From the Pastor
I’m spending a good portion of this week doing some reading, planning, and thinking about ministry in general and ministry at Westminster in particular. One book I’m spending time on is Tod Bolsinger’s Canoeing the Mountains.
Using Lewis and Clark’s search for a westward water route to the Pacific Ocean, he draws parallels to what life in the church will be in the future. Briefly, here’s the idea: When Lewis and Clark struck out, they were well trained in the geography of the Eastern half of the continent, and they expected a mirror image on the Western half. Imagine their surprise when they paddled upstream, crossed the continental divide, and instead of a short portage (carrying the canoes) and a leisurely float to the Pacific, they saw the ROCKY MOUNTAINS! They were not trained for what they encountered, and they knew right then that things were going to be different if they were going to keep moving forward and accomplish their goal. You can’t canoe the Mountains.
Bolsinger sees that critical moment as descriptive for where the church is today. We have some training (seminary and seminars), some experience, and a will to accomplish our goals, but the Rockies loom, telling us that things are going to be different in the future.
It’s a haunting idea, and maybe it resonates with me because things are different today, aren’t they? The Gospel is the same, but the world is changing quickly. Is it possible the “way we’ve always done it” needs a closer look? Is it possible for us to make the necessary adaptations in order to thrive in the future?
I’m not sure how to navigate the Rockies; it may mean letting go of those comforting canoes- even if it’s scary to do so. I can say one thing: I sure do look forward to the journey with you.
Yours in Christ,