The Story

I’m considering whether our Bible classes should teach “The Story” for 31 weeks, starting in December. It’s been recommended to me by someone I greatly respect.

But I need a broader base of input. Is anyone familiar with this lesson series? What do you think of it?

For those not familiar it, it’s a 31-week series designed for Bible classes, with a DVD series, work books, the whole package.

It takes the students through the entire Bible, using an abridged NIV Bible as a text — I suppose to encourage the students to read it cover to cover, like a novel, rather than having skip from passage to passage using a complete Bible.

Resources are described here.

Here’s a sample of the weekly video —

YouTube Preview Image

For those who’ve not be in the classes, what do you think? I’d appreciate your impressions, too.

PS — I’m still on break, but really could use your thoughts on this material.

Profile photo of Jay Guin

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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17 Responses to The Story

  1. Neal Roe says:

    Who is your audience, new, young, mature, or leaders in the Body? You would be be better served using the NIV Chronological Bible in a small group setting to go through the actual Word. Tell participants in advance that the goal is to connect the dots along the way. Use the Word and not miss the many nuances of the story that show the soveriegnty of God, the prophecy leading to the Son with the grace and the empowering of the Holy Spirit upon the children of Adam. Do not miss the touch of the Author and Perfector of Faith being short changed for a neat and tidy 31 week no effort video. Don’t. My apologies to your friend. This was our Summer series.

  2. theophilusdr says:

    Thank you for including the video of Lesson 1. I couldn’t make it past even two minutes of it; 31 weeks would seem like an eternity. I would just go to the library and read my Bible. Sorry, Jay.

  3. LoriBelle says:

    We are on lesson five at our church. For me, what I think, is that it’s still not quite deep enough or extensive enough. When I first became a Christian 30 years ago. I knew so very little scripturally. I am SO thankful that the Lord led me to a church that really had a high priority on instruction. They started a class that was Old Testament Survey on a Wednesday night that was 2 hours.. It was a college level class that would even count as a credit if we needed it to. It was such a blessing! And God used it to spark a greater interest in knowing him and his word. And from there I read the entire Bible. There were tests and I had to read. Paul said give attention to the public reading of scriptures. I know not everyone owned a Bible like we do now. But there is something to hearing God’s word read out loud together. There is a lot of light shone in our hearts when we do that. Maybe that’s more than you wanted. 🙂

  4. Larry Cheek says:

    I watched the video,it surely did not impress me. The old Visualized Bible Series by Jule Miller and Tex Stevens portrays the story more accurately and I believe that those who watched them would consider those lessons to be more interesting than this series. One picture is said to be worth a thousand words and the scenes and music in this series did not amplify the messages that were stated. What do I mean by that? As I saw those paintings, the message I believe that the author was attempting to display was not readily seen, in order for me to have understood the message behind the paintings, the words that inspired the painting would probably needed to be presented while observing the painting. The painting is only a minute portion of the message that the text contains. Then my patients doesn’t last very long looking at a man while he is telling a story in a video. I believe that someone in an audience listening to a professional reading of the bible text with the words being displayed so they can also read along is far more attentive. For instance use you version and allow it to read the text as it is being displayed, I believe that those listening will receive a greater understanding of God as they hear His Words (the master teacher) being read (to me there is a better understanding of words when they are read properly accentuated as I hear it read) and are able to read along. In the narrative did God really touch fingers with Adam as he gave him life? I did not find that message in scripture. I might learn something new while in a class with this series, but I would probably spend a lot more time attempting to correlate the series with the actual text of scripture and not be able to keep the pace of the lessons. Probably I would find a different class.

  5. Royce says:

    Our church went through The Story. Members were encouraged to read the book and our preachers preached through the book. We did not use the videos. I’m not a fan.

  6. Lonnie says:

    I would check out a few other “big picture” books if you are going that direction.
    “The God Who Is There- Finding Your Place in God’s Story” by D.A. Carson
    “According to Plan: An Introductory Biblical Theology” by G. Goldsworthy
    or even, “How To Read the Bible Book by Book” by Stuart & Fee

  7. Doug says:

    The church I attend in the wintertime is going through “The Story”. I was ther for about 8 of the beginning lessons and for that Church, I think it was very good and very valid. But that church has been experiencing some exposive growth and I think there are a lot of people who there who perhsps aren’t that familar with “The Story”. So, for them, I think this is a pretty good experience. Also, the whole church from the youngest to the oldest is studying “The Story” as there are different editions of “The Story” for different age groups. This first video is not represebtative of the weekly videos and most are much shorter that the video you put up. They use pictures which are quickly drawn and erased as the audio plays and they are pretty cool, amusing, dare I say “hip”? They do use instrumental music, so that mght present some problems. It might not be the best thing for an indiidual congregaton and it doesn’t replace reading the whole bible but I think it would probably work for at least a part of any congregation… if not on Sunday morning maybe on a Wednesday night. The weekly sermons that were delivered can’t actually cover all the material that is presented in one chapter of the book so the minister will have to pick what part of the chapter they want to talk about. I guess I’m not as negative as some of the earlier commenters on “The Story”.

