Sweet’s Story Squad

PreachTheStory.com Contributors

Len Sweet

Len Sweet

Master Sermons, Videos, Consulting, and Social Media

Len Sweet has a heart for preachers, and has dedicated this site to helping preachers transition their sermons from a Gutenberg to a Google world. He sees himself as a homiletic plumber who hopes this site will be a plunger for those with preacher’s plug (aka “writer’s bloc”) and who are committed to a lifetime of creativity in the art and craft of preaching. Len trains pastors in semiotics and theology degree programs at Drew Theological Seminary, Portland Seminary, Tabor College, Southeastern Seminary, and Evangelical Seminary. He holds year-round dynamic and innovative think tanks on Orcas Island, WA, where pastors from around the world can exchange creativity and ideas. Len is a coveted international preacher and speaker and the author of over 60 books on Jesus, preaching, church, and culture.

Lori Wagner

Lori Wagner

Image Exegesis, Story Sermons, The Story Lectionary, Bible Studies

Lori Wagner is a skilled theologian, metaphor theorist, cultural philosopher, philologist, author, and literary analyst. Lori’s gift of presenting the scripture stories in fresh and unique ways that connect to life and living make her a unique and captivating preacher and teacher. The “labwork” and “metaphor theory” in Len’s preaching text Giving Blood was conceived by Lori, and she will be doing more of that here to help you move from exegeting words to exegeting metaphors. Lori is a United Methodist senior pastor in Pennsylvania, an adjunct instructor in the Pastor’s Course of Study Program for Wesley Seminary, a DMin faculty advisor for Portland Seminary, and a church consultant and speaker for metaphor visioning and identity. A trained chaplain, Lori’s “grass-roots” Methodist/Wesleyan spirit makes her a devotee of the power of scripture in the “field” to heal and empower lives and communities. Lori is co-author with Len Sweet of the semiotic novel, The Seraph Seal.

Len Wilson

Len Wilson

Story Consultant

Len Wilson has spent his career advocating creativity and more effective communication in faith and church life. In service to this calling, he has worked on five local church staffs; authored ten books through Abingdon Press, including Think Like a Five Year Old; taught and consulted with organizations and ministries across the country; co-founded Midnight Oil Productions; 
and directed church leadership publishing at the United Methodist Publishing House. At Ginghamsburg Church in the late 90s, Len helped pioneer visual storytelling in worship. You may know Len for his annual top 25 list of fastest growing large United Methodist churches. He interned at CBS Television City in Los Angeles, played sax in a band with jazz great Denis DiBlasio, and, for a few seconds, appeared in a Spielberg movie. Len holds an MA from United Theological Seminary and is pursuing a Doctor of Ministry in Semiotics and Future Studies from Portland Seminary.  He is currently Creative and Communication Director at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas.
Colleen Butcher

Colleen Butcher

Sound Theology

A born impresario, Colleen has an unsurpassed mastery of the world of music. For the past two years she has provided Len’s sermonic compositions with a soundtrack, and has agreed to make that gift available to all his homiletic colleagues. Since communities are built from the sound (not the ground) up, and this culture has a soundtrack for everything, we desperately need sound theology to surround sound preaching.

Teri Hyrkas

Teri Hyrkas

Open Table Book Review Team

Teri Hyrkas is a lover of The Story, and one of Len’s favorite Facebook conversation partners—he calls what they do there “duets.”  A voracious reader of books and other media, she brings  book clubs to life with conversations that spark and sparkle. You will be able to use in your church the sumptuous fare served weekly at “The Open Table” in a variety of ways and small group settings.

Landrum Leavell III

Landrum Leavell III

Open Table Review Team

Lan Leavell III is a pastor of the Village Church Denton in Texas. He has served churches throughout his life and is deeply committed to Jesus, Texas life, his wife Suzanne, and Len Sweet! An avid reader, and fabulous reviewer, we are proud to have Lan as part of our review team! 

Doug Balzer

Doug Balzer

Open Table Book Review Team

 

Doug Balzer is an ordained pastor in the Free Methodist Church and an instructor at George Fox Evangelical Seminary. A former DMin student with Len Sweet, Doug is excited to be a new member of our Book Review Team for The Open Table.

Vernon Hyndman

Vernon Hyndman

Open Table Book Review Team

 

Vern is a curious traveler, whose journey through life seems more like the crazed wanderings of an escaped beagle than arrow-straight directness. Biomedical engineering research in anesthesia, internet entrepreneur, and now the pastor of disaster diving deeper life in Jesus from the high diving board. Vern seeks the heart of the Father, through the life of the Son, in the power of the Spirit… and spreads it all around like a prodigal with Dad’s platinum card. Devoted and married to Shelley, father of four amazing young adults.

Ashley Davis

Ashley Davis

Open Table Book Review Team

Ashley Davis is an author, soul tender, aesthete, and semiotician-in-training. She has been writing and leading small group Bible studies for over 15 years, and cut her ministry teeth as a collegiate campus minister in her home state of New Mexico. Ashley has a Master of Arts in Family Life Education and is a Doctor of Ministry student at Portland Seminary. She lives in the Seattle, WA area.

Adam McGuffie

Adam McGuffie

Digital Consultant

Adam works as an independent consultant and is a husband and a father of a growing family in Portland, Oregon. On the weekends, you can find him working on his Saab, traveling with his family, having people over for dinner, and exploring innovative ways of building local communities with art, education and the internet. www.adammcguffie.com

 

Jesse B. Caldwell

Jesse B. Caldwell

Guest Preacher

Jesse Caldwell is a North Carolina Superior Court Judge; but in the Methodist tradition, Judge Caldwell is a dynamic lay preacher, widely respected on the homiletic circuit for his wit, winsomeness, and EPIC style of preaching.  Jesse is an long-time active member of the First United Methodist Church of Gastonia but is often found preaching in pulpits of various denominations. He has published many sermons and is a sought-after public speaker.  We are proud to have him serve as a frequent Guest Preacher here at preachthestory.com.

 

Elizabeth Rennie

Traditional Exegesis

For the past twenty-five+ years Elizabeth has done the exegetical backgrounding which has resourced Len’s sermons. In other words, she has had a hand in over 1500 published sermons. She is excited about sprouting new wings and waving new magic with preachthestory.