Pastor Bernie interviews coach of National Champions.

Pastor Bernie interviews coach of National Champions.

Pastor Bernie interviews John Porter, coach of the back to back National Champions, James River Church

PB:  First off John, congratulations on being Coach of the Year again with your team winning the National Bible Quiz Finals in Florida for the 2013-2014 BQ season.  This is your 3rd time winning National Finals, no less, in two different churches, in two different states.  What are some of the steps to making that happen for you and your team?


I think up front planning, goal setting, expectations for the year and having the quizzers choose the path they want to take is key.  I can’t dictate in anyone’s heart the desire to excel…they have to have it.  Once they have it, I can coach it (with the Lord’s help and guidance).

PB:  Help our teams out across America.  How did your team prepare from Bible Quiz Regionals in May to National Finals?


We set up very consistent schedules of quoting chapters, chapter analysis, random verses and our tie in lists.  We did drills every Saturday over these areas to make sure we were making progress and accomplishing what we said we would go do.  We then spent a week in Florida prior to the week at Nationals and “honed in” on skills and last minute memorization of specific tie-ins we wanted to know.

PB:  I understand your team did some ministry at a local Florida church after arriving there.  Share that with us.


I’ve pasted the email below that I sent to the parents right after we did the service (June 25th):



Just a quick update.  On Monday of this week, the associate pastor from my in-laws church (Oxford Assembly) here at the Villages asked my in-laws if we could come in and do the service tonight for the adults and they would also bring in the youth.

I will tell you it was awesome!  Your kids did fantastic.  We prayed before we went to the church that we would be a blessing and God really showed what a blessing these kids can be.  We could not have orchestrated it better….God was in control.  The service started with 2 worship songs and then they called me up….I explained what quiz was all about…then Mark Griffith explained all the things the kids were involved in besides quiz (Piano, marching band, Royal Rangers GMA,  Missionettes Honor Star, violinist, honor roll kids, etc.).

After that, I had the quizzers introduce themselves then had the audience pick a chapter and then the quizzers did the “quote in a row”…each quoting a verse in order until they completed the chapter.  I then had the audience pick a chapter and had Daniel quote it backwards.  Then I had the audience pick random verses and the quizzers took turns quoting the verse.  Beverly then did a 10 question quiz with the buzzer set to give the audience an idea of how to answer in a quiz….there were several applauses for questions answered.

After the quiz, Kacie came up and gave a 15 minute devotional…it was excellent and she brought out 3 great points from Titus chapter 1 verses 1 through 3.  After she finished, the pastor got up and asked the boys who got the RR GMA to stand, then the honor stars to stand….equating the dedication these kids have to God and their ability to do more than just quiz. Then, he said they don’t take offerings on Wednesday nights but wanted to bless this quiz team.  He asked who the piano player was so Jarron went up and played the offertory….I didn’t realize how good Jarron was!  The pastor asked a person in the audience to pray for the offering….he began to pray but began to cry.  His prayer was that with all the bad news going on in the world, he had been so blessed tonight to have witnessed what these young people were able to do….we were all about in tears also.

After the service, I had several adults come up to me and tell me that Kacie’s devotion wasn’t a devotion….it was preaching the Word.  Another person who runs a prison ministry came up  to Kacie and told her he was going to use one of her illustrations with inmates he was seeing tomorrow…about “connecting the dots” and the picture it forms (you’ll have to get the video to find out more!).  The pastor came up to me after the service and gave me a check for $350.00 to help with expenses for Nationals….quite amazing!

Needless to say, we gave the quizzers the rest of the night off….it was such a blessing and your kids did a fantastic job…not showing off but showing excellence and the love of Christ….be proud…we are!

PB:  We have literally hundreds of new coaches for the 2014-2015 Bible Quiz season over Romans & James.  What advice would you give a new coach, no matter what division they are coaching in this year?


It’s not all about going to National Finals….it’s about challenging young people in the Word and excellence in what they do.  We have 10 TBQ teams at James River….only 2 went to Nationals…meaning there were many quizzers that were part of the ministry that didn’t quiz at Nationals…and this is the broader audience to keep a pulse on in the ministry.  We challenge each and every one of them to attain certain milestones.  We do a lot of activities together…some fun and some related to outreach so that we’re living what we’re memorizing.  The key is to keep ourselves accountable and attain the goals we put before ourselves.  Oh yea, winning is fun and for kids to stay interested you must have some wins…but that’s not the ultimate goal.

PB:  Any parting words as we begin this Bible Quiz season?


Beverly and I have challenged our youth pastors (4 of them) and our coaches to be a member of the “James Club”…meaning memorize all of James (108 verses) and quote each chapter off to a coach with 4 or less mistakes.  What greater way to show your commitment to the ministry and His word than to also memorize….besides the fact that James is one of the most powerful books in the Bible…in my opinion.

Lastly, hang in there…at times there’s conflict with quizzers, parents, coaches, pastors, etc.  Be patient and know that you’re in this for the long haul and the mentoring you provide will be lifelong lessons for all involved…including you!

“Romans and James Experience” Division

You will find simplified rules for the Romans and James Divison on the Bible Quiz website. We’ve already heard some amazing stories of how this new division is having an impact. Here is just one example:

From Kent Kloefkorn (District Coordinator of the Northwest District)

Pastor Bernie –

I’ve taken your challenge to heart – trying to not just get more kids into quiz, but the Word into more kids through our ministry.

Here is what we are doing here at Cedar Park (see attached). I just met with our senior Pastor (Dr. Joseph B Fuiten) and he is excited about this concept.

We are teaching the Romans & James Experience in our own Sunday Morning Youth Classes in our church. Our focus is in actually teaching the material – the verse by verse teaching of Romans chapter 8, 12 & James. The quizzing will be optional – we’re not going to make a big deal of it, but I think many of the kids will want to participate. Our emphasis will just be more focused on the Word, with quizzing over it secondary.

What I’m trying to do with this is to get actual, true “Teaching the Bible” back into our Sunday School time for all of our Youth. That is what our Senior Pastor wants – stop the “entertaining” and get back to teaching the Word.

We will have fellowship time during Sunday School, of course, but then a strong lesson, and then break out into groups for discussion, etc.

Oh, and our teacher… Miss Abby Rogers. (I’m going to be working with her and mentoring her weekly)

This is morphing into a test program – and if successful I believe we should then consider further developing this aspect of our ministry as an actual Sunday School curriculum.

It’s first and foremost going to get the Bible back into Sunday School, and then I do believe feed a lot of the kids into BQ.

I am so excited! – Kent

(You can read more of Kent’s plan for adapting this division into a Sunday School plan here.)

Looking for last season’s product?

Stock up with leftover materials to have extra resources for the next Bible Quiz cycle! We have a limited supply of products from the 2013-14 quiz season (1/2 Thessalonians, 1/2 Timothy, Titus, and 1/2/3 John) available now at a 50% discount. These items are available while supplies last or until Oct. 31, 2014. Click here and scroll down until you find the “Grace be unto you” products; all individual items have been discounted 50%.

Endowment Fund Update

Several have inquired regarding the mailing address/info for AG Financial Solutions and the Bible Quiz Endowment Fund. If you would like to make a donation to the BQ Endowment Fund and send it by mail, AGFS new mailing address is:

3900 S Overland Ave.

Springfield, MO  65807

All other info remains the same. You can find out more about the Endowment Fund here: