How Leaders Nurture Spiritual Discernment : Stephen Macchia

How Leaders Nurture Spiritual Discernment - Stephen Macchia

How can the local church lead around challenging issues like abortion and racial reconciliation? In this Spiritual discernment is a key aspect of not only following Jesus, but also leading in ministry. As pastors and ministry leaders, what are we overlooking when it comes to spiritual discernment? In this week’s conversation on FrontStage BackStage, host Jason Daye is joined by Stephen Macchia, founder of Leadership Transformations and author of The Discerning Life, as we explore what it means to embrace spiritual discernment, not just as a tool, but as a lifestyle.

Looking to dig more deeply into this topic and conversation? Every week we go the extra mile and create a free toolkit so you and your ministry team can dive deeper into the topic that is discussed. Find your Weekly Toolkit below… Love well, Live well, Lead well!

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Additional Resource Links

The Discerning Life by Stephen Macchia – In this book, Steve helps us understand spiritual discernment as a lifestyle rather than a tool, so we can lean into the mission, mandate, and message of the whole counsel of God

The Discerning Life Online Community – Learn more about the community, including all of the bonus content videos, and more

Reuben Job – Mentor to Steve who was a Methodist bishop and wrote extensively on practicing a preference for God, including several prayer guides such as A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants

Connect with Stephen Macchia –

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Complimentary 1-hour Coaching Session for Pastors

Ministry Leaders Growth Guide

Key Insights and Concepts

  • Spiritual discernment is not a tool that we wield, it is a lifestyle that we live
  • Discernment is a lifestyle of practicing a preference for God
  • Discernment as a way of being present with God and with each other, where we are noticing God in every aspect of our lives. Then, when it gets to the point where we have to make big decisions, we do so out of a lifestyle that we’ve shared, as brothers and sisters in Christ, where we have been pointing God out, noticing him, and preferring him, every day, in every way.
  • There are three main categories of discernment: the obvious, the discerning, and the waiting
  • The obvious are the many decisions we must make every day
  • The discerning are the decisions that have options that need to be considered, when we must pause and discern together
  • The waiting is when we need to wait for God to move
  • Sometimes waiting is the very best decision we can discern. To choose to wait on God instead of to act on our own.
  • For discernment within a church or organization to remain healthy, it must be done in community
  • Some have a tendency to make quick decisions while others prefer to take their time and wait. We need both, and we must come together to walk through a discernment process that values both
  • Every leader in the decision-making group needs to die to their best idea. Let their best idea go, and allow all of the leaders to open up to what the ultimate decision will be.
  • The first thing needed when working through a discernment process is to clarify what question are we really seeking an answer on. Too often everyone has their own idea of what the question is, so you must clarify the question.
  • The second thing needed when working through a discernment process is to be sure the right people are at the right table at the right time
  • The third thing needed when working through a discernment process is that everyone needs to die to their already preconceived idea of what the answer is
  • Every step of the way in the discernment process everyone must keep letting go, dying to, and releasing their preconceived answers. If you don’t, then you are not listening to the others at the table.
  • Leadership teams working through discernment is either going to help save the church, if it is a healthy process, or destroy the church, if it is unhealthy
  • Conflict in the church is crushing. Churches are experiencing the agony of bullies, pushing and pulling and getting their way, because they’re the loudest voice in the room, or the wealthiest pocket in the room, or the power family, or some other form of coercive power. This is destroying the unity of churches.
  • Pastors need to be celebrated. Their role is so important.
  • Pastors need to focus on the nourishment of their souls. This is an area of life where you must invest in yourself, even ahead of others, otherwise you do not have anything to offer to others as a pastor.

