Pastors and church leaders often fall into the trap of people-pleasing. Pastors need to find their identity in their relationship with Christ, not from congregational approval or disapproval. Charles Stone's research on thousands of pastors and ministry leaders demonstrates the dangers of approval-motivated leadership. Bringing together Scripture, neuroscience, and family/organizational systems, Stone shows why we fall into people-pleasing patterns and what we can do to overcome these tendencies with seven vital principles. With practical tools for individuals and teams, Stone offers concrete resources to help you and your leadership minimize people-pleasing and have more effective ministry.
My ministry mentor used to constantly remind me, 'You have nothing to prove and no one to impress.' In doing so, he gifted me with an incredibly freeing approach to ministry. In People-Pleasing Pastors, Charles Stone shows us why it's so important to find our identity and self-worth in Christ rather than in ministry performance and congregational approval. Better yet, he provides practical tools to help the reader assess and grow in this important area of spiritual and psychological health.
One sign of a struggling pastor is the sense that one must work to please the people in the church instead of working for the Lord. To this end, people-pleasing has nearly become pandemic in the pastorate. But through more than twenty-three hundred interviews with pastors, Charles has been able to identify and address the causes and symptoms of people-pleasing pastors. Pastors, you are to guard your ministry. People-Pleasing Pastors is filled with practical tips and advice to help you do just that.
-Thom S. Rainer,
president and CEO, LifeWay Christian Resources
Filled with rich insights and profound wisdom born out the crucible of decades of ministry, People-Pleasing Pastors is a must-read for every pastor. I was challenged both personally and in the next growth steps for my own leadership. Charles Stone has given the church a great gift!
Charles Stone is an excellent writer. I love his work. He hit a hot button with this book for all of us who serve as pastors. The temptation to keep people happy - and be liked - impacts all of our ministries. This is gold, pastors. Pure gold.
senior pastor, Immanuel Baptist Church, Lexington, KY
"Charles Stone is a gift to the body of Christ, and so is his latest book, People-Pleasing Pastors. As I read through the pages I was personally convicted. Who doesn't want validation and appreciation for our efforts? We are human after all, right? But Charles's book reveals the dangers when a healthy need of appreciation goes too far. His extensive research of over twelve hundred pastors gives us insight into what Christian leaders have known intuitively but few talked about - we are serial people pleasers. Thank you, Charles, for highlighting this problem and giving us hope for a solution.
Dr. Stone tackles a topic that ministry leaders nervously joke about but rarely take seriously. People-Pleasing Pastors is an important resource for every ministry leader. Supported by research and made relatable by personal stories, this book will challenge and propel you to lead more authentically and effectively.
Refreshingly honest and practical, People-Pleasing Pastors is an excellent tool for self-evaluation. Dr. Stone delivers insightful, empathetic help to all of us who deal with a very common struggle in ministry - the need to please. As one who can relate, I highly recommend this book.
senior pastor, First Free Church, Rockford, Illinois
Charles Stone writes about a topic that every person and leader needs to be aware of: people-pleasing. He shows the problem and offers seven practical principles as solutions to overcoming people pleasing. The principles are full of wisdom and insights. Reading this book will allow you to become a better leader. I personally enjoyed and would recommend reading this well-written book.
"I wish Charles Stone's new book, People-Pleasing Pastors, had been available to me as a pastor twenty years ago. His proposal that many pastors lead from the perspective of wanting everyone to be happy and that "it's our job to make sure that we as pastors please everyone" resonated with me. I think it will do the same for many pastors today who are seeking to understand the intersection of who they are and the challenge of working with people in and outside of the church. Stone skillfully identifies critical gaps that prevent pastors from leading well and then offers authentic insight on how to close them based on his own thirty-plus years of pastoral leadership.
In his latest book Charles Stone helps turn John 12:43 pastors ('they loved human praise more than praise from God') into 1 Thessalonians 2:4 pastors ('We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts"). People-Pleasing Pastors serves as an important book for those in ministry.
president of Columbia International University
People-Pleasing Pastors bridges both practice and theory to equip pastors to become not only more emotionally aware of their people-pleasing but also competent to navigate their emotions. All ministry leaders - young and old as well as professional and volunteer - will benefit from applying this book to their personal life and the teams in which they serve.
-Aubrey M. Malphurs
Charles Stone has that rare gift of knowing and speaking directly to the heart of today's shepherd-leader about the one big leadership issue we all have but rarely admit: our tendency to want to be liked. He cuts through the fluff and helps us recognize our tendency to be people pleasers and gives us a practical way back to strong, authentic leadership. Churches will be far healthier whose pastors and leaders read this book!
founding pastor at Grace Hills Church
"We all do it at timesbut we easily overlook it or do not try to figure out why. This forthright book does that for us, with strong particulars."