The Reservoir of Purpose with Dori Baker and Stephen Lewis


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Our guests Dori Baker and Stephen Lewis know all about drawing on the reservoir of purpose. They literally wrote one of the best books about purpose we have read! Together with co-author Matthew Wesley Williams, their book Another Way: Living and Leading Change on Purpose, published in 2020, offers a new way of leadership for the 21st Century.

Dr. Dori Baker is an ordained United Methodist elder in the Virginia Annual Conference. She’s an educator, activist, and scholar focused on feminist theologies, critical race theory, young adult culture, leadership development and spiritual practices that sustain activism.

Stephen Lewis is the President of the Forum for Theological Exploration (also known as FTE), which is a national leadership incubator that cultivates wise, faithful and courageous leaders who make a difference in the world through the church and academy. He is an organizational change strategist and facilitator, and a leadership development specialist, focused on helping leaders to discover their purpose, passion and calling in life.

Our conversation with Dori and Stephen is packed with fresh insights about seeing leadership as a communal practice, the role of deep listening, and the work of discerning purpose that requires both risk and courage. As their “Another Way Manifesto” puts it, “There is a future that mourns if you and I do not step into our purpose.” It is not too much to say that there is also a future that mourns if you do not listen to the inspiration and wisdom Dori and Stephen offer in this episode.


  • “Resilience in some aspects for me is this idea that it’s our ability to bounce back, and we can only bounce back from these disappointments, from our rejection of people saying no when we recognize that we are not our actions.” -Stephen Lewis [12:04]
  • “Reflecting theologically and critically together is communal. It’s critical, and it’s for the sake of action.” -Dr. Dori Baker [27:15]


  • [00:00] Intro
  • [00:24] Bishop Huie reads from Reservoirs of Resilience
  • [03:37] An excerpt of Bishop Huie’s writing on the reservoir of purpose
  • [05:56] Meet Dr. Dori Baker and Stephen Lewis
  • [08:11] The authors’ take on purpose and resilience
  • [13:00] How our culture has limited the understanding of purpose
  • [18:48] CARE - what does stand for and how it relates to purpose and resilience
  • [33:19] How they help young leaders center themselves when they feel discouraged
  • [40:10] How to use CARE practices to lead an organization through change
  • [52:42] Rapid fire round with three sentences
  • [54:13] Bishop Huie’s reflections and takeaways
  • [56:16] Outro


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Today’s episode focused on conversation from themes found in Another Way: Living and Leading Change on Purpose by Dori Baker, Stephen Lewis, and Matthew Wesley Williams.

Podcast and additional resources on Another Way can be found at

For more information about Dori Baker and her work as a consultant, visit:

Find out more about the work of the Forum for Theological Exploration at

Stephen Lewis founded DO GOOD X, a start-up accelerator for diverse, faith-rooted entrepreneurs creating social good ventures. For more information:

"That's Something" music and lyrics by Billy Crockett, © 2016 Spare Room Music, BMI, from the album In Session (with Roscoe Beck), Blue Rock Artists, 2020

"Resilience" music by Billy Crockett, © 2021 Spare Room Music, BMI

Reservoirs of Resilience is inspired by the monograph written by Bishop Janice Huie. Read the full publication here.

This podcast is brought to you by TMF’s Leadership Ministry. Leadership Ministry connects diverse, high capacity leaders in conversations and environments that create a network of courage, learning, and innovation in order to help the church lean into its God-appointed mission. For more information and to support TMF’s Leadership Ministry, visit

39 episodes