Your Discerning Life Story

LTI Lead Team | Your Discerning Life Story, Episode 14

Host: Steve Macchia, Guests: Rick Anderson, Susan Currie, Matt Scott, and Jeremy Stefano

Giving space to our relationships and decisions describes well our discernment processes for Selah and for LTI overall.” – Susan Currie

Rick Anderson (Executive VP), Susan Currie (Director of Selah), Jeremy Stefano (Director of Emmaus and Abide), Matt Scott (Creative Director), and Steve Macchia (Founder and President) join their voices in rejoicing together on the occasion of the 19th Anniversary of Leadership Transformations. They share stories of how spiritual discernment has been a central part of our life together in relationships and ministry. Rick talks about the impressive and unforced discernment process followed by the LTI board as we called him onto the team more than 16 years ago. Susan reflects on how the Lord directed our steps in offering training in spiritual direction, and how the Selah ministry has grown over the years. Jeremy helps us slow down conversations and lean prayerfully into our ongoing discerning presence and the development of new ministry, like Emmaus and Abide. Matt comes alongside us with his creative heart for God and collects our shared longings for discerning the voice and passion of God for all of us. Join the celebration of 19 faithful years with a donation to www.LeadershipTransformations.org

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net.

Steve Macchia (Podcast Host)
Founder and President of Leadership Transformations
Steve is the author of The Discerning Life,  Becoming a Healthy ChurchBroken and WholeCrafting a Rule of Life and several other titles. Steve has over 40 years in ministry and two postgraduate degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Rick Anderson (Season Eighteen Episode 14 Guest)
Executive Vice President
Rick has a passion for spiritual formation, spiritual direction and leadership development. He has completed the Selah Certificate Program in Spiritual Direction, as well as New Way Ministries’ School of Spiritual Direction and the Advanced School, both taught by Dr. Larry Crabb. Prior to LTI, Rick served as the COO of the Christian Writers Guild and the Director of Finance & Operations at Trinity Law School. He currently serves as a board member for Peregrine Ministries and Beyond Survival.

Susan Currie (Season Eighteen Episode 14 Guest)
Director of Selah
Susan serves as the Director of Leadership Transformation Inc’s Selah Certificate Training Program in Spiritual Direction. Over the past 30 years, she has offered retreat leadership and formation ministry to various church and parachurch bodies. Susan also serves as Affiliated Clergy with All Saints’ Anglican Cathedral in Amesbury, MA.

Matt Scott (Season Eighteen Episode 14 Guest)
Creative Director
With 15 years of local church experience, Matt has served various churches in the area of worship and arts, community life, shepherding, and pastoral ministry. A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (MDiv) and the University of Mobile (Worship Leadership and Music Performance), Matt has a heart to shepherd people through songwriting, worship leadership, and pastoral care. He and his wife, Kristen, live in Bluffton, South Carolina with their two children, Emerson and Ashton.

Jeremy Stefano (Season Eighteen Episode 14 Guest)
Director of Emmaus and Director of Abide
Jeremy offers spiritual direction, leads retreats, teaches classes in spiritual formation and serves as the directors of the Emmaus: Certificate in Formational Leadership and Abide: Certificate in Spiritual Formation. The heartbeat of Jeremy’s calling is to encourage Christian leaders in the cultivation of their relationship with God. He has served churches as a local pastor, interim pastor and as a visiting Bible teacher in Southern Africa and North America. 

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Michelle Sanchez | Your Discerning Life Story, Episode 13

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Michelle Sanchez

In a racially broken world, what we need for disciples to be is not color-blind, but color-courageous.” – Michelle Sanchez

Michelle Sanchez is Executive Minister of Make and Deepen Disciples for the Evangelical Covenant Church, a multiethnic denomination of over 900 congregations throughout North America. She is also the author of Color-Courageous Discipleship book series. As she notes, it’s far better to become color-courageous than to be color-blind. Her vision: follow Jesus, dismantle racism when we see it, and build beloved community by loving one another across our differences. As an African American minister, Michelle has a unique voice to communicate this important message to the Church today. In this conversation she shares how God called her out of her investment banking career into full time ministry, beginning in the local church and now in a strategic denominational leadership position. Find her at MichelleTSanchez.com

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net.

Steve Macchia (Podcast Host)
Founder and President of Leadership Transformations
Steve is the author of The Discerning Life,  Becoming a Healthy ChurchBroken and WholeCrafting a Rule of Life and several other titles. Steve has over 40 years in ministry and two postgraduate degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Michelle Sanchez (Season Eighteen Episode 13 Guest)
Executive Minister of Make and Deepen Disciples, Evangelical Covenant Church
Michelle T. Sanchez serves as Executive Minister of Make and Deepen Disciples for the Evangelical Covenant Church. She is a frequent conference speaker and a regular columnist with Outreach Magazine. With Waterbrook, Michelle is the author of three books releasing in November 2022 designed to provide Christ-centered racial discipleship for all ages: Color-Courageous Discipleship, Color-Courageous Discipleship Student Edition, and the picture book God’s Beloved Community. She and her husband, Mickey, live with their two children in the Chicago area.