Questions for Reflection

  • Have I viewed spiritual discernment more as a tool that we use when a big decision has to be made?
  • How is the manner in which I currently view discernment different from discernment as a lifestyle?
  • How can I better practice discernment as a lifestyle in my ministry? What will it take? How will I implement this?
  • When reflecting on the three main categories of discernment, which is most comfortable for me? Which is least comfortable? Why? What is this telling me abut myself?
  • How does the leadership team of our church view discernment?
  • How does the leadership team of our church actually practice discernment now? Is it healthy? What, if anything, needs to be changed?
  • How can we implement the three steps of a healthy discernment process in our church?
  • How am I at releasing my preconceived answer to the questions I am trying to discern? How can I improve this?
  • Why is discernment in community so important? What can I do to help create a culture where discernment is happening in community?
  • Does conflict exist in our church around decision-making? If so, what are the conflicts? Are there those who are attempting to bully? Am I attempting to bully? What can be done to create a healthier discernment process?
  • How am I focusing on the nourishment of my own soul? What does that look like on a daily basis? Are there areas for improvement? If so, where? When will I make those improvements?

Full-Text Transcript

Spiritual discernment is a key aspect of not only following Jesus, but also leading in ministry. As pastors and ministry leaders, what are we overlooking when it comes to spiritual discernment?

Jason Daye
In this conversation, I’m joined by Stephen Macchia, founder of Leadership Transformations and author of The Discerning Life, as we explore what it means to embrace spiritual discernment, not just as a tool, but as a lifestyle. Are you ready? Let’s go.

Jason Daye
Hello, friends, and welcome to another insightful episode of FrontStage BackStage. I’m your host, Jason Daye, and every single week, we bring a another conversation designed to help encourage and equip pastors just like you to embrace healthy leadership in both life and ministry. We’re blessed to be a part of the PastorServe network. And every week, you can dig more deeply into the conversation that we have by visiting There you will find questions for reflection, some key insights, some things that you can dig more deeply into the topic that we cover. And if you’re joining us on YouTube, we appreciate you giving us a thumbs up and take a moment in the comments below to drop in your name, your church, where you’re visiting us from… we love to get to know our audience better. And whether you’re on YouTube, or your favorite podcast platform, take a moment to subscribe or follow so you do not miss out on these incredible conversations. And I’m very excited today, because I am joined by a ministry leader who helps ministry leaders around the country. And I am very, very honored to share his most recent book, The Discerning Life. Absolutely fantastic. And we’re going to talk about spiritual discernment today. And so join me in welcoming Steve Macchia. To our show. Steve, welcome.

Stephen Macchia
Jason, thank you, dear brother, thanks for your patience and your grace today. I really appreciate it.

Jason Daye
Yeah, I’m excited that we are sitting here face to face having a conversation, and very excited for what we’re going to be covering and, really for the pastors and ministry leaders who are listening in, because I think the topic that we’re tackling today is one that is very, very important. I know myself as a pastor for many years, the idea of spiritual discernment is something that for me, personally as a Christ follower, but also as a minister, so very, very key. And I love how you kind of walk us through, and how you spent a lot of time and energy, and of course preparing this this book, The Discerning Life, really helping people focus on what spiritual discernment really looks like and how it really shows up in our lives. And, you know, Steve, the term spiritual discernment is widely used in in ministry today. Right? As pastors and ministry leaders, as I said, there may be people who are looking to us for this idea of spiritual discernment, you know, as we are shepherding, as we are guiding people, whether it’s in our church or in an organization. And spiritual discernment, you know, it’s been interpreted, it’s been understood, it’s been defined in a variety of ways, as you know, Stephen, so, I would love for you to kind of share with us, if you could, distill down this this idea of, you know, spiritual discernment. What would you say is kind of the working definition of spiritual discernment for us?

