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The Story: Testimonials

Increasing Desire to Read the Bible

Rev. Mark Whitlock, Senior Minister, Christ Our Redeemer AME Church, Irvine, CA
The Story has taken our church to a new level. It has our church talking about the Bible more than anything else.

Derek Stemen, Senior Pastor, Ohio City United Methodist Church, Ohio City, OH
Unlike traditional read-through-the-Bible resources that take a commitment of 20-30 minutes a day, this resource is much easier as it only requires around 11 pages a week. The goal is that this small commitment will eventually turn into one where people desire to dig into the Bible even more, and I can already begin to see this happening. The campaign resources have been an incredible plus. This has really given our church a united focus and we are becoming more united because of it.

Rick Brown, Senior Pastor, ChristBridge Fellowship, Tomball, TX
Our people who have gone to church for years are just really excited about The Story, the way it reads, and the freshness of these stories. Our leaders especially are being rejuvenated by The Story. It definitely is inspiring people. The benefits of The Story for us include:

  • Having a BIG IDEA every week that the whole church is centered on.
  • Having a specific focus to invite people to.
  • Helping families find a way to read God's word together.
  • A sense of unity that we are all working together towards a common goal.
  • The Story is helping those of us in smaller churches where the senior ministers are wearing a ton of hats already.

Biblical Understanding & Application

Jim Barker, Adult Sunday School Teacher, Oak Hills Church, San Antonio, TX
Quite often I have been asked what The Story is. What I tell questioners is that The Story is a condensed chronological account of the Bible telling the story of creation, what went wrong, and how all will be made right again. The Story helps us understand who God is, who we are, and the meaning and purpose of life.

Eric Camfield, Christ Church, Oakbrook, IL
As a whole, The Story increased our church's biblical literacy. So many people simply did not have a grasp of the biblical narrative, let alone how it all fits together. It also brought awareness of the value of regularly reading Scripture as a spiritual discipline. In a church where spiritual formation has been a strong ministry, our people really engaged The The Story each week.

Rev. Jermone T. Glenn, Senior Minister, Revolution Christian Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI
The Story has been a great journey. People are growing and are able to connect the dots to see that what happened then is still relevant now.

Phil Niekerk, senior small groups pastor, Ada Bible Church, Grand Rapids, MI
The Story has been a fundamental step for us in helping people be spiritually formed and understand Scripture better.

Gordon Mularski, Lead Pastor, Treasure Coast Community Church, Jensen Beach, FL
I highly recommend this product. The resources for Pastors in message preparation have been very "to the point" and useful. Don't be afraid of an extended preaching track. The overview is worth the ride!

Outreach

Tim Halstead, Senior Pastor, New Life Community Church, Odessa, TX
I have loved The Story series. It has been a great journey for me personally, for my preaching, and for our members. We have had visitors throughout the entire series and have given over 100 books away to people in the community. Getting God's word into people hands is always a good thing!

Davida Lambert, Oak Hills Church, San Antonio, TX
Debbie's parents visited our church on Week 1 of The Story , and were so thrilled with what they were seeing and hearing that morning that they went out and bought copies of The Story for their whole church--all 40 of them.

Growth

Adult Ministry Leader, Bay Harbour United Methodist Church, League City, TX
Similar programs that we have employed required too much time on the part of the participant (relating to homework and reading) and because of such issues, we had less than expected participation.

  • Our Sunday morning attendance is up by 20%.
  • Our Sunday school attendance is up by 10%.
  • Our small group attendance is up by 55%.

Travis Eades, Worship Pastor, Southwest Church of Christ, Jonesboro, AR
We are already seeing almost a 20% increase in attendance. Not only are our members excited, we are seeing a lot of new faces all of a sudden. We are bracing for the fact that we have underestimated crowds. We're currently packing out our 1200 seat facility and we only have one service going now.

Randy Frazee, Senior Minister, Oak Hills Church, San Antonio, TX
Our church experienced a 23% growth the year we went through The Story.

