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Posted by: WCC

Study Comes to Life in ‘The Mole’ Competition

Each winter for the past seven years, Student Ministries’ middle school students have participated in a five-week Bible study during Sunday night youth activities that identifies humanity’s three spiritual enemies: the devil, the world and themselves. The study, however, isn’t a typical Bible study. Instead, the study comes to life in a series akin to “The Mole,” a TV reality competition that was popular in the 2000s and has recently made a comeback.

On the TV series, according to an online source, contestants work as a group to add money to a pot that only one of them will eventually win. Among the contestants is one person who has secretly been designated the mole by producers and is tasked with sabotaging the group’s money-making efforts. At the end of each episode, the contestant who knows the least about the mole, as determined by the results of a multiple-choice quiz, is eliminated from the game. The last contestant standing wins the game and all the money in the pot.

In the Student Ministries’ version, one of the five small groups was chosen to be the mole before the study began. This group, which was comprised of six students, was informed of the fun, mission-like challenges that would be posed to the other students during the series. The mole group then had to work together to plan how it would attempt to sabotage the efforts of the other students while not revealing its identify.

Students who were successful in their challenges received points that translated into dollars received from a preset pot of money. Prior to the study, the groups chose a missions organization as the designated beneficiary of their winnings. Students could also donate personally to their chosen organization.

On the final night of the series, all students took a quiz that asked questions about how the mole operated during the series. The final question was “Who is the mole?” A total of 65 students participated at some point during the series, while 57 attended the reveal party, the highest turnout for a middle school event this year. Of the 56 who took the final quiz, only 15 correctly guessed the mole’s identify.

“As Christians, it is not enough to simply know the identity of our enemies,” said Ryan Langeland, pastor of children and students. “We also need to know what they are after and how they work. The goal was to illustrate in several creative ways how our spiritual enemies work so that what the students learned during the series will stick.”

“During the series, I play the role of Satan,” said Ryan. “I love talking to the students about who they think the mole is. Then I purposely try to misdirect them away from the truth and introduce doubt and confusion. In some cases, I blatantly lie, and in others, I am entirely honest, making them, in consideration of my role, second guess what is right in front of them. The goal is for students to recognize when the enemies are at work so they can be strong in their faith and withstand the world’s subversive, mole-like forces.”

A total of $1,163.83 was raised during the series and donated to five area organizations and one secret project. The donations were as follows: Heartline Pregnancy Center: $157.56; Humanity and Hope: $148.65; Kutoa Project: $243; Media 7: $237.13; Scripture Union, Uganda: $207.49; and Secret Project: $170.


Ryan Langeland

Pastor of Children and Student Ministries

574-268-0188 x271

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