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Jenn Giles Kemper | Your Discerning Life Story, Episode 12

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Jenn Giles Kemper

What if the things that bring you joy are an arrow pointing you to God?” – Jenn Giles Kemper

Jenn Giles Kemper is the Founder of Sacred Ordinary Days, offering intentional spiritual guidance for those desirous of a wholistic life in Christ. They create tools and curate resources for a global community of ecumenical believers. Jenn’s a contemplative entrepreneur with a heart for the health and vitality of the body of Christ. She’s creative, insightful, and willing to take risks courageously and prayerfully. A trained spiritual director, Jenn organized the Sacred Ordinary Days planner for those who prefer a tactile prayer experience throughout the liturgical year. When asked about how she fosters a discerning life, she encourages us to know yourself and give yourself permission to be yourself, to create space, become more aware, learn to live life more open handedly, and see prayer as a doorway into a relationship with God. 

Steve Macchia (Podcast Host)
Founder and President of Leadership Transformations
Steve is the author of The Discerning Life,  Becoming a Healthy ChurchBroken and WholeCrafting a Rule of Life and several other titles. Steve has over 40 years in ministry and two postgraduate degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Jenn Giles Kemper (Season Eighteen Episode 12 Guest)
Minister, Spiritual Director, and Founder & CEO of Sacred Ordinary Days
Jenn is a minister, spiritual director, and the founder and CEO of Sacred Ordinary Days, an organization offering companionship and guidance in intentional Christian spiritual formation. She is an experienced leader, teacher, and speaker, and her vision inspires and propels others forward. She relishes a challenge, values learning, and loves being at a growth edge. Jenn is also a lover of color, hospitality, sunshine, shared meals, and life together. She and her husband, Grant, enjoy a full and adventurous family life with their three young sons in Waco, Texas.

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Al Lopus | Your Discerning Life Story, Episode 11

Host: Steve Macchia | Guest: Al Lopus

Divine providence called me and I answered the phone.” – Al Lopus

Today’s discerning life story features the founder of Best Christian Workplace Institute, Al Lopus, who joins us to share his wisdom about the keys to outstanding organizational life. His new book, The Road to Flourishing: Eight Keys to Boost Employee Engagement and Well-Being covers eight priorities to greater effectiveness. Based on extensive research, the eight keys also spell the word FLOURISH:  Fantastic Teams; Life-Giving Work; Outstanding Talent; Uplifting Growth; Rewarding Compensation; Inspirational Leadership; Sustainable Strategy; and Healthy Communication.  The #1 need: inspirational leadership, focusing on the importance of character, integrity, competency and trust. So much to glean for Christian leaders today!

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net.

Steve Macchia (Podcast Host)
Founder and President of Leadership Transformations
Steve is the author of The Discerning Life,  Becoming a Healthy ChurchBroken and WholeCrafting a Rule of Life and several other titles. Steve has over 40 years in ministry and two postgraduate degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Al Lopus (Season Eighteen Episode 11 Guest)
Co-Founder and CEO of Best Christian Workplaces Institute and Author
Al Lopus is the cofounder and CEO of the Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI), which provides research-based measurement tools and strategic advisory services with a single vision: to help Christian-led organizations set the standard as the best, most effective places to work in the world. BCWI has pioneered the broadest-ever employee engagement survey of Christian workers. He is the author of the book Road to Flourishing: Eight Keys to Boost Employee Engagement and Well-Being and host of The Flourishing Culture Podcast, featuring tips from Christian leaders on how to build a flourishing culture.

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Mindy Caliguire | Your Discerning Life Story, Episode 10

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Mindy Caliguire

Everything I believe about soul care came about because of the collapse of my interior life.” – Mindy Caliguire

President and Co-Founder of Soul Care, Mindy Caliguire shares about her experiences in spiritual formation ministry and a life of soul care for herself and others. She looks back to the challenges of church planting and her early days of releasing a life of the strategic and analytical in order to “swan dive” into the depth of her interior life, soaking in the unforced rhythms of God’s grace. It is here that she found God in mystery, slowness, stillness and love. She discovered the joy of immersing herself in God and then resting in God’s provisions. Most recently displaced by a wildfire in her neighborhood. Mindy’s faith story is entering a new chapter of trusting God fully. Amidst this level of disruption, soul care has been essential.

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net.

