Philippians Memorization Project

Last Sunday night, I observed that we may be yielding less-than-awesome results from our efforts to teach kids the Bible, in part because we grown-ups aren’t taking the initiative to internalize the Word of God ourselves.

In an effort to curtail this tendency, a few AWANA leaders and I are attempting to memorize the book of Philippians by the end of the school year.

I hope you’ll join us.

You’re probably an expert memorizer, but since I’m not, I did a little research on how to best go about it. You can find the plan we’ll be using here (feel free to adapt). Here is a free online audio version of Philippians. And below are a few tips that I gathered on how to effectively memorize long passages of Scripture:

  • Take the plunge.
    Save yourself the inner turmoil by just deciding up front that you are going to see it through. Don’t worry if it takes you longer than you planned. Make the commitment up front. And tell some people–you’ll think of them when you’re tempted to give up.
  • Get a partner.
    If you’re married, your spouse is a convenient verse memory quizzer. He or she can remind you to stay focused too. But it might be even more of a blessing for you to choose someone in your Adult Bible Fellowship, someone who ministers alongside you, or another Christian at your place of work.
  • Get some paper.
    Writing down the verses you are memorizing is an excellent way to quickly retain their content. Write them down on 3×5 cards, then review throughout the day.
  • Get the point.
    You will have a much easier time if you understand what you are memorizing. Oh yeah, it’s also the whole purpose of the exercise! Meditate and consult with others, then try to rephrase the verse in your own words.
  • Be persistent.
    Take a few moments throughout the day to glance at your verse. Make it a habit on your break to go over it a few times.
  • Strive for “perfect.”
    You’ll retain the verse more effectively if you memorize the exact wording. Don’t be satisfied with “you” if the word is “thou.” They mean exactly the same thing, but you’ll have an easier time of remembering if you stick with what’s there. A good rule of thumb is “ten times read, ten times said.” Read the verse ten times, pronouncing each word in your mind. Then say the verse ten times out loud, glancing down if necessary.

Obviously, everyone will develop his or her own process. What methods have helped you to memorize the Scripture?

Will you commit to memorizing Philippians with us this year?

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