Review: Canoeing the Mountains

Editor Eric Black reviews "Canoeing the Mountains" by Tod Solsinger.

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Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory

By Tod Bolsinger (InterVarsity Praxis)

Leadership books often leave me feeling inadequate. They tell me all the things I need to stop doing, start doing and do better. Canoeing the Mountains is different.

Each chapter of Canoeing the Mountains is like a good coach affirming my sense of the way things are and cheering me on to do the hard work of leadership in the world the way it is. In this way, reading Canoeing the Mountains is enlivening rather than demoralizing.

Bolsinger writes from his experience as a pastor and applies to ministry the adaptive leadership model developed by Ronald Heifetz, Marty Linksy and Alexander Grashow. The Lewis and Clark expedition serves as an overarching metaphor illustrating how new terrain calls for adaptation rather than sharpened technique.

I learned about Canoeing the Mountains several months ago. From the description, I knew I wanted to read it because journalism is experiencing transformation. I began making slow progress through the book in the midst of many other responsibilities. Such is leadership.

During the last month, I’ve noticed several of my connections on Facebook and Twitter also are reading Canoeing the Mountains, signaling the significance of this book for many others.

I encourage you to join the ranks of those being enlivened to chart new territory in uncertain times.

Eric Black, executive director, publisher and editor
Baptist Standard


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