Steve Macchia (Podcast Host)
Founder and President of Leadership Transformations
Steve is the author of The Discerning Life,  Becoming a Healthy ChurchBroken and WholeCrafting a Rule of Life and several other titles. Steve has over 40 years in ministry and two postgraduate degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Mindy Caliguire (Season Eighteen Episode 10 Guest)
Author and President/Co-Founder of Soul Care
Mindy Caliguire is President/Co-Founder of Soul Care, a spiritual formation ministry dedicated to increasing soul health in the Body of Christ. She has served in executive leadership in corporate and ministry contexts, and her books include Discovering Soul Care, Spiritual Friendship, and STIR: Spiritual Transformation in Relationships. She and her husband Jeff live in Boulder Colorado in an RV while they build Whisper Ranch, creating space for leaders to experience Being, Belonging, Becoming, and Blessing. Their three grown sons, two daughters-in-law, Barney the dog, and a flock of unruly chickens round out the family.

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Cheryl Buchanan | Your Discerning Life Story, Episode 9

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Cheryl Buchanan

It was me that needing saving from my prejudice, judgments, and ignorance. It was me that needed to grow.” – Cheryl Buchanan

Cheryl Buchanan is the co-founder of New Story Community (NewStoryCommunity.net), a ministry designed to promote the flourishing of indigenous women in safety, beauty, and community.  Meeting in a retreat center in British Columbia, Canada, this new ministry is a safe haven for women who are seeking to be freed of addictions that have held them captive for years. Cheryl’s love for these women began nearly 20 years ago when she volunteered her services to come alongside indigenous families through their local church. God birthed and matured Cheryl’s discerning life story in listening prayer, spiritual direction, and hospitality. 

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net.

Steve Macchia (Podcast Host)
Founder and President of Leadership Transformations
Steve is the author of The Discerning Life,  Becoming a Healthy ChurchBroken and WholeCrafting a Rule of Life and several other titles. Steve has over 40 years in ministry and two postgraduate degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Cheryl Buchanan (Season Eighteen Episode 9 Guest)
Speaker, Teacher, Spiritual Director
Cheryl Buchanan is a speaker, teacher and spiritual director. She has a Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation (MASF) from Carey Theological College. Cheryl has a deep love for the Indigenous peoples of North America, and In the fall of 2021, Cheryl began a ministry of supportive recovery for Indigenous women located on Keats Island in British Columbia. Cheryl and her husband Mark have been married 37 years and have raised 3 children. They live in Calgary, Alberta, after being in pastoral ministry for 24 years in British Columbia.

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Debby Mills | Your Discerning Life Story, Episode 8

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Debby Mills

Debby, you are a peacemaker, but you are deeply troubled.” – Debby Mills

Growing up, Debby Mills became disillusioned with the church but never gave up on God. And he never gave up on her. In her professional career and her family life, Debby naturally serves from a belief that every life matters to God and should therefore matter to us. As an adult, she was baptized and confirmed in her local church, which led her into a deeper exploration of faith. Her involvement with LTI’s Emmaus program was personally restorative, which led she and her husband into leading soul hospitality groups in their home. The Mills’ are volunteers with Hospitality Homes, an agency that provides free space for family members of those who are hospitalized. Additionally, the ministry of racial reconciliation has been birthed in Debby’s heart and has led her into service opportunities designed to bring justice and wholeness to all.

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net.

Steve Macchia (Podcast Host)
Founder and President of Leadership Transformations
Steve is the author of The Discerning Life,  Becoming a Healthy ChurchBroken and WholeCrafting a Rule of Life and several other titles. Steve has over 40 years in ministry and two postgraduate degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Debby Mills (Season Eighteen Episode 8 Guest)
Debby’s professional life included 20 years working at a global financial institution in Boston and Sydney, Australia. She also worked several years as a non-profit consultant and describes herself as a “serial volunteer.” Since 2006 Debby and her family have also hosted family members of patients receiving medical care at local Boston hospitals through the non-profit Hospitality Homes (Hosp.org). Debby and her husband Graeme have been members of their church for over 20 years, currently serves as co-chair of the church’s outreach efforts and leads discussions on issues related to race. Debby has participated in numerous Leadership Transformations Inc. offerings which have deepened her faith.

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Sara Singleton | Your Discerning Life Story, Episode 7

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Sara Singleton

In my painful disappointments, I learned how to be content, and I learned of God’s love and sufficiency.” – Sara Singleton

Sara Singleton shares her story about the obvious and mysterious ways that she has been discerning the hand and heart of God for several decades. She begins with how she and her husband Jim met during college, and fell in love thanks to the grace of God. Jim was for her “the safest person on earth” and their marriage has been a testimony of God’s love ever since. She recounts her story of failed pregnancies and the challenge of raising an adopted child from Guatemala. Her years of ministry, most recently in Newburyport, MA, led her into her doctoral work and an incredible ministry of racial justice and reconciliation. Go to Whitfield2020.org for additional information. She ends the episode sharing two stories of God’s amazing provision!

