March 3, 2012 by Beth Hess
I Am a Follower: The Way, Truth, and Life of Following Jesus
In a culture driven by building leaders, Leonard Sweet reminds us our calling as Christians, no matter our ministry position, is to lead by following. Like the disciples who abandoned all when Jesus said, “Follow me,” we, according to Sweet, we make the most impact in our churches and in our communities when we care more about Following Jesus than Leading People. “Following is the most underrated form of leadership in existence,” Sweet says.
The book, then, points to the various ways we are called to follow Jesus — the way, the truth, the life. And while I certainly see how my entire life could be changed by such a concept and my highlighter was busy marking any number of thought-provoking ideas, the overall publication felt more like a collection of blog entries than a cohesive book. Several chapters, too, were bogged down by Sweet’s berating of churches caught up in promoting Leadership via best practices from business, politics, and other “non-Jesus” sources. Where are the conferences on Followership, he asks? As valid a point as this may be, the tone feels off, especially when several quotes throughout his book came from sources who might be considered in the same category. There were also times I couldn’t track for sure if Sweet was addressing traditional church leadership in specific or all Christians on the whole. There are messages for each, but I found myself wondering if I were eavesdropping on a conversation meant for someone else.
But now I’m nit-picking. The entire purchase price is worth it just for the Prologue, Introduction & the reminder that following Jesus is not about reaching a specific destination, but instead about traveling with a specific Savior.
There are many passages I will likely reference again from time to time, but this is not a book I am likely to read straight through again.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”