Protect Your Leaders

Jesus warned His disciples that He was sending them out, like “sheep among wolves”.  (Matthew 10:16 KJV)

When I was ordained at the tender age of 22, full of excitement, eager to ‘save the world’, ready to fight the devil himself, I don’t remember that passage being read.  When I took those leadership courses in seminary, I remember most of the biblical illustrations given, and I have used them, but I don’t think the sheep and wolves were ever mentioned.

No one warned me about the wolves!

In my 52 years as a pastor-president-counselor-educator, I have discovered that the best illustration of these words of our Lord is what happens to a young leader in a Christian organization, ministry or church.  The one who has vision, as well as the passion and the energy to go with it, is literally ‘thrown to the wolves’!

Let me warn you of the ways of the wolves:

1.  The idea that others are going to buy into your vision and get as excited as you may disappoint you.

2.  The critics of your style or ideas or the way you say something hurts.  They will miss the point.

3.  Other leaders who are threatened by your youth or energy and are trying to hold on to their ‘leadership’ roll.

4.  People who just don’t want any change.

5.  Friends who become jealous of you or, fellow workers who try to use you to get something they want.

6.  People who dump unwanted and often un-doable jobs on you.

One of the first things you learn in the military is, “Good leadership is critical and can’t be wasted”.


So, how do we protect our leaders?

1.  We pray for and with them.

2.  We speak kindly of them to their face and behind their backs.

3.  We allow them to lead us.


How do you prepare to be that lamb among the wolves?

1.  Make sure God has called you to ministry.

2.  Keep your eyes on Jesus.

3.  Trust Him to take care of you and your critics.


Paul advised young Timothy, “Don’t let anyone despise your youth, but be an example of the believer…”  1 Timothy 4:12


Dr. Ron Cline helps build the body of Christ around the world. His background as a pastor, educator, counselor, missionary and author gives him credibility and rapport with the many groups and individuals he and his wife, Barbara, minister to in various countries each year. After 7 years of pastoral ministry in Southern California, and ten years as the Dean at Azusa Pacific University, the Clines’ international service began in 1976 as a short-term opportunity when he agreed to pastor the English Fellowship Church in Quito, Ecuador for two years. Those two years stretched into six years. Following that he served as the president of HCJB World Radio, also in Ecuador, for 20 years. HCJB Global, now Reach Beyond, has media, health care, community and/or leadership development ministries in Latin America, Europe, Russia, North Africa/Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia Pacific. Ron and Barb currently serve as Global Ambassadors with Reach Beyond and live in Southern California after living 30 years abroad. They travel from Southern California throughout the world. For the last ten years they have been encouraging, coaching and working with leaders in Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, Mongolia, India, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Solomon Islands, Western Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Fiji, America Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, Central Asia, USA, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Ecuador, Russia, Malawi, Ivory Coast and South Africa.

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