A national “Bible Bee” contest planned for this summer aims to not only improve Scripture verse memorization for children, but encourage participation from entire families to do an in-depth study.

“Our desire is to help your family move closer to God and closer to one another as you learn, live out, and celebrate His Word,” said officials at Shelby Kennedy Foundation, the ministry offering the contest.

The foundation is registering children ages 7-18 for the 2012 Bible Bee online on its website through midnight May 31. The ministry hopes to “equip and encourage a lifestyle of investing in and living out your relationship with Christ.”

The Bible Bee, which is in its fourth year, was significantly redesigned this year in order to facilitate more family participation, the foundation’s CEO, Mark D. McMahan, told The Christian Post.

“Previously, while we were already shifting away from focusing on the contest and toward family discipleship, there was still too much emphasis on Bible memorization and appeal to those who were able and willing to spend their summers memorizing hundreds of passages,” McMahan explained. “By drastically dropping the summer requirements to the same 25 passages for all participants, the Bible Bee became something that any family could include in their summer.

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