Every day, clergy are called to lead in ways that they may or may not have been trained.
The ever-changing world, their ministry context and their own leadership skills do not always align
for fruitful ministry. Author Tod Bolsinger asks the important question: “What do you do when you
don’t know what to do?” Understanding our own agility helps us to know how we might maximize
our skills and abilities for greater fruitfulness and resilience in our ministry context. In this course, we
will focus on Bolsinger’s book, Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted
Territory, as well as the article by Daniel Goleman, Leadership that Gets Results. Our hope is that
together we might more clearly understand our own leadership skills and grow in our ability to lead
with agility in an ever-changing ministry context.
This course will give participants practice in at least three of the 15 Indicators of Vital
Ministry outlined in the Bishops’ Call to Action Report:
#1 – Work in partnership with others to accomplish goals
#6 – Develop personal knowledge, skills and abilities to continuously improve and grow oneself.
#10 – Influence the actions and behaviors of others to accomplish changes in the local church
The course uses a narrative peer group form of learning which leans on ‘participant
knowledge,’ in contrast to ‘spectator knowledge’. Each person’s input into the dialogue creates the
There will be no more than 8 participants in the cohort to make space for substantial conversation.
The course will meet on five Thursdays – January 16, February 6, March 5, April 2 & 30. We will
meet via Zoom from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm (EST). There will be reading and written work for each
session, except for the first session which will be an introduction to the course.
There is no financial cost for participating in the course for clergy in the Bishop’s Emerging Leadership
Initiative, other than the purchase of the book, Canoeing the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger.
Participants are expected to commit to completing the course requirements as a condition of