The Story, originally released in 2005 by Zondervan, has sold five million copies across all formats, the publisher has announced. The Story began as a project by Zondervan’s Bible team in which the entirety of Scripture was condensed into 21 chapters on the people and events from Genesis to Revelation.
The Story, the core product that reached the sales milestone, is available in hardcover, large print, audio, a student edition, and in a limited-edition leather-soft binding. It has also been available in three translations: New International Version, New King James Version, and the King James Version.
“More important than the number of units sold is the number of lives, spanning many generations, that have been impacted,” said Melinda Bouma, v-p and publisher of Bibles for Zondervan. “It’s gratifying to play a role in bringing God’s Word to more than 5 million people through this title, helping people connect the individual stories of the Bible into one continuing Story.”
Published initially as a standalone Bible project, The Story was developed into a 31-week church campaign in 2007, which included classroom curriculum for all ages, sermon outlines and transcripts, graphics including blank PowerPoint slides and bulletin inserts, and Bible study videos. The larger product line includes books and storybooks for children of all ages, devotionals, preaching resources, and editions in nearly 20 languages.
“Churches of every denomination have been impacted by it because The Story focuses us on the one thing we can all agree on—that the Bible is central our faith,” said Beth Murphy, senior marketing director for ChurchSource and HarperChristian Resources (HCR).
ChurchSource is HarperCollins Christian Publishing’s direct-to-church division, which connects pastors and church leaders to Christian resources and has been in existence for nearly 30 years. HCR is the new Bible study and curriculum imprint of HCCP; its website and store is powered by ChurchSource.
HarperChristian Resources recently released an updated three-part edition of The Story Video Study designed for small groups and churches that need a more flexible format. The three, eight-week video studies (instead of the original 31-week campaign), The Story Bible Study Series and accompanying videos cover the Old Testament in two segments and the New Testament in one of the 8-week segments.
“The Church has made The Story what it is. Pastors and church leaders caught the vision for The Story as both a Bible engagement tool for their members and as an evangelism resource,” said Murphy. “Small churches tell us The Story church campaign is easy for them to implement because everything is turnkey and ready to go. Large churches tell us The Story church campaign is easy for them to implement because it’s so flexible and customizable, and they can adapt it to fit their format.”
In 2015 Zondervan published Believe, the sequel to The Story. Believe presents Scripture arranged thematically into 30 big ideas, and is available as a 30-week church campaign that help all ages—from toddlers to seniors—learn to be more like Jesus. To date, the product line has sold over one million copies, according to the publisher.