“Bible Drill has given me a love for the Bible and an understanding that I need to consistently be in God’s Word to understand His Will for my life,” said Katie Davidson, Bible Drill participant. “It’s given me more confidence in myself. I was initially quiet, scared to get in front of people and talk in general, but Bible Drill encouraged me get out of my comfort zone and do things I had never done before, including teaching others about Jesus.”
For Davidson and Anna Kemp, First Baptist Church of Allen students, Bible Drill and Speakers’ Tournament is so much more than memorizing words on a page. For them, these events have helped shape who they are today.
“Speakers’ Tournament has impacted my life by helping me solidify what I believe. The process of developing thoughts and studying Scripture has been a formative and irreplaceable experience. It really helped me build the foundation of what I believe and how I live that out in my life,” said Kemp.
Davidson has been avidly involved in Bible Drill since the first grade. Kemp has also been involved in Bible Drill since a young age, but was encouraged by one of her Sunday School teachers her sophomore year of high school to pursue Speakers’ Tournament.
Both students spend months out of every year preparing for the competitions. “At church, we would meet together once a week to recite all of the verses, discuss what each verse means and explore the context of the verses so we would understand what we were saying,” said Davidson. “And the people I went through Bible Drill with are some of my closest friends, so we also got to point each other back to the Scriptures we were memorizing.”
Kemp said, “Speakers’ Tournament helped me connect with others - adults, leaders and students from other states and cities. You have a message to share that people want to hear.”
For Bible Drill, students memorize the upwards of 30 verses and passages each year and compete against one another in locating books and verses from the Bible that pertain to specific subjects. During Speakers’ Tournament, high schoolers research a biblical topic, then develop a 4-6 minute speech that is presented to judges.
The writing process for Kemp includes choosing her topic, writing and editing her speech and practicing it in front of various audiences. “I went to youth and adult Sunday School classes to practice speeches. We were so blessed to have their support and constructive criticism. It was so much more than Speakers Tournament - it was the Body of Christ, the whole church, coming together to help,” said Kemp.
The topic Kemp spoke over this year was “My Future Belongs to God.” Kemp commented, “One one of the main points of my speech was that so often as humans, we want clarity on the future and security in knowing. However, as Christians, we are not called to have security in knowledge of the future, but faith in a trustworthy God.”
Diane Lane, childhood discipleship specialist, said, “Many people are confused that Bible Drill is just a Bible memory and Bible Skills competition for children and youth. If individuals have memorized words, with no understanding of what the passages and scriptures mean, we all have lost. However, it is deeper than that. Bible Drill moves individuals from program to being able to practice what Scripture means.”
It is evident this has been accomplished through Bible Drill and Speakers’ Tournament as seen in the lives of Davidson and Kemp.
Both Davidson and Kemp won the National Invitational Tournament for Bible Drill and Speaker’s Tournament, which was was held on June 16, 2017, at First Baptist Church of Brunswick in Brunswick, Georgia.
Davidson and Kemp were ecstatic to win Nationals. It was a time for them to experience the Body of Christ in new and encouraging ways and was the perfect end to their senior year, according to both girls.
The night before the State Tournament in April, Kemp called Davidson on the phone. She said to her, “the only thing we can do is try our best and pray it glorifies God. If we win, great! If we lose, we still glorify Him.” The two held the same mindset for Nationals, which was the greatest achievement of all.
In the fall, Davidson will be attending Oklahoma State University where she will study mathematics and work towards becoming a high school math teacher. Kemp will be attending Baylor University to study biology on the pre med route. She hopes to one day be a Physician's Assistant.
For more information about Bible Drill and Speakers’ Tournament, visit http://texasbaptists.org/ministries/great-commission/discipleship/bible-drill