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Awana is a program designed to teach children and teenagers the fundamentals of the Christian faith through Bible memorization. I participated in Awana as a child for five years. I taught Sparks for five years as a teenager and as an adult. Over the course of that time, my Awana kids memorized a lot of Scripture. While Sparks is a program for K-2nd graders, Scripture memory is a discipline that Christians of all ages should practice.

These are some of my favorite methods for teaching children the Bible.

  1. Sing your verses. For most of my Awana kids, learning to recite the books of the Bible is the most challenging task. I always tell my students that I do not care if they need to sing the books to me, as long as they know the information. As an adult, I sing Bible verses to the tune of favorite hymns and other Christian songs. Music aids in retention.
  2. The white board. When teaching a group of kids, I sometimes wrote the entire verse on the white board. We read it a couple times as a group. Next, I erased two or three words. We read it as a group again, hopefully remembering the missing words. The procedure was repeated until the entire verse was erased and everyone could recite it without prompting.
  3. Learning in smaller sections. In the revised Sparks curriculum, kids who are new to Awana memorize John 3:16 in short snippets. By the end of the introductory pamphlet, they can say the entire verse. For an unchurched child, learning all of a longer verse can be daunting. Breaking it up into smaller portions is less overwhelming.
  4. Place the verse where you will see it. Write the verse on an index card and put it on your bathroom mirror. Every time you wash your hands, read it out loud to yourself. It’s a painless way to learn more of God’s truths.

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. – Joshua 1:8 (NASB)