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

4.8 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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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."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Seabury Books (March 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596270950
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596270954
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #997,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Pastors neglect their family-of-origin history at their own peril, not just for the sake of their own spiritual well being, but also, that of the congregations and communities they serve. Margaret Marcuson is a well known and respected family systems expert, and through Leadership in Ministry she helps lead retreats and workshops on family systems across the US. In this book, she puts forth much of what underlies her "in-person" work, in a concise and complete manner. I especially appreciate her words on 'minding your triangles' ... the relationship triangles in which we all live and work and play. So much of family systems work is simply becoming aware of the world around you; Margaret's book is a fine introduction for the beginner, and a good refresher for those who have committed to 'doing the work.'
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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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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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Marcuson provides a wealth of knowledge and perspective for the minister who is ready to become self aware. The only unfortunate aspect about this book is that I bought it for kindle and it's like reading a book from a high schooler who didn't proofread their final report. Hopefully this is an electronic glitch and the printed version does not display these same issues. After so many sentences with no periods, and made up words (ex. snamee) it became hard for me to concentrate on being "self-aware". Customers, let the kindle or ipad sit on the bench for this one, and just buy the printed book (crossing my fingers that it was edited).
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Margaret Marcuson really knows her stuff, not just the stuff of leadership but the special challenges and rewards of leadership in the context of a congregation. I especially appreciate the connections she makes between what we experienced in our family of origin, and how those dynamics can play out in a church community. She doesn't flinch from acknowledging painful realities, but she equally acknowledges the profound joy that is possible from fulfilling ministry leadership. Wisdom, compassion and love radiate from every page.
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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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I have found no better source for advice about pastoral leadership and congregational management than this book! Now, I purchase it in bulk so I can give them as gifts to pastors who are entering a new congregation.
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As a long-term pastor with a long-term interest in Family Systems Theory, I'm grateful for this lean, thoughtful, empowering book by Margaret Marcuson. Reading it was an enjoyable way to review some familiar ground while also receiving many new insights. Full of practical, encouraging suggestions for navigating pastoral ministry, this book will stay on my shelf of "current important books" for a long time.

I particularly appreciate the lists of questions Margaret has created for nearly every chapter. Some are questions I need to be asking myself about my own functioning, while others are questions I need to be asking about the churches I serve. Many can be adapted for use in conversation with parishioners and leaders, and all of them are systems-based and thoughtful. The chapter on understanding money is one of the most helpful treatments I've ever read -- and perhaps the only one I've ever seen from a Family Systems perspective.
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