Celebration!

This past weekend we celebrated the 10th Anniversary of Leadership Transformations. It was a grand time for all…beginning with our team and extending outward to our inner circle and constituency. The celebrations included a brunch for our board and ministry team, a worship service of consecration and thanksgiving, and a banquet for 350 friends of our ministry. After the big party was over, our ministry team went on a two day retreat to deepen our affection for Christ and one another. All in all, it was a fabulous time of joy!

Celebrations are important for families, friends, and ministry colleagues. It’s important to punctuate accomplishment and relationship with celebrations, commemorations, and consecrations. Especially in our world of fast-paced lifestyles, to press the pause button and remember to give thanks in this way builds unity and provides for a creative way of relishing the myriad gifts of God.

Celebration can come in the form of parties…filled with fun, happy, jovial laughter and delight. They can be times of commemorating important highlights, hallmarks, and significant accomplishment. Or, they can serve as meaningful ways to rededicate oneself and others to the fulfillment of a shared mission. In whatever way you choose, celebration is an important aspect of ministry and life together.

In what ways are you promoting a spirit of celebration among those with whom you live and serve? Are there ways you can add celebration into the mix so as to be refreshed and renewed, rather than always exerting effort and pursuing goals?

Jesus found ways to engage in celebrations. His first miracle was at a wedding feast (John 2). He even taught in parables using an image of a great wedding feast (Matt. 22). He was accused of partying too much, even called a glutton and drunkard (Matt. 11) because He would associate with sinners and tax collectors. Jesus was found in homes, at meals, with friends, and among sinners and disciples in a myriad of celebratory ways. One of his greatest celebrations actually happened just before his life came to an end…at the Last Supper with his closest disciples (Luke 22), commemorating his very life in their midst by expressing “the fullest extent of his love” for them.

Some of Jesus’ celebrations were party-like, others were prayerfully and intentionally focused on meaning and intentionality. Both were a part of Jesus’ journey here on earth, both held significance for His followers and friends. We look at these texts as disciples today, and we rejoice and give thanks for the many ways Jesus was comfortable celebrating with prayerful serenity and joyful intentionality.

Take time to consider ways you can bring celebration into your relational and ministry contexts. It’s been life-giving and restorative for our team, that’s for sure…and I’m confident it will deepen your faith community as well.

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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.