The church we’ve been attending in Greenville has adopted a really helpful practice that I want to commend to others. The pastor is preaching through the Gospel of Mark and each sermon we’ve heard has been very rich, substantive, and challenging. The pastor also gives several discussion and application questions to be used in the small group setting each Wednesday night. (Everyone is involved in a home-based small group). The questions are aimed at getting you to think through the content of the sermon and to apply it, and the discussions are usually pretty interesting. I’ve been in churches that do all of the above before, though.
The unique practice, and it is new here, is the inclusion of a church-wide memory verse each week derived from the sermon. The verse is typically the key verse in the passage being preached each week. Now, it’s always profitable to memorize and meditate on Scripture. And its helpful to have the accountablity of knowing others are working on the same verse each week. The added benefit is that, as we progress through Mark, we are building a mental outline of the book. The memory verse helps me recall the content of the message and, hence, the substance of a particular passage of Scripture. As we progress we are building a mental outline of the book, which is a tremendously helpful mental resource and, thus, a very profitable practice.