Steve Macchia (Leadership Transformations, Inc.), has worked with enough Christian ministries to know that the shortest distance between an unhealthy leader and one whose team and entire culture is thriving are five, clear, irresistible traits . . .
My one-to-one conversation with Steve affirmed why a leader’s healthy, inner spiritual life greatly impacts his or her team and organizational culture. Steve’s candor was like a splash of morning sun that awakens a drowsy household.
As he put it, “In today’s Age of Distraction, many people (including Christian leaders) are more interested in their cell phones, Facebook and Twitter accounts than the health of their own soul. The soul is the most neglected aspect of a leader’s life. But when leaders push the pause button on their distractions and go deeper into listening to God, remarkable things happen.”
Over the past 14 years, Steve and his team at Leadership Transformations (LTI) have helped scores of church and parachurch leaders recapture their true purpose and direction — redefining and deepening one’s relationship with Christ, while they learn to forge a new, unified sense of mutual trust and teamwork. In fact, LTI’s well-refined approach for building healthy teams is spelled out in these five essential traits:
These five keys resonate so well with what we at BCWI call Fantastic Teams, the first of eight drivers of a healthy, flourishing culture. According to Steve, strong, healthy, unified teams are the outgrowth of these three priorities for every spiritually healthy Christian leader:
- Be Authentic—because the more authentic you are, as a leader, the more authentic your team will be. By being authentic to God and authentic toward others, you’ll be inviting authenticity among your team.
- Cultivate Spiritual Friendships—because all of us need one or two rock-solid relationships in a world that can be mean and nasty. The biblical text is fueled by great examples of people who inspired each other in ministry, from David and Jonathan, to Ruth and Naomi, and Paul and Barnabas.
- Practice Sabbath—because the pattern of Sabbath rest is the turnkey to the deeper spiritual life. If you want to know how to trust God, you need to know how to rest in him. For the sake of your church, your organization, your team—and most of all for your own soul—you must unplug from our noisy, hurried world and learn how to rest.
When I revisit Steve’s practical wisdom and action steps, above, I want to memorize these words he used to sum up the vital importance of a leader’s spiritual life:
As the leader goes, so goes the organization. More importantly, as the soul of the leader goes, so goes the leader—because a transformed leader means a transformed organization.”
Who can say “no” to that?