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.
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:
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."
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 FighterVerses.com: Memorizing the Word Is Possible!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A devotional for families, small groups, and individuals.
Available on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon.
Bible verses set to music for easy memorization.