Simplify The Message, Multiply The Impact

A Preaching Cohort facilitated by Rev. Talbot Davis
Paul tells the Corinthians:  “I did not come to you with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.  For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Christ and him crucified.”  (I Corinthians 2:1-2)
Simple message, monumental impact.
So Simplify The Message; Multiply The Impact is designed to help growing preachers in the WNCC to break through the noise of culture and the cauldron of church to deliver sermons with clarity, passion, and boldness. 
Simple is the opposite of simplistic.  Sermons with clear & unmistakable focus are best able to plumb the depths not only of Gospel beauty but of congregants’ lives.  As Mr. Rogers once said, “Life is truly deep and simple but what society offers is shallow and complex.”
So put on your cardigan and join us as we simplify and multiply.
Participants will: 
  • Participate in an eight month cohort of 10-12 pastors that will meet once a month (taking July off).  This meeting will occur on Tuesdays from 9:00-noon.  Meetings will be held at Good Shepherd Church in South Charlotte.
  • Participate in group and individual consultations about the role of preaching in the life of the pastor and congregation.
  • Critically reflect upon the task of preaching week to week in particular congregations.
  • Provide sermons for reflection and learning from their peers.
The program will be led by Rev. Talbot Davis, pastor of Good Shepherd Church, a United Methodist congregation, in Charlotte. Talbot graduated from Asbury Seminary and has been serving churches in Western North Carolina since 1990.  He has been at Good Shepherd for almost 19 years. Rev. Davis has written several books, the most recent being “Crash Test Dummies: Surprising Lessons from the Book of Judges.”

Meeting details:
  • First Tuesday of each month (February through October, taking July off)
  • 9 a.m. to 12 noon
  • Location at Good Shepherd Church in South Charlotte.
The cost to participate is $50.  The rest of the expense is funded by the WNC Leadership Development Team. Participants will be responsible for purchasing books. 

Required Resources:
The Collected Sermons Of Fred Craddock
Communicating For A Change by Andy Stanley
Crash Test Dummies by Talbot Davis
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
Southeastern by Jason Isbell (CD or digital download)

Session One
From Clutter To Clarity:  The Power Of A One Point Sermon
Session Two
InterestED to InterstING:  Delightful Exegesis
Session Three
Keep Me Awake, Please!: Taking People On A Sermon Journey Rather Than Through A Sermon Outline
Watch & Reflect Upon Peer Sermons
Session Four
The Pastoral Sherlock Holmes: The Preacher As Observer And Chronicler Of Human Behavior And Popular Culture
Watch & Reflect Upon Peer Sermons
Session Five
Who Shot JR?:  Devising And Developing Sermon Series
Watch & Reflect Upon Peer Sermons
Session Six
Reading To Write:  The Power Of Wordsmithing
Watch & Reflect On Peer Sermons
Session Seven
Make Your Momma Proud: Funerals, Weddings, and Invitations
Watch & Reflect On Peer Sermons
Session Eight
Special Delivery:  Preaching Without Notes
Watch & Reflect On Peer Sermons
Participation is limited to WNC clergy or ministry professionals who preach on a regular basis. The cohort is sponsored by the Western North Carolina Leadership Development Team.
Application for the program should occur no later than February 1, 2018. To apply for this opportunity, send an email to Rev. Kim Ingram, Director of Ministerial Services ( with your name, appointment, and charge conference (if different from your appointment). Mail the $50 registration fee, payable to WNC Treasurer, to The Office of Ministerial Services, P. O. Box 18005, Charlotte, NC 28218.  Space is limited and participants will be accepted on a first-come basis. Once registration is processed, you will receive an ethnographic survey to complete and return prior to the first session.
Follow Jesus. Make Disciples. Transform the World.