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5 of 7 found the following review helpful:
So GoodFeb 07, 2007
By Chris Marlow
I had a hunch that this book would be good. Especially from a "practical" standpoint. But I was taken back how the authors were able to weave theology & missionality within the context of The Big Idea. Therefore the book, in my opinion, had an even a deeper impact than I was expecting. I also enjoy the fact that the book was written by men who are actively engaged in the process. It's not a history book about how they built a multi-site mega church and planted multiple churches in some of the least-church cities in America (Boston & NYC) 10 years ago. These boys are living within the mess and complexities of the Jesus mission via the local church. Which I think adds so much power and purpose to the book.
I also really like the "adaptability" of the book. It's more fluid than stoic, and every church can take the ideas and principles and tweak them for their local community and environments.
This book can also "cross-pollinate" to various "streams" of church and even the business world. Whether your a mega-church, emerging church, church plant, or traditional/contemporary church, at the end of the day if you do a weekly gathering, then this book can quickly help you process that gathering and be more effective. And if the principles are followed, I think a lot of churches will see an overall improvement that will create a healthy local church culture. Good planning will help cause less stress and conflict, and increase the value of the church in their local community as we (church) strive to truly do our very best to communicate the Jesus story.
I think this book should be apart of every pastors library. Matter-of-fact, I think all church planting organizations should add this text to their "must reads" for future planters, it's that helpful. I also like the fact the The Big Idea calls churches to be more effective, to become good stewards of our time and resources and to put our best foot forward as we try to serve the world and move the mission of Jesus forward.
You can also check out The BIG IDEA Resources & The BIG IDEA Blog
7 of 10 found the following review helpful:
Overcome Information Glut & Decision Paralysis at ChurchAug 17, 2007
By George P. Wood
I am an information junkie. I read newspapers, magazines, books, and blogs. I watch TV and listen to talk radio. I consider myself a well-informed guy. But being well-informed is not the same thing as being wise or effective. Indeed, too much information can paralyze our ability to make decisions.
Our churches often contribute to this glut of information. The pastor preaches on one topic, Sunday school teachers teach on another, the worship leader sings new songs with multiple verses, and the announcement guy rambles on with the church's upcoming events. No wonder parishioners get stuck in their spiritual lives. They have too much information to act on. They know more than they can do.
In their new book, The Big Idea, Dave Ferguson, Jon Ferguson, and Eric Bramlett tackle the topic of information-glutted, decision-paralyzed churches. They argue that churches should teach one big idea per week, and that this big idea should be reinforced in all the church's venues (worship services, Sunday school classes, and small groups). They demonstrate the multiple benefits of the big-idea approach. And they offer practical guidelines for how to implement this model of ministry in your church based on their own experience.
Do you want to make more and better followers of Jesus Christ? Do you want to see a greater connection between people's faith and works? Then, as The Big Idea's subtitle puts it, "focus the message" so that you can "multiply the impact." Teach your parishioners one thing a week. They can do more with less.
9 of 13 found the following review helpful:
Review: "The Big Idea: Focus The Message, Multiply The Impact"Feb 04, 2007
By Henry Judy
Review: "The Big Idea: Focus The Message, Multiply The Impact"
A Leadership Network Innovation Series by
Dave Ferguson, Jon Ferguson, and Eric Bramlett
A Review by Dr. Henry Judy
It has been a long time since there was a book published that has the God ordained ability to impact the church in such a huge way as The Big Idea. For a long time, I have been saying that the people in churches today for the most part are just NOT getting it. We think it is a program problem but it is not. It is a process problem and Dave Ferguson, with Jon Ferguson, and Eric Bramlett have not only brought the problem to the forefront, but provided a process for correction. Hence the concept of "The Big Idea."
