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…

Book: By the Waters of Babylon

Worship. It is what the church does as we strive to honor God with our lips and our lives. And then, many churches argue about worship. I have about a half-dozen books on my shelf about worship, but adding Scott Aniol’s By the Waters of Babylon to the shelf has been excellent.

First of all, Aniol’s work is not based on solving a musical debate. While that branch of worship is often the most troublesome in the local church, By the Waters of Babylon takes a broader view. The starting point is the place of the church. That place is a parallel of Psalm 137, where the people of God, Israel, found themselves in a strange land. The people of God, again, find themselves in a strange land.
Second, in summary, the book works logically to the text of Scripture, primarily Psalm 137 but well-filled with other passages. Then it works outward from how the text addresses the problems submitted in the first chapter into how worship, specifically corporate worship, should look in the 21st century Weste…

Sermon Recap for October 14

Here is what you'll find: there is an audio player with the sermon audios built-in to it, just click to find the one you want. You'll also find the embedded Youtube videos of each sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/east-end-baptist-church/id387911457?mt=2 for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: http://eebcar.libsyn.com/rssThe video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBGluSoaJgYn6PbIklwKaw?view_as=publicSermons are stockpiled here: http://www.doughibbard.com/search/label/SermonsThanks!