Back in 2005, I worked on a project called The Story. (I know, real original title.) Basically, it’s a 400-page abridgment of the Bible that’s formatted like . . . well, a normal book. In other words, no verse numbers. The text, which uses the TNIV, is divided into 31 chapters, which have names like “The Battle Begins” and “The King Who Had It All.” As opposed to, say, “2 Chronicles 14.”
The goal was to help someone get an overview of the Bible while experiencing something that feels vaguely like reading a novel. We even thought churches might be able to use The Story to give people an introduction (or reintroduction, depending) to the Bible… sort of like a book-club-meets-small-group experience.
The Story is one of those ideas that got off to a slow start. (Just ask the publisher’s sales team.) Then Willow Creek took notice, and we worked with them to develop a mid-week teaching series around it. The other day, someone told me that Oak Hills Church in San Antonio (author Max Lucado’s church) has launched a 9-month teaching series using The Story. They even came up with this. Pretty cool.
Sometimes it may take a while, but the payoff is worth the wait.