Six ways to keep devotional memory fresh:
Mnemosyne, mother of the muses
Looking for mnemonic opportunities.
Keep a ‘Day Book’ to note down when faith memories are sparked (or not). Make it more than a commonplace book – always ask yourself ‘How is this expressing some part of the Christian tradition? Why does this work? Who is involved?
Why hasn’t it been noticed? How could this be done better? etc. etc.’
Find ways to talk about things that are usually taken for granted. The more generative questions that can
be prompted the better. For example: ·
- find fellow ministers willing to commit themselves regularly to discuss ministering without any business agenda
- initiate group feedback on sermons, or compose sermons in house groups
- provide forms for people to review worship and offer some encouragement to do it (avoid ‘what I like’ and ‘what I don’t like,’
the idea is to promote active reflection on what is being shared in worship
- let there be open discussion in worship sometimes (needs preparation and careful planning; don’t ever just drop it on people)
- tell the story behind what we do and why (but don’t replace the sermon)
- use twitter, blogs, facebook etc. to keep discussion alive. It doesn’t have to be profound comments –just things to keep
people engaged and thinking so as to allow space for the faith tradition to be expressed personally.
Take pictures – lots of them (or find someone who will). Get people used to the idea that the life of the church will be recorded in this way. Display them and talk about them.
Create and maintain patterns. Patterns serve memory well so generally avoid inconsistencies and do things in regular patterns. The liturgical year is a key pattern and shouldn’t be messed about with! Likewise prayer and service times. And encourage the patterns to be talked about.
Tell stories – use all the opportunities that come your way, not just the ‘sermon slot’ in all age worship. Tell stories that
speak of faith, speak to faith, and retell faith. Use local stories and local experiences (without trampling on confidentialities).
Tell biblical stories–well!
Be intentional about memory work. Rehearse what you do and say so as to make it memorable. Over the course of a year or two make sure you’ve hitting all the bases – don’t just dwell on the bits of the gospel that appeal to you. Make keeping the Christian memory lively a priority.