Are you feeling overwhelmed by leading your ministry through this time of constant decisions about how to do ministry now and going forward?
Are you facing the ongoing challenge of how to handle worship in this hybrid era and how to organize for worship and the rest of ministry with a smaller group of folks?
Are you struggling with people who have strong opinions and don’t hesitate to share them at every opportunity?
Do you feel worn down by these two years of doing a job you didn’t prepare for?
Do you wonder how to lead staff and volunteers who are also exhausted?
Do you want to better apply the convictions of your calling to the way you do your work in this time?
If so, here’s a way to learn what every minister needs to know for this time and for any time, in conversation with mature and motivated peers.
Ministry Doesn’t Have to Be SO Lonely and Challenging: Why I Started the Roundtables
When I was a pastor, I had a man come after me who was extremely upset about a sermon I had preached. I had no idea how to handle the situation, and it caused me a lot of emotional turmoil. I was conflict-averse, to put it mildly
I knew I wanted to do some work to become a stronger leader, someone who was less intimidated as matters like these arose, so I got coaching through a group program I was part of. This work over time transformed my ministry and helped me to deal with that difficult situation in my church.
This transformational experience led me to offer this service to others: a place to meet with like-minded leaders to think through church leadership and how to approach its challenges.
I’ve found through these three years of a whole new environment for ministry that the Roundtable groups provide support and encouragement in a tough time. Join me in a Roundtable this fall.
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
– Jim Rohn
Why Group Coaching Can Help in This Time
You may have been a clergy leader for years – you know what you’re doing, and you’re doing a solid job of leading your church even through these days.
But you find yourself losing sleep over the occasional difficult conversation or meeting (Zoom OR in person), or you’re not sure what to do about a challenging staff member. You’re not sure what’s going to happen with next year’s budget. You could use some support to manage this tough season of ministry with more grace, more joy, and more freedom.
Being part of a group of thoughtful clergy helped me to reflect and feel more equipped to lead. It gave me colleagues who understood the unique difficulties of ministry life, and it helped me step confidently into challenging church situations.
It can do the same for you.
Gathering with other ministers can help you manage your biggest ministry challenges, learn more about church leadership, and get support and encouragement from mature and motivated church leaders.
“I joined the Clergy Leadership Roundtable for support during this very trying time. The regular check in with the theory and practice and windows into others’ ministry situations helps my understanding and practice and gives me perspective. This pandemic has been challenging between loss, staffing changes, and high anxiety. I’ve learned that overfunctioning is my go-to way of coping when anxious. I’m a “recovering over functioner with frequent relapses” but I now tend to be more self aware when I am overfunctioning. It’s still a big challenge. But the question “What do I want” is an important one and really helped me gain clarity in hiring new staff. I’ve always said that this program is responsible for my longevity in my ministry. It is also really helpful in my efforts to support colleagues — it helps me ask questions rather than present solutions.”
– Elizabeth Norton, Director of Music, First Parish, Concord, Massachusetts
What are the Clergy Leadership Roundtables?
The Roundtable is a dynamic form of group learning, designed to generate your (and your colleagues’) best thinking about ministry. It’s different from an online course or a support group, but combines elements of both.
Even before the pandemic, I created the Roundtable groups as a way for people to make connections and troubleshoot their problems with others around the U.S. and Canada who really get it.
The Clergy Leadership Roundtables surround you with other experienced and motivated ministers (of at least five years in ministry) who appreciate the value of growing alongside others – professionals, just like you who want to bring their best selves to their ministry.
This is not a ministers’ gripe session. It’s a focused opportunity to do solid work on critical issues. You’ll walk away with new ideas and a fresh way of thinking about yourself and your ministry. Plus, you’ll gain several new colleagues!
“My greatest challenge as I began the Roundtable was adjusting to a new role in a new congregation in the midst of the global pandemic.
The Roundtable has taught me lessons I find myself needing to be reminded of over and over again: trust your instincts, invest time in getting clear about what you want, wait 24 hours before responding to challenging emails, and that I’m not alone in this work.
I feel more settled into my role and my congregation and I have more clarity about my vision for the ministry of the church. I know leading through change is not easy but I feel equipped to meet the challenges along the way.
Margaret Marcuson offers a structured, compassionate environment to process the greatest challenges of ministry. She models the best in clergy coaching, while also inviting the wisdom of the whole group to be shared. I left every session feeling supported, encouraged by colleagues, and better equipped to meet the challenges of ministry.”
– Rev. Laura Harris Adam, Pastor of Faith Formation, First Baptist Church, Indianapolis, IN
Real Results That Improve Your Life, Ministry, and Congregation
Roundtable groups are known to catapult results in their members, which is why they are so common in the business world. But their power takes on a whole new level when ministerial leaders gather to diligently focus on improving their lives and their churches. Joining a Clergy Leadership Roundtable will help you to:
- Feel lighter and less burdened by your ministry.
