2021 Children’s Bible Drill Update

In 2021, children will have the option to participate in Bible Drill in two ways and will have a new Bible Skills opportunity:

  1. Traditional, in-person State Drills in April – In 2021, churches may choose to participate in an Associational Drill (if it is offered in your Association) or they have the option of letting drillers advance to the State Drill directly from their church drill if their score qualifies them as an Associational Winner (a score of 16 or higher). In person State Drills are offered on the following dates:

April 13 – Tom’s Creek Baptist Church, Martin, GA (NE GA)

April 15 – FBC Douglas (South GA)

April 19 – FBC Lawrenceville (East Metro)

April 20 – FBC Cochran (Middle GA)

April 25 – FBC Douglasville (West Metro)

April 26 – Cassville Baptist Church (NW GA)

2. A State Drill at their local church/homeschool group – If a church/group chooses to do the Children’s State Drill locally, they will have until July 31st to register, hold the drill, and send us the results. Upon registration, churches will be asked to list the date of their “State Drill.” The state call sheet will be emailed to them 2- 3 days before their “State Drill.”

Children drilling at our in-person State Drills in April and those who participate in a State Drill at the local level will both receive their State certificates, ribbons, and 3-year awards.

3. *New* – 2021 Children’s Bible Skills Exhibition – We will offer a Bible Skills Exhibition for 3rd-6th graders at our Regional Locations. This Bible Skills Exhibition includes Book and Scripture Searching Drills only. There will be 12 Book Calls and 12 Scripture Searching Calls. Children will have 10 seconds to locate the book or scripture passage. References for the Scripture Searching Drill will be taken from Bible Drill cards. (6 from the current cycle card and 3 each from the other two cycles.) Children will receive a certificate. It is great for new or potential drillers or for churches who were not able to resume their Bible Drill program in 2020-2021 due to COVID.

We are offering these three options for 2021 because we recognize our churches are in various states of reopening. Some churches are on schedule with their Bible Drill programs while many others are “behind schedule” or were unable to begin their Bible Drill program this year.

Registration opens mid-March. Churches who have donated at the Member Level ($250 or more) for the school year of 2020-2021 will receive a 50% discount on their registration fees. Churches donating by March 31st will receive their discounted registration link by email.

This is the first post of three posts regarding 2021 Bible Drill and Speakers Competition. Our post next week will be about Youth/High School Bible Drill.

5 steps for developing a Speech

My good friend and Georgia Baptist Bible Drill and Speakers, Inc. team member, Karen North, recently wrote this article including 5 steps for helping students develop a speech for our Student Speakers Competition. Karen has worked with Student Speakers on the church, associational, and state level and is the mother of 4 Student Speakers State Winners.

“Who, me? Give a speech?”  “I could never get up in front of people.”  “I’m just a teenager – no one will listen to me.” Those may be some of the first thoughts that cross your mind when someone mentions Students Speakers Competition. If they are, you’re in good company. In Exodus 4:10, Moses told the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Paul addressed the issue of whether a young person could be an effective witness when he told Timothy, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity,” 1 Timothy 4:12. Just as Moses and Timothy went on to do great things for the Lord when they spoke up, Student Speakers Competition can be a way you as a young person can be a positive influence on others by sharing your story and how God has worked in your life.  

     “So, I’ve decided to try Speakers Competition. What now?” While the thought of writing, memorizing, and presenting a speech can be daunting, the best way to approach it is to take one step at a time: pray, plan, prepare, practice, and present.  
     First, pray about what God would have you to share – just as when you read God’s Word or do any work for the Lord, you should start out by praying about Speakers Competition.  Ask the Lord to guide you as you select a topic, organize your thoughts, write, and present your speech. Seek His guidance and ask Him to bring to mind things in your life where He has worked that might be an encouragement or serve as a lesson to those who will hear your speech.  

     Next, plan your speech. One of the simplest formulas for writing a paper/speech is “tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them.” Try to find a good story or experience to open with to grab the audience’s attention, give them a topic sentence that shares the important point you’d like them to learn, then develop that point in the main part of the speech. Wrap up your speech by summarizing what you have shared and close with a sentence that challenges them to think and maybe follow through on what you have shared.  Organize your thoughts in a logical sequence to help the reader/audience to grasp the point you are trying to get across and help them retain what you have shared.  Try to make it personal by using your experiences as examples.

         Use resources to help guide your writing. The best resource to start with is the Georgia Student Speakers Guide which can be downloaded at https://bibledrillandspeakers.com/student-speakers-competition/. This guide not only has information about the levels of competition, but it has valuable information about writing your speech, delivering your speech, and understanding what the judges are looking for in your written speech as well as your delivery.  Suggested topics can also be found on the webpage. Also, gather a variety of resources that pertain to your chosen topic. Using sources in addition to the Bible is a good idea. Try to find a good story or experience to open with to grab the audience’s attention. 

