Welcome to LeonardSweet.com

Leonard Sweet is a preacher, teacher, historical theologian, and theo-semiotician. Author of more than seventy books and 1500+ published sermons, Leonard Sweet’s recent publications include groundbreaking textbooks on preaching (Giving Blood), evangelism (Nudge), ecclesiology (So Beautiful), discipleship (I Am A Follower), and eschatology (Telos—with Len Wilson). Len and co-author Lisa Samson are finishing volumes four (for Dementia and Alzheimers patients) and five of their health and wellness “Songs of Light” series.

Len often appears on the “50 Most Influential Christians in America” listings, and was once selected internationally by the top non-English Christian website as one of the “Top 10 Influential World Christians.” His “Napkin Scribbles” podcasts can be accessed on leonardsweet.com or Spotify. His Twitter and Facebook microblogs are ranked as some of the most influential in the religious arena. His three years of weekly “LenTalk” vlogs are found on his Leonard Sweet YouTube channel.

Len works with doctoral students at four institutions: Drew University, where he has occupied the E. Stanley Jones Chair, George Fox University, Northwind Seminary, and Southeastern University. In 2015 he launched his own homiletics resource preachthestory.com. In 2020 he founded the publishing house The Salish Sea Press. One of the most sought-after speakers in the religious world today, he resides on Orcas Island in the San Juans where operates an “advance center” (The-Salish.com) with his wife Tia and son Luke.
Book Leonard Sweet

2023 Water Advance

We have a special mystery guest and conversation partner for our next Pacific Advance, 10, 11 March 2023. He needs to remain unnamed and unidentified because of the work he is doing for the gospel in some of the most dangerous and persecutory regions of our world.

Semiotic preaching resources. 


Featured Book

Telos: The Hope of Heaven Today

A better definition of God’s kingdom changes everything about how we live today – no matter what the future holds.

Welcome to a better way of looking at the end: as the culmination of God’s grand story. Jesus’ most important word in describing the end is the Greek word telos. Telos is the rhythm of human history; the presence of God; and the plot, purpose, and completion of the story. The end is the kingdom of God, and the kingdom is here and now.

Sweet and Wilson show how many of the political problems plaguing modern Christianity are rooted in bad theology. God’s kingdom is the present reality of the presence of God that gives us hope for today and tomorrow.

Red Skies

Our world is changing faster than ever. Digital culture is rapidly accelerating, climate change threatens the future of our planet, racial inequality looms large, sexuality norms are constantly shifting, and forced migration is increasing. Meanwhile, the church is rife with internal conflict and busies itself with growth strategies, running programs, and creating better worship services.

In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus told the religious leaders that although they could interpret the appearance of the sky, they didn’t know how to read the signs of the times. As twenty-first-century disciples and leaders, we must not make the same mistake. We need to understand our cultural red skies and see the coming changes because our response to the issues we face will determine the church’s position, posture, and practice for years to come.

With contributions from experts in their fields—including missiologists, pastors, ecclesiologists, entrepreneurs, and prophets—Red Skies explores some of the essential conversations the church must engage with now so we might overcome potential threats and look for opportunities to be good news to both our current and future world.

Contextual Intelligence

We live in a changed moment. We live in a charged moment. There is no more “Business as Usual” in any arena or activity. How do we navigate and negotiate this new world where God seems to be saying, “Behold I do a new thing. Do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:19) 

Why are some institutions thriving while others are closing their doors, declaring bankruptcy, and throwing in the towel? Why are some churches missionally prospering while others are experiencing significant decline? 

The answer to these questions is an ancient secret, now unveiled afresh for mission on the front lines of a post-Covid world and lockdown generation. A distinct kind of intelligence possessed by the Tribe of Issachar is unveiled which recognizes that what worked in one season, in one location, doesn’t transfer to another. You will be called in this book to a new order the authors are calling The Issacharians, the tribe known for the ability to “read the signs of the times and know what to do.” They possessed a vital skill known as contextual intelligence.

In this groundbreaking book, you will explore the phenomenon of contextual intelligence and discover a framework for its cultivation and how you can apply it in your own circumstance.

Rings of Fire

Len Sweet once again maps the future for the church in this sweeping survey of the twenty-first century. In the face of eruptive and disruptive culture changes from economics and communications to bioethics and beyond, how do we fight fire with fire, not only catching up to our culture but leading our friends and neighbors toward the feet of Christ? No one has done more to startle the church from its slumber than Len Sweet, and no one has equipped the church as effectively. This will be a benchmark book from a seminal leader of the modern evangelical movement.

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 Habits 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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Podcast & Twitter

The “Wond’ry” is name of Vanderbilt’s Center for Innovation & Design. What a great name for a church . .. a Wond'ry community “lost in wonder, love and praise” (last line of Charles Wesley’s great hymn “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”). #thewondry #thewonderofitall

"If the enemy [the devil] gives me thoughts of justice, I will immediately think of mercy; if he gives me thoughts of mercy, I will counter with justice." Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), as quoted by Oliver Rafferty SJ #mercyjustice

"The adjective 'liminal' refers to a threshold, the initial stage of something . . 'Lumen,' on the other hand, connotes light. Ash Wednesday's liminality leads through Lent to THE luminal event, Easter." Bonnie Thurston #Lent #Easter #luminal #liminal

“God has given us His Son Jesus to be our Wisdom, our Justice, our Sanctification, our Redemption” (1Cor.1:30). My prayer today is “Jesus, be today and every day my wisdom, my justice and righteousness, my sanctification, my redemption.

Our dawdling desires and anemic dreams mock the reserves of grace and reservoirs of resources which God has gifted each one of us.

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