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Podcast Episode 10 | 14 min

The Big Idea

It helps the preacher and the listener focus.

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Average Rating: Not rated [see ratings/reviews]The Big Idea

Matt Woodley: Welcome to another episode of Monday Morning Preacher. I'm Matt Woodley, editor of PreachingToday.com, and a 25-year journeyman studying the craft of preaching, helping other preachers, and glad to be here today. I'm here with our guest host, Kevin Miller.

Kevin Miller: Hey, Matt, how you doing today?

MW: Kevin is one of the guys that helped launch PreachingToday.com, about 25-some years ago.

KM: Yeah, the earth's crust was cooling, dinosaurs were roaming the land, and we launched PreachingToday.com.

MW: So Kevin, I've been doing a lot of research on preaching this week, and today we're going to cover some amazing topics. I'm going to share a lot of what I've been learning. So we're going to start looking at ways to improve your delivery, then we're going to cover how to streamline your sermon prep process, then we're going to switch to how and when to use personal illustrations in your preaching. I also have some incredible ideas about great applications. Oh, and did I mention we're going to talk about writing effective introductions that really grab people's attention.

KM: Wait, Matt, you do know that this podcast is only 12-15 minutes long?

MW: Well, what's the problem? I've got lots of exciting stuff I've been thinking about all week long. I've been doing all this research and I've got all these great ideas, and I am ready to share it.

KM: Well, you're going to have to talk super-duper fast. And did I mention that all of our other podcasts have had one topic per episode?

MW: Yeah. You know, Kevin, you're right. I'm just giving preachers, including myself here, a little taste of the medicine that we sometimes dish out to others. Specifically, we have too much great content and it goes off in too many different directions. So there's a really simple concept that can help all of us preachers simplify our messages and give our people something memorable and life-changing. It's called the big idea of biblical preaching.

KM: Yeah, and really champion of the big idea over the last 20-30 years of English-speaking preaching is Haddon Robinson, who was closely involved in the founding of Preaching Today, and I think it's one of the most important concepts a preacher can master.

MW: I like to think of it this way, and Haddon used this analogy similar to this. This is a true story. I've actually been taking archery lessons.

KM: Really?

MW: Yeah, I showed up, I said, “I want to learn how to shoot a bow and arrow,” and the guy said, “Well, I can teach you how to shoot an arrow but not a bow.” But the whole point of archery is to hit that little red target 50 feet away in the middle, not just spray it all over the place, but hit the bullseye. And Haddon said the big idea is like the bullseye—what are you trying to hit with your sermon.

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Haddon Robinson is Harold John Ockenga Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

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Lisa Hall

March 14, 2017  5:13am

One great idea that I was taught by David Cook, an Aussie Presbyterian, is that, once you have your big idea, think of a question (relevant to your listeners) that your big idea is the answer to. Then in your introduction you lead up to and then ask The Big Question. This is a great way of engaging people. Your sermon (and big idea) is then the answer to that question. The question could be something like, "How do I know what true love is?", "Am I beyond God's forgiveness?", "How can I resist temptation?". Asking a question that people yearn to know the answer to will encourage active listening and helps people to remember your big idea.

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