Waking Up Goliath


In writing Redeeming Power, I interviewed over 40 ministry leaders to learn about how they have wrestled with questions related to the healthy and holy use of power in their own leadership journeys. I enjoyed talking to bishops and social media influencers, school superintendents and chancellors, pastors and CEOs, program directors, and even a rabbi!  Highlights from these interviews are shared in this new podcast series, with bi-monthly episodes released beginning December 2023.  Subscribe to this podcast:



Michael Bechard 1

Fr. Michael Bechard

As a diocesan priest in London, Ontario for almost thirty years, Fr. Michael Bechard has overseen a variety of ministries: Director of Campus Ministry, Director of Liturgy for the diocese, Parish Pastor.  But Michael has always had a particular heart for those struggling with homelessness.  As someone who has dealt with addiction to alcohol and prescription medications in his own life, he has an intimate understanding of the root causes that so often lead to homelessness and a passion to help those on the margins access mental health and addiction services.  Bechard is currently chaplain at Ark Aid Street Mission—an ecumenical outreach to those facing homelessness in London.  He is also the founder and executive director of Northern Bridge Community Partnership—building lasting relationships between young people from southern Ontario with youth from the Dene communities in northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories.  During Pope Francis’ conciliatory visit to Canada in Summer 2022, Michael became a familiar face on hundreds of thousands of television sets across the nation helping add context and commentary throughout the pope’s stay. (Released December 29, 2023)
bishop toups

Bishop David Toups

Ten years ago, I received an email from a seminarian at St. Vincent DePaul Seminary in Boynton Beach.  “If you’re new to South Florida, I think you need to come meet our rector,” he wrote. “He has the ability to make things happen.”  Maybe it wasn’t quite in those words, but that was the sentiment.  And it was true.  Mgsr. David Toups was a charismatic leader who clearly had a warm, personable relationship with his students and his faculty and was able to harness their energy toward a shared vision.  When Mgsr. Toups was made bishop of Beaumont, Texas in 2020, I was not surprised that he’d be chosen for an episcopal role, but Beaumont was a very different setting than West Palm Beach.  Nestled in the eastern most corner of the state of Texas along the Gulf of Mexico, Beaumont has been an area hard hit by the rise and fall of the oil industry, as well as the catastrophic back-to-back Hurricanes Laura and Delta. As you’ll hear in our interview, however, Bishop David Toups, has taken delight in this new role.  While the responsibility he feels as a “shepherd” weighs on him, he finds that old friendships and family relationships and a regular practice of personal prayer help keep him humble and self aware. (Released December 15, 2023)
Crystal LeRoy 1

Dr. Crystal LeRoy

The parable of the Prodigal Son from the Gospel of Luke chapter 15 is a favorite of many Christians in the pews, but for Dr. Crystal LeRoy, the story has special significance, helping to shape her understanding of leadership in a diverse community where different people have different paths in life and almost everyone at some point in time will need a second chance.  Dr. LeRoy is the President of Christian Brothers High School which serves over 1100 students in the Oak Park neighborhood of Sacramento, California.  After a long career in public education, she assumed her current position on the edge of the Covid pandemic—that unenviable season that drained the life blood out of so many in educational administration.  But, as you’ll hear in this interview, Crystal LeRoy has found great joy in her leadership role, in part because of what the power that comes with the role has enabled her to influence. (Released December 1, 2023)
David and Goliath

Welcome to the Waking Up Goliath Podcast Series

Most of us grew up hearing stories of David and Goliath and took joy in rooting for David in the story.  Most of us probably saw ourselves as David--the little guy fighting impossible battles, trusting that God was on our side.  But what happens when we wake up to find out that other people see us as Goliath in their story?  What happens when we are the one that others see as having power?  Listen to Ann's introduction to the Waking Up Goliath podcast series here.  (Released December 1, 2023)