Stephen Macchia
Well, first of all, I agree with you. Spiritual Discernment is very important for us as ministry leaders to understand. I’m of the mind that discernment is a lifestyle. So we discern God, we notice God, we point God out to each other, in our discerning him. So we’re noticing him being alive and at work in us and through us, for his honor for His glory, and all that we say and do and are. But so often, discernment has been relegated into the category of decision making. So we have step one, step two, step three, and then we, we have discerned God and His direction for our lives. And I’m basically saying let’s step back several steps and say no, discernment is really a lifestyle. And it’s a lifestyle of, and the phrase I want to use and I use throughout the book is, a lifestyle of practicing a preference for God. And that is my favorite definition of discernment. And it comes from one of my heroes, one of my mentors Rueben Job, who has since gone home to be with the Lord but he was a retired Methodist bishop. He wrote and compiled several guides to prayer that Upper Room publications provides. And I’ve been using these prayer guides for decades now. And Rueben had a guide for spiritual discernment. And his focal point was that simple phrase, practice a preference for God, then you understand what spiritual discernment is. So I’m introducing discernment as a way of being present with God, with each other, that we’re preferring God, we’re noticing God in everything in every aspect of our lives, so that when it gets to the point where we have to make big decisions, that we do so out of a lifestyle that we’ve shared, as brothers and sisters in Christ, of pointing him out, noticing him, and preferring him, in every day, every aspect of our lives. So practice a preference for God, it has that similar feel to practicing the presence of God. So you don’t want to be tripped up by that. But instead, it’s a preference for God. And it’s something that we can lean into as pastors as ministry leaders, because we’re so inclined toward our way, or the world’s way, or the strategic planners way, or the business minded way. And those are our inclinations, because that’s what the world teaches us. And I’m saying, No, we need to, we need to stop being compelled in that regard. And instead be compelled more by knowing the heart of God and the heartbeat of God. I think that’s the, that’s the essence of what our calling is, when I know God, and I introduce you to God and help you see God and notice God, that I’m helping you live this discerning life.

Jason Daye
Yeah, I really appreciate that, Stephen. And one of the things that I I noticed in the book is that you really make a distinction between viewing spiritual discernment as simply kind of a tool, like you said, a decision making tool, and this idea of it as a lifestyle. And so if you could dive in a little more on that, from the perspective of a ministry leader, of a pastor. What does it look like for us to begin, you know, having this a part of our lifestyle, and not just, you know, pulling it out of the tool chest when a decision needs to be made?

Stephen Macchia
Well, it begins with the care and nurture of our soul, which is, I think, our number one priority, I don’t think there’s anything more important than having that set apart time and space where we are meeting with God on a regular basis. And Jason, the more I traverse the landscape of ministry life these days, the more I see that the soul is the most important part of us. But it’s also the most neglected part of us. And there are many pastors that are neglecting their soul. They’re doing all the other work of the church, but they’re not prioritizing the primary relationship that they have with God, which is intimately lived out in one’s prayer closet. So I think it begins with a prayer closet, do you have a prayer closet to have a place where you go, when with your Bible in your journal, and your life story? You’re meeting with God intimately on a regular basis, that’s where it begins. And so I talk about a life of prayer, talk about a life of Scripture reference, you know, not just for preparing to teach and preach and give it away, but to receive it. What does it mean to receive the Word? What does it mean, to receive the voice of God? What does it mean to listen attentively to his still small voice? And then when I’m in relationship with others, how am I helping my community attend to the voice of God? Notice God? So, are we talking about soul care issues? Are we coming alongside each other and saying, a very simple question: So how is it today with your soul, dear friend? I mean, it was it was John Wesley who coined that wonderful question. Everywhere he went discipling, preaching, teaching, all of his ministry life was around that question, how is it with your soul? And so I don’t, I think it’s the most important part of us and I think it’s the most neglected part. So it begins with nourishing your neglected soul. It begins with a prayer closet. And then it begins with graced relationships, in my community of faith, where we’re talking about soul-based issues, not all the other issues of the day that that are scattering us and distracting us and, frankly, bringing disunity everywhere, because we’re not agreeing with each other on some of these public matters? Well, I think we can agree on the private matter of the soul. So let’s go there. Let’s go there frequently, let’s consistently be asking each other: how is it with your soul? And how can I help you get closer to God? I think those are the two primary questions I would suggest that every pastor just placed into the fiber of their being, how is it with your soul? How can I help you get closer to God? I don’t think there are any more important questions than those two. And Jesus was a great question-asker. We need to be great question-askers. Instead, we have we’re sowing these, we want to be the know-it-all. We want to, we want to be masters of divinity, and, and figure things out and be the answer people. No, I think we need to be pliable and humble and Grace filled and a learner, a listener. So it’s, I’m a strong proponent of what I would describe as the softer side of leadership, rather than the hard side of leadership. So, and we need both, we need to make hard decisions, but we need to, we also need to attend to the soul. So that’s where I begin in my book, The Discerning Life, I begin with our prayer life, I begin with our inner inner life. And then I talk about our relational life. And eventually, I have a chapter, chapter eight, which talks about a process, where if you’re faced with a big decision, here’s a process you can go through. But it took me seven previous chapters to get there, because I want to talk about a lifestyle, I want to talk about community, I want to talk about hospitality. I want to talk about our culture, our subcultural context that we find ourselves in, that helps us tend to the inner fire of a discerning life.

