Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory by Tod Bolsinger

Coming in January: Every new year we consider the lessons of the past and reflect a bit on the journey ahead. We do this in our personal lives, some of us even going beyond resolutions to a map to achieve our goals. As a church, it helps to stop and reflect a bit as well. This year we will engage in some conversations that may help us see where God is at work in our midst and where there are new challenges and opportunities. Our guide for the journey will be a book by Tod Bolsinger that presents some of the challenges of ministry in our changing world with suggestions for conversation.

I have asked both the Cabinet and Council on Ministries to join in this new "journey of discovery" in 2019 -- and you are invited too! The book is available on Amazon in all formats, and at Cokesbury as well. We will be ordering copies for Cabinet and COM -- but want to invite the whole congregation to read it as well and come to discuss it at either of our two leaders' meetings. It is also available through the library. The first section of the book is called "Understanding Uncharted Territory." We will read chapters 1 and 2 to discuss at Cabinet on January 15 and Council on Ministries on January 22. Both meetings are at 7:00 pm in the parlor and the book discussion will be right after the opening prayer to make it more accessible. Please keep a notebook, or highlight your personal copy of the book to help with conversation, particularly noting the connections you see with the community and our congregation. All ideas are welcome! Perhaps it will ring true for you that the world has changed since our early experiences in the church. It keeps evolving. Our lives are different from how they were even 20 years ago. How can we engage successfully with this new world? (I don't have the answers -- I hope we figure them out along the way!) We will read chapters 1 and 2 to discuss at Cabinet on January 15 and Council on Ministries on January 22. Both meetings are at 7:00 pm in the parlor.

Amazon's synopsis: "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."