Leonard Sweet writes this new book on Christian leadership, I Am a Follower.
Sweet starts the book with an older church tradition of viewing the Trinity as a “cosmic” dance of sorts, calling Y’shua the “Lord of the Dance,” and encouraging believers to initially view the Christian life as a new sort of dance. This dance is different and challenging – requiring one to sacrifice it all, including their own image, to participate. The idea is that one who is different, Y’shua, begins the dance. Gradually, followers will join in until it is a mass dance effort, a new dance, that borne of G-d Himself. One is not fully immersed in the dance until they lose themselves in the dance, and no longer know how long, or how hard, they have been moving to the groovin’.
Sweet’s book is designed off the concept of “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” He begins with vece, or the place. Discussing leadership myths and chosenness, Sweet graduates to the first concept: via, or the way. The Law doesn’t save us, yada yada yada. Moving on to verita, or the truth, as the second concept, Sweet introduces relational living, changes in thinking errors over leadership, and how to be weaker for Christ. Part three then commences, as vita, or the life. It discusses discipleship, a spirit of trust (in ways of sometimes abandoning the strategic planning model), and being imprinted by Christ and imprinting onto others.
In all, Sweet calls us to live our story as Christ’s story, and to become the music by which we dance.
This book seems like it can be useful, that is if you need to rely on Sweet’s books to grow in your relationship with Christ, or if you are from a traditional church model that hates dancing and servanthood leadership. Otherwise, only those of the Sweet tribe (or “Len’s Legions,” for alliteration) will easily subscribe and enjoy his writing. But for myself, I found this book to be tedious and overworked, straining to teach uncommon principles that are surprisingly common in the secular field today. Sweet’s writing is unenjoyable to read at best, and clunky at worst.
I don’t consider myself and excellent writer by any means, of which I’m satisfied with. However, given Sweet’s extensive publishing history, and followers of his tribe, a better and more cohesive writing style is necessary for him at this juncture. I also found his material unappealing to the modern and post modern generation, saving his efforts to please the more theologically and chronologically advanced.
In all, I (SG), do not recommend this book for common reading. If you are a follower of Sweet, you will no doubt enjoy this book. However, if you are not, or are on the fence about this book (as I was), may I suggest to keep on looking? If you’re convinced, however, you can find the book in the SG store today.
Disclosure: I have received a reviewer copy and/or payment in exchange for an honest review of the product mentioned in this post.