“The Big I.D.E.A. – Part 2”
March 10, 2019
By Ed Young
What’s the big idea? That’s a good idea. Wow, I’ve never heard of that idea. An I.D.E.A. An Inspirational Dilemma that Evolves into Action. Behavioral experts say we have between 15,000 and 100,000 thoughts per day. An idea is basically a collection of thoughts that is bundled together and, after it’s bundled together in our mind, it evolves into action. An idea. If we knew the ideas that were represented here and at all of our different environments, I’m talking about the amazing ideas that you have, I’m telling you, we wouldn’t believe it. Ideas. Ideas. Some ideas are good, some are neutral, some are bad. It’s interesting that sometimes we can be doing things that are good and then, boom! We can have a bad idea. Maybe we’re even in church. Maybe we’re praying, maybe we’re reading the Bible and all of a sudden, we have an idea that’s like, where did that come from? That’s dark! That’s illicit. That’s bad. The thoughts in and of themselves aren’t evil. They’re not bad. We’re going to have them because of our fallenness, because of our fleshly desires. The word flesh in Scripture simply means anything that goes against God’s grain. Yet, when we have those thoughts, when we have those ideas that don’t glorify God, we have to make them captive, take those thoughts and make them captive to what Jesus says to do. And the Bible says, in 2 Corinthians 10:5, that we can take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. So, no matter what idea is, no matter what thought it is, right when that idea is conceived, then we submit it to the Lord. And that’s a military term.
It’s easy to talk about but it’s difficult to do. Jesus, you’re my general. I submit every thought to you. Some thoughts we have, some ideas, are not godly. They don’t glorify God. And to glorify God means to make his name famous. On the other hand, some ideas we have are definitely godly ideas. They’re ideas that make his name famous, they glorify him, they push the ball downfield. The greatest ideas that we’ll ever have are God’s ideas. It’s the ideal idea that God wants us to have, and he wants us to calculate and turn over and over on the rotisserie grill of our minds. So, it’s inspirational. It’s inspired either by the enemy or by God. Then, it’s a dilemma. What do we do with them? Do we take them and make them captive? And then it evolves into action. We either discard the idea or we allow it to be born, and it becomes something that is absolutely beautiful. Ideas. Ideas.
It’s interesting to think about all of the ideas that we have. The idea of Fellowship Church and for Fellowship Church really occurred when I was back in college. God gave me this idea and the idea became sort of a dilemma in my life as I worked in more of a traditional church and had more traditional sort of duties. Then, it called for some action. So, as it evolved the action steps that I took, because it’s God’s idea, this is his church, the God idea was for me and Lisa and our one daughter at the time to move up to Dallas and to help start Fellowship Church. That’s the idea. The inspiration of it happened when I was involved in sports because I was around so many people who didn’t know Jesus. And I thought to myself, you know what? If I ever have an opportunity to pastor a church, I want the church to be a place where people would understand what’s going on. That they would get the big idea. As I look back and think about the inspiration, I think about the dilemma. And there’s always been a dilemma. As I think about the evolution of Fellowship Church over the last 28 years, as I think about the action that so many have taken to make Fellowship what it is, I just thank God. Because just the ability to have an idea comes from God. Our God is a God of the idea.
As I talked about last time, #1 – this world is here because of God’s idea. God created the world because of an idea. He didn’t just have an idea, he did something. He created you and me. But not only is this world here, because of an idea, also the world was condemned because of an idea. Man sinned. We have an opportunity to either think thoughts, dream dreams and have ideas that glorify God, or to think thoughts and dream dreams, and glorify ourselves. Because we have a freedom of choice, we chose to glorify ourselves, thus, sin entered the human equation. It was not God’s ideal but that’s what happened. Every time God has an ideal idea, the devil always has an ideal of the repeal. Whatever God says, the enemy says the opposite.
