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116 North Third St. , Kiester , MN 56051
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595 First Ave. SW , Wells , MN 56097
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posted on September 16
"The Bible is central to our faith," said Pastor Chris Leistra of Open Doors United Methodist Church, "but many people are intimidated by its scope and size. The Story gives us a way to journey from Genesis to Revelation together in 31 weeks so everyone understands God's story and how their story intersects with it."
The Bible is the best-selling book in history, but how many people in our area are actually reading it? A Gallup survey reports the average American household has four bibles. However, research by Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (2006) found that only 16 percent of Americans read the Bible every day.
Open Doors UMC is hoping to reverse this trend, starting with its own congregation. Pastor Chris Leistra believes that The Story, a Zondervan best-seller, is the right tool to increase Biblical literacy, helping readers understand God's story from Genesis to Revelation and how their own stories intersect with God's. Consisting of 31 chapters of carefully-selected scriptures from the NIV Bible sequenced in chronological order, The Story presents the word of God in an engaging format, reading like a novel. And like any good story, The Story is filled with intrigue, drama, conflict, romance, and redemption -- and this story's true!
"I want the people in my congregation to realize the incredible love God has for them and how their story is found in His story." said Pastor Leistra.
The Story Church Campaign is a unique program providing up to 31 weeks of curriculum for children, teen and adult Sunday School, and up to 31 weeks of corresponding sermons. When accompanied by reading through the five age-related books (The Story, The Story: Teen Edition, The Story for Kids, The Story for Children, and The Story for Little Ones), the entire church can be literally on the same page for 31 weeks. Open Doors UMC plans to begin the experience on September 23, 2018. There will be a 2-month break in November and December 2018, then continue in January through May 2019, completing the 31-week journey in the fall of 2019.
With thousands of participating churches nationwide, The Story is becoming a movement that is bringing wide-ranging benefits to local churches. Many have reported increased community outreach, increased Biblical literacy, congregational growth and a greater understanding of how God's story reveals the reasons for the things that happen in man's story.
Open Doors United Methodist Church would like to invite you to experience The Story.
Some of the ways Open Doors UMC will be experiencing The Story: