Many of you have read the book "The Big Idea" by Dave Ferguson, Jon Ferguson, and Eric Bramlett. This week, I had the opportunity to visit with the folks at Community Christian Church and see how "The Big Idea" works for them.
Essentially, the ‘big idea’ is this: make sure that everything you do in your weekend service flows together and works together to accomplish a stated goal. Whether it be the worship songs, the pastor’s message, video elements, other music pieces/montages… everything is picked to go along with a central theme. At Community Christian, all other elements (small groups, children’s ministries, etc. also pick up on this ‘big idea’ theme so that everyone is communicating the same truth from week to week. It’s a great concept… one that makes a ton of sense; and one that I have often wondered why more churches don’t do this more often. I think I know the answer: it takes work!
I had the priviledge of sitting in on one of CCC’s weekly “Big Idea” meetings. This meeting was a gathering of all the technical leaders, worship leaders, arts people… you name it. During this two hour brain-storming session, they looked at an upcoming service for the last weekend in May. (Yes, the last weekend in MAY… they are working that far ahead!). They brainstormed (all 16 people in the room; along with at least three on a phone conference bridge from around the country) and talked about everything from music and videos, to song selection, message ephasis, and how they would do communion. It was a very interesting process to watch.
The end result was a pretty-well planned out service some two months in advance… plenty of time to let all the technical and artsy people ‘do their thing’… time for sermons to be written, and even for things to change.
It was refreshing to see a church that puts that much planning and brainstorming into what they present on a weekend. The “big idea” is something that’s really working for CCC; and with the book out now, many other churches will be able to learn from how CCC plans and prepares their services.
If you’re interested, you can get a copy of “The Big Idea” here…