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September 23, 2020

How to Attack Problems

By New Churches Team

I want to introduce you to a principle I learned before I was in ministry, when I was in law. One of my favorite courses in law school was “Lawyer as Negotiator,” where I was introduced to this principle that I have tried to follow since then. It’s simply this: attack problems, not people.

One of the classic mistakes you are going to make in marriage, parenting, friendships, and leadership, is it is very easy to attack a person, because that person is bothering you. That person is who sent you the angry email. That person is the one who stood up in the congregational meeting and got mad at you in front of everyone and embarrassed you. That person is the one who Paul would say is, “a thorn in my side!” It takes so much restraint not to attack the person. But if you want to make progress, don’t attack people, attack problems.

One of the best ways to do that is to use this metaphor: take the opponent that is opposing change and you metaphorically put your arm around that person. Tell them you can see they are upset. Ask them to look at the problem with you. So you two are attacking a problem together that is on the other side. It’s a very biblical principle.

A Lesson From King David

King David is one of the best people I can think of for someone who practiced tremendous humility and tremendous restraint. So what did he do? Well, he was crowned king when he was a child, but he had to wait a long time to become king. Not only did he have to wait a long time to become king because Saul was king, Saul increasingly became a not very good king. Saul was worse every year. He tried to attack David and kill him. If you know the biblical story, David had a couple of opportunities to kill Saul, but he didn’t do it. David showed tremendous restraint. David said he would not lift his hand against the Lord’s anointed. He would not attack a person, which is really a powerful principle.

I always wondered how David was able to do that. One day, I was reading through David’s journal and I start to see this pattern in him. This is the pattern I want to share with you in attacking problems, not people. David felt all the frustration that you or I would feel in that circumstance, but he took it to God. He realized that if he didn’t turn to God, he would turn on Saul. If you don’t turn to God with your frustration in people, you are going to turn on those people.

To read the remainder of this article, and to listen to the entire video training with Carey Nieuwhof, click here for the full videos and post.

These videos are part of Plus Membership. To get full access to them, and much more, I encourage you to become a Plus Member. Click here to see all the benefits of becoming a Plus Member.


New Churches Team

NewChurches.com wants to help you build a strong foundation by connecting you with top experts in the field of church planting and multisite ministry, and by regularly providing you with the resources, information, and community you need to thrive as you multiply the mission of Matthew 28.


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