(Editor's Note: This article was first published in the March 2022 print edition of The Stand.)
Inspired by an AFA Journal article, this 12-year-old qualified for the annual National Bible Bee on his first try.
When 12-year-old Spencer Lovett opened the March 2020 AFA Journal (now The Stand), he never imagined that as a result, he would end up in Covington, Kentucky, the next year competing nationally in a Bible knowledge and Scripture memorization event.
But that is exactly what happened once he decided to participate in National Bible Bee (NBB). Hoping to inspire other families, Spencer and his parents spoke with The Stand about their first NBB experience.
The Stand: What convinced you to try NBB?
Spencer Lovett: After reading the article about the White family, I thought it would be fun. Since I was about their age, I knew I could do it too. Once I watched the NBB website’s videos, it sealed the deal for me. I was excited to memorize Scripture and learn more about God’s Word.
Vernita Lovett (Mom): Spencer’s enthusiasm convinced me, especially since he would be learning God’s Word. Just a few months earlier, it was a struggle to even get Spencer to have a daily devotional time.
TS: What were your impressions of NBB’s Summer Study program and accompanying Discovery Journal (DJ)?
SL: Very different from what I know now. I thought [DJ] would be one of those “cute” Sunday school-like booklets. I had no idea how many deep theological ideas and practical applications would be discussed.
VL: I was amazed at how in-depth the Summer Study was. It wasn’t about just reading a passage and then circling answers. We were learning about Greek words, maps, culture, scriptural cross-references, and modern-day martyrs.
TS: What was your favorite part of Summer Study?
SL: I really enjoyed the DJ. I have fond memories of sitting in my bedroom alone, praying, and feeling God’s presence so strongly. When having a rough time or feeling discouraged, I just did my journal work for the day and felt this peace of God’s presence enveloping our entire home.
VL: Spencer asked me to host a group of fellow NBB participants. We did so, and I loved being with those young people that were so dedicated to learning God’s Word.
TS: Did it change your approach to studying God’s Word?
SL: Definitely. Now, I consider multiple factors of a passage rather than just what it says on the surface.
TS: What did you enjoy most about the national competition?
SL: It was fun getting to know other contestants, competing in semi-finals, and the excitement of going onstage. It’s always fun to proclaim God’s Word publicly.
VL: [I liked] seeing Spencer accomplish his goal of making it to semi-finals. But I can’t say enough about how everyone, contestants and parents alike, were so kind and encouraging. You could really feel the presence and love of God.
Laion Lovett (Dad): It was a joy to see our son compete with such grace and precision. We are very proud parents.
TS: How did the overall experience affect your relationship with the Lord?
SL: Before NBB, I really thought the Scripture I knew and what I learned from my pastor were enough for me to “make it” as a Christian. Being in Bible Bee has really taught me that there is much more to living a life honoring to God than just warming a pew.
TS: Would you encourage others to participate?
SL: Yes. You will make so many friends and grow in your relationship with God. Even if you don’t make it as far as you want in the competition, you will gain something that can never be taken away – the living, breathing, active Word of God!
VL: Most definitely. In a world where truth is subject to feelings and situations, our children need the firm foundation of God’s Word.
2022 registration is in March. The Summer Study runs from June 6 – August 11. To learn more, visit biblebee.org.
(Editor's note: The author updated us with important dates. They include advanced registration from March 14-31; early registration from April 1 – 24; registration from April 25 – May 16; last chance registration from May 17 – 31; Summer Study’from June 6 – August 11; and the National Bible Bee Competition from November 7 – 10, 2022.)