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13 Bible Memorization Tips for Kids from Children’s Ministers, Children’s Workers, and Christian Parents

13 Bible Memorization Tips for Kids from Children’s Ministers, Children’s Workers, and ParentsMemorizing Bible verses is an important part of every child’s–and person’s!–spiritual growth. When children store the Word of God in their minds and hearts, it develops their understanding of the role the Bible plays in the life of a Christian. “I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture,” noted Chuck Swindoll in his book Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life. “No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified.” Here are some practical Bible memorization tips for kids from children’s ministers and Christian parents to help you in your efforts to help your young ones to store up the Word of God in their hearts.

13 Tips to Help Children Remember Bible Verses

TIP #1: PARENTS AND KIDS LEARN TOGETHER

Challenge the parents to memorize scripture. When you get parents involved, kids are more likely to succeed.

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Matt McKee
Matt McKee: Top Bible Memorization Tips for ChildrenMatt McKee helped create and produce G-Force, a curriculum for elementary age children. He also helped launch Elevate, an elementary curriculum. He speaks at conferences for youth ministry, children’s ministry, and family ministry. Find him online at MattMcKee.me.


TIP #2: MAKE AN ACTIVITY OUT OF IT

When helping kids memorize Scripture you need to have a fun activity that will help the memory verse stick. A fun game, cool object, or even a scavenger hunt for the Scripture will make them excited about learning it and will help them retain that verse. The more exciting you make the activity, the more they will get into it and want to learn it and then it will stick!

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Vanessa Myers
Vanessa Myers: Top Bible Memorization Tips for ChildrenVanessa Myers is the Children’s Director at Dahlonega United Methodist Church in Dahlonega, Ga., where she works with children ages infant-5th Grade. A regular blogger and article writer, she has been published in KidzMatter Magazine. Find her online at KidMinDays.com.


TIP #3: MAKE A SONG OUT OF IT

How do you alphabetize something? If you are like the vast majority of kids, teens and even adults you begin at the letter “A” then quickly run through the alphabet. You likely use the same tool that you learned as a preschooler–the “ABC Song!” I don’t even know if that is what it is really called or even if it really is a song, but even now your are likely going through the alphabet using the little “sing-song” tune that you memorized 20 or 30 years ago.

#1 – Use Music: “The easiest tool to memorize scripture is to set it to music. How many of you have kid’s songs from some movie or TV show stuck in your brain because your child sings them over and over and over. You may can make a project of using a familiar tune and putting the words of a verse into that tune. I know that is easier for some than for others. Or you can just do an Internet search and find resources, many of them free to help your child sing a verse. Pages of them pop up on YouTube when you search for ‘kids memory verse songs’.”

#2 – Be Consistent: “Try to go over the verse at least once a day, maybe at night or better try earlier in the day while they are
fresh and awake.”

#3 – Make It Fun: “Kids love games and competition. Use cards with a word from the verse on each card. Put the words to a verse in order. Time it. Try to get faster. Illustrate the verse. Make a verse sign for a door.”

#4 – Make It Meaningful: “Make sure that you choose a verse that has meaning and application to your child’s life. It is much easier to memorize what you understand. Explain it. Put it in context. Read it in different versions. Write it in your own words. Look up words in a dictionary. All of these are activities that help develop understanding.”

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David Morrow
David Morrow: Top Bible Memorization Tips for ChildrenDavid Morrow is a long-time minister to children serving at Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee. He also serves as executive editor of the Children’s Ministry Minute and created God’s Unfolding Story for Older Preschoolers with his wife, Amy. Find him online at SundaySchoolZone.com.


TIP #4: ENCOURAGE PARENTS TO WORK WITH THEIR KIDS

At our church, we use the Awana program to encourage Scripture memory. We encourage parents to work with their children on their Awana verses every week. Many parents even memorize the verses with their children! I think one of the best ways to help children memorize Scripture verses is to put them to music. You can find lots of great resources out there that will help you put Bible passages to song.

