David W. Gill Topics & Formats

For fifty years David Gill has been a busy guest speaker, retreat leader, and consultant/advisor in both church and marketplace settings, probably averaging 40 speaking gigs outside his academic post every year. He is equally comfortable giving presentations appropriate for diverse, nonreligious business audiences and intentionally theological presentations to faith groups.

David Gill is taking on no additional speaking commitments until September 2017. Please feel free to inquire about engagements after that time. Thank you.

Contact & Further Information:

Get In Touch: E-mail

Format Options:

  • One-shot guest presentation, lecture, sermon, class session, or keynote address.
  • One-day or half-day workshop or seminar.
  • Weekend retreat, workshop, or seminar (e.g., Friday evening to Sunday morning).
  • Series --- SF Bay Area only (e.g., 3 Sunday sessions, 4 Tuesday evenings, etc.)
  • Consultation: one-time or multiple sessions with individuals or groups.

Scheduling Process:

  • First, e-mail David W. Gill with your questions, ideas, and proposals.
  • Describe your preferred and possible date(s) and as much as you can about the location, audience, purpose, and context of the proposed event. What do you want DWG to deliver to your audience?
  • Describe as well as you can what you will provide in support of DWG’s visit and service. Will you cover his basic transportation and expenses? Are you offering him an honorarium?
  • Provide your own preferred contact info (telephone & e-address) for follow-up.
  • Planning months ahead always improves the chances of making something work.

Topic Possibilities:

  • The following menu describes the basic “stuff” of DWG’s lifelong calling to study, teach, and write. Most of these topics he has worked on hundreds of times with various audiences of all ages and in all settings. Sometimes he has been called on to deliver a 20 minute message on some aspect of one of these topics --- other times a ten-part series of one-hour sessions --- or a weekend or weeklong conference or retreat with four or five intensive sessions.
  • For any of these topics please feel free to ask DWG for details and examples of subtopics, outlines, study and discussion guides, etc.. With every topic there are many options in scheduling the presentation and study.
  • “Salting (not Steamrolling) the Marketplace: Christian Perspective on Work” or “The God of Good Work” We spend about one-third of our lives working (another third sleeping and the final third for everything else). For that reason alone it is essential for Christians to explore the teaching of Jesus and Scripture about the meaning and character of work, money, organizations, and leadership. The insights, values, and ethics of Jesus and Scripture are not just helpful for our personal, family, and religious life; there are valuable perspectives to be shared with our colleagues out in the marketplace. First we have to know what these biblical ideas and perspectives are --- then we must learn how to humbly, effectively share them with others, including those of very different convictions and value orientations. Alternative title: “Four Ways to Salt the Workplace.”

    David Gill’s book It’s About Excellence: Building Ethically Healthy Organizations (2008/2011) is his “crossover” contribution to today’s complex, diverse, global marketplace and its ethical challenges. His forthcoming The God of Good Work should be published in late 2017.

    “The Beatitudes: Building Good Character & Community” The eight Beatitudes that begin Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-16) describe a life (a) that is “blessed” by God, (b) that “salts” and “lights” our world, and (c) that leads people to glorify God. Every Christian should know and understand this famous text with its amazing content, organization, and implications for life, relationships, work, and a reconciling presence in the world.

    Related Topical Focus Options:
    Faith, Hope, & Love --- the “Pauline Virtues” (cf. Col 1:4-5; I Cor 13:13; Heb 10:19-25)
    The Cardinal Virtues (faith, hope, love, justice, courage, self-control, practical wisdom)

    David Gill’s book Becoming Good: Building Moral Character (2000) addresses these topics & texts.

    “The Decalogue: Ten Principles of Life, Love, & Justice” Both Jesus and Paul remind us, with the ancient Hebrew shema (Dt 6:4ff.), that the Ten Commandments (Ex 20:1-17; Dt 5:6-21) are all about how to love the Lord our God and how to love our neighbors as ourselves. They are a clear roadmap to justice and righteousness as well as to lives of freedom and love. Every Christian should know and understand the Ten Commandments and their amazing structure and implications for all of life.

    David Gill’s book Doing Right: Practicing Ethical Principles (2004) explores in depth the Decalogue and related issues in Christian ethics.

    “Romans 12-13: Ethics & Values from Another World . . . For This World” Paul’s most comprehensive, systematic statement of Christian theology (and its relationship to Judaism) is in his Letter to the Romans, chapters 1-11. In Romans 12 – 13, then, Paul provides a careful, thorough and inspiring description of the transformation of our lives, values, and behavior that should accompany the hearing of the Gospel. Non-conformity to our culture, pursuit of the good will of God, the role of the community of faith as well as the political institutions around us, the centrality of the Decalogue, love, and the teaching of Jesus--- it’s all front and center in this great text that all Christians should know.

    “Wholly Educated: Shaping A Christian Mind” Most of us laypeople have years and years of fairly rigorous schooling in some field of study. By contrast our knowledge of biblical and Christian ideas and perspectives is haphazard and pathetic most of the time. True biblical faith demands that we “love God with all our mind” and “take every thought captive to Christ” and “be transformed by the renewing of our mind.” From the time he was an undergrad at Cal Berkeley in the Sixties through his pioneering leadership of New College Berkeley in the Seventies and Eighties, and on to the present, a central passion of David Gill’s life has been to help Christians work toward minds radically transformed by Jesus and Scripture.

    David Gill’s books The Opening of the Christian Mind (1989) and Should God Get Tenure? Essays on Religion and Higher Education (1997) are now out-of-print and available only through used book dealers.

    “David the Beloved: Man Lessons from a Shepherd King” DWG’s favorite character in the Old Testament, predictably, is the one after whom his parents named him. David’s relationships to God, to a formidable foe (Goliath), to a terrible boss (Saul), to a lifelong committed friend (Jonathan), to a tempting lover (Bathsheba), to a rebellious son (Absalom), to music, poetry, leadership, failure, and other topics --- all of these stories provide lessons and opportunities for men (women too) to become what God wants them to be.

    “Peter the Rock: Extraordinary Insights from an Ordinary Man” DWG’s favorite character in the New Testament is Simon Peter, the fisherman who became a spokesman and leader in the early church. Peter’s conversion, experience of discipleship, walk-on-water, questions and comments, denial and recovery, servanthood and leadership, relationships with Cornelius, Mark, and others, and his two letters late in the New Testament --- all of these stories and texts provide an amazing portrait of the Christian life and also a set of threads linking al parts of the New Testament together.

    David Gill’s book, Peter the Rock: Extraordinary Insights from an Ordinary Man (1986) is now out-of-print and available only through used book dealers.

    “FaithJazz: How Jazz Reminds Us What Christian Life is all About” For more than thirty years DWG has been a great fan of jazz music in most of its varieties. Over time some of the characteristics and themes of jazz have served to him as vivid reminders of some basics of the Christian life. Both jazz and the Christian life require a knowledge of “the standards,” learning how to improvise and make the music your own, a willingness to “pass the lead” around to your ensemble-mates and not hog the spotlight, and an eagerness to engaged and connect with your band-mates and with those who are looking and listening. Both jazz and Christianity have a global reach into all peoples and cultures, and a broad life “bandwidth” that embraces our blues and melancholy as well as our romance and our celebration of life. Listen and learn.