As I look at the results from end-season surveys, one of the most significant differences from group to group is the impact of the monthly Scripture memorization. For some groups, memorizing Scripture is the most meaningful element of the mentoring season, while others think it’s a weird question for us to ask since their groups barely discussed it.
For each element of a Radical Mentoring meeting (Reading, Homework, Memorizing Scripture, Community, or Prayer), we’ve heard an argument that “men won’t do it . . .” But in almost every case, the formula for success is simple: if the mentor sticks to the process and holds the mentees accountable, they’ll rise to the challenge and hold up their end of the covenant.
Here are a few other things to consider when it comes to making the most of Scripture memorization with your mentoring groups . . .
- The keyword matters – We include a keyword with each Scripture verse for two reasons: First, keywords create relevance. They remind us of the practical nature of the verses we’re learning. Second, keywords increase our ability to recall the verses. We’re trying to help mentees build a Rolodex of relevant Scripture they can remember and lean on in applicable situations. For me, whenever I’m fearful of something, I instinctively recall 2 Timothy 1:7, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” Why? Because when I memorized it as a mentee in 2002, I associated it with the keyword “fear.”
- Accountability is important – Having each mentee recite the verse, along with its keyword and reference at every meeting creates a level of accountability reflecting the importance of the exercise. When you’re considering your agenda for each meeting, make sure you have enough time for everyone to say the verse. It’s too important to skip or skimp on.
- It must matter to the mentor – If Scripture memory is important to the mentor, then it will be important to the group. If the mentor doesn’t see the relevance of it, then it will be either ignored altogether or thrown in at the last minute. Mentors, if you’re uncomfortable with this exercise or find it hard to memorize things, that’s ok, but you need to push past that and lead on this. Otherwise, your mentees will lose out.
Remember, the goal isn’t to memorize Scripture for the sake of it. You want your mentees to understand that the Word of God is alive. You will begin to hear stories from your mentees about times when they remembered one of their verses at just the right moment or when they were able to use a verse to encourage someone else.
Mentor Tip: I recently had a mentee recommend an app to help with memorization. Check out the Bible Memory: Remember Me app. This may be precisely what some of your mentees (or even you) need to make memorization happen.