Andy Stanley's 30 Best Big Ideas and Bottom Lines

Here’s 30 of Andy Stanley’s Best Big Ideas & Bottom Lines…

Posted on Posted in Preaching

Andy Stanley changed the way pastors communicate. I remember going to church and hearing the pastor begin a message by saying, “Please turn with me in your Bible to Ephesians chapter 3. We’ll begin reading at verse 17.”

That’s not how it works anymore.

Andy describes the current situation in Communicating for a Change:

“If we give answers to questions no one is asking or attempt to resolve a tension that no one is feeling, then our information is likely to fall on deaf ears.” (p. 153).

We have to establish common ground with people around the topic of the message. Andy advises communicators to create tension in their messages. He says:

“Focus on the question you are intending to answer until you are confident your audience wants it answered. Otherwise you are about to spend twenty or thirty minutes of your life answering a question nobody is asking” (p. 125).

When the question is positioned in the front and center of peoples’ minds, then you’re ready to deliver the point.

You’re ready to talk about the Big Idea.

They’re ready to hear the Bottom Line.

But it needs to be memorable. Andy says, “Generally speaking, people will not be impacted by a paragraph.

“Nobody remembers a paragraph. People are impacted by statements that stick. You need a sticky statement… It doesn’t need to be cute. It doesn’t have to rhyme. But it should be short and memorable” (p. 111).

Andy is definitely the master of creating Big Ideas and Bottom Lines that stick.

To get you thinking along those lines, here are 30 of his best ones:

1. My past will remind me but it will not define me.

2. Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.

3. Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.

4. It’s much easier to make a point than to make a difference.

5. Experience doesn’t make you wiser. Evaluated experience makes you wiser.

6. Direction, not intention, determines destination.

7. Admitting a weakness is a sign of strength.

8. What would you do if you were confident God was with you? In you? For you?

9. You are more important than my view.

10. Do good for those who can’t or won’t do good for you.

11. Jesus said yes to forgiving us so that we could say yes to forgiving each other.

12. Are you the person you’re looking for is looking for?

13. Purity paves the way to intimacy.

14. Your friends will influence the quality and direction of your life.

15. The value of your life is determined by how much of it you give away.

16. In light of my past experience, current circumstances, and future hopes and dreams, what’s the wise thing for me to do?

17. The divorce rate in couples that pray together out loud on a regular basis is one in ten thousand.

18. What would an extraordinary version of you do today?

19. Rules are confirmation, not a condition, of a relationship with God.

20. You may need to lower your standard of living to raise your quality of life.

21. There’s no win in comparison.

22. Take your cue about you from the One who made you.

23. What you have is less important than what you do with what you have.

24. The thing you are most devoted to will determine what you worry about the most.

25. Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise.

26. Faith is confidence that God is who He says He is and that He will do everything He has promised to do.

27. What and who you listen to will influence what you do.

28. What we believe determines how we behave.

29. Maximum freedom is found under God’s authority.

30. If it’s important to you then it’s important to God. Because you are important to God.


Do you have a favorite Big Idea or Bottom Line that I missed?

Add it in the comments.

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Trevor Hamaker (DMin, McAfee School of Theology) is an author, adjunct professor, and youth ministry coach. He helps youth pastors see their potential, develop their skills, and reach their goals.

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