Jason Daye
Yeah, yeah, that’s good. Stephen, as you’re talking ther, just listening in and, and thinking through, you know, the life of a pastor and decisions that are being made. And, and I agree with you that I think that tending to our souls, the idea of soul care, is one of the things that has very much been neglected and overlooked. And, and I think we see that playing out in the church as a whole. And as you mentioned, the disunity that that people are experiencing, because they’re focused on so many other things, and they’re not kind of centering their soul, and their heart in Christ. So all those things definitely, definitely important. One of the things I really want to learn from you, Steve, if I could, and I and I do want to say that the asking questions versus always having the answer, I think that’s that’s an important thing to kind of lean into. Because oftentimes as pastors, as ministry leaders, our congregations, our organizations are looking to us for answers, quite honestly, that’s, that’s just the reality. They’re often looking to us for answers. And so I think, within us, oftentimes, we, we have this propensity or this tendency, to really want to provide those answers. And we feel that that is part of our calling is that we are shepherds, right. And God has called us into this. And so talk to us a bit aboutm specifically spiritual discernment. Because spiritual discernment, you can look on one side and say, okay, spiritual discernment means you, you know, you are spending time with Go, and then you have some sort of an answer. You’ve discerned something, right? You have an answer, you have direction. But as you’re talking, I was thinking about the flip side of spiritual discernment and being, spiritual discernment is, you know, the putting yourself in a place where you are asking a lot of questions of God. Right. So Steve talked to us a little bit about how the asking the questions and then then the providing direction. How does that come together for us as pastors and ministry leaders?

Stephen Macchia
That’s a great question Jason, because we are, the pressure on us is to is to be answere people. And I, I spend a lot of my time at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, that’s for the past 19 years as I started Leadership Transformations, I’ve also been here. So I’m working with seminary students all the time. And for the past nearly two decades. I’ve wanted to encourage them, that when they leave here, they are not truly masters of divinity, they have that degree, but there’s still a lot to be learned. So we need to posture ourselves as a continual learner, ourselves. If we’re disciples of Jesus, we’re learning from the master constantly throughout the rest of our lives. So why do we think that we have to be answer people about every thing? It’s impossible? Why can’t we posture ourselves as a community to be learners, or to use the word disciple, to be disciples, where we’re continually learning, and continually noticing, and continually discovering more things about God, more things about ourselves, more things about our community. So a big part of what I try to encourage is, be good question-askers and be really, really good listeners. The listening skill is absent today. And listening is absolutely critical. In my book, The Discerning Life, I talked about the importance of pure listening. And what I mean by that is, there’s no such thing as absolutely pure listening. But what I do emphasize is, instead of listening to another person preparing for the thing that you want to say in return or a response, just sit with that person, be present with that person, the best gift we can give to each other is to listen to each other, the best form of love we can offer to another is to simply listen to one another. So with the seminary students and with other, when all of our major programs have LTI, a big part of our emphasis is to help pastors and ministry leaders listen. And that means as purely as you can, without any preconceived notion of whether that person is right or wrong, heading in the right direction or not, or you have, you want to one up them, or you want to compare and contrast your story with them? No, we have to resist that continually. I really believe the best leaders are are listening leaders. And it’s a listening leader that becomes a discerning leader. So yes, we have pressure on us to have answers. But I would say instead of always giving in to that pressure, to be able to say, well, let’s, let’s pause and ask God that question together. And let’s listen to the people around us. We have a, we have a Church Health Assessment Tool through LTI that PastorServe also is one of the one of the supporters of, one of the encouragers of. And that’s really just a listening tool. It’s listene to your congregation, I can guarantee to every pastor listening today, your congregation wants you to shut your mouth and listen to them. Not just do all the talking and have all the answers, even though they’re calling out for your leadership, and desirous of your your insight and your wisdom, what they really want. They really want to know if you care enough about them, that you will listen to them. So Jason, I think we come up with our best ideas from God, by listening to him, and by listening to the people around us, and not always feeling the pressure to be the answer person. Of course, on the day-to-day you’re going to have 1000 things that you’re going to have answers to. But when it comes, and those are the obvious, the obvious places of discernment, I like to look at discernment in three big categories. It’s the obvious, the discerning time, when I’m when I’ve got options to consider. And then thirdly, is the wait time when I just need to wait. So the obvious is the most frequent. And so we’re going to have all sorts of obvious decisions that we’re going to make about what to do when how, why, all of the rest. But when we have options to consider that’s going to that needs, we need to pause and we need to discern together. Or if if there’s no wind in the sail, and the boat is out in the water, and we’re just waiting for the wind to come. Yeah, wait. So we’re not good at that though. Very few of us are good at waiting. But waiting may be the very best decision to discern. So, and I give credence to all of them, the obvious the times of waiting and the times of discernment. And they come from St. Ignatius, who is our big teacher and discernment. And he writes complex ways of describing these processes. I’ve tried to simplify them and modernize them for today’s leader.

