Shannon Miller has been a National Bible Bee (NBB) host ever since it began in 2009. “I saw the first advertisement in WORLD Magazine looking for hosts for this new thing called the National Bible Bee, showed it to my husband James, and he answered, tongue in cheek, ‘I think you don’t have enough to do. Our community needs this – go for it!’ We have averaged about 7-10 families a year, with 20-30 participants. It has been a particular joy to have NBB be a normal part of our life in raising up our five children.”

“Our oldest daughter aged out in 2017 after participating in each year and qualifying for the National Bible Bee Competition (NBBC) each year except one, and was privileged to serve on the Alumni Service Team in 2018. Our second oldest daughter was 7 in 2009 and will be aging out this year after having participated every one of the 12 years of the NBB’s existence and qualifying for the NBBC several times. Our three girls participated in the second year of the NBB Game Show, and our 3rd and 4th children have been NBBC qualifiers. We have many years of ‘insurance’ for NBB participation as our youngest is just 5 years old. The National Bible Bee has been so instrumental in Scripture being the language spoken in our home, and our vision is to see that happen in the homes of other believers.”

Although there are many wonderful things about being part of the National Bible Bee, one of Shannon’s favorite things is seeing families gather together around God’s Word. “We live in a fairly small community and were active in the homeschooling world, yet each year we’ve met multiple sweet families we’d never even heard of before. And rarely have we had any two families from the same church, but we find our commonality in gathering around the Scriptures.”

“Many ‘aha!’ moments stand out: the 11-year old boy who, when working on the memorization of Exodus 15:3 said, ‘I never knew the Lord was a man of war before! You only hear preachers and people talk about him being love!’ The mom who, when seeing God’s sovereign hand in setting up an oppressive ruler such as Nebuchadnezzar, had to submit her heart to the truth of the Word.

One of the highlight experiences of our years thus far has been the year that we had 9 NBBC qualifiers in our group. We did a readers’ dinner theater on the study passage to present to the community and raise funds to help the contestants travel to NBBC. People who came couldn’t believe the narrative of John flowed so smoothly as verbatim text and were amazed at seeing it presented by young people. Knowing and fleshing out the Scripture that way caused those who participated in it to know the passages inside and out and experience a little bit of the amazement of the reality of Jesus’ presence on earth.”

Outside of participating in the National Bible Bee, the Millers are missionaries to the Native Alaskans in their area. “Our family spends a week out of every month in a bush village (my husband is a pilot, and we fly our own plane). My husband also teaches in Bible training modules around the state, and the family sometimes accompanies him in order to do the meals/kitchen work for the attendees. We are musicians and are active in our local church (I play piano for the congregation) when in town.” 

Why not use your time to impact the lives of other people around your community not only during the NBB season but throughout the year?

Composed by NBB Alumna: Abigail Charleston