- Claim what you already know about ministry and get help putting it to work right where you are.
- See your challenges as manageable ones.
- Clarify the next right thing to do.
- Put things in perspective, worry a little less, and enjoy your work more.
You’ll get accountability, action, and encouragement. You’ll have an opportunity to brainstorm someone else’s challenges, and receive feedback and ideas on your own. You’ll be more motivated to plan and follow-through on making your ministry goals a reality.
It’s not a support group per se, but you will receive encouragement and support from your colleagues.
Imagine spending time once a month with motivated ministers who appreciate the value of growing alongside others – professionals, just like you who want to bring their best selves to this time. Imagine a fresh perspective on the tough board meeting you just had or your most difficult parishioner, where you may say, “Oh…. I never thought about it that way before. Now I have a better idea what to do.”
“The Clergy Leadership Roundtable is a regular, ongoing opportunity to share the challenges of parish ministry with knowledgeable, experienced colleagues. It makes a big difference. It consistently re-grounds me in healthy functioning as a leader. Before participating in the Roundtable I would go months between times of reflecting meaningfully on my work and my functioning as a leader. The Roundtable allows me the opportunity to keep the decks clear from month to month. So far I’ve learned that the challenges keep coming and I’m more and more resourceful and confident in meeting them. Each month, I’m always wanting more—Margaret is incredibly good at managing the time constraints. Now, my major challenges seem manageable. You can only manage yourself, and the Roundtables are worth the time and the money to do that in an intentional, focused way–not just hoping for the best.”
–The Rev. Randall Day, Rector, St. Mark’s in the Valley Episcopal Church, Los Olivos, California
How Does a Roundtable Work?
The Clergy Leadership Roundtable is a 12-month program where members meet once a month via Zoom.
Sessions last 90 minutes, and include conversation about systems theory and church leadership, as well as time for sharing and getting support from your colleagues. During each session, at least one member will have an opportunity to present a specific situation they want support, brainstorming, and feedback on from the group.
Groups are made up of 4-6 experienced ministers and other professional church leaders who are carefully vetted through an application process.
How Much Is the Clergy Leadership Roundtable?
The 12-month program is $1,500, or $150/month (no obligation for applying). Apply by Thursday, September 15th.
Group coaching is an affordable way to get vital support in your ministry, and is a key form of continued professional development for church leaders. You gain the benefit of the valuable experience of others, not just a single coach.
Groups start in October, and membership is by application only.
How Do I Join?
Your first step is applying today. You don’t have to pay a dime. Everyone goes through this process to make sure the groups are cohesive and productive.
Whether you’re curious about this opportunity or you know it’s exactly what you’ve been praying for, apply before September 13 to join us starting in October.
Frequently Asked Questions
When do the monthly Roundtables meet?
Typically, Wednesdays at 12 PT/3 ET and Thursdays at 10:30 PT/1:30 ET. You can indicate your best day when you apply. Here are the dates:
• Wednesdays: 10/11, 11/8, 12/13, 1/10, 2/14, 3/13, 4/10, 5/15, 6/12, 7/10, 8/14, 9/11 (the second Wednesday of each month)
• Thursdays: 10/12, 11/9, 12/14, 1/11, 2/15, 3/14, 4/11, 5/16, 6/13, 7/11, 8/15, 9/12 (the second Thursdays of each month)
What topics are we going to discuss?
Each session I’ll share some of my best ideas on church leadership based around the concepts Get Clear, Stay Connected, and Keep Calm. Then we’ll discuss the topics that YOU find most relevant as you share what’s up in your ministry and where you need thoughtful support. I’ll bring a systems perspective to my teaching and coaching you through your case when you share one.
Is there homework?
I’ll suggest a brief reading before each session. If you are presenting a case study you will need to send out one page describing it at least one day before our meeting. I’ll give you a format to use. For the rest of the group, you will need to read the case before we meet.
Can you ensure confidentiality?
I will ask each group to make a commitment to confidentiality before the groups begin. Sharing inside the group is encouraged and each individual is in control of what they feel comfortable sharing.
Do we get a recording of the groups?
I will record the case study portion of the group and share it with the individual who presented the case. This way, as you’re discussing your situation, you can stay present and don’t have to worry about taking notes or writing down all the ideas.
What’s the application process like?
It’s an online form that asks a few questions about your ministry context, your hopes for your ministry and what you want to get from the group.
When will we know if our application is accepted?
I will let you know by email, usually within 48 hours of your application.
Apply by September 13 to join this transformative Clergy Leadership Roundtable for $1500.
What to do next:
- Click the button.
- Fill out the application and submit.
- I’ll be in touch with you within 48 hours about your application.
You don’t have to say yes today. All you have to say is maybe, then click the button to apply for the Roundtable.