     Prepare your speech by writing, revising, and having others proofread and make suggestions. Rarely is the first draft ever sufficient. Enlist the help of several adults to read and critique your speech. Suggestions of people to ask to review your speech are your pastor, English teacher, one of the senior adults in the church, or a Sunday School teacher. Having a variety of people to read your speech helps get input from a wider audience with differing viewpoints. Once you have a final draft, read it aloud to make sure sentences which may flow well on paper also flow well off your tongue.  

     Practice, practice, practice! Work not only on memorizing your speech, but on internalizing it – making it your own. Practice natural movements, looking at all areas of the audience, using meaningful hand gestures, and appropriate speed and tone of voice as well as appropriate pauses. Practice in front of a mirror. Have someone video you and then review the video to see what ways you can improve. Ask to be able to present the speech in different classes in your church, such as Sunday School classes, youth meetings, etc. See if there are opportunities to speak at neighboring churches. The more you practice, the more natural your speaking becomes.  

     Present your speech with confidence, knowing that you are sharing God’s story in your life. No matter the outcome of the competition, you have given voice to the message God gave you share. As the Student Speakers Guide says, “It’s about making a greater difference in the world, both now and for the rest of your life.” 

Remembering Steve Williams – A Student Speakers Champion

by Dennis Rogers

I met Steve 30 years ago when Steve and I were involved in Baptist denominational work for different agencies, but under the umbrella of Christian discipleship. I soon discovered whatever Steve did, he did it well. Over the years our friendship grew and when Steve retired from LifeWay he moved to Georgia where he was glad to help us with our State Speakers’ Competition. Again, whatever he did, his work was marked with excellence. Steve volunteered many hours helping student speakers become more effective communicators. Steve was working professionally helping corporate speakers be more effective and his expertise certainly paid off in Speakers Competition. Steve helped us as leaders in the administration of this ministry and we will always be indebted to him for the ministry he gave. Whatever Steve did, he did well!

Well done, thou good and faithful servant and friend! You will be remembered. Steve recently died after a long bout with cancer.

Dennis Rogers is a Georgia Baptist Bible Drill and Speakers, Inc board member and retired Discipleship Ministries Specialist, GBMB.

3 Creative Ideas for a Bible Drill Fun Day (Mini-Retreat)!

With the beginning of a new year, it’s a perfect time to plan a Bible Drill Fun Day for your group this month. Here are 3 creative ideas you can use for your group.

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com
  1. Sign up for Alabama’s virtual Children’s Bible Drill retreat! You can host it at your church with your kids. There will be easy YouTube videos with sessions on: Learning the Books of the Bible, Learning Bible Verses (two sessions), Key Passages, Books of the Bible Procedures, and two worship times. A Bible Drill Retreat Box will also be provided that will include games and activity supplies, worksheets, craft supplies, and instructions on how to have a successful virtual retreat. Each box will contain supplies for up to ten participants. The cost is $25.00. The sessions will be available beginning January 29th. For more information and to register, visit: https://kidzlinkal.org/bible-drill-retreat/.
  2. Plan a winter-themed event at your church or a leader’s home. Include Bible Drill review games to go with the theme and serve chili, hot chocolate, and s’mores! A few game ideas:
  3. Outdoor party – adapt your winter party to the outdoors if you want/need a more social-distanced option. Add in a bon-fire (Of course practice safety and take turns to allow for the social distancing.). Use TV trays or card tables to set up stations outside that the drillers can rotate between. Keep hand sanitizer nearby so that they can use after each station. Ask kids to bring their own camping chair and serve chili, hot chocolate, and s’mores, tailgate style!
  4. Bonus idea: If you have some drillers that are quarantining or your church is only meeting virtually right now, do a porch drop-off. In your bag include a packet of hot chocolate, a few marshmallows, a s’mores packet with a winter-themed verse activity. Use one of the above ideas or create your own. Give drillers a phone call during the week to see how they are doing and if they have reviewed the verse.

What are some creative ideas you use with your Bible Drill group during the winter months to keep them engaged or to add some extra practice time?

Congratulations to our College Essay Winner!

Congratulations to our 2020 College Essay Winner – Elizabeth Powell! As the 2020 winner, she is the recipient of a $500 College Scholarship. Elizabeth is a member of FBC Cochran and a student at Middle Georgia State University. This year’s College Essay Topic was “My Life as a Christ Follower While in College.”

