Message Maps helps communicators effectively share a single idea in a moment. Use Message Maps to organize your ideas, express them simply and quickly, and effectively offer a convincing message to hearers.
The video below shows communicators how to do this. It’s focused on business communications, but I want to adapt it to Biblical communications.
Thanks to Lifehacker for the post and video.
As the video states, use three steps to help you communicate your truth with Message Maps.
Message Maps Start With a Twitter Friendly Headline
First, boil the message down to a single idea that you can share succinctly enough to post on a service like Twitter that limits the author to 140 characters or less. For preachers this means express the main idea or Big Idea of your message in this same concise statement.
For example, the simple message of the Gospel could be posted on Twitter like this:
Jesus knows you make a lot of mistakes, but he took the consequences for your sin and wants to forgive you.
That’s pretty simple and seems to encompass the whole thing. If I worked harder, I could word it better, but for demo purposes it suffices.
Share the Main Ideas
In the video the speaker shows how to pull the three main ideas from the Headline and state them in a map. You can use something like a mind mapping app or just a piece of paper or whiteboard. Draw a circle with the title in the center. Now draw a line coming from the center to these three other ideas. State them in as simple a fashion as you can. That will help you quickly present the idea to someone.
Using our above idea, we could give the following three lines:
- Jesus knows you sin
- Jesus suffered in your place
- Jesus wants to forgive you and work with you
The man in the video wants us to use three main ideas, but not all ideas include three. You could present two or four. In fact I might prefer to split the third statement above into two:
“Jesus wants to forgive you. Jesus wants to work with you sharing His forgiveness to others.”
Support Your Sub-points
Now that you have the gist of your message, support each of the main ideas. You only do this if your main idea and sub ideas get a hearing. For example, in a witnessing situation you could state the above and ask if its okay to talk with the person more about this. Or you might ask, “Can I tell you how this changed my life?”
In a sermon, you assume they want to hear more. Preaching teachers tell us that each idea must get treatment with the following:
- Explanation – appeal to the mind and answer the question, “What does that mean?”
- Illustration – appeal to the imagination and answer the question, “What does that look like?”
- Argumentation – appeal to the will and answer the question, “Is that true?”
- Application – appeal to the commitment of the person and answer the question, “How do I use that in my life?”
Use the following to do the previous four things:
- Stories: tell your story AKA your testimony of how you were saved
- Facts: share the facts of the Gospel AKA the Roman Road
- Examples: tell about what Jesus did for others you know, if your audience already knows your story
The above could serve as a good presentation. It’s not really a sermon since it’s not based on a text of scripture. It’s a presentation. Use it for a witnessing situation with a friend or as a short message to a civic group.
Other Uses in Ministry
I could see this being useful when you’re presenting ideas to your church board for a potential new ministry or a change in something the church already does. You might use it to communicate your church’s vision to the congregation. Share facts about how your vision will help your church minister. Give stories about ways people have served or how Jesus changed people’s lives.
What do you think? How could you use this ministry to effectively communicate the Gospel? How could an expository preacher use it to get across the idea of a text?