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How to Prepare for Retreat? | Discerning God on Spiritual Retreat Episode 05


Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Jeremy Stefano

The Lord has his way of weaning us from our attachments or affections in this world, and cleanse the air, helping me face the dilemmas of my heart on retreat.”– Jeremy Stefano

One thing I ask of the Lord, this only do I seek…that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, gaze on his beauty, and seek him in his temple (Psalm 27). As we dwell, gaze, and seek God, our heart’s truest longings emerge from deep within our soul. Like Jesus’ invitation to abide, the singular focus of a spiritual retreat is to find our way home to the embrace of God. This will require a releasing of our attachments and distractions, the idols of our heart. In that attentive space of retreat, the fruit will emerge and then remain forever.

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

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Steve Macchia

Steve Macchia (Podcast Host)
Founder and President of Leadership Transformations
Steve is the author of Becoming a Healthy ChurchBecoming a Healthy DiscipleBroken 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.

Jeremy Stefano

Jeremy Stefano (Season Seven Guest)
Director of Emmaus & Minister of Spiritual Formation
Jeremy offers spiritual direction, leads retreats, teaches classes in spiritual formation and serves as the director of the Emmaus: Spiritual Leadership Community. 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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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.

Detailed Biography
Articles by Stephen Macchia
Author Website
Schedule a one-on-one with Steve

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.