Below is Elizabeth’s Essay:

In my opinion, college is one of the hardest places to show the love of Jesus on a day to day basis. How do you follow the command of Jesus in Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” when there are so many different worldviews and religions?1. I am a student at Middle Georgia State University in Cochran, and we see many students from all over the world. I have met people who are lost and have nowhere to turn. They believe that they can find hope in relationships, degrees, and partying. As a Christian, the only true hope we have is through Jesus Christ. I have many spiritual hopes as a disciple of Jesus Christ. I want to tell others that God has a plan for our life, and He loves us, no matter what our past may be. 

I believe that one of the biggest problems that college students face is the desire to know God’s plan for their life. We often want Him to lay out His whole plan and clearly reveal it to us. One of my spiritual hopes as a disciple of Christ is to show others that we do not have to know every part of God’s plan. Over the last several weeks, I have heard the phrase: “You just need to take the next right step” many times. I am learning to just step out in faith, one step at the time and the rest of the pieces will fall into place. In his book, “Finding God’s Life for my Will,” Mike Donehey shares the story of a man who traveled to India. He wanted to find Mother Teresa and have her pray that he would discover God’s plan for his life. She responded…” No, I will pray that you trust God.”2 We do not have to know God’s entire plan; we just have to trust Him and follow His path for our life. I recently heard a message by Bro. Bryan Parker, the senior pastor at Kingsland First Baptist Church in Kingsland, Georgia. In his message, he talked about the struggle to know God’s plan. He referenced Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths”.3 Bro. Bryan reminded us, if we are walking with God, He will lead us on the right path. We may not know where God is leading us, but if we are following Him, we will succeed. 

I am active in the Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) at Middle Georgia State University. I currently serve on the leadership team, where my job is to introduce myself to new students as they come into our building. We have worship on Monday nights and girl’s and boy’s Bible studies throughout the week. We also volunteer with the homeless ministry in Athens and Macon. Many students come to the BCM because they are missing “something” in their life. Our goal is to show Jesus’ love to these students so that they can have a relationship with Jesus too. Over the last two weeks, we have seen six or seven students come to Christ. We try to host events throughout the year to bring in new students. We recently hosted a cornhole tournament and we are planning a fall and Christmas party. 

One thing that I have observed is that students feel like they are not capable of ministering to others. I am guilty of believing that, because I am not a preacher or a speaker, I cannot share my story. The truth is that we are all ministers in one way or another. We all have a story to tell that can help others. I believe that the best way to share our story is to show the love of Jesus to everyone around us. If we show others that we love them, they will be more willing to listen to our story. 

I also want to show students that, no matter the situation, God stays the same. This past year has been uncertain with the coronavirus. Many plans are changed, events are cancelled, and we have new guidelines to follow. We have experienced a lot of uncertainty. We are not able to interact with students as much because so many classes are online. We cannot minister to students in the dorms because we are not allowed to go inside the dorms. Although there is so much uncertainty, we can be certain that God stays the same. The Bible says in Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Another one of my spiritual hopes as a disciple is to show students that their identity is in Christ. We want to define ourselves by what we have done, or who we have become. In the book “Shaken” by Tim Tebow, he says that “Identity doesn’t come from who we are, but whose we are”. 5 We are defined as a child of God, not as a failure or a disappointment. I want to share with students that, no matter what we have done, God can redeem our past and make us a child of God. In his song, “The God Who Stays,” Matthew West sings the lyrics “You tell me nothing I have ever done can separate my heart From the God who stays.”6 God will always love us no matter what we have done or how we define ourselves. 

My spiritual hopes as a disciple are to show students that God has a plan for their life, He stays the same no matter the circumstances, and our identity is found in Christ alone. I have experienced some challenges in my life, but God has carried me through them. My desire is to share with others how God has provided for me, no matter the circumstances. In college, the opportunities to share Jesus are unique, but I know that God will give me the ability to shine my light in a world that desperately needs the hope of Jesus. 

Making a Difference – Giving Tuesday

It’s Giving Tuesday! Georgia Baptist Bible Drill and Speakers, Inc. relies on donations from individuals and churches to make this ministry possible. Join me today in making a difference through discipling kids and students by donating to Georgia Baptist Bible Drill and Speakers, Inc. 

You can donate by going to our website: https://bibledrillandspeakers.com/ and clicking the donate link or by clicking through with this direct link: Donate.

When you donate, you impact the lives of students like Darren Li, a 9-year Bible Driller. Darren recently shared with us what Bible Drill means to him:

Darren Li, First Chinese Baptist Church of Atlanta: Bible Drill is important to me because it helps me answer questions about my faith and points me to verses whenever I am faced with any situation. Bible Drill helps me reaffirm my beliefs and reevaluate my relationship to God by making sure I am following God in all aspects of my life.

