Saturday, December 10, 2011
book review: I Am A Follower
title: I am a Follower: the Way, Truth, and Life of Following Jesus
author: leonard sweet
publisher: thomas nelson
Len Sweet has another book out. I confess I am a fan of his books. This one is entitled "I Am a Follower: The Way, Truth, and Life of Following Jesus." Whether you agree with Sweet or not, he always pushes you to think fresh. In this book, Sweet adresses the cult of leadership in our culture, especially our western church culture. I think this is a much needed corrective to the over emphasis on leadership styles and techniques and strength training that some of us are bombarded with.
Sweet reminds us that Jesus said "'Follow me. Not my teachings. Me. And not 'listen to me,' but 'follow me.'"
Sweet keeps bring the conversation back to following: "To follow Jesus is to receive the gift of grace and to love Jesus with all our heart, mind, soul and strength so that Jesus can live his resurrection way, truth and life in and through us."
He uses the summary:
To follow Jesus is to be in the right mission - the way: missional living. [belonging]
To follow Jesus is to be in the right relationship - the truth: relational living. [believing]
To follow Jesus is to be in the right future - the life: incarnational living. [behaving]
There is so much in this book to reflect on. But having said that, if you are looking for detailed steps, you won't find it; if you are looking for "how-to's", you won't find the typical approach here; if you are looking for a systematic theology of followership, you won't find it; but if you tired of the common individualistic approach to leadership, then Sweet invites you to the dance of following Jesus, of following in solidarity with other followers.
And that's the focus. As Sweet writes: "Following Jesus is just that, it is following him. The destination is not the foremost issue... The focus, the goal, and the reward lie not just in the following but in whom we are following. The essence of following is the journey itself - being with Jesus."
And that following is a life of joy because if Christ is "'in [us], the hope of glory, then life means hanging out with the glory of it all."
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.