Your web browser is out of date

Note: parts of this website may not work properly for you. Update your browser for better speed, security, and experience.

Your user account is not associated with an active church account.

Please contact us.

14 Mar 2022 - 10 Questions to Help You Problem Solve When You Are Stuck
Episode 102 - 14 Mar 2022

10 Questions to Help You Problem Solve When You Are Stuck

On this episode of the Church Leadership Podcast, John McGee is joined in the studio by Caitlin Van Wagoner to discuss a proven method for solving problems. If you are looking for more resources, please visit

Episode Summary

10 Questions to Help You Problem Solve When You Are Stuck

  1. What problem are you trying to solve? Many start to tackle problems with conversations about tactics, but it is important to guide people about their problems on a higher level. Ask, "What is the root problem?" The strategy will flow from knowing the answer.

  2. Is this the right problem to be solving? It is important to frame your problem properly. Try to assess your problem from various angles and ask everyone involved for their perspective.

  3. Is there a third option? Generally, when people come to you with problems, they have two binary options, and they want you to help them choose. However, a good leader can say, "Those two choices shouldn't box us in." If you know that these are not quality choices… don't be stuck with them. Sometimes we give up thinking and talking too quickly and settle for a mediocre solution.

  4. Who are we trying to reach? Who is this thing for?
    From a communications perspective, the most critical thing to define is the audience. Whom you are trying to reach will determine everything. If you haven't clearly defined your audience, it's not worth doing. The same is true in ministry.

  5. How can we make it simpler? What is the simplest solution? The enemy of progress isn't inaction – it's complexity. If it is not simple, it can't be remembered. If it can't be remembered, it can't be acted on. If it can't be acted on, it won't be real.

  6. What will make the biggest impact with a relatively low cost? Don't always try to fix a lot of the little things. Focus first on the big rocks and low-hanging fruit. Look for solutions that will be high in impact but low in cost.

  7. Who can help me solve this problem? There is nothing new under the sun. Someone else has likely solved this problem before. So ask them. This takes humility. As leaders, sometimes we feel the pressure to solve things independently and then unveil the solutions to your team. But when you widen the circles to get input to help you solve a problem, it also helps create buy-in. People support what they help create.

  8. How can we look at this differently?
    Once again, perspective will always change the way solutions come about. Consider what perspectives you may be forgetting or ignoring. For example, how might a child try to solve this problem?

  9. Where historically have I gotten breakthroughs? Many of us do our best thinking and problem solving when in healthy routines or familiar places. If you do your best thinking on walks, go for a walk. If you need to take a break from problem-solving to spend some time at rest, do that.

  10. What’s the next wise step? Trying to solve the whole problem can sometimes overwhelm or get us locked up. Instead of burning resources trying to solve the biggest problem, ask if there is an intermediate next step to get you moving in the right direction?

  11. BONUS Pray. If you are doing something God cares about, he wants to be a part of your solution process.

Hosted By
John McGee
John McGee

Sr. Director of Watermark Resources