The deadline for registering a local "Bible Bee" contest for the first annual National Bible Bee Competition is Jan. 31, and those interested in hosting local Bible Bees in their communities are being urged to register before the closing date.
"The purpose of the Bible Bee is to promote godly character in children and youth by motivating them to memorize passages and facts found in the Bible," states the Shelby Kennedy Foundation, which is sponsoring the competition for children and youth from 7 to 18 years of age.
"Our ultimate goal is to equip the next generation to be bold ambassadors for Jesus Christ," the nonprofit ministry adds.
The idea for the Bible Bee is based on the Scripps National Spelling Bee, where youth compete annually in the nation's longest-running educational contest, and was inspired by Shelby Kennedy, a young Christian woman who died more than three years ago after an intense struggle with cancer.
"Much of what kept Shelby's joy alive in her last days was time spent studying the Word of God," reported the Shelby Kennedy Foundation, which was established after Kennedy's death in May 2005 at the age of 23.
"While it is certainly beneficial for our children to commit the spelling of words to memory, imagine how much more life-changing it would be for them to memorize the Word of God," the ministry exclaimed.
In keeping with the foundation's mission to encourage children and youth to grow in Christ through Scripture memorization, local Bible Bee contests will be conducted throughout the United States on Saturday, Sept. 12, followed two months later by a two-day national-level competition in Washington that will draw one hundred finalists from each of three age categories.
When the National Bible Bee is held Nov. 5-6, all final contestants will be tested in their knowledge of Bible memory passages and Bible knowledge facts through both written and oral tests.
In the end, the contest will distribute more than $260,000 in prize money with $100,000 being awarded to the first-place winner of the top age bracket.
On the Web:
The Official Website of the Bible Bee at biblebee.org