The Discerning Leader podcast is for Christian leaders who are interested in discovering the joy of “practicing a preference for God” in all aspects of their personal lives and relationships, their leadership and service to others.

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Going Solo | Discerning God as the Pace of your Soul Episode 03

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Steve Smith

We can experience hitting the wall, burnout, and exhaustion, all the while working to build up the Kingdom.” – Steve Smith

Steve Smith, Founder of Potters Inn, a ministry of soul care for local church and professionals in the marketplace, confronts head on the soullessness of leaders today. With God as the Potter, we are his clay, and if we want to be formed into his likeness, we need to practice ancient rhythms of prayerfulness in Christ. Overcoming the fears of silence and solitude is the place to begin. Like Jesus, who often withdrew to lonely places, so too shall we. Going solo in the spiritual practices will lead us home to the Father’s loving embrace and into the abundant life.

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at and and

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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.

Alan Fadling (Season Fifteen, Episode 1 Guest)
Author and President of Unhurried Living
Alan Fadling is president and founder of Unhurried Living, in Mission Viejo, CA, inspiring people to rest deeper, live fuller and lead better. He speaks and consults with leaders and their organizations internationally. He is the author of five books, including An Unhurried Life (IVP) and An Unhurried Leader (IVP). He is a trained spiritual director who lives in Southern California with his wife Gem and their three sons.

Tara Owens (Season Fifteen, Episode 2 Guest)
Author and Executive Director of Anam Cara Ministries
Tara Owens is Founder and Executive Director of Anam Cara Ministries, based in Colorado Springs, CO, where she has been accompanying others in their journeys with God for 15 years as a spiritual director and supervisor. Tara is the author of two books, Embracing the Body (IVP) and At Play in God’s Creation (Franciscan Media). She lives in Colorado with her husband, daughter, and rescue dog, Brother Juniper.

Steve Smith (Season Fifteen, Episode 3 Guest)
Author and President of Potter’s Inn
Steve Smith is Co-Founder and President of Potter’s Inn, a ministry devoted to the care of the soul and spiritual formation of leaders in the marketplace and ministry. Steve is the author of several books, including Embracing Soul Care (Kregal), Transformation of a Man’s Heart (IVP), The Lazarus Life (David C. Cook), and The Jesus Life (David C. Cook). Steve and Gwen are the parents of four adult sons and 14 grandchildren.

Barbara Peacock (Season Fifteen, Episode 4 Guest)
Author, Preacher, Minister
Barbara Peacock is an experienced preacher, teacher, and minister of discipleship and prayer. She trains in spiritual coaching and soul care for ministry leaders. Dr. Peacock holds a Doctor of Ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and lives in North Carolina with her husband, Gilbert, and together they have a daughter, son in-love, and one grandson. She is the author the highly acclaimed Soul Care In African American Practice.

Kyle Strobel (Season Fifteen, Episode 5 Guest)
Associate Professor, Author
Kyle Strobel is the associate professor of spiritual theology at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, and is the co-author of Where Prayer Becomes Real (with John Coe, Baker Books). He has previously written several books on spiritual formation such as Formed for the Glory of God and The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb. Kyle is married with two children, and serves on the preaching team of Redeemer Church in La Mirada, CA.

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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

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.