Rhetoric & Homiletics: Binging On BigIdeas

BigIdea Graphic 1  Helping People To Listen & Remember

Today I took some time to lay out some POTENTIALLY useful BigIdeas (yes, I write it that way on purpose).

I have posted 100’s on my Twitter account “BigIdeasDaily” (go to the  2017 tweets).  I did not do it so much for the purpose of tweeting, but because doing that forced me to do it on a D-A-I-L-Y basis — over 300 times in a year.


Today, I went on a BigIdeaBinge, listing out a whole series of potential BigIdeas.  Maybe they will help you think of how to frame a BigIdea as you work on your messages this week.

√ I listed them out as they came
√ Sometimes I included a biblical reference that brought it to mind
√ At other times, I included an example of the BigIdea
√ Many of them could be and need to be stated in a more concise, compact way.
√ And did not check them for grammatical mistakes.


Remember, a BigIdea is not merely a theologically factual statement . . . .

•  God is faithful (He is, but it a theological truth, but it is not a BigIdea.).
•  God will never leave you or forsake you
•  Jesus cares
•  The Spirit is our comforter.
•  etc……….

Rather, a BigIdea capture a truth in a “grammatically relational way.”


BigIdeas capture
a biblical / theological truth
in a “grammatically relational way.” 


I don’t know how else to phrase it.

There is a biblical and/or theological truth in the statement of the BigIdea, but it also includes a relationship to that truth.



Pencil V1  Well here is my Binge Of BigIdeas


Silence Is The Temptation In Trials.
Silence the looming temptation in “persecution.” — Acts 4:18 — There is a way to avoid persecution / criticism / marginalization — It is called silence.


The “NOT’S Are Also God’s Will.
The “nots” of God’s commandments are also part of doing God’s will — Exodus 19 / Ephesians 4


Leaders are primarily proactive, not only reactive. 
— Nehemiah 4


Influence is different from authority.
If you have influence you have authority.
Authority does not mean you have influence.
NOTE: The religious leaders of the day had both with the people


Sinful men use intimidation and manipulation. – Sanbalt-Tobiah


The Lord uses and/or enhances the talents of men.
The Lord’s method was to pick men — good and/or bad — and then to either use what they had or give them what they needed — or both.


The culture of Christianity was set by the Chief executive.


Knowing and solving require two different skill sets.
One is being a good shepherd, and the other is being a discerning / wise counselor.


Giving Up Is The Ultimate Failure.
Many biblical characters failed — but what set them apart was that they did not give up after failure.


There is a difference between stopping and giving up.


Understanding Gifts Changes The Way We See Men.
Gifts: If you understand gifts, then you will see men, use men differently and you will see them as better than oneself


“Beginning” can be where the faith  (perhaps great faith) is found. 
Sometimes, “beginning”— the first step —is the hardest and most heroic – trusting – faith – believing step in the whole process.  After the first step, the rest flows easily from that. — Nehemiah 1


Determination typically marks great accomplishment.
What marked the greatest of biblical characters, was an extraordinary determination, and it will take that to accomplish great things in His kingdom work today.


Guilt & Twisted Thinking Are Strapped Together.
Sometimes a guilty conscience will twist reasoning into accepting the mind’s logic.


Mistakes — and second mistakes  — are different from each other.


Trust has a positive correlation to leadership. 
Exodus 14:12


Calm Is An Argument.
A calm and being unruffled is also an argument that can be made when persuading. — Numbers 12:1-3 / Acts 15


“Hope” is part of a biblical argument.
Psa 130:5


Effective leadership has a correlation and causal connection to learning. 
I Samuel 25:32


Willingness & Success Are Linked
The great Bible characters of faith were just willing to do what others, – who were unsuccessful / failed / ineffective —  will not do


Doing what you ought to do Today is part of being responsible tomorrow.


Help People Who Need Help, Not Who Need To Be Pushed.
Work with People who may need to be helped up a ladder, not pushed up.
Barnabas and Saul-Paul


Failed leadership: Not having left your convictions and principles with those you lead.


At times the Lord tells us only what to do, not how to do it.


Being & Doing Are Chained Together.
What we are is a combination of who we are and what we have done, because they flow out of each other.
We do what we do because of who we are.
And what we produce is due to who we are.
I thank God for who He is, and what He has done.