Now what is paramount is that this process is not hypothetical in nature. It is a proven concept being used with great success by Community Christian Church in Naperville, Ill. So it works and it will work in every single church out there that is serious about the Jesus Mission. How do we know it works? It is measurable. Not only in terms of individual transformations but in terms of fruitful reproduction of other churches.
The Big idea is the gasoline that will be the foundation for life change in a new movement of reproducing churches. It is Spirit written, Spirit, conceived, and Spirit applicable and if you are serious about wanting to reach people for Jesus and have their lives transformed, then you will devour this book like Momma's Sweet Potato Pie.
Buy This Book and put its principles to work if you want to be a part of people's lives being transformed.
4 of 6 found the following review helpful:
Great book, truly, I just want the moonMay 07, 2007
By Ross Adelmann
This highly practical book on not just preaching, but church-wide discipleship, is written by one of the leading, Biblically conservative churches today in the areas of creative communication, team-based ministry, evangelism and leadership development. Community Christian Church in Chicago is also recognized as one of the top five leading multi-site churches.
The authors make a clear case that most of our churches send anywhere from 30 to 100 messages a week as to what we want our people to respond to in their growth. Our Sunday services, alone, often send 20-50 messages. In The Big Idea, the authors make a case for focusing the message to one Big Idea throughout the entire worship experience for the week and asking for clear response to that one idea in all areas of our church. They convincingly make the case that, in the long term, better discipleship occurs if we can yield a greater application response to the messages being sent--so people are living what they know rather than knowing far more than they live.
Don't be intimidated by the author's success and size of church--they communicate very simply. Along the way they give suggestions for how smaller churches can begin to use some or all of what they share. This is not a book about a program, rather it is a book with lots of practical leadership process steps that can be gleaned from and subsequently contextualize to your own style, leadership and setting. You will quickly note this approach to communicating for discipleship is used by their multi-site mega church as well as church plants.
After reading the first two chapters, I thought this book would make it on my top 10 list of must read leadership skills books for pastors. By the end of the book it was still in my top 25 and probably top 20. While the book is well illustrated throughout, I was left longing for just a few more varied examples. I especially was hoping that the authors would deal more with expositional preaching from the perspective of using that style of preaching to demonstrate good personal spiritual disciplines as a way of modeling. They did a very short, excellent bullet point treatment of ways to approach topical preaching--though this was the primary area I wished for more detailed illustrations of each approach (even if the examples were simply web links to sermons that could be listened to so as to learn more about how to effectively construct each kind of approach). If the authors had more extensively illustrated some of these ideas I would be telling you this is the best book on discipleship and preaching I have ever read. As it stands, it is still a great book that is sure to provide you with helpful ideas you can begin to implement quickly.
2 of 3 found the following review helpful:
Innovative Big Idea to Further God's Kingdom!Feb 11, 2010
By Andrea Schultz
"Ponderings by Andrea"
`The Big Idea: Focus the Message - Multiply the Impact' is a result of the observation of the team members of the Community Christian Church in the Chicago area that people are overloaded with so many little ideas that they are too confused and overloaded to implement the Big Idea. They endeavored to implement - with the leading of the Holy Spirit - a plan that would make their church and their weekend services more effective for God's Kingdom.
There are three authors listed on the cover of this book. The first, Dave Ferguson, is the Lead Pastor of Community Christian Church in Naperville, IL. CCC has multiple sites and a team teaching approach. At last count, they had 11 locations in the Greater Chicago area. The other authors are Jon Ferguson (Dave's brother), cofounder and Community Pastor of Central Community Church, and Eric Bramlett, CCC's Creative Arts Director.
