Welcome to LeonardSweet.com

Leonard Sweet is a best-selling author (of sixty-plus books), preacher, and educator. His most recent book is Rings of Fire: Walking By Faith in a Volcanic Future  (2019). He holds distinguished visiting professorships at Evangelical Seminary (Charles Wesley Professor of Doctoral Studies), Drew University, Portland Divinity School, and Tabor College. He routinely appears on listings of “Most Influential Christians” and “Most Influential Theologians.” His most recent projects are the lectionary based preaching resource and weekly vlog, preachthestory.com, and a new publishing company called The Salish Sea Press, which will start publishing his nonfiction and fiction by award-winning novelist Lisa Samson in late 2020.  

New Book: 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.

2021 Pacific Advance with Robert Woods and Rebekah Woods

March 12 & 13, 2021

Eastsound, WA

I am pleased to announce our conversation partners for the 2021 Pacific Advance. For the first time we are inviting a husband and wife to be our resources, Robert Woods and Rebekah Woods. My doctoral students will know the name of Robert Woods well, since they have read either his Words and Witnesses: Communications Studies in Christian Thought (2018) or his digital proverbs from Ethics in the Age of Social Media (2019). Robert is an expert in the fields of communication, media and culture (including pop culture), and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Christianity and Communication Studies Network (www.theccsn.com). Rebekah started out her career as an attorney, but for the past twenty years has been involved in higher education. Currently she serves as President of Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Washington, where she and Robert have lived since moving from Spring Arbor, Michigan in 2017. They love their new home in eastern Washington, which they share with three rescue dogs and one rescue cat. The cat doesn’t seem to like Robert very much, but Rebekah has  promised to reveal the secret of the cat’s dismissal of her husband of 25 years if we’re really interested. I for one want to know, and we will press her on this along with an assortment of other questions about the future of education, the nature of digital communications in the church and culture, in the role of learning and living in the world at large, and the importance of lifelong learning in the arena of faith.

Semiotic preaching resources. 

 

End Of Year Giving

You can make a tax-deductible donation to support the ministry of Leonard Sweet through SpiritVenture Ministries

Latest Books

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 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!

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.

Orcas Island, Washington

2021 Pacific Advance with Robert Woods and Rebekah Woods – March 12 & 13

Eastsound, WA

 

Conversation Partners: Robert Woods and Rebekah Woods.

I am pleased to announce our conversation partners for the 2021 Pacific Advance. For the first time we are inviting a husband and wife to be our resources, Robert Woods and Rebekah Woods. My doctoral students will know the name of Robert Woods well, since they have read either his Words and Witnesses: Communications Studies in Christian Thought (2018) or his digital proverbs from Ethics in the Age of Social Media (2019). Robert is an expert in the fields of communication, media and culture (including pop culture), and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Christianity and Communication Studies Network (www.theccsn.com). Rebekah started out her career as an attorney, but for the past twenty years has been involved in higher education. Currently she serves as President of Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Washington, where she and Robert have lived since moving from Spring Arbor, Michigan in 2017. They love their new home in eastern Washington, which they share with three rescue dogs and one rescue cat. The cat doesn’t seem to like Robert very much, but Rebekah has  promised to reveal the secret of the cat’s dismissal of her husband of 25 years if we’re really interested. I for one want to know, and we will press her on this along with an assortment of other questions about the future of education, the nature of digital communications in the church and culture, in the role of learning and living in the world at large, and the importance of lifelong learning in the arena of faith.

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