You’re Never Gonna Please Everyone

you're never gonna please everyone

In all my experience working at a church, there’s one problem I’ve never been able to solve.

It’s one of the most pervasive conflicts churches around the world experience. And it’s a huge form of strife among churchgoers – especially young adults.

The conflict is this: Where do we go to eat after service?

The conversation usually goes like this:

  • Wendy’s? I’m not feeling fast food.
  • Macaroni Grill? I had Italian last night.
  • Jason’s Deli? Ugghh, we always do that.
  • Fine, we’ll do Chipotle!

You get a few people in a room trying to make a decision… People are going to be unhappy. Consensus is nearly impossible when you have a group filled with different perspectives, tastes, and life goals.

This type of problem doesn’t just apply to the question of where you’re going to eat after the service. It happens when you’re trying to lead a church too.

  • You try a new song?
    Someone won’t like it.
  • You start a new service time?
    Someone will feel like you’re trying to make the church too big.
  • You change the branding on something?
    Someone will think it looks too “worldly”.

Churches can do that same thing. I call it budgeting vision. When churches budget their vision, it provides so much freedom to the pastor and their team. There’s liberty in deciding:

  • Who we want to reach, and who we aren’t focusing on reaching.
  • What we want to provide, and what we don’t want to provide.
  • Why we do what we do, and why we don’t do what we don’t do.

When churches budget their vision, it provides so much more freedom. @jonathanmalm Click To Tweet

So when someone comes to the church proposing a great idea, they can decide if it already fits within their budgeted vision. If it doesn’t, it’s easy to say no. When it does, it’s a delight to say yes.

The coolest thing about this type of approach is that it limits how upset people can be when you say no. When people see you killing it and devoting all of your energy to your vision, they get it. They understand that there isn’t enough margin for random good ideas.

When you budget your vision, it limits how upset people can be when you say no. @jonathanmalm Click To Tweet

So I encourage you, choose your vision wisely.

Budget it. Plan where each calorie of energy will go, and go strong after those things. Stay true to your vision and don’t try to please everyone, because pleasing everyone is impossible.

About the Author_02

Author Photo - Jonathan Malm

Creative Entrepreneur / Writer
San Antonio, TX

Jonathan is a creative entrepreneur and writer. He is the author of Created for More a devotional for creatives and Unwelcome —a book helping churches become more welcoming. Jonathan is also the creator of Sunday|Magazine,, and His latest e-book, “Set the Stage: a Manifesto for Church Stage Design” is available now. You’ll find him in San Antonio, Texas roasting his own coffee beans enjoying life with his Argentine wife, Carolina.