The authors start off the book with a provocative title for Chapter 1 - `No More Christians!' They share the statistic that 85 percent of the people in the United States call themselves Christians. Yet their actions are no different than the other 15 percent. Real change is expected when people are truly following Jesus. Dave explains the difference:
I am a Christ follower. I follow Jesus step by step as his Spirit moves me in his community called the church. When Jesus steps, I follow. When Jesus speeds up, I increase my pace. When Jesus slows down, I slow down too. The direction, the speed, and the ultimate destination of my life are determined by keeping in step with Jesus' Spirit. Simple. Clear. Not Easy! (p. 29)
The purpose of this book is to present a church model - the Big Idea - that employs synergy, teamwork, and, most importantly, the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit. The purpose is to pass along to people the tools that they need to live out the truths of scripture and to accomplish Jesus' mission.
The Big Idea (as stated on the back cover of the book):
* can help you creatively present one laser-focused theme each week to be discussed in families and small groups
* shows you how to engage in a process of creative collaboration that brings people together and maximizes missional impact
* can energize a church staff and bring alignment and focus to many diverse church ministries
Dave explains it this way:
...I'm farther ahead to give them [his children] one task, ask them to check in with me once it's finished, then give them the next task. This is the Big Idea approach. It provides clarity and produces action.... [W]hat we want is to challenge our people with the truth of God's Word and insist that it be lived out missionally. (p. 22)
The book goes into great detail to explain how Community Christian Church implements this Big Idea approach. Teamwork, brainstorming, and advanced planning are of high significance. Wonderful results that emerge for the team are collaboration, humility, trust, fun, competition and "yes."
The aspect that was particularly intriguing to me is to `lead with a "yes."' Dave
Leading with a yes is an important part of the implicit curriculum that makes the Big Idea process work. The "yes" mindset gives outrageous, seemingly impossible ideas a chance to live and breathe and sometimes be implemented in whole or in part. The "no" mindset refuses to give any outside-the-box idea a chance to live and stifles innovation and creative collaboration. (p. 180)
I found the Big Idea approach to be very creative and innovative. In imaging/picturing the process which they employ, and seeing how innovative they are, I am guessing they are employing Google Wave; it seems like it would be the perfect application for the Big Idea!
In thinking further about the process, I wonder if the extrovert personality is more comfortable with the team approach than the introvert (in terms of the sharing their thoughts with the group). The approach seems to be very nurturing, so I imagine all personalities feel comfortable in expressing their ideas.
Although I am not in full-time ministry, I am involved with several ministries at the church which I attend. One of the ministries is the Creative Arts Team; I am on the Video Tech team. I plan on passing along what I have learned through this book to leadership team, with the objective to make our church more effective - more fun and perhaps a little less stressful!
I was so pleased to see the emphasis on God's leading and the Holy's Spirit's direction. So many churches seem to be run by charismatic pastors who have large egos and chart their own course - and build a church that is man-made, with God being an afterthought. Dave acknowledges that the approach may seem unconventional:
....so far we consistently find ourselves responding to the Spirit's leading. It feels risky and sometimes disorganized. But it's just as Jesus told his disciples: "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you" (Acts 1:8) (p. 188)
Dave closes the book with this memory of a conversation he had with a successful entrepreneur named Larry. Early in Dave's ministry, Larry asked him: "So, Dave, what is the dream? If you could do anything, what would you do?" When Dave shared his lofty goal, Larry's response was "You can do it!" Dave shared his reaction:
For me, everything changed in that moment. How powerful it was to have someone look me in the eye and listen to my heartfelt dream and then say with absolute confidence. "You can do it!"
I found this book's approach to be very creative, innovative, and inspirational. The Big Idea has been successfully implemented so far and will continue to impact the mission of the church - to fulfill the Great Commission given to us by Jesus: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19). I appreciated the heart for the lost that is very evident in the team members of this wonderful church.
The next book by the Community Christian Church team is `Exponential: How You and Your Friends Can Start a Missional Church Movement (Exponential Series),' by Dave and Jon Ferguson, which will release on May 1, 2010. I look forward to reading more about their innovative - and biblically sound - ideas.
This book was generously provided to me by Dave Ferguson for review purposes.
Reviewed by Andrea Schultz - Ponderings by Andrea - [...]
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