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Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory by [Bolsinger, Tod]
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Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Length: 257 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


"A superb book on the need for adaptive leadership in the twenty-first-century church. With imagination and insight formed through his experience as a pastor, church consultant and seminary leader, Tod Bolsinger challenges leaders in the Christian community to recognize the unsettling reality of being 'off the map.' We have 'trained for a world that is disappearing.' Bolsinger offers fresh, practical advice that integrates the best of leadership theory with the realities of church leadership, illustrated with vivid metaphors and real-world examples, resulting in a seminal book on how to navigate this new world. A must-read for everyone interested in church leadership." (Uli Chi, former board chair, Regent College Board of Governors)

"Contemporary pastors and church leaders face a daunting challenge. The world and the church have changed dramatically. Congregational expectations have never been higher or more complex. How can we lead our churches with wisdom and kingdom impact in the ever-changing world of today and tomorrow? Tod Bolsinger answers this pressing question in his timely book Canoeing the Mountains. Combining solid biblical theology, contemporary leadership theory and years of experience as a pastor and church consultant, Bolsinger offers a new vision of pastoral leadership as well as dozens of practical examples that bring this vision to life. All pastors and church leaders need to read this book, for their own sake, for the good of their churches and for the advance of God's kingdom in the world." (Mark D. Roberts, executive director, Max De Pree Center for Leadership)

"Since the missional church discussion began to develop real momentum, the constant question has been how does this theological vision of the church after Christendom translate into the practice of real congregations struggling with enormous challenges? A great deal of excellent work has been done, and there are excellent resources for the community and leadership seriously committed to missional change. But Bolsinger's book is a major step forward. It is based on solid missional theology, rooted in concrete congregational experience, shaped by provocative research of many diverse voices and communicated energetically and creatively. Most importantly, it is shaped by theologically informed hope, not just optimism, and takes the risks that must be taken for the sake of faithful witness today. I strongly commend this book!" (Darrell L. Guder, Henry Winters Luce Emeritus Professor of Missional and Ecumenical Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary)

"As a committed practical theologian, Bolsinger blends the best insights from Scripture and leadership theory with an empathetic understanding of the most pressing questions of today's leaders. If you're like me, you're not only going to want to read this book, you're going to want to read it multiple times." (Kara Powell, faculty member at Fuller Seminary, executive director of the Fuller Youth Institute)

"Combining the mind of a scholar, the heart of a pastor and the experience of a consultant, Tod Bolsinger is the rare leader who can also teach. Using the example of Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery, he also authentically shares from his own experience, both positive and negative, to make the most important concepts in organizational leadership accessible to pastors, nonprofit executives and Christians in the marketplace who are charged with giving leadership in a changing world. Canoeing the Mountains should be required reading in seminary classrooms and leadership seminars. I know it will be for the pastors and leaders we coach." (Kevin Graham Ford, principal of TAG Consulting, author of The Secret Sauce)

"Canoeing the Mountains is a must-read for pastors and church leaders who want to understand the precarious religious landscape in America today. Seasoned pastor Tod Bolsinger draws on his experience as a church consultant and student of contemporary leadership theory in order to tackle the most pressing ministry leadership issues of our day. Employing Lewis and Clark's experience of exploring the Louisiana Purchase as a driving metaphor for the leadership that is needed in the church, Bolsinger issues a bold challenge to contemporary pastors to learn how to lead all over again. With refreshing honesty and vulnerability about his own ministry, Tod does not allow the reader to wallow in discouragement over the fact that the world in front of us is different than the world behind us. Instead, he insists that this time in history offers pastors and church leaders an unparalleled opportunity to discover a deeper capacity for leadership within ourselves than ever before. He issues a clarion call 'not to try harder, but to start a new adventure' by abandoning our 'canoes' to become risk-taking mountain climbers. I am going to recommend this book not only to the hundreds of pastors in the Macedonian Ministry program, but also to church leaders across the country. Canoeing the Mountains gave me hope for the future of the church of Jesus Christ. I pray that it will do the same for you!" (Thomas K. Tewell, executive director, Macedonian Ministry)

"Tod Bolsinger, a colleague of mine at Fuller Seminary . . . uses the metaphor of 'canoeing the mountains' based on the experience of Lewis and Clark, who successfully completed the mission of the Corps of Discovery because of their ability to lead creatively in light of unexpected circumstances. . . . Whether you're a pastor, a small business owner, a branch manager, or a CEO of a major company, you are probably facing challenges not unlike those confronting . . . Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. If so, I encourage you to get a copy of Canoeing the Mountains. You and those you lead will be glad you did." (Mark D. Roberts, Patheos, January 18, 2016)

"Do not canoe another stroke or portage another step without Canoeing the Mountains in hand. In today's post-Christian world, we are navigating uncharted waters where our churches demand innovation at every turn. How do we lead for transformation when the world is transforming even faster? For anyone committed to and dazed by the changing realities of today's church, Tod Bolsinger offers a needed vision." (Meritt Lohr Sawyer, executive director, Paul Carlson Partnership, Evangelical Covenant Church)

"Unlike leadership books from the business world, Canoeing the Mountains is written by a churchman for church people. He understands the unique pressures and complexity of relationships that exist in a local church. Instead of giving a 'one-size-fits-all' solution, Bolsinger provides guiding principles for doing church in this new era. . . . The book left me hopeful and eager for the adventure ahead." (Matt Merrill, The Presbyterian Outlook, July 4, 2016)

"I see many pastors and leaders of churches who are exhausted by the daunting task of leading churches in a culture that is changing faster than it ever has before. There are many books that tell us we need to change, and there are also many books that give a vision of what a new kind of church could look like. There are very few that address the difficult task of helping leaders navigate the complexities of leading that is necessary for a changing world. Tod Bolsinger's Canoeing the Mountains provides the right mixture of theological insight, leadership theory and relevant stories that will give the necessary principles to help leaders face unfamiliar terrain." (Dana S. Allin, synod executive, ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians)

About the Author

Tod Bolsinger, PhD, is the vice president for vocation and formation and an assistant professor of practical theology at his alma mater, Fuller Theological Seminary. The author of It Takes a Church to Raise a Christian: How the Community of God Transforms Lives and Show Time: Living Down Hypocrisy by Living Out the Faith, he served as a pastor for more than twenty-five years and is now a frequent speaker, blogger, and consultant concerning transformational leadership.

Product details

  • File Size: 3371 KB
  • Print Length: 257 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (November 14, 2015)
  • Publication Date: November 14, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B018IM8JWW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,321 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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