In the first part of this blog, I outlined three excuses that adults sometimes use to convince themselves that committing verses to memory isn't important. If you missed this post, you can find it here.
Our minds have an incredible ability to remember, but we often lack the creative energy or the creative methods to make the important things stick. Let me suggest a number of ways that you can develop Bible memory like you develop muscle memory:
Use Props and Associations
When I was a child in Sunday school, the classic strategy was erasing individual words from a Bible verse and reading it aloud as a group. This was effective (reading something 20+ times over 20+ minutes will do this), but it was painfully boring at times. Thankfully, I also remember a teacher using a head of lettuce to help us remember the beginning of Galatians 6:9 (“Let us not become weary in doing good…”). I remember another time when a racing illustration was used: On your mark, get set, “Go into all the world and preach the good news…” (Mark 16:15). Be creative in how you develop associations to the key words you're memorizing. The options are nearly limitless.
Find a Partner
Sharing your goal with another person greatly increases your chance at succeeding. When you’re working with someone to memorize Scripture, it will also provide you with a number of creative options (i.e. you can text the verse to each other during the day or develop a scoreboard to see how each of you are doing).
Kids are naturally creative! Ask for them for ideas on how you can remember a verse and see what they come up with (scavenger hunt anyone?).
There’s a good chance that a musician has already developed a song from a verse you’re trying to memorize. Try googling the verse to see what comes up. You can also try writing your own song or taking an existing tune and exchanging its lyrics for the words from the verse (if you choose to do this, please upload your recording online and send me the link!).
Make it Visible
Save the verse as your computer’s screen saver or use it as the image for your phone. Use sticky notes on your car’s dashboard or on your mirror in the bathroom. Set up a reoccurring meeting for your online calendar and include the verse in your meeting notes.