Have you ever thought about that? Have you ever thought about the idea? Here the Bible says in the book of Isaiah, that the devil was in Heaven, and he was the worship leader. He was called Lucifer at the time, yet, he had the idea to turn away from God and to glorify himself as opposed to glorifying God. Because of that, he tried this kingdom coup. He was cast out of Heaven with about a third of the angels, the fallen angels, which are now the demons. And from that moment on we’ve been dealing with some major stuff. Because after that you have the enemy attacking Adam and Eve, attacking God’s ideal with the repeal. And you know, man sinned, and we have this sin nature in our lives.
Well, the third thing, not only did God create the world with an idea. Not only did sin condemn the world with an idea. The third thing is God has recreated the world with an idea. It’s called salvation. What is salvation? God rescuing us, God saving us. God didn’t just say, “Wow, I have this inspiration to do it.” There was a dilemma, because man had messed up. Man was a sinful being. God can’t look at sin, so God sent Jesus, this evolved throughout the Old Testament, segued into the New Testament. It evolved into Jesus living this perfect life, dying a sacrificial death, rising again, thereby giving us opportunity to receive him. So, the action that we take on God’s ideal idea is to receive Christ into our lives. So, I want you to think about that. I want you to process that. Have you made that decision? Have you made that choice to receive Christ? Have you taken that action? An idea. God’s idea for you is ideal. It’s ideal in your marriage. It’s ideal with your child-rearing challenges. It’s ideal with your friendships. It’s ideal at the company. It’s ideal on the team. It’s ideal as you walk the halls of the school. It’s ideal in the boardroom. It’s ideal in the operating room. God’s idea is ideal. But for every ideal the enemy always has a repeal. He wants to take the opposite. He wants us to do what he wants to do. And yes, there’s some fun and there’s some joy in it, but in reality, it leads to hurt, heartbreak, and if we really take it, to Hell itself.
Let’s talk about how to formulate and how to deal with God’s ideas. Like I talked about last time, from this moment forward I want to talk to you about how to turn your thoughts, your ideas, into a reality, into something that glorifies God. Because any other idea that does not glorify God is not worth it. Just throw it out. That’s why we have to submit every thought, every action, every concept, every idea to God.
Well, a quick review. The first commandment. Everybody have your posters? I love these things. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Anyway… Thou shalt remain immature. We talked last time about the importance of remaining childish. I put a little chart up and it’s kind of a depressing chart. I’ve heard so much about it this week. But check it out. At age 5, 98% of 5-year-olds score on the genius level in regard to innovation and creativity. But look what happens, when you get to be 31, only 2%. What happens? Well, a lot of people say it’s the difference between divergent and convergent thinking. Divergent thinking is creative thinking. It’s outside-the-box thinking. Convergent thinking would be concepts. It would be processes. It would be memorizing stuff to take a test. It’s important to have both, but you can’t do both at the same time. So, what happens to us somewhere along life’s journey we get this creative cramp, we lose the ability to really, really ideate and really, really come up with these amazing, unique things. I’m here to tell you every single person I’m talking to is a creative genius. Every single person I’m talking to has an ideal idea that God’s deposited in your life. Make sure you remain immature. That’s why it’s important to play. That’s why it’s important to doodle, to make lists, to talk to people, to find out things that really help you in this creative process.
#2 – Thou shalt grind it out. You show me someone who has God ideas, you show me someone who’s inspired, you show me someone who tackles a dilemma, you show me someone who evolves this idea into action, I’ll show you somebody who works hard. And I’m so thankful that we have such a hardworking staff at Fellowship. I can’t tell you the work ethic that we have right here at Fellowship Church, and you can see it and feel it.
#3 – Thou shalt drill down into the details. The Bible says in Galatians 6:5, “Each of you should take responsibility for doing their creative best you can do with your own life.” We have to take responsibility that we’re one of a kind. We have to take responsibility that we’re Picassos and details matter. Small tweaks take you to giant peaks. So, when you’re thinking about this idea, when you’re thinking about the inspiration and the dilemma and the evolution and the action, think about the details. If you think about romance, romance is about the details. If you think about starting a new company, so often it’s in the details. If you think about improving your jump shot, it’s in the details. Sweat the details.
