UPDATE: Deadline to enroll extended to May 15th! Get on board!
If you are 18 or younger, live in the States, and want to go against the tide and do a little, hard thing this summer, I think you should enroll in the National Bible Bee.
I found out about this through the blog (via my RSS feed I have set up in Mail) of Alex and Brett Harris (the younger twin brothers of Joshua Harris, the “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” guy). They lead a movement called “The Rebelution”. If you haven’t heard of it, I highly recommend it; it’s the Word of the Lord for my generation. In a sentence, it’s “a teenage rebellion against the low expectations of an ungodly culture.” And calling us to “do hard things” (also the name of a book they wrote), not just coast along with our culture, but actually LIVE the gospel for display of the glory of Christ in the earth before His return.
Ok, back to this. The first-of-its-kind, a world-class Bible Bee Competition. It is very similar to a spelling bee, except contestants are required to recite Bible passages and facts rather than spell words. The competition will begin with Local Contests in communities nationwide on September 12, 2009. The top 100 finalists from each age group will advance to the National Contest in Washington, D.C. to compete on November 5-6, 2009. Not only that, the National Contest awards (if you win in DC) are crazy. For age 15-18, the grand prize is $100,000 (yes). For age 11-14 it’s $50,000, and age 7-10 is $25,000 along with 2nd and 3rd place prizes for each age group. Check it out the awards here.
It’s twenty bucks to enroll (but less if siblings sign up together) and you sign up with your parents online. The DEADLINE to enroll is now May 15th. Check out the details of the Bible Bee on the website. It’s sweet! You have to be 7-18 years old and I just qualify by a couple months.
As youth, this would be a great opportunity to go deep and hide the Word in our hearts by memorizing it and we would have fun together! From April 30th to Sept. 12th, you have over 4 months to study and memorize with their provided study guide (includes all content that we will be judged on) that you can download and print on May 1st (day after enrollment deadline).
Let’s be those who wield the sword of the Spirit! In a day when culture entices us to fill our minds with trivial “stuff”, I want to be a tree planted in the house of the Lord who meditates day and night. Honestly, I find myself constantly “resigning up” for reading the Word, but I think this is a gift of God to have me commit to something that will hold me to the Word. If the Lord stirs your heart like He’s stirred mine, I would go for it! It would be so much fun if we all did it in our communities and youth groups and held each other to the Word in memorizing/studying it. Let’s SPREAD THE WORD and get whole youth groups doing this!
Also, one last thing, the more you read the Word, the more you talk about it (it’s really true- Mt. 12:33-36, what goes in must come out), and if youth groups and friends did this together, I think it could be said of us like John Wesley said of the congregation in Herrnhut, they were those “whose conversation is in Heaven” (i.e. So filled with the Words of truth and life and edification that we are little concerned with the passing fads of the world that hold no substance like the latest movie or latest restaurant, but instead our mind and our hope and our joy are set fully “on things above”, on Christ- 1 Pet. 1:13, Col. 3:1-3) and if this be so, I believe it will set the water level for youth groups in this nation and in schools and on soccer fields, causing us live out this passage: “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture…” (1 Tim. 4:12-13) I want us to be so filled with the Word that we’re contagious weirdos and bold witnesses of Jesus to those who don’t know Him.