We have always included memory verses in our Rotations with good results. The kids learn the verses and have fun doing memory verse activities.


Last week, however, a student asked "so why do we memorize verses" and got a lack luster response from the teacher. Discussing it as a staff we struggled with an answer that a 1st-6th grader would accept. 


What do you say to kids and parents about the importance of memorizing some Bible verses?


This topic has been edited for readability by Wormy. Your answer to the question is invited!

Original Post
"Thy Word have I hid in my heart
So I will not sin against thee" ...

It's in the Bible ... look it up (Psalm 119:11)

We can't live the kind of lives God wants us to live if we don't know what he wants ... we won't know God as well as we might if we don't know his Word ...

Living without knowledge (heart knowledge) of what the Bible tells us, and expecting to be able to show God to the world is like showing up to star in a play with no rehearsal or no script, or going to a foreign country with no knowledge of the language or its customs, or showing up for the first day of school and not know where the building is, who your teachers are or anything about the rules.

Ya think that might help children understand some things about why we commit scripture to heart?

Here's what I'd tell them....


Kids have lots of stuff memorized.

--Song Lyrics
--Lines from movies
--Sports team rosters, or favorite player's numbers.
--Dance moves
--Phone numbers
--Locker combinations


God's Word is at least as important.


I might even play a 'game' of asking the kids to demonstrate things they have memorized from that list.

The question is not should they memorize verses, but how we can do it in such a way as to make them happy to do it!  


BTW:  This very subject is one of the big reasons I took computers seriously in the 90's as TEACHING tools. The kids would eagerly work on memorizing verses on the computer, but otherwise turn their noses up to that same verse on paper!

There is a downside to memorizing Bible verses, if the teacher isn't careful...

When you tell kids (or anyone else) to memorize something, they can get so wrapped up in learning each and every syllable, that they often disregard the whole passage and miss the meaning.

About "KEY" versus "MEMORY" Verses


In most Rotation Sunday School lessons, there is what is called the "KEY VERSE."

The key verse is the one to emphasize, usually because it conveys the lesson's point.


In some Rotation churches, that "key verse" or one related to it, is often turned into a "MEMORY VERSE" ACTIVITY which the children do memory work on towards the END of the lesson.


Some stories do not have natural, pithy, memorable "memory" verses, and thus, while many Rotation Sunday Schools do memory work, they don't do it in every workshop.  Depends on the story being taught. 


Some Rotation churches have developed a SEPARATE LIST of Memory Verses, which are not necessarily drawn from the Rotation lessons. On that list, for example, might be,  "All children will know John 3:16" --- even though very few Rotation churches will do a rotation on that passage.  The memory verses on such a list may be taught in Sunday School in certain workshops as "additional activities" when time permits, or when scheduled. Or, they may be taught elsewhere as part of fellowship or Confirmation.


In most Rotation churches, the following TWO Workshops often include a focused memory verse activity:  



(1) The Bible Skills and Games Workshop using games to memorize


(2) The Bible Computer Lab using scripture memory software.


It's not uncommon for the Computer Lab to work on the 'super-set' of memory verses as part of the lab's last 10 minutes of certain lessons, ...even though these super-verses are not part of the rotation story they have just studied.  How you do it depends on your 'list' and how much time you have after the lesson to work on it.


KEY VERSES, while not formally "memorized," are often part of a Rotation Sunday School's long term plan for kids "being familiar" with certain important verses.


These KEY VERSES are often the subject of FUTURE QUIZZES and Review "Gameshows" that Rotation Sunday Schools like to do.

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