The Big I.D.E.A. · Part 1
March 03, 2019
By Ed Young
I have some really good ideas sometimes and so do you. In fact, if I could interview each one of you, you could give me some amazing ideas that you come up with regularly. Well, on the other hand, I’ve had some bad ideas, so have you. I don’t want to talk about some of these ideas publicly, but I’ve had some ideas like that. Do you know what a deer is called with one bad eye? A bad i-dear.
The other day I was praying, and I said to myself, why do I have this ungodly thought? This bad idea? Have you been like that before, too? Just out of nowhere you’re hit with this idea. Maybe you’re driving down the freeway. Someone cuts you off, I want to blow that guy off the road. A bad idea. A bad idea. Maybe your husband is driving you insane and you’re looking at him thinking, I could trade you in for a better-looking, wealthier model. Bad idea. You know? I guess. Google ideas. A lot of people have a tough time actually saying what an idea is. Science sort of takes stabs at it but they can’t really come up with what is an idea?
An IDEA is an Inspirational Dilemma that Evolved into Action. An idea is a bundle of thoughts that is about the process of solving a problem. We all have ideas. As I said, good ones and bad ones. We have what, 15,000 to 100,000 thoughts per day? How about your ideas? How about when those ideas are grouped up? What are you thinking about? What inspires you? What dilemma is presented to you? How does the evolutionary process work in this idea? Then, what kind of action are you taking?
Do you follow the idea or not? God is the God of the idea. Did you know that? I mean, have you ever thought about that? The only reason we can have ideas is because our great God is a God of the idea.
Hey, when you walked in you were handed this poster. Everyone take this poster out in all of our environments. Just kind of wave it. Some of you aren’t doing this. Everybody, I said everybody. I love this. I’m going to use this over the next couple of weeks, it’s called the big idea. The big idea. You can do a lot of creative things with this. You can make a telescope. You can make a giant paper football. You can make an airplane and fly away. You can use it as a car mat. I mean, you can, I don’t know, re-wallpaper your bathroom. Whatever. It’s a cool thing. It’s the big what? The big what? Turn to your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, you have some amazing ideas. I know you do. You might think you don’t, but you do.” Everybody has amazing ideas. Why can I say that? Because the God of the universe has made us in his image. He is the one who is all about the idea.
#1 – The idea happened and it kind of cascaded into the creation of the world. I would argue that an idea is why we’re here. It’s an inspiration. Who knows how God was inspired? A dilemma, does he create or not, that evolved into an action.
#2 – An idea is what condemned the world. You remember the first man? The first man had a choice. The first man, the first woman, do they go with God’s ideal (because God has an ideal idea for you), or do they go, you know what? I’m gonna do something that satisfies me. Every time God has this ideal the enemy always has the repeal. Think, if you would with me, about marriage. God, from cover to cover, invented marriage. He thought it up. God says marriage is for one man, one woman, in this covenant. Sexual intercourse is to happen within the bonds of marriage. That’s God’s ideal. Every time, though, God gives us a gift the enemy has a counterfeit, the repeal. What’s the repeal? Homosexuality. What’s the repeal? Adultery. What’s the repeal? Adultery. What’s the repeal? Pornography. Wow. Wow. So, when we have these ideas that flood into our mind, we either follow the idea to glorify God… And what does it mean to glorify God?
It means to make him famous. It means to reflect him. So, we do that, that’s the ideal, right? Or, we say (and I’ve done this before, so have you, I’m a sinner, so are you) I’m gonna follow the repeal. I kinda like the repeal because it kind of makes me feel good and it’s fun for a while. You know? So that’s the classic battle between flesh and spirit, spirit versus flesh, in this element called the idea.
God is a God of life. His ideal for you and me is to protect developing babies. Well, the repeal would be, oh man. You know, abortion. The appeal would be to take the lives of developing babies. We’re more worried about the snail darter and the turtle than human beings. The repeal. The repeal. God has some brilliant ideas for you and me.
#1 – an idea is what made this world. #2 – an idea is what condemned this world. I have this fleshly desire, this sinful depravity, this southward, downward pull in my life that is just from my humanity. Well, #3, God did something. His idea recreated the world. Well, what did God do? Did he sit back and go, “Well, I have a good idea. Well, hey, that sounds great.” God’s holy. God can’t look at sin, so God did something. He was inspired because of his love. There was a dilemma. He can’t even glance at our iniquities, so he sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins, rise again. That evolved into action, Jesus paying the price on Calvary, offering salvation to the world. So, an idea recreated the world. I could tell you were about to clap. I could feel it, man. An idea. An idea.
