I Am A Follower: The Way, Truth, and Life of Following Jesus by Leonard Sweet was an interesting book to read. In some areas he challenged my core perceptions of church leadership, in others he educated me on scripture through translating original Hebrew and Greek terms, and through it all he motivated me to be a better follower of Christ- a first follower.
I have to say this book was nothing like I expected. It started off slow for me. I am not a musician or dancer and know little about the arts, so his initial hook to grab my attention fell flat. However, as I turned the pages I found jewel after jewel that kept me wanting more.
There were times I wasn’t sure if I agreed with Leonard and I would have to stop reading and spend time in prayer. By the end, I admit, he managed to transform the way I view certain aspects of Church leadership and followership. I also admire the way he so thoroughly delves into what it means to be a follower of Christ and what disciplining others really entails. This book pushed me to go beyond the normal "church" experience and to become a first follower- which isn't an easy thing to do! First followers live a life of sacrifice, taking up their crosses daily instead of just when it is convenient and they encourage others to grow in their walks as well. I like a book that tests my knowledge and pushes me to grow- far too few books these days move me the way this one did. I will definitely be re-reading.
At the end of each section there are Interactive that are useful in helping one expound on their reading/thinking. I believe these are good for a Bible Study group to do together. There are also a few video clips online he directs you to. I am not a huge fan of having to stop reading and go to my computer to watch videos, but I know many people enjoy this. Leonard uses a wide variety of methods to get you thinking and to maintain your attention.
Overall, this book will definitely challenge you and push you to become a truly devoted follower of Christ. I encourage anyone, especially church leaders, to read this book. I’m not sure you will agree with everything, but I believe it will get you thinking and isn’t that the point of reading a book like this… to teach us new things, to challenge/test our core beliefs, to encourage us to be better followers of Christ and to help us mentor those who are new in their walk with God?
I want to leave you with a few exerts from the book that really spoke to me.
“Followers are more than believers. The devil and the demons believe in Jesus.” Pg. 45
“You tell me your virtues, and I will tell you your vices. Our strengths are our real Achilles’ heel, even more so than our weaknesses…The very best in us is but a hair’s-breath distance from the very worst in us…We naturally float downstream with the flow of our strengths. It takes unusual salmon strength to swim upstream against our natural inclinations and to grow in areas where we aren’t naturally “gifted”…Whatever God calls you to do, it’s going to be bigger than you are. If you can do it in your own strength, then no faith is required.” Pg. 163-168
“The disciples were instructed to feed the sheep, not lead them. Christ will lead them. Jesus is the Shepherd. We are the sheep. All of us.” Pg. 180
Disclaimer: This book was provided by BookSneeze for honest review.