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BTI-5100.A. Hermeneutics: Step 5: The MIM

An Introduction to helpful resources for BTI-5100.A.

Finding the Main Idea of the Message (MIM)

The MIM is derived from the MIT and channeled through the Bridge (Step 4) and the "5 Critical Questions." It is then contemporized in the main idea. The MIM moves from analyzing the text to preparing to teach, or preach, the text. The MIM answers two major questions:

  1. What am I talking about?
  2. What am I saying about what I am talking about?

Six Guidelines in Honing in on the MIM

  1. Develop the MIM with your audience in mind.
  2. State the MIM in the most memorable sentence possible.
  3. State it positively, not negatively if possible.
  4. State it in the present tense and active voice (not the passive voice).
  5. State it in words or phrases which are precise, concrete, and familiar to your listeners.
  6. State it so that the truth is readily seen as relevant to your audience and their needs.

Six Characteristics of a Good MIM

  1. It is derived from the main idea of the text. The MIT determines the MIM. The latter naturally flows from the former.
  2. It is what the preacher/teacher will be talking about in the message.
  3. It is a carefully worded statement stated in the present tense.
  4. It is geared to the audience.
  5. It has a subject and a complement.
  6. It is a complete sentence that is memorable.
    • E.g. Hebrew 12:1-3: Run the Christian race with endurance focusing on Jesus who provides both our salvation and example.

Word of Warning

Identifying the MIT/MIM does not give one license or permission to ignore the supporting ideas of the text. The supporting ideas must be allowed to support!