We have decided it’s good to teach memory verses and have thought about getting children interested in learning the verse. We’ve thought about explaining some of the tricky words.
Now what? We need to help children apply the truth of the Bible Verse to themselves.
How can we do that?
When we are preparing we can ask a few questions to help us work out what the application could be. Is there an example to follow? Is there an example of something to avoid? Is there a promise to believe? Is there a truth to believe?
Essentially we are trying to find out what we think the child should do with the truth they have learnt.
Let’s look at the verses we’ve been using…
Verse – Psalm 119: 130 ‘The unfolding of your words gives light’ – If we read on a little we see that the writer goes on to say that God’s Word ‘imparts understanding to the simple’. So the application is that we should read God’s word so that we will know more about God and how to live. It is something for us to do.
Verse – Psalm 119:73 ‘Your hands have made me’. This is a truth for us to believe. It helps us to know that we are unique and special to God because he made us. Also because God made us we are answerable to him. You wouldn’t teach both of those applications at once – just chose one of them.
Verse – Luke 19:10 ‘For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost’- This is less straightforward. We want the child to think about where they are – are they lost or found. This is a tricky concept but we can help the child understand by explaining the verse first. Then we need to tell them how they can be found – by trusting in Jesus as their Saviour.
It’s best to explain the tricky words in a verse before helping children to apply the truth.
Grabbing someone’s attention is always a good place to begin teaching a Memory Verse. So some opening sentences are out while others are in.
Out goes ‘ now it’s time to learn a memory verse’ along with ‘who wants to learn a memory verse?’
In comes a way of beginning that relates to the verse and is interesting.
What do I mean? Well start with a short story that illustrates a concept in the verse. Or show an object or do a mime. Ask the children to mime an action that is mentioned. Ask a question. Get their attention by doing something that they want to see and hear.
Verse – Psalm 119: 130 ‘The unfolding of your words gives light’ – write out the verse and fold it up before the children arrive. As you begin unfold the paper. Ask the children ‘what do you think is written on here?’
Verse – Psalm 119:73 ‘Your hands have made me’. Begin by showing the children something you have made or in a group or small groups challenge them to build the largest tower from lego/duplo. This introduces them to the concept that things that exist have been made by someone.
Verse – Luke 19:10 ‘For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost’- have an active beginning. Hide lots of lego mini figures around the room and get the children to look for them. Put a timer on and see how fast they can find all the hidden lego. Or you could mime looking for something that is lost and ask the children to guess what it is you are doing.
Once you activity is done show the verse – have it written out in lower case letters (except for capital letters in the right places) and large enough so everyone can read it. It’s useful to read it from an open bible too. Read it out to the children and then read it altogether. And the beginning is done.
Active, interesting, attention grabbing beginnings that help to get the children thinking about something referred to in the verse. They will be learning while having fun. Learning while playing. Getting ready for the next part of the memory verse – what do the words mean?