To read more about the difference Bible Drill and Student Speakers makes, click the following links and check out these blog articles:

Remembered for a lifetime

Seconds to recall a lifetime to remember – 9-year Bible-Drill awards

5 Free Printables for High School Bible Drill

We began our High School Bible Drill year in August. In the midst of a pandemic, we are currently meeting outdoors at the home of one of our Bible Drill leaders. From time -to-time we have found ourselves meeting via Zoom due to possible Covid exposures.

Here are 5 free printable that we have developed and used with our High School Bible Drill Class:

The Roman Road – A set of six printables developed by Kim Sanders to help students learn and understand the Roman Road in our Steps to Salvation Drill for Cycle 1.

Printables I developed for us to work on our Key Biblical Passages each week:

I think our biggest tip for 2020 Bible Drill is that we have to remain flexible and be willing to meet and encourage our students in a variety of ways. What creative ideas are you using with your High School Bible Drill group?

Remembered for a LifeTime

by Sarah North

Attention, present Bibles, begin”… For nine years I participated in Bible Drill and also competed in the Student’s Speakers Tournament for two years. During this time, I was the state winner and national runner-up for Speakers and state runner-up in High school Bible Drill.

Being a part of these two ministries has had a lasting impact on my life. Not only did I memorize Bible verses during this time, but I had fun at competitions, made lifelong friendships, improved my public speaking, and most importantly, I had the opportunity to share God’s word with others. To this day, I can recall many of the verses and passages by heart or at least have a general idea on where to locate them.

One verse that comes to my mind most often is, “What time I am afraid I will trust in thee (Psalm 56:3).” This is a verse I learned in Children’s Bible Drill that has stuck with me over the years. I find myself going back to this simple, but powerful, verse over and over again. Memorized for a competition, remembered for a lifetime.

Sarah lives in Falcon, Colorado where she works at Ent Credit Union. She is 2 months away from finishing up a two year rotational program in mortgage and consumer lending. In 2012, she was State Runner up in Student Speakers Tournament. In 2013, State Winner and National Runner up in Student Speakers and State Runner up in High School Bible Drill.

Who made a difference in your life? October Challenge

For the month of October, we would like to raise $1,500 for the ministry of Georgia Baptist Bible Drill and Student Speakers, Inc. through an October Giving Challenge. We are encouraging Bible Drillers, former Bible Drillers and Speakers, parents, and other Bible Drill champions to donate this month in honor or in memory of a Bible Drill leader or Student Speakers leader who made a difference in your life, the life of your children/grandchildren, or your church.  You can donate by clicking this link: Donate

Once you donate, email us at bibledrillspeakers@gmail.com and share with us the name of the leader you made your donation in honor or memory of and their mailing address.  They will receive a note informing them that a donation to Georgia Baptist Bible Drill and Speakers Inc. has been made in their name.  In your email, we encourage you to also share a story of how this leader impacted the life of a Bible Driller or Speaker.

Our family has made a donation in honor of three Bible Drill Leaders who have personally impacted our lives. Growing up as a part of Plentitude Baptist Church, Donna Morrison was my Bible Drill leader.  Not only did Donna teach my class each week, she helped create a love for Bible Drill in my life.  Donna shared a real-life story with us about how we could trust God in any life circumstance.  As a result, I will never forget Psalm 56:3 “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”  Martha Odum at FBC Monroe taught both of my sons in Children’s Bible Drill.  Martha has literally impacted the lives of hundreds of kids at FBC over the last 25 plus years as she has helped them learn Bible Skills and how to memorize scripture.  Kim Sanders taught both of my sons in Youth/High School Bible Drill at FBC Monroe.  She creatively looked for ways to encourage them to memorize scripture while investing in their lives.  I am so gratefully for each of these three ladies and the impact that they have had on our lives.

Through your generous gifts to Georgia Baptist Bible Drill and Speakers Inc, we will continue to impact the lives of the next generation.  

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

4 Ways to Teach bible Drill in a Socially Distanced World – video training

I hope your Bible Drill year is off to a great start! In August, Alabama hosted the webinar “Four ways you can teach Bible Skills in a socially distanced world.” The session leaders in the webinar are Belinda Stroud with the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, David Jennings with First Baptist Church, Tuscaloosa, Ala., Maria Brannen with Georgia Baptist Bible Drill and Speakers, Inc. and Deborah Robson with North Carolina Baptist Bible Drill. The webinar and resource was a joint venture between the three states.

If you missed the live webinar, you can view it online on our website and learn about some creative, fun ways churches can teach Bible Drill at home, online, at church or while discovering the outdoors even though we are living in a socially distanced world.

I’d love to hear how your Bible Drill group is meeting!

Download the free ebook and at home resource here: How to do Bible Drill in a Socially Distanced World.