The Big Deal about the Big Idea

Your quick but essential guide to the big idea in expository preaching

The Big Deal about the Big Idea

At we often talk about "The Big Idea" in preaching. It's kind of a big deal around here. Of course we didn't invent the concept or the phrase. The concept comes from some pretty old sermons given by Jesus (see Luke 4:8-10) or Peter (see Acts 2:14-36). In our day, Dr. Haddon Robinson has probably done more than anyone to promote and popularize the concept of the big idea in expository preaching. So after reading what Dr. Robinson and a host of other fine preachers (like Dr. Jeffrey Arthurs and Bryan Chapell, to name a few) had to say about this concept, here's my condensed version, everything-you-need-to know in about 1,000 words overview of the big idea in biblical preaching.

The crux of the big idea

Preaching Professor Dr. Haddon Robinson likes to say, "A sermon should be a bullet, not buckshot." In other words, the sermon should focus on one clear, simple, concise main idea. If you're writing a paper, you'd call this the thesis ...

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Displaying 1–2 of 2 comments

Matthew Woodley

August 20, 2014  11:06am

Carl: Thanks for the helpful comment and I'll check out the resource you mentioned.

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Carl Duhrkoop

August 18, 2014  9:39am

This is a very good article that I will pass on to my students. I do believe there should be one more component, however: "The big idea should be applicational in nature." (It ought to encourage an active response in the listener.) Of the five examples, 2-4 were applicational; 1 and 5 were truth statements. A very good resource for this is "Application in Biblical Preaching," a thesis by Brian Jones, written for Gordon-Conwell in 2003.

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Matt Woodley

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August 29, 2016

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