  8. Ann says:

    Perhaps an overview of the Bible and how the parts come together to make a beautiful whole would be good for a congregation. I believe in Bible reading and Bible study, but I also believe something like “The Story” would be helpful in better understanding the broad concepts of the Bible and how they fit together. We live in a time when DVDs are a regular and important part of instruction, and people respond to them very well. This is only my opinion. The elders of the church would need to preview the program thoroughly before using it.

  9. Doug says:

    Jay, it sure should be nice if there was some way to preview posts or edit them after they have been posted. My last post is downright embarrassing because of all the mispellings and typos but that’s truly me without some kind of a checker. And, it only gets worse when I use my Iphone. I apologize for the mangled post!

  10. Al P. says:

    Jay – Our congregation (A Christian Church) used The Story and I think it was overkill in our instance. It would be somewhat different in a class only, we used it in class and in the sermon.

  11. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:


    Your wish is granted. Try out the new feature and let me know what you think! (I’ve given commenters 15 minutes to edit their comments.)

  12. Doug says:

    Jay, as long as you are granting requests and are in a generally good mood… I am no longer seeing recent post info over along the right side of your webpage. Have I done something or has that just gone?

  13. Doug says:

    I like the option to edit/delete a post. Thank you! I only got 5 minutes to do either thing tho’, not the 15 minutes you mentioned. Maybe you can explain the gravatar thingy sometime. I signed up for one but so far I haven’t been able to figure out what to do with it. Right now, I have to type in my email and name with every post I make.

  14. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:


    It’s a software problem with WordPress. Theobloggers is looking into it. Probably a bug in a plug in. Should be resolved in a few days.

  15. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:


    For some reason, the plugin isn’t accepting the change from the 5 minute default to 15 minutes. May be the same bug that’s messed up the list of comments. We’ll see.

    Regarding Gravatars, it should be pretty mindless. I get recognized as the host, and so my experience is different from yours. I suspect you need to have cookies enabled for the software to automatically recognize you. You may also need to clear your browser cache.

  16. Darren says:

    Jay, College Hills Church in Lebanon, TN is using The Story, we are on week 10 and it has been well received so far. Being used in Sunday AM worship and Bible Classes. Personally I prefer the teen curriculum videos to the adult ones.

  17. Les says:

    Hello Jay. We are in the eleventh week of the series at our church (Calvary christian,
    Winchester, Kentucky). It is a long commitment of time for a teaching series but it has been well received by our church. The 31 week series is dividede into six
    mini-series; Hope In The Darkness (chapters1-6), Victory Against All Odds (chapters
    7-9), The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (chapters10-14), God Speaks(chapters 15-21)
    The Man With The Plan (chapters 22-27) and finally His Becomes Ours (chapters28-
    31). In the sermons on Sunday morning, each chapter is dealth with on three levels;
    the upper story, the lower story and our story. The upper story is the big picture. What is God up to in the text? How is He working? What is He doing? God created us.
    The fall really happened. A scarlet thread begins to emerge that is interwoven throughout the story that God is at work in our world seeking to restore what was lost
    in Eden. And very early, we are learning it is all about Jesus. The lower story is
    the people, the circumstances, the actual history that takes place in the text. The
    good and the bad. The heroes are broken and flawed people whom God chooses to
    work through in accomplishing His purposes. Our story deals with the question,
    so what? What does the text have to say to me? How does God want our story to
    become part of His story? In addition to the sermons on Sunday morning, our children’s ministry is also following the series on Sunday morning in classes. ‘The
    Story’ has an adult version, a teen version and a chidren’s version. We also have a
    number of small groups meeting on Sunday mornings and throughout the week at the
    building and also in homes and the emphasis in these groups is more on the application of the text that week. It is a series that I personally would recommend. It is a series
    that I have been blessed by along with my family and our church.

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