"People-Pleasing Pastors" – And Other Quotables

Charles Stone: “I wish I’d known 25 years ago what I’ve written about in this book. I could have avoided a lot of heartache in our family and in the churches I served.”

ReadIt! – Insights and observations gleaned from new book releases …


WHO: Charles Stone, lead pastor at West Park Church, London, Ontario, and founder of StoneWell Ministries, where he coaches pastors and church leaders.

HE SAYS: “I wish I’d known 25 years ago what I’ve written about in this book. I could have avoided a lot of heartache in our family and in the churches I served.”

THE BOOK: People-Pleasing Pastors: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Approval Motivated Leadership (IVP, 2014)

BIG IDEA: People-pleasing, approval motivated leadership pervades today’s churches to the detriment of the gospel.

THE PROGRESSION: Based on research with 2,300 pastors, People-Pleasing Pastors assesses the problem and, drawing on biblical insights and neuroscience, points to a better way. Section 1 establishes the problem, helping pastors assess if the people-pleasing virus has infected their ministry, probing what makes leaders sick, then discussing the keys to health. Section 2 delves deeper into solutions and practical tools for healthy leadership: probing your past; revisiting your values; developing better strategies. Section 3 outlines personal and team development plans.

COOL QUOTE: “As I have sought more to be for God rather than do for God, he has enlarged my soul to love him and others more deeply. I still have a long way to go, but his grace is enabling me to react less often and respond more often. He continues to fashion me to become more of a PRESENT leader, rather than a pleaser leader.”


“The majority of people in the United States are living relationally impoverished lives.”

Brad Brisco in The Missional Quest: Becoming a Church of the Long Run by Lance Ford and Brad Brisco (IVP, 2013)


NEW MATH: “The idea of bringing two congregations together to form a multiracial church seems like it has all the makings for disaster because it means extensive change for the culture of two congregations. Yet, as a ministry approach it has merit. …  From a biblical perspective, a multiracial church formed from two or more congregations is a worthy and well-supported concept. The heart of God concerning grace, unity and reconciliation is unmistakable.”

Derek Chinn in 1+1=1: Creating a Multicultural Church From Single Race Congregations (Pickwick, 2013)


“Trials can become occasions for the work of grace, by wakening dormant reserves of courage and love and compassion that we may not have been aware of.”

Philip Yancey in The Question That Never Goes Away (Zondervan, 2013).


From Outreach Magazine  Simultaneous Media Use on the Rise

TIME TO LOVE THE CHURCH AGAIN: “It’s time to pour the energy it takes to criticize the church into loving the unlovely within her. Our goal shouldn’t be to prove to the world that we’re not messed up. It should be to prove that we’re messed up but that God is sticking with us, slowing transforming our wicked hearts.”

Caleb Breakey, in Called to Stay: An Uncompromising Mission to Save the Church (Harvest House, 2013).