In the past few months, I’ve visited churches that memorize and recite a Scripture text together each week. While my church did not do that as I grew up, I see great value in this approach:
- It’s part of the work of the church. One task of the church is to provoke each other to do good works (Heb. 10:24), and helping one another to know the Word is one of those good works.
- It builds corporate accountability into the church. Sure, it’s easy to hide in the crowd, but it’s tough to hide completely if everyone else is quoting a verse. The crowd might, in fact, be an encouragement to learn the verse.
- It illustrates the church’s commitment to the Word. If I attend your church one time, how much would I think the Word of God matters to your congregation? Corporately memorizing and reciting the Word sends the right signal to other worshipers.
- It provides support for those who struggle memorizing. Some folks really struggle with memorization, but it might be easier if everyone in the church is doing it.
- It gives guidance in memorization. You don’t have to figure out what verse to memorize if the church is already determining it for you. You just need to get on board.
- It’s a witness to non-believing worshipers. They need to hear the Word, and they can hear it from the entire congregation in this way. God might even grab the heart of a non-believer as he or she hears the Word quoted.
- It teaches next generations to memorize the Word. As little ones learn to read, they’ll often enjoy memorizing scripture more than adults do. They put the rest of us to shame in their passion.
- It causes the enemy to tremble. We know that the devil fled when Jesus quoted the Word (Matt. 4:1-11). The Word from the lips of godly men and women has power the enemy can’t overcome.
Give this some thought, church leader. Maybe you want to start by leading your small group to memorize the Word together. Then, broaden the participants to the entire congregation. You won’t regret it.