The Heart of a Discerning Leader – Part 4

The Heart of a Discerning Leader – Part 4

The internal life of a leader is reflected in the external world of relationships, service, and mission. We say at Leadership Transformations, “As the leader goes, so goes the organization…more importantly, as the soul of the leader goes, so goes the leader.” We are a soul-centric ministry, helping leaders and learners worldwide to prioritize the care and nurture of their soul as their number one daily priority. Why? Because the soul is the most neglected part of the person, given all the demands cast upon us by our wider network of family, friends, church, community, and world. We live distracted, noisy, and busy lives and the crying need of our souls is to find rest in God, to find joy in God, and to offer peace with God to all who cross our paths. How is it with your soul today, dear friend?

In these final five reflections on the heart of a discerning leader, we will plummet the depths of the soul and discover afresh the power of the nourished soul. Each of these noticings come from our daily ministry with leaders and teams, and from the stories shared with us regarding longings, desires, and needs that emerge when we slow down and become more:

16. Values silence, solitude, and space with God – in the space of sweet surrender, we pursue stillness from the competing noises of this world and instead pursue quiet, unhurried, unhindered time with God. Silence and solitude are the crucible of transformation with soul-rich rewards.

17. Willingly voices repentance, confession, and forgiveness – the discerning leader offers ongoing mercy to the downhearted and those convicted of their own sinfulness and invites others into the freedom of God’s unconditional grace and compassionate forgiveness. 

18. Regularly reorders his/her affections – the daily bombardment of all forms of worldliness can wreak havoc on the soul and dislocate a heart inclined toward God, but with daily examen and reflection, a discerning leader can realign one’s affections and return to a preference for God.

19. Decisive when obvious and discerning when essential – a practical implication of a heart inclined toward God is being decisive when the best option is evident, and prayerfully discerning when there’s a need to wait for greater clarity about God’s best idea amidst more complex situations. 

20. Strength of character and competency – particularly during hard times, needed perseverance will provide the endurance to hold fast to principles more than personalities, upheld by the wisdom and integrity of godliness.

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? I welcome your feedback.

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

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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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