People-Pleasing Pastors: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Approval-Motivated Leadership

by Charles Stone. InterVarsity Press, 2014.

As many times as we hear that we shouldn’t care what others think, it is natural to at least wonder, if not worry. Clergy is one of the three professions that has the most negative projections placed upon them (the other two being law officer and physician). This book identifies people pleasing patterns, and what we can do to overcome them. Based on {{LifeWay research |}}, author Charles Stone identifies harmful patterns of pleasing and offers remedies for them. For example, Stone notes the “side step.” This is when someone suggests something that is not feasible, but a firm “no” is not provided. The person suggesting the idea goes away thinking action is still possible. This is neither honest nor helpful. Stone coaches leaders to be honest upfront. The initial pain is ultimately more manageable than further miscommunication. The book is succinct and practical. Stone synthesizes pastoral theology, neuroscience and systems theory into a coherent handbook on redemptive honesty.