CNLP 421: Christine Caine on the Pain of Leadership, Outrage Culture, Why She Didn’t Quit and How to Lead With Your Heart Fully in It

In an emotional conversation, A21 founder and Mother Teresa Memorial Award winner, Christine Caine, talks about the pain of leadership in a highly critical, outrage-driven culture, how it led her to rethink how much longer she wants to lead with her heart fully in it, and why she decided to keep going in leadership despite the struggle.

This is soul fuel for every leader right now.

Welcome to Episode 421 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey talks about 5 reasons to be encouraged.

Guest Links

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Episode Links


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Conversation Links

How Did I Get Here?: Finding Your Way Back to God When Everything is Pulling You Away by Christine Caine

Need Encouragement? 6 Invisible Things Church Leaders Are Doing Really Well Right Now

The Art of Better Reaching

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Insights From Christine

1. To live out your faith in a post-Christian culture, it needs to be inside out

Christine grew up in a culture where Christianity wasn’t the default religion. This gives her a unique insight into where America and many other Western cultures are heading. When asked how to reach a culture like that, she says that your faith really needs to be shown inside out through how you live and treat people.

Arguments, laws and social media posts won’t help. You need to live and look like Jesus, and let conversations come from that.

2. Civil public dialogue is gone thanks to the internet

Due to the way that the internet and social media platforms are structured, civil public dialogue has almost disappeared from our world. This makes having spiritual conversations difficult and causes us, as Christians, to constantly have a target on our back from one side or the other.

One tip Christine gives is, “As Christians, just because we have an opinion on something doesn’t mean we need to share it.”

3. If you’re saying, “I don’t know if I still want to do this,” dig back into your why

A couple of years ago, Christine got to a point where she was tempted to “take her foot off the gas” in her ministry. For the first time ever, she was thinking, “I don’t know if I want to do this.” When she realized this, she had to raise her hand and say that she needed help from a counselor, and return to “why” she does what she does.

If you’re to that point as well, return to your “why.”

Quotes from Episode 421

I have always been far more obsessed about how many people on this Earth are not following Jesus than how many people are following me. @ChristineCaine Click To Tweet You would never ever fulfill your assignment, or get your job done, if you spend all your time listening to the naysayers. @ChristineCaine Click To Tweet How much of my life do I spend on the defensive, and how much of my life am I on the offensive? @ChristineCaine Click To Tweet You can't win if you're not right enough for the right or left enough for the left. @ChristineCaine Click To Tweet I can do the best that I can do for the thing that I've been called to do, but if I allow the critics to get into my heart and my spirit, it would take me out. @ChristineCaine Click To Tweet Deconstruction doesn't have to lead to destruction. Click To Tweet Just because you're deconstructing your faith doesn't mean you're destroying your faith. Click To Tweet Our Christianity has to be lived inside out. And whoever I come into contact with, if they see these things flow from me inside out, then they will be more compelled to ask me, ‘What is the source of those things?’ @ChristineCaine Click To Tweet Leadership flows from the inside out, and life flows from the inside out. @ChristineCaine Click To Tweet I'm finding at the top levels of organizations, people are weary and their soul is weary. @ChristineCaine Click To Tweet Can we all agree that human trafficking is not a faith issue, it's a humanitarian issue? @ChristineCaine Click To Tweet People that are willing to stay in the game to the finish line, that's what's becoming rarer and rarer. @ChristineCaine Click To Tweet Never quit on a bad day if you're going to quit. Quit on a good day. Click To Tweet In uncertainty, agility is ability, and flexibility is a superpower. Click To Tweet

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Next Episode: Gordon MacDonald

One of the most listened to guests in the history of this podcast, Gordon MacDonald, returns to discuss the damage that driven leaders do, how he hit walls in his own leadership and how he got healthier.

In Gordon’s words, “Driven people produce shallow followers,” and he explains how to move from a place of drivenness to a much healthier called-ness.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 422.

CNLP 421: Christine Caine on the Pain of Leadership, Outrage Culture, Why She Didn’t Quit and How to Lead With Your Heart Fully in It


  1. fall guys on June 29, 2021 at 9:17 pm

    I appreciate the effort you took to write it. Please make more posts like this I will continue to support you.

  2. Jeff Wilson on June 14, 2021 at 10:58 am

    This was such a great episode! I heard and appreciated Christine Cain’s heart, faith, and focus in a very divisive and tumultuous time. Thank you both (Christin and Carey) for your vulnerability and conversation. Thank you for the encouragement to stick close to Jesus, run the race of faith, and to work on my own heart so that, when I lead from the inside out, the effect is something more in line with the heart of Jesus.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on June 14, 2021 at 1:09 pm


  3. Michael R. Sellenheim Rev. on June 8, 2021 at 9:13 am

    Great discussion with Christine Cain. Very helpful and thank you both! Appreciate your ministries and faith filled encouragement to carry on and fight the good fight!

    God’s peace be with you, always – Mike

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