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Margaret Marcuson
I help clergy and churches energize their ministry and fund their vision.
I help clergy and churches energize their ministry and fund their vision.

Margaret's posts

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Church leaders: how is Advent going for you? Here are six ways to make it better for yourself.
Start with #1: Do something for yourself every day. On all your lists of to-dos it is imperative at this point to prioritize yourself. It’s way too easy to let this slide, which is why it’s the first step. You’ve got to keep nourishing YOU all season long.

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The top four ministry resources I'm using right now
1. Dave Ellis Falling Awake
2. 3x5 cards
3. Insight timer app
4. The Bible

photo by +Thomas E. Hanna | Thanks!

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Do you wish you could help people make the faith connection with their money?
The most faithful of church people are bombarded with ads many times a day, more each year. Businesses ask them for their money constantly. Few are able to create space to reflect on what it might mean to bring their faith into these decisions. Helping people do this reflection is an important ministry need.

Here are four ways to work on it in your own ministry:
1. Focus on your own growth in this area.
2. Invite your congregation into some new practices.
3. Talk about faith and money when you are not asking them to give.
4. Start them out young.
5. Create some structure to help people do it.

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What church leaders can learn from lazy people

Many church leaders are hard-working, serious about their work, and sometimes have trouble setting boundaries between work and leisure. There’s no doubt that ministry is hard work. But overfunctioning leaders, those who take too much responsibility for others at church (and often, in the family), do themselves and others no favors.

You might have something to learn from the person in your family who is more carefree (perhaps someone everyone else thinks is irresponsible), who tends to underfunction. Often, though not always, it’s a younger child in the family, whether it’s a sibling or a younger cousin.

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Three questions to lower your ministry stress.
1. Is this my responsibility?
2. Will this help me with my ministry goals?
3. Do I want to do this?

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Are you hitting your head against a wall as you pursue your church vision? Leadership can be frustrating, no doubt about it. While it’s vital to be persistent in following your vision for your church, there’s another side to the story. The realities of ministry and church leadership mean you don’t always get what you want when you want it. Moses’ story reminds us that it can take a long time to make progress.

This post includes six ways to temper your vision with realism. (#6 is to re-read the story of Moses. He was at it for 40 years...)

Has anybody used Snagit for Chrome on a Chromebook?

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Learn why church conflict can actually be good news for you and your church. I'm as conflict averse as the next church leader, but I've learned there are real benefits. Here are five reasons to celebrate.

Thanks to +Thomas E. Hanna |  for the fabulous photo.

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3 little-known tips for improving your leadership at church

Yes, you really can improve your leadership by cultivating a resource church leaders sometimes neglect: your own family. 

Here are three ways you can tap your family to improve your leadership:

1. Reflect on your family story and the strengths they had.
2. Ask extended family for advice.
3. Accept your family as they are, and you’ll be better able to deal with those challenging folks at church.

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So many pastors I speak to hate church conflict. It’s possible to take conflict too seriously. Surprisingly, taking it seriously can get in the way of moving through the conflict. Seriousness is a sign of anxiety, and makes it harder for us to think creatively.

As important as any local church is, God’s purposes go far beyond the outcome of any given situation. See the bigger picture, and remember that God loves you (and your antagonists) no matter what.

Keep as light as you can, and do what you can to relax. Remember: focus on yourself and your own functioning and goals.  That’s the biggest contribution you can make to your church in the midst of conflict.
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