LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) - Despite projections that the uprising generation will be biblically illiterate, Kentucky Baptist churches’ Bible Drills press on to instruct and inspire students to know God’s Word deeply, naming 63 state winners and 11 three-year state winners last month.
“Bible drill is a tool to help children learn important verses and passages and gain an understanding of how the Bible is put together,” said Linda Coulter, volunteer state children’s Bible drill coordinator. “Although a Bible reading plan is not officially part of Bible drill, Bible reading is essential for Christian growth (see Nothing Less compiled by Jana Magruder).
“Each year in Children’s Bible Drill, kids have to memorize 25 Bible verses, 10 Key Passages, and all 66 books of the Bible,” Coulter said. “They must be able to quote the verses when given the reference (quotation) or the beginning of the verse (completion). For Key Passages, kids learn the key passage and where it is found in the Bible. They must be able to locate it in 10 seconds.”
To become a state winner in Bible Drill, students must advance beyond church and associational levels and miss four or fewer prompts out of 24 during the state drill.
Matt Flanagan, children and student ministry consultant for the Kentucky Baptist Convention, praised the work of the countless volunteers who make Bible Drills happen across the state. “When kids commit Scripture to their heart, God uses His Word to steer them from sin and danger,” he said. “Our State Bible Drill does an excellent work in building the confidence and competence of kids in handling God’s Word.”
“There are many benefits from Bible drill. The main benefit I see is that children get comfortable using the Bible,” said Jill Eades, whose son Landon was recognized as a state winner this year. “They learn where to find books of the Bible, chapters and verses. They learn key doctrines through Scripture memorization.
“It is amazing the confidence you will see a child gain when they have memorized the Scripture. Many times they are bubbling over to share what they have learned. Of course, Bible Drill is also competitive. This is a great motivator for many kids.”
The most beautiful part of Bible Drill is the way it engages children with the truth of the gospel over and over, Coulter said.
“Last year we had a child from an unchurched home who started Bible drill with no knowledge or understanding of the Bible,” Coulter said. “He was staying with a family in our church. They worked with him and helped him learn the verses, key passages, and books. He ended up being a state winner in Bible drill. During the course of the four months we worked in Bible drill, he also attended an event and accepted Christ. I believe Bible drill gave him the foundation to understand that decision.”
“I first learned about Bible drill by participating in it at Red House Baptist Church as a child,” Eades said. “I appreciated so much the Scriptures I learned as a child. Eddie and Linda made it fun!
“When I got married and moved to another church, I started a Bible drill back there. They had Bible drill in the past and had quit participating. I found so much joy in teaching children some of the same verses that had meant so much to me through the years.”
“For me personally, the verses I learned as a child still resonate in my memory as an invaluable reminder during everyday life. Bible Drill is extremely hard work, but anything of value is worth the effort. We encourage our children to work hard on their grades and on their sports teams. Why not challenge them to work hard to know God's Word? Is there anything more valuable to take them throughout life?” challenged Eades.
“This year, the COVID-19 restrictions occurred just before most churches would have been having their church drills. We adapted our procedures and churches were able to do drills using online meeting platforms. Most churches did one drill and children were declared church, associational, or state winners, depending on their scores in that drill,” said Coulter.
Any church that wants to participate in State Bible Drills can contact Linda Coulter directly through the information and resources on the website page: www.kybaptist.org/bibledrill. The the list of 2020 State Bible Drill winners under the “Children’s” section on that webpage.