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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Spiritual Rhythms | Discerning God at the Pace of your Soul Episode 04

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Barbara Peacock

As Africans were being transported across the Middle Passage to America in slave ships, their formation was practiced while in chains.” – Barbara Peacock

The author of Soul Care in African-American Practice inspires us on today’s episode with words of wisdom and grace. And, even offers a song for our weary soul. With the backdrop of Africans in slave ships heading to America, she enlightens us with how spiritual formation and soul care has been a central part of the African-American experience. Reading excerpts from her book, Barbara shares with us how Black leaders have embodied spiritual practices for generations. Spiritual disciplines open us up to receive God’s love and in turn to love others in God’s name. 

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

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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