Last Saturday, my church hosted Awana’s 60th year anniversary celebration. Awana is a Bible program for kids. It consists of three components: Handbook time, which is where the kids recite the verses they they’ve been practicing all week, counsel time, which is where they usually hear a Bible story or a lesson that teaches them something about God, and last but not least, often a kid’s favorite part, game time. Each week is a different theme night. Crazy Hair Day, Wrap your leader night, etc. The point is to get kids interested in studying God’s word and have fun doing it.
The main thing they really stress in the Awana program is the importance of memorizing scripture. In order to motivate the kids to memorize scripture, we give away prizes—badges, pins, etc.
I’m the room helper. If five kids want to say verses all at once, my job is to say, “I can help you over here.” Or the leaders can say, “Why don’t you say your verse to Rachael?” I might be in charge of a table if a leader is absent. I’ve even taught the lesson at counsel time a couple times. I fill in the gaps wherever necessary.
There’s no question the motivation works. There are weeks the kids want to say verses faster than I can keep up with them. The problem is, often the kids are so anxious to get their verses signed off and get the prize, that many times I find myself thinking, Will they be able to say the same verse again in the morning?
We’ve all heard the old saying, “An elephant never forgets.” What good does it do to memorize God’s word if we can’t apply the verses to our own lives, and share the Gospel with a friend? It’s pointless! The Bible has no meaning if we do that. It quickly becomes just another ordinary book. If we can remember other things, how come we have such a hard time remembering God’s word? In the same way we remember our favorite songs, God wants us to remember His word—like an elephant!
Help me to be like an elephant memorizing your word.