Casting Crowns, Selah and Steven Curtis Chapman are among the top-selling Christian singers with the traveling multimedia show “The Story Tour,” coming to the Patriot Center in Fairfax on Tuesday.
“Anyone you know, regardless of their religious beliefs, will come away with a deeper understanding of what the Bible is, who God is and why we’re here,” said Mark Hall, lead singer of Casting Crowns, based in Atlanta.
Also performing will be Natalie Grant, Matthew West, Nichole Nordeman and Rawsrvnt as part of the tour, now in its third year.
The show, which evolved from several books, moves from Genesis through Revelation, telling the story of the Bible through some of its major figures, beginning with Adam and Eve and moving by sections through Moses and Jesus to Paul.
The tour is sponsored by World Vision, a group based in Federal Way, Wash., that raises money to help impoverished children. Proceeds from the sale of the show’s CDs go to World Vision, and audience members also will have a chance to sign up to sponsor children at the show.
“The Story Tour” begins with a Christmas sing-along with the performers, audience and 20 members of the Christian Youth Theatre in Fredericksburg singing traditional carols such as “Joy to the World,” “O Holy Night,” “Away in a Manger” and “Silent Night.”
“It’s a big medley for the whole crowd,” said Hall, who expects to sing a favorite of his father’s called “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” which is based on an 1863 poem “Christmas Bells” by Longfellow.
Written during the War Between the States, the narrator says in despair, “Hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men,” but “the bells keep ringing,” said Hall about faith and hope for the future.
After the carols, the performers will begin “The Story,” which evolved from a collaboration between senior minister Randy Frazee and pastor Max Lucado, both of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, along with the Christian publishing company Zondervan, which publishes a bible called “The Story.”
“The Bible is not laid out chronologically — you can sometimes get lost and sometimes get confused,” Hall said. “[So what they did] was to go from Genesis to Revelation in order.”
In 2011, “(Music Inspired By) The Story” was released on a double CD album featuring 18 songs, with lyrics by Nordeman and Bernie Herms, performed by different high-profile artists.
On the CD, Hall and Megan Garrett sing “Who But You,” a song focusing on Abraham and Sarah.
“In the show [accompanied by a live orchestra], we all take several of the characters,” said Hall, who also will sing songs about Jesus and Paul.
Frazee, meanwhile, acts as the narrator, helping to link the sections, Hall said.
A DVD also was created with video accompanying each section that will appear on a giant screen behind the stage, along with the lyrics to the songs.
For 22 years, Hall has worked as a youth pastor at his church, Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church in Atlanta, on Sundays through Wednesdays. The rest of the week he’s free to travel and tour with Casting Crowns, which will release its latest CD, “Thrive,” on Jan. 28, followed by a tour to promote the album with Laura Story and For King & Country.
“It’s our fifth full-length album,” said Hall, who, along with fellow band members, has won several of the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Awards for Group of the Year, along with many other industry awards.
Hall said for nonbelievers, “The Story Tour” is a chance to see and hear the story of the Bible explained in a chronological way. “You can see how the dots connect,” he said.
And for Christians already familiar with the show, “It’s a chance to hear your favorite artists, it’s a Christmas season event, and the whole family can come,” he said.
“It reminds you what Christmas is all about. ... The goal is to make it a Christmas tradition,” Hall said.