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Ryan Frank
Ryan Frank: Top Bible Memorization Tips for ChildrenRyan Frank is the CEO of KidzMatter, provides resources and tools for those who minister to kids and families in the church. He is also Vice President at Awana, a global, nonprofit ministry committed to the belief that the greatest impact for Christ starts with kids who know, love and serve Him. Find Ryan online at RyanFrank.com.


TIP #5: HAVE THE KIDS WRITE IT DOWN

Writing or copying down Bible verses–with pencil, marker, or crayon on paper–can be a very helpful tool in remembering. The child can also draw a picture to go along with the verse.

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Erica Well: Top Bible Memorization Tips for ChildrenErica Well
Erica Well is a teacher at Bethel Family Academy, a supplemental/tutorial program for homeschool students, and spent several years serving in children’s ministry. She is also a comics creator. Find her online at EricaWell.com.


TIP #6: ADD MOVEMENTS TO THE VERSES

When you add a motion, like hands with palms together, ‘hinging’ on the bottom to open for book, the Word of God, or similar, then it connects the word or phrase being recited with something more concrete, helping one to connect the verse with an action–helping them retain the verse.

Even if the motion does not relate to the verse, the pattern connected to a phrase helps with the rhythm of a verse, making it easier to memorize. Words standing alone often have no meaning, no purpose to memorize. The motions help give additional meaning and purpose.

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“Commander Bill” Gunter
Commander Bill Gunter: Top Bible Memorization Tips for ChildrenBill Gunter partners with parents and extended families to teach their children the things of God so that they may come to know, love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. His website provides resources, leadership tips and information for people serving in Awana and children’s ministry globally. Find him online at CommanderBill.net.


TIP #7: REVIEW, REVIEW, REVIEW–AND THEN REVIEW AGAIN

I’ve seen many programs and Bible memory efforts in a variety of churches through the years. One weakness I have seen consistently is the failure to review the verses that were learned. People (kids especially) can retain almost anything for a brief period of time if motivated and properly encouraged to do so–but will they remember the verse(s) three weeks later? If you really want the verses or passages to stick, you need to REVIEW the text repeatedly on a daily or weekly basis for several weeks (longer if you’re reviewing only weekly). Then continue to REVIEW the verses indefinitely for as long as you’re able.

This will be easier for parents than for church program coordinators who may have a very limited period of time in which to focus on Scripture memory. Certainly, memorizing a verse or passage for a few hours–you know, until they get home and are distracted by the TV–is better than not making the effort at all. But to help a child repeat a verse from memory one time in the context of an intense setting can hardly be called “scripture memory” if the child can’t remember anything two weeks (or two hours) later. Whatever plan you develop to help children memorize Bible passages, you MUST include serious time for review.

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Rick Edwards
Rick Edwards: Top Bible Memorization Tips for ChildrenRick Edwards is a pastor, a preacher, and a publisher. His experience in Christian publishing includes working on church curriculum for LifeWay Christian Resources, and publishing Christian magazines for Salem Communications. He is currently working on brand-new Bible study resources for churches and home use. Find him online at RickEdwardsOnline.com, and learn more about God’s Unfolding Story for Older Preschoolers.


TIP #8: CHOOSE A LONGER PASSAGE

Shorter verses are more difficult to retain because they’re not attached to something larger. We learn by association. So when we tackle a larger segment of Scripture, one section at a time, we stay focused on the same passage for a longer period of time, which supports retention in a person’s long-term memory. The children’s ministry at my church devotes every six months to learning one passage.

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Denise J. Hughes
Denise J. Hughes: Top Bible Memorization Tips for ChildrenDenise J. Hughes is the founder of Deeper Waters, a ministry devoted to spiritual formation, where women can gather and grow deeper together. She also serves as the editorial coordinator at (in)courage, and blogs at Embracing Grace and Truth. This tip comes from her article “Seven Ways to Help Kids Memorize Scripture.”


