People-Pleasing Pastors


“Filled with rich insights and profound wisdom born out the crucible of decades of ministry, People-Pleasing Pastors is a must-read for every pastor. I was challenged both personally and in the next growth steps for my own leadership. Charles Stone has given the church a great gift!” —Peter Scazzero, pastor and author of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality and The Emotionally Healthy Church

“My ministry mentor used to constantly remind me, “You have nothing to prove and no one to impress.” In doing so, he gifted me with an incredibly freeing approach ministry. In PEOPLE-PLEASING PASTORS, Charles Stone shows us why it’s so important to find our identity and self-worth in Christ rather than ministry performance and congregational approval. Better yet, he provides practical tools to help the reader assess and then grow in this important area of spiritual and psychological health.” —Larry Osborne, Author and Pastor, North Coast Church, Vista CA

“We are not called to please people so that we can achieve a more secure identity. We are called to love people out of the secure identity that we already possess, the one that was bought for us through the redeeming work of Christ. People-Pleasing Pastors acknowledges a real problem, and helps equip those in ministry to resist the temptation of seeking the approval of people above all else.” —From the foreword by Ed Stetzer, president, LifeWay Research

Pastors and church leaders often fall into the trap of people-pleasing. Charles Stone’s research on thousands of pastors and ministry leaders demonstrates the dangers of approval-motivated leadership. Bringing together biblical insights and neuroscience findings, Stone shows why we fall into people-pleasing patterns and what we can do to overcome these tendencies.

With practical tools for individuals and teams, Stone offers concrete resources to help you and your leadership minimize people-pleasing and have more effective ministry.

Now Available. Order Your Copy Today!

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More Buzz about People Pleasing Pastors

“Supported with Scripture and neuroscience insight, People-Pleasing Pastors is a must-read for every pastor in today’s high-expectation ministry environments.” —Tony Morgan, author, consultant, leadership coach (

“Charles Stone is an excellent writer. I love his work. He hit a hot button with this book for all of us who serve as pastors. The temptation to keep people happy–and be liked–impacts all of our ministries. This is gold, pastors. Pure gold.” —Ron Edmondson, senior pastor, Immanuel Baptist Church, Lexington, KY

“Dr. Stone tackles a topic ministry leaders nervously joke about but rarely take seriously.  People-Pleasing Pastors is an important resource for every ministry leader.  Supported by research and made relatable by personal stories, this book will challenge and propel you to lead more authentically and effectively.” —Jenni Catron – Executive Director of Cross Point Church, Author of Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence

“In his latest book Charles Stone helps turn John 12:43 pastors (“they loved the approval of man more than the approval of God”) into First Thessalonians 2:4 pastors (“so we speak not as pleasing man, but God who examines our hearts”). People- Pleasing Pastors serves as an important book for those in ministry.” —Dr. William Jones, President, Columbia International University

People-Pleasing Pastors bridges both practice and theory to equip pastors to become not only more emotionally aware of their people-pleasing but also competent to navigate their emotions. All ministry leaders, young and old as well as professional and volunteer, will benefit from applying this book to their personal life and the teams in which they serve.” —Dr. Aubrey M. Malphurs, Senior Professor of Educational Ministries and Leadership and Pastoral Ministry, author of more than 20 books, founder of The Malphurs Group

“If you’ve been a local church leader for more than about five minutes, you know there is a fine line between serving people and pleasing people. And under the pressures of ministry it’s often difficult to discern that line. Charles Stone brings profound insight and practical wisdom to help us approach leading and loving others in a healthy and productive way.” —Dan Reiland, Executive Pastor; 12Stone Church, Lawrenceville GA, Author of Amplified Leadership

“Many of us in ministry have been dragging around a ball and chain called people pleasing. It is our constant companion that accuses us and fills us with regret. Charles Stone offers hope and help that can help us break free from the ball and chain of our approval addiction.” —Lance Witt, founder, Replenish Ministries, author, Replenish, former executive pastor, Saddleback Church

“Self-awareness in Christian Leaders is precisely Paul’s point in Romans 12:3.  And it is the LACK of self-awareness in leaders that is debilitating Christ’s Church.  Dr. Charles Stone in People-Pleasing Pastors explores this crippling and toxic individual dynamic—approval motivated leadership— amidst the larger social context of leadership in the church. This book is destined to become a central practical training text for all who work in ministry contexts.  Truly an equipping book!” —Rev. Dr. Russell R. Veenker, BCPC, Clinical Director, Mountain Learning Center

“Charles Stone has that rare gift of knowing and speaking directly to the heart of today’s shepherd-leader about the one big leadership issue we all have but rarely admit – our tendency to want to be liked. He cuts through the fluff and helps us recognize our tendency to be people pleasers and gives us a practical way back to strong, authentic leadership. Churches will be far healthier whose Pastors and leaders read this book!” —Brandon Cox, Founding Pastor at Grace Hills Church & Editor of

“My mentor Adrian Rogers used to say, “If you please God it doesn’t matter whom you displease; if you displease God it doesn’t matter whom you please.” This insightful book will aid pastors to make sure they are God-pleasers not people-pleasers. I commend both its author and its thesis for calling pastors to be pleasing in their pastoring.” —Dr. James Merritt, author, host of Touching Lives international broadcast ministries, founder and Senior Pastor of Cross Pointe Church

“People pleasing is a trap in which many people get caught–especially Christian leaders. Dr. Stone combines solid biblical principles with principles of neuroscience and family/organizational systems to show how people pleasing develops, how it impacts the people-pleasing pastor and those the pastor tries to please, and finally, how to overcome it. I highly recommend this very practical book.” —John DeKruyter, executive director, Alongside, Inc. 

“Thousands of gifted, called and passionate pastors are lost to the Church every year.  The reasons vary but high on the list is people pleasing.  Charles Stone has taken on a major issue confronting pastors.  His insights are remarkable and his applications life changing.  This book can save the ministry of a pastor and a church.  Serving people and people pleasing are two very different things and every pastor needs to know the difference.” —Larry Magnuson, SonScape Retreats

“Many, if not all pastors today, often unconsciously, suffer from a vicious “double bind” of knowing that they are “to please the Lord” but are hard wired to “be pleasers of people.” In his book, People-Pleasing Pastors, Dr. Charles Stone helps pastors and church leaders recognize it, and then begin to cut and unravel the various aspects of this painful and lethal condition of ministry.  He can do so because he has struggled with it himself and has found the freedom of becoming a slave to “one master” and can lead you into habits of life and service to others in the joy of that one Master.”   —Keith Meyer, pastor, consultant and author of Whole Life Transformation [IVP] and Spiritual Rhythms [IVP]

“Refreshingly honest…practical…An excellent tool for self-evaluation. Dr. Stone delivers insightful, empathetic help to all of us who deal with a very common struggle in ministry—the need to please. As one who can relate, I highly recommend this book.” —Dr. Rusty Hayes, Sr. Pastor, First Free Church, Rockford, IL

“Charles Stone writes about a topic that every person and leader needs to be aware of, people-pleasing. He shows the problem and offers 7 practical principles as solutions to overcoming people-pleasing. The principles are full of wisdom and insights. Reading this book will allow you to become a better leader. I personally enjoyed and would recommend reading this well written book.” —Dan Black, leadership blogger