Leonard Sweet Challenges Wesleyans to Get Their Hands Dirty
"When was the last time you were up to your neck in faith?" Dr. Leonard Sweet posed this question on Monday, April 29th as he concluded his keynote address at the 2013 Wesley Ministry Conference held at Tyndale University College & Seminary.
More than 180 people attended this year’s conference which had the theme of “Rediscovering Transformational Discipleship.” Dr. Sweet, a prolific author and powerful communicator, is the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew Theological School. He challenged and inspired the audience to embrace the use of narrative and metaphor in communicating the gospel. Dr. Sweet suggested that purity of heart always involves getting one’s hands dirty because a Christian understanding of holiness is shaped by the story of the incarnation.
Tyndale’s Assistant Professor of Wesley Studies and Theology James E. Pedlar stated, “Leonard Sweet has a unique capacity to analyze trends in the church and contemporary culture. He consistently finds ways to push the church towards missional engagement that is both faithful to the historic gospel and responsive to the challenges of the present context. We were blessed and challenged by his provocative message to the Canadian Wesleyan community.”
After Dr. Sweet’s talk there was an interactive workshop with Matt Eckert, Pastor of Adult Discipleship at North Park Church in London, and Luc and Roessetta Del Monte from Navigators of Canada. The focus of the workshops was to encourage people to do the ‘hard work’ of intentionally building into the lives of other people— to take the time to ‘do life’ together and to walk alongside people to encourage them in their faith and see how lives can truly be changed.
This conference was organized by the multi-denominational Tyndale Wesley studies committee as a time for people from various Wesleyan backgrounds to gather together and build cross-denominational connections, while being inspired and challenged in their ministry.