Most of the Scriptures I can quote from memory were memorized as a kid. In some ways, that’s sad news – I haven’t been as good at memorizing as I’ve gotten older, but on the other hand, it’s great that I was challenged and encouraged to memorize scripture when I was younger. I’m thankful for my church and leaders who made it a priority. There are many reasons to memorize the Word – one being that Jesus did. He knew and was able to quote the scriptures as he talked with his disciples, the religious leaders, and the devil. Another big reason is to help build the faith of students. Memorizing gets God’s words deep into our lives, hearts and creates action in our faith.
During The Light Kids Conferences, we always challenge the kids to memorize Scripture during the event. I believe it’s important.
Here are seven ways to help in the process:
Word Take Away
Start with the entire verse on the screen or board, then after reciting it as a group, begin to erase or take away one random word at a time. Keep repeating it as a group until all the words are gone. It’s an amazing little tool we have used on several occasions!
Challenge students to memorize the scripture for the day or week, and if they can recite it from memory, they get to choose something from the reward box. Doesn’t have to be big, but it’s a powerful way to encourage kids to work hard. If a child memorizes something really big – all the books of the Bible or Psalm 23, etc., they could choose from a display of really cool bigger items.
Creating motions and including more senses in the memorization makes it easier. As a group, create some simple actions for the Bible verse and kids can say it as they act it out.
Put some music to the bible verse. This doesn’t have to be fancy, but some notes. There are also plenty of songs that include Bible verses, you could just pull out the part you want to memorize with a melody.
Watch A Video
Watching a video of the Bible story can help kids connect and memorize. I’ve always been amazed at how easily movie lines roll off of people’s lips. They memorize the lines more quickly because they have the visual so powerfully in mind. There are countless scripture videos and bible reading movies you can view, then pick a section to memorize. If you can’t find a good video, creating pictures of the memory verse is another way to help get an image connected to the words.
Old fashioned repetition is one big key to memorization. Hang the verses around the room, say them out loud together, say them each week. Keep repeating the old and new ones you’re learning.
Write and Decorate
Give kids some nice, thick paper and have them write and decorate their scripture memory verses. Encourage them to take them home, hang them up, say them at meals and keep them in front. If kids are too young to write, print the verses and let them decorate them.
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. Col. 3:16-17
I write with church leaders in mind and I would be honored to have you join me by subscribing to the blog. You can take a look at the top posts here. The posts are categorized: pastors, worship leaders, student ministry and kids ministry. In case we’re just meeting, here’s little about my life.