The Story – Youth Ministry Kit
Written by Michael Novelli, published by Zondervan, distributed in UK by Harper Collins 2011

£38.99 (Approx)
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What does it say on the tin?

‘Using the clear text of the New International Version, The Story: Teen Edition sweeps you into the unfolding progression of Bible characters and events from Genesis to Revelation. And, like any good story, it is filled with intrigue, drama, conflict, romance, and redemption. The DVD helps teens understand The Story more clearly utilising videos and experiential learning methods, and is an invaluable tool for teaching the Bible’s principles and life-giving message to teens.

Teenagers will delight in the experience as biblical truths reveal themselves in a fresh light, while the included DVD provides lessons and discussion questions to help teens apply God’s lessons to their own lives. By reading the Bible in a new way, they will come to understand how the story of Scripture – God’s great overarching purpose – intersects with the stories of their lives.’

What do you get and how?

Available from Harper Collins. The pack contains:

  • The Story – teen edition softcover book – 496 page book which uses selections from the NIV Bible to retell the Bible as one continuing story of God and his people.
  • A DVD which includes 61 video sessions, each between 1 minutes and 7 minutes in length, as well as all the 31 session outlines and teaching notes that leaders will need.

There are also reproducible student handouts. Each session lasts for 75 minutes and follows the same outline. It starts with a recap of the story so far on video followed by a video animation of this session’s teaching. This is then followed by the session’s teaching being repeated, this time using drama scripts based on the NIV Bible passages. The session then concludes with a discussion and response time.

Who is it for?

Teenagers who want to understand the Bible better and the whole story of Scripture.




  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Excellent. The videos are fantastic and the concept is brilliant. Producing a format which works and tells the main sweep of the Biblical story in 31 sessions is great.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Very clear. The resource aims to give young people a better understanding of the Bible and God's story, and, by doing so, see how God wants to continue His story in their lives.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    The leaders' notes are very detailed and contained in full on the DVD. Every session is clearly laid out with advice for getting the most out of the course and from the young people.

    Who could lead it?

    Anyone used to working with young people.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    There is a printable handout for each session which are purposefully very similar. The author has made all the sessions follow the same pattern as he is following research explained which recommends repetition in learning. Some participants will love this but others may struggle.

    How good is any digital material?

    Superb. The videos are of an artist drawing the story, either on a whiteboard close up or on a massive canvas. Each week there is also a recap video of what was taught the previous week, as well as regular sessions where the ‘story so far' is retold. These are engaging and the final recap video in the last session sums up The Story in under 7 minutes!

    How much prep will I have to do?

    The author recommends at least an hour per session to really engage with the material as a leader so you can then lead it well.

    Is there website support? Links?

    The resource is linked to the adult version of The Story ( as well as the author's own website (

    Is it dated?


  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    The course is designed to be undertaken as a group. There is some useful questions for discussion and participants are encouraged to share what they are discovering.

    How well does it cater for a variety of both learning and delivery styles?

    A variety of delivery styles are used but the author does use a standard running order for each of the 31 sessions. His reason for this is that repetition aids learning. However some young people may struggle with this and find it too repetitive.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    It should be quite straightforward to adapt this to your group.

    How well does it encourage people to work together in applying the material?

    There is plenty of opportunity for discussions in two's and small groups, sharing what they are learning.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    The whole course is based on passages from the NIV Bible. Each video and all the drama scripts are adapted from the NIV.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    This is very well done, especially the videos, which are very engaging and inspiring. The scripts should take about 10 minutes to read out. The suggestion is for dramatic reading rather than acting them out.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    The discussion questions are useful for each week as there is at least one question which asks for each participant to apply what they have learnt in that session.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    As this is based on the NIV Bible translation, it will be suited to all.

  • How well does it inspire people towards whole-life discipleship?

    The challenge to read the whole sweep of Scripture must inspire participants to living out their faith more.

    How well does it encourage and enable people to grow in their faith?

    The author uses The Story on two levels – the upper story, which explores God's overarching purposes, and the lower story, which explores the specifics of the stories in each session. As these two levels are explored, participants will see how their own story fits into God's purposes and will grow their faith.

    How well does it stretch faith and vision of God and his purposes?

    By having an understanding of the whole story of Scripture, understanding God's purposes must grow significantly.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    This is really dependent on people's engagement in the discussion times.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    This is not explored explicitly.

    How well does it encourage local or network-based community involvement?

    This is not explored.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Not explored specifically.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Whilst not explicit, it is implicit in the whole understanding of The Story.

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