Bible School

It used to be that people took learning the suggested memory verses in the quarterly seriously. Perhaps it is still that way in some parts of the world--but it has been a long time since I've seen the memory verse given more than a passing mention. Even the children's departments have largely slipped away from this important practice.

At FAST, we would love to see this downward slide reversed. Wouldn't you?

It Takes Teamwork

It took more than one person to get us into this situation, and it's going take more than one person to get us out. You may be the spark to initiate change, but to be successful you will need to kindly and tactfully recruit some help. In the paragraphs below, we'll suggest several key people you will want to get involved, and the role each person can play.

So here is our list of the leaders you should invite to join with you in seeking to revitalize the practice of memorizing the quarterly verses:

1. The Pastor
Your pastor may not be directly involved with the lesson study period at your church, but his influence will be extremely helpful if you wish to see a change in the direction of your church in something as important as this. Share your burden with him, solicit his involvement, and get his advice on how best to proceed.

If he is enthusiastic about promoting memorization, he may be willing to join you in talking with the other leaders listed below. If other commitments do not allow him to do this personally, securing his support is an important, "next best" goal. Working closely with the local church pastor in implementing change is always a good idea!

Your pastor may also be able to emphasize the importance of memorization briefly in a sermon. This is generally most useful at the beginning or end of a quarter, especially when combined with some of the ideas listed below. A pastor can give powerful reinforcement to ideas promoted by other church leaders. It signals to the congregation that the church is moving forward together.

2. The Bulletin Editor
This person has direct access to every person who attends your church, through the bulletin. And the bulletin is a great place to communicate the importance of promoting memorization. Try to get permission to include an announcement like the following in your bulletin at the beginning of each quarter for 1-2 weeks, and also the last week of the quarter for the next quarter's verses:

Want to memorize all 13 verses this quarter? Learn powerful free secrets to memorization from FAST, by going to Then grab printed verses cards at You can do it!

If your church puts announcements on a screen at some point during the church service, you may also want to see if you can put the Memory Verse each week into the slide rotation, perhaps with a note or link for those who want to learn more about memorization. In this case you would want to contact the audio-visual team.

Getting an announcement in the bulletin each quarter, or putting the verses up on the screen each meek may be enough to get some of the members of your church memorizing again. But for most, it is going to take more. That's why the steps below are so important...

3. The SS Coordinator
Your church probably has a coordinator to oversee the lesson study period in your church. And this is one of the most important people to get on board if you want to bring back an emphasis on memorization. Have a conversation with this person, share a few ideas, and offer to help with any plans they choose to implement. Here's a list of several things your coordinator may be able to do:

Promote Memorization
Use the introductory remarks preceding each lesson study, to encourage memorization. This is especially important on the first week of the quarter, when you can encourage class members to learn all 13 verses. Inviting a regular memorizer to share a testimony can give a boost of inspiration.

Offer Resources
As part of the promotion, point out the announcement in the bulletin. Explain that the course teaches a simple review system which is the real key to memorization, and that they can print out cards from our site in different sizes for free. Your church may also want to get a few versepacks and cards to give to those wanting to learn all 13 verses.

Inspire the Teachers
The real action takes place in the individual classes (more on that, next). But the coordinator is the best person to inspire the teachers to help support this. Call a meeting with the leaders in each class and share the vision. Encourage each teacher to promote memorization in their class, and suggest ways they can do that.

Celebrate Success
At the end of each quarter, squeeze a special program into the lesson study period to celebrate success. During this time, representatives from each class can get up in front of the church and share the verses they learned during the quarter. Award a small prize to anyone who can recite all 13 verses. Many churches do something similar with the childrens classes already. Why not get the adults to participate too?

If your church has a separate leader for the children's divisions, approach that person with your desire to encourage memorization of the quarterly verses in the childrens divisions. Encourage them to work with the different children's teachers as suggested above, and offer to support them any way you can.

Volunteers will probably be welcome in all the children's division. The teachers there would love to have someone come in for a couple minutes each week to promote memorization, hand out printed verse cards, and work with the class on learning their verses. That person could be you!

