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Leaders Who Last: Sustaining Yourself and Your Ministry Paperback – March 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: SEABURY BOOKS (March 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596270950
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596270954
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 8.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,245,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Marcuson brings practical and tested wisdom to the pages of this book on effective ministry leadership. Insightful, often playful, she shares her coaching expertise in this short course on effective leadership. - Israel Galindo, author, The Hidden Lives of Congregations

Both enlightening and encouraging, Marcuson's book makes a significant contribution to the literature on Bowen theory and ministry, offering insights into leadership that lasts. - Peter L. Steinke, author, Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times: Being Calm and Courageous No Matter What, and church consultant

A recognized coach to leaders, Marcuson brings real world wisdom to the pages of this book on effective ministry leadership. This is a welcome contribution to any pastor's bookshelf. - G.R.A.C.E. Writes: Christian Education at its best! A blog site

Book Description

"By challenging leaders to define ourselves, connect with those we lead, and regulate own anxiety through the process, Marcuson offers a model for sustainable leadership. I commend this book to all who long to last in their call to lead."

More About the Author

Rev. Margaret J. Marcuson is a leader of leaders, ordained minister, and teacher and student of human systems. She speaks and writes on leadership and works with faith leaders nationally as a consultant/coach through her company Marcuson Leadership Circle, based in Portland, Oregon. Her website is http://margaretmarcuson.com/.

Margaret became deeply interested in leadership during her thirteen years as the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Gardner, Massachusetts. "Over time I shifted from attempting the impossible--changing others--to the merely difficult--changing myself," she says. Her work focuses on how leaders manage themselves in relation to those they lead. They can challenge those they lead, and nurture their relationship with those they lead, but they cannot will others to change. "For me as a leader this was profoundly freeing," she says.

Margaret is on the faculty of the Leadership in Ministry workshops. She is a frequent guest preacher in churches. Her seminar and conference speaking and consulting crosses denominations, She is often called on to guide clergy through personal and congregational crisis.



Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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It was short and packed full of information.
Matthew Morine
I am quick to recommend this book to all my friends in ministry, especially those who are just beginning their ministry career.
Scott Meyer
I wish I had read this book in my younger days - whether they were thirty years ago, or more recent years.
Pr. Dan Biles

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By SUSAN ENGPOOLE on April 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
If church leaders had only one practical book to apply for creating and sustaining a healthy ministry, this is the one to read. I didn't want to put it down! Since I serve in a Judicatory capacity, I can see where Margaret Marcuson has addressed the real issues. The chapters include: Know Your Church's Story; Know Your Own Story; Know Your Purpose; Understand Money; Lead and Do Not Panic; Stay Connected. If you serve in a church leadership role, I would highly recommend that you put this book on the top of your reading list.
Rev. Susan EngPoole
Unity of Louisville Church
Louisville, KY
[...]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Randall Day on April 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
If you want to do ministry and still have a life - this book is for you. Also, if you care about your effectiveness and not wasting the time and energy you're spending, spend some time and energy getting this book and reading it. This is one of those rare times when you can read, reflect, and find yourself breathing easier.

Margaret has a real gift for taking a life-sustaining "theory" of healthy practice and applying it to real ministry in congregations and organizations. You won't be wondering what this has to do with your actual situation - she's been there and makes the connections.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James D. Boyer on May 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
Margaret Marcuson has provided pastors with a practical, powerful guide to living out their ministry as leaders in such a way that their leadership itself becomes a ministry. In each chapter she highlights ways to think and act as a leader that result in greater health, clearer direction and deeper satisfaction in ministry. In "Taking Responsibility for Self" Marcuson illuminates the balancing act between over and under functioning while suggesting leaders challenge members as a way of leading. In my favorite chapter, "Know Your Purpose" Marcuson spells out leadership by self differentiation in practical, clear terms. This difficult concept comes to life in her examples, personal references and guidelines. Overall Marcuson has done a superb job of adding her voice to those who have demonstrated the usefulness of Bowen theory for the adventure of pastoral ministry.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Maccini on April 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a really honest book for those in pastoral ministry. It is not fluffy or filled with tools and techniques, but is a realistic portrayal of the challenges in ministry and some of the ways to meet those challenges with authenticity and health. The chapter about money offers much wisdom for those of us working in congregations, thinking lofty theological thoughts about generosity and stewardship which don't seem to always work practically. It is also filled with wise thoughts from those working as pastors, who have found creative ways to fulfill their call to be faithful and faith-filled teachers and preachers of the gospel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Drysdale on March 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
Just a couple of months after I read and enjoyed Margaret's book, a conflict in my church burst forth and my leadership style became the focus of the heat. The day I was preparing to enter into a difficult conversation with a church member regarding the conflict, I picked Margaret's book up--again--and began to re-read it. This book was exactly what I needed at that moment. Margaret's thoughtful, grounded-in-Family-Systems-Theory insights and suggestions helped me to calm down, take a deep breath, and ask myself a number of questions in an effort to gain clarity before I entered the meeting. While the hard conversation was still hard, my entire spirit and demeanor changed...for the better. I was profoundly grateful to have a solid resource like this at my finger tips. I suspect I will use over and over again as I continue in church leadership.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From Marcuson's first example (being stopped on her way to lead worship by a parishioner concerned about a broken toilet) to a final reframing, "We are in fact creating a triangle with God when we pray, allowing God to take on some of our anxiety for those we are praying for," she ably clarifies the major pitfalls of pastoral leaders and offers many practical solutions.
Marcuson's mentors, Murray Bowen of family systems theory and Rabbi Edwin Friedman, provide her with ample effective ways to reframe congregational function and dysfunction. Her own experiences plus those from her extensive consulting career offer real illustrations. You will see yourself here!
She counsels clergy accept responsibility for ourselves, and encourage, teach and model maturity so that congregants might grow in spiritual maturity themselves. Calling the popular model of good ministry simply "overfunctioning," she demonstrates how to step back from the fray and lead, after reflecting on ourself, our call, and the nature of the congregation. Such leaders, she asserts, last. This is a great book to read, consult, and share with peers as well as with vestry, board members, and lay leadership. Only when all of the parties are growing in self awareness and mutual respect, can healthy congregations grow healthier. Pastor Catherine Fransson, Seattle First Baptist Church.[...]
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow, I loved this book. It was short and packed full of information. The book comes from a systems perspective, and helps the minister to deal with the congregational anxiety within a church. The chapters are excellent with the topics ranging from knowing the story of the congregation to knowing your own story. It deals with the issues of money, triangles, leadership, and purpose. This is one of the books that I truly recommend to preachers. It is really a must read for me. I highlighted a ton of stuff on the Kindle. The ideas are all deep, such as "can you continue to move forward with criticism?, can you allow other people to hurt without rescuing them?, and can you give people space?" There was an excellent chapter on how anxiety effects giving in the congregation. There is so much that is excellent in this book, you really need to read this preachers. It will save your ministry and your life from all the problems that arise in a church. This is true spiritual food.
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