#4 – Thou shalt constantly change. The Bible says in Isaiah, the prophet Isaiah said in Isaiah 43:19, “Forget about what’s happened. Don’t keep going over old history but be alert, be present. I’m about to do something (What? Say it with me) brand new!” Change. We have to embrace change. And here in this culture, we change just to change. Ideas are about change. And one of the reasons we probably stop is because we get stuck in sameness and we miss running on the ragged edge of creativity and change. But I’m gonna warn you. When you change, you’re gonna have conflict and chaos, but if you stay with the change, you’re gonna have growth.
Now that brings us (you probably thought we wouldn’t get there) to commandment
#5 – Thou shalt absorb critique. When you are about ideas, when you are about introducing ideas, you have to absorb people speaking truth into your life. The Bible says in Hebrews 13:17, “Trust in your leaders. Put yourself under their authority. Do this because they keep watch over you. They know they’re accountable to God for everything they do. Do this so that their work will be a joy. If you make their work a heavy load it won’t do any good.” God has placed people over you. Whether it’s your parents, whether it’s a coach, a teacher, a manager, a CEO, God has placed people over you to critique you. Those people who walk with the greatest ideas are always open to critique. I’m not talking about being critical. Being critical is hurting, being a person who critiques, you’re always helping. But watch out. When you receive critique don’t get all depressed and all freaky about your feelings. Don’t be the guy or girl who says, “I’m gonna take my ball and go home. It’s not the way it used to be.” Well, I hope it’s not the way it used to be. Critique will take you to another level with your ideas.
#6 – Thou shalt share your ideas with a team. Romans 12:6, “We all have different gifts that God has given us by his loving favor, and we are to use them.” And we have a team. We’re not gonna tell you, we tweak the team constantly and we even tweak the idea and the ideas that happen at Fellowship Church. For example, we’re gonna try a lot of things, and we’ve tried a lot of things over the years. Some worked well. In fact, most have worked well. Others haven’t. We started campuses before that didn’t really work. We started initiatives before that didn’t really work. But about 90% of the time, things have worked beautifully. So, you can’t get messed up in the dilemma. You can’t allow the dilemma to dog you out. When you have the inspiration, you see the dilemma, you’ve got to roll the dice, you’ve got to let it evolve into action. Because whenever we walk with God, everything, everything has some element of risk involved.
#7 – Thou shalt have discernment. When it comes to ideas you’ve got to be willing to know what works and what doesn’t. 1 Corinthians 12:7, “Each person is given something to do that shows who God is. Everyone gets in on it. Everyone benefits.” Discernment. At Fellowship Church in our environment, we’re moving staff members around all the time. That gives life, it gives vitality. It brings creativity and it brings new ideas. So as a leader, for example, I have to put the right people in the right seats. And that’s not always easy to do. And it’s not always easy to do for you, as well. So, when you have these ideas – let’s say for example in a company – it’s crucial that you have the discernment to see where someone is strong and where someone is weak and put them in the right seats. Sounds easy, but it’s a tall, tall order. Because what happens to us is, we want to bring people around us who are just like us, and who just agree with everything we do and say. Yeah, you’ve got to have yes-people around you, because once you meet and discuss things and give your opinions and you say, I’m not sure about this. Let’s change this, or whatever. The leader, the mom, the dad, the coach, the CEO, the leader has the responsibility of saying thumbs up or thumbs down, and once you leave the privacy of that meeting, of that team, of that gathering, everybody says, “We’re in it. We’re behind the idea.” They don’t run off and go, “Well, I wouldn’t do it this way, but you know who said…” If that happens, if you see someone on your team or company, maybe your kids do that, you need to have a hard conversation with them. And in the corporate world, or the church world even, if they keep doing it then, so long. You need to go somewhere else.
#8 – Thou shalt learn from the best. One of the things I love about social media is that we can rub shoulders digitally with people who are the best at things. OK, you’re thinking about a certain thing, a certain idea. Who’s the best at this? Who are some of the best thinkers? The best people? Read their stuff. Follow them on social media. When you can, ask them questions and great things will happen.
