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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Todd Cravens | Discerning God in Seasons of Waiting: Advent and Christmastide, Episode 6

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Todd Cravens

What do I need to do now? Waiting is not an absence of activity.” – Todd Cravens

Todd Cravens is in his 16th year, serving as Teaching Pastor and Elder at Hope Christian Church in Winchester, MA. He grew up in Louisville, KY, attended the University of Louisville, and received his M. Div in Theology from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Todd and his wife Alisa have three adult children and enjoy hosting international students. Todd joins Steve to share about personal and pastoral practices in the week after Christmas. We are encouraged to reflect back upon the year and give voice to the way God has been at work in our lives. We are invited to continue being attentive to God; bringing what we think out to happen into alignment with what we know God wants to happen.

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.

Todd Cravens (Season 23 Guest)
Todd Cravens is in his 16th year, serving as Teaching Pastor and Elder at Hope Christian Church in Winchester, MA. He grew up in Louisville, KY where he attended the University of Louisville, followed by the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he received his M.Div. in Theology. Todd and his wife Alisa have three adult children and together they have enjoyed hosting international students, totaling more than 60 students from 16 different countries. In addition, Todd enjoys running, journaling, refurbishing Apple products, and photographing the beauty of God’s wide world.

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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.