Pastor Roger Storms
Roger Storms is a graduate of Ozark Christian College and has served at Chandler Christian Church as senior pastor since 1988.
Pastor Matt Myers
Matt Myers is a graduate of Ozark Christian College and has served at Chandler Christian Church as an associate pastor since 2004.
Get to Know Jesus Like You’ve Never Known Him Before
By Matt Myers
**As printed in the February, 2014 edition of the Christian Standard magazine
Going through The Story in 2011 was a life-changing experience for our church. People who had always struggled to read anything, much less the Bible, were not only reading Scripture but sharing it with people they knew. Simply putting God’s Word into story format enabled people to overcome that “Bible Intimidation Factor.” Not only that, it also allowed them to finally see for themselves how the whole Bible points toward Jesus. Since The Story had such a great result, our Lead Pastor, Roger Storms, began to ask: What’s next? How do we capitalize on this?
For us the answer was fairly simple: More Jesus. If the “big AHA” of The Story was learning that every book of the Bible points towards Jesus, what would happen if we did a similar series that focused only on Jesus? Would recasting the Gospels into a novel format allow people who resist reading the Bible to get into the Word? We wanted to find out.
So in 2012 we launched our own 14-week series called HIS Story for adults, teens and children. The vision was “Get to Know Jesus Like You’ve Never Known Him Before.” With copyright permission, we used the New Living Translation® to harmonize the four Gospels into one seamless story about Jesus. Utilizing the research of Thomas and Gundry along with The Chronological Life of Christ by Dr. Mark Moore, each verse was carefully excerpted, harmonized and placed in chronological order. The text went through numerous edits to ensure the greatest accuracy and quality. The final text was proofread by Peachtree Editorial Services. Transitions were written to smooth over the changes in location or to help the reader better grasp what was unfolding. In other words, it was a lot more work than we anticipated! But it was also well worth it. The result was a 14 chapter book, children’s curriculum, small group curriculum and a resource CD.
The response to HIS Story has been phenomenal. It has been effective for both the unchurched and growing believers. We received hundreds of testimonies during the series from people who were in different stages of their faith-walk. Here is a sample of what they shared with us: “His Story has had a huge impact on our entire family’s lives. His Story and the discussions it has inspired played a huge role in helping our son embrace Jesus and as a result he decided to get baptized.” “I read His Story to my kids every night at bedtime through this series. My three year old and seven year old were excited each night and really paid close attention.” “In January, my girlfriend invited me to church, after His Story already began. Since then, I have restored my faith, learned more about Jesus, how better to love others and to live life as a better person.” “This has been great for us to see how amazing Jesus is. It has been great to help young Christians learn to read the Bible. I have given copies to people I am reaching out to. One is a 72 year old man who has been frustrated for years and gave up trying to read the Bible. He is now reading His Story and loves it.” “Ever since being baptized on February 19th, my relationship with Christ has grown exponentially. His Story came alive and was my constant companion. I sent copies to all of my family in Indiana. Thank you CCC and thank you Jesus. His Story is just the beginning.”
The unchurched were able to hear the message of Christ in a way they had never experienced before. In fact, there was even one unchurched guy who resorted to stealing a copy so he could read it. True story. One of our members came to buy an extra copy, so I just casually asked if she was going to give it to someone. She answered by telling me that her car had been in the shop for the last week and she had left her book was in it. A few days after she brought the car home she realized her copy of the book was missing. She knew it was in her car, so she called her mechanic to see if maybe it had fallen out of her car by accident. He had to admit to her that the book looked so intriguing that he picked it up to see what it was all about. After he read the first little bit he was so hooked that he couldn’t put it down. Then he asked her, “Do you mind if I finish?” She didn’t mind at all.
Through HIS Story, we set out to help people “Get to Know Jesus Like Never Before.” God has blessed this goal and has even allowed us to take it beyond just Chandler Christian Church. Since we finished HIS Story, we have made it available to be used by anyone who would like to go through the series. It has been used by a number of different churches, small groups, Sunday Schools and discipleship partners. There is even a non-profit organization that helps treat addiction using HIS Story as both their evangelism and discipleship curriculum with great success.
Going through The Story sparked a desire in us to create HIS Story, not because we desired to be unique, but because we desperately wanted people to know Jesus through the Word. We witnessed first-hand that it works. I know we’re not the first, nor will we be the last, to find new ways to get people into the Word. We hope to see local churches everywhere use their resources and vision to create similar projects to share with the larger Christian community. It has been truly amazing to be able to share the story of the most significant life ever lived on Planet Earth with so many people.