Who Are We Pleasing?

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Leaders cannot balance all the needs, wants, demands, expectations, suggestions and assumptions of the individuals they seek to serve. And they are not called to. So how can we be intentional about avoiding the people pleasing trap? 

Charles Stone has written a free ebook called People Pleasing Leadership as a companion book to his People Pleasing Pastors: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Approval Motivated Leadership that speaks from his ministry experiences about the dangers of the people pleasing trap and presents useful suggestions for how to protect ourselves, our leaders and our pastors from falling in.

If you visit the link above you can view the humourous and informative promotional video, access the free ebook, read reviews of the book, and browse through the other supportive leadership materials available through this ministry.

"While many will not consider this fun pastoral reading, it might be one of the most important books a pastor reads this year. Not only might pastors themselves be helped but also those they serve, those who are overcome with their own soul hurt. Simply recognizing and verbalizing the problem may in itself  be decisive for escaping the destructive chains that slowly kill pastors who fear men rather than God (Prov. 29:25)."- from Chuck Huckaby's thorough and thoughtful review of People Pleasing Pastors: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Approval Motivated Leadership.

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Almost everyone thinks they are pleasing God....  some think they can please God without being obedient to him.  

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Wouldn't it be so much easier if obedience looked the same every time? Easier, yes. Biblical, no. One-size fits all obedience is one of the ways I see Christians creating gaps that distance us from those with whom we belong. It requires much more devotion, stillness, and open-mindedness to discern what God is saying love looks like moment by moment, person by person, opportunity by opportunity. Sadly, I haven't lived this way through most of my moments, people and opportunities. But God is relentless in His pursuit of my heart. Praise be to God! There's a blessed, abundant-life alternative and I'm being woken up to the journey we've been on together for 39 years. Better late than never, right?! Grace abounds. To God be the glory.

Gwyneth, I wonder if your statement is a bit too broad.   I mean where you say, one-size fits all obedience creates gaps or separations.  It seems to me there are times when that is true, and times when it does not apply.  If we say that murder is wrong, and hatred is murder, are you saying that only applies to some people and not to others?  Or that it is okay for some people to commit adultery while not okay for others?  Are there legitimate gaps and illegitimate gaps?  

On the other hand, I agree that the way we love our neighbor or our wife is legitimately different in many circumstances; one prefers roses, the other prefers candy or a kiss, the third prefers a shovelled sidewalk.