Build Community Interest
Especially in the first year of the program, you must work to build interest and excitement about the program. This can be done a number of ways: posters advertising that something is coming; a kickoff event that features testimonies and skits about Bible memory; a special kickoff sermon with a “pledge drive,” etc.
The first time your introduce a Bible memory program to the church, it is important to build interest and excitement in the weeks before the “start date.”
Start with prayer, asking God to give you insight as to the best way to go forward.
Consider adopting a theme for the events surrounding Bible memory at your church. One which lends itself easily to the Fighter Verse program is the image of a knight based on Ephesians 6:10-17. Some churches use a tall tin knight to serve as a “mascot” for the program.
Use posters and website banners to start advertising your program using the theme you have chosen. This could be done as early as six weeks before the start date.
Note: Don’t try to explain the program on the posters. Rather, use the posters to catch people’s attention and create excitement and anticipation about the program. For example, you could post a different poster every week for six weeks simply asking “Have you seen the Knight?”
Host a Bible Memory Kickoff Night for your congregation. Fill the evening with skits, testimonies, songs, and examples of Bible memory. Provide some explanation about the program and how your church hopes to use and incorporate it in body life. Also, consider having some Bible memory materials available for people to take or purchase to help them get started.
Here is an example of a Fighter Verses Kickoff held at Bethlehem Baptist Church:
Dedicate the “start date” Sunday morning to the topic of Bible memory, with the permission and help of your pastor and worship leaders. Sing Scripture songs, incorporate Scripture readings and prayers into the worship flow, and focus the sermon on the topic of Bible Memory.
Ask for commitment. On the “start date” Sunday, hand out Bible Memory Pledge cards. At the end of the service, ask people to prayerfully consider committing to participate in the Bible memory program. As they are lead, have them fill out and return the cards.
Note: the primary purpose of these cards is not to enforce strict accountability, but rather for people to feel the seriousness of this discipline. Also, it helps the church know about how many people are involved in some form of Bible memory.