The Heart of a Discerning Leader – Part 3

The Heart of a Discerning Leader – Part 3

The examples of toxic leadership among Christians is on the rise. Most of them surround the concept of power – and it’s misuse. Every leader possesses power and authority at various levels, and the key to effective leadership is leveraging that power for the sake of others. When those a leader serves are thriving, then the power of a leader is fully activated. When others are held back or powered over or manipulated to the leader’s gain, then power is wielded inappropriately.

At LTI, we see this first hand with those we serve and come alongside to pour courage into their hearts. This is especially true for leaders, learners, and teams who have been discouraged by the abuse of power in their particular setting. How I wish we didn’t hear about such devastating experiences so frequently. It’s the undoing of ministry in the marketplace, the community, the country, and even the church. Our hearts are set on eradicating this evil disease that prevails today and therefore we offer the following five heart-felt attributes of a discerning leader:

11. Provides hospitable presence – for a leader to be fully present with those s/he is called to serve, the attentiveness offered will be directly proportional to one’s ability to listen sincerely and without judgment.

12. Deeply content and humble – offering freely and generously a non-anxious presence with others that emanates from a leader’s contentment about and within all of life’s circumstances, both the good and the hard.

13. Genuinely joyful and celebratory – sharing the joy of the Lord amidst the daily rhythms of everyday life and knows when it’s time to celebrate the gifts that God has entrusted to our care as we reflect the image of God.

14. Rooted in trust and rest – embracing Sabbath rhythms of abiding rest embedded within one’s work, and then trusting God to provide for all needs in surprising and delightful ways, and always for God’s glory and honor.

15. Generates peace and hope – as an agent of peace, discerning leaders understand the centrality of relationships and has the wherewithal to know how best to reconcile broken relationships with integrity and fortitude.

I trust that these reflections on the heart of a discerning leader will stir you to consider them for yourself. What invitation(s) are these observations evoking for you and how is God enlivening your own heart for service with and for others within your watch care? 

Check out The Discerning Leader Podcast this week for a fuller conversation with Jeremy Stefano about these 5 reflections. 

More insights to follow…

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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

Steve is a graduate of Northwestern College (IA) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div. and D.Min.). His prior ministry includes serving on the pastoral staff at Grace Chapel (Lexington, MA) and as president of Vision New England. Since July 1, 2003 Steve has served as founder and president of Leadership Transformations, director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building, and adjunct faculty in the Doctor of Ministry department at Gordon-Conwell. He is the author of sixteen books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective),  Baker bestseller Becoming a Healthy Church, and Crafting a Rule of Life (IVP). He lives in the Boston area with his wife Ruth and is the proud father of two grown children, Rebekah and Nathan, daughter in-love Ashley, and papa to his beloved granddaughter, Brenna Lynn and twin grandsons, Aiden Joseph and Carson Stephen. “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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