John Ortberg in, If you want to walk on water, you’ve got to get out of the boat (Thorndike Press, 2003) employs the expression “getting out of the boat” to talk about God challenging us to move out of our spiritual comfort zone. Most of the book is based around the story of Peter in Matthew 14 where Peter does for a short time walk on water before calling out to Jesus to save him. Ortberg brings out many good points from this one incident as well as using other stories in the Bible to support his arguments.

I particularly like the way he handles finding your area of ministry. He understands finding your niche can take time as well as a few false starts. He has a lot of helpful things to say and interesting stories to tell. (I was a touch critical of Bill Hybels in Holy Discontent on this point as I felt he made it sound too easy but I found Ortberg’s approach more realistic.) Ortberg addresses many of the challenges we face when we venture into new areas of ministry – fear, discouragement, negative opinions from others and various other obstacles. He gives good advice and practical examples in these areas.

This book is like many of John Ortberg’s books encouraging, down to earth, full of good stories and easy to read however I found this one more challenging than his others, but perhaps that says more about me than the book!