Wednesday, January 25, 2017

High Tech Benefits Texas Bible Bowl

April 2nd is rapidly approaching for our Texas Bible Bowl competition in Bandera, Texas.  Recently the TBB asked if I would write up an article for the Christian News of South Texas.  

Most of the article centers around the congregations participating in TBB in south Texas, but for the photos I had some of my McDermott class help out.  Below is a link to the article or you can continue reading. 

High-tech Benefits Texas Bible Bowler

PLANO – Technology has invaded every part of our life, so why not the Bible class? In fact, today’s tech-savvy generation has seen a major upgrade in Bible bowl preparations from the old-school black and white IBM Selectric-typed study guides.

This year Texas Bible Bowl (TBB) will take place March 31-April 2 at Bandina Christian Youth Camp over the entire book of Acts. High school participants compete not only for trophies, but also for scholarships via Lubbock Christian University. However, the goal of TBB, far beyond trophies, can be found in Acts 8:35: “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this scripture, he told him the good news about Jesus.”

Congregations like those in Corpus Christi, and San Antonio’s Lackland Terrace, West Bexar County and Northwest are discovering the benefits of sharing online learning aids. “It’s not much different from the flannel graphs and flip charts that were once used in Bible classes; it’s just now we can share our resources instantly via electronic devices,” said Nicholas Schroeder, President Pro Tem for TBB.

This competition originated with the help of the Marble Falls church of Christ after the dissolution of the annual National Bible Bowl competitions on our Christian college campuses. Formed in 2010, TBB recently outgrew its testing facilities in Marble Falls and began meeting at Bandina Christian Youth Camp in 2016.

“With the support of Lubbock Christian University and individuals, we have seen increased interest in Texas Bible Bowl, and we felt a need to make study aids readily available for our coaches,” said Schroeder. Congregations can now find one-word lists, suggested study tips, highlighted texts, and sample questions for studying the book of Acts.

An online study guide allows congregations to download and print classroom material, but that is not the only benefit technology has brought to the Bible class setting. Cathy Spain, coordinator of Northwest church of Christ, uses the online flash card website called Cram to bring digital games into the classroom. Students can also use Cram for further at-home study, and students can log into Cram and compete with each other.

Bible bowl coaches are also using similar sites like Kahoot! and Quizlet to bring electronic reinforcement games into their classrooms. In preparation for the upcoming competition, coaches like San Pedro’s youth minister, Bryon Curry, can download practice tests from Google documents that have been uploaded by coaches in Waco. “The ability for coaches to share the work makes it easier to get more congregations involved,” said Spain.

Congregations are also finding the addition of technology in the Bible class setting is increasing participation in TBB. Interactive quizzes on programs like Cram and Quizlet allow the youth to study the book of Acts on their laptops, tablets and phones.

Texas Bible Bowl follows the same curriculum schedule as LTC so congregations can easily prepare for both at the same time. Congregations interested in participating may visit the website at 

The article closes with: [Lisa Kirkwood, TBB board member, also describes herself as an OC graduate, busy home schooling mom of three, Bible Bowl coach, and wife. She lives in Plano and blogs at] This makes me smile, because in private email exchanges between the TBB I joked that I might as well put those OC journalism classes to work.  And to see my little blog linked to the article!  Boy will they be surprised when they expect to see some Christian blogger and all the get is lil ol' me and my grandparent posts and canning recipes! 

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. I Thessalonians 4:11-12

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