Is the Bible on your Bucket List?3 min read

Rev. Russell Peterson of Trinity Lutheran Church in Sturgis, Mich. sent out an invitation to his entire community to journey through THE STORY, a bestselling abridged Bible that is arranged chronologically and woven to read like a novel in order to give readers a greater understanding of the Bible.

“So many people want to read through the Bible at some point in their life,” said Trinity, Sturgis’ new administrative pastor, Rev. Russell Peterson.

He continued, “Many don’t because it’s too easy to get bogged down in its details so, in an effort to help people check the Bible off on their ‘Bucket List,’ we are going to start walking through THE STORY, a bestselling abridged Bible that is arranged in chronological order and woven like a story to give readers a much clearer understanding of the Bible.”

Arranged in 31 chapters, THE STORY contains no verse references and consists of the major sections of Scripture woven together with transition text to connect one section to the next so that it reads like a seamless story, making its meaning much easier to grasp.

“For people new to the Bible, this way of reading Scripture reduces the intimidation one can feel when approaching the full-length unabridged Bible,” said Peterson. “It gives a holistic and sequential picture of the storyline of Scripture and for seasoned Bible veterans; the chronological arrangement of essential texts reveals the way the whole Bible fits together in a single grand narrative, making it more thought-provoking.”

Peterson indicated that while this special, community-wide study can be started any time, Trinity began in September and is moving through the book at a pace of one chapter per week.

Using advertising, which included a large outdoor banner, a newspaper article, a radio interview, and specially-made door hanger invitations disbursed into the community by church members, Trinity’s launch of THE STORY has caused a healthy spike in attendance at weekend church services and Sunday school classes, and initiated the birth of several new, weekday and evening Bible study groups – held both at the church and throughout the community.

“I am very pleased by the initial positive response that THE STORY has received,” remarked Peterson, “and I am equally pleased to see that more and more are being drawn to THE STORY daily – due to the positive remarks and feedback from those who are engaging in this Bible study.”

Trinity member Carolyn Hart shares, “I started reading the Bible before, but I could never get past the boring parts. This is different. I am getting so much more out of it with THE STORY. There is a real difference.”

There are so many ways to become involved in this study, which is why the entire community was invited. It can be followed through independent reading, attending Trinity’s weekend worship services, Sunday school, or one of the many small group studies both on and off Trinity’s campus; it can even be done as a family time in your own home since there are versions written on every age level. It also provides a great opportunity to bring friends along; especially those who still have the Bible on their bucket list!

“I want the people in my congregation, as well as the city of Sturgis, to realize the incredible love God has for us through His Son Jesus Christ and how our story is found in His story,” concluded Peterson.

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Photo courtesy WhoIsDhillon via Flickr

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About the Author

Laura Kurella is an administrative assistant to the pastors at Trinity Lutheran Church in Sturgis, Mich.

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