Moving Slowly and/or Standing Still Works.
Going slowly is necessary sometimes, even standing still may be required, but not stalling / stuck.


To excuse failure is to confuse failure. 
I Samuel 15:9


The Christian faith sees leading and serving as one and the same.


We will answer for what people see!
There is such a thing as “non-verbal communication” when it comes to the Christian faith.  I Corinthians 8:10


Sometimes pushing is part of leading.
Leading and “pushing others” are not necessarily opposites when it comes to leadership. — Paul rebuking Peter / Nehemiah to the wall workers / Eaglets even need a push.


The Lord offers a helping hand and also lets us decide when to let go of that hand. 
Peter walking on water


In the Lord’s work, it is not true that “You are only as good as the people you hire.”


Our obedience makes it far easier to “command” others.


Sometimes following others is also leadership.


The parts are always key to the whole.
Minutes make up our hours / Decisions make up our accomplishments / daily bread makes up a life of satisfaction


Using people is different from USING people.


“All or None” is a typical the avenue of failure or worse.
Take nobody’s advice or Everybody’s advice / How someone feels and no one feels / Inactivity or Always active / popularity or isolation / . . . .


Never Take Force Off The Table Of Resolution.
Resolving conflict peaceably is always the desired aim, but forcibly resolving it should not be left off the table —chasing out the money changers


On “Monday morning,” God’s people want application.
Apply biblical truths means that we address questions which people are asking today, not a century ago. You can address movies, but the real problem today is pornography.


“Good” isn’t a bad choice when the “best” is out of reach / not possible.


The Saddest Words: It could have been.
Whether it is common or not I am not sure because I do not know what the Lord had in mind for this or that person, but when it does happen — it is sad —— Samson – unfulfilled potential


Problems Persist Because Of An Unwillingness To Make Hard Decisions.
Sometimes the biggest / most serious problem facing us is that tough/hard decision which MIGHT or might have resolved it.


A failed solution may still be the best or the only solution.
A solution may not work, but it still may be the only solution that has the potential of working.


Great biblical men were all marked by determination — before, during, or by the end of their call to action.


Being right and being in charge are two different animals.
They are as different as the Zebra and the Porcupine.


Valleys are part of the travelers landscape.
Going over the hill, sometimes requires going through valleys as well.


A right move and the right motive are different and not always  / often not / found together.


Sometimes we set limits on what can or should be done, not the Lord. 


There Is Gain Without Pain.
Often there IS gain without pain when it comes to the Lord working in our lives and ministry – reaped where he did not sow is not uncommon with the Lord’s work.


Bad decisions can be — the people you hired, or people you should have fired.
I Kings 12:6-8


Chose integrity over loyalty.
It is not loyalty that is the most desirable trait of a team member, but integrity.Loyalty will flow out of integrity, as well as give that person the freedom to talk honestly to power.


Doing the right thing requires knowing the right thing.


Good decisions require the right information.
You can’t make good decisions with bad information — except by randomness / “luck”.


Give it no value and there will be little to no motivation.
Seeing the value of something helps motivation. If you do not see the value of patience, you will not be motivated to acquire it through trials.


Seeing the invisible is part of a Christian’s motivation.


Lead, follow, or get out of His way.


Prayer both changes us AND our circumstances.
Hezekiah II Kings 20:6


Sometimes others do not defeat us as much as we defeat ourselves.
Saul – I Samuel 14:29 / I Samuel 18:5


If you can’t listen you won’t be helped.
— ears to hear.


It is not the most information, but the best information that leads to wise decisions.


Failing and being a failure are not the same.
One is an even, the other is a condition.


Helping Others Sometimes Comes From The Confidence You Have In Your Dreams.
When you haven’t lost your dream (Joseph), you get excited about helping others who need help with their dream (yes, one did not work out so good, but Joseph’s willingness showed that he still believed in God’s dreams).


Often the choice may be changing jobs, friendships, or locations versus changing ourselves.


If it is a terrible idea, kill it, don’t appoint a committee.


What you have a limited supply of, is valuable: Time, money, friendships


All thoughts are not invisible.
Many thoughts can be seen — through the actions which speak of them.




Great biblical truths
go nowhere
if they are
not heard


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