TIP #9: HELP THEM SEE IT

Provide something visual to reinforce the overall idea of the Bible verse. If you visit the Kids Talk About God Art Gallery, you’ll find dozens of ready-to-print memory cards containing Bible verses for children. A child artist illustrated each scripture. Because of this, each memory card has a built-in visual aid that is especially appealing and inspiring to children.

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Carey Kinsolving
Carey Kinsolving: Top Bible Memorization Tips for ChildrenCarey Kinsolving’s syndicated newspaper column, Kids Talk About God, combines the humor and insights of children with a strong biblical emphasis in a question-and-answer format. Find him online at KidsTalkAboutGod.org. This tip comes from his article “Memorize: Inspirational Bible Verses For Children.


TIP #10: WRITE IT DOWN ON A CARD

Choose a verse and write each word of the verse on its own 3×5 index card. Scramble up the cards and have the child put the cards in the correct order. Another way to use the index cards is to put the cards in order, have the child look away, and then remove one, two, or however many cards you choose. Then have the child decide which words are missing.

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Sarah Avila
Sarah Avila: Top Bible Memorization Tips for ChildrenSarah Avila is the owner of the home & homeschool blog My Joy Filled Life. A stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of many, she uses her blog to minister to and encourage other mothers. This tip come from her article “5 Simple Ways to Help Kids Memorize Scripture” (Hip Homeschool Moms).


TIP #11: APPEAL TO DIFFERENT LEARNING STYLES

Hear it, read it, say it, draw it, touch it, sing it. Second, help all kinds of learners make intellectual connections with Scripture. According to Howard Gardner, a professor of education at Harvard University, people are naturally strong in certain ways of learning. Some of us are visual learners; others learn best by doing.

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David Jennings
David Jennings: Top Bible Memorization Tips for ChildrenDavid Jennings is the minister to children and families at First Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is well known for his work in Children’s Ministry Magazine and blog postings on ChildrensMinistry.com. This tip comes from his article “The Secret to Bible Memory Verses for Kids.


TIP #12: PICK A GOOD TIME

Decide when, where, and how you will accomplish your goals. How much time a day will you set aside to memorize Bible verses? Where and when will you meet with your family? What techniques will you incorporate? We’ll discuss specific techniques and reinforcement activities a little later, but 15 minutes a day should be plenty of time to memorize Bible verses. Family meal times and before bedtime are good opportunities to recite passages aloud together.

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Mary Fairchild
Mary Fairchild: Top Bible Memorization Tips for ChildrenMary Fairchild is the resident Christian expert at About.com. She has worked full-time in Christian ministry since 1988, serving in several capacities. She has authored numerous articles on biblical topics and edited several Christian books. This tip comes from her article “Memorize Bible Verses as a Family.”


TIP #13: DRAW A PICTURE

In our family, we put up one scripture poster a week to work on together. Sometimes we write it out and sometimes we find free downloads to print. My kids learn best with some kind of visual. Homeschool Creations has some great printable scripture pages. We also often make our own just by writing out the scripture and drawing an image to go with it. Even stick figures work. It doesn’t have to be fancy! Just memorable.

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Tauna Meyer
Tauna Meyer: Top Bible Memorization Tips for ChildrenTauna Meyer is a homeschooling mama with four children. Find her online at Proverbial Homemaker, where she writes about “becoming a wife, mom, and homemaker proves that anything is possible with God.” This tip come from her article “Help Your Kids Memorize Scripture” (Kids in the Word).


YOUR TURN: WHAT BIBLE MEMORIZATION TIPS FOR KIDS DO YOU HAVE? CLICK TO SHARE YOUR ADVICE OR PERSONAL STORY!

Related links:
101+ Easy Bible Memory Verses for Children
Ten Commandments activities and resources
Popular Bible Verses for Kids
Helping Kids Memorize Scripture
Short Bible Verses for Kids About Jesus
Short Bible Verses for Kids from the Old Testament
Short Bible Verses for Kids from the New Testament
Short Bible Verses for Kids Regarding the Ten Commandments
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