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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Nate Foster | Your Discerning Life Story, Episode 3

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Nate Foster

The Jesus way is clear: hang out with 12 nobodies and then give them the keys.” –Nathan Foster

Nate Foster is the son of Richard Foster, renowned spiritual formation leader and founder of Renovare, where Nate serves as director of Community Life. He shares how his awareness of God’s engagement in his life grew from a lot of quiet reflection. It’s here that he notices God filling the gaps, often most apparent long after the fact and in quiet discernment. He sees the spiritual practices as what we do in the ordinary parts of life, serving our family or reaching out to a neighbor in need. He has quit viewing spiritual practices as only for the super spiritual, and has found renewed joy in wonderful, ordinary places filled with grace. So countercultural.

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 (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.

Matt Scott (Season Eighteen Guest)
Creative Director of Leadership Transformations & Minister of Spiritual Formation
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.

Eric Peterson (Season Eighteen Guest)
Pastor and Author
Eric E. Peterson is the founding pastor of Colbert Presbyterian church. His first book, “Wade in the Water”, represents a pastoral perspective on the power of baptism. Peterson lives just north of Spokane with his wife, Elizabeth and their three children. He is the son of Eugene Peterson, author of The Message translation of the Bible.

Nate Foster (Season Eighteen Guest)
Director of Community Life at Renovaré, Author, Social worker, and Certified Addictions Counselor
Nathan Foster is Director of Community Life at Renovaré and previously served as the Andrews Chair in Spiritual Formation at Spring Arbor University and the Pastor of Spiritual Formation at a Free Methodist Church in Jackson, MI. Nathan is a licensed clinical social worker, a certified addictions counselor, and plays bass in the indie rock band Istra Blue. He is the son of Renovaré founder Richard Foster.

John Pearson (Season Eighteen Guest)
Author and Consultant
John Pearson is a management and board governance consultant and author of MASTERING MISTAKE-MAKING: My 25 Memorable Mistakes—and What I Learned (with his son Jason Pearson), Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit; and co-author with Dan Busby of four governance books for Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).

Gordon Macdonald (Season Eighteen 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.

Sara Singleton (Season Eighteen 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.

Debby Mills (Season Eighteen 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 ( 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.

Cheryl Buchanan (Season Eighteen 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.

Mindy Caliguire (Season Eighteen 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.

Al Lopus (Season Eighteen 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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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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