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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Carolyn Arends | Discerning God in Our Stories, Episode 2

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Carolyn Arends

The promise we always have is not no pain – it’s no wasted pain. There’s nothing that He can’t redeem.” – Carolyn Arends

Carolyn Arends is Renovaré’s Director of Education where she oversees the Renovaré Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation, the Renovaré Book Club, and various other initiatives. Additionally, she has written and released 14 albums, earned 2 Dove awards and is the author of 3 critically acclaimed books. You can find more about her at and Carolyn joins Steve and shares several turning points of her life. After reading Steve’s book, The Discerning Life, she recognizes these watershed moments as discerning life moments. When asked about how she cultivates a discerning life, she noted that the formation that makes a discerning person is almost identical to the formation that makes a great writer or artist, it is living receptively to the Lord.

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

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.

Carolyn Arends (Season Twenty-Two Guest)
Carolyn Arends is Renovaré’s Director of Education. In her role, Carolyn oversees the Renovaré Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation, the Renovaré Book Club, and various other initiatives. She has written and released 14 albums and is the author of 3 critically acclaimed books. Carolyn has earned 2 Dove Awards, 3 Juno Nominations, and was recognized as the West Coast Music Awards’ Songwriter of the Year. In addition to her busy touring and speaking schedule, Carolyn has been a regular columnist for Christianity Today. She has a degree in Psychology and English from Trinity Western University and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Regent College. She lives in Surrey, BC, Canada, with her husband, Mark, and their children Benjamin and Bethany.

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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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Articles by Stephen Macchia
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