We only have ideas because God has ideas. When I think about an idea I think about childbirth. I mean, I’ve never birthed a baby. I can’t, but I do know a good bit about it. We have four kids, two grandchildren. Ladies, I don’t know how you do it, but you do. An idea. An idea. Well, we have conception. It’s part of childbirth. It always gets quiet when I say that word. Let me say it again, conception. Pregnancy. You got that. The different trimesters and things. Then you’ve got (again, I’m talking about an idea), labor and delivery. Guys, we would tap out at about the first month. But anyway, labor and delivery. Then you have the birth. You have this idea, your thoughts. They collect, they adhere, they’re ideas. I only have an idea because God is the God of an idea. I’m made in God’s image. You got some great ideas, there’s no doubt. Brilliant ideas, right here. If we knew the ideas that were in this giant room, seriously, we would go on sensory overload. I know that and I can say that with complete faith and fact because we’re made in the image of God. Ideas. Have you ever thought about ideas? Ideas, ideas.
Well, from this point forward I want to talk to you about God ideas. I’ve talked to you about what can happen when we have bad ideas, all right, when we follow the enemy’s plan. Because go back to the childbirth metaphor, the enemy fathers some pretty bad ideas, does he not? Whereas God fathers some amazing ideas. But I want to talk to you in just a little bit as we use our posters about how to take a God idea, you can say a God-dea, I like that, a God-dea, and turn it into a reality. I’ve come up with, and I’ve gotten some great assistance from a lot of bright people, 10 commandments of innovation, 10 commandments of taking thoughts, ideas, and turning them into a reality. But before I do that, one verse of Scripture, 2 Corinthians 10:5. This is an amazing text about ideas and thoughts. Let’s read it together. 1-2-3, “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” I have an option. Because I’m going to have some bad thoughts, some ungodly thoughts, some fleshly thoughts. I have an option. I either submit them to Christ mentally, because the battlefield is in the mind. I say, “Jesus, you’re the general of my life. I submit this to you.” Or, I take those thoughts and go, “Wow, that sounds good. I kind of like that. Whoa, that makes me feel good. And what if I just do that…” and once I do that and take the thoughts and make them my own, as opposed to allowing Jesus to capture them and incarcerate them, that’s when I have chaos. So again, I want to ask you, I want to challenge you as a follower of Christ to submit those thoughts. It’s not easy. It’s easy for me to go, oh yeah, submit those thoughts to Jesus. Allow him to take them captive. It’s easy to say it but to do it on the rugged plains of reality? Whew! It’s not easy, is it? But I’m here to tell you when we do it God’s way awesome things will happen. So again, that’s just a little exercise that we need to think about with our thoughts and ideas.
Well, let’s talk about some 10 commandments. How do you turn a thought into a reality? How do you do that? How do you do it? Well, #1 – Thou shalt remain immature. You say immature? I sure did. I’m talking about search out the 6-year-old in your life. I’m talking about you better be a kid. You better be a kid, you better. I better be a kid. The Bible says in Matthew 18: 2,4 “For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room and said, ‘Whoever becomes simple and elemental (that’s a hard word to say) again like this child will rank high in God’s kingdom.’” Are you childish? Are you immature? We need to be. Ed, what do you mean by that, my brother?
Exhibit A: CHART: Creativity scores at a genius level. Tell me that’s not crazy. All right, Age 5, what’s that? What’s that? Ninety-eight percent! Get out of town. So as a kid we’re all (for the most part) creative geniuses. Give yourselves a round of applause. No, no, no. Give the God of the universe a round of applause. Isn’t that awesome? Uh-oh. Hello. Age 10, what happens? Say it with me, 30%. Ouch. Somewhere along life’s journey we trade in dreaming for dogma. The artistic for the analytical. We trade in using our imagination for memorization and the world kicks the creativity out of us. Our educational system kicks it out of us. They don’t mean to, but they do. I’ll come back to that in a second.
Age 15, say it. And my age, 31, I’m just prematurely gray. Two percent! That’s awful, isn’t it? You have creative ideas, genius ideas. And it starts by being childish. Well, how do you become childish? You draw. Well, I can’t draw. So. You doodle. You make lists. You rub shoulders with people who have great ideas. You discover things that inspire you. I want to have a great marriage. A lot of us have the idea, man, oh, I’m down with it, man. That’s my jam, to have a great marriage. We like the idea of a great marriage but… being inspired. OK. The dilemma, the work it takes. The evolution into action, man, that’s where it gets tough, you know? Oh, we like the idea of being an entrepreneur, the idea of starting something new. The idea, the idea, the idea of eating clean. The idea of working out. Whatever it is. We’re inspired, that’s great, yet the dilemma, and then the evolution. And during the evolution we either say no or it’s a go. So, the inner child. I know that sounds psychobabble-ish like Dr. Phil. I’m not being or doing that, I’m saying childish. Kids are so, so creative. They have so many ideas, ideas, ideas. Yet our ideas are squelched.
