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confession (again)

September 23, 2008

I’m a people-pleaser.  

I went to Cracker Barrel (dare you to try the Chicken Fried Chicken and tell me you don’t like it) with a valuable leader from The Bridge for breakfast this morning.  He’s a truly rare breed – a great, successful leader in a business with a humble heart and giving hands who has a strong spiritual gift of discernment.  While he was speaking some encouragement to me he said, “Josh, don’t let old farts like me intimidate you.  You can’t make everybody happy and if God ends up leading The Bridge in a direction someone doesn’t want to go, you’ll kill yourself trying to keep em’ from walking.”

Then I went home and saw this on a Church Leadership blog I read daily:

  • People pleasing pastors take most criticism personally. Any suggestion feels like a personal attack. We become inwardly defensive of even mild corrections, but rarely express it.
  • People pleasing pastors have an extraordinary fear of rejection. If someone questions our motives, doesn’t like a sermon, or leaves our ministry, it can throw us into a depressed tailspin.
  • People pleasing pastors find it hard to express their feelings. Because we have to “please people,” we don’t feel safe expressing our true feelings and needs.
  • People pleasing pastors have a hard time saying “no.” Because we want to make people happy. We often over-commit. Although we are outwardly agreeable, we are often inwardly resentful.    
  • Reading that is like looking into a heart-mirror for me.  What it all boils down to is that I often care more about people’s approval of me than God’s approval of me and for The Bridge to become the kind of church that most people only get to read about, I’ve got to kick this.

    Does anybody else struggle with this?

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