Skip to main content

Book: People Pleasing Pastors

People Pleasing Pastors by Charles Stone is a book. Of course, if you read the title, then you know that. I'm sorry for repeating information. It might make you dislike this review, and I want you to like the review. Because if you like the review, you might like the blog, and if you like the blog, then you might like me, and then I'll be valid as a person. Unless, of course, there's not enough of you who like me to offset the ones who don't like me.

Then I'm in trouble.

While the above sounds a little over-the-top, People Pleasing Pastors points us to the problems of trying to lead a church while also keeping everyone happy. You look at the issues, you look at the problems, and then you make no decisions, take no action, because someone will not be pleased.

Stone's work here is excellent. He takes a hard look at why so many in the ministry are driven by approval. Then, quickly diagnoses the results of that obsession. From there, he constructs a framework of positive action to center our approval desires in the right place: the approval of God.

Stone avoids jumping too far into the Frank Burns trap. There's a scene in MASH, one of the times that Frank is left in charge of the 4077th, where Radar tells Frank that folks won't like his new orders. Frank says "I didn't come here to be liked," and Radar replies, "You're off to a good start."

That's often the response to people-pleasing that I see: just decide to throw everyone overboard, and that is a non-starter in ministry. (And in life, to be certain.) There is a way to methodically work through the need for approval and shift our focus.

Stone guides you through that process. Admittedly, I think his engineering background comes through somewhat in places where it seems formulaic, but the guidance is still valuable. Further, having pastored for 30 years shows Stone to be someone who has had to live his own advice.

I would quibble a bit with the usage of The Message for Bible quotations at times in Stone's work. He does identify it as a paraphrase, but I'm still not a fan of citing it when there are translations aplenty to use.

All in all, though, I liked People Pleasing Pastors when I first read it. Now that I have time to read it and apply to me, though, I may be less inclined to it. After all, I don't think my ways have been pleasing to Stone. :)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.



First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…