Helping a child hide a verse in their heart is burying treasure. They might forget it’s there, but “X” always marks the spot. That verse will bear fruit in the Lord’s timing and in the Lord’s way.
I blogged earlier about the power of ONE VERSE I memorized as a child during AWANAS. I didn’t even want to memorize the verse, I wanted to sit by a cute boy. I didn’t review the verse. I didn’t write it down. I memorized it, walked away and had no idea what had been buried inside my 9 year old heart.
Treasure needs to be deep beneath the surface where it can’t be stolen by a thief. Through the years, we’ve found the best memorizing success, especially for kids from the non-Christian homes, is to have a time slot of 5 – 10 minutes set aside for memory work. It’s not just enough to tell the kids to memorize a verse, or send a piece of paper home with them. Not all kids get help at home with their Vacation Bible School and Sunday school homework.
Use a variety of tools in teaching the verse to the kids will break up chunks in their hearts’ soil so the treasure is deep and safe.
REPETITION aids memorization. We say the verse over and over, having the kids repeat phrase by phrase, trying to ensure the verse is memorized before they go home.
ANIMATION aid memorization. Sometimes we whisper. Sometimes we shout! Sometimes we chant. Sometimes we close our eyes. Sometimes we follow each word with a light clap.
IMAGERY aids memorization. Other than just sending a piece of paper home with words, words, words and more words with a few numbers and a colon thrown in, I like to have a shape or picture that accents or explains the verse. It also makes it more attractive and more likely to be pinned to the fridge or bulletin board so other family members may bury the treasure in their own hearts.
Generations ago, a scissors, glue and construction paper accomplished much in schools, homes, and Sunday schools. Sometimes, I like to get back to the simple things in life. When I needed to make Vacation Bible School memory verse cards, I didn’t go to the Internet, I went down into a plastic shoebox in my craft room to dig for examples.
An older Christian friend, Alice, taught Sunday School, Five Day Clubs, and Vacation Bible School for years. When she retired from the ministry, she gave me some of her materials.
Before the invention of computers and Microsoft Word, Alice used a manual typewriter to type her verses over and over, and hand cut all of her shapes.
The shapes in the upper left hand corner were the ones I created based on Alice’s templates. Younger or first-time attendees only memorize the first part of each verse, although are rewarded if they memorize both. Click on images to enlarge.
Those of you that aren’t very crafty will look at my project and say, “Hey, that’s simple, I can do that!”
Those of you that are very crafty will look at my project and say, “Hey, I can do that, but I’ll add this, and add that, and……”
The computer and the internet have exploded our creative possibilities. For any intended project, we type in the words and search thousands of options for patterns, free downloads, examples and pictures of people proudly displaying their creative successes. Craft items like paper punches, Cuttlebug and Cricet have also aided creativity.
It’s a simple project to bury one verse in a heart and send it home to benefit the rest of the house. Because remember, one verse can change a life.