A positive oops

Just misread the title of a very funny  Blog post on BigBible as “bible placemat” instead of “bible placement” and it got me thinking…

Last week I had a meeting with a friend of mine who is a senior consultant with a  big league consultancy. One of the techniques he employs when holding his first meeting with a new client is to use placemats instead of agendas. These A3 pieces of paper set out at each place around the boardroom table show the items for discussion, in no particular order. They may include photographs of the team, graphs of sales or expenditure, bullet points and questions. There is usually some space to scribble as well. The unstructured approach reassures those who are afraid of being steamrollered, and the graphics/ text combination draws in both left and right brain people.

I wonder whether you could ever summarise a sermon (either before or after preaching) in this way? Below is a mindmap sermon on Jeremiah 29 v. 1 – 14. Originally intended for publication in a Christian journal, in the end the editor felt it was just too alien for his readership. What do you think?

In fact a ‘placemat sermon’ would be even less structured than what you see above. It might list pitfalls in one corner as bullet points, show thumbnail pictures of the WW2 posters in another and so on. Why not try it and see?