The kids are a bundle of nerves and excitement as they anticipate the final round of Bible Challenge that’s about to start in 5 minutes.
Comments like “I’m so nervous, I think I’m gonna’ throw up” are way too common in these moments.
The tumult fades to a small rumbling as the emcee steps to the podium.
“Who’s ready for BIBLE CHALLENGE!!!???”
The kids go wild!
What Is Bible Challenge?
Okay, so if you do a Bible Challenge competition with elementary kids, they can get really worked up. But I have to say, I’ve seen high schoolers get pretty into it, too – they’re just a little less obvious about it.
Basically Bible Challenge is a Bible trivia competition in which different teams compete against each other to see who answers the most questions correctly. It can take all different forms, but typically the students have handheld buzzers that will track who knows the answer first (like on Jeopardy).
Here’s an example clip of a few minutes of a Bible Challenge competition for elementary children:
Why You Should Start a Bible Challenge Competition
- It helps students learn more about the Bible. A pretty obvious, but not to be underestimated, advantage – Bible Challenge helps your students study the Bible in a way that’s fun and exciting. And since His Word has the power to change lives, you may never even realize how He uses what they learn.
- It promotes teamwork and/or class spirit. Bible Challenge typically divides your school or youth group into teams by classes. Competing builds teamwork and class spirit as classmates cheer each other on and work together to win.
- It builds competitive skills. The benefits of competitive sports are well known, and many of these benefits also exist in a competition like Bible Challenge. Students learn how to perform under pressure, handle nerves, depend on their teammates, and win and lose graciously.
- It’s a lot of fun. Bottom line, a competition like this can be a whole lot of fun for everyone, especially if there are some exciting prizes on the line.
How to Start a Bible Challenge Competition at Your School or Church
- Assemble your equipment. The biggest investment is a set of buzzers (like these). You’ll also need a call bell (like this one), and a scoreboard (like this one). It’s also helpful to have cards that designate player’s numbers (see picture).
- Split up your students into either 4 or 8 teams. You can choose to split your students into 8 smaller teams or 4 larger teams. Either way works fine as long as you have at least 5 students on each team. (The larger the teams, the fewer students will actually get to play each round.)
- Assign a coach to each team. Depending on the age of the students, you can assign a teacher or a student as the team coach. The coach is responsible for deciding who plays in each game (5 students can play for each team), helping the team prepare, and substituting and coaching during the game itself.
- Prepare Bible trivia questions. Prepare a list of Bible trivia questions either from a passage or from general Bible knowledge (you can use Bible trivia books, the internet, etc. (Or, you can grab a free set of questions I’ve already made for you here.) Give a copy of the questions to your students to study.
- Prep the game questions. Rearrange the questions and have them ready to go for the competition. (You don’t want to simply skip around off the cuff. It’s too confusing and splits your attention.) I could go into tons of detail here, but I’ve put together a free round of competition questions for you that explains the rounds, point values, and rules in more detail. Click here to download it now...
- Optional: Announce an exciting prize for the class who wins the final championship. You can set up Bible Challenge like a regular sporting event: 6 rounds of “regular season” games followed by the Playoffs. Only 4 teams make it to the playoffs, and the Championship & runner-up teams win a covetable prize.
- Schedule & host the competition. Schedule 30-40 minutes for the competition. Make sure you have an emcee that’s going to rev up the crowd a bit and make the competition exciting and fun. You’ll also need someone to man the buzzers (they’re also responsible to ding the bell when no one answers after 5 seconds) and two people to keep track of the score (one person per team works best).
If you’re ready to get started, I have the first round of competition all set up for you – for free!
This set includes:
- 100 Study Questions
- Competition Questions arranged into 4 games (for up to 8 teams)
- Complete explanations, rules, and instructions
Have more questions about how you can start a Bible Challenge competition? Ask them with a comment below.