Published November 18, 2004
Psalms is right in the center of the Bible. To find Matthew, the first book of the New Testament, go halfway between Psalms and Revelation.
That's just one of the tricks students learn in Bible Drill classes. There are dozens more "tricks of the trade" that more than 375 Bible Drill children learned during a weekend retreat at the Georgia Baptist Conference Center in Toccoa.
It's all a part of a program that's been used in Georgia since the 1920's to help children learn scripture.
"It is vital for children to have a foundation of scripture," said Maria Brannen, GBC consultant who oversees children's Bible study, including Bible Drill. "Using Bible Drill, children spend months learning 25 scripture verses and 10 key passages. They not only memorize, but they also learn the applications of the scripture."
Throughout the year Bible Drill leaders use a variety of games and techniques to help the children memorize and learn.
"This takes into account all the learning styles. It's not rote memory. They don't just memorize it and check it off and go on," Brannen said. "We want them to realize how fun it is to get into God's word."
Fun while learning is the objective at the retreat. Children in grades four through six come to the fall retreat to begin memorizing and learning scripture. Some use clothes pins attached to a pie plate; some play Bible card games; some play a Scripture version of Twister; and some pop balloons. But each activity is wrapped around a Bible verse, helping to "hide it in their hearts" for a lifetime.
The annual retreat for leaders and children began just six years ago when long-time Bible Drill leader Dot Blevins made the suggestion to GBC staff.
"Camp is fun and it creates interest in the kids," said Blevins, a member of Salem Church in McDonough. Blevins has taught Bible Drill "for 35 or 40 years. It's been a long time. I started back when it was called Sword Drill."
She now teaches children of children she once taught.
"I have a passion for Bible Drill. I want these children to learn to handle the Bible and know what it's about. Then they'll read it and they will never be embarrassed when a pastor says turn to 1 Chronicles.
"I love kids. And I believe in transformation."
For more information about starting a Bible Drill group at your church, contact Maria Brannen at firstname.lastname@example.org or (770) 936-5272 or 1 (800) RING GBC. Brannen is a consultant with GBC Discipleship Ministries and is available to work with churches in children's discipleship areas.
Discipleship Ministries is supported through your gifts to the Cooperative Program.
You and your church may send Cooperative Program gifts to:
Dr. J. Robert White
Georgia Baptist Convention
2930 Flowers Road, South
Atlanta, GA 30341-5562
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