More than 180 people registered for the state’s first Bible Drill Training Retreat at Tall Timbers Conference Center the weekend of Jan. 19.
WOODWORTH – More than 180 people registered for the state’s first Bible Drill Training Retreat at Tall Timbers Conference Center the weekend of Jan. 19.
“Bible Drills skills and thrills” is a longtime slogan.
Last year’s state winner for the Speaker’s Tournament, Phillip Vincent, was on hand during the weekend to help give pointers to this year’s youth. Involved in Bible Drill since fourth grade at First Baptist Lake Charles, Vincent is a freshman at Louisiana College.
“He is the epitome of what Bible Drill does for preparing kids for leadership,” said Linda Aguillard, state Bible Drill consultant.
Vincent won the Speaker’s Tournament all three years that he competed, which landed him a scholarship to the state’s Youth Evangelism Celebration the first year, a scholarship to LC the second year, and the chance to represent the state at nationals the third year.
“I think that you spend so much time with the scripture that you develop a desire to learn more,” he said of his experience with Bible Drill. “The Bible is yes, a historic account, but it is very pertinent to today. In Bible Drill you meditate on the scripture over a year’s time. The material is cycled. What I learned from a verse as a 7th grader differs from what I learned as a 9th grader. Even though it’s the same material, my understanding of it is a little bit deeper.”
“[Bible Drill] has been a blessing to our family,” said Margo Fallon of First Baptist Lake Charles. Fallon, Vincent’s speech coach while he was in high school, has been involved with Bible Drill for at least 16 years, along with husband Mark and their three daughters.
The couple said they appreciated most the weekend’s training on how to involve parents in Bible Drill by inviting them to suppers, mock drills and retreats.
“The more the parents are involved, the better the kids do,” Mark said.
The Fallon’s two older daughters, now in college, went through Bible Drill, and now their youngest, a senior in high school, is just completing her last year. She has used the material in her life, Margo said of her youngest daughter.
“That’s the key to all of this,” Margo continued. “When [my daughter] sees people doing harmful things, she’s able to gently draw them back on track because she has a basis in the Bible and is so familiar with it. Because she knows it, she can live it.”
Fourth grader Andrew Brown from First Baptist Covington agreed that Bible Drill is helpful in everyday life. His friend Gary Beal added that he liked the task of memorizing the verses and key passages. His teacher made it fun by making up rhymes and pictures to go with the verses, he explained.
Gary’s mother, Gina, said she is grateful for the way Bible Drillers instills a foundation of God’s Word in her children.
“It gives me time to teach them application,” Beal said.
Gary’s sister, seventh grader Victoria, a state Bible Drill winner last year, said she appreciates the impact Bible Drill has had on her life thus far.
“It was an inspiration to look at my Bible more often,” she said of the program. “I hope that I can tell more people about Bible Drill so they can come to church and participate.”
During the weekend, LBC staff provided attendees with a variety of training conferences that offered advice on how to prepare students for drills, how to engage students in the material, and the ins and outs of a drill, such as judging, time-keeping and scoring.
Three worship services, led by speaker/musician David Crain, rounded the weekend out. Crain, who has released two CDs of scripture put to music, offered participants not only insight into God’s Word, but also, through his music, a useful tool to help them store the Word in their hearts.
In addition, LBC staff announced that beginning this fall, the state convention plans to release Xtreme Bible Challenge for youth in grades 10-12, a three-year intensive Bible study that takes students through Paul’s Pastoral Epistles, I and II Timothy and Titus.
“The purpose of Xtreme Bible Challenge is to ignite a fire, a desire, and a love for God’s Word in the hearts of high school students,” said Cathy Odom, author of the study.
In the spring of each year, students can also engage in a team “quiz-bowl” type competition conducted at regional and state levels.
At the weekend’s end, Gold medalists – students who were state Bible Drill winners all nine years from fourth through twelfth grade – helped Aguillard, Odom and Kevin Boles, youth ministry strategist, perform a mock drill using material from Xtreme Bible Challenge. The audience, receptive and curious about the new addition, fired questions at the author and Boles in a short q and a afterwards.