Here’s what the educational system does. They try to teach us divergent and convergent thinking at the same time, which is impossible. Divergent thinking is thinking outside the box. It’s creative thinking. It’s being innovative. It’s being inspirational and understanding dilemmas and the evolution of things and then the action. Convergent thinking – and we have to do both, don’t get me wrong – is a process. It’s critique. It would be systems and things. You have to have both, but you can’t think in both of those ways at the same time, and that is one of the glaring weaknesses of education. We need to do one and the other, the other and the other. And then you can bring them together. Make sure and understand that creativity and innovation always emerge out of structure. God is a God of structure, yet within structure you have these beautiful ideas. So, who knows what can happen over the next several days as you just become childlike? God has an ideal idea for you.
Commandment #2 – We’re only gonna do a couple. I want you to save your poster and come back next week. OK, will you do that? Nod your head. OK, how many people will be on spring break next week? If you’re on spring break lift your hand. Not that many. We have church online. You can watch it online.
#2 – Thou shalt grind it out. The Bible says in Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do…” and any time you see that word whatever, it means whatever! “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for who? Who? That’s right. Not for human beings. So, I’ve got to grind it out. People say, “Oh man, she’s just one of those mutations. He’s just one of those people. He just has these ideas, it just happens.” No. The people who are the best at ideas are people who grind it out, who work. Let me applaud our team here. I have never seen a team that works like our team at Fellowship. Our motto is anything, everything, or nothing. You’ve got to grind it out. Can I tell you how many times I’ve wanted to quit? Lord, it’s too hard. I’m tired. I don’t want to grind it out again. Eight years in rented facilities. Setting up, tearing down. Setting up, tearing down. God, though, is the God of the work. He wants us to work. And work should be an act of worship before him. So, you can talk all day and night about these grandiose ideas, this cool thing or this or that or whatever. Yet, it happens, the action evolves when we work. We work. We work.
Just think about what our team has done. We just came off this international conference we have right here: 3,700 leaders from around the world. Who do you think put that thing on? Our team. We don’t have a team allocated just for the Creative Church Conference. No, it’s what we do while we’re continuing to work in the other areas of Fellowship Church. Moreover, we have an amazing group of volunteers that help that whole thing happen. And then from there, go back a little bit more, we’re coming off all of these Christmas services and now we face something else that’s going to be awesome. In a couple of weeks, we’re beginning a series called March Madness. That will be fun, you know basketball? We’re building a basketball court here at Fellowship. A basketball court. That’s an idea. Because Christians should be the best at ideas. The church should have the best ideas of anyone. Not a corporation, not a university, not a hospital, not some technology company out in Silicon Valley, heck to the no! The church! So, we’re doing March Madness.
And I’m doing something fun. I haven’t done this before. I say a lot, because it’s sort of the idea of Fellowship Church how God planted it in my life. It happened at Florida State when I was playing basketball down there. I haven’t been back to Florida State since I left right before my junior season, so I’m going back next week and we’re filming about the idea. How the idea kind of happened for Fellowship Church at Florida State. So that will be in this March Madness, too. Also, too, we have some NBA players and other people we’re going to bring in. I think that will surprise a lot of people. Well, all that stuff doesn’t just happen. I know you know this but again I want to applaud our team. Making all of those arrangements, making all those things happen. Man, we had the Undertaker here, one of the most sought-after celebrities on Planet Earth, he showed up for C3. Do you think that just happened? Do you know how hard we’ve worked to get the Undertaker here at Fellowship? Do you know how hard our technology and our lighting crew, and our music crew worked just to make that happen? Do you realize the work behind the video you just saw? Do you realize what that, do you realize the hours and hours? Do you realize the hours and hours we spend writing our own music? Do you realize that? Do you think this just happens here? Do you think it’s like, wow man. This is unbelievable. No! It’s work! And some people can’t take it. When you work hard it’s an attraction and a repellant. Work! Grind it out!
What if the joy of work is in the work itself? Work! You have a brilliant idea. Work! Follow under God’s idea for this church. Work! Grind it out! I love it, man. I love it.
