What’s the Big Idea?

Darryl Dash reflects on the importance of a clear central thought or big idea in preaching:

Seven years ago this time I was getting ready to study preaching under Haddon Robinson. I still remember sitting in the airport cramming on a final assignment: to study a number of passages, and to write a one-sentence summary of the overarching idea of that passage.

Looking back, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I had been preaching for more than 13 years and had studied Haddon’s book (Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages) in seminary, but I hadn’t developed the discipline of big-idea preaching. I didn’t see its value, and I didn’t realize how hard it is. I’m convinced that many preachers don’t get the big idea either, and they don’t know what they’re missing.

Why The Big Idea is Important

Haddon isn’t alone in arguing for the importance of a big idea in preaching. Check out this list, found in the excellent new book When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search: Biblical Principles and Practices to Guide Your Search
by Chris Brauns:

A sermon should be a bullet, not a buckshot. Ideally each sermon is the explanation, interpretation, or application of a single dominant idea supported by other ideas, all drawn from one passage or several passages of Scripture. (Haddon Robinson)

I have a conviction that no sermon is ready for preaching, not ready for writing out, until we can express its theme in a short, pregnant sentence as clear as crystal.

Read the rest here.

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