of those night hangouts, where quizzers can relax and be themselves around each other instead of the courteous, “we’re-about-to-quiz-each-other” face we put up. Don’t get me wrong; winning is not a bad thing, Yes, you get a trophy, but sometimes you miss out on an opportunity to meet the wonderful members of the Bible quizzing community.
Speaking of the community, it’s an amazing experience to be able to converse with others who are on an equal level of God’s Word as you are. Through many conversations with fellow Bible quizzers, I’ve seen different sides of the verses I have diligently studied for many months that I’ve never seen or recognized before. For example, let’s look at John 3:30: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” At the Prayer and Share Service where last year quizzers get to share their testimony in Bible quizzing, one of the quizzers used this verse to show a revelation he received while studying this material. He explained that revelation comes from Bible quizzing, but relationship comes from getting down on your knees—or even on your face—to decrease yourself and let Jesus increase in your life and ministry.
Even though the fellowship and competition are wonderful aspects of this ministry, the absolute best part is God’s presence coming down to reach out and impact us in our morning prayer sessions and afternoon devotions. Even if it means starting the day behind schedule, the quizmasters will continue the prayer time if God is moving mightily in the place. It’s amazing, the peace I felt in the morning prayer times, even if I knew I had to play an exceptionally good team that day. As Rev. Michael Ensey stated in his devotional message on Sunday afternoon, “Bible quizzing is not the destination…but the means to the destination.” Thank God for Bible quizzing.
Alyssa Strickland is originally from Gainesville, Florida. She has been involved in Bible quizzing for ten years. She has a heart for missions and the Bible quizzing community.