Pastor Mike Quinn

Encouraging Leaders to Shake the Planet

Newbreak Church
Mike Quinn

Leadership & Margin

May 20, 2015 · posted in Leadership

Margin as art!

Recently I was working with a kindergartner named Sally on an art project. She was painting on a piece of paper but was having trouble controlling her brush and was instead “painting” half the table!  I explained that if she pretended there was an imaginary space between her art and the end of the paper it would help her.  I told Sally that the imaginary space is called a “margin.” Sally responded, “Oh, but Pastor Mike, I like to use up all the paper!”  

I would argue that our problem with margin in ministry is often driven by the same desire as Sally’s.  Our hunger to serve with all our hearts can push us to the edge of “using up all the paper” when it comes to keeping healthy limits regarding our time, treasure, and talents.  I am definitely a “struggling artist” when it comes to maintaining margin in my life as a pastor, but here are three strokes of the brush that have helped me:

Delegate more and watch your span of care as a leader and coach.  As Robert Coleman reminds us, “Jesus didn’t neglect the masses, but concentrated on the few.”
Find a hobby or activity you love that feeds you physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Then build it into your schedule without guilt.  I discovered surfing in college and it feeds my life.  
Schedule margin daily, weekly, monthly, and annually.  Keep the fourth commandment.  Oh, and never come back from a vacation without having the next one on your calendar.

Margin is an art involving choices between the “good, the better, and the best.”  Guarding it will definitely help with choosing the best and making less of a mess!