Yesterday we released an April Fools Day post for CampusNavs.org, the national website for The Navigators collegiate ministry. This year I wrote a spoof on the Topical Memory System (TMS), the tool Navigators use to help them memorize Scripture. The original TMS has 60 verses, each one paired with a topic to help a person recall and use those verses when needed. Memorizing Scripture isn’t an easy discipline, and it’s something I have heard college students lament over for years. So, with that in mind, this year I wrote that the Navs had released a new Scripture memory resource called the Topical Memory System Lite, composed exclusively with the shortest verses in the Bible.
The tone of the post is that of an infomercial, trying to sell you on the value of this resource. Here’s an excerpt:
As an added bonus, each of these memory verses is so short they can be posted in a single tweet on Twitter—including its topic and reference. Edifying your followers with the Word has never been easier.
Last year our April Fools Day post brought in a lot of website traffic, more than anything that had ever been published on the Campus Navs website prior to that point. Afterward my boss told me I should make it an annual tradition.
This year I asked our staff on EDGE Corps (our two-year internship for new Navigator staff) for their ideas. One of them suggested a Topical Memory System: Freshman Edition, which would alter the existing TMS by removing all the difficult verses. I liked the concept but took it in a different direction, creating a brand new set of verses instead.
It’s strange to say, but I actually had to do some research to write the TMS Lite post. After all, while lots of people can name the shortest verse in the Bible (Jesus wept) how many people can name the twelve shortest verses?
To add something special to the ridiculousness of this post I also created a PDF download for the TMS Lite, formatting the twelve verses to the size of a standard Navigator “verse pack,” the small pouch used to hold verses a person is currently working on. In all likelihood there are college students all over the country memorizing short, totally out of context Bible verses thanks to me.