How to Have a MEAL

In this posting we will discover:

1)      How to organize ideas for practice

2)      How to reduce ideas to practical terms that everyday people can understand

3)      How to work together in a team


The Subject

We are preparing to be practitioners.  The word practice is defined as “the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such application or use” (  To practice something implies that it begins with fundamental ideas.  Something cannot be practiced unless it begins in some form of organized ideas.  For example, consider learning to ride a bicycle.  It begins with the organization of materials that form what we identify as a “bicycle.”  Generally, this is described as a frame of metal with at least two wheels, and a handlebar.  Then there is the organization of ideas about how to ride one.  Under normal conditions, riders tend to use two legs, and two arms.  Probably the most important element of riding is balance.  Some people are capable of riding without two arms, or two legs, or even two wheels.  Some do this as a talent and others do it because they are disabled.  However, no one can ride a bicycle without balance.


What you have seen above is two very important things.

1) The concept of organizing ideas is vital to practice of anything. 

2) Ideas are best communicated in terms of previous experiences. 


Make Note


In the above information, the appeal is made that organizing ideas is the beginning of practice. 


The appeal is made by logic, observation, and a personal experience that most people share.  Notice how much sense it makes, and how easy it is to accept.


The main point here is that ministry practitioners need foundational ideas to practice ministry. Also we need to be able to frame those ideas in terms with which people can relate.  Neither of these goals can be accomplished without organizing information. 


A Method


We have good news, there is an easy way practice this.  Just remember the word MEAL (main idea, evidence, appeal, link).




Let’s apply this to our previous discussion:


Main Idea

The main idea is that information must be organized in order to practice it.

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