Breathing Room: Create 3 Months of Planning in 5 Sessions

irish-handsAt this point, how are your next three months going to feel?
Busy? Stressful? Repetitive?

If you’re like most pastors, the joy of ministry is often countered by constant pressure. So I want to ask you, over the next 3 months…

How do you want to feel?
Calm? Creative? Even ahead of schedule?

It’s possible! And I’m excited to help you achieve more space through my newest program, Breathing Room: Create 3 Months of Planning in 5 Sessions.

When you enroll in Breathing Room, you get one-on-one guidance with me – and before your next sermon rolls around – your three months are completely planned. (Yes, it’s that good!)

In Breathing Room, we spend 5 sessions and:

* Clarify your purpose for the next three months.
* Identify your highest-priority project, given that purpose.
* Let go of what you will NOT do.
* Generate new ideas for making your purpose real.
* Identify a team to make it happen.
* Create a workable plan for the next three months of ministry.

I’m only accepting 25 participants in Breathing Room – so if this level of freedom and clarity speaks to you – click here and grab your spot NOW.

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“Thank you so much, Margaret, for this feedback and for all your help. I have a tendency to either get focused too big (i.e., beyond 3 months) or get lost in the weeds of day-to-day work. Setting my sights on a 3-month chunk of time has been really helpful.Thank you! Thank you!”  –Rev. Stacey Simpson Duke

Untitled design-5As a clergy coach, I have seen pastors who are overwhelmed from the ongoing demands of ministry. The to-do lists are unending and often incredibly repetitive.Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 9.16.08 AM

Does this look like your weekly (or daily) check list?

* Plan worship
* Prep sermons
* Manage administration
* Support the community
* Inspire and grow the church
* Network with important organizations
* Handle pastoral care
* And on and on!

When you’re running a million miles a minute, you aren’t able to plan for the big picture, and long-cherished dreams often fall to the wayside.

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The immediate vs. the important

You know how it is: the immediate need (say, a pastoral-care emergency or a challenge with a staff member) crowds out the long-term important. Of course, those hospital calls are a crucial part of ministry. And staff issues do need attending to. But these pastors would like to move the church’s ministry forward in important ways.

Is this you?

Do you have some long-cherished dreams for your church that you can’t quite make the time to plan and take steps toward? Do you get to the end of each week, each month, each quarter, and wonder how the time passed so quickly? Are you tired of the constant interruptions that keep you from the deep thinking you need to do about the ministry?

What the church wants vs. what God wants

Many church members know what they want: your attention, now. However, what God wants may require something different than your immediate response to a short-term need. Most pastors I know want to move their church toward greater spiritual depth, more vital worship and more missional outreach. They believe this is what God wants for their church, but they struggle to make it happen.

You can work with me one-on-one to create a prayer-inspired, workable ministry plan for yourself in just 5 sessions. Yes, you’ll have to carve out some time to do it. But you won’t be doing it alone: you’ll have me to give you feedback and keep you on track.

It’s not a quick fix. You still have to work the plan. But having a plan is far easier than trying to make progress with no plan.

Just to give one everyday example: when I started planning worship and preaching more than one week at a time, it made my life every week exponentially easier. And it helped clear up thinking time for planning and taking action for the future of our congregation. (Incidentally, my preaching got significantly better.) I only wished I had started doing it years earlier.

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There may be no greater obstacle to effectiveness than being caught up in the urgency of the immediate. One liability is that planning gets pushed to the back burner, which only exacerbates the tendency to run through blurry days of activity with a loss of purpose and lack of intention.  

Leadership coach Margaret Marcuson has come up with another creative way to help leaders become more focused, intentional, and effective. Her “Breathing Room” program is designed to help busy leaders create and execute a 90-day ministry plan. Beginning with “Purpose,” which answers the question of why we do what we do, Marcuson leads participants through guided activities to help leaders get things done. Through coaching and engaging in focused action and reflection, Marcuson provides leaders with an effective process for goal-oriented focus. For busy leaders, this may be just the help, support, and prodding needed to set and reach tangible goals, and, to identify the strategies to achieve them.  -Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning, Columbia Theological Seminary
Untitled design-5Inside Breathing Room, we’ll answer the questions: Why? What? How? Who? When?

  • Why are you doing what you’ll be doing for the next three months? Purpose.
  • What, specifically will you do, especially beyond the routine you know you’ll do anyway?
  • How will you do it—what’s the best way you can find to move toward one or two key goals?
  • Who will you do it with?
  • When? What commitments can you make, to me and to others to make sure you’ll do it.

When you sign up for the Breathing Room: Create a 3-month Ministry Plan program below you will immediately receive your curriculum for all five sessions. Read through it within 48 hours and begin the first session. Here’s how it works…

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 9.16.16 AMEmail me your session one coaching question

Inside your curriculum will be a special email address that will give you direct access to me (and no one else). After reading through the session one curriculum and assignment, you can email me any one question related to that day’s materials. You can ask for advice on making choices, feedback on your options, clarification on something you are unsure of, assistance for overcoming a barrier or anything else related to the session.

Look for my personal reply within 24 hours

Once per day I log in to my coaching account and respond to all student questions, including yours. This is for Monday – Thursday only. I don’t do weekends. I’ll reply to your question to help you personally make critical decisions concerning your Ministry Plan and clear up any area in which you feel you need greater understanding or guidance.

Turn in your assignment upon reading my response

After receiving my feedback, it’s time for you to complete your assignment for the session. Simply send it to me at the coaching address in 48 hours or less. (48 hour turnaround time is mandatory, excluding emergencies.) Each session will have a milestone that clearly shows progress as you complete these very important activities. How exciting! NOTE: On two of the days the assignments are a bit lengthier and I will give you extra time to complete them.

Watch for my final “grade” for the session in your inbox

After I receive your assignment I’ll “grade” it by sending you a few final remarks about your work. This feedback will help you know you are heading in the right direction and give you the confidence to move forward without second guessingyour decisions. This “grade” will conclude session #1.

Repeat the process for sessions #2-5

After finalizing the first session, it’s simply a matter of completing the remaining ones by following the same steps. For each of the sessions you’ll ask a question, I’ll answer back, you’ll turn in an assignment, and I’ll conclude with a “grade”. In a short amount of time, you’ll have your own 3-month plan completed and ready to implement.

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How is Breathing Room different from other planning methods?


First, this process begins and ends with prayer. It’s a discernment process as much as a planning process. You’ll take the time to pray about why, what, how, who and when. You don’t have to spend hours on your knees, but even a few minutes of prayerful reflection about your plan will bring new insights.

Second, you’re on a team. You’ll have my help along the way. I’ve been there in the press of ministry obligations, and I can help you do your best thinking.

I’ve worked with dozens of pastors to help them discern what they want and create a short-term plan to get there. As Rev. Kim Risedorph, Methodist pastor, says, “Working with Margaret helps clarify ‘the next right thing’ to do.”

I can tell you with absolute certainty that if you create and take action on this plan, things will be different at the end of three months. You will have less of what you don’t want and more of what you want.

This is your opportunity to get much deserved support for your ministry planning.

And believe it or not, it doesn’t cost a fortune. I charge up to $1,000 for coaching packages. You’ll pay nowhere near that price. If you order today, you’ll pay just $127 for the lessons plus personal input from me. That’s a great deal.

Due to the nature of this offer, there are no refunds available. I don’t get my time back, so you don’t get your money back. Fair enough?

Reminder: I can only accept 50 students at a time.

Join now while spots are available!

Place your order now and let’s get started immediately…

Sign me up!