Welcome to LeonardSweet.com

Best-selling author, professor at Drew University, George Fox University and Tabor College, and owner of PreachTheStory.com

Book Leonard Sweet

New Book: The Bad Habits of Jesus

In our culture, we have a tendency to describe Jesus in ways that soften his revolutionary edge. Len Sweet uncovers and presents to us the offensive and scandalous Jesus described in the Bible. Len examines the words and actions of Jesus and places them in context. We need to understand who Jesus really is if we are to follow him wholeheartedly.

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2018 Pacific Advance with Doug Murren – March 7 & 8

Join us for Advance 2019!

Join the conversation with Adam Hamilton!

Adam Hamilton is the founding pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection
in Leawood, Kansas. He grew up in the Kansas City area, earned a B.A. degree in Pastoral
Ministry from Oral Roberts and a Master of Divinity Degree from Southern Methodist
University where he was awarded the B’nai B’rith Award in Social Ethics.

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Latest Books

Jesus Speaks

Countless Christians today are hungry to hear God’s voice. The trouble is, many don’t know how. In a warm and practical way, Jesus Speaks teaches readers how to listen for the voice of Jesus. The bookexplores the various ways in which Christ speaks today and how His sheep can grow in their ability to recognize and respond to His voice daily.


The Bad Habbits of Jesus

Jesus had a lot of habits that angered the authorities of his day. But those “bad” habits are actually the best habits we could adopt. Find out just how “bad” Jesus could be!
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From Tablet to Table

What if the Bible were seen less as a tablet of ink than as a table of food? From Tablet to Table invites readers to explore the importance of The Table in biblical theology, and what it might mean for us to bring back the table to our homes, our churches, and our neighborhoods. The table pictures the grace of God’s provision for all aspects of our lives, a place of safe gathering, of finding identity in shared stories, of imparting food and faith, of playing host and finding satisfaction as a guest. Sweet explores how our failure to understand and appreciate “the most sacred item of furniture in every home” has created such a deficit in our fast-food, take-what-you-like-smorgasbord, together-but-separate society.

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We Are the Church

We Are the Church bears witness to the mission and growth of the world church. Far from a dusty, theoretical treatise, We Are the Church is drenched in the sights and smells from the front lines and fox holes of mission. Filled with stories and testimonies from followers of Christ all over the world, each chapter is a living witness to how “the mission field has become a mission force” (J. Hudson Taylor IV). In the west, it seems the voice of revival is like the whistle of a train that stopped running years ago but which you think you sometimes hear faintly from the far side of the valley. In the east and south, the voice of revival is like a train coming out of a tunnel, hurtling down the tracks, coming at you with all its force and power, inviting you to climb aboard or get out of the way. You are invited now to get aboard this powerful, missional train and read firsthand the untold story of God’s global awakening.

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Giving Blood

If the church wants to converse effectively with a culture, it must learn that culture’s language. Today, our culture thinks not in words but in images, stories, and metaphors. So what does this mean for preaching? In this ground-breaking resource, Sweet offers an alternative to the traditional models of preaching, one that is fitting to a new culture and new modes of thinking. This first book of its kind moves preaching beyond its pulpit-centric fixation and toward a more interactive, participatory mode of communication. Seeing the sermon as sacramental conversion experience, Sweet presents a challenge to a church struggling to maintain in an image based, media-saturated world.

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Me and We

Me and We calls for a new social gospel in the world in which economies of division are replaced by economies of relationship. Using the examples of individualism, racism, and consumerism, Sweet calls Christians to rethink individual responsibility even as we live together in God’s “house and garden” communities, our churches, and the world. The book blesses the uniqueness of created persons, and yet shows how God’s plan for creation means that all unique individuals live together in harmony and symphony to the tune of the One God in all of our economies: money, politics, and church.

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The Well Played Life

Do you secretly think that the harder you work, the more God is pleased with you? You can live like that—for a while. But imagine what it might mean instead to unclench your teeth, loosen your grip, and actually experience God’s pleasure in you—not just in everything you are doing for Him? The Well-Played Life is a journey of a life filled with richness, fruitfulness, and creativity of living in God’s pleasure. Renowned author Leonard Sweet explores what it means to please God in the nitty-gritty of life; how that changes from the time we are 5 to the time we are 50; and how in every age of our lives, in everything we do, we can experience God’s gift of play. The Well-Played Life offers a new spiritual direction of enjoying (and being enjoyed by) God. Discover how a Sabbath way of Christian joy is not only possible, but also how we were designed . . . and a core part of God’s plan for our lives.

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Orcas Island, Washington

2018 Pacific Advance with Adam Hamilton – March 7 & 8

Eastsound, WA

Advance Conversation Partner: Adam Hamilton

Read the Gospel of Mark. In many ways the gospel is organized according to the “advances” Jesus took. Count the number of times Mark says “And Jesus came apart.”

Now look deeper into where Jesus “came apart”:” the mountains, the desert, and the water. Three different bons vaux, sacred spaced, landscapes of the sacred. The three natural places which have the power to help restore us to physical, mental and spiritual harmony. Your soul needs three sacred spaces. Which one depends on the state your soul is in.

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Recent Blog Post

Read more on PreachTheStory.com:


A Response to Recent Misunderstandings (2007)

Being a follower of Jesus requires two things of me: 1) a desire to love Jesus with all my being 2) a devoted humility to please God–no if, ands, buts, or a comma between the “please” and “God.” My dream is to render both faithfully every day. But Jesus-following and God-pleasing–not people-pleasing–can sometimes lead me up a hill, often carrying a cross. It can mean being silent when accused, even refusing to defend myself or push back when my faith or character is unjustly attacked by brothers and sisters in the faith. Nothing hurts more than being shot by friendly fire. Yet, I recognize that God can use my critics to humble me, teach me, and transform me and in so doing revitalize and empower my ministry even more so than before. So despite the confusion and harm such onslaughts can seem to be either to me or to others around me, I welcome them from the sovereign hand of God and am thankful that they exist, especially in that they can help me to clarify the tenets of my faith and to reiterate my mission and ministry to others. I take my commitment to those whom I may influence by my ministry very seriously. And it is for this reason that I pause now to address some issues of faith that are dear to my heart and important to the many followers of Jesus who look to me for guidance, hope and inspiration as we journey together in the path of Christ. First, I thank the many of you, who have been kind enough to approach me with... read more

Freely You Have Received, Freely Give

Toward a Post-Tithing, Post-Stewardship, Postmodern Theology of Receiving “What have you got that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?” Apostle Paul (1Cor.4:7) *** “It is not what we eat but what we digest that makes us strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; not what we preach but what we practice that makes us Christian.” — Francis Bacon   The mysterious Watergate informant known as “Deep Throat” was right. “Follow the money,” he told reporters Woodward and Bernstein. “Follow the money.”   It’s a lesson the church, fixed on the power of politics in a world where the power paradigms are economic, has yet to learn. Money talks. And how Jesus loved to talk about money. If clergy preached on economics as often as Jesus did, there would be at least one sermon a month devoted to what Douglas W. Johnson calls “a theology of finance,” or “think[ing] about money theologically.” 1 But clergy have historically been reluctant to take a leadership role in the church’s money matters and fund-raising.   There are lots of reasons for this, not the least of which is that nothing has produced more friction over the years between a pastor and a congregation so much as economics. 2 Likewise, some of the biggest fights in church history were caused by economic issues. The Reformation after all began in part as a dispute over stewardship and fund-raising. But generally, stewardship thinking and planning... read more

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