The Sacred Valley is a response to the question, “What does it mean to grow leaders with a deep, bold, consequential faith during the greatest cultural shifts that have ever taken place in our world?”

In this book, you will discover four primary behaviors that effectively shift our mindset as leaders and prepare our faith communities for leadership in a changing world:

  • Listen
  • Center
  • Explore
  • Connect

Written for leaders (pastors, youth ministers, and congregational councils) to use with their teams, the book strategically focuses on behaviors known to help people and communities grow. This is different from the usual process of setting goals or identifying outcomes. These behaviors produce contextually relevant results based on the leadership and location. NEW in this updated and expanded 2nd edition: LEAD’s very latest learning, a chapter on rethinking metrics, and a glossary of terms.

We believe everyone and every congregation can grow. Growth is a choice that recognizes Christian leadership is really discipleship, with leaders growing other leaders.

LEAD’s research indicates that the difference between growing and stalled leaders and faith communities rests in how these growth indicators (Listen, Center, Explore, Connect) are turned into behaviors. These specific adaptive practices will help leaders shape the path from a beloved traditional church to one with deep, bold, consequential faith.

Welcome to life in The Sacred Valley. We can do this!


Woven throughout The Sacred Valley are photos and stories from LEAD’s pilgrimage to hike the Inca Trail and beautiful art journaling by Vonda Drees.



Peggy Hahn is passionate about growing leaders and dreams of faith communities that attract people of all ages  and cultures as they make a difference in their neighborhoods and in the world. She served both in congregations and as Assistant to the Bishop in the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod of the ELCA for more than 34 years. She received the 2014 Tom Hunstad Award for Excellence in Children, Youth, and Family Ministry. Peggy coordinated service projects for 36,000 people at the 2009 and 2012 ELCA Youth Gatherings in New Orleans and was the innovator of Camp Hope Day Camp Ministries and The Disciple Project. Peggy is the Executive Director of LEAD.

What others are saying about The Sacred Valley:

This material should be helpful for many congregations who are stalled or out of breath. I’m am looking forward to our synod using this process. -Rol

Hahn’s insight and metaphor of the journey is wonderful. The artwork is gorgeous and inspiring. A great read for any pastor or layperson discerning where God is leading the church in the future. A must read! -Amy Zietlow

Learning and living discipleship is not easy, but, boy, is it ever worth it. This book gives each of us invaluable tools to assist in this learning and living effort. -Cardslvr

A good discussion of practical aspects of church leadership types and indications of how to approach invigorating congregations to better achieve their missions. This material is backed by extensive, current research of where many congregations are today and how they are being affected by the society changing around them. We are in this for the long haul: our congregations need to provide faith forming cultures to equip people to live their faith as part of all aspects of their lives. I think Peggy provides useful insight on what this demands of church leadership and how to evaluate next steps to get there. -Paul Good