 

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net.

Steve Macchia (Podcast Host)
Founder and President of Leadership Transformations
Steve is the author of The Discerning Life,  Becoming a Healthy ChurchBroken and WholeCrafting a Rule of Life and several other titles. Steve has over 40 years in ministry and two postgraduate degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Sara Singleton (Season Eighteen Episode 7 Guest)
Sara Singleton has a rare trifecta – a pastor’s kid, a pastor’s wife, and a pastor! The mother of two children, Sara practiced 20 years as a registered nurse before God called her to seminary and the pastorate. She has served as an associate pastor in Colorado and in New England churches. Sara recently retired as the pastor of Old South Presbyterian in Newburyport. A special addition recently came to the Singletons, which you will hear more about in a moment.

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Gordon MacDonald Part 2 | Your Discerning Life Story, Episode 6

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Gordon MacDonald

Expect to reorganize your interior life every 7-10 years.” –Gordon MacDonald

Gordon MacDonald’s “View From Eighty” continues in this episode with the following issues and ideas:

  1. Live modestly, stay free of debt, be generous, develop a financial plan, and be wary of those who try to buy your favor;
  2. Expect to reorganize your interior life every 7-10 years;
  3. Receive complements, criticism and counsel with humility and appreciation, avoid whining, complaining, self-pity and making excuses;
  4. Stay alert for the evils and confusions imbedded in organizational life;
  5. Be quick to say (with sincerity and put into writing too) thank you, well done, I’m sorry, I forgive you, and how can I help?;
  6. When you prepare a sermon or teaching, always ask yourself, “What difference will this presentation make to those who will hear you?”;
  7. Be alert for the sensual “triggers” that sometimes follow intense spiritual ministry; and
  8. Return to the cross regularly: express your gratitude, name your sins and resentments, pray for the world, and listen for God’s calls to do mighty things.

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net.

Steve Macchia (Podcast Host)
Founder and President of Leadership Transformations
Steve is the author of The Discerning Life,  Becoming a Healthy ChurchBroken and WholeCrafting a Rule of Life and several other titles. Steve has over 40 years in ministry and two postgraduate degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Gordon Macdonald (Season Eighteen Episode 5 & 6 Guest)
Author and Chancellor of Denver Seminary
For nearly 60 years, Gordon Macdonald has served as a pastor, author, and organizational leader. He is formerly the Chancellor and previously the President of Denver Seminary, as well as Pastor Emeritus of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts where he was a pastor for over 40 years. He has written 20 books and co-authored additional titles with his wife Gail, including Ordering Your Private World, which won the Gold Medallion and the Platinum Awards from the Evangelical Christian Publishing Association. Gordon and Gail have two children and five grandchildren.

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Gordon MacDonald Part 1 | Your Discerning Life Story, Episode 5

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Gordon MacDonald

Your number one priority in the Lord’s work is your family.” –Gordon MacDonald

“The View from Eighty” is a synopsis of Gordon MacDonald’s discernment today. What are the 15 things I’ve observed in myself and others, that make you either a success or failure in life and ministry, fulfilling all that God invites?  In this episode we cover the first 7 items:

  1. Prioritize the most significant people in your world;
  2. Never (ever!) stop growing; stay responsive to fresh ways and ideas that sustain your physical and mental health; ask great questions; enrich your wisdom and spiritual life;
  3. Be more a priest and less a preacher; bless people and don’t bully them;
  4. The time will come when you will have to relinquish titles and privileges and slip into obscurity;
  5. Anticipate those occasions when you may suffer, fail, doubt, face conflict, and experience loss;
  6. Be trustworthy and reliable, a person who keeps his/her word; don’t make promises you can’t keep; and
  7. Be a spiritual father/mother to teachable people who may someday inherit your responsibilities.

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net.

Steve Macchia (Podcast Host)
Founder and President of Leadership Transformations
Steve is the author of The Discerning Life,  Becoming a Healthy ChurchBroken and WholeCrafting a Rule of Life and several other titles. Steve has over 40 years in ministry and two postgraduate degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Gordon Macdonald (Season Eighteen Episode 5 & 6 Guest)
Author and Chancellor of Denver Seminary
For nearly 60 years, Gordon Macdonald has served as a pastor, author, and organizational leader. He is formerly the Chancellor and previously the President of Denver Seminary, as well as Pastor Emeritus of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts where he was a pastor for over 40 years. He has written 20 books and co-authored additional titles with his wife Gail, including Ordering Your Private World, which won the Gold Medallion and the Platinum Awards from the Evangelical Christian Publishing Association. Gordon and Gail have two children and five grandchildren.

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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.