The season of Advent is filled with hope for the coming of Jesus, our promised Messiah. We wait with longing and anticipation for the day when we sing of his miraculous Incarnation – God coming to earth in the form of a baby, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born to a virgin, and to be with us in human form. Joy to the world, the Lord has come!

As we round the corner toward Christmas, we thank God for his many undeserved gifts, including love, joy, peace, salvation and hope. The gifts of God for his beloved children outnumber the stars in the sky and the sand on the shoreline: impossible to count. In response, our hearts are filled to overflowing with gratitude to God.

2018 has been rich with bountiful blessings and unconditional gifts from the hand of a generously loving God. Leadership Transformations celebrated our 15th anniversary this past year with the theme of “soul hospitality” for leaders and teams. Everywhere I go I hear stories of lives transformed by the time leaders have shared at Selah, Emmaus, the Pierce Center (Gordon-Conwell Seminary), on soul care retreats, in one-on-one spiritual direction, and who are in churches strengthened by their leaders who came to us for spiritual formation resources.

As we await the coming of Jesus at Christmas, we also look forward to his coming again in glory. In the meantime, we hold hands and stick together, upholding the Great Commandment of loving God with heart, soul, mind, and strength, and the second commandment, loving our neighbors as ourselves. From that posture, we can indeed reach the world with the life-transforming gospel of Jesus. May it be so, dear Jesus, lover of our souls.

Check out other LTI Advent resources here.


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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.