Meeting your Scripture Memory partner(s)

Women's Bible study aboard the USS John F. Kennedy photogrpahed by Chris Weibull in 2004
Image: “Women’s Bible study aboard the USS John F. Kennedy” photogrpahed by Chris Weibull in 2004

To meet other people to review your Scripture Memory verses each week is an extraordinary gift. How do you make it winsome and productive?

Here are some pointers we have learned from decades of memorizing Scripture:

 

RECITE THE WEEK’S VERSE

Let’s say that over the past week, you were to memorize Matthew 28:1. So when you meet, you recite Matthew 28:1 to each other.

Everybody in your Scripture Memory Project group needs to recite it aloud. Here are two ways to do that:

  • Say it together in unison
  • Everyone says it individually, one person after another

Reciting the verse is the key value of meeting. It is why you meet.

And it gives you a sense of accountability. That will help keep you motivated during the days when your motivation is not strong.

 

RECITE IT VERBATIM

How precisely do you need to quote the verse? If you’re new to Scripture Memory, you might think that getting it “close” is good enough.

But no, what we’re aiming for is verbatim memorization. We want to nail the verse, word-for-word, according to whatever translation you’re using.

That’s when God’s power seems to work within people the most. That’s when they are given better insights and feel more encouraged. That’s when the Scripture Memory Project seems to come alive for them.

 

HELP EACH OTHER WHEN STUCK

When you recite the verse, there will be times when you get stuck. You can have the others tell you the next word or phrase. That’s usually enough to get you going again.

It’s like when your car is stuck in the snow. You can’t get going. But somebody gives you a little push, and you’re underway.

 

ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER

Memorizing Scripture doesn’t come naturally to most people. If you’ve found somebody who’s willing to memorize that with you, that person is quite rare. Encourage him or her! Build that person up.

In a figurative sense, trying to memorize Scripture is almost like trying to walk on water.

The Letter to the Hebrews alludes to this thing of encouraging one another. It says . . .

Hebrews 10:25. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (NLT translation)

 

WHAT IF SOMEBODY DOESN’T GET IT PERFECT?

That’s going to happen. Don’t make a big deal over it. Many people find Scripture Memory work very challenging. They’re not going to get it 100%, week after week. That’s fine. It’s allowed. It’s permissible.

Sometimes a particular verse feels impossible to memorize. Sometimes life just caves in and that week’s memory work just wasn’t able to happen. Sometimes the week’s verse triggers a spiritual breakthrough that must overshadow its memorization.

Don’t beat each other up.

Your weekly meeting is a time for building one another up. It is not for tearing one another down.

 

LEAVE YOUR HANG-UPS AT THE DOOR

None of us are perfect yet. We all have shortcomings.  There are a few shortcomings that people especially need to keep in-check. Otherwise they will destroy their Scripture Memory group.

Here they are:

Control. If you have a tendency to control others, you need to get that in check. The people in your Scripture Memory Group are not subject to your control in any way, even if you’re the leader. If you try to control them, you will destroy the project, and eventually, quite likely, the faith of the people in your group.

Legalism. Your Scripture Memory Group needs to be a realm of grace and mercy. Legalism has no place in the Scripture Memory Project.

Guilt. Some people try to motivate others by making them feel guilty. But that’s a terrible way to motivate people. It smacks of cruelty, and its unbiblical. There’s no justification for inflicting guilt in the Scripture Memory Project.

Obligation. Nobody is obliged to memorize Scripture. And they’re not obliged to meet each week. Yet many people have an obligation mindset. They see the world as a series of obligations. If you let Scripture Memory become an obligation for yourself, or if you make others feel obliged, then you will have lost all the savory goodness of the project. It will become an empty ritual.

 

AIM TO MEET BRIEFLY

If you’re prompt and efficient, your weekly meeting will only take 10-15 minutes. That’s the only real commitment people need to make for their weekly meeting.

But your meetings might last longer. A Scripture Memory Group is a fantastic setting for spiritual conversations. The week’s verse might trigger lots of ideas that only a fellow memorizer could discuss.

Your meetings might last an hour or even longer. But the only commitment is for 10-15 minutes. There’s only one “official” reason to meet: just to review the week’s verse.

 


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


 

Author: Todd Van Natta

I was given a great gift. It is to be passionate about Jesus Christ and the Bible and the spiritual life. I am a Christian believer. I believe in Jesus Christ. I’m in love with Jesus! I believe the Bible. I love the Bible. For decades, I've been reading it cover-to-cover, again and again and again. I’ve memorized a whole lot of Bible verses. Most of all, I want the Bible to help us fall more deeply in love with God the Father, with Jesus Christ, with other people, and with ourselves. And I've been reading the great writings from the entire Christian heritage for decades. At Explore the Faith, I share what I have discovered.

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