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The Big Idea: Aligning the Ministries of Your Church through Creative Collaboration (Leadership Network Innovation Series) Paperback – February 4, 2007

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The Big Idea: Aligning the Ministries of Your Church through Creative Collaboration (Leadership Network Innovation Series) + Exponential: How You and Your Friends Can Start a Missional Church Movement (Exponential Series) + The Multi-Site Church Revolution: Being One Church in Many Locations (Leadership Network Innovation Series)
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Product Details

  • Series: Leadership Network Innovation Series
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (February 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310272416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310272410
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #550,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'One of the Best Preaching Books of 2007! The Big Idea offers an abundance of ideas on planning and developing a 'big idea' model in the local church. This book is packed with solid and helpful ideas, and the 'big idea' of the book is one that churches should carefully consider trying in their own setting.' (Preaching magazine)

From the Publisher

The Leadership Network Innovation Series presents real-life case studies and insights from leading practitioners and pioneering churches that are successfully navigating the ever-changing streams of spiritual renewal in today's culture. Each book in this series will feature ministry stories about churches who are doing authentic ministry in innovative and healthy ways and will equip you to do the same.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
This is in my top 5 books that every pastor or staff pastor should read.
Jason Curlee
If you are searching for a way to simplify what your families are learning in church and get everyone on the same page this book is for you.
C. Harkey
I found this book's approach to be very creative, innovative, and inspirational.
Andrea Schultz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Chris Marlow on February 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
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.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By George P. Wood TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
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.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Henry Judy on February 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
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.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ross Adelmann on May 7, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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