How many songs have you written in the last two years or so? I bet I’ve written more.

My church has developed what we call the Fighter Verse Program. This is a set of short passages of scripture that our church has set into a weekly five year schedule. Every week, as a church body (anyone who wants to), we memorize the fighter verse of that week. Many small groups incorporate it into their meeting times, the pastors and leaders all memorize them and often at the beginning of a service, the announcement pastor asks if someone is willing to speak the fighter verse out loud for all of us to say. It is always a good moment in the service.

So way back in October of 2005, when our small group leader challenged us to memorize the verse each week so that our families could recite them at our meetings, I started making up a song to help our kids memorize the passage for that week (back then we had a 2,3,4,5,6 and 7 year old). Our small group liked our kids’ singing and our kids enjoyed learning them, so I kept making them up.

About a year later our children’s pastor asked us to sing one of the songs at the yearly Bible Memory Kick Off and we did and then people started asking us to record them.

So at the beginning of the last year we started creating songs for the verses one year in advance and this past December we recorded (with help from several musicians and choirs) 17 songs (all of fighter verse passages for the first half of 2008 ) and our church made 300 copies and gave them to people for free.

People have liked them enough that we have kept going in writing and making them and next month we will be recording the second set.

I decided to note this here on my blog today because last week, in the process of writing songs for next year’s CD (if we choose to record them) we made up and learned our 100th song. And since most songs include more than one verse, we now have more than 300 verses memorized this way.

Here’s the cool part. It doesn’t take great musical ability or a lot of time to make up a little melody for a verse you want to memorize.  I typically make up a song while I’m driving to work (often on Monday), refine it on the way home and then teach it to my wife and kids over the course of a week. And often, by as early as Thursday I hear the kids singing the new song as they play with toys.

I have previously mentioned how useful Psalm 34 was for our family as my Dad was dieing and specifically for me as I held his hand in the hospital. God means for us learn his word on a very deep level. Towards this end, can I recommend that you create bible verse songs for yourself and your family? Try it.