Spiritual Leadership – Part 6

In the first five segments of this spiritual leadership mini-series, I’ve dealt with issues that are specific to a leaders inner life (spiritual disciplines, Sabbath rest, listening attentively, knowing their true selves, and crafting a personal rule of life). However, none of these lead to mature spiritual vitality unless lived out in a wider context of community.

Spiritual leaders know the importance of spiritual community and the significance of serving others as a team.

Community is best understood in the biblical text via the various “one anothers” that are espoused by Jesus Himself and leaders like the Apostle Paul. Jesus’ almost exclusive focus is on loving one another and being at peace with one another. In the various letters Paul wrote to the churches he founded, his pastoral urgings are toward: being devoted to one another, giving preference to one another, serving one another, encouraging one another, bearing one another’s burdens, urging one another to love and good deeds, teaching and admonishing one another, and being kind, tender-hearted and forgiving to each other.

Whenever possible, spiritual leaders will hold the community of faith accountable to such attributes. And, the healthy spiritual leader will more importantly embody these him or herself. The one anothers in the Scriptures are there for a reason…to build up unity, strength, and commonality among the people of God. Is that your experience today?

In addition to the prioritization of community, spiritual leaders also create healthy teams who serve side by side for the glory of God and the edification of others. Spiritual leaders understand that their role is to equip the team for the work of ministry, rather than do it all themselves. The work of ministry is balancing a life with God in the contemplative place of prayerfulness and obedience to Christ, with active service meeting the needs of those to whom the team has been called. Healthy teams embody the traits of: Trust- toward God and one another; Empowerment-of each member of the team; Assimilation- synergistically combining efforts; Management- of the stuff and substance of ministry; and Service- always keeping in mind the greater needs of others. (For more detail on these traits, read my book Becoming A Healthy Team!).

Living life in community and serving others as a team are the first circle of the outward manifestations of godly spiritual leadership. What is the current condition of your spiritual community and the health of your ministry team? How will you positively contribute to both in this coming week?

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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

The Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia is founder and president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. (LTI), a ministry serving the spiritual formation, discernment, and renewal of leaders and learners since 2003. For more than 20 years he has been the Director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Doctor of Ministry Program. From 1989-2003 he was the president of Vision New England, the largest regional church renewal association in the country. Earlier in his ministry life, Steve was a member of the pastoral staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts for 11 years. He is the author or co-author of 17 books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective), and Crafting a Rule of Life, Becoming A Healthy Church (LTI), and Broken and Whole (IVP).  He and his wife Ruth live in the Boston (MA) area and are the proud parents of two married children and grandparents to three adorable grandchildren. Steve’s personal website is www.SteveMacchia.com.

My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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Mitzi Mak

Selah-West Faculty

Mitzi started her professional life as a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband Jerry then served cross-culturally for ten+ years, living abroad first in India and then Kurdistan, N. Iraq. In addition to being a Spiritual Director, she now serves as a Formation and Care pastor in her local church in Houston, TX. She has graduated from LTI’s Selah Spiritual Direction training as well as LTI’s Emmaus Formational Leadership Program.

Mitzi enjoys engaging conversation, reading fiction, doing jigsaw/crossword puzzles, ocean gazing and exploring the world with Jerry through food and travel.

God has two main callings in Mitzi’s life: to care for those who care for others and to be a guide in helping others have a healthy relationship with the Trinity – recognizing God’s loving presence and activity in their lives and how to faithfully respond.

Selah was a transformative experience for me – allowing the contemplative within to emerge and to beautifully co-exist with my extraverted personality.