You woke up late, didnt get to wash
your hair, your dog ate your lunch, your best friend just dumped you and youre
supposed to lead a Bible study today on "the victorious Christian life." But you
dont feel very victorious right now and besides, things arent going the way
youve expected with your group. What
do you do? As a leader in your campus ministry, you will need to be able to solve problems
as they arise. Fortunately, there are some basic steps you can learn that apply to almost
Follow these steps:
Figure out where the problem began. This might seem easier than it really is. Just
as doctors have to look deeper than the symptoms to find the root cause of a disease, you
have to take a hard look to find what the real problem is before you start looking for
2. Pick the one most important problem.
Dont try to solve all your problems at once. Prioritize them and work on them one at
a time. Ask yourself, "Which of these problems has the greatest potential to do
3. Get the facts.
At this point, opinions dont matter. You just want the facts. Learning how to ask
the right questions is key. Like
detectives solving a case, you want to know who is involved with the problem, how does it
occur, how often anything relating to the circumstances of the problem.
4. Stop, look and listen.
Try to see the problem from a distance. Problems can seem overwhelming up close, but when
we look at them in view of the "big picture," were able to gain
perspective on the problem. Ask God to help you see it from His perspective. James 1 tells
us that if we ask God for wisdom in a situation, He promises to give it to us if we are
willing to trust Him. As much as we dont like them, problems can be used by God to
improve our character. It causes us to lean on Him more. In doing so you will experience a
walk with Him that is closer than you have ever experienced.
5. Use your noggin!
Think about what principles are being violated in this problem. God created this world and
so He set it up with principles (these are found in His Word, the Bible); when problems
arise its because someone has violated one of His principles. Find others who you look up to for their counsel to
give you advice and help you brainstorm solutions.
Come up with as many solutions as you can and
then pick the one that seems best. Remember that there are no perfect solutions. Ask
yourself: "What is right?" "Will it allow everyone to win?" "Does
what we stand to gain outweigh what we stand to lose?"
6. Take action
Once youve decided on your course of action, there is no advantage to waiting to put
it into action (unless, of course, the solution is to wait). A problem is a lot like a
hungry bear: The longer you wait to kill it, the bigger it grows. Kill your problems
before they grow big and come eat you for lunch. Then you can get onto the really big
stuff, like what to do about your dog eating your lunch!