#3 – Thou shalt drill down into details. You want your idea to come to fruition? Do you really? I do. It’s about the details. Galatians 6:5, “Each of you should take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” You’re a creative genius, I’ll tell you again. You have innovative ideas. You have to think about the details. Because anything and everything we do that reflects God should be done with excellence, excellence. Have you ever thought about… again, let me use Fellowship Church. I’m just bragging on our team and our volunteers. How so many things are seamless here at Fellowship. Not perfect, seamless. We have people in the front row. We have people helping me with my next point. We have people moving stuff in and out. I was over in Frisco about 20 minutes ago and we knew we needed to add a couple of more songs here for me to make it here. That quick. Brilliant! Details.
But see, it’s like this shirt I have on. Let me show you. You know, I love fashion. I’ve loved fashion my whole life. Where did you get your clothes? Well, Dad gave me this. It’s from Suit Supply. And I got these shoes. I know where I got everything. Across the street at Grapevine Mills Mall. Where did I get these pants? I got these pants online. OK, I love this shirt right here. I love this shirt. I showed my belly. I will show you my scar, look. But, anyway, this scar. I have this bump right here and I asked the doctor what it was, and that’s where they had this giant tube when I had open heart surgery. And he goes, “Man, you’re just gonna have that bump. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger has one.” So, I Googled Arnold and his shirt was off, and he has one of these little bumps, too. So…
So, let me tell you about this. This shirt. I love this shirt. Most of you think this is just a blue shirt, and it is. But it’s more than a blue shirt. It cost me $90. I could have gone to Banana Republic and bought it. I could have gone to, what’s another cool store? I don’t know. J. Crew? whatever. No, I didn’t. I love Italian-looking stuff. So online I’m going on, I see this thing and I’m like, man I love this! The detail of it. I have a long neck, long face, I have an artistic background so this collar, see, sits up high and it kind of spreads. And the new style is only having a few buttons. It fits here but it doesn’t show my problem areas. You know what? I don’t care if you like it or not, I just like it because of the detail of the shirt. Other shirts around here, made in the U.S. don’t look like this. Got this from Italy. It’s Italian, $90. I’m on this website. I’m not gonna give you my place where I buy clothes. So, I’m on this website and it says, “This is hot.” So, I’m like, I’m buying it. And once I buy something, I might wear this for like three or four straight weeks so just get used to it. Like the turtlenecks. Have you seen those? I tried to wear turtlenecks for eight straight weeks and finally Lisa goes, “Honey, lose the turtlenecks.”
Details. They matter to me. They don’t matter to you. You could care less about this shirt, but they matter to me.
Details, they should matter in your marriage. Details, they should matter as you rear your kids. Details, they should matter as you’re filing that report. Details, as you’re arguing that case. Details as you’re performing that surgery. Details, as you’re shooting that jump shot. Let’s sweat the details, because a lot of people, let’s just mail it in and let’s be authentic. All right? Oh, I know how to be lazy. When you say you’re authentic that also means you are lazy, a lot of the time. Oh, let’s be real and have the stage all jacked up and let me dress like I look like a homeless person. You know what I’m saying to you. Let’s be real. No, that’s not real. That’s real lazy. Are you feeling me? So, we have got to be a part of that.
Last one, then I’m out. This shirt, man, it feels so comfortable. I wanna tell you, the Italians, they’re the best. #4 – Thou shalt constantly (uh-oh, here we go) change. Whew! We love change, don’t we? I like the idea of it. My wife needs to change. My husband needs to change. My boss needs to change. Change, change, change, change, change. All right. I’ve got it. Lord, change me. I mean, you have this ideal idea for me, and I should be about the receptivity of change.
Now for many, many years I’ve talked to so many people at Fellowship Church and other places. I met this guy a while back and he was like,
“Man, I really like Fellowship, but I wish you guys would sing more (are you ready for this?) traditional hymns. I go, “Oh, that’s great! We do traditional hymns now and then. But have you ever thought about this? Those traditional hymns were new music back when they were introduced.” How about the book of Psalms where David says, “Sing a New Song.” Every spiritual awakening in Scripture was accompanied by new music. How far back do you want to go? To the Gregorian chants? How stupid is that. Do you know how many times I want to look at someone and go, “Man, you’re an idiot.” But I don’t. I don’t. Just study some church history. But I’m saying to you, change. Every time we change – and I don’t always like change. People are like going, are you kidding me? Lisa would really be laughing. She’s at a conference in the southeast right now so I can talk a little bit longer. No, no one really likes change that much, and I understand it. But when you Change, you’re always gonna have Chaos in your life. There’s gonna be Chaos and that’s OK. If you stay with Chaos, you’re gonna have Growth. Change, Chaos, Growth.
