Are You Smarter Than a Preteen?


Are you smarter than a preteen? Mix preteens, adults, and a whole bunch of questions about Jesus, and what do you get? Chuckles, ah-has, and insights — about kids, their faith, and your ministry.

In the fun spirit of Fox’s hit TV show Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? Children’s Ministry Magazine organized virtual teams of adults and preteens and then tested their basic Bible knowledge. Teams of kids and adults from all over the place took our faith quiz — with interesting results!

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Read on to see how everyone scored — and then score by taking kids and adults deeper into biblical understanding with our thought-provoking questions.

The Preteens

Cally, 11, from University Heights Baptist Church in Springfield, Missouri

Nash, 10, from Mission Fellowship in Kennedyville, Maryland

Mayah, 10, from Immanuel Lutheran in Loveland, Colorado

Parker, 11, from St. Bernadette Parish in Appleton, Wisconsin

Jeremiah, 10, HighRidge Church in Weatherford, Texas

Ben, 10, Redeemer Lutheran in Fort Collins, Colorado


The Grown-Ups

Lori, 41, from University Heights Baptist Church in Springfield, Missouri

Brenna, 39, from Mission Fellowship in Smyrna, Delaware

Angel, 39, from Mission Fellowship in Kennedyville, Maryland

Catherine, 20, from Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fort Collins, Colorado

Dan, 26, from Hillsong Church in Sydney, New South Wales Australia

In what town was Jesus born?

Preteens: 100%

Cally: Bethlehem

Nash: Bethlehem

Mayah: Bethlehem

Parker: Bethlehem

Jeremiah: Bethlehem

Ben: Bethlehem

Grownups: 100%

Lori: Bethlehem

Brenna: Bethlehem

Angel: Bethlehem

Catherine: Bethlehem

Dan: Bethlehem

Answer: Bethlehem

How can we help preteens understand why he was born?

Why did Peter begin to sink as he walked toward Jesus on the water?

Preteens: 83%

Cally: Because he couldn’t walk on water — only Jesus could

Nash: He had no faith.

Mayah: He stopped believing and got scared.

Parker: He stopped believing.

Jeremiah: Because Peter wasn’t fixed on Jesus

Ben: Because he didn’t believe

Grownups: 80%

Lori: He took his eyes off Jesus.

Brenna: He took his eyes off Jesus.

Angel: He took his eyes off Jesus (and lost his faith).

Catherine: I don’t know.

Dan: He saw the storm and started to doubt.

Answer: Peter became afraid and took his eyes off Jesus.

How can you help kids keep their focus on Jesus this week?

How old was Jesus when he stayed at the temple to talk with the teachers there?

Preteens: 33%

Cally: 10

Nash: 12

Mayah: 12

Parker: 15

Jeremiah: 10

Ben: 10

Grownups: 80%

Lori: 12

Brenna: 12

Angel: 12

Catherine: I don’t know.

Dan: 12

Answer: 12

What ways can you help kids discover how important their faith is right now as preteens?

Who was one of the men Jesus referred to as his brother?

Preteens: 0%

Cally: I don’t know.

Nash: I don’t know.

Mayah: Jesus had brothers?

Parker: He didn’t have any.

Jeremiah: I don’t know.

Ben: I didn’t know he had a brother.

Grownups: 100%

Lori: James

Brenna: James

Angel: James

Catherine: Judas

Dan: James

Answer: James, Joseph, Simon, or Judas

How can you help kids understand what it means to become part of Jesus’ family by doing the will of God?

For how many years did Jesus preach to people?

Preteens: 16%

Cally: About 10

Nash: 3

Mayah: 14

Parker: His whole life

Jeremiah: I don’t remember.

Ben: 7 years


Grownups: 60%

Lori: 3

Brenna: 3

Angel: 3

Catherine: Most of his life

Dan: 3.5

Answer: 3 years

How can you help kids understand the power these three years have had on the following 2,000?

Who did Jesus say would be the greatest in heaven?

Preteens: 0%

Cally: God

Nash: I don’t know.

Mayah: God

Parker: Mary

Jeremiah: I don’t know.

