I wouldn’t call myself a HUGE Leonard Sweet fan. I haven’t read all of his books. I’m not sure why. After reading I Am a Follower: The Way, Truth, and Life of Following Jesus I was reminded how much I gleamed from his earlier work AquaChurch. I Am a Follower is totally different from that earlier work yet it re-framed my perspective on church leadership. Sweet reminds us of the need to be First Followers of Jesus, followers of Jesus first and leading others into that same relationship rather than exalting the idea of leadership.
Leonard splits his book into 4 parts with many pithy chapters that are laser-like in focus. The book moves quickly and keeps returning to this theme: Jesus didn’t call us to be leaders. Jesus called us to follow Him. So rather than spending so much time on “leadership development” and leadership conferences, perhaps we need to just read the gospels to see how we are to follow first. Sweet does this without denigrating church leadership. Obviously, God calls and equips people to lead in the church. But the church would best be served if those leaders focused on following Jesus first, rather than learning how to lead others. If we put Jesus first, then we’ll better know how to lead.
I recommend this book for all pastors and church leaders. It’s a great reminder to put first things first. When we follow, the rest will follow.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Blogging for Books book review 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”