Margaret Marcuson / Rev. Margaret Marcuson helps clergy make their lives easier. She is the author of Leaders Who Last: Sustaining Yourself and Your Ministry and Money and Your Ministry. She served as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Gardner, Mass. for 13 years.
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What to do about that church parking lot meeting

Has there been a parking lot meeting at your church lately? You know, the meeting after the meeting where people say what they really think, and don't tell you. The fact is, sometimes pastors and church staff get left out: when the trustees meet and don’t tell you. When you ...
May 05, 2016   Margaret Marcuson

Your church has more assets than you think (hint: it's not just about the money...)

Do you know your church’s assets? I hope your congregation has a balance sheet, showing the assets and liabilities. However, whether the balance sheet shows a healthy balance or not enough, I'm not just talking about money. I love James Hughes’ ideas about family capital. Hughes is an attorney who ...
April 14, 2016   Margaret Marcuson

Pastors, don’t say these 7 things about money to your church

When pastors talk about money, they have a list of things they commonly say. Some are more helpful than others. Below is a list of things pastors often say, but don’t motivate people to give. I’m sure I’ve said most of them over the years, or some version of them. ...
March 16, 2016   Margaret Marcuson

The easy way to improve your ministry: take time to do nothing

Can you do nothing? That may seem like a crazy question to ask in the run-up to Easter. You may feel like you are running to catch up already.             I believe it’s important to do nothing every day, every week and every year. It will benefit your ministry. And it’s ...
March 02, 2016   Margaret Marcuson

Are you saying these 7 important things about money to your church?

Many pastors are uncomfortable talking about money. I know I was for years. I learned over time it was one of the most important tasks of pastoral leadership. I recommend you regularly say these 7 things to your people: I intend to be involved in church financial matters. Some lay ...
February 18, 2016   Margaret Marcuson

Book review: The secret of pastoral care; it’s not just for the pastor

Marvin McMickle has written a remarkable book for pastors in Caring Pastors, Caring People: Equipping your Church for Pastoral Care (Judson). McMickle defines pastoral care much more broadly than we usually do. He doesn’t view it as one responsibility among many, but as an overarching model for ministry.  He uses ...
February 03, 2016   Margaret Marcuson

Book review: Has your church done an audit lately?

No one ever says, “I wish I could be on the church audit committee.” Yet auditors play essential role in congregational life. Financial accountability is a critical role in ministry, and it can help people follow appropriate procedures when they know they will be held accountable In addition, people are ...
December 15, 2015   Margaret Marcuson

Is your church in a leadership transition: a book review

Passing the Leadership Baton addresses the issue most churches avoid: transition. Tom Mullins tells the remarkable story of his own passing the baton to his son Todd at Christ Fellowship, the church he founded. Any long-term pastor can benefit from reading this book, as can those who follow a long-term ...
August 11, 2015   Margaret Marcuson

Book Review: Ending Extreme Poverty Is Possible: What Christians Can Do

Scott Todd in Hope Rising makes an inspiring case for the ministry of working to end poverty.
August 19, 2014   Margaret Marcuson

Help your people relate to money all year long

Stewardship is about far more than one or two Sundays a year. It is not simply supporting the budget. Rather, it is a ministry to help people learn about their relationship to money, and to other ways they can give. Encouraging financial giving to the ministry of the church is ...
June 20, 2014   Margaret Marcuson

Book Review: Five Stones: Conquering Your Giants

Shane Stanford and R. Brad Martin have written a helpful book in Five Stones: Conquering Your Giants. Stanford and Martin use the story of David and Goliath (one of my favorites) to talk about the challenges of life and how to move forward. (Note: I received a copy of this ...
April 02, 2014   Margaret Marcuson

Have you given your presence?

This time of year we often recognize staff and key volunteer leaders with gifts, as well as holiday gatherings. But one gift costs you nothing except your time: the gift of your presence. Those you lead need you to be present with them. When things are more difficult, when a ...
December 12, 2013   Margaret Marcuson

Giving thanks: a spiritual experiment

We can shift our relationship with money through practicing gratitude. In church life, a focus on celebration, gratitude and abundance begins with the leader. We can cultivate gratitude daily, and what better time than Thanksgiving to remind ourselves of this practice? When you look, you may see more than you ...
November 26, 2013   Margaret Marcuson

Five reasons to celebrate All Saints Day all year

Who are the saints who contributed to your life and to your church? There’s never a bad time to celebrate the saints of the past. Many evangelical churches never celebrate All Saints Day. It's November 1 and today is November 13, so many of us have missed it completely. But ...
November 14, 2013   Margaret Marcuson

Are there spooks in your church?

It’s Halloween, and I’m thinking about church spooks. No, not ghosts, exactly. I don’t really think churches are literally haunted. But sometimes the ghosts of the past are present in the life of a congregation. A few examples: A founding pastor who didn’t work out well. A powerful treasurer who ...
October 31, 2013   Margaret Marcuson

Four secrets for enjoying your stewardship campaign

Are you in the middle of your annual stewardship campaign? Are you having a good time? Sometimes budget woes, a history of conflict about money, or a pastor’s reluctance to ask people to give can make this time of year a little grim. Or the busyness of the fall start-up ...
October 23, 2013   Margaret Marcuson

What books help you spiritually with your leadership?

I’m a fast reader and tend to swallow books whole. But I like to have one book on spiritual matters which I read slowly, a few pages a day, at the end of my prayer time each morning. Here are a few books I’ve found helpful recently and over the ...
October 03, 2013   Margaret Marcuson

Ten ways for church leaders to lead like Winston Churchill

Are you facing some difficulties at church lately? Whether your challenges are internal or external, you can learn something from Winston Churchill. He was Prime Minister of Britain through World War II, and led his country through terrifying bombing and the threat of invasion. Here are ten ways that I ...
September 21, 2013   Margaret Marcuson

Six tips for relating to church musicians

Here are six tips for pastors for dealing with music and music staff in the life of the church:  Hire musicians who are as emotionally mature as possible. Talent is important, but the ability to work with others and be supervised by someone is at least as critical Coach the ...
August 10, 2013   Margaret Marcuson

Seven tips to enjoy ministry in August

Here are seven quick tips to enjoy these last weeks before the fall ministry deluge. Take your vacation. If you’ve had your vacation, do something small but vacation-like every week (or every day!). Do something every week to plan for 2013-2014. If you’ve made your plans, do something you’ll enjoy ...
August 04, 2013   Margaret Marcuson

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