When I was a young kid people used to ask that question frequently. It was actually more like a catch phrase than a question. It was a regular part of the script on Leave it to Beaver (what parent would ever call their kid Beaver?), Andy Griffith (my all time favorite show) and others. You don’t hear the question much anymore, unless you’re in one of my seminars on designing worship service flow and theme. You might also hear me ask that as I leave a church’s worship service, because that’s what I’m wondering as I walk out the door and get into my car: “What was the big idea they wanted me to walk away with today?”

Seldom do speakers present an overarching Big Idea that I can hang onto. They present a few decent ideas, some not as decent and a bunch of other stuff. But hardly ever do I walk out the door thinking of the ONE big thing they wanted me to leave thinking about. They simply bombard me with various ideas. Why? I guess because it’s easier and requires less thought and planning to design an entire service, sermon included, with multiple messages as opposed to developing just one, singular, BIG Idea. It’s hard work to boil it all down to just one idea, and it usually requires a collaborative effort which adds to the challenge.

What’s so important about this singular focus? It’s what makes your message stick. If you’ve not read, Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath it’s worth your time (that is if you’re someone who wants to sharpen their skill of communicating ideas and thoughts). The main thesis of their book centers around presenting a singular big idea concept in a simple way. There’s not room here to articulate HOW to do that, but If you can do that regularly throughout the entire worship service people will leave with much more than they might otherwise. That’s much better than them asking, “Hey, what’s the big idea?”

So, are any of you doing something similar? What are the results. I’d love to hear from you.

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