Church-Wide Bible Memory Program

While the Fighter Verses program can easily be used as part of private Bible disciplines, it is also designed to be used in the context of a larger church community. Fighter Verses were first introduced in 1997 as a church-wide memory program. Memorizing within the corporate community provides the support and encouragement needed to develop this important discipline.

Build Strategic Partnerships with Church Leadership

One of the most crucial factors to the success of church-wide memory is the support of the church's pastors and elders. Pastors play a key role in communicating the significance of Bible memory through announcements, sermons, articles, and examples.

Before beginning any church-wide campaign, it is crucial to have the approval and support of the pastoral staff and elders of the church. This is especially true when it comes to Bible memory. Pastors and elders who memorize Scripture will be a valuable encouragement to the rest of the congregation. Conversely, a church-wide campaign to which the pastors and elders are not personally committed will likely fail. 

Therefore, we recommend that you present the Fighter Verses materials and your proposal to your pastors for their prayerful consideration and approval well in advance of your requested start date. This will give pastors and elders ample time to look through the materials, discuss the idea, and pray about the church's involvement. It should also give them time to consider their own Scripture memory commitment and involvement.

There are many tangible ways that pastors and elders can lead the congregation in the desire and practice of Bible memory:

  • Recite Bible passages from memory to the congregation, providing an example to the congregation of Bible memory.
  • During the Sunday morning announcements, ask for a volunteer to recite the weekly memory verse. If no one volunteers, ask another pastor or elder to try to recite the verse.
  • Preach a sermon specifically on Bible memory at the start of each program year.
  • Write church newsletter articles or blog entries on testimonies or strategies concerning Bible memory.
  • Share the current Fighter Verses on your church website and social media feeds.
  • Weave the Fighter Verses into your welcome, the communion table, or events.
  • Establish a Bible memory lead team in your church to think of new ways and strategies to encourage the body to persevere in this hard, but rewarding discipline.

Build Community Interest

Especially in the early years of the program, you must work to build interest and excitement about the program. This can be done a number of ways: posters advertising that something is coming; a kickoff event that features testimonies and skits about Bible memory; a special kickoff sermon with a "pledge drive," etc.

The first time you introduce a Bible memory program to the church, it is important to build interest and excitement in the weeks before the "start date."

  • Start with prayer, asking God to give you insight about the best way to proceed.
  • Consider adopting a theme for the events surrounding Bible memory at your church. One that lends itself easily to the Fighter Verses program is the image of a knight based on Ephesians 6:10-17. You can find a life-sized tin knight to serve as a "mascot" for the program.
  • Use posters, website banners, and social media posts to start advertising your program using the theme you have chosen. This could be done as early as six weeks before the start date.
    Note: Don't try to explain the program on the advertisements. Rather, use them to catch people's attention and create excitement and anticipation about the program. For example, display a different image every week for six weeks asking, "Have you seen the knight?" 
  • Host a Bible Memory Kickoff Night for your congregation. Fill the evening with skits, testimonies, songs, and examples of Bible memory. Provide some explanation about the program and how your church hopes to use and incorporate it into church family life. Also, consider having some Bible memory materials available for people to take or purchase to help them get started.
  • Dedicate the "start date" Sunday morning to the topic of Bible memory, with the permission and help of your pastor and worship leaders. Sing Scripture songs, incorporate Scripture reading and prayers into the worship and focus the sermon on the topic of Bible memory.
  • Ask for commitment. On the "start date" Sunday, hand out Bible Memory Pledge cards. At the end of the service, ask people to prayerfully consider committing to participate in the Bible memory program. As they are led, have them fill out and return the cards. 
    Note: The primary purpose of these cards is not to enforce strict accountability, but rather for people to feel the seriousness of this discipline. Also, it helps the church know about how many people are involved in some form of Bible memory.

Equip and Educate Participants

Many people, particularly adults, may think that Scripture memorization is beyond them. It is important to come alongside them to encourage their participation by presenting memory strategies that work for them. Also, provide parents with suggestions on how to make Bible memory a whole-family habit. Don't assume that people know how to memorize Bible verses. Many people think that memory work is something to be done in childhood, when the mind is like a sponge. One of the most important tasks in a church-wide memory program is to help adults realize that Bible memory work is not too hard for them. Since not everyone memorizes in the same way, it can be helpful to have different people share the strategies that work for them.

Bible Memorization Tips

Get encouragement from Memorizing the Word Is Possible!

