Broken and Whole
by Stephen A. Macchia
IVP, Downers Grove, Ill. 208 pages
The subtitle of this book defines its purpose: a leader’s path to spiritual transformation. It’s unfortunate that these words (spiritual, transformation) are so cliché because the author does have good intention. He says forthrightly: “The most dynamic spiritual leaders know they are both saint and sinner.” That reminds me of the question from Mrs. Turpin in “Revelation,” a short story by Flannery O’Connor: “How can I be a warthog from hell and saved at the same time?” Macchia wants leaders to be honest about brokenness without diminishing their sense of blessing. “I make mistakes. I blunder. I think horrible thoughts. I’m an internal quagmire more often than I desire and in continual need of God’s grace.” He mines the rich vein of insights first presented by Brené Brown. What Macchia brings to the conversation is an evangelical voice of compassion and clarity, both qualities that are often missing. He asks of leaders: “Will you confess your own belovedness and blessedness as well as your brokenness?” Presuming that question is answered affirmatively, he explores 1 Corinthians 13 as the way of transformation that denies neither brokenness nor blessedness but draws leaders into a deeper experience of love as the foundation of life and leadership. There is much here to commend — though the reader might begin first with the master teacher, Brené Brown.