Connection through Competition
In a season where hope and belonging are a greater need for youth than recalling basic Bible knowledge, a Bible Bowl can surprisingly be the perfect medium for hope.
In early April, ten New Salem middle and high school students will compete in the first Bible Bowl competition the church has seen in more than a decade. Study classes will be embedded within the New Salem Institute or NSI hour at 9 a.m. each Sunday in February and March via Zoom. Teams will be decided by their class facilitators to ensure a healthy degree of fair competition. [KC1]
Initially, bringing back the Bible Bowl was a response to calls for increased biblical literacy by Sunday school teachers, known as NSI facilitators, however, it will offer so much more.
While the prizes, which will likely include “skip the line” passes to regional theme parks, are a premium draw for youth, as well as the thrill of competition, the Life Development Department (LDV) is excited most about the confidence in the faith that will be built through their learning and the increased sense of belonging and self-defining purpose that team competition brings. Perhaps what youth and our entire church community need today is a wholesome, spirited, connection.
We don’t know how COVID-19 will influence in-person attendance at the competition, but we are strongly encouraging our church community’s online participation during the Bible Bowl. In addition to our more “Seasoned Saints,” competing virtually alongside their children and grandchildren’s generation, we plan to have a live, interactive presence that brings us all into fellowship, competition, and learning. And, for those who don’t wish to compete virtually with our youth, they can overcome their post-football season blues and rally around a new favorite team to cheer for as we experience a collective, church-wide victory
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