Gordon Mularski, Lead Pastor, Treasure Coast Community Church, Jensen Beach, FL
Our church has seen a number of New Believers come to Christ in the last few years. This has proven to be a blessing and a challenge. Our church began The Storyas a church‐wide campaign for the sole purpose of growing our people in the area of Biblical literacy. It has been widely embraced. It has definitely sparked a hunger for scripture and removed the intimidation people often have regarding their Biblical understanding. People bring their copy of The Storyto church with them along with their Bibles. Our book sales doubled our expectation.

Families

Mitzi Roberts, Adult Sunday School Leader, Oak Hills Church, San Antonio, TX
The Story is a fantastic way to hone the Bible down into manageable bites for people. It is less threatening to those who have never read the Bible. I have heard many women comment that this is the first time husbands have engaged the Bible or read through it with their children. The whole family/church family concept has had far-reaching benefits. It has promoted individual engagement, family engagement, and church unity. I was very excited that the whole church was going to get the big picture of the Bible.

John Drusedum, Small Groups Pastor, Grace Church, Roswell, NM
Many people are reading through the Bible for the first time. Parents are reading to their children and children have been reminding parents to read the story of the day to them. Doing a program this long has helped us with long-range planning because we know where we are headed each week for the next 31 weeks.

Rich Ronald, Communications Pastor, Oak Hills Church, San Antonio, TX
Personally, as a dad, I have been enthused about reading the whole Bible together with my family. We have maintained a weekly commitment to read each chapter together with our three teenagers. This has been a great overall study for our family.

Davida Lambert, Campaign Director, Oak Hills Church, San Antonio, TX
Getting the story of God's love to the people--all the church working together on it--what's not to like? The sermons have been extremely engaging, bringing to mind concepts that would not be obvious to the general reader, providing real live examples of people from our church doing God's will, experiencing changed lives--it has been very inspiring. Children, student, and adult classes are all studying the same thing each week...unifying families around the study of God's word.

Youth Ministry

Crysty Kimberlin, Youth Leader, Preston Road Church of Christ, Dallas, TX
The Story has had an amazing impact on the level of comprehension our students have of the Bible. They can now see the big picture so much easier in the Old Testament than they did before. They feel they have a better grasp on the Bible itself, and can now see ONE connected story.

Youth Ministry Leader, Bay Harbour United Methodist Church, League City, TX
Many of our teens are reading the Bible for the first time. They are engaged in the learning process and are asking good questions. Several of them have started discussion groups outside the church (in their homes) for their school friends.

Small Groups

Julie Cohrs, Director of Children’s Ministry, Hosanna, Lakeville MN
Our experience with The Story has overall, been great! We have enjoyed walking through the bible in a chronological manner. In addition, we have LOVED being on the same page as our parents. There is a connection that cannot be beat.

Tracy Pruitt, Small Group Leader, Grace Church, Roswell, NM
In our Small Group we have had great attendance every week because people don't want to miss a section of The Story. We all like reading the stories of the Bible in sequence. It is making much more sense to all of us.

Alana Ownby, Small Group Leader, Oak Hills Church, San Antonio, TX
Everything we've been using has been OUTSTANDING! The discussion questions for small groups are stimulating. We can spend an entire hour on three of the ten questions. Several of our members plan to use them for personal study. A prominent leader among Christian women in San Antonio who does not attend Oak Hills Church said that what Oak Hills Church is doing with The Story may be one of the most important movements in the city and beyond. It is drawing in the babe, the unchurched, the other-churched, the well-churched and the over-churched and uniting all with a fresh perspective of an old Story. The results are in the hands of God.

Pat Hile, Small Groups Pastor, Oak Hills Church, San Antonio, TX
The Story provided an amazing synergy and common focus like nothing we have ever done here at Oak Hills. Someone in our small group mentioned that they now have a clear understanding of the terms Upper and Lower Story, and that has made a difference in how they understand the circumstances in their daily lives.

Community Transformation

Watch the story of an almost unheard-of collaboration. The whole town of Frankenmuth, Michigan joined together to do The Story in 2013-2014. Churches of five different denominations journeyed through The Story in alignment with each other for the year, including the Lutherans, the Methodists, the Catholics, and two non-denominational churches!

  1. The Story