• CreativePastors is where you'll find Ed Young resources. Ed is the founding and senior pastor of Fellowship Church, with four locations in the Dallas area and one in Miami, Florida.

    Doing church should be an adventure—tossing aside the tame and tired to pursue God-sized dreams with boldness and creativity. We want to supply you with the best of what we've learned and created in our 17 years of ministry. Think of us as part of your creative team.

Ed Young Blog

So what is a mind map, anyway?

June 16, 2005

Mind map is one of those phrases that conjures up all kinds of images, whether it's a state-of-the-art CAT scan or an atlas of a cluttered cranium. But at CreativePastors it's a download we offer that is a great tool for sermon development. Some of our customers have asked us for a little deeper explanation of what Ed's mind maps are all about, so we got the scoop from Cliff McNeely, FC’s resource development pastor and a regular in Ed’s sermon planning meetings.

"In 15 years of delivering sermons at Fellowship Church, Ed Young has developed close to 1,000 messages. A tool that has been instrumental in achieving this undertaking is what we call a mind map. Mind Mapping is simply a method of organizing notes to aid in memorization. Its premise is that the mind works in clockwise order, so message notes are transferred to one legal size sheet of paper, front and back, in clockwise order starting at the top-center. This method is especially helpful for those who are highly visual learners. The method pays particular attention to "mapping" or visually arranging the main ideas, transitional statements and illustrative stories around the message's big idea to trigger the memory. Color coding and use of symbols and drawings may also be used to visually aid the speaker.

"Ed first learned about mind mapping from an author named Michael Gelb. He has several books out, but one in particular is called Mind Mapping: How to Liberate Your Natural Genius. Ed has modified Gelb's method over the years, but he still develops what he calls "Mind Maps," In the past, Ed would painstakingly handwrite, color code and illustrate his mind maps (Click here to see an example.)  but now uses a computer template developed in MS Word to create them. Even on these computerized versions, though, he still color codes major points, illustrations, and transitional statements (key phrases, sentences or paragraphs that are crucial to the flow of the sermon).(Click here to see an example.)  He also adds handwritten notes to aid in memorization or to make last minute changes as needed."

Thanks, Cliff! You can find mind maps as downloads on CreativePastors and in the Pastor’s Kits as well.


Thanks! I've always wondered about the Mind Maps. I have to give it a try. And thanks for giving us an example to check out!

Thanks for this post Andy, I have been toying with mind maps for years now!This has reawakened my interest.

Thanks so much for writing about mind maps, and especially for the examples.

I first learned about them several years ago from a book by Doug Hall, "Jump Start Your Brain," but it's only been in the last year or so that I've thought to use them as sermon notes (I heard Ed was using them, IIRC).

I use a graphics graphics program (OmniGraffle, a program for Mac) to generate mine.

I'm also a big fan of Mind Maps. I use mindmapping software called MindManager X5. I was able to purchase and download it directly from their website (www.mindjet.com). It has been one of the best investments of my life!

The comments to this entry are closed.