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Canoeing in the Mountains

I have been reading Canoeing in the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger very slowly over the last several weeks. This book needs a crockpot approach rather than a quick read. Not because it is a deep or hard read, but because you really want to soak it in. The books deals with environmental changes surrounding churches and how to even begin approaching from a leadership perspective. The goal here is to teach traditional church leaders how to help their leadership and congregation become missional churches. I have read a lot of missional church books and can say that up until getting into this book I had yet to find one whose principles were laid out in such a way that it really grabbed.

There have been things happen at Harrah Church and in my life this year that have led me to throw up my hands and say, “Lord, I do not know what is happening around here or what is next, so please begin to transform and prepare me for whatever is next.” Earlier this fall the entire worship team at Harrah Church was wiped away in an unfortunate series of events that I am saving for a later post. Overnight we went from an amazing team of men and women to just my wife and I. I quickly connected with a worship leader from a local college who is doing a great job and we have been working on rebuilding our team. Several of the people we have had come in and play have asked what we want to see the worship team become. My answer for what do you want the church worship to be like is, “We will see who shows up, pour into them and ask them to lean into God, invite others into the process, stir it all up, and see what God is doing.” At this point I really do not want to put a framework or template onto our worship at Harrah Church. We are going back to the garage to begin again.

The encouragement that I am taking away from Bolsinger’s book is to not be afraid to start over or to look a new challenge in the face and say to others, “I have no solution. Nothing I have done to this point has prepared me for this moment. Together we are going to rise to the occasion. We will think differently than we have before. We will act differently than we have before. We will celebrate wins that we have never had before.” It is time to stop trying to maintain 350 on a Sunday morning or to get things back to the way they were years ago. Things are never going to be the same and I am becoming okay with that. It is time to find a new joy. A joy I have never experienced before. Something only the Lord could dream up for me, something more than I could possibly imagine.

If you feel stuck it is time for some transformation. What got you here, may never get you where you want to go or where the Lord wants to take you. Do not be afraid of the challenges. Think differently. Act differently. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. “Things are going to change, I can feel it.”

Read Bolsinger’s book and PM with your thoughts.