Ben: God

Grownups: 80%

Lori: The least of these

Brenna: The least of these, the children

Angel: The least

Catherine: The humble

Dan: The least, the servants

Answer: The least

How can you help kids identify one person who’s “the least” in some way and bless that person this week?

When Jesus healed 10 men of leprosy, how many came back to thank him?

Preteens: 83%

Cally: 1

Nash: 1

Mayah: 1

Parker: 5

Jeremiah: 1

Ben: 1

Grownups: 80%

Lori: 1

Brenna: 1

Angel: None or maybe 1

Catherine: All of them

Dan: 1 man

Answer: 1

How can you challenge kids to have thankful hearts this week?

What’s a disciple?

Preteens: 83%

Cally: A follower of Jesus

Nash: An apostle

Mayah: A follower of Christ

Parker: People who follow God

Jeremiah: A follower of Christ

Ben: A follower of Jesus

Grownups: 100%

Lori: A follower of Christ

Brenna: A follower, a learner

Angel: A follower of Jesus

Catherine: A follower of Jesus who traveled with him to help spread the Word of God

Dan: Direct follower of Jesus

Answer: Someone who follows Jesus

How can you help kids define what it means to follow Jesus?

What’s the shortest verse in the Bible?

Preteens: 0%

Cally: “Have faith.”

Nash: I don’t know.

Mayah: Psalm something

Parker: I don’t know.

Jeremiah: Psalm 118

Ben: Exodus 20:13 and 20:15

Grownups: 60%

Lori: “Jesus wept.”

Brenna: John 11:35 (“Jesus wept.”)

Angel: I don’t know.

Catherine: I don’t know.

Dan: “Jesus wept.”

Answer: “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)

What’s the briefest way you can convey to kids that you care for them?

Who tempted Jesus in the desert?

Preteens: 66%

Cally: Satan

Nash: I don’t know

Mayah: The Devil

Parker: Moses

Jeremiah: Satan

Ben: The Devil

Grownups: 100%

Lori: Satan

Brenna: Satan tempted him.

Angel: Satan

Catherine: The Devil

Dan: Satan

Answer: The Devil; Satan

How can you equip kids to avoid temptation this week?

Before Jesus ascended into heaven, what did he promise to do?

Preteens: 66%

Cally: Return to Earth

Nash: I don’t know.

Mayah: Send a gift to the disciples

Parker: Rise again

Jeremiah: Come back again

Ben: He promised to come back to Earth.

Grownups: 100%

Lori: Send the Holy Spirit

Brenna: “Lo, I will be with you always…” — send the Spirit

Angel: Send the Holy Spirit

Catherine: Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit back to his people.

Dan: Send the Holy Spirit

Answer: To send the Holy Spirit; to return

How can you help kids understand what this promise really means?

What did Jesus use to feed the 5,000?

Preteens: 83%

Cally: Fish and bread

Nash: 2 fish, 5 loaves of bread

Mayah: Fish and bread

Parker: Fish, bread, and wine

Jeremiah: 5 loaves of bread and two fish

Ben: Five loaves of bread and two fish

Grownups: 60%

Lori: 2 loaves and a basket of fish

Brenna: 5 loaves of bread, 2 fish

Angel: Fish and bread

Catherine: Bread and fish (not sure how many, but it wasn’t a lot)

Dan: 5 loaves, 3 fish

Answer: Five loaves of bread and two fish

How can you help kids see that the bigger message of Jesus’ love and grace is more important than the specific details?

What was Jesus’ command to us?

Preteens: 83%

Cally: Pray.

Nash: I don’t know.

Mayah: To serve him

Parker: Believe in him

Jeremiah: Follow him

Ben: To go out and make disciples of all men

Grownups: 100%

Lori: “Go ye therefore, teach all nations” (The Great Commission).

Brenna: Great commandment: Go and make disciples.

Angel: Love God and love others.

Catherine: To follow the 10 Commandments

Dan: Go out into the world, preach the Gospel, make disciples, and baptize them in the Holy Spirit.

Answer: (Almost) all of the above

How can you challenge kids to love one another this week? cm

Are You Smarter Than a Preteen?
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