Encourage, Encourage, Encourage

Encourage people to memorize with others. This is a great time to build biblical friendships through memory accountability. As much as possible, ask each person to find a partner for review and accountability. This should be a trusted friend or acquaintance (of the same gender) to call or meet with on a weekly basis for the purpose of reciting the memory verse, as well as praying together for help with Bible memory. Adding this weekly, relational aspect into Bible memory can help motivate people to persevere with it and provide a system for practical encouragement.

Lastly, recognize that people memorize at a different pace. The main goal of doing a program is not numbers, but enjoying the blessing that comes from memorizing and feeding on God's Word day by day. Some people will be able to learn more than one passage a week. Others will take two weeks to learn one passage. Encourage both to persevere with the prayer that God will sustain and bless their efforts to memorize and meditate on His Word.

Small Groups

As you begin your church-wide memory program, take time to meet with and encourage small group leaders in their Bible memory efforts. Incorporating Bible memory into a small group setting may be as easy as pairing people to recite to each other. Or, groups could take time to work on memorizing together, going around the circle reciting the verse until it is done from memory. Other groups may choose to make the Fighter Verses their weekly study for the year—The Fighter Verses Study is an ideal resource for small groups. Small groups that do decide to emphasize Bible memory should make sure that visitors are aware of this before they commit to the group.

Sunday School Classes

Especially for children, Sunday school classes are an ideal place to recite verses and track memorization. The Bible Memory Chart is a free template Sunday school teachers can use to record each student's progress so that incentives are awarded at the proper time. Once again, Bible memory can be done in an informal discussion time, as part of the Sunday morning lesson, as part of prayer time, or as an additional activity.

When children reach levels of achievement, you may want to make the presentation of incentive awards part of the Sunday morning program. This presentation should be conducted in a way that draws attention to God's goodness in helping the student memorize, and the blessing of memorizing God's Word. You may want to include a special time of Scripture reading and prayer as part of it. Use the occasion to remind students of the importance of Bible memory and to encourage students to keep memorizing.

It is easy for most children to memorize the weekly Fighter Verses and the memory verse of the lesson taught in Sunday School. However, to be effective, children and youth will need to be encouraged and see that their teachers and small group leaders are also committed to memorizing the verse. If you implement a church-wide Bible memory program using Fighter Verses, we recommend you make this your first priority.

Keep Bible Memory in the Forefront

It is easy to generate excitement for Bible memory when you are just starting the program or at the beginning of a new year. However, you will want to think of ways to keep Bible memory as an important priority throughout the year. One way to do this is to keep the Fighter Verses consistently in front of the congregation.

  • Ask for a willing volunteer to recite the Bible verse of the week during your Sunday morning service announcements. If the volunteer trips or blanks when trying to say the verse, help him or encourage others to help him, emphasizing that it is not about getting it perfect, but being willing to try. For the first few weeks, you may need to ask other pastors or elders who are willing to recite and lead the way in this.
  • Pray the Fighter Verse during the worship service. This could either be prayed as a general request for the congregation or incorporated into a specific prayer request for an individual or event.
  • Sing it during the worship service. The Fighter Verses have been set to music to make memorizing them easier. Incorporate these songs into your morning or evening worship, as a way to memorize and to review.
  • When applicable, use it as the text for the Sunday morning sermon or the Wednesday evening teaching. This will not only help people to understand the verse better, but will also help them to understand why it is important to memorize.
  • Post the Fighter Verse on your church's social media accounts and website each week.

Recognize God's Grace

Being able to memorize and apply Scripture to our lives is no small accomplishment. Only God can give us the grace to long for His Word, hide it in our hearts, and use it in our lives. When someone has a testimony of how God has used Bible memory in his life, be sure that the encouragement is shared with others who are trying to memorize.

  • Set up a church email address or voicemail for participants to share encouraging stories about how God has been at work in the lives of His people through Bible memory.
  • If your church has a newsletter, dedicate a corner of your newsletter to Bible memory. Print the Fighter Verse for the week and, if available, a short testimony from your church on how God has been using Bible memory in His people.
  • If your church does a Fighter Verses kickoff at the beginning of the year, ask for volunteers to share their testimonies of how God has used Bible memory in their lives.
  • When appropriate, include a Bible memory testimony in your Sunday morning worship service or Wednesday evening gathering.

If you have a testimony about how Bible memory has impacted you, your family, or your church, we love to celebrate God's grace along with you. Share your story in the form below.

God's Grace in Bible Memory