Dallas Baptist University recently hosted the annual Texas Baptists Bible Drill and Speakers’ Tournament State Finals. Winners from the event were James Hardin of First Baptist Church of Dallas, Speakers’ Tournament; Josh Britton of First Baptist Church of Allen, High School Bible Drill; and Joseph Stalcup of First Baptist Church of Breckenridge, Youth Bible Drill.
This year, 27 youth and 22 high school students participated in Bible Drill, while 20 additional high school students participated in Speakers’ Tournament. There were a total of 26 churches represented.
After months of preparation, middle and high school students put their knowledge to the test during the Bible Drill portion of the competition. They memorized approximately 30 verses and passages as well as specific themes found throughout Scripture. For Speakers’ Tournament, high school students presented a 4-6 speech they developed over various biblical topics.
Hardin, recent graduate of Mansfield High School, presented a speech titled “Truth for Tough Times.”
“My speech was about how Christians must realize that the Gospel is the truth, and we need to learn it, live it and share it,” he said. “I picked this topic because I wanted to talk about something that can apply to my life, and as a young Christian it is very hard to stay strong in faith, especially with all the temptations in high school and college.”
He continued to explain that Speakers’ Tournament is a great way for him to practice public speaking, sharing the Gospel and becoming more confident in his faith.
Britton, 11th grade student, has participated in Bible Drill since 2nd grade. He commented that his favorite aspect of Bible Drill is the Scripture memorization. “It’s great when a situation comes up and I think back to a verse I know. Bible Drill has helped me in my everyday life and in my walk with the Lord.”
He continued, “Representing High School Bible Drill for the state of Texas is a great opportunity and I’ve always hoped to go to nationals. But honestly, what means the most to me is showing that I know what God’s Word says.”
Bible Drill and Speakers’ Tournament is a discipleship ministry of Scripture memory, Bible skills and speech preparation with the goal of helping students internalize the magnitude of God’s love for each one of us. As the result, it is the hope that they are better equipped to respond to life’s situations.
“There are many forms of worship, and one form is discipleship,” said Diane Lane, Childhood Discipleship specialist. “Our Bible Drill and Speakers’ Tournament participants memorize scripture, and talk about what it means and how it applies to their lives. When they have doubts or problems, they are able to turn to the scriptures they have learned. This is their normal.”
“The drills and speeches are not the end product - changed lives are the end product.”
The students will go on to represent Texas at the National Invitational Tournament in June at Mountain Park First Baptist Church in Stone Mountain, Georgia. For more information about Texas Baptists’ Bible Drill and Speakers’ Tournament, visit texasbaptists.org/bibledrill.