God goes to great lengths to rescue lost and hurting people. That is what The Story is all about: the story of the Bible, God’s great love affair with humanity. Condensed into 31 accessible chapters, The Story sweeps you into the unfolding progression of Bible characters and events from Genesis to Revelation. Using the clear, accessible text of the NIV Bible, it allows the stories, poems, and teachings of the Bible to read like a novel. And like any good story, The Story is filled with intrigue, drama, conflict, romance, and redemption; and this story’s true!
The 2012-13 school year is the Year of The Story at Westside – Join us in this great adventure! Not only will we be learning from The Story in weekly sermons, but we will have an opportunity to expand on our knowledge of God’s Word presented in The Story in our children’s, youth, and adult ministries. It all begins September 23, 2012.
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is The Story and why are we doing it at Westside?
The Story is a book that condenses the Bible into 31 accessible chapters. Although it is not the Bible in its entirety, The Story is a tool that uses thoughtfully chosen and carefully excerpted portions of Scripture. The Story also includes written transitions and reads like a novel that begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation, covering the Bible chronologically.
The idea is that after reading The Story together as a church we will all have experienced the Bible in a brand new way. Hopefully you will be glued to every page, wrapped up in the lives of the characters, wanting to know more about the Author of this incredibly intense, heart-warming, life-changing true story.
For Westside, this season promises to be an incredible year as we all immerse ourselves in the words on the pages of the Bible. We expect God to move in big ways in the lives of our church family as our faith grows stronger and deeper through inviting His words of redemption and hope into our lives.
Are we using The Story instead of the Bible this year?
The book The Story is not meant to replace the Bible. It is simply a tool to help us experience the Bible better. As always, the Bible will be our ultimate guide and the final authority in our lives.
Why should I have a copy of The Story when I already have a Bible?
The Story includes written transitions, timelines, discussion questions, and other valuable resources that we will be using all year long. We strongly recommend that everyone have a personal copy of The Story. You won’t be disappointed. The Story presents the Bible in a very easy-to-read format that we will be referencing all year long at Westside Church. In addition to reading the book, you will most likely use it as a workbook, writing all sorts of notes and thoughts in the margin and highlighting what sticks out to you.
Do I need to bring both The Story and my Bible to church with me?
We suggest that you do. We will be referencing both throughout the service. We will be asking you to use it as a workbook during the messages, suggesting you make notes in the margins and underline/highlight sections along the way. In addition, your children in third grade through high school are also invited to bring their own copies.
Where can I get a copy of The Story? Do my children need a copy?
We will make The Story, The Story for Little Ones (preschool age), for Children (K-2nd grade), for Kids (3rd-5th grade), and the Teen Edition available at The Story table in the Welcome Center and you can order online as well. We recommend that children in third grade through high school have a personal copy of the edition for their age group. It is at the parents’ discretion whether or not the younger children have a copy. Copies of the book will be made available to children who regularly attend Sunday School.
Should I read a chapter of The Story before I come to church each weekend?
Yes. You will know in advance which chapters we will be covering when. It will be of great benefit to you to read the chapter before coming to weekend services.
Is there a reading schedule I can follow?
Yes. We will release the reading schedule in sections throughout the year as we release sermon titles.
When are we beginning The Story
The kickoff weekend is September 23, 2012.
Is the entire church really studying the same thing this year?
Yes. From young to old, we will all be studying the same chapters of The Storyevery week. We want to be threaded together as a church family this year by studying the same parts of the Bible at the same time. You can go home and have a conversation with your teenager or your third grader and the stories will be reinforced. Do you see the benefit? God’s Word will be so ingrained in us that it really does become living and breathing to us.
If I have children of different ages, why is it that they may be learning different Bible stories than my other children from week to week if we’re supposed to be studying the same thing?
Each chapter in The Story covers a large time span and often many people’s lives. For example, chapter one covers creation to the flood. Your preschoolers will learn about creation in Bible study and worship. Your elementary-age children will focus on creation in worship, Noah and the flood in K-2nd grade Bible study, and the fall and God’s plan in 3rd-5th grade Bible study. Children’s Ministry has thoughtfully planned the curriculum to be age appropriate.
Will it really take the entire year to go through The Story
Yes. There are 31 chapters in The Story. We will study these chapters in sections with a few breaks throughout the year. Please join us on this exciting journey through God's story . . . The Story.