4. Class Teachers
The real key to promoting memorization happens in the classroom each week, by the teacher. If your pastor and coordinator are enthusiastic, you may be able to get most or all of your teachers on board. But even one teacher can do a lot to encourage memorization in their class. Here are a couple of suggestions for how a teacher can do that:

Weekly Reminder
Call special attention each week to the memory verse. Emphasize the importance of memorization. Share a short quote or verse on memorization each week, and remind them of the goal--to memorize all 13 verses. Doing this consistently reinforces how important the goal is.

Time to Memorize
Set aside 2-3 minutes each week for actual memorizing. It can be simply saying the verse several times together as a class, having them get together with a partner and work on it for 60 seconds, or if some are doing their verses well, to quote it to a partner. Another option is to try reading all the assigned verses from the beginning of the quarter to present each week. Do something to move the class from theory to action.

Designate Representatives
If you church agrees to do a special program for the end of the quarter, and include the adult classes, the teachers will be key to identifying those class members who are memorizing and inviting them to represent the class in the program. By modeling memorization success, these members will likely motivate others to take up the challenge next quarter.

If a specific teacher does not feel comfortable promoting memorization, it may be possible to appoint an assistant to help with the tasks above. They just need to be careful to limit themselves to the time agreed to. It shouldn't take more than a couple minutes each week, and it may be possible to carve that time out of some other aspect of the program. Regardless, don't neglect memorization!

Remember that verses memorized during the quarter will likely have more lasting impact than all the comments heard during the quarter. When combined with a good review system, those verses will continue bearing fruit for a lifetime, long after the comments have all been forgotten...

5. Individual Members
In addition to the church promoting memorization publically, it is important to encourage individuals to take up the challenge of learning the quarterly verses personally. Look for those who are interested, give them a few tips on how to memorize, and have them subscribe to our quarterly reminders. If possible, commit to a time of accountability each week (or month) to get together with these friends and share the verses you have both learned. Personal invitations are one of the best ways to motivate people.

Better still, consider starting a FAST Bible study class during your lesson study period, where you can work through the Survival Kit, and then Basic Training, and the rest. These courses are carefully designed to jumpstart someone's spiritual experience by guiding them step by step into a systematic memorization program. After finishing, these graduates will generally want to stay in an environment that is supportive of memorization. That creates an opportunity to organize a new class and appoint a teacher with a vision for memorization. In time your church may be able to start several of these classes. I'll talk more about creating these "high commitment" classes in a future module.

God Has His Timing

For many years, the trend has been away from memorizing. It will take time for momentum to shift back toward it once again. But by working together, and taking small steps, we can gradually get more and more people involved.

God has His timing for every priority in your church. If you pray earnestly, and work cooperatively with church leaders, God will inspire others to join you in promoting memorization of the quarterly verses at just the right time...


Does your church give memorization the attention it deserves? How might the suggestions above improve things? What other suggestions do you have for encouraging memorization?

Can you help by sharing this article with a friend?
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Posted by Dan Vis on 01/25/24 - Coach
You are very welcome DeAnn! Enjoy...
Posted by DeAnn Kelm on 01/25/24
Thank you for this resource!
Posted by Laurie Wissink on 01/04/24 - Coach
Dan, there is a question for you from Adina.
Posted by Adina Verrett on 01/03/24
Hello Dan,
Happy New Year!
When will the SS quarterly verses for Q1 2024 be posted?
Posted by Dan Vis on 01/22/22 - Coach
That's awesome Thomas. I wish you good success in trying to inspire those in your group. Glad some of these ideas were helpful! Remember that our Crash Course is available year round for free. It's a great first class to point people to.
Posted by Thomas Frick on 01/21/22 - Coach
We do have some members that are interested and even practicing memorization. I think there are actually plenty who would like to learn the principles on how to retain verses.
I am myself a sabbathschool leader and think of taking 60 seconds every time I am teaching to memorize the verse of the quarter together (we are a small group at the moment). And besides that drop a few blessings that I experienced and what I learned from my courses at FAST.
Thank you Dan for the inspiration!! :)
Posted by Dan Vis on 06/21/21 - Coach
Yes Colette, I think it is pretty cool too. It was kind of an idea I've had for awhile, and finally pulled it together (should have done it long ago) but I was motivated as my wife was doing a VBS program. I'd like to develop other kinds of games for kids, but no ideas come to mind. Crossword puzzles maybe, but that's a bit more challenging.