Jason Daye
Yeah, and yeah, Steve, I love how you break that down because that does help us. Again, I think it leans into this idea of it being a lifestyle, because it makes us think about okay, there are three kind of big buckets of discernment, right, and so discerning is happening all day long every day. So it is a lifestyle as you said, and when we can see that instead of just focusing in on like these major, you know, huge you know, Some decisions that have to be made oftentimes, that’s when we think, Oh, spiritual discernment, we’re, you know, we’re making a big-ish decision about are we going to go multisite with our church, are we going to bring on a new staff member, we’re going to plant a new, or whatever it might be, right. And so, you know, it seems like in those moments is when we’re like, okay, we really need to dig in and lean on God now, because this is, you know, above my paygrade. But the idea of developing this lifestyle and recognizing that this discernment is happening each and every day, as you said, in most frequently, with the kind of obvious, right, those obvious decisions that we’re making. So I think that’s, that’s super helpful. Now, one thing that I want spend a little time on, and that is this responsibility of spiritual discernment for a pastor or a leader, a ministry leader of an organization, and how sometimes the perspective or the understanding or the way that spiritual discernment is kind of held, can be unhealthy. You know, whenever a leader basically is not doing what you just said, you know, discerning within community, but they’re discerning as the you know, they’re the nabi, you know, the mouthpiece of God, right? So, can you talk to us a little bit about, you know, how spiritual discernment can move into sort of an unhealthy place for pastors and ministry leaders?