#9 – Thou shalt promote. As Jesus said in Matthew 5:15, “People do not light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on a stand. Then it gives light to everyone in the house.” This church is about God’s idea. An inspirational dilemma that involves into action. Are you promoting Fellowship? That should be one of the biggest values in your life and in mine. Promoting the church. Promoting this idea. That’s active.
Coming up we have this incredible series, March Madness. I’m telling you, God has put people in your life who you need to invite to Fellowship. They’re there. They’re low-hanging fruit, literally. Engage them, invite them. Give them an invitation. I’m telling you, great things will happen. It’s God’s idea and he put the idea into action. It’s God’s idea for you and me to reach people. I mean, that’s Christ’s plan. And I’ve heard it said, this is not biblical, but someone theorized that maybe when Jesus went up to Heaven that the angels said,
“Hey Jesus! What’s your plan to reach this world? And Jesus replied,
“Well, I left some guys in charge. They’re my disciples.”
“No, no. Seriously. What’s your plan? There’s gotta be a Plan B.” Jesus said
(this writer theorized), he said,
“There’s no Plan B.”
So, you’re it. I’m it. It’s God’s idea and it’s his inspiration for you and me to reach people. And the dilemma is, wow. I’m not sure I can take that risk and invite them. Well, you begin to listen to the Holy Spirit. He will speak to your spirit. It will involve you with a person. You will evolve into a relationship, and that will turn into an action where you can invite someone right here to Fellowship. I can’t tell you of all of the people I meet who invite others to Fellowship Church. And they say, “You know what? My friend invited me.” “You know what? I was at work and this guy goes, ‘Hey, why don’t you come to Fellowship Church?’” Or, “I was at school and someone said, ‘Hey, I want you to show up for this series.’” Story after story after story after story after story, that’s God’s ideal for you. Make sure you’re involved in this inspirational dilemma that evolves into A-C-T <clap-clap-clap> I-O-N!
#10 – Thou shalt understand it’s all about Him. Him, that’s God. When I’m talking about ideas, I’m not talking about something that is not godly. I’m talking about everything we do should be an attitude of worship and it should bring glory to God. Deuteronomy 6:5, “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart with all of your soul and with all of your strength.” The ability to have an idea comes from God. Are you following his ideal? Or are you looking at the repeal? The Bible says in Philippians 4:8, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, seek (have ideas) about such things.” An inspirational dilemma that evolves into an action.
Think right quick back to the series we did on wrestling. This was an idea that God gave me – I don’t know, several years ago as I studied Scripture. It was inspirational, because I grew up watching wrestling. The dilemma was how do we talk about wrestling in a way that everyone can understand it, because it’s one of the most used illustrations in the Bible to refer to the Christian life. How do we do it? So then, we started talking to a team and others, then it began to evolve into an action. We built a wrestling ring here. We leveraged some relationships to bring in some of the most popular wrestlers on Planet Earth right here to Fellowship Church. So, God gave me that idea, yet people around me who have even better ideas about the idea, took that idea and brought their ideas to the table, and look at what has happened?
This series March Madness we’re doing next week. We’re building a basketball court right here. A full-on basketball court. And we’re going to go to Tallahassee, Florida, where I played at Florida State. I’ve not been back since I was – wow – 19 years old, 20 years old. We’re going back to the place where God gave me the idea for Fellowship Church and the style that we have. I can’t wait to share with you some of the things that we are going to do there. Also, too, I think about getting NBA players in who will be our guest during this series. I think about some of the ideas that we’re already having concerning this series. We’re talking about ideas. We’re talking about ideas, God-ideas. God thoughts. God concepts. Your ideas. Your ideas are ideal. Don’t believe the repeal, go with God’s ideal. Fellowship Church is a church that opened for several decades about the ideas of God. Because we truly believe the church should be the most innovative entity in the Universe, and that happens, and that has happened, because of God’s idea. Would you pray with me?
[Ed leads in closing.}