- Paperback: 250 pages
- Publisher: IVP Books (December 14, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0830841261
- ISBN-13: 978-0830841264
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 111 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory Paperback – December 14, 2015
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Explorers Lewis and Clark had to adapt. While they had prepared to find a waterway to the Pacific Ocean, instead they found themselves in the Rocky Mountains. You too may feel that you are leading in a cultural context you were not expecting. You may even feel that your training holds you back more often than it carries you along. Drawing from his extensive experience as a pastor and consultant, Tod Bolsinger brings decades of expertise in guiding churches and organizations through uncharted territory. He offers a combination of illuminating insights and practical tools to help you reimagine what effective leadership looks like in our rapidly changing world. If you’re going to scale the mountains of ministry, you need to leave behind canoes and find new navigational tools. Reading this book will set you on the right course to lead with confidence and courage.
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1) I LOVE the Lewis and Clark references in this book!! I'm living in the Northwest (Idaho) and really resonate with him because I love outdoors, discovery, and adventure. After reading this book I now have a name and further inspiration for the coffee shop church concert venue I'm going to plant in the next few years.
2) I bought this book as part of the pastoral meeting I attend once and month and we met and talked about this book.
3) The book basically has 3 sections we (the pastoral meeting) agreed; Inspiration - Administration - Demonstration (my words). Inspiration; this part of the book ROCKED. MY. WORLD! I love the inspiring reframing he gave to the post-Christendom world we are in/entering. SO much good stuff in this part. If you read nothing in this book, read the first few chapters. I felt what the author did in this first section could have been the entire tone of the book...(*spoilers*) whereas I feel the last two sections veered away from this gold and became a guy on the map (Lewis and Clark on the Missouri River) trying to write about what they would experience off the map (crossing the Lemhi Pass and ditching the canoes), but in the mindset with the experience and education of "on the map" thinking and practice, which he spent the entire first section of the book refuting. I still, however, feel there were some good things to be wrought in the last couple sections. Administration; in this section he started talking about competency ON the map in order to lead OFF the map. Some good stuff. Demonstration; I felt like this was the part of the book where the author brought his own experience to the table and tried to help us get a glimpse of the way CURRENT church leaders can try and lead people into new uncharted territory - which for baptists is quite difficult, even though he's a presby. :-) This is were I think he was going back to his "on the map" thinking for how to lead people off the map, which I tried to read from the perspective of a church leader in a well established church who is trying to figure out how to navigate this historic church full of old crotchety unchanging pew dwellers to move on from their old thinking and see what the LORD is doing. Many of these congregations will die off, many of which - honestly - should. For heath in the vine, you have to prune. Christianity is not dying - Christendom is dying - which I believe is a good thing.
4) I GOT the concept he was trying to make with the last two sections, but it felt like he was undoing all of the dreaming and inspirational aspects of his first section by trying to approach the rest of it with administrative charts, graphs, and "church growth" or "churchy smartiepantsness." Which he may or may not agree that the kind of church leadership we have experienced (specifically in the American West) is moving beyond much of the syncretism of business and Church - we need to kick corporate out of the marriage bed of the bride and the lamb. If anything THIS I believe is going to be one of the defining marks of the future of the Christian Church.
5) As a current church leader going into the world of church planting, I feel that if nothing else, the first section of this book has inspired me and driven me into a great excitement for being able to pave a new road for the future of the Christian Church in the world as we manifest the presence of our LORD Jesus Christ in this world.
6) One of the main things I believe in the discussion of the new direction of the Christian Church in America is that the churches that will survive and be the healthiest are those who have a strong/high view of scripture and the authority of the Word of God above and over individuals, the local churches, and denominations. The Bolsinger touches on this when he references the changing nature of the church, first being able to figure out what will NOT change - what is foundational - what is the hill the church should die on? This is the gospel of our LORD; we are saved by grace through faith in Christ according the Word of God for the glory of God. The authority of the scripture is going to be the hill I believe many churches will die off from not defending because they never made standing on His Word the immutable truth they could stand on, the rock of their salvation, and the winds and rains came and because they were founded on sand, they were destroyed. #boomshakalaka #HolySpiritBomb #Another#Boom :-P
Okay that became a longer review that I anticipated...
I’ve read a ton of leadership books. Before I retired from the Air Force and went to seminary, I taught leadership to senior officers from around the world at the Air War College, the Air Force’s senior school for professional military education. I find myself now as senior pastor of a transforming church in the center of rapidly changing city. This is one of the best and most important books for pastors and Christian leaders available today.
I wish I had this book when I was in seminary. It would have helped me take what I knew from leading in secular world and apply it to leading in the church. The book challenges you to admit your weaknesses while confirming your best instincts. Pastors should study it together. Seminaries should make it required reading.
There are many good books on leadership out there that deal with one particular aspect of pastoral leadership. This book puts them all together.