'Canoeing the Mountains' Top Takeaway?


A few months ago a group of seven leaders in our denomination joined in a book study of Canoeing the Mountains with the intent of reading, discussing, and applying what we learned. It was an incredible six weeks! 

It was so important to hear each other's insights and how we tried to incorporate these learnings in our day-to-day life.  We were concerned about our own transformation, not trying to change someone else. It was challenging!  

If you've read Canoeing the Mountains, what was your top takeaway?

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Hi Denise,

I recently read this book for a class that I took and could identify with the metaphor of "leading off the map" as a missionary, church planter, and church planter trainer in Mexico.

One concept that is sticking with me is the idea of making "blue zone" decisions instead of "red zone" decisions. Things can often look very different once everyone has "cooled off" a bit.

I also enjoyed this quote and am trying to live it: “When a leader and a people together resist the anxiety that would lead to throwing in the towel or relying on the quick fix…this enables them to gain the just-in-time experience necessary to keep the expedition going” (98).


Rev. Ben Meyer

Resonate Global Mission

Guadalajara, Mexico

Community Builder

Hi Ben,

Thanks for taking time to share in the discussion a few of your top takeaways. These are good and also a reminder to me, and likely others, the good "practical nuggets" in this book.  

I don't have access to my book right now, but I want to look at p. 98 again.  So often, we'll reach for quick fixes in trying to eliminate the anxiety.

Blessings as you continue to serve in God's kingdom!

Denise Posie



Community Builder

I liked this quote, "The future is here. It's at the margins" (Or something close to that). The idea is that we need to look to the margins for leadership as we head into the future. That includes seeking leaders who are women, who are people of color, who have suffered injustice and/or ridicule, who are hurting, who are deemed powerless and poor. These are people Jesus loves, whom he has chosen for his kingdom work, and from whom we have so much to learn.

Community Builder

Bonnie, thanks for participating!  I also like this quote. As we're making plans and shaping a ministry for leadership development: Women's and Racial Ethnic Ministry, we'll be reaching to the margins in our local churches, ministries and denomination. This is a long and intentional process as we envision our future in serving God's kingdom.


Community Builder

In this morning's quiet time, I used Canoeing the Mountain as a resource for prayer. I found this quote on p. 71 and it spoke to my desire, "...remember again that the goal of the expedition was not to build a family - it was to find a route to the Pacific Ocean.  Similarly, the goal of the Christian faith is not simply to become more loving community but to be a community of people who participate in God's mission to heal the world by reestablishing his loving reign on earth as it is in heaven."

I love the emphasis on God's mission and his loving reign!  This is good theology.....let us pray.