Canoeing the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger

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Summary

More and more church leaders feel they are on an adventure into unknown lands. The maps that we’ve used for years in a churched culture no longer guide us well. Tod Bolsinger takes us into this off the map territory with explorers Lewis and Clark who had to navigate a new and totally unexpected world to get to the Pacific Ocean. Using his own “off the map” skills honed in a local church and denominational context, Bolsinger helps church leaders find paths to follow. He tells of both his successes and failures in finding these paths. His book helps the reader discover how to work toward building a church of adaptive change. He wisely points out what church leaders and particularly pastors need to do in this change process so they don’t blow up the ministry—or themselves.

Two Takeaways

  1. The landscape of ministry is changing in significant ways. Like Lewis and Clarke had to leave behind their canoes and find a different way, so Church leaders need to lead behind the assumptions of a churched culture to bring the good news to North America.
  2. Practicing adaptive change takes a different way of seeing both the church and the world around us. Such change takes practice and a willingness to be a church of grace and permission.

Who should read this book?

Pastors and church leadership who want to navigate the new culture we are living in. Other church members who are interested in the landscape of North American belief and practice that their churches are working in.

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