3 min read

S7E20: Why a Discerning Life is Key to Inspirational Leadership

Would you like your leadership to be more inspirational? You might be thinking, "yes, but how do I develop it?" Steve Macchia, Founder and President of Leadership Transformations Inc., believes having a discerning life is the key. Listen in as we discuss spiritual principles and practices that will change your life and leadership.

 

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In this episode:

  • Before we dive into the topic of your book, tell us about Leadership Transformations Inc. and how you support Christian leaders and leadership teams. (02:24)
  • That’s such a needed ministry. Your recent book is The Discerning Life: An Invitation to Notice God in Everything. For many of our listeners, they may equate discernment to decision-making. But you differentiate between spiritual discernment and decision-making. Help us understand that difference and why it’s important.  (04:55)
  • I see discernment as a wider knowledge of God more than just making good decisions even though that's part of it (05:36)
  • We're invited to discern God, to notice God (05:49)
  • "My definition for spiritual discernment is practicing a preference for God in all aspects of life. What I'm desirous of is for people to embrace the discerning life as a holistic understanding of who they are as children of God." (06:00)
  • One aspect of being discerning is noticing what God is doing – you even have that in your subtitle. But you talk about how we often miss what Gods doing because we aren’t attentive. What are some of the hindrances to attentiveness that you observe – particularly in Christian leaders? (07:35)
  • "We are so distracted by other concerns that we miss so much of God because our eyes are focused elsewhere." (08:08)
  • "Attentiveness is a big part of spiritual discernment. Heightening our ability to be more attentive, I think is the spiritual journey." (09:24)
  • Let’s talk about the practice of Sabbath. You say it’s the “key to the deeper life.” How can leaders prioritize Sabbath as a rhythm in their own lives, and also encourage it in those they lead? What are the consequences of ignoring this rhythm? (11:38)
  • "I do believe that Sabbath is the turnkey to the deeper life. Without Sabbath, there isn't depth." (11:46)
  • "Most Christians simply do not know how to rest." (14:08)
  • Discernment isn’t a solo practice, but relational. You mention that we all need at least one relationship where we can be totally and completely honest. Why is this particularly important for Christian leaders? (17:24)
  • The biggest falls that we see today are from people who are lone rangers and who feel they are untouchable or feel they don't need anybody else (17:45)
  •  In our work at BCWI, we talk about the importance of leaders in developing a workplace culture that is flourishing. You talk about creating a discerning culture and the role of a leader in that process. What kind of shifts does a leader need to make in order to create a discerning culture? (22:50)
  • "We need to shift from a human-engineered to a Spirit-empowered organization." (23:04)
  • "We need to shift from a prayerless to a prayerful mindset and experience." (23:25)
  • "We need to shift from a fast-paced approach to a God-paced approach." (24:02)
  • "We need to shift from the strategic to the systemic" (24:35)
  • "We need to shift from being coerced to being more organic" (25:39)
  • "We need to shift from being static to be more agile" (25:43)
  • As we grow in how to live a discerning life, it can be countercultural. What are some of the ways a leader might need to re-pattern what they say No or Yes to as they're growing in discernment? (27:30)
  • "When we say yes, it's gotta be something that's helpful, life-giving, transformational, God-honoring. We need to say no to competitiveness" (29:10)
  • One thing I appreciate about the discernment process you describe is how prayer is infused in the process. It isn’t just at Step 1 or Step 10, but all the way through. Share with us what you have learned about prayer as you help leaders walk through a discernment process. (31:33)

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Additional Resources

Buy Steve's book: The Discerning Life: An Invitation to Notice God in Everything.

Read the Transcript

Read a complete, word-for-word transcript of the episode.

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