"Canoeing the Mountains." - Chapters 1 and 2 Questions for Conversation:

1. When you consider the challenges of the church, do you tend to assign blame? How are you involved in working in a new direction? (HINT: We all fall into this trap if we aren't guarding against it. The trick is to move out of it and into action.) p.12-13.

2. How can we lead our congregation to be faithful to the mission God has put before us when the world has changed so radically? p. 13-14

3. The author says that often the problems we face int he present are the result of yesterday's solutions. What past challenges have led us to our current systems and processes? How are the processes effective and how are they not effective? p. 19

4. How does the phrase "What got us here wouldn't take us there." apply to our current challenges?

5. What did you gain from the distinctions between leadership and management on pages 19-23? Do you agree that "leadership is always about personal and corporate transformation"? Why or why not?

6. How does the following paragraph excite us? intimidate us? "We have to learn to lead all over again. But the church is also at an exciting crossroads. We are entering a new day, new terrain and a new adventure. We are not alone. The Spirit of God goes before us. The mission of Christ will not fail. A day will come when the "kingdom of the world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign forever and ever" (Revelation 11:15). The next steps are going to be demanding. More than anything, this moment requires those of us in positions of authority (and even most of us who are not) to embrace an adventure-or-die mindset, and find the courage and develop the capacity for a new day. We are heading into uncharted territory and are given the charge to lead a mession where the future is nothing like the past." p.23.

7. Lewis and Clark discovered that everything they had been told or thought they knew about the journey to the Pacific had been wrong. Have you ever had this experience -- when everything you thought to be true was wrong? How did you respond? This is what we mean by uncharted territory. (My most frequent example of this is with the experience of parenting. What worked with the first child was useless with the second one. We had to completely rethink parenting.) 24-27

8. Where do we see VUC in the world (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) and how does it affect our strategies for our mission as a church? How is our knowledge out of date for our present reality? 27-28

9. How does Lesslie Newbigin's statement about Great Britain in the 1970s reflect our own experience? "England is a pagan society and the development of a truly missionary encounter with this very tough form of paganism is the greatest intellectual and practical task facing the church." 29

10. Did the definition of missional churches make sense to you? Can you name a missional church? What is different about them? 29-31

11. To wrestle: "If we are convinced that a change is necessary how do we bring it without alienating the whole church? How do we face the losses and fears in our congregations, the opposition and resistance in our leaders, and the anxieties and insecurities in ourselves to truly lead the church through this adventure-or-die moment? How do we develop leaders for mission in this rapidly changing, uncharted-territory world?" 31

12. What is your reaction to the author's assertion that this is an adapt or die situation? Where are the opportunities? Where are our points of resistance? 32-35