Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Things To Know About The Release Of “Simplify The Message; Multiply The Impact”

Today is the day.

Simplify The Message; Multiply The Impact officially releases.  Drops.  Debuts. Sells.  Whatever the verb, today is the day it goes official.  I’ve had my “author copies” for a couple of weeks and this is the day for wider distribution.

Here are five things to know about the book, its origins, its audience, and its uses. read more

Greater Love, Week 1 — The “Movement” Sermon Rewind

Yesterday’s message …

  • Embodied no little bit of irony.  Two days before the official release of “Simplify The Message; Multiply The Impact,” a book for all practical purposes on designing and delivering one point sermons, my sermon yesterday featured four … points.  Four movements.  No single bottom line.
  • The reason for that different kind of message is that I designed the sermon to introduce “The Beautiful Marriage Movement” to the congregation and  community at large. I had shared some of these thoughts at a Leader Gathering back in September.
  • Celebrated the beauty of gender as God’s good creation and then reminded the church that when Jesus could have redefined marriage, he reinforced it instead.
  • Set our audacious goals of touching 10,000 couples over seven years with life giving resources designed to prevent crises rather than manage them.  Along the way, we hope to cut divorce filings in half in our area.


So it has been about 15 months ago now that my wife and I hosted a wedding for our daughter. She got married in Nashville, outdoors, at a venue. It rained every day leading up to the wedding. It was bitter cold the day after the wedding. The day OF the weding? Perfect. Crisp, gold, red, perfect. It was one pretty wedding: (AV) Now: it was also a pretty EXPENSIVE wedding, which is why GROOME’S parents usually enjoy those weekends more than brides’ parents but that’s another sermon for another time. But it all helped me realize as a dad and as a pastor, we spend a lot of money and time on pretty weddings. We’ve got wedding planners, wedding venues, wedding bands; we’ve got Say Yes To The Dress, we’ve got Four Weddings, we’ve got My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and even Wedding Crashers. Pretty weddings are everywhere. Time, money, effort. read more

Special Delivery — Preaching Without Notes

My love language is Words Of Affirmation.

(If you don’t understand that reference, check out Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages where you’ll see that all of us speak & receive love through one of the following: physical touch, quality time, acts of service, gifts, or words of affirmation. I didn’t have to read the entire book – a quick glance at the chapter titles told me how I receive love. “Yep, there’s my picture right under Words Of Affirmation.”) read more

From InterestED To InterestING

I still remember a conversation that, paradoxically, led me into full-time ministry.

I was 24 at the time, and working at the Princeton, New Jersey office of the United States Tennis Association. As part of my duties, I gave presentations to physical educators, Special Olympics coaches, and even tennis teaching professionals. My supervisor at the time believed – accurately as it turned out – that I needed to lower the pitch of my voice to be a more effective presenter, and so he sent me to a local expert in the art of public speaking. read more

Sherlock Holmesing Congregation & Community: Preaching & The Sacred Act Of NOTICING

Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes is one of the most portrayed characters in the history of fiction, film, and stage. Doyle’s four novels and fifty-six short stories involving Scotland Yard’s favorite sleuth have multiplied into hundreds of movies, television programs, and stage productions. Holmes is so ubiquitous that many people believe that this fictional character was in fact a historic figure. No, he was not. Archetypal, perhaps. Composite, most assuredly. Historical, no. read more

Missing Peace, Week 4 — The “Need To Know Basis” Sermon Rewind

Yesterday’s message …

  • Had a moment of crisis at the 8:30 service when I brought the WRONG BIBLE into the Worship Center.  By “wrong bible” I mean the one without the Scripture printed in TWENTY-TWO point font and taped into it so I can read it easily while sermonating;
  • Waited on the bottom line until almost the very end;
  • Used some of the logic from a 2013 sermon called “Storm Chasers”;
  • Landed at this bottom line:  God would rather you KNOW him than NEED him.


If I’m a little keyed up today, it’s because we get to look at some words in the bible that make up what is at the same time THE BEAUTIFUL and THE LEAST FOLLOWED verse in the entire bible? Isn’t that great? And I am convinced that after we look at what is simultaneously beautiful and rejected you’ll never look at life, relationships, and your own motivations quite the same. So … you ready? You ready to hear what it is?
Here it is: read more

Missing Peace, Week 4 — “Need To Know Basis”

It’s Friday and I’m already pretty keyed up for Sunday.


Because we get to look at what is at the same time THE MOST BEAUTIFUL and LEAST FOLLOWED verse in Scripture.


To see what I mean — and to know the Scripture in question — it’s Sunday.

8:30, 10, 11:30 at the Moss Campus. read more

A Chance Encounter, A Frustrated Newspaper Career, And UN-Learning As The Key To Wordsmithing

Many moons ago, I had a chance encounter with the late Ben
Haden, a Chattanooga-based pastor with the Presbyterian
Church of America who enjoyed a measure of fame with the television
ministry Changed Lives. Our conversation was on the bucolic
grounds of Camp-of-the-Woods in the Adirondack Mountains,
where I spent a collegiate summer teaching tennis (what else?) and
he spent a week as the guest preacher. read more

What Getting Stuck In The Australian Outback Taught Me About Designing A Sermon. Really!

When I was fourteen, my parents and my older brother Clayton
(he is number seven out of eight, and I round it out
taking the eighth place) and I spent a semester in Australia. My father
was nearing the end of his career as a member of the faculty in
the School of Law at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas
and he decided to take a six-month study sabbatical in the land
down under. To this day, I have a sneaking suspicion he did a bit
more sabbathing than studying, but that’s not the point of this story
(which, as you know by now, must have only one point). read more

Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Ways Being The Eighth Of Eight Davises Still Influences Me

A lot of you know this, but here goes: I am the eighth of eight children. No blending. All biological. All Davis, all the time.

I am also quite a bit younger than the rest, as #1 was 23 when I was born and #7 was seven. He (#7) went off to college when I was 12, which means that for the bulk of my adolescence I was . . . wait for it . . . an only child with seven brothers and sisters. read more