An Example Of A Big Idea

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As you follow this blog you will repeatedly see the same title as we seek to illustrate the nature of a “Big Idea.”   By calling it the “Big Idea” one is highlighting the fact that this idea permeates the message from the introduction to the conclusion. Some have called “a sticky idea,” describing its desired purpose.

This is from Andy Stanley’s message on James 1:25.

“I was brought up with very very practical Bible teaching and when my dad would open the scripture and teach the scripture there was always a “do” and it was so clear one of the things that he said over and over and over when I was growing up  . . . is obey God and leave all the consequences to Him . . . . Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him . . . . in other words you just do the doing and don’t try to control the outcomes and don’t worry about the outcomes  . . . . you just do and then you look into the next season  . . . . get to the next season and you’ll see what God did.

he would say this . . . God takes full responsibility . . . 

this is such a big idea  . . . God takes full responsibility for the life that is holy devoted to Him . . . that is you give and you make the adjustments and then you wait and see what God will do.

my dad’s father died when my dad was seventeen months old so he never knew his own his biological father. . . . and his grandfather . . . . his father’s father. . .  had a big impact on him and he and my dad . . . . I grew up hearing all these things that my great-grandfather told my dad . . . and the one that you know I’ll never forget . . . .and my dad probably told me this . . . . started telling me this  . . . when I was like eight or nine or ten . . . . I was super young . . ..  

he would say, “Andy,  my grandad told me  . . . he said  . . . ‘Charlie if God tells you to run your head through a brick wall you start running and trust God to make a hole.'”

As you can see, Andy states, and repeatedly repeats, and restates the “Big Idea.”  I use the words “repeats” and “restates” purposefully because they are different rhetorical techniques!

  • A “Big Idea” is not a theological statement. — “God is faithful.”  That is a theological fact and is not structured in a way that a “Big Idea” should be or would be structured.


  • A “Big Idea” is not a “Bible Heading” which delineates the general content in the next section – “Paul’s Shipwreck When Sailing To Rome.”  That heading may well reflect the coming content but it is not structured in a way that a “Big Idea” should be or would be structured.


  • A “Big Idea” is not the “Theme” or the general topic of a portion of Scripture – “God’s Grace.”  That may be the theme of a book or passage, but it is not structured in a way that a “Big Idea” should be or would be structured.


  • A “Big Idea” is structured in a way that it forms a driving principle.
  • A “Big Idea” is stated in a way that sticks by the very nature in which it is stated.
  • A “Big Idea” sticks in the listener’s mind as an operating principle of life
  • A “Big Idea” something that the listener can grab onto and see in a very “practical” way.
  • A “Big Idea” has a “practice”/”practical” element included in the actual statement of that “sticky idea.”  There is something related to “doing” in the very statement of the Big Idea.

If you want to see some examples of a “Big Idea” grab the notes on Ephesians, and the Big Ideas are posted throughout the chapters with this identifying icon . . . .

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Also, it might be of help to read the opening section on

“Bible Principles.”


On our twitter account (BigIdeasDaily) and can read hundreds of “Big Ideas” which I have posted.  They also included Bible verses that go along with each BigIdea.


I Corinthians 3

“Don’t fall in love with the postman.”

  He just delivers the mail.

“we are but ministers  . . . . by whom you believed!”



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