Good idea to add that suggestion about the A/V team putting the verses on Power Point to the memo. Let me see if I can find a good spot for it... Ok, I put it in the section under the bulletin editor.
Posted by Colette Guthrie on 06/21/21 - Coach
Thanks Dan!! I had not seen this Word Seek tool. This is good for Bible games in other forums too. Nice ice-breaker activity. 👍🏾

I read a good tip in the commemts on this article about asking the audio visual team to run the weekly SS verses in Power Point. That person could be included on your list as an optional resource person to engage.
Posted by Dan Vis on 06/20/21 - Coach
Awesome Colette! Let us know if you can think of others we can better support your efforts!

Did you see our new Word Seek tool? You could use those with the Quarterly Verses too, and make copies for those who like that kind of thing. Just a thought!
Posted by Colette Guthrie on 06/20/21 - Coach
I'm planning on taking this challenge on this upcoming quarter. I'm Sabbath School Superintendent so that's one person covered. 😇
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/05/19 - Coach
That would be a powerful testimony to see that happen in your church Rhoda. Many people say older folks can't memorize but it's definitely not true. :)
Posted by Rhoda Forbes on 12/04/19
Thank you for these suggestions Pst. Dan, I am definitely going to promote memorising the Sabbath school memory verses in our church, somewhere Ellen White says we are to soak our minds with the word of God. We are about 12 to 15 members and most of us over 70 and with God's help we can master the memory verses.
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/20/18 - Coach
Just a quick update: we now have a special bulletin insert for our SS Verses. Get these inserted into your bulletin for a week or two before the close of the quarter. Or insert one in each quarterly before you distribute them. Thanks for sharing!

Oh, and we've also updated this section of our site to include lot's more tools, like first letters, our flash card memorizer, a progress monitor, and more. Better than ever--and still FREE!
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/26/18 - Coach
Thanks for the efforts everyone to encourage people to get back to memorizing again. So important! Thanks Carlota for trying to get this in the bulletin. Be sure to sign up for our Quarterly announcements in the page, so you can be notified when the next quarter's verses go up. :)
Posted by Carlota Belmo on 09/26/18
Thanks Dan, for these suggestions, I teach in the children’s division, We still do the memorizing, I did notice that it’s not really promoted in the adult class. I will ask to include the info in the bulletin for next quarter.
Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 06/08/18
Patricia - We do what we can. Some people will be inspired by our commitment to God's verses. Well done with encouraging the children to memorize their verses! When I taught SS, I too, would encourage my group to go over their verses. It was fun. :-) We persevere with the adults. Some are only inspired when they hear verses said.
Posted by Qing Ling on 06/06/18 - Coach
John I like that idea of scrolling the verse on PowerPoint. Been thinking of it too. Just have to make that request of the av team. Thanks for reminder!
Posted by Patricia Jones on 06/05/18
I teach the kids SS and have been encouraging them to memorize. Once they learn to read, they can do it somewhat on their own, but there is also more stuff they're juggling. I'll continue to encourage it and review the verses each Sabbath. I've mentioned memorizing to some of the adults, but haven't really found an interest. I'll continue myself, and encouraging as I'm able.   
Posted by Dan Vis on 03/29/18 - Coach
Great Deanna! Sounds like you are doing a great job in your church. Keep up the good work...
Posted by Deanna Dekle on 03/29/18
Our current Sabbath School leader is encouraging this very thing.
Posted by Dan Vis on 03/29/18 - Coach
That's a great idea John, to have the memory verses included as a slide on the announcement powerpoint. And super glad your pastor is a memorizer. What a blessing!
Posted by John Gilmore on 03/29/18
Amen! If ever we need to memorize His Word, it is now!

At my church, we have not had anyone in Sabbath School promoting memorization, but our pastor does memorize. It shows in His sermons and I'm sure he will help promote memorization.

Some of our announcements are scrolled through video before the worship service. I think memory verses (at least the adult's verses) could be shown there, too.

Thank you for the ideas you've given.

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