Thailand’s Bible Quiz
When Thailand Bible Society began running the Bible Quiz in 2001 in partnership with Christian schools it had no idea just how popular it would become.
“When we first started we were only aiming to reach out to middle school children (9-11 years old), not older kids because we thought they would be difficult to engage,” explains General Secretary Dr Seree Lorgunpai. “But after we began the Bible Quiz in middle schools we got so many requests from high schools that we expanded it to them, too. Now those high school students are asking when we will take the Bible Quiz to colleges!”
The Bible Quiz is now eagerly anticipated each year by more than 1,000 school children aged 9-18 in four regions across Thailand. There are three different age levels, and the children take part in teams of three. Although most of the schools who compete are Christian-run, more than half of their students are not from Christian families (only around 1.2% of Thailand’s population is Christian). Nevertheless, the parents are supportive of their children taking part and learning about the Bible, and many come to watch the quiz.
“For the schools, children and families, the Bible Quiz has become a regular fixture in their annual calendar, which they look forward to,” says Dr Lorgunpai. “We’ve found that this commitment and consistency pays off. We get to touch the lives of the children each year as they grow up, and that is really valuable.
“We have been pleasantly surprised at that fact that the children want to continue taking part in the quiz each year. We thought they’d lose interest as they got older as there are so many other things available through social media and so on, but we were wrong! This year I talked to one young man who has been taking part in the quiz for the past nine years! I also met a young woman who is in her first year at Bible School, and she told me that she’d taken part in the Bible Quiz for five years while at school and had become a Christian through it.”
The Bible Quiz is also proving an effective tool for engaging young people in Bible Society work long-term: several former participants who have now graduated from high school now volunteer in their old schools as Bible Quiz tutors, helping children to study the set text. Pastors and other church leaders are also involved in tutoring participants, and other church members help to organise and run the events, thereby helping the Bible Society to strengthen its relationships with local churches.
Research conducted with children who took part in the Bible Quiz showed that:
They find the content of the Bible valuable and ‘fun’
Most prefer reading Scriptures in print
They don’t need ‘dumbed down’ Scriptures, or Scripture in cartoon or movie format
The desire to win the quiz meant that they spent many hours in study and preparation
Conclusion 1: the next generation are keen for a challenge. Bible Societies can provide them with the opportunity!
Conclusion 2: The content of the Bible is never outdated and is relevant to all generations.
Click here to read more about the insights that the Bible Society gained from its research into why so many children and young people enjoy taking part in the Bible Quiz.
The Bible Society of Cambodia is working with the Thailand Bible Society to adapt the Bible Quiz material and model for Cambodia. If your Bible Society would like to do the same, get in touch with Dr Seree Lorgunpai at firstname.lastname@example.org.