You’re gonna see, when I do this Florida State documentary, how much I’ve changed. Because I’m gonna try to put on my uniform and it looks like Spanx. I mean it’s sad. I mean, my problem areas… it’s gonna be awful. So, here’s what’s so funny about it. Here I’m talking about change, and I’ve changed. I’m changing, yet I don’t like change. The Christian life is all about change. I mean, we’ve tried all sorts of things at Fellowship Church. Sometimes the ideas don’t work. That’s OK. Keep going, keep going.
Well, I want to continue but I can’t. I’ve gotta go. They’re telling me I’ve gotta go and when they tell me I’ve gotta go, I gotta go. But you better bring the poster with you next week because we’re gonna get into the 5, 6, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th Commandments of how to turn a thought into a reality.
Let me end with this, let me end with this. And a speaker should never say that, but I just said it to say it because I never say it. When you speak publicly never say thank you, and never say “in conclusion,” did you know that? Don’t ever say that. I did that just to say it. I’ve never said that before. In closing…
Allaso Ranch. Allaso Ranch is an amazing retreat center. I don’t know of any church… I need some Kleenex, please. I need to blow my nose. I’m sorry but, man, I’ve… have you guys had any of this cold stuff? This kind of congestion? Wow. Excuse me. I did that for a friend in the front row.
Allaso Ranch, I’ve never seen a church that I know of in my travels that has a place like Allaso Ranch. Never seen it. And I’ve been asked this question, who had the idea for Allaso Ranch? It’s a great question, isn’t it? I didn’t. We know God did. It’s God’s idea. I tell you who had the idea for it, Lisa. “Honey, you know we’re taking so many people on so many retreats. We’re renting out little camps, you know Camp Swamp Rat. And we’re renting out condominiums and things. What if, what if, what if… idea. Inspiration. What if (dilemma) we had our own camp?” Well, the dilemma is money. “Lisa, what are you… what?” She goes,
“I really think we ought to think about having a camp.”
“All right.” So, I began to see it evolve into action.
One day, through a strange turn of events, through a peculiar group of people, I heard about a non-profit that had 1,100 acres in East Texas and they wanted to – air quotes, because I’m coming back to these air quotes – “give this” (be careful when someone says that) “Give this to a church that does a lot of ministry for young people. They had heard about us, they’d heard about all the stuff we do, etc., etc. So, they kind of floated it out to a lot of giant churches here and around America. They had these series of meetings with these churches. It was on a Friday afternoon and Lisa goes,
“Ed, what time is the meeting?” I said,
“It’s at 2:00 but I’m not going. Man, I’ve got PMS – pre-message syndrome.” She goes,
“I think you need to go.”
“I don’t want to go. I really don’t. We have some incredible staff members who are a lot smarter than me, attorneys and accountants and things. They can go. They can pitch our vision. I’m not going.”
“Honey, I really think you need to go.”
What do you think ended up happening? Oh yeah, you know I went. Guys, guys. Tell me how. I mean I’m dumb, but I’m not that dumb. You know? So, I show up and I’m sitting in this board room with a couple of our staff members who, again, are much smarter than me. And the guy looks at me and he goes,
“This is crazy. We’ve presented this idea (idea, idea) to all of these giant churches and you are the only senior pastor who has shown up. We’re giving it to you.”
Well, giving, we had to pay $272,000 for some structures already on the property but 1,100 acres in East Texas! So, the inspiration, the dilemma (what do we do? What do we do?), thank you, Lisa. Thank you, God. Thank you, Lisa. And then it evolves into the action of building Allaso Ranch. Forty million dollars it cost. We didn’t have it. Forty million. Think about that. Turn to your neighbor and say, “that’s a lot of money.” Man, it makes me weak-kneed to think about that. We built Allaso Ranch. We still owe $20 million on it, by the way. If you want to write a $20 million check, see me. I’ll be right down front afterwards. Sixty-eight thousand people have been through the doors at Allaso Ranch. Tens of thousands have becomes Christians at Allaso Ranch. And our Creative Church Conference, so many people, so many young people, men and women, have been called into the ministry, where? Allaso Ranch. What an IDEA! An Inspirational, Dilemma, that has Evolved into Action. What’s your idea? I mean, what if God had gone.
What if God had gone, “You know what? I have an idea to save the world but I’m just not so sure.” I have an idea he did something. He sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins and to rise and to offer us salvation. That, my friend, is the ultimate inspirational dilemma that evolves into action. And I pray that you take action upon it.
[Ed leads in closing prayer.]