Stephen Macchia
Yeah, I think it’s a great question, by the way. And I do believe firmly, and I’m an old guy, so I can say these kinds of things now, but I’m firmly of the belief that the nub of the issue today in the church, the nub is this very question of who’s making the decisions at the appropriate times and in the appropriate places. And the rub that we have is between the quick thinking business person, and the person who wants to pray and wait, and sift and sort. If we’re ignoring either side, it’s unhealthy. So, or if we’re placating to either side, it’s unhealthy. So how do we find a healthy middle, if you will, where we’re inviting people into a process where it’s prayerful, it’s noticing God? One of the things I describe in my process is that one of the things that every leader at the decision making table needs to do is to die to their best idea. In other words, have a funeral for their preconceived notion. It is, that’s, that’s worth things stole pretty quickly, because we don’t want to do that. All right, we’re a bunch of no adults. And it’s not just the pastors, it’s the business minded people, too. So the conflict there is, is what I’m seeking to address. Because I’ve lived in that conflict. I know, I know what that’s like firsthand. And I know how difficult and challenging it can be. So I’m saying let’s blend these two together in a healthy way where where we don’t end up sidelining each other because you’re too decisive, or you’re too slow. Instead, let’s look at a process that helps us identify the very first thing we need to do is identify what question we’re at, we’re even answering. So mostly, we don’t know what question we’re sitting around discussing, because each of us has our own idea of what that question is. So first of all, clarify the question, then secondly, determine who should be at the table. So put the team together, make sure that the right people or at the right table at the right time. And then the third thing is, as you look at your question, everyone needs to die to their already preconceived idea of what the answer is. When you do that, in a healthy way, it’s beautiful. It’s absolutely beautiful. When you get a fight that emerges, and I just experienced this handful of months ago, when I was working with a particular church, who will be left unnamed, the leadership couldn’t buy the idea of having to die to your best idea. It just was impossible because they were right. So I’m like, Well, what do you what are you discerning if you’re if you’re right, because it wasn’t about a building or a strategic planning thing. It was related to issues of the day. They were unwilling to see the other side of the question, and I won’t even go into the question. You can probably guess what the questions would be, is a big question. They had already made up their mind. They said they wanted discernment. They didn’t want discernment. They want tend to bully each other toward their design. So you have to die to that nested. Literally, I’ve had people write on a three by five card, what do you think is the answer to this question. And then let’s take our three by five cards. This is old school. So forgive me, take your three by five card, rip it up. And then we’re going to place it in a bowl. And that’s going to be our centerpiece for the rest of our discernment process. Because we need to remember that every step of the way, we’ve got to keep dying, letting go, releasing, holding looser, even our theological persuasions at times need to be loosely held, so that at least I can listen to the way in which you’re interpreting the scriptures or your theology. If I don’t, then I’m not listening to you. And we might as well just divide now. Because we’re not going to survive together. And that’s what’s happened. Everywhere we look today, and I know it PastorServe, you guys are dealing with this stuff all the time. Where does all this conflict come? It comes by a bunch of bullies, who are bullying on one side, or the other, trying to get their way. So I get kind of passionate about this, because I really believe this is the nub, this is either going to save us or destroy us. And I want to save the church from the agony of bullies, pushing and pulling and getting their way, because they’re the loudest voice in the room, or the wealthiest pocket in the room, or the power family or this or that. So this is a tumultuous time for pastors to lead. So I want to help them be discernmentarians leading their teams through healthy lifestyle of discernment, graced community, understanding and loving one another, and listening to each other, as you discern the way forward.

Jason Daye
Yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s so good, Steve. And I think one of the challenges is that no one wants to admit that they’re a bully, right? No one wants to say, well, you know, I’m flexing right now. And you know, no one, no one wants to make that admission. And so if people are unwilling to make that admission, and I think takes us full-circle to where we began our conversation, is that if we’re not tending to our souls, then we’re going to just bristle up, we’re going to be defensive, we are, we aren’t going to be submissive, right? Because we’re not submitting our souls to the Spirit every day. So whenever we are in a board meeting, or an elders meeting, or, or, you know, a group, talking through something, we haven’t done the initial work of submitting ourselves, tending to our soul, and therefore, you know, we express ourselves in a way that isn’t aligning with the heart of God. And so, I guess…

Stephen Macchia
Right on man, you get it? That’s why I wrote this book.

Jason Daye
That’s good. Yeah,

Stephen Macchia
That’s what I care about. Very passionate.

Jason Daye
Yeah, I can tell Stephen, and I appreciate that. So kind of as we close down this conversation, you’ve got the ear of pastors, right now, ministry leaders, for those who are recognizing that they’re in a place right now where, you know, spiritual discernment is needed. Now, more than ever, I think we sense that there’s this feel, and pastors I’m talking to you all over the country and have been for several years, there’s just the sense that there is this dissonance, there’s this divisiveness, there’s this, you know, something bigger than, you know, the worship wars, or, you know, all these other things that the church has kind of muddled through over the last few decades. Now it’s, you know, something bigger and heavier. So, as you’re talking to pastors right now, and they’re thinking about their local church, what encouragement or advice would you have for them? You know, around this topic right now.

