One of my favorite classes in my under-grad was Ministry Observation, which I took my freshman year. I know, it doesn’t sound super exciting or life changing by any means, but man…I loved this class!
We would, as a class, visit various different churches in Southern California; write critiques and analysis papers about our experience and then share about them in class. Again…I get it, sounds super boring but I really loved this class!
For me, it gave me insight on how to “do church.” It showed me how churches can look vastly different but still all be on the same mission of reaching the lost. One of my favorite visits was to a church out near Palm Springs, CA. Dr. Walter Price was their pastor. Dr. Price had a practice where he would memorize the entire passage he was going to preach that weekend. So as a ministry geek, I was pretty excited to see this and couldn’t wait to visit his church.
The Sunday we visited he was preaching from Ephesians 5 and sure enough right off the bat he nails the entire passage with no mistakes and one of the most engaging presentation of a passage I’ve ever experienced.
That experience really began to shape my view of how to do “church.” Now understand, I am absolutely horrible at memorizing anything and to be honest I forget my own name half the time. But in my half-witted attempts to memorize scripture some stuff has actually started to stick. The cool thing about this is that when I face stress, struggles or even find myself in the midst of a storm those words of truth fill the gaps in my head instead of the lies and nonsense that once did.
As small group leaders, we will face all types of situations and will go through seasons of joy and struggle both personally, and with the people in our group. The amazing opportunity we have as leaders is to be a voice of encouragement and lead people to the truth. Scripture will always be the source for that encouragement and truth for us as Christ-Followers.
One of the best spiritual rhythms we can personally practice and help encourage the people in our group to practice is scripture memorization. Here are some verses for you and your small group to get in the rhythm of scripture memorization with this fall:
- Jeremiah 29:5-7 (ESV), “Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”
- Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (The Message), “It’s better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps, But if there’s no one to help, tough!”
- Acts 2:42-44 (ESV)“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common.”
- Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV), “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
- Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV), “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
Let the truth of these verses guide you as you encourage and lead your group in the rhythm of scripture memorization!