It's time to leave the leadership obsession behind. It's never been about leading.
“Leadership” has become a runaway obsession for those who are called to equip the body of Christ for service in the Kingdom of God. The concept of “followership” is all but lost in the wake of this leadership fetish, a near hypnotic obsession. Jesus’ clear call, and the pattern of New Testament leadership, are actually found in a pattern of followership. We’ve been told otherwise but when it comes to a movement in our churches, our families, or the workplace, everything rises or falls on followership. Sweet proposes an intentional shift from leadership cults to followership cultures. He critiques the issue of leadership obsession but focuses on reigniting a passion for the "follow me" theme found throughout the gospels and the entire New Testament. Building on a set of metaphors/images, he stirs the imagination by showing what it means to be a follower of Christ and explains the vital cog that followership and the first follower play in helping others enter into the Kingdom of God.
I Am A Follower moves readers:
- from leaders that are over to followers that are among
- from sages and gurus to scouts and guides
- from Saul's armor to David's sling
- from having the right answers to asking the right questions
- from architects to gardeners
Len Sweet was born of a mixed marriage: his mother was a fiery Pilgrim Holiness-ordained preacher from the mountains of West Virginia and his quiet father a Free Methodist lay leader from the Adirondack mountains of upstate New York. After a deconversion at 17, when Len set about less sowing wild oats than planting prairies, he became an atheist intellectual and scholar dedicated to exposing the nincompoopery and poppycockery, if not tomfoolery and skullduggery of all religions. After this seven-year period of liminality, Len came back to the faith of his ancestors, where he has been ever since, exploring the "insterstices" and "semiotics" of religion, culture and history. He uses two words to describe himself: semiotician and interstitial. In other words, he is obsessed with two questions: "Where have you been?" and "Where are you going?"
My Take on the Book
So many of us, when it comes to our lives, want to be leaders, I know that I do. Every day I go to work and I am expected to be a leader in what I do and what I say to others. When it comes to my spiritual life, why would this be any different? What was interesting about this book was that the book itself makes you re-evaluate what it means to be a follower of Jesus. The author postulates that what you really have to do is step away from being a leader per se and allow Jesus to lead and instead to be a follower of his leadership. The premises in this book are sound and the author lays out some compelling arguments. There were parts of the book that were a bit harder to get through as the author uses his vast knowledge of spirituality to strengthen his arguments, where in my opinion he could have toned this down a bit and still have a strong message. Overall though this was a great book that truly does make you reconsider the path that you are on!
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