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Examining leadership and followership

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Follow Me to Freedom: Leading and Following as an Ordinary Radical 
Shane Claiborne and John M. Perkins

Regal Books, 2009
240 pages



United in their vision for the Kingdom of God, good friends and colleagues Shane Claiborne (founder of The Simple Way) and John Perkins (civil rights leader) offer challenging insights into leadership from very different backgrounds.

Built on a number of conversations between Shane and John, the book explores what it means to be a leader, but more importantly, what it means to be a follower. It’s easy to read and can be used in many settings. Filled with provocative questions that convict without inducing fear or guilt, Follow Me to Freedom provides white spaces for written reflection, giving readers opportunity to consider where they are leading and following.

Shane and John maintain their own voices throughout the book and this dialogic style allows them to speak of their unique, powerful experiences in leading and following. With humility in their tone and a deferential respect for one another, the authors invite readers to reflect on their own lives, choices, and mission.

Shane and John suggest that community is one of the most valuable tools for a good leader (who is also a good follower). The book demonstrates what the authors preach: their conversations are full of amazing stories of friends and enemies who have taught them better leadership/followership.

In the hope of kingdom come, John and Shane write of the power of love, peace, and justice for creating a new future, for this generation’s exodus as we walk the “narrow, rugged road to freedom.” I would recommend this book to anyone who lives with the daily question of how to lead and follow by the example of Christ.

Sarah Whyte is director of global outreach at Waterloo (Ont.) MB Church.

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