We were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children… You know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children. 1 Thessalonians 2:7, 11 (NIV)
You cannot be an effective father or mother if you are driven by the need for approval from your children. It’s the same with leaders in the church. You cannot give effective leadership if you are driven by the need to be loved, liked, or to have the approval of others.
A faithful church cannot be led by men who put their finger in the wind and ask, “What does everybody want?” This question might create a culture of comfort, but it will not advance the gospel.
Indeed, this applies to everyone in the church, not just leaders. If we need to be liked by everybody, we will never do much for the gospel. Jesus said, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.” The problem for some of the brothers in Thessalonica was that they were not ready for the antagonism of the world toward the gospel they believed.
If you are going to be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ, you have to overcome two impulses that run deep in every person: You have to overcome the desire for comfort, and you have to overcome the desire for approval.
Which of these two desires is stronger in you right now? Ask God to give you the strength to battle against and overcome the desire that most holds sway over you.