Canoeing the Mountains

Tod Bolsinger

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Canoeing the Mountains is about stepping of the map (the things we know) into a new frontier where there are no trails, footprints or roads. This is something the church is (or at least was) very good at and very experienced at. When the faithful are confronted with a new reality they cannot control or change (Tabernacle to Temple, Temple to Synagogue, Babylonian Captivity, Roman Captivity, no Temple, new Church organization, Reformation - and the list goes on) - it has to adapt without allowing the core of the church (the specific task and mission given to it by God) to be compromised.

"We don't resist change, per se...we resist loss."

PART 1   So, you are an expert at canoeing - your calling is to find a passage from where you are to where you need to be.  Only you've run out of water.  The only thing in front of you are mountains - lots and lots of mountains.  Now what do you do?  We are in uncharted territory as a church.  And our future will be determined by what our next steps are.  Fortunately the church has been "here" many times before - so as we leave our canoes behind we can expect some help from Daniel and Abraham and Moses and Peter and Paul!

Part 1 Study Download→

PART 2   "No one is going to follow you off the map unless they trust you on the map"  We live in a VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) - this requires new skills and faith to navigate the unknown.  Ed Friedman said, "when any...system is imaginatively gridlocked, it cannot get free simply through more thinking about the problem.  Conceptually stuck systems cannot be unstuck simply by trying harder."   Peter Drucker said, "Culture eats stategy for lunch."  We've come to the end of the river.  Our canoes aren't going to be any help.  Do we turn around, stay where we are - or move forward into the unknown?  And who do we want to take with us (that is the real key!)  

Part 2 Study Download→

PART 3a   "When our old map fails us - something within us dies."   Stepping out of the known and the comfortable into the unknown and uncomfortable is never easy - there must be time for mourning and grieving.   But when you know where you have been called to - and it is on the other side of the line where there are no footprints, trails or roads - you know you cannot stay where you are at.

Part 3a Study Download→

PART 3b   "Developing an adaptive capacity is a process of learning and adapting so we can fulfill our missional purpose - no fix the immediate issues.  It is about who we are at our core.  

Part 3b Study Download→

PART 4a   "The colossal misunderstanding of our time is the assumption that insight will work with people who are unmotivated to change.  If you want your child, spouse, client, or boss to shape up, stay connected while changing yourself rather than trying to fix them." 

Part 4a Study Download→

PART 4b   "Peace Mongers are highly anxious risk avoiders who are more concerned with good feelings than progress and consistently prefer the status quo over the turbulence of change - even if the change is necessary."   

Part 4b Study Download→

PART 5a "Those who had neither power nor privilege in the Christendom world are the trustworthy guides and necessary leaders when we go off the map.  They are not going into uncharted territory.  They are at home."

Part 5a Study Download→

PART 5b "The true discovery of exploration is that we begin to see the world and ourselves differently from the way we had before."

Part 5b Study Download→

PART 6  "If you get to the end of the journey and nothing changed -you missed the whole point of the journey."  

Part 6 Study Download→


For over 50 years, Our Savior has been blessed to work in the Aiea community - sharing and experiencing the love of Jesus.  Our community is very fluid - which comes with quite a few challenges - but it also means we get to meet some of the most amazing people from all over the world and together learn how God uses His people to make a difference.