This practical tool will help you lead your church, organization, or company "off the map" and into uncharted territory.
Join church leaders everywhere in learning to lead all over again in order to serve our changing culture.
Throughout the book, you'll find "Reorientation" lessons to help you lead in uncharted territory with confidence and courage.
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. Now expanded with a study guide, this book will set you on the right course to lead with confidence and courage.
"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
"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
"This is my leadership resource of the year for clergy. Pastors have heard the terminology about leadership in the postmodern world: 'trust,' 'DNA,' 'alignment,' 'passion,' 'team,' 'credibility,' 'adaptability,' etc. But Tod Bolsinger brings clarity and practicality as never before. He goes beyond skillsets to explain the interconnection of technical competence, adaptive capacity and relational congruence. The chapters on relationships and resistance and personal stress and change are especially helpful. There are nuggets of insight throughout that are like trace samples leading to the mother lode of leadership transformation. You may have heard it before, but in this book you will finally get it!"-- Tom Bandy, 14th Annual Outreach Resources of the Year, March/April 2017
"Ministry in post-Christendom is indeed uncharted territory. For so many pastors and leaders, this is a time of uncertainty, the unknown and displacement in finding a way forward. In Canoeing the Mountains, Tod Bolsinger cleverly solicits imagery and vocabulary that today's pastors and leaders can cling to as they begin to truly climb the mountain of adaptive change necessary to transform churches to better health. While there are many books about adaptive change, the process takes years to grasp and understand. Tod's retelling of the story of Lewis and Clark provides concrete stepping stones to a fluid journey and repackages these concepts in a way that is digestible, inspiring and thought provoking. I will use this book with my own congregation as we continue to canoe the mountains of adaptive change."-- Theresa Cho, copastor of St. John's Presbyterian Church, San Francisco
Tod Bolsinger is the vice president for vocation and formation and teaches practical theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He has also served as senior pastor of San Clemente Presbyterian Church and associate pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood.