COVID-19 has had a major impact on many ministries the past two years, but church leaders have overcome the hurdles and carried on.
When it comes to Bible Drill, three state Baptist conventions — Alabama, North Carolina and Georgia — banded together to make Bible Drill a priority and came up with the A-B-C-D of socially distanced Bible Drill: At home, Be online, Church and Discover the outdoors.
“Drills were held in church parking lots, backyards, [using] porch bags with Bible verse activities in them,” said Belinda Stroud, an associate with the Alabama State Board of Missions whose responsibility is Bible Drill.
“Bible Drill is a way for children to navigate God’s word and use it to guide their lives,” she explained, adding it also “can help children have boldness when sharing God’s word.”
Stroud said she sees grandparents helping with the ministry because they realized its impact on their own children’s lives. They want it to continue with their grandchildren.
Bible Drill incorporates children grades 1–6 and students grades 7–9, with a speakers’ tournament for grades 10–12.
On April 25 Shiloh Baptist Church in Saraland hosted the annual drill with 12 elementary school students.
“We want you to be successful … make God happy,” Steve Stephens told the group before the drill began. The retired SBOM missionary served as “caller” for the event.
Regional drills also were held in Hartselle, Bessemer, Alexandria, Montgomery, Demopolis and Dothan.
Anna Claire Casey from Excel Baptist said after this year’s drill, “Bible Drill helps me learn more about God,” while Bryars White, also from Excel, said, “Bible Drill helps me look up Scripture while in church and helps me know why Jesus died on the cross.”
SBOM’s website notes the purpose of Bible Drill is “to help increase believer’s knowledge of the Bible, develop skills in effectively handling the Bible, learn how to apply the Bible to their life and begin developing memory skills.”
Stroud said resources designed for social distancing still are available, including:
Bible Drill in a box
This resource provides activities and games for teachers and parents to help lead Bible Drill safely. Boxes can be mailed, left on doorsteps or distributed by other means.
“We offer family devotions for each of the verses children are learning each year; this reinforces what they are learning in Bible Drill,” Stroud said.
*Families in the Word
Posted quarterly this worksheet can be downloaded and printed to encourage families to get into God’s word together. It is designed to go along with what children are learning in Bible Drill.
Each year drillers are given a list of 25 verses to memorize along with 10 key passages, which means if a child stays with Bible Drill at least three years they will memorize 75 verses and 30 key passages.
At each drill the children stand in a line, shoulder to shoulder, with their Bibles by their sides. The Bible Drill caller first says, ”Attention. Present your Bible,” and children hold their Bibles in front of them with one hand on top and the other on the bottom. Then a drill is called and the caller says, “Start.” The children have 10 seconds to find the reference they’re looking for or recall what they need to say, then step forward. There are four drills:
*The books of the Bible
The children find the book that is called, then step forward. If the child is called upon, they say the name of the book before, the book they found and the book after.
A key passage is called, and the students locate it in the Bible. For example, “God’s covenant with Abraham,” Genesis 12:1–3.
The caller announces the Scripture reference, and the children step forward to say the verse from memory.
*Complete the verse
The caller says the beginning of a verse, and the children step forward to say the rest of it along with the reference.
Certificates, medals and trophies are distributed at various levels. Scholarships are also available.
For more information about Bible Drill, visit alsbom.org/bibledrill.
Alabama Baptist Speakers Tournament
Soon after the annual Bible drill was held at Shiloh Baptist Church in Saraland, the Alabama Baptist Speakers Tournament was held. On April 30, high school students compete by writing and presenting a four- to six-minute-long biblical speech on provided topics. This year’s first-place winner was Rebecca Brook, from Whitesburg Baptist Church in Huntsville. Rebecca’s project was titled “Tolerance: How much is too much?”
Rebecca discussed the challenges Christians face and recognized the difficulties she experiences personally when talking to her peers about her faith. Every day is a battle when faced with choosing whether to tolerate what her friends believe when those belief are in direct contrast to her beliefs and Scripture, she said.
She referenced Scriptures such as Luke 9:23: “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”
She also discussed loving her peers despite their differences while also showing them Jesus.
Rebecca’s concluding statement said, “We are commanded to not tolerate only those who know God, but to love and pursue the ones who deny Him, the ones who know only the world.” She then quoted Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”