My name is Jon Rinker and I quizzed on the Westchester Bible Church (IL) quiz team from the years 91-92 through 93-94 (3 quizzing years). My coaches were Jutti West and Kathy Meitzler.
I can't say enough positive things about my experience in the quizzing ministry. It was life changing with many memories I cherish. I made many quality friends that I still keep up with. Also while in quizzing I believe that the Lord protected me and guided me through the tempting and formative teen years while at a public school. Bringing my "material" to school to study during lunch, study halls, or on class trips always gave me an opportunity to witness for the Lord. I also couldn't live like the world because my life was associated with the Bible and the things of God. I had a testimony to uphold.
I actually only quizzed three years. Prior to joining the team there were years when my parents encouraged me to join the team. However, I wasn't really interested in all the memorization and the focus of the program. However, at the IFCA youth convention in Kansas in June of 1991 God really convicted me about the need for a personal, daily relationship with Jesus Christ. I also repented of sin in my life at that time. It was weird because I came back from the convention and actually wanted to get involved in ministries of my church. I had an inner desire to know God and serve him. Now my parents didn't have to pressure me to join the quiz team. I wanted to join. It was as if God changed my heart. I'm very thankful for those blessed last few years in high school. Those years in quizzing and seeking God were some of the most happy of my life.
Of all the things I was involved with during those years, quizzing was the most exciting and rewarding. I had an inner motivation to win in quizzing so I ended up being above average in diligence in memorization and "success." While I enjoyed getting the trophies and scholarships, the memory of God's word has been far more impacting beyond the passing recognition of winning.
Having parts of the New Testament memorized has been invaluable as I've gone through Appalachian Bible College and then seminary. Its interesting that some of my classmates from Bible College still remember me as the "one who has the Bible memorized." I chuckle at this in my mind since I know they're exaggerating, but it reminds me of how God even challenged others to know His word better by what He had done in my life. It has also been helpful in ministry as I preach and counsel others. Since the Word of God is our tool for ministry it has been very helpful to know this tool and how to use it. The memory of God's Word has also been impacting in my personal life as I contemplate the truths of the gospel, the Christian life, serving God. Many times the Lord gave me victory over temptation or challenged me to live for Him by the Word He had put in my heart.
I would also mention that the Lord allowed me to start a Bible quizzing ministry at Piney View Bible Church (WV) in 1994 when I went to college. This ministry also encouraged Independent Bible Church (WV) to quiz (A quizzing ministry which has been faithful for several years). It has been gratifying to see pastors and lay leaders of these churches to catch the vision for the Bible quizzing ministry. I've been thankful to see others challenged and changed through God's Word.
Last, I would challenge pastor's, parents, and youth leaders to make Bible quizzing a priority in your ministry and direction of young people. If you really believe in the essential necessity of God's Word as THE tool for ministry and change in lives then you will find some way to practice what you preach. I'm afraid that we send a devastating message to young people when we do not purposefully, strongly, and enthusiastically endorse the memory and meditation of the Holy Scriptures. In addition, the Bible quizzing ministry isn't perfect, but God's Word is - so find an effective way to systematically instill extended portions of the Scriptures into young minds. I haven't found any system better in this battle for the mind than IFCA Bible quizzing when it is correctly administered.
I would challenge prospective and current quizzers in two ways. First, seek God and this daily walk with the Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart. Ask the Lord to change your heart and give you an appetite for His Word. Second, consume God's Word on a daily basis and seek meditation on the Word (Ps. 1). If you're daily meditating on it then you will likely have it memorized and even understand it. Then you will have "good success" (Joshua 1:8-9
Quizzer, Westchester Bible Church - 1991-92