Lent 11: Leonard Sweet’s 11

How funny that my 11th lent book was called 11!  That was totally unintentional – it must be a sign!!

Anywho – I recommend to all young or inexperience preachers to read a Sweet book at least once a year.  The amount of great stuff that he packs into every single book is awesome.  You simply don’t find Leonard Sweet books that are a waste of time and/or money.  11 is a book about the relationships that you need to become who you are meant to be.  Pretty good thoughts.

Here’s some cool take-aways:

  1. p.25, “The worst thing you can do is to create a matched community, an inner circle of people who see life exactly as you do.  Life is becoming more complex, not less, which necessitates an ever-greater diversity of counsel.”
  2. p.41, “The difficult truth can concern little things.  Our sins make us look ridiculous more than anything.”
  3. p.71, “Bishop John Sperry, the retired Anglican bishop of the Arctic, had been a missionary bishop in the vast Yukon Territory, where there was no Inuit (Eskimo) translation of the Bible.  So, he set about producing one, but fairly quickly came to a sudden halt.  In the Inuit language there is no word for joy, just images and metaphors.  When the translators came to the resurrection story, they had to find a word to express joy, and the closest metaphor to what joy meant in Inuit culture was ‘wagging the tail’.  That explains why in Inuit, John 20:20 became, ‘When the disciples saw the Lord, they wagged their tails.’ “
  4. p.129, “The founder of my tribe, John Wesley, had no problem with his itinerants or anyone else disagreeing with him…in Wesley’s own words, ‘I have no more right to object to a man for holding a different opinion from mine than I have to differ with a man because he wears a wig and I wear my own hair.’ But then Wesley kept the metaphor going: ‘But if he takes his wig off and shakes the powder in my face, I shall consider it my duty to quit of him as soon as possible.’ “
  5. p.132, “Earl Creps testifies that ‘in countless hours of writing, talking and consulting about baton-passing, I had assumed the whole time that we had something that younger leaders wanted to inherit.  But what if that’s not true?’  Creps goes on to pose two questions for us: a) ‘Is the notion of ‘baton-passing’ just a Baby Boomer conceit?  Would the Church be better served by more ‘start-ups’?”  b) ‘Is the Emerging Church mainly an example of being offered the baton and saying, ‘No thanks’?’ “

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