I would highly recommend Leonard Sweet’s “I am a Follower: The Way, Truth, and Life of Following Jesus.” I was provided a copy of the book in a special pre-release directly from Thomas Nelson for review purposes. You can pre-order a paperback copy for under $11 at Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Am-Follower-Truth-Following-Jesus/dp/0849946387/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1328569360&sr=8-1) or directly from the publisher at http://www.thomasnelson.com/consumer/product_detail.asp?sku=0849946387&title=I_Am_a_Follower&author=Leonard_Sweet.
Sweet is one of my favorite authors – and “I am a Follower” just increases the amount of influence he has had on my life. He challenges my thoughts (and actions) as it relates to the mission of God. He suggests, “Leadership is a functional position of power and authority. Followership is a relational posture of love and trust” (39).
The Bible reads, “At that time Jesus declared, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light'” (Matthew 11:25-30).
The author proposes, “Two things make Jesus so unique among teachers – two statements he made to his disciples that define the Leader/follower dynamic of his kingdom. First, ‘You didn’t choose me, I chose you.’ What makes us first followers is not that we love God but that God loves us” (40).
He goes to describe “Jesus’ second defining statement: ‘Follow me.’ Not my teachings. Me. And not ‘listen to me,’ but ‘follow me'” (42).
Official Book Description: “FOLLOW ME.” These two words echo the heart-defining call of our Lord Jesus Christ to his disciples. Sadly, this life-changing invitation has lost much of its original meaning. Immersed in a society that worships success, we have succumbed to a trendy
fixation with leadership. In I Am a Follower, author Leonard Sweet explains how Christians in a twenty-first-century corporate-obsessed culture have shifted away from a Jesus art of following toward a popularized form of leading.
Through a colorful mélange of practical applications, imaginative metaphors, and probing biblical exposition based in gospel truth, Sweet reveals that the summons of Jesus and the message of the New Testament point clearly to an emphasis not on imitation but on incarnation, not on leading but on following. Join Sweet on an exciting and intentional journey from leadership cult to followership culture. Discover for yourself the way, the truth, and the abundant
life of following Jesus Christ and what it truly means to “Follow Me”!
Official Author Biography: Leonard Sweet is the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew University (NJ), a Distinguished Visiting Professor at George Fox University (OR), and a weekly contributor to sermons.com and podcast “Napkin Scribbles.” A pioneer in online learning with some of the highest “influence” rankings of any religious figure in the worlds of social media (Twitter, Facebook), he has authored numerous articles, sermons, and close to fifty books.