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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Iain Whitfield | Discerning the Presence, Power and Peace of God, Episode 3

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Iain Whitfield

He knew the timing would be best if it were radically different from what I understood it to be.” – Iain Whitfield

God isn’t seeking our permission; God is seeking our submission. Iain Whitfield shares this principle from his life. Iain was born in India to missionary parents, spent two decades in the UK and almost four decades in the United States. Ian served as Community Life Pastor in Winchester, Massachusetts for twelve years. His first career was in commercial banking which he left to help care for his terminally ill daughter who died in 2006. Iain shares his experience of God in trusting for his daughter’s nurture and care and for provision during a vocational transition.

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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.

Iain Whitfield

Iain Whitfield (Season 26 Guest)
After serving 20 years as an elder and 12 years co-leading Hope Christian Church in Winchester, MA as Community Life Pastor, Iain laid down his vocational ministry in 2020. He remains active in the same church as one of the worship and small group leaders, as well as offering spiritual friendship and support to many. Born in India of UK missionary parents, his first career was in commercial banking, the reason for his transfer from London to Boston in 1986. He subsequently left banking in 2000 to help care for his terminally ill daughter, who died in 2006. That journey deeply intensified his relationship with the Lord and was used by God to forge his heart’s desire for vocational ministry. His personal vision is “to so live in Jesus that people will come into, and live in, an ever-increasing, experiential knowledge of God the Father as Abba, Jesus as Savior, Lord and Friend, and the Holy Spirit as Counselor and Comforter for life.” He is married to Liz, father of three daughters, and has 5 grandchildren.

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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.