We are going to take a short break from our usual good cheer to draw your attention to a sobering observation after two years of involvement with Memverse: it is not easy to maintain the discipline of bible memorization.
- 75% of people who sign up on Memverse do not make it to the end of the first month.
- Another 25% of those who remain have dropped out by the end of the second month.
- Each month thereafter, another 10-12% of people do not keep up their memorizing.
- Even after a year of memorizing, the churn rate is still roughly 10% each month.
Of the ~400 people who signed up for Memverse in January 2011, there were less than 70 still active by the end of February. By the end of the year, there will likely be less than 30 of the original group of 400.
So why are we still optimistic? These numbers are not quite as dire as they seem at first blush and, in fact, are typical of free services which are easily tried and just as easily abandoned. We also realize that many of the 400 people who signed up in January never added their first verse. Over the next year, we are planning to make the 'first five minute' experience more engaging and less confusing. (If you have ideas, we'd love to hear from you, especially those of you who recently signed up and can still remember what it was like.)
One factor that surprised us: while we feel as though we've made fairly significant improvements over the past two years, the numbers are very consistent and predictable. Even once people have integrated Memverse into their daily lives, each month 10% of them just decide to stop using it. In my case, I've come to realize the danger of being "choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures" as I go on my way (Luke 8:14-15). Luke is correct, it requires perseverance to produce a crop.
Our conclusion: Memorizing God's word requires a mental commitment fully powered by the grace of the Spirit.
Find a friend to keep you accountable. Set reasonable goals that you can achieve. And pray. In all things. Continually.
We'll see you on March 1st, 2012 for our third birthday.