At churches across the nation, including Wesleyan churches, teens are gearing up for the new season – not football or soccer season, but Bible quizzing. This year they will be studying the book of Luke, putting in hours and hours of practice, similar to their counterparts in sports. But they will be memorizing verses, noting key words, and preparing for competitions against their fellow quizzers. And more importantly than that, they will be studying God’s Word, which can transform lives and build a foundation for future faith.

Wesleyan Bible Bowl, The Wesleyan Church’s Bible quizzing program, exists for the purpose of changing the lives of young people through the study of the Bible. In a recent WBB poll, every coach agreed that the number one reason they are involved with Bible quizzing is the discipleship of young people, following closely be a personal desire to learn God’s Word more in-depthly. One coach responded that they want their quizzers to “know what they believe, communicate what they believe, and be able to defend their faith.”

And quizzers agree – in the same poll, 100% of quizzers listed “learn the Word of God” as the number one reason why they’re involved in Bible quizzing. When asked what they hope to get out of Bible quizzing, one quizzer responded, “I hope to have verses and truths from the Bible stored in my heart to help me later on when I need them,” while another noted that they want to “learn the Word of God so that I can carry it in my heart wherever I go, and to be surrounded by other believers and to have them as friends/encouragers.”

One example of the life change that can come through WBB is Sam Phillips, who just finished his senior year of quizzing as a part of the team from First Wesleyan Church of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Sam was a recipient of the Character Award at this past summer’s National Tournament. This award recognizes quizzers who have exemplified what Bible quizzing is all about. Quizzers must be nominated by their coach, and also write a short essay on what Bible quizzing has meant to them.

Sam writes, “I have learned so much about God and his Word. At first it was all just words to be memorized for the competitions. But every once in a while, [our coaches] would have us pause and take a moment to actually read and comprehend what we were studying, instead of just memorizing it. That is when my relationship with God truly started to change.” He further notes that, “I can remember certain situations throughout high school when I was faced with a difficult decision, not knowing what to do, and a Bible Bowl verse would come to mind that would help. Instead of relying on myself and my own knowledge, I started to pray a lot more and look for God’s guidance through his Word.”

Sam’s coach, Danny White, wrote the following in his recommendation for Sam: “in seven short years I’ve seen this young man transform from a fairly shy 6th grader to an amazing team leader and, more importantly, an amazing man of God.” In reflecting about why he coaches, Danny says, “I feel I can speak for every coach in the room when saying that there are times in each season when we say to ourselves, ‘Lord, what in the world have I gotten myself into?’ In those times, I think of this quizzer and can easily answer, ‘This is why I coach. He is why I coach.'”

The other recipient of this year’s Character Award, Becca Kleppinger of Weedville Wesleyan Church in Weedville, Pennsylvania, said that, “from participating in Bible quizzing the last seven years I have not only had the opportunity to grow in my faith, but have also learned to live it out in my everyday life.” She further said, “at home I grew up in a very church-based atmosphere, but it wasn’t until I was able to apply it to my own life that I understood the true meaning of having a renewed mind. Studying Paul’s words this year has been a big encouragement to me during my senior year as I have been planning to move on to a new adventure called ‘the real world.'”

Becca’s youth pastor, Dan Henderlong, wrote, “Becca embodies the purpose of Bible quizzing in her actions and her choices every day…Her desire is always to see her peers growing and learning through the study of God’s Word.” In reflecting on his experience with Becca, he noted, “I can remember many occasions when she approached me with her peers to ask about the Word of God and its application in their lives.”

Sam and Becca are just two examples of the life change that is taking place through Wesleyan Bible Bowl. Both will be attending Indiana Wesleyan this fall, thanks in part to scholarships earned through WBB competitions. But the truths they learned through Bible quizzing will last for a lifetime.

As we start this new season of quizzing this fall, coaches will be coming up with all kinds of study and competitive strategies to win competitions. But ultimately, the reason they are there is to see God work in the lives of young people as they spend time with His Word.

For more information about Wesleyan Bible Bowl, or to start a team, please contact Pastor Jim Terwilliger at, or via phone at 570-742-2638.