Stephen Macchia
Yeah, first of all, I would just want to celebrate every pastor that is listening to this because pastors need to be celebrated. Their role is so important. Absolutely critical today. And we have a voice we have, we have an opportunity to speak up for the things of God, and to not be succumbing to the issues of the day, as big or dramatic or important as they may be. Let your heart speak. Let your soul be nourished. It is the only place where it’s okay to be a little bit selfish, and that is to take care of your soul. Otherwise what are you going to offer to another when they cross your path, enter your space, come into your office, or sit in your congregation. We need to give away God. But we need to know God and love God, and be devoted to God and trust God. So that in that trusting of him in our prayer closet, we can also try to pour out some hope in the hearts of the people that we’re sharing life with to, let’s do this walk with God together. Let’s not keep being pulled asunder. By all these issues of the day. Yes, let’s address the issues one at a time. But let’s do it lovingly. Let’s do it graciously. And I do think it would be helpful if every pastor were to be a discernmentarian. I think we need to know what it means to practice a lifestyle of discernment. And in the back of my book, I was thrilled Zondervan was willing to put a 50 page appendix, which is a lot of the material from Rueben Job, my hero in this topic, into a 40 day prayer experience, once you’ve read through the material in the book. And the book also has an online community that goes with the book, if you get the book, you have, you have 10 chapters of additional material, including videos by yours truly, and podcasts that focus on the major topics per chapter. So it’s the only book that you can purchase today that actually has an online community connected with it. So I would encourage you to get a copy of the book, join that online community, and pursue a life of discernment. It is the best gift that you can offer to yourself, to your family, to your community, to your church, to the wider world. And if I can help is the best and easiest way to get to me or my website, is an easy way to connect on all of these resources that go with the deserting life.

Jason Daye
Excellent Steve, man, I so appreciate this conversation. So vitally important, I think, to the health of the church right now, and the health of pastors and ministry leaders, and I thank you for the work that you’ve done for The Discerning Life, for this book. Fantastic book, we’ll have links in the show notes at You can find all of that… to Steve, so you get in touch with him, so you can get the book and, and follow up with this. Steve, again. It’s been a blessing to have this conversation. I love your passion. I love your heart. It’s evident. And thank you so much for your contributions to the kingdom.

Stephen Macchia
Thank you, Jason. And thank you, PastorServe I love I love your ministry have been a part of it for years. And I know Jimmy Dodd, your founder, and we once worked together many, many years ago, in one of his early ministry experiences. So I’ve been tracking you guys for years. I love what you do, who you are, and whatever we can do at LTI or me, personally, I’m happy to serve with you, the pastors that you are serving, you are doing very important work. So kudos to you, Jason, and to the entire team.

Jason Daye
Thank you, Steven, we certainly appreciate that. Thank you so much. God bless you, my friend. Now, before you go, I want to remind you of an incredible free resource that our team puts together every single week to help you and your team dig more deeply and maximize the conversation that we just had. This is the weekly toolkit that we provide. And we understand that it’s one thing to listen or watch an episode, but it’s something entirely different to actually take what you’ve heard, what you’ve watched, what you’ve seen, and apply it to your life and to your ministry. You see, FrontStage BackStage is more than just a podcast or YouTube show about ministry leadership, we are a complete resource to help train you and your entire ministry team as you seek to grow and develop in life in ministry. Every single week, we provide a weekly toolkit which has all types of tools in it to help you do just that. Now you can find this at That’s And there you will find all of our shows, all of our episodes and all of our weekly toolkits. Now inside the toolkit are several tools including video links and audio links for you to share with your team. There are resource links to different resources and tools that were mentioned in the conversation, and several other tools, but the greatest thing is the Ministry Leaders Growth Guide. Our team pulls key insights and concepts from every conversation with our amazing guests. And then we also create engaging questions for you and your team to consider and process, providing space for you to reflect on how that episode’s topic relates to your unique context, at your local church, in your ministry and in your life. Now you can use these questions in your regular staff meetings to guide your conversation as you invest in the growth of your ministry leaders. You can find the weekly toolkit at We encourage you to check out that free resource. Until next time, I’m Jason Daye encouraging you to love well, live well, and lead well. God bless.

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