When I was in high school, I was on a Bible Bowl team. Bible Bowl is a Scripture memorization program for middle/high schoolers. My youth pastor, Quinton, was our coach. Look at how little I was… and hey do you love my jedi braid?
Cut to a few years later. I’d graduated from high school, moved away for a little bit, moved back home… and then I became a Bible Bowl coach with Quinton! Our team started competing pretty well and we became DIVISIONAL CHAMPIONS, which means we were the #1 Bible Bowl team in The Salvation Army’s Northwest Division (Washington, N. Idaho, W. Montana) and we went to TERRITORIAL – competing against the #1 teams from the whole Western Territory.
I was the assistant coach for a few years, before I moved to California. So when I became a youth pastor at a Salvation Army in the Cascade Division (Oregon, S. Idaho), I knew Bible Bowl was something I wanted to do. It’s a GREAT program – teaching kids to hide God’s word in their hearts is a win for everyone involved, regardless of how far you get in the competition.
Last year was our first year, and we took second place in our division.
This year our kids decided they weren’t down with second place. They worked their BUTTS off, and for the first time our church’s name appeared on the Divisional Championship plaque…
That meant we were off to the territorial playoffs…
Oh but wait. Let me first mention something.
Remember my youth pastor, Quinton?
Well he had a team. and they were their divisional champions.
which meant… I might have to coach a team that played against MY BIBLE BOWL COACH.
oh. and his son, who happens to be the first baby I ever loved.. but now he’s a grown kid.
That’s us… immediately after discovering that WE WOULD BE PLAYING EACH OTHER. Our match determined who would for sure be in the TERRITORIAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME.
It came down to the VERY last second, but guess which team won… by TEN POINTS?
WE FREAKING DID! WE WERE UNDEFEATED AND IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME!
So a couple months later, we boarded a plane and headed to California.
We put on our tiaras and we got our game faces on.
Guess who we played against in the championship game?
It was a FIGHT… we weren’t ever within 100 points of each other (each successful set of questions got us 50 points, so we weren’t ever more than 2 questions ahead).
and at the very last minute, when the clock had run out, we had the opportunity to answer a bonus question. Which we kind of needed because we were down by 30 points and our bonus questions were worth 40 points.
One of the girls busted out THREE VERSES BY HEART…. nailed it…. and….
WE. WON. THE. TERRITORIAL. CHAMPIONSHIP. BY TEN POINTS.
ARE YOU EVEN KIDDING ME!?
Not only are they the Territorial Bible Bowl Champions for 2015… they did it 100% undefeated.
People kept congratulating me, and I said “I just sat there and bit my nails… they are the ones who did all of the work!”
and it’s so true.
I’m so so so so so proud of them.
It’s CRAZY how God works in our lives.
NEVER in my life would I have imagined that I would be serving in a church away from my youth pastor – who became a pastor in The Salvation Army this past weekend and I was honored to witness it!
NEVER in my life would I have imagined that I would be a youth pastor myself, in a division of The Salvation Army I wasn’t raised in.
NEVER in my life would I have imagined that somehow I would be playing Bible Bowl against my youth pastor.. and that our team would win, because he is SUCH A GOOD COACH.
But God works in crazy ways. He leads us places that lead us to new places and suddenly we’re in this new place, going “WOAH.”
and look what we brought home 🙂